Your Best Recording on Vinyl?

pederb -- Mon, 08/18/2008 - 19:02

What is your best favorite recording on vinyl?

Mine is the Classic Records 45 rpm Royal Ballet Box Set, just amazing to hear the subway rumbling deep down in the building on some tracks.

Cemil Gandur -- Tue, 09/23/2008 - 12:52

I've got to say some of these 'new' 45rpm releases of Blue Note or Fantasy titles have got spectacular sound. Pity that most of them are just good to very good sessions as opposed to outstanding / must-haves.

My original Gaucho sounds spectacular still, so does my original Aja (I prefer it to the new Cisco, which I bought :(). Steely Dan is obvious but lots of run-of-the-mill LPs sound fantastic - one such example which I've recently played is 10cc's How Dare You ? I was floored! Of course, lots of rubbish too, even in remastered 180gm vinyl super expensive ultra quiet format *sigh*

mtaylor -- Thu, 10/02/2008 - 11:21

There are just so many good ones. Often when you have improved your system by replacing a component or by some tweak you put on a record that you had previously thought to be ordinary and find that it blows you away.
Leaving the audiophile records to one side I have really enjoyed the following :

Acousticity by Dave Grisman.
Banjoland by Tony Trishka
Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier
Decoration Day by the Drive By Truckers
Terrapin Station by the Grateful Dead

The list goes on and on.....

Spin the black circle as Eddy Vedder says.

amclaussen (not verified) -- Tue, 06/02/2009 - 14:13

My very best recording is an initial press run of Dave Grusin "Discovered Again".
The 9' Steinway piano re-creates into my living room.  Ron Carter's Double Bass is as tactile as it can be.
Last (but not least), the stereo image is truly gorgeous!  you can 'feel' the instruments precisely located in their place.
No surprise an unopened LP was worth more than $500 USD back in 1980 (according to Audio magazine classifieds)...  I wonder how much could it be today, but I still keep my second copy sealed for when my first one degrades too much under my Grace F9E Ruby stylus, slowly but inevitably eroding it.  No digital copy of it sounds like the old analog play. (The CD released by Shefield Labs is very good indeed, but no match to the original LP).
Discovered Again-Dave Grusin, released probably 1976, Direct-to-Disk Limited Edition. Shefield Labs.
amclaussen-Mexico City.

mecolwell -- Wed, 06/03/2009 - 08:48

Over the years, my most listened to and favorite LP's would be the Beatles "Rubber Soul"/"Revolver", on the original Parlophone pressings from Britain.
These two are, IMO, one musical piece, and should be together as one. These LP's, played several times a year, over the years on my various LP systems, all pretty good, my current being a Linn/Grace/Sumiko BPS-Evo2, still are almost dead quiet, and very musical.
Geoff Emerick, who engineered a lot of the Beatles albums along with George Martin, has said that  "the original Parlophones are the closet to what I heard at Abbey Road".
"Discovered Again", mentioned above by amclaussen, is a great LP, as well, sonically and musically!
I have to pull out my original LP and listen to it again..thanks for the reminder!


engineer Bob (not verified) -- Tue, 06/09/2009 - 18:35

The best two pieces of vinyl I own is a DJ promotional copy of The Allman Brothers, Live at the Fillmore East.  The CDs pale by comparison.  Just for fun, I also own The Blue Angel German pressings of The Stones first ten albums, British Versions; Complete Jimi Hendrix; and The Who up to and including Who's Next.  Keeps my B & O linear tracking Beogram TX with an MMC 1 cartridge busy. 

mecolwell -- Wed, 06/10/2009 - 08:32

I haven't heard the Stones' german Blue Angel's. I have several of the most recent releases, which do sound great.
Funny, the German pressing of "Magical Mystery Tour" is one of the only places to get true stereo versions of the songs on "Side two", like "Baby You're A Rich man", which on most versions are, srangely, "Duophonic" pseudo stereo. 


Guy (not verified) -- Wed, 06/10/2009 - 18:09

First time I knew there was a difference in vinyl became clear in about '69.  I heard what I believe was the first direct to disc pressing from Sheffield: Lincoln Mayorga and his Distinguished Friends (If memory serves) played through some McIntosh tube amp / pre-amps powering a pair of KLH 9's.  It was an ear-opening experience, and I should have bought a copy ($7.50 per copy in '69, and regular stereo was about $3.95).  Last copy I saw oferred was at $100.00 and that has been a while.  I still kick myself.  Of the discs I did buy, the Sheffield pressing of Harry James (King James Version) done in a church in New Orleans has always sounded good to me.  Several E.Power Biggs discs (might have been on Crystal Clear and 45 rpm, I'm not remembering) also would test your subs' outputs.  Have not been buying new vinyl lately.  I will be setting up my turntable (s) again when I get the flat screen mounted on the wall and have the proper space back. 
The first disc I heard that was made with Dolby was Joan (Baez) on Vanguard in about 1969.  The absence of the hated tape hiss was total.  Even today, I'll put in on and find it as quiet as contemporary digital recorded discs.  At the time, 40 years ago, it was most impressive to me.  I'd read the article (Julian Hirsch, I think) in Stereo Review about this new Dolby box for studios, and what it was supposed to do.  Most of the discs of the day did not make any claim to using it, so when the Baez album did mention it (really small text at the bottom of the back side of the cover), I wanted to know if I could hear the difference.  Maybe everybody used Dolby for a while, but not every record sounded like this.  Production credit for that disc went to Peter Schickele (spelling?), the PDQ Bach guy.  If you can find a good copy, I recommend it, even if the only thing you do with it is find out how good Dolby could be.

