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BRuggles's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2013 - 6:44pm
Heavy Music for Audiophiles

I want to hear recommendations of what to buy and avoid - as a preface to my comments below. Specifically in the range of music my parents consider pure noise.

I am fairly new to high-end audio, but I have gathered this: Audiophila's general perception of what "rocks" is fairly...ahhhh...tame compared to my tastes. The writers of this fine establishment often refer to "rocking out" when auditioning and reviewing equipment, and I am always excited what they will mention as the source recording. And then it is Bob Dylan or the Beatles.

Maybe it is because I am "young" (in this crowd) and I got really into music in the mid-90's. Perhaps the fact that my second cd purchase was Soundgarden's Superunknown. But rocking out with a non-master-volume Marshall set to 4 is a different breed of rocking out from what I know.

I love classical music. Rather, I love late Romantic and early Modern music. I think Rachmaninoff's piano preludes are the heavy metal of piano, and they rock, But what about the harmonic richness of cascaded gain stages of a Mesa or a modern Marshall? Where are the good recordings? I am talking sound quality to go with face melting. 

The best hifi metal recording I have heard is Baroness's The Red Album on double 45RPM vinyl from Relapse. A disappointment was Pelican's What We All Come to Need - musically compelling, but dull recording.

Does anyone do reviews of hard rock and metal with an ear toward critical listening? Stephen Mejias knows music outside of normal audiophile-only recordings, and I appreciate that, but can I hear about some rocking stuff worth really listening to? And if you haven't heard Baroness, listen to them now - but only in hifi. They will work on the best of systems - it is stunning. But brace yourself for vocals unlike any other hifi recordings out there...

BRuggles's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2013 - 6:44pm
Specific requests

I am especially interested in post-rock, post-metal stuff like Isis, Neurosis, Russian Circles, Pelican, Red Sparowes - and prog-metal like Baroness and Mastodon, etc.

Rage Against the Machine's first album sounds great. Metallica's Ride the Lightning is mixed terribly, but it can still blow your head off. Torche's most recent album is a victim of the Loudness War, apparently, which is odd with as far off the beaten path as they are. I am curious about Clutch.

Witchcraft's Legend and The Sword's Apocryphon are both awesome albums, but I haven't gotten to pop them on a really good setup yet. Well, Witchcraft sounded rather congested on Vienna Acoustic's The Music, but I have gathered those speakers don't play well with compressed music with thick midrange content. Anyway - I want more awesome music that is worth getting geeky with when I feel like it, you know? 


Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Jun 1 2007 - 2:14pm
I Use

Dream Theater's "Take the Time" as a reference track.

I wish Tool recordings were better.

dallasjustice's picture
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:59am
Rollins Band

Any Rollins Band has excellent DR and pretty natural sound.   "Come In And Burn" is the best recording and he's got some pretty good players too.  

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm

Although I've just heard it via Spotify/portable/headphones so far, the latest Baroness album seems well produced & mixed. Don't know yet how it will sound uncompressed on the house stereo. 

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

These may be way off of your wavelength, but two things I love are old Jefferson Airplane records (Ask,

Chambers Brothers (Time), and the "Jazz" and "Paradise and Lunch" albums by Ry Cooder.

The worst purchase I ever made in a CD was "The New York Rags" by David Chesky. It doesn't even qualify as music, in my book; the musical ravings of someone who needs to be on different medication.

BRuggles's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2013 - 6:44pm
Good to know

That is good intel - thanks. I like Rollins Band, so I will keep an eye out.

Regarding Dream Theater, I was hoping for something a bit less self-indulgent (which is why I didn't ask about the G3 set, Yngwie, MAB, etc.) ;)

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