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tz250
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Conflicted Listening

So, tonight was a Chet Baker kinda night. Just got done listening to two albums, "Chet" (aka "The lyrical trumpet of Chet Baker") and 'Chet Baker with Fifty Italian Strings". Looks like both albums were released in 1959.

I can usually sit and listen to great performances and not judge the recording method. Yes, there are time I'd wish that a horn was more centrally located in the soundstage, but those notions are normally erased by the music.

Being an admitted audiophile, I, like many of you, keep myself in check and ensure I don't fall into the trap of listening mainly to audiophile recordings that showcase my equipment.

I've listened to these two albums countless times, yet tonight, I was totally distracted by the less than stellar recordings. "Chet" sounded bright and forward, Baker's trumpet plopped in the far left speaker and Pepper Adams' baritone sax coming from the right speaker. The rhythm section was barely audible in center stage (a shame considering it contained many all-stars). I was too distracted by the recording's shortcomings to enjoy them.

Same was true when I listened to "Chet Baker with Fifty Italian Strings". This time, Baker's trumpet and voice came from the right speaker and felt disconnected from the rest of the musicians. First time I've ever been disappointed listening to this album. From the liner notes, this album was recorded in Milan. I have to wonder what type of recording method was used at that time.

Maybe I should just chalk it up to an overly critical night of listening.

I couldn't end the night that way and listened to "Chet For Lovers" in a digital format. Was rewarded with Chet performing right in front of me, front row seat to the great one. Sounded really good.

If anyone else owns and listens to the two albums I mentioned, let me know your thoughts on how they sound on your system.

Old Audiophile
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Suggestion

More liberal application of a fine single malt Scotch would help.

Tim Link
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Chet Baker albums - conflicted listening

I'm going to listen to these tonight and let you know what I think. I'm posting this to make sure I do it.

Tim Link
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I listened to 'Chet' and

I listened to 'Chet' and 'Chet for Lovers' last night. Both sounded great to me. I was unable or at least unwilling to analyze the recording method differences on either of them, just sat and enjoyed the music a lot more than I was expecting to. Honestly, it's not my kind of material but the once I got a couple songs in my mood was transformed. I will say that I started with 'Chet' and that sounded great to me from the first notes. But that was the first thing I had listened to all day. When I started 'Chet for Lovers' it sounded a bit less bold and forward, kind of unfocused and pastel sounding, for lack of a better word. Within 15 or 20 seconds my hearing seemed to have adjusted and after that it sounded pretty much the same to me as the previous album.

tz250
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Chet
Tim Link wrote:

I listened to 'Chet' and 'Chet for Lovers' last night. Both sounded great to me. I was unable or at least unwilling to analyze the recording method differences on either of them, just sat and enjoyed the music a lot more than I was expecting to. Honestly, it's not my kind of material but the once I got a couple songs in my mood was transformed. I will say that I started with 'Chet' and that sounded great to me from the first notes. But that was the first thing I had listened to all day. When I started 'Chet for Lovers' it sounded a bit less bold and forward, kind of unfocused and pastel sounding, for lack of a better word. Within 15 or 20 seconds my hearing seemed to have adjusted and after that it sounded pretty much the same to me as the previous album.

Thanks for taking the time to do this Tim.

I've had another go at both albums and came away with the same original conclusions. Maybe it's the release I have, not sure.

I like Oldaudiophile's suggestion but will try with whiskey instead.

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