Best Quality Recording On Vynil

I wonder what you consider the best recorded vinyl you ever listened. I've heard that Pink Floyd's `Dark Side Of The Moon` remains to be "unbeatable" in terms of recording quality.... I am sure many would have a different opinion on this. I know that there are some fellow audiophiles there who test new electronics with the albums they consider to be "best ever - period". Please post your opinion what albums they are!
Hi Sputniks,
" I can only speak for myself on this one. I'm going to offer you a Record Label that has been consistent since my first one in 1970. This label is none other then [ ECM / JAPO ]
Their recording have always had a sound which I've found many can't match till this day. Somewhat in the Chamber - Jazz Mode, but I again love all their records."
Try to find either of the Manfred Schoof LP's titled: Scales or Lifelines on Japo. Share your thoughts afterwards.
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There is no 'best VINYL recording' since every opinion is different, and people like different music. Dark Side of the Moon isn't even Pink Floyds best LP. I have a British pressing of Animals, which is a much better LP than DSOTM that sound great. Which version of DSOTM are you refering to, I have four of them and they all sound different.

There are lots of good rereleases of classic rock, pop, and classical, not to mention blues, and Jazz.

I think the Simply Vinyl versions of some of Elvis's catalog sound amazing, I only had one Elvis recording before I heard how good those were, but I certainly don't think they're the best. Beyond that, I have not listened to every LP ever recorded, so I don't know what the best one is, after all.
A similiar sounding piece to DSOM but better recording (I think anyway) is Alan Parson's 1st recording "Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Edgar Allan Poe" pressed by MFSL.

The U.S. pressing of Pink Floyd "Animals" sucked as I remember.. the British pressing is probably much better.
Nrchy, I have the British Animals as well and it is quite incredible! But highly manipulated studio recordings on old tape just aren't in the league of the best vinyl recordings. Most are musically worthless, but the Sheffeild Labs direct-to-disc recordings are, by a large margin, the highest fidelity records ever made, IMHO. Try the Harry James ones for sheer power and clarity. The 45rpm Crystal Clear direct-to-disk recordings are better musically, and next up for sound quality. I like the Charlie Byrd best, and then the Laurindo Alemeda. For a studio affair on tape, try The Dave Frishberg Songbook, volumes 1 and 2 on the Omni Sound label. If you can get past Frishbergs melange of novelty songs and strange phrasing, you will be amazed. DSOTM, which I have five different copies of (but not the vaunted Pro Use version, which I have auditioned at length) and love, is not even on the same planet sonically as any of these.
Yes. Agree with much of what is stated above. It really depends on what "quality" you value. It's a very subjective word.

Some would say that the 45rpm reissue of the "Firebird Suite" is one of the greatest symphonic recordings on vinyl. I think this is surely one of the contenders but one needs to be able to look past the notorious Mercury tape hiss.
I'd pretty much second Viridian's comments, but will add one or two further remarks. I tend to distinguish the musical performance from the audio quality -- there are some superbly recorded LP's that aren't very interesting from a performance standpoint. Very few "audiophile" recordings have great performance AND great sound.

I think one of the most realistic recordings I've heard is the Reference Recording LP of Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique", conducted by Verujian Kojian. The 4th and 5th movements are simply astounding when heard on a really good, full-range system.

As a body of work, the Sheffield recordings are probably the "gold standard" for D-to-D recordings, but I'd have to include the M&K recording titled "For Duke" among the top several, and some of the EastWind recordings ("The Three", "LA Four", etc.) are superb.

Last, one of my personal favorites is an LP released in the early 1980's by Wilson Audio called "Magnum Opus", which is a taped recording of the Flentrop organ in St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle, WA. The cathedral is rather large and boxy, with a reverb decay time of 6-7 seconds, and this recording is as close to the actual sound of that organ as anything I've ever heard. If you ever find a copy of this LP, buy it -- even if you don't like organ music.

