whats the finest recorded cd you've heard?

Regardless of the music style what's the one disc that made you say wow about the recording quality. The one disc that comes to mind when you want to demo your system for someone. For me, I just heard an older cd from the rippingtons. The cd is "Let it Ripp" It's very well done!

Tool - Undertow
Buddy Holly--FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES. Track #20 is in stereo, True Love Ways. This is not the track I use to impress my friends. I use it to impress me. What a wall of sound. Why can't all Cd's sound this way. Oh yeah, remastered by Steve Hoffman.
I'll have to check track #20 out, I just happen to have that cd.
Too many to list...top of my head...

El Cant de la Sibil La (Most of the Alia Vox CD's are brilliant)
The Trinity Sessions, Cowboy Junkies
The Lake, Antony (don't recall whether The Johnsons are with him on that EP)
A whole bunch of ECM recordings...
Dreaming Through the Noise, Vienna Teng

...to name a few
Madonna - "American Life"
Tool - "10,000 Days"
Jennifer Warnes - "The Hunter"
"Peace, Back By Popular Demand" - Keb Mo
"Hope" - Hugh Masekela
"Nature" - Dave's True Story
"A Walk Across the Rooftops" - The Blue Nile
Any MA recordings. Better than XRCD, FIM or any others.
Most of my listening has been on vinyl, but among the hundred or so cd's in my collection I would say Dvorak's "New World Symphony," Chesky CD31, conducted by Jascha Horenstein, and recorded in 1962!

As has often been said, what counts is usually not which technology is used, but how well it is executed.

-- Al

in no real order....

Several of Gordon Goodwins “big Phat Band” Cds… “Swingin’ For the Fences”, “XXL”
Fourplay, Bob James’ group, “HEARTFELT”… continues to impress.
The PBS broadcast soundtrack of lewis & Clark… mostly the narrative tracks.
The Flatlanders “Now it’s Now Again” … Going Away… and the title cut… but the whole album is done quite well.
Willie Nelson’s “it always will Be.”, title cut, and several others.
Hiroshima “Tokyo Underground”
Allison Kraus’ SACD “Live” double album… all of it.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “Will The circle Be Unbroken”…. All iterations/editions I do prefer Vol 1 & Vol 2 more so than vol 3… all, however are more than good front to back.
Johny Lang “Lie to Me”.
Gatemouth Brown, “Back to Boogalusa”
John mayall “Along for the Ride” especially the track with otis rush.
Lyle Lovett’s “Pontiac” & “Joshua, Judges, Ruth”
DiMeola Plays Piazzola…. Al DiMeola.
Spyro Gyra - “In Modern Times” “20/20”

Dianah Krall's "Little girl Blue" in, "From This Moment on"... yo Yo's intro and exit are sintilating.

Best overall single cut that really impresses... Thomas hampson's rendition of Andrew Loyd Webers, "The Music of The Night" is the best I've heard far and away. hampson's voice has such range and emotion I find it hard not to use the repeat function on the console. Breath taking performance.
Jackson Brown's Solo Acoustic Volume 1
For a pop/rock CD, I'd second "The Hunter".

Jazz would require some thought.

"Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Group". Superb sonics and engaging jazz. Better than "Jazz at the Yawnshop".
Sorry, the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, not Group.
If you guys have never heard them then you are really missing
out on an outstanding recording. The album is "One Beautiful Night" by the group Gypsy Soul.

Paul Kelly, May 1992. I also collect bootlegs. Purple Chick has done an incredible job with the Beatles Catalog that put their official releases to shame.
Beatles - Love
laurie anderson "life on a string"
daniel lanois "the beauty of wynona" and "shine"
tool "10,000 days" and "lateralus"
radiohead "amnesiac"
joni mitchel "shine"

no particular order...
Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds : Luther college. Shirley Horn: You won't forget me. Eagles: Hell freezes over XRCD. The Pretenders: Isle of view, which is them unplugged. Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman MFSL, I know MFSL has it's detractors, but this one sounds great to me. I would be interested in comparing it to the new 2CD deluxe version.
Jacintha - Here's to Ben (on FIM)....stunning and beautiful. For rock....Roger Waters - Amused to Death (XRCD gold)
The Usher Audio demo disc is, BY FAR, the best sounding CD I have ever heard. It is a 24-bit mastered recording. If all CD's sounded like this, I'd seriously think about ditching vinyl. Until then, vinyl rules!
There are so many. Here are a few just off my head:

Any CD from FIM. FIM makes great CDs. If you are getting only one, buy the Audiophile Reference IV.

Rickie Lee Jones: Flying Cowboys. This is absolutely stunning recording. Her voice is warm and delicate. Drum shots are so realistic and dynamic. It sounds more like master tape than CD. Absolutely no digital noise.

Mickey Hart: Dafos. A classic but it might be difficult to find.

Master Of Chinese Percussion. If you want to show off the dynamic and transparency of bass production, this is it. Just make sure you know the limit of your system and turn the volume up slowly or you might risk damaging your speakers.
The FINEST? Thought it said the FIRST... (my bad)

While Thriller is pretty good on its own (Q. Jones is a certified genius), The JVC/XRCD of Holst's "The Planets" is outstanding.
Jerry Gonzalez - Y Los Piratas Del Flamenco. This is the most natural sounding cd I have on all instruments. I have a lot of great sounding cd's but many of them are great on guitar or piano or voices but may lack i another area. This one is beautiful across the board. Drums/percussion are precise and snappy and the horn/trumpet playing sounds perfectly real and guitars are full bodied.
Arvo Part "Tabula Rasa" (ECM)
Sugar Blue "In Your Eyes" on Alligator. Every time I play this, I seem to turn it up, and up. I've never played anything else as loud as this. Everything just sounds right. The horns are great, the drums are felt, the harp is magic!
John McLaughlin Trio 'Live at the Royal Festival Hall'
My favorite is "Three-Way Mirror" by Airto Moreira, Flora Purim and Joe Farrell. It is by Reference Recordings.
John Hiatt - Bring The Family (SACD)

