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  1. #1
    Listener MikeyBC's Avatar
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    Question Your top 5 recordings for sound quality

    Dont you hate it when you get home with a new disc and put it your high end system...you get in your listening chair and press play....and feel that wave of disappointment when you realize the recording engineer didnt give a damn how it sounded?

    So my question is what are the 5 best sounding recordings you own?

    mine are:
    Jennifer Warnes--Famous blue raincoat (Attic)
    Pat Coil--Just ahead (Sheffield labs)
    Peter Gabriel--Security (Geffen)
    Matt Dusk--Two shots (Decca)
    Paul Simon--The rythm of the saints. (Warner Bros.)

    They may not be my favorite artists but in my opinion among best engineered recordings I own.
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  2. #2
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I'm not getting something i dont like because its recorded great. First and formost, i gota like the music.
    Look & Listen

  3. #3
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I'll listen to anything I like even if the recording is crap and will eschew anything I don't even if the recording is excellent. Still, it is nice to find when the best of both world converge and some great music sounds great as well. I'll toss out a couple anyway...

    David Johansen & the Harry Smiths
    Both discs these guys have put out on Chesky are truly wonderful sounding versions of great tunes. The band is top notch and Johansen is in fine voice. They do old acoustic blues classics on both discs. Heartily recommended.

    Air
    Any of the Air releases are excellent sounding and easily available on vinyl. Most people recommend Moon Safari, which I like as well, but I tend to prefer Premiers Symptomes. There new one is really good too, and I;ve grown to enjoy 10,000Htz. Legend, which is sonically stunning.

    OK...busy...going now...hope to list more later...

  4. #4
    In perfect harmony DarrenH's Avatar
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    Only five?

    I'm a big fan of the mastering engineer Steve Hoffman. He's most noted for his work with the now defunct label DCC although he worked for MCA prior to that and is currently acitve with other projects. I've got quite a few cd's from that label and they all sound great. On occasion you can still find these DCC gold discs in the brick and mortar stores even though everything from this label is out of print. Some of my favorites are:

    Jethro Tull - Aqualung (probably the best sounding version you're ever gonna hear).
    Jethro Tull - Original Masters (this version includes the complete first side of Thick As A Brick)
    Art Pepper - Intensity
    Art Pepper - Gettin' Together
    Frank Sinatra - '57 In Concert
    Metallica - Ride The Lightning
    CCR - Willy and the Poor Boys

    Audio Fidelity has just released a new series of gold discs engineered by Steve Hoffman. The first three releases are The Faces' A Nod Is As Good As A Wink, Doobie Bros' Minute By Minute and Bad Company's Bad Company complete with original artwork and packaged just like the old DCC releases. The Faces and the Doobies I have on order thru CD Universe (which keeps pushing out 'their' release date) but it's not likely I'm gonna get the Bad Company.

    Other notably good sounding things in my collection:

    The Columbia Legacy box sets of Miles Davis are really outstanding. All the ones I have sound very good. Those include The Complete In A Silent Way, The Complete *****es Brew, The Complete Jack Johnson and Seven Steps: The Complete Recordings 1963-64.

    Some of my favs from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs:

    Pink Floyd - Meddle
    Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother
    Dave Mason - Alone Together
    Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
    Jethro Tull - Stand Up

    Darren
    Let the midnight special shine a light on me.

  5. #5
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    Dont you hate it when you get home with a new disc and put it your high end system...you get in your listening chair and press play....and feel that wave of disappointment when you realize the recording engineer didnt give a damn how it sounded?

    So my question is what are the 5 best sounding recordings you own?

    mine are:
    Jennifer Warnes--Famous blue raincoat (Attic)
    Pat Coil--Just ahead (Sheffield labs)
    Peter Gabriel--Security (Geffen)
    Matt Dusk--Two shots (Decca)
    Paul Simon--The rythm of the saints. (Warner Bros.)

    They may not be my favorite artists but in my opinion among best engineered recordings I own.
    I was surprised to find that Beck's Mutations sounds really good. Some of the arrangements have instrumentation that could've sounded harsh and irritating, but the sound is big and lush even on cd.

    Another one that surprised me was Miles Davis' The Musings of Miles. When he comes in on "A Night in Tunisia" it's like he's in the room. I get this sensation more with the vinyl on Prestige than I do with the DCC gold disc, but it's good too. Side 2 is one of my favorite all-time album sides. (BTW, music for a song used to have DCC gold disc cut-outs for dirt cheap.)

    Another of my all-time favorite album sides is side one of Bab Marley's Natty Dread. I picked up a remastered version of this on vinyl that sounds excellent. I thought this release was from Speakers Corner but the only label info I can find is "Island."

