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I find Bis and ECM to be consistently very good. Never heard a bad recording from either label. The Linn recordings I have are of even better quality, so good in fact that they occasionally reveal issues in the system or room that need to be addressed. Chandos is good. Dacappo is good in my experience. Pentatone and CPO are variable. Sometimes wonderful, sometimes not. Most of the major labels, e.g. DG, Decca, EMI, are a gamble. I usually wait for at least a user review, unless it is a must have. Among major labels, RCA is probably the one that is most consistently good. Sony has some good and some average.
Are there any labels that have a reputation for dedication to the quality of the recording?
Reference Recording, Sheffield
What you will find however, if its recording quality you're after, you'll do much better to pay attention to the recording and mastering engineers. Doug Sax for example. If you see The Mastering Lab or Doug Sax you can be assured no matter whether its Styx Equinox or Claire Marlo Let It Go the quality is superb. George Massenberg is another one.
Then you have Ken Scott (Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp) and... well if you REALLY care about quality click on over to Better Records and search around and read up on their favorite recording engineers. Ken Scott was not even on my radar until I started reading Tom Port.
It's very disappointing to put on a new CD only to find that the sound quality is garbage.
Same here. Which is why I play records. Once you go black....
A 2nd on Harmonia Mundi, both French and U.S.A. Not only is the sound superior, the music is too: lots of Baroque and Early music.
The problem with naming Pop (non-Classical) labels is that the labels themselves largely have nothing to do with making the recordings they sell, they merely manufacture the recordings into LP's and CD's, then market them. There are a few exceptions: Sugar Hill and Rounder for Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, and Country, for example.
Tacet Musik. On some recordings they use tube only microphones and amplifiers from the 1940’s and 50’s (Neumann N49 microphones and Telefunken V72 line amp).. Fantastic sound. You can search out the label on Qobuz or go to Presto Classical. I stumbled across this searching out Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.