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Who's audio quality do you like best? (Read 1472 times)

Offline pencilart3

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Who's audio quality do you like best?
« on: December 03, 2015, 06:25:23 PM »
I like comparing audio quality of different pianists and companies. Of course, DG is at or near the top...




Also, I was stunned at this liquid like quality this guy has!



The Chopin competition managed to get quite good audio quality for live performances.

You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline indianajo

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 01:03:27 PM »
I have a number of Deutche Grammaphon LP's but none of them are piano.  Orchestra is so much easier to reproduce than piano, IMHO.
My favorite piano LP's are George Winston on Windham Hill Records. I have both the LP and CD of Winter. You can tell there is something special about the ping of the piano attack, and when I had MP3 capability for a month or two on this computer, the video was of him playing a Bosendorfer grand in Montana somewhere.  The sound was as vile as ever on that MP3. 
Mobil Fidelity Records has been quite amazing, although I only have the locomotive versions.  They did remastering of the pop catalog, I've been on the lookout for them but there weren't any fans in Indiana I suppose, never saw one in a store.  I do have some used Telearc LP's on pipe organ, and those are quite good. But you can't tell what a pipe organ is supposed to sound like as easily as you can grand piano.
RCA of the dynagroove era did some amazing recordings.  I use Peter Nero CD Young and Warm and Wonderful as a speaker test.  He plays a grand piano top octave solo for a few measures, and that causes many amps and speakers to produce vibrato, which is obviously stupid.  RCA is an old brand however. If you buy RCA recordings from the fifties, they were very late to ditch the ribbon mikes they manufactured for the superior Neumann or Deutz Radio condensor mikes.  Pity, they had Horowitz and Reubenstein under contract.
The US leader in superior sound starting 1955 was Mercury Records, especially albums engineered by C R Fine.  I have a recording of Dupre playing a pipe organ in 1955 that is mono, but a great mike.  later records engineered by Mr Fine were stereo. No piano LP's by him, however. 
As far as listening to your MP3's, my op system reports shockwave has been hacked and should be replaced.  No replacement is available for this 700 mhz Pentium 2 mainboard,  and the sound quality of most of the MP3's I did listen to was so bad, I don't see the point of wasting $500 on a new computer.    I sure as **** don't want a touch screen with my 200 WPM typing speed, and Windows 10 stops you every time from looking at your favorite websites my friend tells me, so go to the dustbin of history, microsoft.  I'll be buying a few CD's by surface mail, and using the internet for text interchange and stock market charts. No financial videos, got that Vangard & Fideility?   

Offline rubinsteinmad

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 06:26:57 PM »
DG, Decca, EMI.

And yes, the Chopin Competition has the best livestream.

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #3 on: December 06, 2015, 01:55:12 AM »
I totally agree with Indianajo!  With some additions.  He is absolutely correct -- for really superior fidelity and reproduction of the piano, it's almost impossible to beat the Mercury monaurals -- some of which have been remastered with stunning results as CDs.  They were recorded with a single microphone, and never edited.  The earliest ones were direct to disc (by which I mean direct to LP master!).  Some of the later ones were mastered on 15 and 30 inch per second Ampex tape decks.  The later stereo ones are also very very good; same philosophy, expect two mikes instead of one, and all to tape.  I'm pretty sure they used Neumann mikes, but I couldn't guarantee it.

For clarity and transparency... wow.

The earlier London FFRR recordings are in very much the same class.

Most of the RCA Dynagroove recordings are very good -- just not quite as good.  In a few, though, there is more compression than I like.

Deutsche Gramophon can be excellent -- particularly for oddities and early music.  Their quality seems to have slipped, though -- but perhaps that's just me.

Fortunately I have the LPs still... and still in very good to excellent condition... and the equipment to play them.

Recent CDs?  Come in two basic flavours -- remastering of early LPs, some of which are excellent and some of which aren't.  Sometimes the problem is in the original recording.  More often the problem is in the transfer to CD, when "enhancements" are made which shouldn't be.  Other CDs are modern recordings, and again they are variable, but some are really superb (Telarc and Naxos can both be very good).

None of the compressed formats are usable for anything other than background listening, in my humble opinion.  Or popular music.  That's not being a classical snob -- I happen to really like some country and western, bluegrass, and gospel -- but only a reflection of what is and isn't there in the original sound.
Ian

Offline rubinsteinmad

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #4 on: December 06, 2015, 05:27:40 PM »
Oh, I also like Sony Classical.


Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 06:37:03 PM »
I like the audio quality when I don't have to pay attention to it; it's best when it's clear enough for me to hear everything but not for everything to be ringing in my ear.
It should be like using pedal; good usage of it means I'm not consciously paying any mind to it.
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline richard black

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 05:56:29 PM »
Well, blatant advertising alert but I think this is the recording I'm happiest with of the ones I've made, sonically:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/artsongcollective3
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline apmapmapm

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Re: Who's audio quality do you like best?
«Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 12:57:33 PM »
Cybele Records' SACDs are unreal.