Best sounding cd in your collection

What is your best sounding cd for reference.Pick 3.(1)..voices(male/female)(2)..soundstage/imiaging.(3)..Bass/treble
1) Alison Krauss and Union Station - Live (SACD)
2) Stan Getz - Cafe Montmartre
3) (Tie) Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La.... Keb' Mo' - Suitcase
Voices: Eva Cassidy - American Tune
Soundstaging: my soundstaging is not very good right now...gotta work on that
Bass/treble: Craig David - Born to do it

Banyon, good call on Keb Mo! Suitcase is a great album.
1) Sarah Brightman-all; Norah Jones-all
2) Alison Krauss/Union Station - New Favorite
3) Natalie Merchant - Tigerlily
1. Heart: Dreamboat Annie (DCC)
2. Wynton Kelly: Kelly Blue (XRCD)
3. Patricia Barber: Cafe Blue (FIM)
1. Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vangaurd
2. Garcia, Grisman, and Rice The Pizza Tapes
3. The Waifs A Brief History
Spaz, since you are new to the 'gon, don't be disheartened if your post is ignored. It's been done oodles of times. Check the archives and you'll get what you are looking for. Some audiophool, this time me, will let you know this. Before posting check the archives. Many times, to the letter, the very same question has been asked. Hope you're enjoying Audiogon. We're all hear to help and drive you to audiophoolishness. We have all been here and done this..Why not try a simple question, that will give you very modest delicate feedback like listing your rig and asking if there is anything you can do to improve pick the amount and we'll make the suggests, also let us know if you have thin skin or a elelphant hide personality. We don't want to made any audiophool want to leave us) Happy listening and enjoy....peace, warren :)
1. Louise Taylor "Written in Red". Extremely dynamic presentation, very expressive vocals. Chris Isaak "Heart Shaped World".
2. Bill Frisell "East West". On the West disc, Bill is sitting on my sofa extreme right, way outside the speakers. Maybe some out of phase trickery from this master guitarist.
3. Paul Bley "Not Two, Not One". The lowest piano notes I have ever heard. Bley plays an eight octave Bosendorfer Imperial. Gary Peacock on double bass, and Paul Motian on drums. ECM jazz trio format with exceptional sonics.
1) Female Vocals Tori Amos Boys for Pele
2) Soundstage/Imaging Gino D'Auri Flamenco Passion, the best guitar I've ever found
3) Bass, another simple one, The Crystal Method, Vegas bass to die for and super fast transitions as well.

These are the three disks I use to test different gear out the most.
for bass I would recommend "quiet letters" from bliss. the first track hits the frequency extremes....
1) Female vocal: Joni Mitchell "Court and Spark" (HDCD)
1a) Male vocal: Chris Isaak "Heart-Shaped World" (also HDCD)

2 and 3 - no contest: Pat Metheny's "Imaginary Day" - a DTS version that I found online. This CD sounds *superb*, truly reference-quality stuff.

2nd place for 2/3 would have to be Mark Knopfler's "Sailing To Philadelphia", also a DTS version snagged off the Internet. Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds" (DTS) also sounds terrific.

These DTS versions are simply stunning. If you really want to impress folks with how good digital media can sound, Google these. You'll have to download them as torrents, but the investment of your time in learning how to do this will pay off handsomely...

1. Jennifer Warnes - The Hunter
2. Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
3. Jude Swift - Music For Your Neighborhood
1 Alison Krause/Forget About It
Johnny Cash/Unchained or Martin Sexton/Black Sheep
2 Bill Frisell/East-West, Mnmark you nailed it!
3 Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny/Beyond the Missouri Sky
I got a Nora Jones, Japanese cd that makes me think I just got new speakers 'er somtin.(( Non copyguard version)
1 & 2. A compilation cd on Red House Records titled "A Nod to Bob, An Artists Tribute to Bob Dylan On His Sixtieth Birthday." This HDCD has all the vocals you need for reference.
3. Lyle Lovett -- Joshua Judges Ruth.
Try stockfisch CD Closer to Music
ALR Jordan Drum and Bass (fabulous)
B& W present Very audiophile new recordings (stockfisch)
Burmester CD vol III (expensive and hard to get)- I love Stimela by Hugh Masekela ( wld love to own Hugh Masekela Hope LP if I can find it). Last track Chinese Drum is Bass busting. Happy Listening
Rickie Lee Jones "Target" first CD without question.

Beck Sea Changes, either SACD or redbook

Diana Krall Girl In the Other Room SACD/Hybred
The Who, Who's Next (digitally remastered)
Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (digitally remastered)
Dire Straits, On Every Street (digitally remastered)
Hmmmmm...lots of good recommendations so far.

Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth (fantastic studio recording...maybe the best there is?)

Bill Berry - For Duke (Direct to Disc, tonally superior, can actually hear the sheets of music being turned from page to page)

Carmen McCrae - Sings The Great American Songbook (Recorded live at Dante's in the early 70's, fantastic vocal jazz, great ambience...a you-are-there recording.

