How much of your music collection is well recorded?

How much of your music collection is well recorded?
All of it!
4% (8 votes)
Most of it
21% (38 votes)
Some of it
54% (100 votes)
Not very much of it
20% (37 votes)
None of it!
1% (1 vote)
Total votes: 184

A perpetual problem for audiophiles is finding that disc that not only satisfies the soul, but placates the brain as well. While pondering last week's question about the value of his music collection, reader Randy Meenach wondered how much of it actually sounds great.

Louie J.'s picture

Album covers and hype do not stand the test of time.

TDA's picture

I've been gathering CD's for the last 10 years, and some of the older ones just don't sound as good as some of the newer ones. I don't know if it's the recording techiques or the manufacturing process, but the difference is there. Overall, I'd say about 75% sound great.

Matt H.'s picture

Not everything I like is well recorded.

T.A.  Lee's picture

I do wish that alot more of my favorite 'older' music was remastered better than alot of it is.

Graeme Nattress's picture

I've more better-recorded vinyl than CDs. Stereophile and Hi-Fi News & Record Review's test CDs sound great. Alan Parsons' recent CDs sound great. Few others stand out. Chesky's are nice also. The rest of my CD collection sounds fairly mediocre. Most of my vinyl sounds really good. I'd love for all recordings to be at least in sight of the standards these recordings reach.

Karl Richichi U.T.  Film Dept.'s picture

It's all good!!!

L.  Archibald's picture

it's important to choose your system so that it doesn't discriminate against your favorite kinds of music. This should be the principal occupation of the music-loving audiophile! It doesn't matter how perfect your system sounds unless it can play the music you have and love.

anon's picture

But it does not matter at all to me. I never buy a cd based on its recording quality. The performance is paramount.

Michael Grosz's picture

By its very nature, greatness can exist only as a minority. That's why finding a truly "great" recording is so much fun.

Jeff Mulder's picture

Unfortunately, even with the exorbitant prices we still pay for CDs, tapes, and LPs, many of the recordings still sound as if they were recorded back in the '70s.

Dale F.'s picture

It's always a nice supprise when I put on a new CD and it turns out to be a quality recording.

Tom Gibson's picture

My system is CD only, and upon initial set-up and for years after, not much of my recorded music sounded good. As I have continued to upgrade, the sound has continued to improve.(the greatest improvement came with the addition of an Audio Alchemy DTI Pro 32) Now most (but not all) of mt CD's sound really good, provided I select the proper absolute phase. In my opinion, audiophiles who do not know how to use the absolute phase switch(or, God forbid, don't have one) can despair of ever getting good sound from their system.

John Leosco's picture

It all sounds great! The well recorded CD's sound real nice on my home system. The nasty, compressed CD's sound good at low volumes on my PC at work.

Dana's picture

Judging by the empirical evidence that for music to be popular, it must be poorly recorded. There are valuable rare exceptions. Why does this happen? Is it that audiophiles tend to be different from the mainstream in tastes, income or some other factor? Or is it chance?

Kaleid's picture

Most of it, since most of the stuff I buy is very well recorded and such.

Charles Purvis Kelly, Jr.'s picture

As I only buy mainstream music, I would go out on limb and say some of it, but on the same token, I am going to say that some also sucks. Well for now, I am going to say "some of it". Live Music remains the measuring stick by which any given musical performance is judged. Charles Purvis Kelly, Jr.

Jeffrey Bean's picture

I would say that most of it is well recorded, being that most of it is tolerable to listen to. Not much of it is recorded at the quality level I would prefer.

John K.  Howell, Santa Clara's picture

Most of the jazz albums... er... CDs that I have sound good, the exception being the sounds recorded before the 50's or earlier. Pop compilations are usually terrible: MCA is a great offender here, issuing a "best" of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that is almost unlistenable: grain, glare, and spit. Some pop records sound pretty good: The Nightly and Kamakiriad by Donald Fagen are terrific, and the ubiquitous Clapton Unplugged sounds pretty good as well. Most of my 500-odd CD sound pretty good (I have a good Class-B system), but it is really easy to tell a well-recorded and produced effort when compared to a garden-variety pop-off.

JRT's picture

This is the curse of the audiophile!! Music or how music sounds....good luck!

Tom Selnau's picture

It's possible to appreciate a great engineer, as well as a great musician.

Ed Freedman's picture

Quality is sorely lacking in recording classical repertoire. And what is well recorded are just the same old war horses.

R.  Bennett's picture

It sometimes sounds better at different times, depends on the mood in in I guess.

Mark Mason's picture

After I purchased a deascent system, I was supprised at the number of CD's that have substandard sound, and for $16 each !!! Don't the record companies listen to CD's prior to release ?

Todd Carpenter's picture

All music does not have to sound like a natural instrument, nor do paintings have to look like photographs!

Stephen Curling ('s picture

High quality recordings are hard to find!

Rob N's picture

It's all about the even if a cd isn't well producted and the sound is not "great" on my US$12,000 system, the music I like, or I get rid of the CD. So by definition most of it it sounds great.

Peter MacHare's picture

One scratchy old Ellington 78 can sound better than the most carefully produced audiophile recording. It's the music!

David Schoenberg's picture

Recently, I took up the hobby of collecting master tapes and have now acquired more than 2000 of them. Compared to any LP or CD, they all sound great. This is not to say that there are not differences in quality among them. For example, microphone techniques in some of the recordings might not be optimal. However, you haven't heard true "over-the-top" audio until you have listened to Decca/RCA/Everest/Mercury/Columbia/Vox/etc. master tapes played through a world-class tape recorder (Ampex ATR102) on a world-class system.

Greg Carlin's picture

Out of over 600 discs, most from major record companies, only about 15 have been recorded well. I figure this is basically "None of it!"

Dave Brown's picture

It's a shame that most of my favorite recordings are not of audiophile quality. Concentrating enough to ignore the recording quality certainly detracts from the overall listening experience.