Top Ten Best Surround/High Rez Releases? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I assume this topic has been covered before, but a couple of searches revealed nothing terribly comprehensive.

Since getting a universal player, I've been on a quest to buy SACDs and DVD-As to test my system and experience the best of high rez and surround sound. A lot of my purchases have been favorite albums from when I was a kid (Tommy, Days of Future Passed, Layla, Remain In Light, Highway 61 Revisited, Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy) since the only copies I'd ever owned were the original LPs.

Anyway, while researching the availablity of some discs in surround and/or high rez, I've been surprised to discover that some good albums suffer from poor mixes (eg Bat Out of Hell). So, realizing the incredibly subjective nature of this question, I'd like to know everyone's personal Top Ten Surround/High Rez Discs.

I'm going to assume that the music itself is pretty good for you to have purchased it in the first place, so I'm thinking more in terms of the quality of high rez and/or surround mix. What records feature the best use of the technology and/or benefit the most from the improved fidelity and surround mix?

I'm more of a rock and pop guy, but feel free to include classical and jazz discs if you think they represent really excellent examples of the technology.
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post #2 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 01:39 PM
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Pink Floyd, DSOTM (SACD Hybrid)

NIN in DVD-A (dual disc) or SACD, assuming you like NIN (; Downward Spiral. Aggressive mix

Flaming Lips, Yosimi Battles the Pink Robots, another aggressive mix.

For Classical and maybe Jazz recommendations, check out Kal's reviews:

http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/

Main screen turn on. All your base are belong to us.
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post #3 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 01:45 PM
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1. Elton John "Honky Chateau" - This one just continues to amaze me. I have two others by Elton, but this one is the best for the surround sound. I like "Madman Across the Water" better for material, but not for the surround sound.

I don't have time to list more than that right now, but I also like Fleetwood Mac "Rumors" quite a bit.

Just read through some older threads here and you will get quite a bit of information. It's all subjective though.

Some really like DSOTM in surround. Personally I think the stereo CD is better.
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post #4 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 04:17 PM
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My personal favorites as far as sound quality goes (in no particular order):

1) Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
2) Eagles - Hotel California
3) Doobie Bros - Captain & Me
4) R.E.M. - Automatic For the People
5) Queen - A Night at the Opera
6) Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
7) Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
8) Elton John - Honky Chateau
9) Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Blvd
10) Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

Honorable mention:

ELP - Brain Salad Surgery
Who - Tommy

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post #5 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 04:22 PM
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Here's my top 10 favorites:

1. Laurence Juber - Guitar Noir (DVD-Audio) AIX records has outstanding stuff and a free demo disc
2. Beck - Sea Change(SACD/DVD-Audio) I love this mix
3. Flaming Lips - Yoshima Battles the Pink Robots (DVD-Audio) very aggressive mix
4. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (SACD)
5. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (SACD) All the Elton John discs I have are excellent.
6. Roxy Music - Avalon (SACD)
7. Porucupine Tree - Stupid Dream (DVD-A) All the Porcupine Tree albums are excellent.
8. Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (SACD) Crank it up
9. Steely Dan - Gaucho (DVD-A/SACD)
10. Linkin Park - Reanimator (DVD-A) when you want something loud with bass.
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post #6 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 04:25 PM
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I have nine out of 10 of the ones on Gillcup's list, all but R.E.M., and I concur with his choices, but I think that the best one I have is Elton John's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. His others are fantastic, to be sure, but this one is stellar.

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post #7 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clepto View Post

For Classical and maybe Jazz recommendations, check out Kal's reviews:

http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/

Thanks for the plug. I often feel like a fish out of water when there are threads about favorites, top ten or WAYLTN.