Anyone hear the Frank and Johnnie Show 33 1/3?
Oddly enough, KD Lang, and the Reclines, the CD is "Absolute Torch And Twang", the Song "Trail of Broken Hearts" has some of the best sonics of virtually all my CD's, including virtually all of au24 Mo-Fi's I got.
Rockadanny, Are talking about the Cd Nice Work if you can get it by the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra?
Husk01, no. I don't know that one. This is titled "Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Group", on OKTAV, OKCD 1111. BTW, I also picked up Sahib's "Companionship - Jazz Joint, Vol. 2", on Schema/Rearward, RW 119. Also excellent music and sonics. Both of these are std. Redbook releases, though superb.
THere are many that are top notch but here are a few that come to mind

Jazz - "Classic Concert Live" - Mel Torme, recorded live in Carnegie Hall, I believe. I read once that OHM speakers are voiced to sound like a performance in Carnegie Hall. Maybe that's part of why this recording sounds so life like. I suspect the miking and other factors have something to do with it also.

Pop/Rock - "Blue Moon Swamp" - John Fogerty, comes to mind

Classical - many titles on the "Mercury Living Presence" label
Ohm speakers are voiced to sound like a performance at Carnegie Hall?

That's a new one.

I had never heard that one before either.

I read that somewhere on an Internet blog. Don't know if its true or not.

THe poster related this as part of a conversation with John Strohbeen and indicated that he (Strohbeen) was a regular attendee at Carnegie Hall and it was an influential reference point for how he wanted his speakers to sound.

I go to NY a couple of times a year and stay at a hotel less than 1 block from Carnegie Hall. I hate to admit I have never been inside for an event though. I'll have to make it happen next time and see what it sounds like.....

I found the link with the OHM/Carnegie Hall reference:

Mapman, I looked at that blog, and honestly, it's not something I'm going to wade through.

Anyone can write anything on a blog. It doesn't make it true.

I've never read anything about the Carnegie Hall voicing in any legitimate Ohm loudspeaker review in which John Strohbeen has offered background comments.
"Anyone can write anything on a blog. It doesn't make it true."

That IS true.

The Torme Classic Concert recording is a special one for sure though on the OHMs.em

At the very end of one tune, "Round Midnite", I think, Torme hits an extended high note that just seems to resonate throughout my big L shaped room room like nothing else I have ever heard on my system. The first time I heard it it startled me and I thought there was somebody actually above and behind me screaming. I seldom hear music coming from behind me with my setup in that particular room. Its an almost out of body listening experience.

Makes me wonder.......
Almost every CD put out by Reference Recordings.

Roger Waters, Amused to Death. The one where the dog barks in the beginning. That dog was about 3ft away from the left side of the left speaker when it barked. This recording somehow appears to move the sound outside the box. Having just made what I consider a major upgrade to my system I was not previously aware of the fantastic sonics of this well known album. I had read threads on the subject hear before and made sure to burn a copy but not until discovering it yesterday did I know what hub bub was truly all about. Do yourself a favor and check this record out. Just for sound mind you, the songs can be tedious at times.
"here", not "hear". Sorry.
Dreadhead, play around with speaker positioning a little more. The dog should be more like 50 feet to the left (right on my set up) of the speaker. I only discovered this after buying a laser measuring tool and getting my speakers precisely placed. Prior to this exercise the dog wasn't even 3 feet outside the speaker. It freaked me out once I got the positioning right. I'm fond of Lyle Lovett's older CD's for recording quality. Try Pontiac or Joshua Judges Ruth.
Amused to Death,though certainly worth a listen, is more of a novelty to me. It would not occur to me as a very natural representation of - more of a WOW-factor; an imitation of surroundisound with only two speakers. It is recorded in Qsound (yes, see other threads on same subject). Mcondo - how did you use a laser for speaker placement? Can you point to an instructional URL? I'd like to try that. Speaking of a natural representation of music in space...the Stereophile recording by John Atkinson of Attention Screen is also superb.
Agree that Amused is a novelty, but the dog barking way outside the speakers does confirm, IMHO, proper speaker placement. I used a Stanley FatMax ($80 or so)for measuring. My method was based on that in Jim Smith's Get Better Sound - establish a center line and make sure both speakers are precisely the same distance away. The trick is getting the front and rear distances right, given differences due to toe-in. I found a 3/4" error in my eye ball placement kept the dog bark almost inside the right speaker. After adjustment it was way, and I mean way to the right. Interestingly, the liner notes on Amused say if you don't hear the dog way out right, your speakers are out of phase. I believe it is more a positioning issue. Hope this helps.
"The Fugs" First album by the fugs
Mcondo - Thanks for the input. That book's been mentioned in a few threads - did you think it's worth the purchase price? I'll give the laser positioning a try. I have various laser levels as I do a lot of construction work these days. I wouldn't have thought 3/4" would make that much of a difference.
Jax2, buy the FatMax, you'll use it for regular home projects also. The book is very good, although one will argue the it is simply the combined wisdom of this and other forums. I like the glossary - now I know what all these audiophile words mean! Yes, small differences make a difference - surprised the hell out of me!
McCondo - Thanks again for the input. FWIW "FatMax" is a group of tools offered by Stanley (CST/Berger), and not an actual product. I use several FatMax products. One of the laser levels I use is this FatMax laser. Is that the type of laser you've found useful? Otherwise if anyone were to do a search on "FatMax laser" they will find there are a few different options that accomplish different tasks.
Here is the link to the one I purchased: