Forget musical merit. What is the best-sounding disc you have in your collection?

Forget musical merit. What is the best-sounding disc you have in your collection?
Here it is
92% (158 votes)
Can't think of one
8% (14 votes)
Total votes: 172

Let's focus on sound for this week. (We'll zero-in on the music next week.) When you want to hear how good a recording can sound, what do you go for? Forget musical merit. What is the best-sounding disc you have in your collection?

Pete's picture

Shostakobich Symphony #13 (BIS SACD/Hybrid), conducted by Wigglesworth. This is the best use of surround sound I've heard on an orchestral disc, enhaving both imaging and ambience at the same time. And it's a great performance!

S.  Chapman's picture

Let's see, I think it would be the LP Railroad Sounds: Steam and Diesel, Sounds of a Vanishing Era on the Audio Fidelity label from 1958. Man, there's nothing like hearing those big boys going from one side of the room to the other while you quaff a few microbrews! I bet even Mikey Fremer, defender of the faith, has this LP.

Charlie Jefferson's picture

Morph The Cat by Donald Fagen.

sam's picture

Alison Krauss and Union Station: Live (SACD) I like it for it's musical merit as well (though it is not my favourite) but even if I hated the music, I would still use it as a demo of an excellent recording. Honourable mention to Pletnev Plays Schumann (SACD)--puts the lie to the notion that a PCM sourced SACD is not worth the effort. Also, I like to trot out a few RCA Living Stereo SACDs to show my friends that even 50+ year old recordings can be excellent (they are not up to the best recorded modern standards in terms of recording fidelity, but they have nothing of which to be ashamed).

jamesanubis's picture

Michael Jackson Thriller SACD. I often demo my system for non-audiophile friends as unless you have been in a coma for the past 30 years—you've heard the music. Q. Jones' production in masterful, the sound-stage is wide with holographic surprises especially on "Billy Jean" and "Thriller." Don't be a snob—spool-up "Billy Jean" at any gathering and people will dance, tap their feet, and nod their heads.

Thomas's picture

Sara K.: Waterfalls (stockfisch Records)

Michel B;'s picture

There are many, but here is one : Lightnin' Hopkins Goin' Away, a JVC XRCD .

ender21's picture

Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms or Big Phat Band: XXL.

Daniel 'Pinecone' Perricone's picture

I would have to say Diamond Dogs by David Bowie. Even the Red Book recording has a lot of distinct, rich imagery (a lot of it being three-dimensional, too, which I didn't expect). Do yourself a favor and pick it up. Flavor for the ears.

EG's picture

I have a recording of an a cappella choir published by Mapleshade Records. The voices are so real and palpable it gives me goosebumps.

Allan Stock's picture

The Tierney Sutton Band: On The Other Side (Telarc); Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazadeby Jose Serebrier and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Reference Recordings).

James's picture

I can't say definitively, but Stevie Wonder's Songs In the Key of Life sounds masterful on my rig.

antonio uvalle's picture

Any recording from MA records or Caro Mitis.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA.'s picture

Rubber Soul on Parlophone original. BREATHTAKING!

Bob Gibbons's picture

Dave Alvin's Blackjack Davey on SACD. Ry Cooder's Mambo Sinuendo on vinyl. Andre Rieu in Tuscany on DVD.

Katherine Ryan's picture

Rolling Stones: Sympathy For The Devil 2.0 digital from Super HD catalog. It just doesn't get any better than this!

mike eschman's picture

Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances St. Louis Orchestra (DVD-A)

stefano Lindiri's picture

CD:The Black Album by Metallica, On LP, I don't know...

Brady's picture

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture (Telarc SACD)

tom's picture

Joni Mitchell: Blue on LP. I used this last night to demonstrate to one of my son's college friends why a CD will never sound as good as a well-recorded LP.

EP's picture

Probably, The Hunter by Jennifer Warnes.

Larry(Poor Audiophile)'s picture

Chesky's DVD-A of Bucky Pizzarelli's Swing Live. I like the music too! I'm not sure I could listen to a disc with music I didn't like no matter how well-recorded, though I haven't tried.

B.  Meighan's picture

Saint-Saens: Symphony #3 /with Eschenbach, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Latry (organ). (Ondine SACD : ODE 1094-5) It's live, just listen !

Mark D's picture

Adam Makovitch: the name is pronounced... on Sheffield Direct to Disc vinyl. by far the best sounding jazz album ive ever heard. Phil Woods sax sounds right there in the room and is resonates acurately and quite honestly, in your face, just as it would if he were really playing in your room. it is not softened up like so many so called audiophile recording tend to. The drums are quick with real snap and the symbols shimmer and decay in real time and space with out smear. Bass is full body and you can hear the fingers on the frets just like you would with a real bass. Adams piano work is also outstanding as there is again no smearing of the very quick notes and the tonality is spot on! coupled with the direct to disc live recording you get a real feel in between tracks as pages are turned and shuffled. music stands adjusted...etc. By far the best, in my opinion, of the over 3000 LPs I have to compare with.

Hoser Rob's picture

Concierto de Andaluz / Concierto de Aranjuez on Mercury Living Prescence LP. Luckily, it's great musically too.

Dave's picture

King James Version Harry James on D2D Sheffield Labs from the 1970s.

Daniel Hebert's picture

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John on SACD.

JR's picture

Frank Zappa: The Yellow Shark. Pink Floyd: The Wall. Miles: Kind of Blue (SACD).

Jeff Palmer's picture

Maureen McGovern Out of this World. Gives me chills every time I listen.

David Goldfarb's picture

Eagles: Hell Freezes Over, track 6 "Hotel California."