Kal

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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #8 of 244 Old 09-13-2006, 08:51 PM
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In no particular order:

Flaming Lips - Yoshimi
Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
Queen - A Night At The Opera
Grateful Dead - American Beauty
Porcupine Tree - "In Absentia" (if your tastes run toward heavier rock)
Porcupine Tree - "Stupid Dream" (if your tastes run toward softer rock)
Porcupine Tree - "Deadwing" (if your tastes are somewhere in the middle)
Steely Dan - "Everything Must Go"
Elton John - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Captain Fantastic"
Beethoven - 6th Symphony from AIX Records (even if you're not into classical it's worth the premium price)

"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced." - Corollary to Clarke's law
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post #9 of 244 Old 09-14-2006, 08:37 AM
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I don't really have enough to list 10 that have blown me away, but here's my favs off the top of my head:

1. Roxy Music Avalon
2. Depeche Mode Violator
3. Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
4. Beck Sea Change
5. Pink Floyd DSOTM
6. Bjork Vespertine (what an awesome DVD-A!!!)
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post #10 of 244 Old 09-15-2006, 07:26 AM
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Pink Floyd - "Dark Side of the Moon" SACD
Bob Dylan - "Blood on the Tracks" SACD
Elton John - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" SACD
Diana Krall - "The Girl in the Other Room" DualDisc DVD-A
Nnenna Freelon - "Shaking Free" SACD
Natalie Cole - "What a Girl Knows" SACD
Marvin Gaye - "Collection"
Steely Dan - "Gaucho" DVD-A
Porcupine Tree - "In Absentia" DVD-A
Donald Fagen - "Morph the Cat" DVD-A

No particular order and really there about 30 that I would consider very near equal and doubt that particular 10 would be picked next time I chose 10. I have 3 each by Porcupine Tree and Donald Fagen and could just as easily eat 6 spots with only those two artists.

Chris
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post #11 of 244 Old 09-15-2006, 08:39 AM
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Foreigner: Four - the whole disc, but the two accoustical bonus tracks are incredible.
Steely Dan: Gaucho
Bon Jovi: (2) This Left Feels Right, Slippery When Wet
Diana Krall: Love Scenes
Elvis Costello: North
Mozart/Requiem: The Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert Von Karajan
George Strait: Honkeytonkville
Elton John: Elton John - top 1 or 2 pick, fantastic sounding disc
ELP: Brain Salad Surgery
DSOTM DVD-A
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post #12 of 244 Old 09-15-2006, 10:43 AM
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Fagan's "The Nightfly"
Toy Matinee

I may be the only one, but I dig Dishwalla's "Opaline".

TonyW
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post #13 of 244 Old 09-15-2006, 02:38 PM
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In no particular order...

Bucky Pizzarelli - Swing Live
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Steely Dan - Gaucho
Faith Hill - Cry (not a big fan of the music, but the recording is outstanding)
Frank Sinatra - Sinatra at the Sands
Al Green - Greatest Hits
Linda Ronstadt - What's New?
Diana Krall - The Look of Love
Bach: Organ Spectacular - Ton Koopman
Grateful Dead - American Beauty
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post #14 of 244 Old 09-15-2006, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Thanks for the plug. I often feel like a fish out of water when there are threads about favorites, top ten or WAYLTN.

Kal

Yeah, I think it'd be best to categorize them not only for type of music (Classic Rock, Alternative, Pop, Classical, Jazz, etc) but also presenentation...

Some people prefer a grounded front stage with ambiance from the surrounds, where others prefer the very aggressive mixes taking advantage of the discrete channels.

So we should have categroies like top 10 5.1 presentations with "lead vocal from center channel only" etc (;

Main screen turn on. All your base are belong to us.
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post #15 of 244 Old 09-21-2006, 03:01 PM
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With all of the great input that people are providing, I thought I would share. Although people's taste in music varies, I higly reccomend anything in the top five as they show off their medium and your equipment very well.

Highnine


01: Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" JAZZ SACD
A jazz masterpiece performed by one of the jazz masters that now breathes new life in high definition with subtle surrounds that enhance the experience.

02: Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" ROCK SACD
Every element of the band's performance is exposed in a new way with a well done surround mix that does not compromise the original stereo mix.

03: Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" ROCK SACD & DVDA
A classic rock album that comes alive in both its stereo and multi-channel renditions.

04: Mickey Hart "Best of: Over the Edge and Back" WORLD/PERCUSSION DVDA
Mickey Hart takes some of his best songs over the years and personally creates an excellent surround mix that opens them up to another level.

05: Depeche Mode "Violator" ELECTRONIC SACD
Brings out the subtleties present in these songs that would otherwise make them sound flat, with a well made surround mix that expands the music without changing it.

