• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

50 of the best hi-fi albums for audiophiles

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
Here are 10 more (all instrumental):-

1. Brian Bromberg Wood (2002). Downsampled from the original 24/96 DVD-A.

2. Andy Summers The Last Dance of Mr X (1997).

3. Ricky Peterson Night Watch (1990). 24 bit remaster.

4. Dave Grusin Mountain Dance (1981). Direct to digital 2 track.

5. Bill Meyers Images (1986). Direct to digital 2 track at Ocean Way.

6. Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall (1963). Digitally remastered.

7. Mo Foster Bel Assis (1988). Digitally remastered.

8. Lee Ritenour Wes Bound (1993). Digitally remastered at 20 bits.

9. Pharez Whitted Mysterious Cargo (1995).

10. David Friesen Inner Voices (1987).
 
  • Like
Reactions: RBinDC

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
I would add:

Dave Grusin * Discovered Again, Sheffield Labs Direct to Disc (1976).
A great album, though even after 20 bit remastering, still a bit plummy in the bass.

Had I not felt it necessary to keep my list to 10 albums, I'd have added Greg Adams' Hidden Agenda, the bass on which is really something special. And then, of course, there are various Yello albums ~ but where do you stop?
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
Nothing in the OP's list I would want to listen to.


Exactly, the best music to listen to is the music you like, not some arbitrary "best" list.
Perhaps, but I think the idea of lists such as this is to point the way to an album or two that readers may not yet have discovered for themselves and be very glad to have had drawn to their attention. That said, I never found any of Stereophile's Records to Die For lists to be of any value. They seemed to cover artists I'd either never heard of or knew I didn't like or the descriptions of them didn't tempt me to investigate further. And no smooth/melodic jazz, fusion jazz or jazz rock. But that's just me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TotalVictim

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,114
708
12,070
Whatever music you're into boys, I can tell you that if it was recorded to the standard of number 4 in that list, you won't need a 'forgiving' system to veil any deficiencies.
You just sit back, listen and fully enjoy it.
It helps that the artist owns the record company and accepts no compromise on quality. How I wish all my music could be heard that way.
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
Whatever music you're into boys, I can tell you that if it was recorded to the standard of number 4 in that list, you won't need a 'forgiving' system to veil any deficiencies.
You just sit back, listen and fully enjoy it.
It helps that the artist owns the record company and accepts no compromise on quality. How I wish all my music could be heard that way.
Try the other nine on that list. I'm hard put to choose any one or two over all the others but, if pressed, I'd select the Mo Foster and the Lee Ritenour albums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gray

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
339
147
19,070
Try
Alan Stivell. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp
Allan Taylor. Win or Lose
Neil Young. Comes a Time
Joan Armatrading. Joan Armatrading. (Sibilance tracking test!)
Andy Pratt. Andy Pratt. (another sibilance tracking test)
VanDyke Parks. Song Cycle and Discover America
Moody Blues. Octave.
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Rattlesnakes.

All my more recent stuff is on CD.

IF you put D y k e in you get four asterisks, LOL.
 
  • Like
Reactions: plus 1

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
Try
Alan Stivell. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp
Allan Taylor. Win or Lose
Neil Young. Comes a Time
Joan Armatrading. Joan Armatrading. (Sibilance tracking test!)
Andy Pratt. Andy Pratt. (another sibilance tracking test)
Van **** Parks. Song Cycle and Discover America
Moody Blues. Octave.
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Rattlesnakes.

All my more recent stuff is on CD.

IF you put D y k e in you get four asterisks, LOL.
Are these all outstanding sonically and technically? None appeals to me musically (my favourite Joan Armatrading album is Show Some Emotion, recorded and produced by Glyn Johns at the now sadly extinct Olympic Studios in Barnes), though that your choices are now less valid than mine
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
I think when the tail starts waging the dog, and music gets chosen for recording quality first and foremost, we've lost our way.
No one's suggesting that it should. All the albums on my list are (to my tastes), first and foremost, musically outstanding, but made even better by the excellence of their recording and mastering qualities, hence I've recommended them. This is, after all, a hi-fi forum. That said, I have a few albums (more than I'd like) which are musically excellent but rather sadly lacking in the sonics department.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
770
482
11,270
Are you entirely sure about that? I can't help but feel that there's a suggestion that we're not getting our money's worth if we don't listen to the sort of lovingly recorded stuff that appears in lists of this kind, and it can feed those who actually love their kit more than they love music.

