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Author Topic: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?  (Read 20834 times)

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Offline R Doug

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Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« on: May 19, 2014, 08:26:07 PM »
When it comes to purchasing music, the music itself would be my first priority.  Since I like all types of music, the quality of the recording is my second criteria.  I absolutely hate when I acquire new music just to find out the audio recording is poor and sounds flat on my home system. 

Ever since I picked up the love of higher quality audio equipment, I quickly started to be able to determine the difference between the quality of audio recordings.  A few of the audio publications put out an annual list of recommended releases which came out in a given year.  I’ve use those lists from time to time.  I also use audiophile message boards.

Since there are several audiophiles on this site, I’d like to start a thread which we can share the favorite audio recordings we tend to play over again and again because the quality gives our system a workout and our ears a sweet taste of ear candy. 

I look forward to reading your favorites because I’m ready to purchase some new tunes! 

For me, the following are some of my favorite recordings in my library: 

*  Marc Cohn (self titled album).  Memorable tracks include:  Walking in Memphis (the original - not the country western remake), Ghost Train, Silver Thunderbird, and 29 ways.   The vocals and piano are amazing.


*  Tracy Chapman:  New Beginning.  This is another great record to hear a wonderful vocal track.  “Give Me One Reason” is my favorite song.


*  Fleetwood Mac:  The Dance.   This is the best sounding live recording I’ve purchased to date.  The band comes across very well with every instrument recognizable and Buckingham’s voice “Big Love” sounds like he’s in your living room. 

*  Massive Attack:  Mezzanine and The XX (self titled 2009).   These two recordings will test the full spectrum of your system, especially your woofer.


*  Radiohead:  OK Computer and Rage Against the Machine:  (self title).   These are my two favorite “turn it up to 11” rock CDs.  The sound quality is amazing and there is zero distortion on the right system… even at 11!


*  John Williams Greatest Hits 1969–1999.   Williams is clearly the greatest composure of our lifetime.  The 1999 greatest hits recording is full of recordings that will flood you with great memories of some of your favorite films.  My favorite track is #2 on CD 2, Jurassic Park.  The orchestra sounds so warm and the build up in the beginning is subtle and very noticeable at the same time.  Another favorite of mine is Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra (#11 on CD 1).  The sound of the timpani drums should punch you right in the kidneys. 

*  Lyle Lovett and His Large Band.  The thinking man’s country star.  This album is full of great vocals and guitar. 


*  Sting:  Brand New Day.   This is one of Sting’s best recordings (in terms of playback quality) and the first two tracks are my favorites.  Both will test the full spectrum of your systems playback ability. 
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 08:39:08 PM »
I have Dark Side of the Moon on SQ Quadraphonic vinyl.
With no remaining audiophile gear, I can only try to remember how nice it sounded.
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 08:43:05 PM »
Are saying your Ural has forced you to realize the wonderment of analog?
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Offline R Doug

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 08:45:51 PM »
Are saying your Ural has forced you to realize the wonderment of analog?

Not at all.  Most of the recordings I have were done in the DDD fashion.  (digital recording - digital editing - digital playback).
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 08:47:30 PM »
I have Dark Side of the Moon on SQ Quadraphonic vinyl.
With no remaining audiophile gear, I can only try to remember how nice it sounded.

Come to think of it, I have Dark Side of the Moon and it does sound very good.  Not great, but very very good.  Another I failed to mention is Dire Straights Brothers in Arms. 
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 08:48:07 PM »
Cheap Trick. Live at Budokan - vinyl.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 08:48:26 PM »
You already have some great stuff on your list. Off the top of my head, I would add...

The Princess Bride soundtrack by Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler
Nothing to Fear by Oingo Boingo
Careless Love by Madelin Peyroux

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 08:53:38 PM »
Cheap Trick. Live at Budokan - vinyl.

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Very nice first offering.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 09:01:39 PM »
As above, Dark Side of the Moon (though not Money - it just doesn't "flow" for me like much of Floyd)

Fun to listen to, two or three times on a system with nice bass, the THX ?demo? blip.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 10:06:27 PM by Jim »
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 09:05:58 PM »
As above, Dark Side of the Moon (though not Money - it just doesn't "flow" for me like much of Floyd)

Fun to listen to, two or three times on a system with nice bass, the THQ ?demo? blip.

Agreed on "Money".

For Floyd, " The Great Gig in the Sky" off Delicate Sound of Thunder is like a musical orgasm.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 09:35:47 PM »
Get newer recordings from some former Floyd members. Many of the things from Gilmore are very good.

Telarc's 1812 Overture was recorded direct-to-disc when originally masters. Pressings from it since then have been top notch versions. Look in Telarc's library for more good stuff from people who obsess about it.

