1. Jerry Granelli V16 (SACD) Songlines records
2. Christoph Pregardien/Michel Gees Between Life and Death (SACD) Challenge Classics
3. Mozart Concertos 11,12 Janina Fialkowska (SACD) ATMA Classique
Ricky lee jones-pop pop! on cd or lp
Congo soundtrack on cd
Sony Sampler sacd with James Taylor, Pink Floys and more
Here are three very good ones on vinyl:
Stravinsky - "Firebird" - Dorati/LSO, Mercury SR 90226 (45rpm vinyl reissue by Classic Records)
"A Meeting by the River" - Ry Cooder and V.M.Bhatt, WaterLily APW029-45 (45rpm vinyl issue by Analog Productions)
John Coltrane - "Blue Train" - Blue Note 1577 -45 (45rpm vinyl reissue mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray for Analogue Productions)
This listing could go on and on and on...
The Magnificent Seven on the Koch label.
An excellent demo record and a fun listen for movie buff's (not a soundtrack) as well as those not inclined to classical music, but who want something orchestral that is big and boisterous.
Excellent performance, and soundstage characteristics are grand as well. Certainly in Demo Class. FWIW, I bought this some years ago but never listened to it from an audiophile POV until the other day. I was really surprised!
This is based simply on how magnificent these are recorded and sound. Trust me on these.
Lee Ritenour: "Smoke 'N Mirrors" CD
Elton John: "Honky Chateau" Multi-channel SACD
Norman Brown: "Celebration" CD
Brian Culbertson: "Somethin' Bout Love" HDCD
Toto: "Toto IV", Multi-channel SACD
Spyro Gyra: "Wrapped in a Dream", Multi-channel SACD
Peter White: "Good Day" CD
Steely Dan: "Gaucho" CD
Louie Armstrong: St James Infirmary (45 rpm)
Jen Warnes: The Well (Cisco LP)
Tracy Chapman: S/T LP, standard pressing.
We need more threads like this. The what's on your turntable thread is ready to be retired IMHO.
1. Monteiro, Young, & Holt; "Blues for the Saxophone Club" . DXD recording by FIM. The piano is unbelievable.
2. "The Blue Coast Collection" by Blue Coast Records (24 bit/96 khz)
3. Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Frigo; "Hot Club of 52nd Street". (24 bit/96 khz)
Puts you right in the audience ala "Jazz at the Pawshop" except the musicians are better.
Roger Waters: "Amused To Death" LP
Joan Baez: "Diamonds and Rust" LP
John Lee Hooker: "Healer" LP
The Eagles "Hotel California" 1/2 Speed Mastered 180g LP.
Hank Williams, Jr "Almeria Club" SACD.
The Beatles "White Album" (Remastered 2009) CD.
Patrica Barber 45LPMofi Cafe' Blue
Neil Young Greatest Hits LP classic records
David and David Boomtown LP Classic records
I don't know if these are "the best" recordings in my collection, but they are all excellent:
Cassandra Wilson, New Moon Daughter
Muddy Waters, Folk Singer
Martin Zeller, Bach's Cello Suites (MA Recordings)
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman MFSL UHQR
John Hiatt Bring the family MFSL
Patrica Barber Cafe Blue MFSL
B.B. King Luceile MFSL
All are LP's
I have heard the same on cd and they just dont cut it.
The longer I think about it, the more likely the list will change so off the top of my head:
Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms, 20th Anniversary SACD
Steely Dan - Aja, Cisco LP reissue
John Coltrane - Blue Train, Blue Note 2008 45 rpm LP reissue
Most of my listening is to classical music, and I have far too many excellent sounding recordings to be able to single out three. What I would suggest you do, to the extent that you are interested in classical recordings, is to focus on labels that are known to produce consistently good sound, and choose particular recordings based on the music and, to the extent possible, the performances.
I would recommend the following labels as consistently providing excellent sounding recordings (although unfortunately some of them no longer exist):
Harmonia Mundi France
Mercury Living Presence re-issues
Telarc (many are excellent; some will be disappointing)
Among non-classical recordings, I would single out "The Sheffield Track Record." I have it on the original direct-to-disk LP, but it is currently available on cd together with "The Sheffield Drum Record" (which I haven't heard). One of the ultimate demo disks.
Al, nice list of excellent labels. :-)
Among others I would add is "Harmonia Mundi USA" - the USA
labeled offerings from Harmonia Mundi, produced by Robina
Young and engineered by Peter McGrath, are wonderful and
shouldn't be missed.
I have about 100 albums that might qualify but these come to mind today.
Tomorrow might be entirely different.