mecolwell -- Wed, 06/10/2009 - 21:20

Wow, I rember that Dolby mention on the Joan Baez LP on the gold Vanguard label!
That brings me back. I stiil have that record, too, and it still sounds great!
I loved the Sheffield Labs records, and have most of them to this day. The KIng James Version is a great performance and sounding record.
Funny about the Dolby thing: Bill Scyzcmick, the long time engineer to Joe Walsh, Eagles, etc, is an engineer/producer extrordinaire, and I had the pleasure of being a bit close to him and his studio work, and he always said "unplug them damn Dolbys"!
He recorded without them, at a hot level, on good (analog) tape at 30IPS (what a tape hog!), and his recordings are amongst the finest examples of 70's pop and sound (hear "Hotel California", "The Long Run"), full of warmth, "air", and a great all around sound. He always thought Dolby restricted the sound, to an extent he didn't like.


Guy (not verified) -- Thu, 09/10/2009 - 13:15

Those Eagles cuts were really great.  One of my favorites was the Hotel California off the Hell Freezes Over CD.  Live, with all the problems that can bring, but a great version in my ears.  I don't recall who produced that version. 
Good stuff. Stay in touch.

Cemil Gandur -- Sat, 06/13/2009 - 02:45

The Thorens Anniversary  triple LP is great!

Guy (not verified) -- Thu, 09/10/2009 - 13:09

with regard to the Dolby (mecolwell) comments.
I can agree with the comments about it hopping up the sound as it is layed on to the tape.  It is a bit hotter, but the point was that the playback would reduce the amount (equally) if it was calibrated correctly.  May not have happened: the original article I'd read about the Studio Dolby was that it had an on/off switch and a power light.  The consumate black box.  I don't know a lot of studio wizzards, but almost everything they seem to have in studios has lots of adjusments available.  It was mentioned in the text that this would probably be a strike against it from the professional view point. 
Anyway, on that Baez album it sounded great to me, and seemed to be a step above the offerings of the day (40? years ago). 
Best wishes

Kellys Rare Records -- Fri, 09/11/2009 - 19:48

One of my absolute favorites is Steely Dan Aja. The original 1977 pressings cannot be duplicated or even closely matched. Neither MFSL or any of the later Japanese pressings can even come close! As a serious vinyl collector, and dare I say ebay seller (!) I have the opportunity to preview hundreds 'er thousnads of vinyls throughout the year and I always go out of my way to listen to Aja every chance I get. Of the well over 200 copies I have in my collection, probably 10 of them are truly audiophile quality and those 10 are all 1977 US original pressings! What a collection of master musicians at their prime: Steve Gadd, Tom Scott, Wayne Shorter, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, Jim Keltner, Joe Sample, Victor Feldman....not to mention the original gangsta's Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and Dean Parks. Beautiful cutting-edge Rock/Jazz-fusion throughout!
Of course, as a 25 year Rush fan turned drummer 20 years-on, I must mention Rush's Moving Pictures. Many of the original MASTERDISK stampers are......absolutely brilliant!
As an admittedly new forum contributor I'll do my best to make frequent suggestions for you serious audiophiles. I'm just adding my two-cents with this brief commentary segment.
Until next time, PEACE! KRR

Cemil Gandur -- Sat, 09/12/2009 - 09:32

 The original Aja is superb. The more recent Cisco reissue is pretty good. Original Gaucho is superb too. I've recently bought Morph the Cat on LP and that is a totally superb pressing.

tasreader -- Sat, 06/12/2010 - 05:22

The Cisco sucks the life out of this music.

Tabare (not verified) -- Thu, 09/17/2009 - 11:43

 My favorite is Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Leinsdorf with Los Angeles Philarmonic,  Sheffield Lab 8.
It is the greatest recording I have heard of that difficult beast:  the simphonic orchestra. 
... and it is also the best version I heard of the piece.  No small feat  ... I'm tired of great recordings of elevator music ...
Cheers for you all.  Tabare

Ray C. (not verified) -- Thu, 09/17/2009 - 14:30

My favorite recording on vinyl is my old Getz / Gilberto 33rpm album.

Actually, it my CD of the same name which I store on top of the vinyl, which makes it "on vinyl".


David Atkinson (not verified) -- Thu, 09/17/2009 - 14:34

I can't say I'm a huge fan of his but, SRV's 'Couldn't Stand The Weather' generally and 'Tin Pan Alley specifically sounds awesome od the standard vinyl issue.