    A good sparse recording (distinct, simple instrumentation and vocals) is the MoFi release of REM's Murmur on vinyl. This thing sounds far superior to the original release.

    Blue Note's 180 gram vinyl release of Coltrane's Blue Trane.

    Some others of note - Pavement's Terror Twilight on vinyl; Dave Brubek's Time Out; ABKCO's vinyl release of the Rolling Stones' Beggar's Banquet - this sounds like rock-n-roll to me, even though it has the reputation for being poorly recorded (side 2 is another of my all-time favorite album sides).

    You can't beat it when good music and good sound meet.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    re: Paul Simon; Rythm of the Saints

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    Dont you hate it when you get home with a new disc and put it your high end system...you get in your listening chair and press play....and feel that wave of disappointment when you realize the recording engineer didnt give a damn how it sounded?

    So my question is what are the 5 best sounding recordings you own?

    mine are:
    Jennifer Warnes--Famous blue raincoat (Attic)
    Pat Coil--Just ahead (Sheffield labs)
    Peter Gabriel--Security (Geffen)
    Matt Dusk--Two shots (Decca)
    Paul Simon--The rythm of the saints. (Warner Bros.)

    They may not be my favorite artists but in my opinion among best engineered recordings I own.
    That Rhythm of the Saints album was a real grower for me. I remember initially not thinking much of the album, and frankly shelving it for a long time, then one day I went back to it and next thing I knew it was in constant rotation for awhile. Funny thing is, I never thought of the recording as being very good, do you own a remaster? Maybe I should pull it out of the garage for a spin, it's been awhile.

    I have no idea which are the top five recordings, but Narada & Chesky label cd's are generally top notch, Jesse Cook; Vertigo comes to mind.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    Dont you hate it when you get home with a new disc and put it your high end system...you get in your listening chair and press play....and feel that wave of disappointment when you realize the recording engineer didnt give a damn how it sounded?

    So my question is what are the 5 best sounding recordings you own?

    mine are:
    Jennifer Warnes--Famous blue raincoat (Attic)
    Pat Coil--Just ahead (Sheffield labs)
    Peter Gabriel--Security (Geffen)
    Matt Dusk--Two shots (Decca)
    Paul Simon--The rythm of the saints. (Warner Bros.)

    They may not be my favorite artists but in my opinion among best engineered recordings I own.
    Mikey, your system sounds like a nice setup. Do the Silvers have anything close to the bass of the Gold. I ended up with the Dynaudio 82s over the PSB and B&W of same price. I only have Jennifer Warnes on one fabulous track on a David Benoit disc called Urban Daydreams, and not a bad recording.

    My best sounding....that I can think of now are:
    Bob James--Grand Piano Canyon (Fourplay before they were called Fourplay)
    Craig Chaqico--Any of em
    Elements--Liberal Arts on the Novus label (Danny Gotlieb & Mark Egan)
    SRV--Couldn't Stand The Weather....a bit overcompressed but the disk that made me buy the Danes
    King Crimson--Court of the King..Pressing from Holland with all the original album artwork and black sleeve and disk looking like an album.
    Chesky Demo Disk
    Chesky 10th Anniversary collection
    Pretty much any disk I own on the GRP label. Mostly smooth jazz.
    Oh, and all of Carl Filipiak's disks on his own Geometric label.

    Hyfi

  8. #8
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Well i'll add a couple as thats about all i have,Grand Funk Railroad-Grand Funk Pastmasters,the rest is in Japanese so i dont know what else it says. Donald ***en-Kamakirdiad. I've seen some call it a refrerence cd. It sounds pretty dam good.
    Look & Listen

  9. #9
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtrix1
    I have no idea which are the top five recordings, but Narada & Chesky label cd's are generally top notch, Jesse Cook; Vertigo comes to mind.
    Have you heard Jesse Cook's Live in Montreal? I think I have this right. I listen to a nightly radio show and the host just added a song to his rotation by Jesse Cook from an album called Live in Montreal. It features guitar. The track has a Middle Eastern feel, I think. Am I in the ballpark? Anyhow, I like the track but had never heard of the artist.

  10. #10
    Listener MikeyBC's Avatar
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    I cant seem to enjoy the music if it doesnt sound halfway convincing, I guess each of us has different tolerance levels about sound quality.

    newtrix1....the rythm of the saints has a couple of tracks that feature a lot of percussion that sounds very convincing when played loud...especially in the dark...you'd swear they were playing in front of you with a very realistic soundstage, thats why I included this disc.

    Hyfi..the silvers cant match the golds in the bass slam department, two 6.5 inchers can only do so much. Though they do play quite deep.