Thick As A Brick (original US pressing)
Fragile (original US pressing)
Crime Of The Century (MFSL)
One more for the road:
Bookends (original US pressing)
I have quite a few but of late it's Sonny Rollins "Way Out West (1957)" XRCD24 with "Saxophone Colossus (1956)" a close second. High on the list is Gene Ammons "Boss Tenor (1960)" XRCD. This is really ironic because these albums are damn near 60 years old but they sound so much better than any new music I have. Sound quality aside, this is some sweet ass music...soulful!
Shelly Manne and His Men Play Peter Gunn - I have this on OJC CD and original vinyl and it sounds great - I would love to see someone re-do this on 45rpm vinyl.
Blue Trane - the recent 45 RPM version is phenominal, and one of the best quality recordings in the RVG catalog, imho.
Pretty much anything on Sharp Nine Records.
Muddy Waters-Folk Singer SACD
Pink Floyd-DSOTM SACD
Michael Stearns-The Lost World CD
Having recently seen Jeff Beck on tour here in San Francisco, I have listened to a few of his classics, and being a drummer myself, I have a particular awareness of how drums are recorded, I really think "Blow by Blow" and "There and Back" sound wonderful on my original vinyl issues.
Drums are by far the most challenging acoustic instrument to record due to inherent sonic issues that are presented, and the necessity to properly mic the variety of dynamic conditions that run across drum kit, from the low frequencies of a kick drum to the shimmer of a small crash cymbal.
If an artist is going to use drums on their recording, and they are interested in making a higher consciousness recording aimed at the audiophile market, then there are great challenges to overcome to really capture a top tier drummer playing across a well tuned, and well miked drum kit.
The producers and sound engineers that are able to pull this off, my hats off to them.
Beck's "Blow By Blow" on original vinyl is up there.
"Classic Concert" CD by Mel Torme and Co. (live at Carnegie Hall) is up there.
"Preachin the Blues" CD on Mapleshade is a very good quality binaural recording also.
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
Miles of Isles J. Mitchell
Weavers at Carnegie Hall
All the above have been extensively reviewed except Miles of Isles.
the Pearson TAS lists are the most accurate I have seen.
I am beginning to believe that there is something to the hot stamper theory RE vinyl - that some indvidual pressings are much better than others, regardless of whether they are "audiophile" or even "heavy" vinyl. Case in point, my best reference recording is the "David Grisman Quintet" self titled album from the mid seventies - standard release vinyl, but it sounds marvelous.
One of my favorite demo redbook CD's is the original 1991 Rickie Lee Jones "Pop Pop" disk as already mentioned above. My favorite "audiophile" CD is the "Stan Getz with Cal Tjader" JVC XRCD2 disk.
Almost anything produced by Teo Maceo, but especially Columbia records remastered redbook CDs of Dave Brubeck Quartet "take Five" and Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue".
The Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch "Strauss Tone Poems" EMI redbook CD
Agree with Mapman, original "Blow by Blow" on well set up turntable is very, very good. Did not appeciate how good until I had my table dialed in.
Webern complete works (6 eye Columbia)
CD's: Dire Straits "Brothers In Arm" xrcd & Pink Floyd's "The Wall" mofi. LP's: Blind Faith self titled & Frank Sinatra's "Nice N Easy" recent mofi pressing.
I own these titles in multiple format, except "The Wall" and IMMHO they are the best... Well maybe the best I can afford..lol
I'll toss the pipe organ version of "Pictures at an Exhibition" on Dorian CD in the pot mainly for its depth plumbing low pipe organ vibes.
I have a few old E. Power Biggs recordings on Columbia Masterworks vinyl that are also quit good in a similar vein.
For low organ stuff in a more art rock oriented vein and a fine recording overall, try the CD "Still Life" by Van Der Graaf Generator.
Audiofeil had one of mine... Simon @ Garfunkel "Bookends" Columbia 360
Suzanne Vega "99.9F" Import
Cowboy Junkies "Whites Off Earth Now!" MFSL
Ryan Adams "Heartbreaker" Import
Chris Isaak "San Francisco Days" Import
I forgot to mention...the best recording I have and really have ever heard is Arne Domnerus "Jazz at the Pawnshop". I own 2 versions, DCC Gold and XRCD and prefer the XRCD version. Something every audiophile should hear at some point, pretty crazy "you are thereness". The vibes on track 2 really sound amazing. I also have the XRCD version of the Schefield drum album which many marvel at but Jazz at the Pawnshop is a significantly better recording. Seek one out!
where is the best place to order JAZZ AT THE PAWNSHOP
My turn again!
Leonard Cohen: Ten New Songs, Had the CD which is quite good
but opened the LP which was only $12-$14. I wasn't expecting
much,standard Columbia pressing btw. Great sounding LP IMO.
Grateful Dead: American Beauty: This is a green label LP pressing. Much better than my Rhino reissue.