Don Shoemaker (not verified) -- Thu, 09/17/2009 - 17:38

Laurie Anderson Strange Angels and Mr. Heartbreak.  Janis Ian Between the Lines

Gypsy Road (not verified) -- Fri, 09/18/2009 - 06:26

I'd have to say my two most recent favorites of the summer are
Donald Fagen - The Nightfly and Miles Davis - Round Midnight.
Also, the first Boston LP is always pretty good sounding.

Traveling Wilbury -- Fri, 09/18/2009 - 11:30

NIN's 'Ghosts I-IV' - which I bought in the deluxe edition sounds (and looks) fantastic.
Also, a Japanese re-press/re-master of Bowie's 'Station to Station'  is very nice.
And finally the recent re-press Capitol did for Radiohead's 'OK Computer'.

mecolwell -- Sat, 09/19/2009 - 10:26

One great sounding record, LP, and a smokin' hot performance is Shelby Lynne's "Just A Little Lovin". Wow, what a presence! This was recorded with her band, live, on analog 24 track, and the air and the sound of the players interacting, and the overall liveness is stunning.
Of course, Shelby's performance is about as hot as it can get, and after a listen of "Just A Little Lovin", the opening track, one needs a cold shower.
Give this record a spin!


Steve -- Sun, 11/01/2009 - 08:41

Simon @ Garkunkel "Bookends" on Columbia 360 label. If only the current crop of "audiophile" releases could sound this good!

mecolwell -- Sun, 11/01/2009 - 18:25

I just saw a Sundazed remaster "from the original analog master tapes".  I have all their  Byrds remasters, and they sound great, with dead-quiet surfaces. I wonder how this new one will stack up. My original Columbia 360 pressing is a bit noisy, and a bit overcut.
Anyone heard this new effort? Sundazed always seems to release top sounding material, with what I have heard, so far.


mecolwell -- Tue, 11/03/2009 - 09:25

Another great LP is the original Capitol (yes, Capitol!!) pressing of the first "Klaatu" LP. In the early 70's, they came from nowhere (Canada, actually), and had a very Beatle-influenced sound. There was even speculation that they secretly were the Beatles, but that, of course, was false.
There is some of the lowest frequencies ever put to LP at the end of "Little Neutrino", and if you look at the vinyl, it swings madly, and the cutting head was adjusted to make the lows fit. Those subterranean lows need a very wide swing of the cutter/stylus to reproduce them. Newer pressings don't have that, so look at the track to see which one. They are out there, used.
Great music, too.


bobboyer -- Tue, 01/12/2010 - 21:40

While I'm also a big fan of the 1977 Aja album, I found a real gem recently in Roy Orbison's 1989 effort - Mystery Girl - on Virgin. It took my new Denon MC cartridge to really open it up, but it's an amazingly layered effort that has a nice sound to it.
Other than those two, I'm a huge fan of "Telegraph Road" from Dire Straits' Love Over Gold album.

Kellys Rare Records -- Tue, 01/26/2010 - 23:27

Another one of the best sounding vinyl recordings I've heard lately is Pat Metheny's "American Garage" The original Bob Ludwig mastered US pressing is absolutely brilliant! My cousin introduced me to this diverse rock/jazz-fusion LP a number of years ago, and it really is worthy of a good thorough listen.

rossop -- Sat, 06/12/2010 - 22:46

Ive got a few excellent LPs including many of the ones listed above. One of my all time favorites All the Road Running by Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler. Emmy Lou is what makes this album great. That and the fact its mastered by Stan Riker. The bass response of this half speed master is staggering. So too is the detail if your cartridge is good enough to retrieve it.
Another one I like alot is the Ray Charles Genius Loves Company by Pure Audiophile(I think). It's  just great for the same reasons outlined above.
I think Stan the Man is outstanding!

rossop -- Sat, 06/12/2010 - 22:57

I have a lot of fine sounding LPs including some of the ones listed above.
One that I keep going back to is All the Road Running by Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler. Emmy Lou makes this record. That and the fact it is mastered by Stan Riker. The bass response and low level detail is only limited by the quality of you cartridge.
Another one I like is Genius Loves Company by Ray Charles (Pure Audiophile) for the same reasons.
I think Stan the Man is an outstanding mastering engineer!

Gary Milner -- Tue, 02/19/2013 - 01:58

Play slowly at first, steadily humanizing your speed. Listen to the solo unhurriedly Pink Floyd Facebook Page and learn to play along. Some media players agree to you to digitally slow down the rhythm of a song without varying the pitch. Start learning the tablature.

joe.crowe -- Thu, 04/18/2013 - 19:48

Hey Pederb, guess what, based upon the number and frequency of post and replies nobody in the audiophile community gives a flying ____ about the quality of recordings.  Check my own thread under "Good Bad and Noisy".  I love listening to music.  I really love when a vinyl pressing of the music I love is especially well made.  Apparently nobody can back away from disussing whether a $200k phonostage beats a $300k one long enough to report that their most recent 200 gr 45 rpm purchase sounds like there is gravel in the grooves or name the company that made it  To summarize WTF!.

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