Today's Audiophile Album Playlist

Discussion in 'Music Forums' started by Permanent Waves, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    A dedicated thread to the sharing and discussing of audiophile* CD, SACD, DVD-A, XRCD, HDCD, K2HD CD, Blu-Spec CD, SHM CD, DSD, DXD, HI-DEF/RES downloads, Vinyl releases, or any other generally considered audiophile (or simply best sounding) release/format. Any genre is welcome.


    For my own part, a large portion of my collection of releases in this area consist of "gold" CD's, HDCD's, and SACD's from these makers:

    MFSL - Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs

    AF - Audio Fidelity

    DCC - Digital Compact Classics

    SMS - Sony Master Sound

    ...so I'll mainly** be posting my collection of releases from those makers, but all other audiophile/best sounding releases are of course welcome! :)


    Rules

    Only one: Just keep it civil when discussing the relative merits of various releases. :)


    A couple of other things to mention:

    I will try to remember to list the DR (dynamic range) value of the releases I post itt since I think this is an important aspect of the overall SQ (sound quality) of a release. (See this site for more info. on DR and the Loudness Wars: http://turnmeup.org/)

    The DR of an album can be obtained by using the Foobar media player and a plugin for measuring it. Alternatively, many DR values for various releases are listed on this site:

    http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

    I'll also, when I have time and feel fairly confident that I'm in a secure position of knowledge to do so, post mini reviews or comparisons/recommendations between the different versions of an album I have which I feel are the best representatives of said album out of all of the versions that I own and have owned. These are only my opinions based on my gear and personal preferences of course.

    A personal caveat: I'm convinced (for many reasons I have not the space to enumerate and expound upon here), that there is no inherently superior audio format/version for playback purposes. Thus, I take each release on different formats/versions on a case by case basis while trying not to be predisposed to view any particular one as being a priori better or worse than another.


    *The term "audiophile" is inherently ambiguous and arbitrary. The intent of this thread is simply to share what you consider (or is widely considered to be) the best sounding version(s) of an album. As such, all formats and labels count, from regular Redbook CD and Standard Vinyl issues to Blu-Ray Pure Audio and DXD formats and "gold" or other exotic labels. If it sounds good to you, post it! :thmbsp:

    Also, albums that are in genres not considered "audiophile" are welcome: the point of the thread is to share what you consider to be the best sounding version of an album regardless of whether that album is in an "audiophile" genre or even particularly well-recorded/produced or not. Thus everything from hair metal to classical to rap is welcome. :)

    **I'll also be posting many regular Redbook CD's (and even standard vinyl releases), such as first press CD's or remasters/remixes, that I feel sound as good or even better than the "gold" CD, HDCD, and SACD versions of an album I have. And of course I'll be posting many albums that do not have a "gold" or "audiophile" release counterpart but which are favorites of mine that I have thus sought out the best sounding versions of and/or I feel are simply well produced.


    I'm going to start with Rush's Permanent Waves, released in 2008 via MFSL. DR = 11


    [​IMG]

    Imo the original Red Book CD press of this album sounds better; it is less compressed and loud. (It has a DR of 14).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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  2. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan (MFSL)

    DR = 12


    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Def Leppard - Pyromania (MFSL)

    DR = 11

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
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  4. Dennie

    Dennie Klipsch La Scalas

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    Nice! I have a few of these. :thmbsp:

    How do you get the Dynamic Range rating? :scratch2:





    Dennie
     
  5. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Toto - Toto IV (SMS)

    DR = 12

    [​IMG]

    This one I like more than my original pressing since the slightly warm gold treatment well suits the music imo. :music:
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
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  6. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Hi Dennie,

    With the Foobar player there is a DR plugin that measures it for you. :)

    Alternatively, you could always go here and look up the DR of a given album (usually many versions are listed):

    http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

    Helps inform my buying decisions. :yes:
     
  7. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

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    All on CD,

    Stretch Records/GRP STD-6004 20 Bit Super CD:

    Robben Ford and The Blue Line

    SONY:

    Jeff Beck - Blow by Blow

    MFSL:

    Jeff Beck - Wired

    Steely Dan - Aja

    Steely Dan - Goucho

    Rush - Moving Pictures

    :tears: Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon ...I used to have that one back in the 80s and I sold it like a fool. It sounded fantastic, I've seen them go for over $125.00 on the Bay.

