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Reviewer's Music

amirm

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#61
Another prime example for the Giya's separation powers came by way of a Burak Malçok track from Hidden Breath remixed by Mercan Dede. It's a sonic collage in which an added ambient groove with widely panned beats and synth effects coexists with Turkish ney flute and qanun, frame drums, vocal snippets and brief windows into very faint outdoor city din. It's an obvious if truly masterful assemblage of different venues which are overlaid and interstitched. The G4 sorted them all maximally discrete, distinctive and layered up. It even worked out the difference between the air that goes into the end-blown flute versus what goes over it to create that trademark nimbus of overtone spray. Once more, simultaneous textures were farther stretched apart: the metallic wiriness of the plucked qanun, the breathiness of the ney, the ambiance-wrapped background noises, the duller synth versus springier real drums, the divergent acoustics existing in different layers - it all was plainly apparent. The construct's tasteful artifice became visualized like a walk-in soundtrack, no pictures necessary. The sound hung wall-to-wall in free space with all of its coordinates precisely mapped. Eyes closed, there were no audible reminders of where and what produced any of it. I wasn't even aware of ported giveaways because the bass didn't betray ringing or bloating after I'd rolled opamps and repositioned the Giyas a bit closer to the front wall. For a short while, I was living on a higher audiophile plateau. I was the one thundering down the left lane at 180km/h.

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Very well recorded environmental/middle eastern music. Exceptional sense of space. Great clarity and separation between instruments. Definitely demo material.
 

amirm

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#62
Whilst the G4 left a bit of infrabass under the table, it was immaterial on most music and very minor on exceptions. "Loom" from the Miles_Gurtu album of ambient slash drum'n'bass lacked for nothing,

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Whoa! Reference quality album. Instrumental with other influences. The track Loom that he mentions is absolutely superb.
 

amirm

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#63
Scanning the review for Aries Cerat Kassandra 2 Signature Limited DAC (tube, R2R DAC). Having a hard time finding albums in Tidal. But did have some hits: Doug McLeod's Come to Find

With red book (download) album - Doug MacLeod's 'Come to Find' (Audioquest Music) and especially wtih the track "Mystery Woman" I’ve found obvious nuances in the transient of energy from his voice. Yes, the Kassandra 2 SLE was able to bring the listener up close and intimately share personal experience with the artist.

Equally impressive was the presentation of the musical instruments. The guitar was presented with a believably, right size, weight, texture, and density. Even the tones emanating from each string were presented with certain bloom and flair.

They were never clouded by exaggeration of any particular "untimely" frequencies response. Thus each tone was given its time to decay properly before the next tone.

I was able to hear and feel the touch, the plug and hit of the artist on the strings and body of his guitar. That was eerily great and even more so for digital to reach that level of "proximity to realism".


upload_2017-3-3_12-6-2.png



Doug's music is universally well recorded and this one is no exception. It is near or at Reference quality. And great music to boot. Get this!
 

amirm

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#65
I’ve played back my favorite red book resolution track from (Ms) Kit Chan (a famous Singapore Diva) {New Century Workshop}, that I also use as a reference with my analogue sources’, for reviews and comparison (you can read them at Mono & Stereo), and I found myself emotionally affected with even some tears coming down.

No idea if this is the one or not as it was the only hit in Tidal and my Singaporean at the moment is rusty. :D

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Quality is variable in this album (track 2 is horrible) but some have excellent strings and her voice outside of a bit of lispiness, pretty good.

Can't decide if I like or don't like the music....
 

RayDunzl

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#66
Can't decide if I like or don't like the music....
That's the first criteria for me...

Now... What's the definition for "Reference Quality"?
 

amirm

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#67
Now... What's the definition for "Reference Quality"?
Means I can't find any faults with the fidelity. It is delightful to listen and enjoy (assuming you like the music).
 

sejarzo

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#69
Our son played in a top-notch high school wind band and that led me to a number of recordings from that genre. I think this piece is quite approachable, the musicianship is outstanding, and it's a great recording as far as I am concerned.


That's the first movement in New York Cityscape. There's a playlist for that album here:

 
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sejarzo

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#70
When I traveled around auditioning speakers for our music/HT room a number of years ago, I always made sure to bring along this CD and listen to this cut. Every rep asked me where I found this...it was on a Windham Hill sampler way back when. Nicely recorded acoustic instruments and a great vocalist with a unique twist on an old tune.

 

Guermantes

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#71
I think an important aspect is that you (the reviewer/auditioner) must be very familiar with the track. You need to have heard it countless times on many different systems. It can be less than perfect but you need to be aware of those imperfections and see how they are revealed by the equipment. As you are so familiar with the track, the "reference" is in your head and you can use that to assess the performance of new systems. I think that is what we are seeing with many of these examples: they are ones that the reviewers have a lot of experience with.

A case in point: we use Toto's "Rosanna" at work for a reference, partly because it is the musical equivalent of pink noise but also because we have become very familiar with how it sounds. There are other tracks with superior transparency, dynamics, etc., that I also personally use but "Rosanna" is the common denominator.
 

restorer-john

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#72
Very true. A reference recording is just that, tracks you are so familiar with that you can tell in a few bars or notes that something is amiss or not. Something is an improvement or the opposite.

I use a lot of Classical early Telarcs and some early live to two track digitals done on Soundstream or Mitsubishi X-80. The really early pioneers of digital who were passionate about the technology brought some absolutely wonderful, dynamic recordings to market, long before we saw a clipped peak anywhere. I have many first generation and early CDs where the recordings are simply flawless.

Also really well produced and recorded jazz from Fourplay (pretty much everything Bob James has been involved with is superbly recorded).

Basically, the type of recordings that don't take kindly to any form of lossy distribution. Some of DMP's early jazz recordings (Tom Jung) are virtually perfect recordings IMO- often live to two track digital. The top end recorded detail in instruments can be obliterated and totally 'splattered' with perceptual encoders.

If it wasn't for copyright, I'd make you all a demo 'mix tape' (CD) ;) (All my music is physical BTW and not a burnt CD in my collection- I'm a bit old-skool with that)
 

sejarzo

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#73
Very true. A reference recording is just that, tracks you are so familiar with that you can tell in a few bars or notes that something is amiss or not. Something is an improvement or the opposite.

I use a lot of Classical early Telarcs ...
I agree with the "early" thing...some of the later ones, especially the Cincinnati SO recordings engineered by Michael Bishop, sound lifeless and muffled to me in comparison with pre-2000 Telarcs.
 

sejarzo

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#74
This one generated quite a few positive comments from folks at head-fi meets. Well recorded percussion, deep bass, interesting imaging.

 

q3cpma

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#76
Alphaville's "Forever Young" is a an album I always use to gauge speakers; well produced synthpop like this with its well defined transients works pretty well for some aspects. As a bonus, it's a very nice listen.
 

amirm

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#78
I would suggest you take a listen at this

Two Portuguese guitars, each (almost) on its channel.

tidal.com/browse/track/86904383
Will do. Thanks.
 

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