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What is YOUR Reference CD or SACD??

post #1 of 319
Thread Starter 
Hello all. As I grow older I'm getting more into 2 Channel Stereo than I used to be. I'm now on the hunt to find out the best quality Cd's or Sacd's to "Show off" the best my system can do. I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?
post #2 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Hello all. As I grow older I'm getting more into 2 Channel Stereo than I used to be. I'm now on the hunt to find out the best quality Cd's or Sacd's to "Show off" the best my system can do. I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?

I play what I like to hear. I'm not in the business of wowing neighbors but, it seems to me, that if you like it then that's what matters. I have a hard time understanding why someone would buy music they don't care about just to wow someone. Buy what you like.

Fred
post #3 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Hello all. As I grow older I'm getting more into 2 Channel Stereo than I used to be. I'm now on the hunt to find out the best quality Cd's or Sacd's to "Show off" the best my system can do. I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?

If I want to show off, I would select something that the guest might enjoy. As for impressing the neighbors, I have no need for that as I live in an apartment.
post #4 of 319
Thread Starter 
I agree %100 percent you should buy or listen to music that YOU like. However, just as in people buy Blu Rays that are not necessarily good movies, but have incredible detail and transfer qualities to make their HDTV shine, I'm looking for those type Cd's or SACD's that have an incredible digital transfer, or just sound amazing. The best way to find new music and broaden your horizons is to just ask, and then listen!
post #5 of 319
I don't care about impressing friends/neighbors either... But, when I audition speakers, one of the CD's I always take w/ me is Aja by Steely Dan..
post #6 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Hello all. As I grow older I'm getting more into 2 Channel Stereo than I used to be. I'm now on the hunt to find out the best quality Cd's or Sacd's to "Show off" the best my system can do. I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?

One of the very best is Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms"
post #7 of 319
One of my favorites is Santana - Abraxas MFSL vinyl.
post #8 of 319
I second what others said. It's all about the music in the first place. If I like the music, then I listen to it.
However when I audition CD players, speakers or receivers my demo disc is Dark Side of the Moon. I know the record very well and it has an excellent sound quality.
post #9 of 319
Propellerheads - Decksandrumsandrockandroll

I have heard the entire album a million times and know exactly what to expect. Plus it is extremely varied music, perfect for a demo disc.
post #10 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakashizuma View Post

I second what others said. It's all about the music in the first place. If I like the music, then I listen to it.
However when I audition CD players, speakers or receivers my demo disc is Dark Side of the Moon. I know the record very well and it has an excellent sound quality.

It's odd you say that as I was watching that exact album on ebay in the SACD format but passed it up. Dang! I'll look for it agian, excellent album.

As for what others have contributed, thanks a bunch, I'm already on the hunt for a few of the songs/albums listed.
post #11 of 319
It's perfectly normal to want to show off your system in its best light...of course you're going to buy mostly music that you love, but everyone I know who is serious into this hobby has a disc or two of music that they don't necessarily like, but that is a reference disc for demonstration purposes.

For me, I have two: My Diana Krall disc (I don't even know the name of it...it has an orange and black cover on it) is amazing sounding. It's the first disc I play, because it is a very impressive demonstration of imaging. Secondly, I recommend just about anything from www.mapleshaderecords.com These folks know how to make a recording...and even though most of the music they record isn't my cup of tea (except the ARC Choir stuff), I love to listen to some of the tracks.
post #12 of 319
For me right now,

Reference Recording RR-96CD Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
This classical (romantic) has nice dynamics and transients with full symphonic instrumentation.

Reference Recording RR-101CD Felix Hell: Pipe Organ Sensation
The pipe organ disk has amazing amounts of bass which brings any system that may have bass shyness to its knees. The disk effortlessly bottoms out typical 2-way speakers being run full range, and subwoofers inappropriately sized for the room.

Telarc CD-83534 Marcus Miller: M²
Jazz, lots of bass, instrumentals, vocals, standard decent modern jazz.


When others come over, I typically play:

Reference Recordings RR-109 The Hot Club of san francisco Yerba buena bounce

Telarc CD-83534 Marcus Miller: M²

Reprise 49965-2 Guster: Ganging up on the sun

Candyrat Records Antoine Dufour: Naissance


I have found for the layman who is not really into speakers, the best music to "impress" them is not the reference-level recordings, but the cds that have lots of acoustic guitar, breathy vocals, nothing too complicated (like classical). Also, playback volumes at least 72dB avg. I've found that less than that, and they don't hear the "airiness" or "transparency".
post #13 of 319
I like Rachel Podger's La Stravaganza on SACD for classical, Brubeck's Time Out on SACD for jazz, and Ana Caram's Blu Bossa on SACD for a female vocal. I also like the Incubus SACD, because you can clearly hear the expansion of the soundstage depth going from the CD tracks to the SACD tracks.
post #14 of 319
Thread Starter 
This is great! Just from this thread giving me ideas, I've purchased Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" SACD, Diana Krall's greatest hits, and Dire Straights "Brothers in Arms" SACD. Now, it's on to the more obscure artists mentioned in this thread, thanks!
post #15 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post


I have found for the layman who is not really into speakers, the best music to "impress" them is not the reference-level recordings, but the cds that have lots of acoustic guitar, breathy vocals, nothing too complicated (like classical). Also, playback volumes at least 72dB avg. I've found that less than that, and they don't hear the "airiness" or "transparency".