I'm not suggesting that either part of this applies to you, by the way, Julian.

(And to my tastes, the sorts of things tipped in lists of this kind look less than interesting - but this is obviously highly personal and no-one else should give a stuff about what I like or don't!)
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2014
10
6
10,525
Are you entirely sure about that? I can't help but feel that there's a suggestion that we're not getting our money's worth if we don't listen to the sort of lovingly recorded stuff that appears in lists of this kind, and it can feed those who actually love their kit more than they love music.

I'm not suggesting that either part of this applies to you, by the way, Julian.

(And to my tastes, the sorts of things tipped in lists of this kind look less than interesting - but this is obviously highly personal and no-one else should give a stuff about what I like or don't!)
I listen to music on my PC's little Yamaha system, in the car (Burmester system), until recently on my relatively humble though excellent office system (Sony/Rotel/Wharfedale) and, of course, on my main home rig (Wadia/Bryston/PMC). I'm not snobbish about it (at least I don't think I am) but, when I'm in the mood for a listening session that showcases the best of my collection in sonic as well as musical terms, that's when I sit down and listen to the exclusion of all else to my favourite albums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TotalVictim

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
210
1,270
I listen to music on my PC's little Yamaha system, in the car (Burmester system), until recently on my relatively humble though excellent office system (Sony/Rotel/Wharfedale) and, of course, on my main home rig (Wadia/Bryston/PMC). I'm not snobbish about it (at least I don't think I am) but, when I'm in the mood for a listening session that showcases the best of my collection in sonic as well as musical terms, that's when I sit down and listen to the exclusion of all else to my favourite albums.
You see , presenting the best in sonic sounds is a bit of an open ended subjective thing.
I mean, Awopbopaloobop alopbamboomb is a distorted simply miked primordial scream that thrills the listener pinning them back into their seat and refuses to release them until the end. The Velvets white light /white heat track is almost anti production coupled with willfully distorted sonics.
The sheer thrill of Hendrix comes from electronics released from vu meter readings and allowed to rise and fall at will. The sterility of Steely Dan is an audial delight to some tastes and the often mentioned Yello so beloved by hi fi dealers as masterfully produced hi fi friendly sound is just electronics where the twist of a sine wave is coveted above performance. It's nice but sonically predictable.
You are not snobbish , just a system listener first and a music lover second. When musicians first fall in love with an instrument it is in a different arena than a production led controlled bubble. This is why live bands thrill the soul.
 

habu77

Active member
Oct 10, 2020
11
5
25
I do like those lists either from What HiFi? or the ones on Spotify. What I love about those lists is their diversity, there's so much to choose from and I love that. Most of it is skippable for me but I have discovered new bands and artists through those lists. I use them as discovery platforms for new music. That it's recorded and produced well (which is hopefully a goal of every artist) is of course a bonus and enhances the enjoyment although as previously mentioned sometimes anti-production is the end goal and that's fine with me as well as long as the music manages to move me.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
387
196
19,070
'Greatest' and 'Best of' lists are always interesting but frustrating in different ways.

I agree with comments here that place the music first. As an active musician (well, as much as wen can be at present) and someone who has worked in the piano sales and distribution industry, I love nothing more than finding a genuinely beautiful piano and playing my favourite music on it. If, however, the choice was to play only on a battered old upright or to not play at all, I'd play the battered old upright.

In my opinion a hi-fi system should enable us to enjoy all our music, demonstrating exceptional production whilst not making less-than-perfect recordings uncomfortable to listen to. It should involve us in all the music we love.
 

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
33
17
45
I just listened to the Brubeck at Carnegie Hall album. (#6 on the list). Wow! The sound stage is amazing.

But I don’t think his renditions are as good an on his Time Out album. In particular, he plays “Take Five” too fast- almost as if he is rushing to get through it.

so the Sonics are great but the music-not so much.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts