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Discussion Starter #1
I am in search of CD recordings that are beautifully done. I am looking for those recordings that have powerful detailed audio. It seems that many, MANY, recordings have the dreaded "hiss" background noise. I am not sure if this is from just poor studios or if it simply because they were done so long ago that the equipment used was inferior. Most recently I have found that Diana Krall's stuff seems to be done perfectly. Are there any other reccomendations? I like anything from Diana Krall to Metallica. I want to use this to show off my system to friends and for personal enjoyment. It seems that every time I show my system to friends they select a CD that is horrible. They are still impressed but I am not. Please give me some answers. I think I have finally grasped the intricacies of DVD but I am a complete newby to audio or CD. What should I look for?
 

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Old recordings on tape have tape hiss in some degree or other. If you want pre-digital stuff you'll have to live with it. That said, some of the most breathtaking recordings, particularly of Classical Music, were made in the dawning of stereo, fifty years ago, and frequently with only three microphones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood
Old recordings on tape have tape hiss in some degree or other. If you want pre-digital stuff you'll have to live with it. That said, some of the most breathtaking recordings, particularly of Classical Music, were made in the dawning of stereo, fifty years ago, and frequently with only three microphones.
Examples please.... list them and where I can find them. I am looking to buy a few from each genre just to have around. And, no the recording don't have to be ancient. They could have been made last weekend for all I care : )
 

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Try to find the demo/sampler discs from Burmester, Delos, Chesky, etc. and, of course, Stereophile!


Kal
 

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Examples please....


Okay... you asked for it. Wait til I can get home.
 

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Virtually anything on Telarc will be hiss-free, most of their masters are digital.


Chesky makes some of the best CDs.


Maggies Music makes great quality folk/Celtic music CDs.


Narada and Windham Hill make perfect recordings if you can take New Age (personally I love it but many don't).
 

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All right. These are all not only incredible sounding discs, but excellent works as well.


These two will not have tape hiss, as I believe they are from an all-digital chain:


Jennifer Warne's classic album of Leonard Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat. As a bonus you get Stevie Ray Vaughn tearing it up on one cut, "First We Take Manhattan".

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Peter Gabriel's unnamed album that has come to be known as Security

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


I couldn't get the page that shows you various versions of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. I don't know which is the best mastering. One of the choices gives the equally stunning-sounding Sketches of Spain in a box set. Search on the title in Amazon to get all the different versions.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Ella Fitzgerald's Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie is famous for its realistic sound of a small ensemble and Ella. I once had the opportunity to buy an original pressing of the vinyl, but didn't feel I could afford it at the time. Dumb move.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits on Monument was a classic for its natural sound and realistic depiction of Roy's beautiful tenor, mastered by a famous engineer who later went on to record Elvis and many others (Dave Porter?)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle is a neglected classic that has slowly grown in stature over the years, and the sound is very beautiful too.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys in 2004 finally assembled his lost album from 1967, SMiLE, and the reaction has been pretty favorable. Check out the 500+ reviews on Amazon. They supposedly used the same tube gear and analogue chain that was used when Brian was using The Wrecking Crew to record the original Beach Boys stuff way back when.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


The rest are Classical. These first few are from RCA's "Living Stereo" series, and all are at least forty years old. The CDs of this series seem to be out of print, but they are slowly re-releasing the catalogue on SACD, and they are said to sound even better.


Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe', ravishingly beautiful, and amazing sound, recorded in 1955.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops version of Offenbach's "Gaite Parisienne", one of the first stereo recordings (if you discount the stereo stuff Nazi Germany did during WWII), from 1954! Sound that jumps out of the speakers. The original record regularly sells for over $200.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Fritz Reiner's famous version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade". Spectacular music and sound from Chicago's Symphony Hall. They put in new air conditioning in the late sixties and ruined the acoustics for recording, though not before getting this on tape.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Mercury Records did their own series "Mercury Living Presence" with a very purist technique of using only three microphones. They had less fine orchestras than RCA, but their sound was as good, and some say even better.


On a Russian Tour in the early sixties, the recording engineers stayed late, and later, and almost gave up and were loading their sound truck waiting for the Osopov Balalaika Orchestra to arrive, but arrive they did and gave the world this amazing sound portrait, "Balalaika Favorites". Incredible fun.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


This is from the "Winds in Hi-Fi" album. Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound in the latest issue is singing the praises of this album anew, having listened to it on his latest and greatest CD player.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


This is a reissue of Paul Paray doing two great symphonies, Dvorak's 9th and Sibelius' 2nd. The Sibelius is particularly famous for its realistic sound

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


And finally, Paray doing Ravel. Great stuff.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


The Living Presence CDs are almost all out of print. They are being re-released on SACD, but Pearson says the sound is not as good as the CD reissues. If you get any and find you like them, better try to get whatever else you might want soon.


I hope you make use of this list. It took me almost two hours to prepare. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood
All right. These are all not only incredible sounding discs, but excellent works as well.


These two will not have tape hiss, as I believe they are from an all-digital chain:


Jennifer Warne's classic album of Leonard Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat. As a bonus you get Stevie Ray Vaughn tearing it up on one cut, "First We Take Manhattan".

