Mark Nauseef CDs by now non existing CMP label.
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This one is not available, as far as I know, as a CD, but on Vinyl it is an ASTOUNDING and most startling demonstration of soundstage and imaging. It is only percussion instruments and is quite modern in the two compositions. The album is called "Percussions in Colors". It is on RCA red label in the "Direct Masters Series" ("Highest Fidelity / Direct-to-Disk Edition"), Percussionist Sumire Yoshihara plays arrangements by Takemitsu and Ichiyangi. If you ever see this one come up used anywhere snatch it up! I imagine it would be difficult to find. I think it is also a good test of your system as percussion instruments tend to be challenging to make sound natural in reproduction. The effect of this particular LP is pinpoint imaging, wide and deep staging against a BLACK background. Very stark.
I've been listening to some of the new SACD remasters of the Dylan catalog. The soudstage/imaging is exceptional! As for redbook CDs, there are are few that come to mind:
Eva Cassidy "Live at Blues Alley"
Tierney Sutton "Unsung Heroes"
Hank Mobley "Soul Station" [most of my jazz is on LP, not CD, so I can't comment about other jazz CDs]
I have heard Eva Cassidy a few times as it is one of my frieds favourite CD's, however I just could not relate to her style of music. The sound was very good indeed, excellent vocals and great atmosphere.
Another fried has dropped two of the Rolling Stones Hybrid SACD's which I need to check out on my system.
I bet "Blood on the tracks" must be very good, have you heard it?
I cannot agree more on the Making Music album, I have had it since last ten years and is never too far away from the player. Track 1 is an absolute gem in terms of what making music is all about, the listener is forced to believe that he is listening the to the instruments talking to each other. All credit to the musicians who have used them so skillfully.
Dean Peer - Ucross. It's hard to believe that you can get soundstaging from a single instrument, but this excellent recording really does set up an enveloping sound, with excellent imaging. I first heard it on a pair of Martin Logans, and I bought it immediately. It's my de facto test CD for auditioning new gear.
JS Bach's Musical Offering(on the same cd with Art of the Fugue),Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra.
The Musical Offering is contrapuntal and in most parts,you hear three horizontal lines being played at the same times as instruments and groups of instruments exchange parts.
I judge how well a system images by how well I can follow the melody,countermelody,and third line defining the harmony, without the speakers getting in the way.
Anyone care to add any SACD's to this list? I recently got the 963SA and on the Philips sampler I had heard the James Taylor's "Jump up behind me" which I thought had great soundstage overall. I do not have the album Hourglass which this track is taken from but I might just get the SACD version of this album. I am wondering if anyone has heard the SACD version of Hourglass, and if they have, could possibly share their opinion on it.
Roger Waters "Amused to Death". At the end of track 10 (?) you should hear a telephone ringing BEHIND you. Played it for a friend recently and he politely told me after several rings "your phone is ringing". No, my friend. Spectacular production with wrap-around soundstaging and pinpoint imaging. One of my reference CD's.