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What makes all this worth it?

GD Fan

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#22
Brothers in Arms on SACD. The song, specifically, but the album as a whole too. The SACD amazingly captures the rim shot and the subtly of the drums, Knopfler's lazy, quiet vocals, the way he turns the guitar up and plays softly, it's just amazing. And his solo to close the tune is just tremendous. (He can't be accused of overplaying.)
 

GD Fan

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#23
Steven Wilson's versions are not just remasters - most of them are remixes!
A touch heavy on the bass in the case of Aqualung, but tremendous nonetheless.

As an aside, I typically find remasters to be little more than an excuse to entice fans to buy what they already have again. But the 2011 remasters of the Pink Floyd albums sound outstanding to me.
 

ahofer

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#24
Problem is, sound quality ratings would be totally meaningless because most people think heavy dynamic compression and massive EQ sound great. Recordings with big dynamics and natural realistic sounds they rate as "too quiet" or "dead" sounding. Even some professional reviewers do this.


As for music that makes the system worth the cost, I particularly like chamber music: quartets, quintets, solo piano, some small ensemble jazz and vocals. When you can hear whether the piano is a Steinway, Baldwin or Bosendorfer, and how the pianist voices the chords. When you can hear whether the flute is metal or wood. When you can hear the musicians all take a breath together, clothes rustling as they move. When you can hear the micro-dynamics and subtle micro-timbral tone colors they use when playing. It adds to the realism and makes the musical expression more articulate and powerful.
if they were like Amazon reviews, we could follow people we see have a taste for wide dynamic range, etc.
 

BDWoody

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#25
Steven Wilson's versions are not just remasters - most of them are remixes!
This is a list from a few years ago that he put together of what he had done. Working through the list.

Screenshot_20200217-074045.png
 
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Fluffy

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#26
Contrary to the usual audiophile, I'm not looking to be gob smacked by high fidelity recordings. I don't care at all about realism. I listen to music for the music, not for the literal sound of it. The benefit of good gear for me is the ability to unleash the full potential of whatever I'm listening to, and listen to it fully and immersively. Quality hardware (mostly headphones really) lifts away the metaphorical barriers and lets me commit with full emotion to the music.
 

ahofer

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#28
The Chesky recordings/remasters are also excellent.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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#29
not that impressed by most of the Chesky stuff I've heard. It just sounds like weirdly-balanced recordings to me ftmp. I'm not terribly concerned about the whole notion of trying to recreate some sort of live musical performance experience myself though. I view the recording as an artistic creation separate from live performance.

One track that I don't see mentioned at all that I've found to be really fun on good equipment is You Might Think by The Cars. It's one of those songs that was so over-played for so long it became musical wall-paper. Just there...doesn't register in any conscious way. But I listened to it a few weeks back and it's very well-recorded. There's tons of stuff going on - background vox, different synth and keys parts, several guitar tracks, big drums...but it's very clean and spacious. Sounds great on good headphones.

California by Joni Mitchell is another fave of mine.

I have a few tracks that I listen to for specific things (aside from also actually enjoying the music of course.)

Like a Prayer by Madonna. If her voice is grating and harsh, I know I need to tone things down in the 2.5khz region. Also, love the choir in the recording. When I listen on my 400i headphones it honestly sounds like a couple of the choir members are standing right next to me.

Paranoid Android by Radiohead. If I can make out the spoken word part that recurs through the song ("I may be paranoid, but not an android") with decent clarity I know I'm on the right track in the mid-upper bass region.

Bubbles by Yosi Horikawa. Super fun for soundstage/imaging. I actually enjoy it more in that regard on my speakers than I do on headphones. It's a great example of the way a 2.0 stereo set up can actually do soundstage better than headphones. If things are set up well, you can listen with your eyes closed and the impression of stuff being near or farther away, or way out to the left and right beyond the width of the speakers is really amazing.

I also love Sinatra. Ring-a-Ding Ding is a great album of his...lots of energy!
 

