VinylFanatics
News
LP Vinyl
LP Reviews
Reel To Reel
Reel Reviews
Cassette
Cassette Reviews
Mono
Stereo
Quad
Video
Digital
Compare Formats
My Musings
HP Interview
George Mann Interview
Guest Writers
Tape Project
New to Classical
Under-appreciated
Discographies
21st Century Vinyl
Great LP Sonics
Multiple Formats
Better Records?
Fight high LP prices
HiRezStereo.com
Free Ads!
Links
Letters
Recordings
Audio System
Basic Repertoire

The quest for that elusive 1% of great sounding LPs

The major labels still don't know how to get LPs to sound right, they still roll-off the bass, roll-off the treble, smash the depth, squash the stereo image, run them through Digital processors and totally muck up the sound.

I usually wait for a real audiophile company to release a recording of interest; some of the best I have found so far are from:

Analogue Productions

AudioQuest Music

AudioSource

Café Records

Cardas Records

Century Records

Chesky Records

Cisco Music

Classic Records

Crystal Clear Records

DCC Compact Classics

East Wind

Groove Note

Klavier Records

Linn Records

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

Naim

New Haven Records


Opus 3

Reference Recordings

Sheffield Lab

Speakers Corner

Super Analogue Disc

Tacet


Wilson Audiophile

Honorable Mention goes to commercial labels Harmonia mundi and Lyrita Recorded Edition whose finished LPs sound superb with most of the realism I associate with audiophile records.  Also Philips analog records pressing in Holland are often very realistic with just the slightest roll-off of the frequency extremes.

I was very unhappy with the sound of the original Rhino Vinyl 180-Gram LPs however it looks like the new Rhino Vinyl LPs mastered by Steve Hoffman may now be a real audiophile label, time will tell.

Of the phony "Audiophile" 180 Gram LPs of late I avoid Castle, Get Back, Earmark, Scorpio, Simply Vinyl and Sundazed like the plague as these labels do a terrible disservice to the Analog name! Their sound ranges from stridently dry and truly "awful" ear-ripping sound even worst than the worst CD on the cheapest foulest sounding CD player on the planet. Avoid these at all costs!

As far as the major labels are concerned I am willing to spend up to $1.00 for a major label LP if and only if it is not available from a real audiophile company. But if I am spending $15.00 - $30.00 an LP I get the real audiophile LPs not the phony audiophile LPs dished up by the major labels.

Most major label recordings I find way too compromised on any format except analog tape. For some reason the Major labels never felt the urge to roll-off the bass and muck up the sound of their cassettes. So for the major labels I prefer Cassette and Reel to Reel tape.