    I'm still kicking myself in the ass over that one. :pity::bash::pistols::whip:
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  8. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Billie Holiday - Body and Soul (MFSL)

    DR = 13


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    I've bought almost all of my gold cd collection in the last 3 years. I've spent a small fortune buying used or sealed ones from collectors since they are no longer sold from the manufacturer. :eek:
     
  10. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Simon and Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence (AF)

    DR = 11

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Dennie

    Dennie Klipsch La Scalas

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    I've seen it go for upwards of $500. I picked up my copy for $50 from a friend, thank goodness! :thmbsp:


    Thanks PW, I'll check out that site.


    Dennie
     
  12. Dennie

    Dennie Klipsch La Scalas

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    [​IMG]
    All Day Music -- 24k Gold 20-bit CD

    War

    1971/1994 Avenue Gold Collection

    Summertime classic, March 28, 2002
    By "nwlover" (tacoma, washington) - See all my reviews
    This review is from: All Day Music (Audio CD)

    Eric Burton had no idea what would happen when he left war. What happened was that War became The band of the early 70's. All day music was playing in the park all summer that year and the song perfectly describes War. Tight harmonies, great musicians, and lyrics that paint beautiful pictures. Ya had to be there, like I was. However, their music still stands the test of time. That's What Love Will Do, There Must Be A Reason, and Slippin' Into Darkness could of each been singles, as they are all great jamss.
    A fabulous group with a distinctive fusion of soul, rock, blues, funk and jazz. Couldnt ask for anymore from anygroup at anytime.

    All tracks composed by War (Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott), except where indicated.

    Side one

    "All Day Music" (Jerry Goldstein, War) – 4:04
    "Get Down" (Goldstein, War) – 4:29
    "That's What Love Will Do" (Milton James, War) – 7:17
    "There Must Be a Reason" – 3:50

    Side two

    "Nappy Head (Theme from Ghetto Man)" – 6:05
    "Slipping Into Darkness" – 7:00
    "Baby Brother" – 7:38
     
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  13. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Wow, I've never even heard of that manufacturer!


    Billy Joel - The Nylon Curtain (MFSL, SACD)

    DR = 13

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (MFSL, SACD)

    DR = 15

    [​IMG]


    Recently bought this, highly recommended. The SQ is exceptional imo. :music:
     
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  15. ElPee

    ElPee Super Member

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    Here's one that should be in everyone's CD collection:
     
  16. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    Seeing as I've seen that symphony a bunch of times, I really should check that one out.

    I recently picked up a Mofi Sinatra - Close To You at a thrift. The lp was floating in the bin without the cover, but still worth a purchase.

    Question, though. Do non-gold CDs from these companies count?
     
  17. Dennie

    Dennie Klipsch La Scalas

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    I would think not, as the title does state "Gold" Album playlist.

    But, you bring up a point I've wondered about. Should we have a "Audiophile" Playlist? Which would include the Non-Gold disc's.

    The better my system gets, the better I want my source material to be.

    Hell, I've started buying XRCD's which I never thought I would. They would also fit in the "Audiophile" Playlist.


    Dennie
     
  18. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    Yeah, that's why I asked. But I also noticed that LPs from the "gold" disc companies were mentioned, too, so I figured something like an aluminum CD from Mofi would be safe. I know the few aluminum Mofi CDs I've heard don't lose anything to their gold ones. Apples and oranges comparison, though, I know.
    I don't want to stir the pot, but I'm not sure how much the gold aspect is important. I've always just thought that the companies that used it put extra effort into the release as a whole.

    An audiophile playlist would be cool. Even cooler if a comparison to a non-audiophile version was done.
    I also think it would need to have some rules of conduct set out first, and have the mods stay on top of thread craps. On a bad day, I could see it hitching the ditch in a hurry.

    Oh, and I know what you're saying about things like XRCDs. I've played a few of my K2 CDs lately, and wish I'd bought more back in the day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  19. Dennie

    Dennie Klipsch La Scalas

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    I missed the "LP" part. But, I have that covered too.....


    [​IMG]

    ......[​IMG] LOL

    Lets see what PW has to say? Maybe he can change the title to say "Gold/Audiophile"? Maybe not.



    Dennie [​IMG]
     
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  20. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    Ha ha!
    The only gold coloured one I can think of around here is a Living Color album. Just a "regular" CBS pressing, though.
     

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