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/Telarc/

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2014, 09:38:11 PM »
Pink Flyod's  The Wall was always one of my headphone favorites.

While on a pink Floyd note.... Roger Waters   - Radio KAOS

Chris Isaak  - Forever Blue

Sting  - Ten Sumners Tales

Queensryche  -  Empire

Joe Satriani  - Flying in a Blue Dream

I am by no means an audiophile. What I may be thinking is a quality recording I could be confusing with production and arrangement.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2014, 09:42:08 PM »


I am by no means an audiophile. What I may be thinking is a quality recording I could be confusing with production and arrangement.

Good point, Gary.

While the arrangement is important, I'm talking about the production quality.  You can have the best motor in the world, but place it on a wood chassis and give it wagon wheels and what good is it?

So, by quality, I mean this... does it sound as good in the recorded format as it does in real life?  Are the highs high and the lows low?  Does the vocal sound natural and standing in front of me or does it sound like it's coming from a tunnel?  How as bout the plucks on the guitar?  Can I fell them? 
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 09:47:32 PM »
Two favorites:

Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth

Johnny A - Sometime Tuesday Morning
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2014, 09:48:03 PM »
Get newer recordings from some former Floyd members. Many of the things from Gilmore are very good.

Telarc's 1812 Overture was recorded direct-to-disc when originally masters. Pressings from it since then have been top notch versions. Look in Telarc's library for more good stuff from people who obsess about it.

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/Telarc/



Excellent suggestion!  Another studio known for its production quality is GRP Records. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRP_Records
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2014, 09:52:32 PM »


I am by no means an audiophile. What I may be thinking is a quality recording I could be confusing with production and arrangement.

Good point, Gary.

While the arrangement is important, I'm talking about the production quality.  You can have the best motor in the world, but place it on a wood chassis and give it wagon wheels and what good is it?

So, by quality, I mean this... does it sound as good in the recorded format as it does in real life?  Are the highs high and the lows low?  Does the vocal sound natural and standing in front of me or does it sound like it's coming from a tunnel?  How as bout the plucks on the guitar?  Can I fell them?

Well then all of my choices would fall into that category 

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 10:05:23 PM »
THX effect

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWkJ86JqlPA

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 10:26:10 PM »
My top three suggestions for albums with amazing sound would be:

1. Los Lobos- Kiko.  An amazing record.  Incredible music, yes, but absolutely flawless production.  The sound is crisp and clean, and the band (who share production credits with Mitchell Froom) knows when to let the spaces between the notes count just as much as the notes themselves.
[Edited to add: Make sure you get the 20th anniversary edition.  It's the record you will use to show off how damned good your kick-ass stereo really is.]

2. Primus- Sailing The Seas Of Cheese.  If you crossed King Crimson and the banjo playing kid from Deliverance you might wind up with Primus.  Sailing The Seas is probably their crispest album, and might be the most accessible.  It is also en exceptional sonic experience.

3.  Guns N Roses- Use Your Illusion II.  Don't laugh- it is among the very best produced grand rock albums ever.  Generally I'm not a fan of such over-the-top indulgent records, but this one does it right.

Bonus suggestion: Alt-J's album An Awesome Wave.  Incredible textural arrangements.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 10:46:17 PM by miles »
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2014, 06:11:44 AM »
In the past 6 months, I have developed a huge taste for Led Zepplin. The only band from my youth that I feel that way about.
Last week I bought two more albums.
Here is one you have to use Google cast to get it on your Home theater/ audio syslem, but it's really good.



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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2014, 06:20:41 AM »
I remember hearing a live recording of Page and Plant on a friend's home system that sounded amazing.  I'll try to look up which one it was. 


I found this last night and thought I'd share:


http://www.tnt-audio.com/topics/testrecords.html
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 07:14:53 AM by R Doug »
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2014, 06:36:58 AM »
I remember hearing a live recording of Page and Plant on a friend's home systems that sounded amazing.  I'll try to look up which one it was. 


I found this last night and thought I'd share:


http://www.tnt-audio.com/topics/testrecords.html


My wife is deaf (quite literally)  from Page and Plant at Red Rocks.


I would like to add;

Yes-  Fragile

Zappa, yes Zappa,- Shut Up and Play Your Guitar and Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa a memorial tribute.