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Peter Gabriel's unnamed album that has come to be known as Security

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music



I couldn't get the page that shows you various versions of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. I don't know which is the best mastering. One of the choices gives the equally stunning-sounding Sketches of Spain in a box set. Search on the title in Amazon to get all the different versions.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Ella Fitzgerald's Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie is famous for its realistic sound of a small ensemble and Ella. I once had the opportunity to buy an original pressing of the vinyl, but didn't feel I could afford it at the time. Dumb move.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits on Monument was a classic for its natural sound and realistic depiction of Roy's beautiful tenor, mastered by a famous engineer who later went on to record Elvis and many others (Dave Porter?)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle is a neglected classic that has slowly grown in stature over the years, and the sound is very beautiful too.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys in 2004 finally assembled his lost album from 1967, SMiLE, and the reaction has been pretty favorable. Check out the 500+ reviews on Amazon. They supposedly used the same tube gear and analogue chain that was used when Brian was using The Wrecking Crew to record the original Beach Boys stuff way back when.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music


The rest are Classical. These first few are from RCA's "Living Stereo" series, and all are at least forty years old. The CDs of this series seem to be out of print, but they are slowly re-releasing the catalogue on SACD, and they are said to sound even better.


Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe', ravishingly beautiful, and amazing sound, recorded in 1955.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops version of Offenbach's "Gaite Parisienne", one of the first stereo recordings (if you discount the stereo stuff Nazi Germany did during WWII), from 1954! Sound that jumps out of the speakers. The original record regularly sells for over $200.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Fritz Reiner's famous version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade". Spectacular music and sound from Chicago's Symphony Hall. They put in new air conditioning in the late sixties and ruined the acoustics for recording, though not before getting this on tape.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


Mercury Records did their own series "Mercury Living Presence" with a very purist technique of using only three microphones. They had less fine orchestras than RCA, but their sound was as good, and some say even better.


On a Russian Tour in the early sixties, the recording engineers stayed late, and later, and almost gave up and were loading their sound truck waiting for the Osopov Balalaika Orchestra to arrive, but arrive they did and gave the world this amazing sound portrait, "Balalaika Favorites". Incredible fun.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


This is from the "Winds in Hi-Fi" album. Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound in the latest issue is singing the praises of this album anew, having listened to it on his latest and greatest CD player.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


This is a reissue of Paul Paray doing two great symphonies, Dvorak's 9th and Sibelius' 2nd. The Sibelius is particularly famous for its realistic sound

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


And finally, Paray doing Ravel. Great stuff.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical


The Living Presence CDs are almost all out of print. They are being re-released on SACD, but Pearson says the sound is not as good as the CD reissues. If you get any and find you like them, better try to get whatever else you might want soon.


I hope you make use of this list. It took me almost two hours to prepare. ;)
Wow, You are awesome....Thanks!
 

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Wow thanks for the informative post, Shaded Dogfood. Do you know anything about RCA Red Seal CDs? Are they mastered well, and can they be as good as the RCA Living Stereo titles? The reason I'm asking is that I love de Lorrocha's performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 and a remaster of her recording happens to be on an RCA Red Seal which oddly enough is listed in Sony/BMG's international sites but not in the US site.


One reference recording I would like to recommend is Jazz At the Pawnshop. The 2 channel XRCD version sounds amazing! I haven't listened to the SACD version but it is supposedly multi-channel. Anyone know if it uses the rears or only the front LCR channels?
 

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Do you know anything about RCA Red Seal CDs?


It's another brand name RCA had. Some of the Living Stereo titles were reissued under the Red Seal brand, though not as carefully remastered as the Living Stereo reissues. As the years went by RCA and the other companies began to add more and more microphones, which tended to degrade the quality of the recorded sound. Yet other companies such as EMI multi-miked their Classical recordings pretty successfully.


I had actually thought of mentioning Jazz at the Pawnshop, as it has quite a reputation for holographic sound reproduction.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kram Sacul
Any of Michael Jackson's albums are very well recorded. Also, albums by the Crystal Method are reference quality.
Are you kidding me? Michael Jackson? I would hardly want to listen to Micheal as reference material. Crystal Method....now that is a maybe.
 

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In general, how is the recording quality of Deutsche Grammophon when compared with Telarc and Chesky?



Shaded Dogfood,

THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH for that effort. I've already ordered 4 of those albums.
 

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In general, how is the recording quality of Deutsche Grammophon when compared with Telarc and Chesky?


Lots and lots of microphones. DG has never been a fave of the dyed-in-the-wool audiophile vinyl fanatics.


Lots and lots of great artists, however. And the new deep-pocketed buyers that are driving up vinyl prices- people from the East (and I don't mean the Eastern part of the US)- are going for early DGs and the "Tulip" label discs, particularly violinists.
 

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You may want to try a search of the ultra high end forum where this topic has been discussed several times.


There are more than a dozen or so "audiophile" labels out there and several on-line stores that carry them, such as amusicdirect, acousticsounds and redtrumpet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedris
In general, how is the recording quality of Deutsche Grammophon when compared with Telarc and Chesky?

....
Some DG can be very good, but I mostly avoid them. They tend to be "bright" recordings, and on a very accurate system without coloration (i.e. no equalization) they can be pretty unpleasant.


Actually I found their vinyl to be much better ... but then my system in the vinyl days was somewhat lacking.
 

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How do XRCDs compare to regular CDs. I saw quite a few good albums in XRCD format. According Acoustic Sounds help sections, XRCD treated recordings have very noticeable quality improvements.


Any truth to this? Is the price (~$25 - $40) worth the product?
 

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Some XRCDs are considerably better than their standard Redbook counterparts. Some are only marginally better. I have a handful in my collection and do not regret paying the premium.

Quote:
Is the price (~$25 - $40) worth the product?
Everyone places different value on the dollar. You know the saying: beauty is in the eyes (or in this case ears) of the beholder. Let your ears and your pocketbook be the sole determining factor.


---------------------------------------

Ron Party
 
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