Honestly, this was exactly how I used to be, but I find myself slowly noticing more detail in the music now that I didn't notice before.
post #16 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Diana Krall's greatest hits,


NO!!!
The worlds most over played "reference" cd. Anyone who has ever been to CES will understand...
post #17 of 319
i like to play dark side of the moon sacd cause most places have it... or herbie hancock headhunters if i remember to bring it.

taam
post #18 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by yetis View Post

NO!!!
The worlds most over played "reference" cd. Anyone who has ever been to CES will understand...

There's a reason why it's the most overplayed...the imaging is amazing. On my Diana Krall CD, you can very easily pick out the performers in space. Diana herself is front and center, and her ensemble is very discernible from one player to the next. As much as I love my Mapleshade recordings for the 'wow' factor, my DK disc is by far the best demo for imaging.
post #19 of 319
Now, it's on to the more obscure artists mentioned in this thread, thanks!

Check out Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes, newly reissued with additional tracks (killer tracks, as good as the original ones). Jenny singing the songs of Leonard Cohen (she toured with him as a backup singer).

This was demo stuff twenty years ago when it came out, both on CD and vinyl (and the first track has Stevie Ray Vaughan tearing it up on guitar). The CD has a nifty little booklet as well. That rare audiophile recording in which the content matches the engineering.

Just search on it at amazon and read the accolades.
post #20 of 319
I play the type of music that my guests want to hear, but here are a few I use to check out new equipment, or demo my system. I use the DVD-A or SACD versions if available.

Donald Fagan, Morph the Cat - Male vocals, good bass and cymbals.
Diana Krall or Nora Jones - Piano (check for natural sound).
Celtic Woman DVD - Female Vocals, various bass drums, piano.
Jack Johnson CD - Male vocals, good seperation of instruments, something currently on the radio.
Jennifer Warnes - Nice Vocals, nice all around sound. I need little reason to listen listen to JW.

Darrell
post #21 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Hello all. As I grow older I'm getting more into 2 Channel Stereo than I used to be. I'm now on the hunt to find out the best quality Cd's or Sacd's to "Show off" the best my system can do. I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?

One of my favorite SACDs is the DG recording of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony#2 with Gilbert Kaplan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic DG 474 5942. Incredible massive orchestral and chorus sound that is undistorted and will raise goosebumps.
post #22 of 319
StopTheExcuses,

I also am a big fan of acoustic music (mainly acoustic guitar), I am listing the absolute best I own along with a list of reference sounding CD's from all different genres.


Acappella

The House Jacks- Drive
The Nylons- Fabric of Life
The Nylons- Play On
The Nylons- Hits of the 60's Acappella Style

Big Band/Vocal

The Manhattan Transfer- The Anthology: Down In Birdland
The Manhattan Transfer- Tonin'
Michael Buble'- Michael Buble'
Michael Buble'- It's Time
Westlife- Allow Us to Be Frank

Blues

BB King- Blues on the Bayou
Eric Clapton- One More Car One More Rider
Hamilton Loomis- Ain't Just Temporary
Jeff Healey Band- Get Me Some
Jeff Healey- Mess of Blues
Jimmy Rogers- All Stars
John Mayall and Friends- Along for the Ride
Kid Jonny Lang and the Big Bang- Smokin'
Tommy Castro- Right as Rain

Crossover Classical

Bond- Born
Bond- Shine
Hooked on Classics 3

Electronica

Yello- Baby
Yello- Zebra

Jazz

Peter White- Glow (SACD)
Peter White- Confidential
Spyro Gyra- In Modern Times (SACD Hybrid)

New Age

Jan Hammer- Beyond the Mind's Eye

New Flamenco

Esteban- All My Love
Govi- Havana Sunset
Jesse Cook- Gravity
Jesse Cook- Vertigo
Johannes Linstead- Cafe' Tropical
Johannes Linstead- Mediterranea
Steve Stevens- Flamenco A Go Go
Strunz & Farah- Heat of the Sun
Strunz & Farah- Stringweave

R&B/Soul

Human Nature- Reach Out The Motown Record
Human Nature- Dancing in the Street/The Songs of Motown 2
James Hunter- People Gonna' Talk

Reggae

UB40- The Very Best of UB40

Rock/Pop

Cesar Rosas- Soul Diguise
Chris Issak- Baja Sessions
Christopher Cross- The Very Best of Christopher Cross
Richard Marx- Flesh and Bone
Eagles- Hell Freezes Over
Eagles- Long Road Out of Eden
John Fogerty- Blue Moon Swamp
Toto- Mindfields
Toto- Through the Looking Glass
post #23 of 319
ohyeah32: you rock! I don't think I have ANY of those recordings, so I'm going to check some of them out
post #24 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

ohyeah32: you rock! I don't think I have ANY of those recordings, so I'm going to check some of them out

Thanks.