    I love all kinds of music and I find all of your replies very helpful in my search for good and good sounding music.
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  11. #11
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    Talking

    A few years ago before I hit this site on a regular basis I would have said the usual audition demo stuff from Mofi, DCC or some of the more specialist recording labels but although it's good sounding stuff it's also kinda' boring for me. I agree it's a shame some stuff just sounds plain horrible which does put me off sometimes but then I hear it on the radio or in the car and you get past the sound and think yeah it's ok.

    We did a similar thread a while ago which is where most of the list below came from with a few more thrown in, whilst not 'audiophile' I personally would rate these for sound 7+ out of 10.

    Red House Painters Ocean Beach, really spacious recording
    Robert Rice 7 Veils, top to bottom huge soundstage
    Elysian Fields Bleed Your Cedar
    Dada - Puzzle, great pop rock from 92' and I've just spotted they have remastered it
    Dzihan & Kamien Gran Riserva if you fancy a bit of electronica with some deep bass
    Gordon Goodwin XXL
    Whiskeytown -
    Grandaddy Sumday great chugging basslines
    The Glands The Glands, overlooked gem
    Blue Man Group Complex
    Jack Johnson On and On
    Notwist - Neon Golden
    Peter Gabriel - just about all the remasters
    Greg Brown - Further In
    Sonia Dada - Lay Down and Love It Live
    Damien Rice O
    Govt Mule - Dose
    Tosca - Suzuki In Dub, more electronica in the style of Kruder and Dorfmeister
    Beck - Sea Change

    Cheers
    Mike

  12. #12
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    Patricia Barber, Modern Cool or any of her recent recordings.

    Rag Jhinjhoti, Rag Pilu. Imrat Khan, sitar; Vajahat Khan, sarod; Shafaatullah Khan, tabla. Nimbus NI 5195.

    Philip Feeney, Dracula. John Pryce-Jones, Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra. Naxos 8.553964

    Brahms, Symphony no. 4; Beethoven, Egmont Overture. Fritz Reiner (Brahms), Rene Leibowitz (Beethoven), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Chesky CD6.

    Beethoven, Symphony No. 9. Otmar Suitner, Staatskapelle Berlin. Denon 198C37-7256. Symphony No. 4 on 7254 is also very well recorded.

    As someone else also said, my first priority is the music, but these all are excellent performances in excellent sound.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Have you heard Jesse Cook's Live in Montreal? I think I have this right. I listen to a nightly radio show and the host just added a song to his rotation by Jesse Cook from an album called Live in Montreal. It features guitar. The track has a Middle Eastern feel, I think. Am I in the ballpark? Anyhow, I like the track but had never heard of the artist.
    Nope, haven't heard that one. I wonder if it's on DVD, sure would be cool to watch him play. I found out (luckily after I bought one of his albums) that he's plays flamenco (sp?) style. Good thing I'd already purchased an album, 'cause the flamenco refererence would have probably have scared me off

  14. #14
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Smile loud & in the dark...I'm on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    newtrix1....the rythm of the saints has a couple of tracks that feature a lot of percussion that sounds very convincing when played loud...especially in the dark...you'd swear they were playing in front of you with a very realistic soundstage, thats why I included this disc.
    I guess I know what my next home listening session will be . Hope I didn't come across like I was questioning your opinion, it's great to hear other peoples perspective. Another album that came to mind (great music/great recording) is Andrew Bird'sBowl of Fire Swimming Hour, which (if memory serves me) received fairly universal praise here at Raverecs when it first came out.
    Last edited by newtrix1; 02-17-2005 at 09:42 AM. Reason: incorrect album name

  15. #15
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    top 8

    Supertramp -- MoFi
    Tears for Fears -- MoFi
    Tyner -- New York Reunion -- Chesky gold
    Steely Dan -- Gold
    Dream Theater -- 6DOIT
    Return to Forever -- Romantic Warrior -- Remaster


    DVD:
    Eagles -- Hell Freezes Over
    Fleetwood Mac -- The Dance

  16. #16
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    For me the music content matters first, like others, some stuff may "sound good" but I might despise the music.

    For me:

    Steely Dan - Aja and Gaucho on MFSL compact disk. As close to analog as you can get on a digital platform.

    Genesis - Trespass on "Definitive Edition Remaster", available only on import from Holland. This 1970 recording is so doggoned clean it's stunning.

    The three RUSH albums on MFSL compact disk are also clean.

    Gary Numan's "Telekon" on Beggars Banquet see dee remaster is superb.

    The Tulls are done well as are the Yes re-re-re-re-remasters, and Kansas's Masque is the bomb, and Marillion's catalog on EMI remaster is superb as well.

