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Retired Admin
I thought this forum could benefit from a recommendation thread based solely on sound quality. In the past, this type of thread has exposed a plethora of well-recorded music to people who otherwise would have missed out on it.

Look at it any way you want. What's your go-to disc(s) when you're demoing your system? When you're in the mood to listen to something just because it sounds exceptional, what do you pick? In short, what are the best sounding discs or albums in your library?

Allow me to lead off with 4 out of my top 20.

If you were to visit me, I'd play you tracks from the following:




I've made this thread a sticky in the hopes it will be constantly and continuously updated and not just die its death after a few initial postings. I'm thinking as we add titles to our collections, we could likely come across other stand-out recordings and add them here for reference - today and tomorrow.
I'll start out with three:

On 5.1 DVD-A (White Nitegown, which sounds almost cluttered in Stereo, just opens up!):

On 5.1 SACD (Most beautiful use of Surround I've heard yet):

Also on 5.1 SACD (the Fender Rhodes sounds like it's sitting there in the room):
Zing said:
I've made this thread a sticky in the hopes it will be constantly and continuously updated and not just die its death after a few initial postings. I'm thinking as we add titles to our collections, we could likely come across other stand-out recordings and add them here for reference - today and tomorrow.

So I'm guessin' fish puns are out the question in this thread? :mrgreen:







I will post others... still thinking.

(Well, actually playing Zelda Twilight Princess on my Wii... :oops: )
Just some of my favorites, not sure how high the rate on audio quality but I find myself comparing equipment listening to these:


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Bump... a new addition to this list, I'm gonna write more about it in the classical thread. Edit - here: :text-link:


Santana... Shaman album.... "Sideways"

It's a little bass heavy but sounds great.


Canadian DB Clifford

I stumbled on this disc in the bargain bin. I like it... a lot. Smooth with a little pop. It sounds like a mix of Maroon Five and Jomiriquai (sp?). To the point of this thread though... it is a stellar recording.

Been listening to this one a lot lately, and wavered on whether to put this in the jazz thread or this one. This morning's "audition" of this album in my main HT has convinced me to put it here. This is a terrific album musically - small ensemble vocal jazz, generally speaking. But it is worthy of this thread as far as the recording itself, to me. Especially in the piano - yes, I am biased towards piano recordings, and this one really satisfies. Both in the music, as Christian Jacob has an amazing touch with interesting subtle musical explorations and beautiful tone, and in the recording of the piano which makes the instrument sound BIG, floating above and around the other musicians, like on a stage with the vocalist standing in the inner curve of the piano and the other instruments arrayed around it. (Unlike many other jazz piano recordings where the piano is relatively small in the soundstage.) To me this is almost as much a piano jazz album as a vocal one, and rivals my better classical piano recordings in technical rendition. All the instruments are well recorded, though, each one being distinct and audible in the mix; you can hear every little subtle drum brush or tick.

I highly recommend this album, on many levels.
A new entry for this thread, I talk more about this album in the classical thread, but thought it's worth posting in here as well.


Top Notch..... :bow-blue:


Migration -- CD

Dave Grusin

1989 GRP Records

The album cover reflects music on this album, January 31, 2003
By scotthew "bigmbooks" (Columbia, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Migration (Audio CD)

This album provides a serene escape with its melodic poetry. I have owned this album for 10 years, and return to it frequently to be put in a trance. The album is worth owning solely for the Milagro Beanfield suite.

Punta Del Soul
Southwest Passage
First-Time Love
Western Women
Dancing in the Township
Old Bones
In The Middle Of The Night
- 14. Suite From The Milagro Beanfield War

Audio Quality

The one thing that really hits you with this CD (other than the fantastic musicianship), is the outstanding recording quality. In fact, I would say this CD remains one of the best bass and drum/percussion recordings I've ever heard. A couple of tracks consistently "bottom out" my speakers if played at excessive volume: the deep bass of First Time Love or the drums on Old Bones . Granted, that's not a good thing, but typically this is something I've only experienced with heavy 5.1 channel movie sources (like The Incredibles ). This CD will definitely give your amplifier/speaker combination a workout. Equally impressive were the outstanding performances by some of the best bass players and drummers in the business: Harvey Mason and Omar Hakim (drums), and Marcus Miller and Abraham Laboriel (bass). All are long-time first call session players dating back to the 1970's (with the only exception being Omar Hakim-who will blow your mind if you've ever been lucky enough to see him play live). In addition, Marcus Miller wrote T.K.O. , which features screaming solo performances from himself as well as Omar Hakim and Brandford Marsalis (tenor sax). Finally, I usually hit "stop" when it gets to track #10 and pretend that the CD ends there.
I cast my vote for Bon Iver's self titled release. Like Amazon, I'd classify this as "Indie Folk Rock." If you're into this type of music, put it on your short list. Musical placement and nuances are clearly distinguishable in space, and some of the tracks are downright beautiful. This album has some of the most emotionally moving, yet simple, guitar riffs I've heard in sometime w/i the alternative or indie genres...





Sweeet. Just got this in the mail a day or two ago based on your earlier post, haven't had a chance to spin it up yet... soon!