Victor Feldman - Audiophile (Don't hear many talk this one up, but get won't regret it)
"Echoes" The Best Of Pink Floyd 2 CD Japanese import.
The older material with Sid sounds stunning.
Many of my CD's and SACD's are not far behind.
Digital sure has come a long ways.
I could not have said that 5-6 years ago.
Soundqcar, I have to agree with you on the Lyle CD. My wife likes to point out that I often complain about other people overplaying certain music, but I do the same thing with this disc. Especially the two songs She Has Already Made Up Her Mind and North Dakota. I really love how the first song builds and where the base or cello comes in! Ever notice how this CD seems to be recorded at a lower level than most CDs leaving more headroom for the dynamics?
Lots to choose from, but my favourites:
sarah K "Waterfall"
Shawn Colvin "Cover Girl"
1) Jennifer Warnes: First We Take Manhattan, Zound recording
2)Mino Cinelu: Mino Cinelu Blue Thumb recording using QSound
3) Dean Peer: Ucross Solo Bass Compositions, XLO recording
sorry...hadn't read your whole question...I think vocals, sound stage, instrumentation, bass ... the whole recording not to mention that it is great music (songs by Tom Waits, Stones, traditional spirituals, hymns, and folk) make Sprit of the Century something you should at least check out if not buy immediately without hesitation.
Ghosthouse, Yeah I agree. Also Tom Waits Heart Attack and Vine is a good CD recording.
Shadorne - thanks for the tip...I actually don't own any Tom Waits. Used to hang with my cousin and listened to him there. Should probably pick up something by him...(haven't seen cousin in a while - that's another story) but remember listening to a cut called "Murder in the Red Barn"...pretty spooky. Heart Attack and Vine reminds me of a line from a Shawn Colvin song..."Suicide Alley" on A Few Small Repairs. "You know I wasn't born I was spat out at a wall/And nobody even knew my name/The sun hatched me out, cradle and all/On the corner of First and Insane." Great music and very good sounding CD too. If you don't own it, might be something to pick up.
Duke Ellington's Blues in Orbit. Some of the remastered late 50's stuff is incredible. Recorded live music with no overdubs, etc.
Rubinken-Is that the German greatest hits CD? If it is, it certainly does sound good. Also, a great selection of tunes. If I could only have one JW CD that would be it.

Jennifer Warnes-Famous Blue Raincoat (gold CD).
Chicago Transit Authority-first album (gold CD).
Eagles-Hell Freezes Over (Jpn gold CD).
Joni Mitchell-Court & Spark (Jpn CD).
Joni Mitchell-Ladies of the Canyon (Jpn CD).
Talking Heads-Stop Making Sense (Jpn CD).

Sorry if I went a little overboard.
The Original Jazz Masters Series Vol. 1 thru 5, 5 CD's per Volume. These are 50's, 60's, and a few 70's jazz recording issued on CD from 1993 to 1995 by Black Lion records. Great performances of course but the sound is a real surprise.
Yea, that is the German recording. Great sound & great music! Highly recommended to all.
simply beautiful :
1) Shawn Colvin ~ "Cover Girl"

the incredible acoustic guitar work of :
2) Martin Simpson ~ "Cool and Unusual"

and the sublime :
3) Charlie Haden / Hank Jones ~ "Steal Away: Spirituals Hymns & Folk Songs"
As a present, I received a copy of a CD entitled, "JON CLEARY and the absolute monster gentlemen. BASIN STREET Records. It is a 2002 recording. AMAZING sonics. Hope some of you will check it out. OR info@basinstreetrecords/com
Tom Petty-Full Moon Fever (gold CD)
Bruce Cockburn-Anything Anytime Anywhere, Singles 1972-2002 (all songs re-mastered, Rounder)
Got to agree with Mcrheist:
Guy Clark's "Workbench Songs"
will have to add:
Guy Clark's "The Dark"
Not into vocals much,but yeah,Allison Krauss Live album is excellent.Then soundstaging/imaging,it's a tossup between Ray Brown Live at Scullers and probably David Hazeltine Classic Trio.For bass,that's more dificult, but the title cut on the Junior Mance Blue Mance album is a boogie/bass treat,thanks to Keter Betts' bass mastery.Some may find this surprising but also for bass the remastered Herb Alpert South of the Border album sounds amazingly good all round,and the bass is superb.
1) Vocals - hard to beat.
Alison Krauss -"Forget About It"
Shawn Colvin - "Live at '88"

2) Soundstage-pulled this one out last week,last time I heard it sound this good, I was on something.
Pink Floyd - " Umma Gumma "

3) Lows and Highs- Too many to pick from here,latest rotation.
William Orbit - " Hinterland "



George Masenburg, Elliot Sheiner & Bernie Grundman are the mix/mastering engineers wonder it sounds so darn good!
I have heard most of the recommendations on here and agree they are all excellent recordings. Thought I would add one that most people probably wouldn't think of, or ever hear. It is Deborah Allen-Delta Dreamland. Overall it is an outstanding recording, but the part that I like and use is, at the very beginning of the title track, it begins with crickets chirping, it then blends/begins with the unique sound of a steel guitar. This is where you can actually use it to discern subtle differences in interconnects, wire, or anything else where you really need a high dose of something to audibly hear differences. If your system has any "graininess" or any other problems you may be trying to tame this is a disc you can use, or use it while evaluating a system to see how "real" it can sound. You should be able to get this for cheap as it has not reached "Audiphool Status".
Side By Side, Itzak Pearlman and Ray Brown. Fabulous recording, although Itzak shouldn't quit his day job to play jazz.