The Alia Vox website, which is Jordi Savall's label, has a few that are stellar classical performances.
your pick ...
"Le Nozze di Figaro" or
both are on Harmonia Mundi (label), Mozart (composer) Renee Jacobs (conductor)
your pick ...
Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed" or
Bob Dylan "Blood on the Tracks"
your pick ...
Muddy Waters "Folk Singer" or
Blood Sweat & Tears (second album)
Any of the San Francisco Symphony's Mahler cycle (on their own label), take your pick, though I particularly like the 4th and 6th Symphony recordings. Also, the Harmonia Mundi releases have been uniformly very good to excellent--the de Falla Tri-Cornered Hat/Nights in the Gardens of Spain disc has been one I have returned to a lot, though the piccolo in the former can come across as shrill as it does in real life. And Julia Fleischer's recordings for Pentatone, especially the Mozart concerti, are excellent.
There are so many good SACD recordings in each genre that knowing a bit
more precisely your likes and dislikes would be useful. And there are so
many great recordings, limiting it to three would be a shame.
As a start, in classical, I have not yet found a recording on Channel Classics,
bis, Pentatone, or the Living Stereo re-releases labels that was not excellent.
Personal favorites are Janos Starker performing the Bach Cello Suites, Peter
Wispelwey on cello at Channel Classics, and an unusual disc called Prieres
sans Paroles by Hardenberger and Preston on the bis label - a collecton of
French music for organ and trumpet. The list goes on...
In Jazz, there's a lot of stuff to choose from, and given that your system does
not show a turntable, a bunch of the 50s-70s jazz from Miles Davis, Bill
Evans, Cannonball Adderley and other great artists of the time will show off
the SACD format, and sound better than any CD issue I've heard. Personally, I
like the re-released jazz SACDs off the Analogue Productions label, Dave
Brubeck's Time Out (decent improvement over CD), Ella & Louis, M. Sasaji and
the L.A. Allstars, most of the Miles Davis SACDs (especially the Japanese ones)
are better than redbook CD versions, with an especially big thank you to
Analogue Productions for a a couple of theirs, Bill Evans, and for some
reason, Herbie Hancock's albums seem particularly well-suited to SACD.
In Blues, the first three Eric Bibb discs, the Keb' Mo discs, and the Junior Wells
disc I have are all great, and the Keb' Mo and Eric Bibb discs' music happens
to highlight the strengths of the SACD format as well.
Folk/Country: Appalachian Journey is a favorite. I like a few of the Allison
Krauss discs, and there are a couple of decently mastered Nick Drake discs if
you are so inclined.
Other: The two Los Angeles Guitar Quartet recordings I have are both great.
And the list just goes on...
You might try www.sa-cd.net/reviews/ to read what others have said. There
is at least one other website out there as well reviewing SACDs, and there is a
lot of good commentary/review on SACD music on the Hi-Rez forum at
Awe, T_bone beat me to it:
http://www.sa-cd.net/reviews/all is where I go to read and write SACD reviews. You can find my reviews here:
I'm not a classical listener but I do have the SFO/Mahler set and it is very highly regarded. (well i said I'm not a classical fan :)
With that out of the way I'd recommend the following rock/jazz for great stereo sound quality.
Spyro Gyra - In Modern Times (great sounding smooth jazz)
Steely Dan - Gaucho (SD always sounds great)
Allison Krause+Union Station - Live (I don't like country either but this is an incredible sounding cross-over album recorded direct to DSD. I am surprised to say it is one of my favorite SACDs!)
Dave's True Story - Unauthorized (warning 1: mature non-christian themes. Warning 2: addictive :)
Sam Cooke - Live at the Copa (In the room vocals + Big Band)
Willie Nelson - Stardust (In the room vocals)
Deep Purple - Machine Head (excellent xfer from the 70s)
The Coryells - The Coryells (great acoustic guitars ++)
Weather Report - Heavy Weather (classic jazz/rock fussion)
Yellowjackets - Time Squared (straight ahead modern jazz)
There are more, but I'll leave them for others. All these discs sound great - better then the redbook versions without a doubt. Suggest staying away from Norah Jones SACD as it's just a 16 bit xfer to SACD. Lovey songs, mediocre sonics.
So that's more than three, but if you go with my top 3 (sans the Mahler) you'll have some great sounding discs. Sure Take Five and Kind of Blue are classics, but you've heard 'em already. Try my list for tunes that sound great and are a bit different.
BTW, now is great time to buy SACD - they are cheap and plentiful. This is especially true for you being a classical music fan. Betcha' can't buy just one!
There are many. I have the same CD/SACD player (and like it a lot!). I started buying a few SACD's a few weeks ago. I now have nearly fifty of them! Not sure I can narrow it down to three, but some of my favorites are Diana Krall Love Scenes, Vivaldi Four Seasons (Jansen), Brubeck 40th Anniversary Tour, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony (Spano--as well as his other Vaughan Williams Disk but I love choral music) (Telarc SACD's are on sale and if you buy four you get one free so you can get five for around $50) and yes, the Edgar Meyer disks are great like the Appalachian Journey are great too. Beethoven's 9 Symphonies (Haitink) with the LSO is available at a great price at www.mdt.co.uk and sounds great). Lot's of choices. Enjoy and if you prefer certain genre's of music, ask and we can help.
For the classical SACD I would highly recommend the Mozart Violin Concertos with Marianne Thorsen and Trondheim Solistene from 2L recordings out of Norway. My other non-classical favourites would be Frankie Goes to Hollywood Rage Hard-The Sonic Collection and Genesis Invisible Touch. But my absolute favourite SACD's, which would bring you over your three starting ones, are the entire Depeche Mode catalog (12 hybrid SACDs) starting at Speak & Spell and ending at Playing the Angel. They are not available in North America. I had to import all these hybrid SACDs from Europe. Enjoy!
T-bone, that Bis recording you mentioned is a terrific one. As a rule, the SACDs on that label are very good, as are most of the Telarcs. I forgot to mention the Ondine label, which does recordings of both the Philadelphia (live concert recordings)and Minnesota orchestras. There is a recording on that label of the Philadelphia Orchestra with Olivier Latry on organ playing the Barber Toccata, Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony that is excellent, and if you have a true full range system it will give you just about the most bass in the last octave (down to 16 Hz) that I've ever heard on disc.
Oh, and for classical, I forgot to extol the virtues of the Exton label, which may not be available outside Japan (though is certainly available online from Japan), but which does excellent recordings, many of them involving Vladimir Ashkenazy, either as performer or conductor.
Rcprince, I'll look out for it.