06: Kraftwerk "Minimum-Maximum" ELECTRONIC SACD
A clear recording of a live concert with a clean produced quality and a playful surround mix to boot from the granddaddy of elektronik musik.
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post #16 of 244 Old 09-26-2006, 03:55 PM
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Lots of great recommendations here. Here's my favs in no particular order:

Porcupine Tree- In absentia
Porcupine Tree- Deadwing
Lawrence Juber- Guitar Noir (Wow!)
Dire Straits- Brothers In Arms
Steve Stevens- Flamenco a Go-Go
Miles Davis- Kind of Blue
Queen- Night at the Opera
Pink Floyd- DSOTM
Beck- Sea Change
NIN Downward spiral

Honorable mentions

Linkin Park Reanimator- not my style of music but undeniably a great mix- something to make your neighbours hate you.

Hiromi- Brain-

Joe Satriani- Strange Beautiful Music

Flaming Lips- Yoshimi

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post #17 of 244 Old 09-26-2006, 05:20 PM
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I just got a copy of T. Rex's Electric Warrior (DVD-A) and I was very impressed on first listening. I CD and LP copies I have sounded OK, but nothing special so I was pretty surprised at how good this one sounds. Great album too.

Mark

There is a very thin line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry
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post #18 of 244 Old 09-28-2006, 11:42 AM
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Of course I second all the Porcupine Tree on these lists. I tried to think of some others not so oft-mentioned:

1. Jorma Kaukonen - Blue Country Heart
2. Junior Wells - Come on in My House
3. Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
4. Carl Verheyen Band - Rumor Mill (check this one out, it's really grown on me with repeated listenings. AIX Records)
5. Grateful Dead - American Beauty (absolutely timeless classic)
6. Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection ( His unsung classic. Purely on the basis of sound quality, this one is a notch above the others.)
7. Chick Corea - Rendevous in New York (a lot of fun and well-recorded too!)
8. Hiromi - Brain (jazz pianist who likes to get funky on occasion)
9. Allman Brothers - Eat a Peach
10. BT - Music for the movie "Monster" (some very erie stuff, DTS only)
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post #19 of 244 Old 10-06-2006, 03:00 PM
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I'll echo the plugs for Toy Matinee and Laurence Juber:Guitar Noir. It may be that I'm a fan, but Yes: Fragile is immersive. I wish they did Close to the Edge.
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post #20 of 244 Old 10-06-2006, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotguy8289 View Post

Fagan's "The Nightfly"
Toy Matinee

I may be the only one, but I dig Dishwalla's "Opaline".

I love all three of those and often mention "Opaline" in recommend threads. I also have the live DualDisc DVD-A from Dishwalla although it is not nearly as good.

Chris
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post #21 of 244 Old 10-07-2006, 09:36 AM
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I've got to second the Talking Heads DualDiscs (DVD-Audio). I have purchased both the "Speaking in Tongues" and "Little Creatures" discs recently, and both sound incredible. The bass on these is just outstanding (even on CD side).

These can either be purchased separately (as I did), or as part of the 10-disk "Brick."

Brad
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post #22 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 12:53 PM
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Vivaldi's La Stravaganza on Channel Classics (SACD) is a doozy. Still is the best recording of a violin I've heard so far. Rachel Podger's performance is also divinely executed. Truly something to behold and it's a great addition to anyone's music library, whether you're into "classical" or not.
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post #23 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 02:10 PM
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I saw a previous post supporting NIN. I just bought the NIN dual disc "Teeth" I think it is called. In my opinion, the Dolby Digital (AC-3) mix exposes the lack of depth in Reznor's instruments.

The two best sounding DVD discs I have are The Police DVD Audio (this mix is awesome) and the Blue Man Group Concert Audio (very good).

I have other titles as well, some which are average (Bee Gees One Night Only), and some that are undeniably bad (e.g. Ice Cubes Video collection).
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post #24 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 05:23 PM
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Dolby Digital is not High Rez. Although I agree that Electronic music can sometimes lack "depth" . Oh yea it is "With Teeth"
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post #25 of 244 Old 10-12-2006, 07:47 AM
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At least there are 20 people here who buy hi-rez. I'd be interested to know if they were DVD-Audio or SACD.

I'd bet most of these favorites started out as excellent recordings. I'd buy some of my old favorites if they could be opened up and cleaned up. Two oldies come to mind, Journey's Infinity and Police Synchronicity. Horrible sound on both.