Neddy

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#30
Carla Bley "Go Together" and "Duets" if you like Carla Bley on piano with Steve Swallow on bass guitar.
Thanks for the Carla Bley tip - (re) listening to Indonesia Dock Sucking Supreme now - those were the days!
Seems she and Mr. Swallow may have mellowed a bit since? :)

Regarding the original topic, I tend to prefer musician/producers/tracks with a broad variety of instruments, including unusual ones, and complex layers of sound.
Aside from the sheer sonic joy, I'm continually amazed by the creative/coordinative talents involved, but also really dislike any 'over-produced' stuff.
(I'm considering dropping my Amazon Music HD subscription if I get one single more email from them about that Bieber fella's 'latest' release!)
:mad:
Brazilian artists (Bebel Gilberto), Celtic, Jazz with strong bass, vocals and percussion instruments - I usually have my RTA on screen so I can see how deep the bass and drums go on each recording!
BandCamp is also another interesting resource.
I also like Don Cherry's Multi-Kulti stuff (and attitude in general), and slowly working my way through
"This Is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin.
 

mhardy6647

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#31
California by Joni Mitchell is another fave of mine.
Yeah :)
FWIW, her 'greatest hits' album, Hits, is pretty danged outstanding, both in terms of the program and the sound.

1581952989441.png


As an aside, there's a companion collection called Misses. :)

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... and then there is always her Meisterstück

1581953119364.png


:)
 

Neddy

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#32
Agree on Joni, but my favorite is Hejira - mostly b/c the cover photo was taken on the lake near my house, and b/c of Jaco Pastorius on bass.
Wasn't aware of the Misses release - may have to snag that one.
Thanks!
 

Midwest Blade

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#33
Cowboy Junkies Trinity Session, Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat, Roxy Music Avalon, Till Bronner/Dieter Ilg Nightfall, Bill Evans Trio Waltz for Debby, Anything from Diana Krall or Holly Cole, Jim Hall Concierto, Norah Jones Come Away With Me, Paul Desmond Take Ten or Pure Desmond...Miles Davis, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Dave Brubeck...

...and so on, and so on...

to many to list.
 

RayDunzl

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#34
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JeffS7444

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#35
It's not necessarily the sheer fidelity as the delight in discovering something completely unexpected, like the old days of hearing a stirring piece on Radio Pyongyang via shortwave (you can just picture those beaming workers striding confidently into a glorious future, trampling the hegemonistic west underfoot) or on late night FM radio, hearing John Cage's "Litany for the Whale":

Or Ravi Shankar's Sitar Concerto No. 2:

But mostly, the hardware side of the hifi hobby seemed like something fun to do, and under other circumstances, I might've instead fancied automobiles, firearms, cultivating pineapples, tulips or orchids, tea bowls, rare manuscripts or any number of other not-particularly-ideological pursuits.
 

suttondesign

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#36
The true sonic signature of artists laying down tracks in the past, putting you there without the limitations of former varieties of media.
AKA - nostalgia.
 

Kvalsvoll

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#40
I find it interesting that as sound quality improves, there are fewer bad recordings - it is easy to enjoy everything, as in enjoy the music, even when faults in the production are even more obvious and easy to spot.

What did I listen to today..

Hot Sardines, Live at Joe's Pub, St James Infirmary - Master at 0dB gives me a live concert in Room2.
Various tracks from Voices Of Music - very good production quality.
au/ra - pop music.

Yesterday was a longer session, some highlights:

Jøkleba, Live, Mayisha - Let's try to destroy what is left of hearing by playing this at +6dB, to see if the new wonders can handle this, and they did, sounds great, like sitting to close to the band at a live concert - physical slam in the midrange.
Hadouk Trio, Air Hadouk, Dididi - just have to hear this strange saxophone-like instrument once more.
Art Of Noise, Below The Waste, whole album - one from the old days, I can of course not remember exactly how the sound was back 20-30 years ago, but I can remember that this kind of clarity, realism, separation and definition of the instruments simply was not there.

Yes, good sound is worth the effort, and the better it sounds, the more enjoyable it is.
 

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