I think I must weird, every time I see a "rock" topic I go. Yes bring on AC/DC, Motorhead, Guns 'n Roses etc. When I glance your list I think I would not put them all in the rock category.
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While I think that there are many good recordings on your list, quite a few of them would not sound very good in a more revealing system. One of the strengths of the Vanderstein 5A's is their ability to make poor recordings more listenable. A speaker with more "accuracy" and "resolution" would reveal the flaws in many of these albums.
Czapp, at the risk of being labeled a heretic, I'd much prefer a slightly forgiving but MUSICAL system to a hyper-detailed system that makes many of my favorite recordings sound flawed...
In my view, if a system is dialed in properly, then the bulk of recordings should sound pleasing and musical. If that is not the case, then I would suspect that something is wrong with my system or its set up.
In this hobby, you often hear the logic that "this or that system is of such high resolution that it makes many recordings sound poor or even unlistenable." In my view, that logic is flawed.
The purpose of a high-res system is to reveal a more transparent sound and delicate musical nuances... as opposed to highlighting and exposing warts and defects.
I applaud Sonofjim for sharing his musical joy with the group and agree with many of his choices.
Without getting into the debate of what qualifies as "rock" I'd offer the observation that many LPs from the past offer delightful tidbits that one can focus on even if the overall recording is only mediocre. The person who can focus on the positive attributes of a recording is going to enjoy his music a lot more than the fellow who is more interested in perfect sonics than the music.
Recordings are the one aspect of having a nice system that we have virtually no control over. You can only play what the record company releases. Sometimes you get a "remaster" that is better (and sometimes it is worse.) So it gets back to the music itself. I always feel a bit sorry for the person who can't listen to a great song because it is deemed to be not up-to-snuff in the technical aspects of the recording.
Thanks for the effort. Bet I can find 1/3 of your list in my basement. I just started listening to my old records again. I steam cleaned My Aim is True and cued it up on a P3-24 with a Dynavector 10X5 and P75 pre. The kick drum and bass were punchy, the Tele and vocals had great presence.
Felt like I was at a show in a small club in row 5. I've spent the last few months with the goal of listening to the rock and alt stuff I like at low volume but with a little slam and air. My ears are old and were misused in my youth, but I'm enjoying my motley assemblage : Dynaudio 72 speakers, Audio Research D240 mkII, TADAC pre/dac and a PC for CDs.
I started at least one of those bad lp threads. I will qualify my statements, at least in part.
As I've continued to 'voice' and tweak my vinyl rig in, I've gotten more classic rock lps to sound better. However, these recordings remain less than stellar relative to most of my 50's and 60's recordings.
I find I am really having to 'warm' up my vinyl setup in order to get these recordings to sound good. Some major changes in isolating my analog equipment has helped up to this point. Mullard 12ax7s in my phono stage should get me further along this path.
In respect to high res. vs. musical, I believe you can have both in one system. My digital, after many years of mods and 'voicing' gives me both. I expect the same from my vinyl. Thus far, I have the high resolution without the musicality (except on very high quality lps) I want.
At this point on my analog path, my take on classic rock lps, is that they require a very unique balancing act. A high resolution system makes it very difficult to achieve that balance.
I guess what I really want to highlight in these discussions, is the feeling of disappointment I had in first hearing these lps on a high resolution system. It seems most discussions of analog are all hype with no downside. I think its important to discuss some of those downsides, along with the positive virtues. It is not simply plug and play, it is damn hard work to get the most of all your recordings. We do a disservice to potential vinyl adapters when we only speak of positive attributes.
Lp's can sound wonderful, mediocre, or crappy, I don't see any harm in giving that information to the uninitiated. While it is fine to talk about the wonderful recordings, we should also warn people away from the crap.
I intended my post to promote Elvis Costello's first few LPs. Apologies if it sounded like anything else.
I am working my way through a couple hundred records, some forty years old. They've been stored indifferently, transported from dorm to apt to house, left in the back seat of cars or left on the floor for days.
Some don't have the magic that I remember or suffer from poor recording techniques. Seems like copies of the same LP can differ significantly. A new issue I bought last week was flat and disappointing. On the other hand, some are pretty cool. I have a few that I like better than the CD version. I have some for which there is no CD version.
I want to be able to close my eyes and see a stage with amps and drums sets. Yeah there's a little grain here and there, but it works for me and the teenagers at the shows don't have to wonder why that old guy is standing in the corner.