I think you just might like many of the ones listed.
post #25 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohyeah32 View Post

StopTheExcuses,

I also am a big fan of acoustic music (mainly acoustic guitar), I am listing the absolute best I own along with a list of reference sounding CD's from all different genres.


Acappella

The House Jacks- Drive
The Nylons- Fabric of Life
The Nylons- Play On
The Nylons- Hits of the 60's Acappella Style

Big Band/Vocal

The Manhattan Transfer- The Anthology: Down In Birdland
The Manhattan Transfer- Tonin'
Michael Buble'- Michael Buble'
Michael Buble'- It's Time
Westlife- Allow Us to Be Frank

Blues

BB King- Blues on the Bayou
Eric Clapton- One More Car One More Rider
Hamilton Loomis- Ain't Just Temporary
Jeff Healey Band- Get Me Some
Jeff Healey- Mess of Blues
Jimmy Rogers- All Stars
John Mayall and Friends- Along for the Ride
Kid Jonny Lang and the Big Bang- Smokin'
Tommy Castro- Right as Rain

Crossover Classical

Bond- Born
Bond- Shine
Hooked on Classics 3

Electronica

Yello- Baby
Yello- Zebra

Jazz

Peter White- Glow (SACD)
Peter White- Confidential
Spyro Gyra- In Modern Times (SACD Hybrid)

New Age

Jan Hammer- Beyond the Mind's Eye

New Flamenco

Esteban- All My Love
Govi- Havana Sunset
Jesse Cook- Gravity
Jesse Cook- Vertigo
Johannes Linstead- Cafe' Tropical
Johannes Linstead- Mediterranea
Steve Stevens- Flamenco A Go Go
Strunz & Farah- Heat of the Sun
Strunz & Farah- Stringweave

R&B/Soul

Human Nature- Reach Out The Motown Record
Human Nature- Dancing in the Street/The Songs of Motown 2
James Hunter- People Gonna' Talk

Reggae

UB40- The Very Best of UB40

Rock/Pop

Cesar Rosas- Soul Diguise
Chris Issak- Baja Sessions
Christopher Cross- The Very Best of Christopher Cross
Richard Marx- Flesh and Bone
Eagles- Hell Freezes Over
Eagles- Long Road Out of Eden
John Fogerty- Blue Moon Swamp
Toto- Mindfields
Toto- Through the Looking Glass


Thank you TONS for listing that content, plenty to choose from. Now my only problem is funding the purchases. Haha. (Just purchased new speakers and a new sub this week). Thanks for your input as I will be locating several of these suggestions!
post #26 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

Thank you TONS for listing that content, plenty to choose from. Now my only problem is funding the purchases. Haha. (Just purchased new speakers and a new sub this week). Thanks for your input as I will be locating several of these suggestions!

You're welcome.

Yes adding many CD's and SACD's to ones collection can get expensive. But at least we are selective of what we buy and mainly get stuff that not only is good music but has excellent sound quality as well. When you get some of the ones I listed, please chime back with how you liked them and how they sounded in your setup. I know they sound amazing in my system.


Seth
post #27 of 319
A good 2 channel SACD's The Edgar Winter Group-They Only Come Out At Night[MOFI]
post #28 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post

I'm really into Acoustic and/or Classical as well as classic rock.

So, what I'm asking is, what CD do YOU put in when you want to showcase the best your system can sound or wow one of your neighbors?

ORCHESTRAL

Mahler Symphony No. 2 / Vienna Philharmonic / Kaplan / DG 474 594-2 SACD
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition / Cleveland Orchestra / Telarc CD-80042
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring / Kirov Orchestra / Gergiev / Philips 468 035-2 CD

PIANO

Bach / Goldberg Variations / Perahia / SONY Classical SS89243 SACD

CHAMBER

Brahms Piano Quintet & String Quartet / Takacs Quartet / Hyperion CDA67551
Vivaldi Four Seasons / Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble / Sparf / BIS CD-275
post #29 of 319
Andreas Vollenweider Book of Roses.
post #30 of 319
For showing my system off, I've got a nearly virgin jappanese 1/2speed master audiophile pressing of Breakfast in America by Supertramp on vinyl that blows the doors off anything else I've listened to.

Before I happened into that album, it was a choice between Aja by Steely Dan, or Arc of a Diver by Steve Winwood, both are fantastic recordings; not my favorite bands, but they really shoow off the highpoints of a system. Unfortunatly, they also remind me that I need better speakers
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