Cat Stevens: Teaser & the Firecat. MFSL heavy vinyl.
This one has been a go to album for me for a long time.
Alpass...I have no idea, sorry I cannot be of more help. It has been sometime since I have looked for it. I am pretty sure it's still available and a quick search may show some of the online vendors that carry it. Pricey thing if I remember right but you will be amazed at what your system is capable of when you put it in.
Just looked real quick and looks like Amazon has the K2 Fim version for $80.
Acoustic Sounds carries a number of different releases of "Jazz at the Pawnshop"
also is the K2 version better than SACD?
Not trying to dampen anyones' enthusiasm, but JATP is a classic version of an 'audiophile' record that SOUNDS great, but the music is C-list at best. When I think of all the fine recordings one can buy for $80 (ANY of the Jazz recordings already mentioned on this thread totally smokes JATP!), makes me shake my head in wonder.
Yes, the K2 version is better than the SACD to my ears although it's subjective (as is the quality of the music...see above!)...
For my taste far better the XRCD version of the Jazz At The Pawnshop.
The new k2 HD (that I aso have) sounds more mellow and less clear. May be they try to go into the tube/vinyl kinf of sound. Unfortuantely it lacks in transparency.
I agree with the Harry Belafonte "Live at the Carnegie Hall"
I may recommend also the great recording of Bach Goldberg Variations with Glenn Gould (from 1981) and some recordings from Tomas Zstanko (he records for ECM). He is quiet good musician. The quality of the recording are reference for audiophiles.
Beck-Sea Change on vinyl is a superb recording! A reference lp for me when needing a beautifully produced album.
dire straits brothers in arms
supertamp crime of the century
buddy guy sweet tea
Anything Kenneth Wilkinson recorded, mostly for Lyrita, London/Decca, and RCA Living Stereo Soria. Beethoven's 9th with Solti and the Chicago Symphony on MOFI comes to mind
Joni Mitchell Hijera; Paul Kelly May 1992, Willie Nelson Teatro
Bongo...Hijera and Teatro are 2 of my all time favorite albums. Great sound is a bonus on those. Classic records.
1. Bill Berry And His Ellington All-Stars: For Duke
2. Kor (Propius)
3. Kotekan pecussion and... (Reference Recordings)
Tristan Fry Percussion Ensemble: Music for Percussion (Gale)
Great thread! Thanks OP for starting this up.
First, I'll take a shot at defining what "Best" means to me in this exercise. I would include three aspects that all need to be completely dialed-in: 1) palpable presence with a fully dimensional sense of the original venue, nearly tangible recording quality, 2) excellent performance, 3) Music that thrills
Given that, my top three (at least at this writing) would include:
1) Esteban Salas - Cuban Baroque Music of the 18th Century (Milan_Jade 73138/35746-2 CD)
2) Saffire & The Uppity Blues Women - Live and Uppity (recorded at Wolf Trap - Alligator Records CD)
3) Cantate Domino - Oscar's Motet Choir (Proprius PRSACD7762 SACD)
and one more that must be mentioned: Lost Music of Early America - Music of the Moravians - Boston Baroque / Martin Pearlman (Telarc CD-80482 CD)
Not sure about the Audiophile label, but I will offer 3 great sounding, easy to get, 'out of the mainstream' picks from deep inside my CD collection: 1). Jo Jones, the Everest years - fantastic drumming, 2). JJ Cale, "5", Polygram, and 3). Chet Atkins and Les Paul, Chester and Lester, BMG Victor.
Tasml, "Chester and Lester", a true classic! You may be interested in
"Me and Chet", also "Me and Jerry" two different offerings..amongst others from those two fine gents. Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. Some good ol' boy pickin'!
"Neck n' Neck" , Mark Knopfler @ Chet Atkins, two guitar heroes at their best!!! LP, of coarse, eat your heart out if you don't own it!
Recently I discovered that Brazilian albums by female vocalists can give a system a good work out. The musicianship and arrangements are spectacular making for great ear candy and soundstaging. There is, of course, all the percussive "toys", and they love very very low bass passages. Two CDs: Sabrina Malheiros, "Equilibrium" and Marcella Mangeibera, "Simples".
Third? A self made compilation featuring Bebel Gilberto and others
Tough to pick just three, but here are my favorite to show off a system.
1) The Firebird - Antal Dorati - London Symphony Orchestra - Mercury Living Presence
2) Scheherazade - Rimsky Korsakoff - Fritz Reiner - Chicago Symphony - RCA Living Stereo
3) Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth - 4AD
I'm not a classical music fan, but my first two picks are classicals which goes to show how good I think these are.
I can name quite a few more.
i have a new one to add... neil young "le noise". i wish all rock cds sounded like this