Workingman's Dead

Cream Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Jerry Garcia Band - Cats Under the Stars









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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2014, 07:17:19 AM »
Deutsche Grammaphone Time Life Beethoven Bicentennial Collection (All 12 Boxes, about 5-6 records per box)

Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2014, 07:24:00 AM »

Zappa, yes Zappa,- Shut Up and Play Your Guitar


That one of my favorites. Joe's Garage is also fantastic.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2014, 07:43:33 AM »

Zappa, yes Zappa,- Shut Up and Play Your Guitar


That one of my favorites. Joe's Garage is also fantastic.

Thought about that for the gems but there's a lot of other content that would go unappreciated by the masses.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2014, 11:12:10 AM »
Anything from the Blind Mellow Jelly Collection.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2014, 10:03:30 PM »
I've given this topic considerable thought over the last 24 hours. What I'm taking from RDoug's op is quality of the recording. I have a list that are in my regular rotation. Some digital, some vinyl.

Supertramp - Crime of the Century
Alan Parsons Project - Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic
Cat Stevens - Tea For the Tillerman (but they're all good)
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Outbound
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - Deja Vu
Eric Johnson - Alien Love Child (Susan made me post this one)
Craig Chaquico - Acoustic Planet
Ben Harper - Fight For Your Mind


Quite honestly, any Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin album would fall into this discussion since both bands were all about quality of recording.
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2014, 11:48:24 PM »
*  Fleetwood Mac:  The Dance.   This is the best sounding live recording I’ve purchased to date.  The band comes across very well with every instrument recognizable and Buckingham’s voice “Big Love” sounds like he’s in your living room.

Totally agree. One of my favorites.

The Peter Gabriel Growing Up Live
Phil Collins: Finally - The First Farewell Tour (2005)

I went all genesis on ya, but I think these two sound good.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 12:00:21 AM by Spanky »

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2014, 09:22:00 AM »
Ah, back in the days before kids and tinnitus, where sitting in front of the 2-channel Adcom and listening to the Vandersteens was a great way to spend an evening...

When I was shopping for the Vandy's I concentrated mostly on the reproduction of vocals - if you can't get that right, who cares how well the drums sound?  The stack of CD's I brought from store to store (do they even still have hifi stores anymore?) included:

Ricki Lee Jones, Ricki Lee Jones - Easy Money is the acid test for female vocals for me.  She should sound like she's standing in the room with you.

Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing - Gypsy is another great female vocal test, but mic'd completely differently.  Also a great test for deep "natural" bass drum sound

Dire Straits, Making Movies - Top 5 album for me, and Romeo and Juliet is just about perfect

Leo Kottke, not sure which album - Louise is a perfect test for male vocals and acoustic guitar.  And it's an achingly beautiful song.
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2014, 11:54:49 AM »
They're not called "hifi" anymore. They're "audiophile" stores.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2014, 11:58:13 AM »
Sadly, I don't see many of them around.  They were a great source to buy music.  Most of the stuff they'd recommended was opened and you could sample it.   :-[
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2014, 01:46:11 PM »
Jethro Tull - Aqualung  :)

Also the Who's Quadraphenia for Moon's manic drumming

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2014, 02:45:33 PM »
Sorry, forgot Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. Money is a real test of a great system.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2014, 03:37:57 PM »
some early English stuff. helpfully, I can't remember the name.


yes, I can.



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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2014, 04:36:47 PM »


Peaches En Regalia


Bless you.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2014, 06:46:42 PM »
Nine Inch Nails' "With Teeth" on vinyl is one of my personal favorites. The record is the thickest I've ever seen.


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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2014, 07:08:02 PM »
:lol:



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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2014, 07:11:19 PM »
Let's not forget that the production isn't the only step that's important in being able to purchase a quality recording for reply.

I could handle specializing in something like this.



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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2014, 08:29:05 AM »


Peaches En Regalia


Bless you.

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http://youtu.be/o3yXzRe5CfI


Alright, that was badass.  Apostrophe is still one of my faves (with Jack Bruce on bass)


Some of the best-mixed albums I own.  Not all are production masterpieces in the typical sense.  I like when a bit of that grit, noise, and edge is considered, measured, and poured back into the batter.  It's a great production technique when it's done right.


Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense

Pat Metheny - Bright Size Life

Herbie Hancock - Headhunters

Primus - Frizzle Fry

The Urge - Receiving the Gift of Flavor

Dredg - El Cielo



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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2014, 08:33:16 AM »
Jethro Tull - Aqualung  :)


i've found nearly every version in serious need of remastering. you have silence between tracks and, as soon as the audio kicks off, there's a bad hiss from the original tapes.

As for audiophile sources, there are often "meets" in bigger cities. Here's one:
http://www.meetup.com/Dallas-Audiophile-Meetup/

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2014, 06:25:15 PM »
I have taken some notes and will be stoping by a few music stores tomorrow to pick up some new tunes.

