Tonian Trio, Hang Around

Well, it looks like Tony Minasian did it again. First, it was Drums & Bells, recorded in good old 16 bit and bettering any high rez. Granted, it was just some wonderfully recorded percussion, but it had 50db of dynamic range and put to rest the notion that Redbook CDs were a thing of the past.

This time it's Hang Around, by the Tonian Trio. It's comprised of Brian Walsh on clarinet and bass clarinet, Brad Dutz on percussion, and Chris Votek on cello. Real music this time! The best I can describe it is, it sounds like meditative music to do yoga by, some of the time. At other times, it sounds contemplative, like a soundtrack. Still, other times, a form of jazz fusion or world music. 

All of it was improvised and done in one take. No overdubbing. The only manipulation was to the levels since each musician had a mike. And once again, it's simply amazing how thoroughly satisfying 16 bit resolution is, provided it's done right. With my Kinki integrated, I normally listen at around 20-30 but with this CD, I went up to 70 and got the musicians right in my living room, with no harshness or wincing, on my part. They were simply alive and well right in front of me. Great stuff. It's not your standard fare but ear candy of the highest order. Adding in string and reed instruments to percussion expands on what Tony has done before and it's all the better for it.

This makes me wonder, again, why it is that practically all the engineering and pressing done these days is done wrong. How these engineers screw up so often is beyond me. Maybe it's in the copying as Tony told me he's considering getting his own machine since he observed how these guys just set it and forget it, not paying attention to the final product. Maybe they're going by a manual somewhere, but hey, they're engineers!

You can order from I used PayPal and it went smoothly. Sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch but I know there's listeners out there who'd love this. I just hope Tony makes some more with these guys. They play like they've been together for years.

All the best,

Thanks nonoise. Sounds like a good thing to support. He makes some really really good speakers.
Yep, Tony's one of those guys that should be right up there listed with the best of the best speaker designers. I'm in no hurry to move on from them that's for sure.
Thank you Nonoise for another good recommendation. I purchased the CD Hangaround and as you mentioned, the sound quality was excellent.  I don’t know why the industry is not picking this up and write about it.  I am a little confused since I compared this to my hi res files and dsds, none of them come close.  I think the industry is looking for high resolution or other formats for solution to a better sound. After listening to this CD and the prior drums and bells, I am convinced that higher sample rate is not a solution.  I believe the method of recording is more important than bit rate and sampling rate.
Hello armendds, like you say, it really makes me wonder what all the fuss is about high rez when Redbook CD has so much to offer at practically no added cost, and is still going through refinements.

Once you factor in the cost of high rez and all the gear you need, it seems that maybe people are being played. 

All the best,

I decided to order Hang Around based on Tony's excellent recording of Drums and Bells also. His latest recording is outstanding as others have found. As others have stated, no need for high rez if done correctly.

Tony mentioned he plans to release a jazz recording with trumpet, bass and purcussion next month.  
I also bought Tony's new CD -- I agree with everyone's praise of the sound quality -- natural, realistic recording of acoustic instruments.  The interplay between the musicians is great -- hard to believe this was improvised and not composed music, well-rehearsed over days.  What is really neat -- Brad Dutz plays a wide variety of percussion instruments in these different pieces, and this really adds to the different moods portrayed.  
For the analytic audiophile, the CD can be used to compare the fidelity/colorations of different cables, as well as to fine tune position of loudspeakers in your room.
Just want to echo all the sentiments expressed here regarding the Tonian Labs cds.  The first one "Drums and Bells" and the newer one "Hang Around" are real sonic treats.  I really like the addition of string and reed instruments on the latest one.  Looking forward to future releases from Tonian Labs.

Hello, I'm new here. I love the CD-format and am happy that Tony uses it to its full potential.

The CDs are now also available at Madisound. They raised the price a bit though. Both CDs cost now 25$, before the Drums & Bells was at 20$.

My CD was $25 which included shipping in the price, but I think it is worth even more especially compared to my SACDs where I paid $35 or more for them. The quality is not even half as good as Tony's regular CDs. I think we should choose quality over format. I don't know if you know this, but Tony offers downloads for $15, but I wanted a hard copy.
I got both of Tony’s CDs and I must say they sound excellent. How he captured the spatial information of the recording venue and the instruments is up there with the best. Congratulations, Tony
In my view these CDs are examples that show the sonic potential of CD, which is hardly ever used to its full extent in most recordings.
I bought both discs from Tony, he was prompt and nice.
Undoubtedly two of the best sounding CDs out there. This is how 16 bit resolution, if done right (and with passion), it should sound! And, if you needed one, Tony’s fantastic work on these discs is just one more proof about how full of marketing BS the "sounds like the artist intended" slogan is.
Just got the latest of Tony’s works, Moon Jazz. This one I find the best so far. The music has a nice groove and is soothing at the same time. As the recording is not so dense there is a lot of space around the instruments, giving a pronounced sense of space.
The mood and sound of Moon Jazz remind me of Equinox, produced by Barry Diament. But Equinox takes to 24/192 to achieve a similar SQ as Tony does with plain Redbook.
In the DSD / Hires / Redbook debate my position is that the deciding factor is not the technology, but the recording / mastering. I will take the music in whatever format it is produced. They are all sufficiently good to allow for top level reproduction.
Tony’s work is proof to the point.
I don't know what tricks Tony pulled but these 3 recordings are out of the world. Tight, dense, sweet, quick and sounds very neutral. Clarity, transparency all superb and at the same time never dry. I hope his talent can be sourced by wider musicians, producers, labels. Looking forward to 100s more. Great job!
Tony told me the only tricks he did was to adjust the levels of the three individual mikes. I know there has to be more than that, but he made it sound a lot simpler than what most engineers would care to admit.

All the best,
I actually have some of Tony Minasian’s speakers and speaker cables. He built a hybrid of his design for me. I have about four of his recordings as well. Some not yet released. The last one is this one on this thread, Hang Around. The recording is plain outstanding! I want to echo what’s been already said here. The sound is organic and alive. All from 16/44.1 Redbook resolution. Truly a reference recording as is. Go get yourself one. You won’t be disappointed.
Much Thanks! for posting. I will check out these discs.

Happy Listening!
Tonian Labs recordings are absolutely shocking , any serious recording engineer no matter back ground could definitely take lessons from Tony Minasian .