Are these exceptionally well recorded, or what?


I don’t know what just happened. My system suddenly started to sound much, much better. Particularly on the last three Qobuz hi-Rez downloads. What happened? The last change in my system was two months ago—added the new Bel Canto PRE5 preamp. It sounded great right from the start, and I probably have 120-150 hours on it. Can it have “snapped in” all of a sudden?  Is my power suddenly cleaner? Or did I stumble on three exceptionally well-recorded albums.  I’ll listen to my old standard references, but in the meantime, I’d like you opinion of these three:

Marie Stockman Becker: JS Bach Sonatas for Viola (on this album I can distinguish between filters on my Cambridge 851N, for the first time).

Veronica Swift: This Better Earth (opening song—she’s right there in the room)

Rattle and the LSO: Rachmaninoff 2nd (best sound staging I’ve heard on this system).

whattya think?
tomaswv
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@tomaswv,

How many hours do you have now on BC Preamp? Typically preamp has 200-300 hours break-in period.

As far recording goes, Veronica Swift’s ‘This Better Earth’ is one of my favorite song.....so I concur she is right there in the room and how about the piano, beautifully rendered just like her haunting voice.

Qobuz has exceptional SQ, downloads or streaming. Enjoy!
Possibly 200 hours, so it could be coming in to its own. 
If your amps are class D, it takes about that long for them to warm up.  If you normally turn them off overnight but started leaving them on overnight this can happen.
They are class D (Bel Canto ref500m) and I do leave them on all the time. But they were off quite a while when I installed the preamp and reconfigured my cables. 
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In my experience there is zero question that the most important thing determining sound quality - more than nearly any component, is the recording/mastering. They need not be new - some of the best "digital" are well mastered CDs from 1960s jazz recordings and orchestral by Verve, Blue Note, Mercury Living Presence (mighty Fine recordings).
Could your preamp be warming up? Maybe. Is it the big difference? Unlikely.
I have no heard the 3 you refer to, but may go listen to them.
They are class D (Bel Canto ref500m) and I do leave them on all the time. But they were off quite a while when I installed the preamp and reconfigured my cables.


Then your experience is one you have shared with me and others. :) I don't know why this is true, my linear amps never had this issue, but my Class D amps sure did.
"....Bitter Earth"....and V's a bit too closely mic'd for my taste....
Beautiful, otherwise....
Your new preamplifier is probably starting to bloom when this occurs all your music will sound better all the time most of us have a hard time waiting for that change to happen but when it does it can turn a crappy sounding piece of gear into a great piece of gear.
For the Rach #2, check Ashkenazy with Amsterdam. 
WAY better sound than Rattle, and a much better interpretation.
Your speakers will explode.
Jack audio,

Could you be more specific on the rach #2 suggestion.  Not sure which one.

Thanks
@yashu , you can find it in the complete set of Rachmaninov Symphonies, Ashkenazy conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on London/Decca.
https://open.qobuz.com/album/0002894557982
https://tidal.com/browse/album/4512925
It's the source material
The longer we listen to our system, the more we ignore the bad sounds and appreciate the good!
Tomaswv,

You have excellent taste in music!
Never heard of Veronica Swift before.
She’s great.
Bach and Rachmaninoff ain’t bad either.
Things always sound better when you can fry an egg on top of my sugden a21 class A. 😆
My betting money is on the preamp hitting its break-in point. My first experience with equipment break-in was when I recapped my tube preamp. For quite some time after the recap job I wrote it off as another lesson learned to not tamper with working equipment, as it sounded worse after the recap job than before (weak sound stage, etc.). Several weeks later, however, the sounds stage and dynamics opened up in a way that was (to me) remarkable. So my guess is your new preamp has gotten through its break-in period...
"Veronica Swift: This Better Earth (opening song—she’s right there in the room)"

Look for  the 1961 original by Dinah Washington for amazing "in the room" sonics. I listen to the mono LP, but it's probably decent on digital as well.

I like to give current singers a listen, but always circle back to the source. 
Tomaswv,

Veronica Swift's recording is good. She is kind of in the room. If you want to feel a singer sitting in your lap, check out Life on a String by Laurie Anderson. Track 1, One White Whale is crazy!!