Among the larger labels, there is a group that consistently manages to produce good-to-excellent performances AND good-to-excellent sound quality. The obvious choices are the RCA "Living Stereo" releases of the mid-1950's to early 1960's, and the Mercury "Living Presence" LP's of that same era. I'd add to that list: Harmonia Mundi; Decca; London; BIS; Opus; Nimbus; Lyrica; Vanguard (mostly their folk releases); and some of the Supraphon and Hungaraton releases.

When it comes to jazz, I've been pleased with many of the LP's by Contemporary Records from the late 1950's and early 1960's that were engineered by Roy DuNann; many of the Blue Note recordings of that era by Rudy Van Gelder; ECM; some of the recordings on Verve, Atlantic, and Riverside; and most of the releases on the "Black Saint" and "Soul Note" labels (an Italian company, owned by Giovanni Bonandrini).
Sdcampbell's comments are right on target for me, and I'll largely just add "ditto" - including the recommended labels for classical music. My additions would be: (1) many of the reissues of the RCA, DECCA and Mercury classical LPs are superb, and (2) those who enjoy classical music should explore Arthur Salvatore's "Supreme Recordings" list (all vinyl). I agree with virtually all of his recommendations based on sonics. (Don't miss the detailed descriptions on succeeding pages of his web site.)
sdcampbell wasn't 'magnum opus' a song Kansas's Leftoverture?
The best vynil isn't for me the albumn with the best sonics etc. It is for most vynil users I know, the ones that moves you, sends shivers down your back. Even, move you to tears.
If you cannot get that from your equipment, go to the next choice, what album to you what to play again as soon as it has finished.
Cheers Tabard
I once owned an early, early copy of "Dark Side of the Moon" when it was first released. I was just a college sophomore when I bought it. Somehwere along the way, I decided to include it among a ton of albums I sold to Aron's Records in Hollywood. I wish I never got rid of it now. It was definitely a well-produced recording. By contrast, I have a British Harvest/EMI copy of Pink Floyd's "Meddle," and I think this album sounds horrible. Not in the same league with "Dark Side." Just my opinion.
Hi again, I'v just listened to Dark Side again (Anniversary reissue 180grm vynil) up against my SACD version playsed through a Shanling 200 (upgraded and on a Tabard Trampalene base, but not the T/T) Verdict SACD a little more dynamic but vynil got my feet tapping. Interestingly on SACD you can easily here wow at end of Great Gig in the Skie but on my Sota there is no wow (you figue) As for best recording, NO, foot tapping is good but not good enough, keep exploring,
Love that Dark side. I have an original and a re-master and the anniversary. Also, Willie Nelson 'Stardust' I have four releases including the new 45. Great. Doc Watson and Ian & Sylvia on Cisco are beautiful quality. Finally Getz and Giberto.
MFSL release of American Beauty by Grateful Dead. A real classic.
Most all of the vinyl put out by New Order sounds killer to me.
I really like the sound and musical performance of the Tom Rush LP - "Best of Tom Rush", the one with "Hobo's mandolin" on it. Great folk/rock
I listen to a lot of classical vinyl, and am often shocked at how bad some of the "pro's" recommended recordings are. I suppose if all you ever listen to is Mercury, Columbia, RCA, Philips, and London, then Living Stereo, Living Presence, and FFSS sound pretty good to you. But there's so much great stuff out there that never gets mentioned.
One major oversight in virtually everyone's Classical ratings - if you're interested in LISTENING, as opposed to collecting - Musical Heritage Society. They have some fantastic pressings AND performances of interesting music which is available nowhere else. Many of their in-house productions (including digital recordings) are truly top notch, and some of their reissues are as good or better than the originals.

Rushton's recommendation of Arthur Salvatore's list is right on - a very good place to start. If you haven't checked it out, definitely do so. I disagree with him on a few (e.g. Timegate Brandenburgs, which has gone to mega-dollars on his recommendation alone) - he's overall much closer to the mark than anyone else out there. Also he seems to ignore, or hasn't heard, some really spectacular smaller (and rarer) Japanese and European issues. But his entire website is full of very valuable info - I have copied all his pages to my hard drive in case they ever suddenly disappear.

The DCCblowout website has a lot of very interesting and useful information also if you dig around a bit.