Thanks for the responses. My only intention with this thread was to attempt to demonstrate that the scarcity of good sounding popular music at the average used record store seems to be overstated. What qualifies as rock, pop, folk or whatever isn't that important. Those are just labels. I only listed my components to give some reference as to where I was coming from. If some prefer a more revealing speaker I understand. My Krell amp is from a family of products often accused of being too revealing and harsh. Maybe it's a good match for the Vandersteens on this type of music. Systems evolve out of personal taste and necessity of budget. Whatever the system, finding and playing these recordings has been a joy and not as difficult as might be thought. This list is really just the tip of the iceberg I'm sure so go forth and enjoy.
Sonofjim you are so right. Good rock and any LP can sound very good to me, classic rock is my music of choice. I have gone thou several to get the best vinyl of my favorites. To mention several on top of my list
Moody Blues any well produced and very well performed
Eagles the first LP and Desperado as well as When Hell Freezes Over well recorded open and airy
America the first LP and greatest hits
Beatles any but especially Hey Jude
Blood Sweet and Tears second LP a bench mark LP for production
Caption Beyond first LP another super production
Eric Clapton Unplugged Wow a fantastically recorded show also one of my all time favorites EC was here pure Rock and Roll
Crosby Still and Nash first and second great stuff
Doors Soft Parade
ELP first LP wide open and talk about classic and rock
Faces A nod as good to a wink Oh Miss Judy
Fleetwood Mac most early records or better for me
Jimi Hendrix are you kidding me the best rock guitar ever
Billy Joel I like pianos
Elton John talk about great productions Elton John, Tumbleweed and Mad Man goosebumps
Led Zeppelin added super blues to classic rock super recordings and sound also
Little Feet any great Rock and Roll
Loggins and Messina short time together great Classic Rock
Marshal Tucker Band a little Country to Classic Rock Searchin for a Rainbow a no brainier
Paul McCartney I love Paul if you dont like Ram shame on you
Van Morrison gotta love Van the mans music
Pink Floyd any of there Classic Rock issues are hands down awesome
Santana some super music and recordings
Steely Dan are you kidding music sound recording in most cases it does not get any better
Rod Steward play it again Rod timeless and proven
Traffic anything with Steve Winwood and add Traffic and you have some of the best rock and roll ever
Jethro Tull another of the classic of classic rock bands
Stevie Ray Vaughn yes this man would still be on top a guitar god and some great productions
Who will rock your socks off one of the best of all time
Yes innovation and production
Guys and Gals this is a small grouping theres Blues Soul and Big Band types like Frank and Louie Prima that were at the roots of rock.
In the end its not the system but the music that counts. Of course the better the system the better they sound.
Sonofjim, Stltrains and you are right on target. This music is great, and even a "mediocre" pressing can bring a smile to your face. It is the music that pushes you to improve your setup so you can hear more of that music. Keep spreading the good cheer. Btw, many respected audio reviewers ( i am sure you know this) put the Vandy 5As at the top of quality sound reproduction. I play through Meadowlark Blue Herron 2s, speakers that have a great affinity to the Vandersteens. I suspect the 5As will be my next speaker, if and when my Meadowlarks die from a drunken blow from me or dance kick from my 3yr old daughter.
G m c,
I agree with you and Plato. I've been quiet reguarding component choice because this thread is about enjoying great music but I consider my front end and speakers to be the strong points in my system. If I change anything it will be the amp or phono stage. What the Meadowlarks and Vandersteens have in common(along with Theil, Dunlavy and a few others)is the use of first order crossovers allowing phase coherence, more accurate imaging and lower coloration. If you walk away from a speaker audition thinking those are the most exciting speakers I've ever heard, that should be a red flag that something is wrong. If my biggest mistake so far is choosing a speaker that makes most of my records fun to listen to, that's the type of mistake I'd like to make more often.
All that being said, systems come and go. Only the music is timeless. Thanks for the great list stltrains. I'll be looking for a few of those. If anyone else has any jaw droppers keep them coming.
I put on my copy of Isle of View by Jimmy Spheeris last night. I havent listend to it for years. It was marvelous. My system can separate the faint crackling from use on previous system when I was in school from the wonderful music that is there. That to me is what my turntable/cartridge now are able to do. I find many records at the half price store that are in good condition and sound great. That's where I found my copy of Van Morrison-His band and Street Choir.
Half price books can be one of the best sources, I agree. You have to sort through a lot of crap but the good ones show up too. Luckily, it's on the way home for me so I can stop several times a week. Consistency and patience pays off there. They do a good job with pricing on the whole but also under price some. Today I found Joni Mitchell's first on the W7 label in near mint condition with a clean cover for just $5.