Steely Dan, Diana Krall obviously take great interest in good recording. Name a cleaner sound than Gaucho, it's almost too analytical.

Flexx, thanks for the violin recommendation. I sometimes buy music on a tip from Stereophile or others.

Hey Kal, I think it was 1976 when I started reading Stereophile. Was it Stereo Mag in the beginning?

Drives my Wife crazy when I want to save every issue. After 23 years of marriage, that's a lot of magazines!
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post #26 of 244 Old 10-13-2006, 02:32 PM
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Peter Gabriel - Up (Favorite Demo Track - Signal to Noise)

Beck - Sea Change (Favorite Demo Track - Lonesome Tears)

Elton John - Yellowbrick Road (Favorite Demo Track - Funeral for a Friend)

Bob Belden - Black Dahlia (Favorite Demo Track - Zanzibar)

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (Favorite Demo Track - Time)

Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company (Favorite Demo Track - Here We Go Again) I don't really like this album a lot, but it's mic'ed so well, I spin it anyway.
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post #27 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outlier2 View Post

Joe Satriani- Strange Beautiful Music

I just got this SACD. It's pretty sweet.

I don't really have a top 10, but this one is good. So is Everlast - White Trash Beautiful.
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post #28 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLS View Post

At least there are 20 people here who buy hi-rez. I'd be interested to know if they were DVD-Audio or SACD.

I've been buying both DVD-A and SACD. I don't look at it as buying "hi-rez". I look at it as buying multi-channel (5.1) music. I won't buy 2 channel DVD-As or 2 channel SACDs.
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post #29 of 244 Old 10-16-2006, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Jam View Post

I saw a previous post supporting NIN. I just bought the NIN dual disc "Teeth" I think it is called. In my opinion, the Dolby Digital (AC-3) mix exposes the lack of depth in Reznor's instruments.

The two best sounding DVD discs I have are The Police DVD Audio (this mix is awesome) and the Blue Man Group Concert Audio (very good).

I have other titles as well, some which are average (Bee Gees One Night Only), and some that are undeniably bad (e.g. Ice Cubes Video collection).


I have to disagree with your impression of NIN-With Teeth...This Dual Disc sounds great! Have only listened to the 5.1 uncompressed portion (not sure of the resolution) It's an agressive mix. Listen for the analog drums. Dave Grohl's drumming is awsome on this disc.

My other favs are

Flaming Lips-Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (DVD-Audio)
Very Very agressive mix which I am almost always in favor of. Unbelievable
Bass. Dynamic range out the ying yang!


Pink Floyd-DSOTM (DVD-Audio)
I perfer the agressive AP mix over the SACD. SQ is not quite as "clean or
dynamic" as the SACD but the mix is just better 90% of the recording IMO.


Depeche Mode-Violator (SACD)
Extremely Agressive in a good way. In one part, the sound in the rears
are "clicking" back and forth very quickly and it's like it is right in your head
and not coming from the speakers. Very Sweet!


Fleetwood Mac-Rumors (DVD-Audio)
Overall SQ is not as good as other discs however the mix is nice. Not overly
agressive. The rears are used when needed and not just for ambience.


Beck-Sea Change (SACD)
Very dynamic! Agressive mix. Overall great sounding disc (newer recording).


Who-Tommy (SACD)
My favorite Who album in 5.1. Pretty agressive (not overly). Great cleanup
job on an older recording.


ALL THE Steely Dan/Donald Fagan RECORDINGS!!!

The only 2 Live discs I care for is Heart-Live in Seattle and Frank Zappa-Halloween.
The Heart I like for the overall SQ and the FZ for the performance as well.
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post #30 of 244 Old 10-16-2006, 08:06 AM
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Since you mentioned Fleetwood Mac, did you notice the extra instruments in the DVD-Audio that are not present in the cd?

I was curious technically why they were absent in the vinyl and cd and I was guessing that they were put back in the DVD-Audio because you could actually distinguish the instruments.

I haven't listened to it in awhile, but I think you can tell on one of the first few songs.

As for live, is The Eagles Hell Freezes Over on DVD-Audio or Sacd? That is one clean recording on DVD-Video! Cream's not bad either.
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