    Dave

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Ex Lion Tamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtrix1
    Nope, haven't heard that one. I wonder if it's on DVD, sure would be cool to watch him play. I found out (luckily after I bought one of his albums) that he's plays flamenco (sp?) style. Good thing I'd already purchased an album, 'cause the flamenco refererence would have probably have scared me off
    Since I have a couple of J.Cook albums, I made a mental note of this album after reading your post dean, checked it out at allmusic.com, (pretty good write-up), and promptly penciled it in on my "wish" list. Wouldn't you know I found myself in an HMV today and what's playing over the stores sound system,.....sounds just like Jesse Cook-style guitar, so I bide my time to see if there is crowd noise after the song ends, and sure enough it's the live in MTL disc. Sounded good, but while looking for the disc, I'm thinking "sounds pretty much like the albums I already have and I probably have all the Jesse Cook I'll ever need", so I didn't buy it. But I would think it is probably ideal as an introduction.
    "I don't know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." The Right Honourable JC.

  18. #18
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Lion Tamer
    Since I have a couple of J.Cook albums, I made a mental note of this album after reading your post dean, checked it out at allmusic.com, (pretty good write-up), and promptly penciled it in on my "wish" list. Wouldn't you know I found myself in an HMV today and what's playing over the stores sound system,.....sounds just like Jesse Cook-style guitar, so I bide my time to see if there is crowd noise after the song ends, and sure enough it's the live in MTL disc. Sounded good, but while looking for the disc, I'm thinking "sounds pretty much like the albums I already have and I probably have all the Jesse Cook I'll ever need", so I didn't buy it. But I would think it is probably ideal as an introduction.
    Thanks for the info, Ex Lion Tamer. I did a little checking myself and discovered that the name of the track I've heard is Baghdad.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    I cant seem to enjoy the music if it doesnt sound halfway convincing, I guess each of us has different tolerance levels about sound quality.

    newtrix1....the rythm of the saints has a couple of tracks that feature a lot of percussion that sounds very convincing when played loud...especially in the dark...you'd swear they were playing in front of you with a very realistic soundstage, thats why I included this disc.

    Hyfi..the silvers cant match the golds in the bass slam department, two 6.5 inchers can only do so much. Though they do play quite deep.

    I love all kinds of music and I find all of your replies very helpful in my search for good and good sounding music.
    How do you like those PSB Stratus speakers?

    We recently bought Stratus Minis as we don't play super loud and also have a big subwoofer to take care of the deep bass. They are so good, better than I ever expected them to be before I heard them.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  20. #20
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Red House Painters Ocean Beach, really spacious recording

    Elysian Fields Bleed Your Cedar

    Cheers
    Mike
    OCEAN BEACH is nice, but I think I like SONGS FOR A BLUE GUITAR better. It sounds more natural to me, more relaxed. I think the vocals on OCEAN BEACH are mixed too loud.

    and.. BLEED YOUR CEDAR.. what can you say? mmmmmmmmmmm

    -jar
    If being afraid is a crime we'll hang side-by-side,
    at the swingin' party down the line..


    The Replacements

  21. #21
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    I'm not a 'label' buff

    but here's my two-cents...

    Donald ***en - Nightfly
    Thomas Dolby - Aliens Ate My Buick
    Dire Straits - On Every Street
    Lindsey Buckingham - Out Of The Cradle
    Bob James - Trio
    Steve Winwood - Back In The High Life
    James Taylor - That's Why I'm Here

    Pick any Dream Theater or Spock's Beard CD as well.

  22. #22
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    OK, will you accept Faygen?

    Pretty weak, moderator...

  23. #23
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    I Go Back A Ways . . .

    LP's recorded at 30ips and on 35mm magnetic tape always have live, open and rich

    sound.

    Let me share 55 years of secrets with you . ..

    1- The sound of Music (orig cast) {Columbia}

    2- Carousel (35mm) {Command}

    3- Miles Davis - MILESTONES {Columbia}

    4- LIVE! It's Peter Allen (2-LP set)

    5- Vickki Carr {Liberty) I had a radio station copy

  24. #24
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_G
    The three RUSH albums on MFSL compact disk are also clean.

    Dave
    You should pick up the Rush Remasters..they absolutely trounce the MFSL versions!

  25. #25
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    Five of my favorites...

    Herb Albert - Rise (Bernie Grundman)
    Keith Jarrett - Still Live (Some German guy)
    Dave Grusin - Mountain Dance (Rosen)
    Steely Dan - Aja (MFSL) (Gary Katz)
    Rufus & Chaka Khan - MasterJam (Bruce Sweiden)

    Another 5

    Doobie Brothers - Livin' on a Fault Line
    Rachelle Farrelle - Individuality
    Pat Metheny Group - This Way up (brand new)
    Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue (over 40 years old!)
    Al Jarraeu - L is for Lover (Al Schmitt)

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