Can we list the better labels? Chesky? Telarc?

We all know that there is a lot of difference in the quality of recordings. For example, I've always found that Chesky and Telarc were "better" or more "true" labels. Bluenote seems mixed to me. What say you? Can we develop a list of some of the best music labels (and maybe some of the ones to avoid).
CHESKY definitely!
Three Blind Mice (aka TBM)
Tacet, MDG.
Don't forget that ALL Telarcs are recorded with the absolute polarity reversed. If you don't reverse the polarity, the top end is a bit bright and the bass is tubby and lacks definition, among other problems.
EMI for conistently remarkable programming.
Alia Vox - Jordi Savall's label for Early Music

Chesky is a great match for my Audio Aero Capitole Cd player. Also, for remasters one should get Rhino whenever possible.
When you ask for the "quality" of recordings, are you speaking musically, sonically, or both?
Opus 3

Limited collection, but there seems to be great attention payed to the recording.

Opus 3
Some of the small, boutique labels are good, too, like Sundazed Music, Four Men with Beards, First Impression, and Groove Note.
As you mention Blue note, Chesky, and Telarc I assume you're taking about mostly Jazz. If so, Concord Jazz has consistenly good sound and artists as well and a lot of Verve (but not all by some margin).

If you're into classical some of the best labels for sound are Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, Delos, Dorian, Reference Recordings, and Telarc. EMI can be excellent as can London/Decca. For Eastern European music, Supraphon and anything with the Czech Phil. :-)
Sheffield Lab (, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (
I've found the Speakers Corner reissues to be consistently good.
EMI for conistently remarkable programming.

Whoops, I meant ECM! Well, I got the "E" right!

Puntamayo discs usually sound excellent. This is world music and though you may not know what the music is about it sounds great! I never pass up a chance to buy one in the used bins or new! The label features artists from Latin America, North America, Africa, and Asia!
Nimbus especially with John Boughton conducting.
Viridian -- yes, the sonic quality -- the production values, not the musicians.

This is really great as I have not heard of many of these labels. Thanks and keep 'em coming.
"Enya Records" (Germany?) has great music (Rabih Abou Khalil) and great recordings. "In & Out Records" has some great recordings/music as well (Lester Bowie: The fire this time). Harmonia Mundi, Reference Recordings etc. are good as well.

Problem is that I would rather choose good music mediocre recording quality that vice versa.
When I bought my Thiel speakers, they sent a couple of demo discs from "Pope Music." The recording quality was very nice.
Don't forget Opus 3
JVC XRCD releases
Reference Recordings

Both good
For excellent performances, sonics, and concepts, these two are in a class of their own:


Alia Vox

Also very good are: Naive/Opus111, ECM, Ambroise, Glossa, Dorian (now defunct, sadly), Pneuma, Channel Classics
FIM -First Impressions Music. Check out web site @ Excellent recordings, first recommended to me by a friend. I just bought "Favorite Chinese Instrumentals" Simply amazing recording, almost eerie.