High quality recordings any genre

I like all kinds of music, so give me some suggestions on some high quality recordings you listen too. I find a lot of music is poorly recorded. When you get a high quality recording listening is so much more pleasurable.


Back in the 70’s, the label Nonesuch released a series of contemporary classical music, many are under the title, Spectrum New American music.

The surprising thing is, this was a budget label.

But universally, the quality of these is pretty amazing. They are dynamic, and their soundstage is incredibly natural sounding, with very good image specificity within the soundstage.

It extends beyond the outer edges of my speakers, and is very deep. It is very easy to imagine you could get off your listening seat, and step into the soundstage and walk among the musicians.

Now, musically speaking, they are quite atonal, dissonant, overall, ’thorny’ sounding, and somewhat challenging. So, YMMV.

But if you want to evaluate a speaker’s imaging and soundstage, these are great.

The covers all tend to look somewhat like this.


About 5 years ago, I was at a LA/OC Audio Society event, where some new Wilson's were being demoed. Peter McGrath was there, and after his talk on the speaker, I approached him about these recordings. His eyes lit up. Turns out, one of the main recording engineers for these was a mentor to Peter. He also agreed with the quality of these recordings, and made a statement something like, "the quality of these recordings, made on a budget, was a real indictment on the modern recording process".

@larsman - thanks for the suggestion. I spent the evening going through my Miles Davis collection, playing several LPs including the one I mentioned. I’m not enamored of that one LP as much as I was in the past. While the song “All Blues” is still a long-time favorite (going back to a party I went to in high school around 1975), most of the rest of it, despite stellar performances by Coltrane, Adderly, Evans, et al., I really wouldn’t want to blow nearly $200 for a single LP.

I think I’ll just buy 6 or more LPs from other artists, maybe fill a hole or two in my Miles collection and wait a bit longer.

I think its always tough in these " whats a great sounding record" hreads as it hard to tell with a poster if its the music that makes it a great album or whom mixed (or mastered it).  I tend to follow the mix engineer, as these are the folks most closely deciding what the album sounds like.  Engineers often work with the same mastering engineer over and over. Mastering is not remixing it so its not massive changes at the mastering level.. 

So follow the great engineers and that's a good palce to start.  Al Schmidt- now passed- was a great engineer.   Ed Cherney, Elliot Scheiner, Bill Schnee. to name only a few,  Follow engineers and you are more likely to find a good sounding record.