On another note, a band which I wish had better quality recordings is Rush.  I just played a few of the CDs I own and they're both pretty flat.   ???
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2014, 09:55:09 PM »
Redirect.

Shit in always equals shit out. However, gold in doesn't always equal gold out. Maybe you should examine your equipment;)
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Offline R Doug

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2014, 05:50:14 AM »
Redirect.

Shit in always equals shit out. However, gold in doesn't always equal gold out. Maybe you should examine your equipment;)

Seriously, I have Moving Pictures and Roll the Bones and neither of them sound extraordinary through my system.  This is a technical band that I'd really like to appreciate. 
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Offline maddjack

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2014, 11:00:59 AM »
Pink Floyd- Echos ... the entire album
Yes- Tales From A topographical Ocean(,again lots of tracks)
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2014, 11:17:51 AM »
Redirect.

Shit in always equals shit out. However, gold in doesn't always equal gold out. Maybe you should examine your equipment;)

Seriously, I have Moving Pictures and Roll the Bones and neither of them sound extraordinary through my system.  This is a technical band that I'd really like to appreciate.

Appreciate them for what they are Doug. You are missing out big time if the sound quality is stopping you from listening to them. I have all the albums from "Rush" up to "Presto" and love every minute i listen to them. Get "Hemispheres" and give "La Villa Stangiatto" a listen.  If you have moving pictures, the camera eye is one of my faves.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2014, 12:13:42 PM »
Redirect.

Shit in always equals shit out. However, gold in doesn't always equal gold out. Maybe you should examine your equipment;)

Seriously, I have Moving Pictures and Roll the Bones and neither of them sound extraordinary through my system.  This is a technical band that I'd really like to appreciate.

Appreciate them for what they are Doug. You are missing out big time if the sound quality is stopping you from listening to them. I have all the albums from "Rush" up to "Presto" and love every minute i listen to them. Get "Hemispheres" and give "La Villa Stangiatto" a listen.  If you have moving pictures, the camera eye is one of my faves.

I would add Fly By Night and Caress of Steel to that list.
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2014, 12:39:49 PM »
I listen to all my music!  But, when I get time alone and can really rail on the system, I like to stretch its limits and that's when the top shelf production stuff is important to me.

I was able to find a few of the recommended albums today.  There were several albums recommended that I wasn't able to find.   :-\  But, I did well.  And, because I'm really want to hear more Rush, I purchased a Live in Concert DVD.  I look forward to hear what its sound quality is like.   :smiley_thumb:





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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2014, 01:47:51 PM »
This is such an awesome thread. Look what I just pulled out!

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« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 02:33:07 PM by kneescrubber »
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2014, 02:39:36 PM »
I listen to all my music!  But, when I get time alone and can really rail on the system, I like to stretch its limits and that's when the top shelf production stuff is important to me.

I was able to find a few of the recommended albums today.  There were several albums recommended that I wasn't able to find.   :-\  But, I did well.  And, because I'm really want to hear more Rush, I purchased a Live in Concert DVD.  I look forward to hear what its sound quality is like.   :smiley_thumb:





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Head Hunters is such a great album. I'm listening to Return of the Headhunters now.

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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2014, 03:01:13 PM »





Head Hunters is such a great album. I'm listening to Return of the Headhunters now.



No kidding!  I loved it.  Watermelon Man is my favorite (and my dog's too, she likes the opening sequence).  Out of the four CDs I acquired, it has the lowest quality production but it's still very good.  I noticed the copies of Crime of the Century and Stop Making Sense I acquired were both digitally remastered.  I wonder if there's a digitally remastered Head Hunters? 

An Awesome Wave is a 2012 studio recording.  It's pretty well done.  Dissolve Me (track 7) is my favorite on this one.

Stop Making Sense is a very good live recording.  Byrne's voice is amazing live.  The playback makes it sound as it I'm in the mid to back of the Pantages Theater.

Crime of the Century is an incredibly good recording for a 1974 studio recording.  It's very accurate, not muddy.  You can tell the technology to capture the highest highs and lowest lows isn't quite up to more modern equipment.  But, wow!  Bloody Well Right rocks!

The Rush Live from Rio DVD sucked.  Thank goodness it's a used copy and I didn't pay much for it.  The concert looks like it was epic.  Those people in Brazil know how to freak'n party.  Unfortunately, the audio quality is horrible.  It was recording using Dolby Digital.  My system detects it.  But, 80% of the audio comes out of the center channel.  Who was responsible for that!? 
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Re: Audiophiles: What Are Your Favorite Recordings?
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2014, 05:17:08 PM »
This is such an awesome thread. Look what I just pulled out!

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