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  • Gapkiller
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What's the best mastered album?
After seeing the opposite topic, I was thinking that it would be much
more helpful to list the best mastered/sounding albums.
That's quite a difficult question. Too many albums and
not enough time to hear them all. 

Here's a small selection, in fact the first three that were
coming to my mind:
  • Luomo - The present Lover
    high end pop, sounds glass clear, but is not worth a second listen because of the music itself.

  • Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance
    All O'Rourke albums but this one is clearly insane.

  • Atom Heart - Liedgut
    Uwe Schmidt is the pope of white noise.
    Gentlemen: Test your audio equipment now...
etc. etc.

Now it's your turn: Give me more!!! Please. 

  • dhromed
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #1
I've always found Porcupine Tree albums to sound exceptionally well. I believe that the audio quality is a significant factor in this band being on my favourites list.

I have other well-mastered rock/metal, like Oceansize and the (...)Trail of Dead albums Worlds Apart and So Divided, but Porcupine Tree has a soft impact to it that I find hard to explain in terms that don't sound like audiophile claptrap.
  • Last Edit: 29 April, 2010, 07:22:24 PM by dhromed

What's the best mastered album?
Reply #2
Yes, Porcupine Tree doesn't participate in the whole compression/loudness war. They even put a note on one of their albums telling the listener to turn the volume up if they felt it wasn't loud enough. Classic.

Dark side of the moon is also supposed to be really good, and it sounds quite well.

And then there's pretty much everything by Tool.

What's the best mastered album?
Reply #3
Yes, Porcupine Tree doesn't participate in the whole compression/loudness war. They even put a note on one of their albums telling the listener to turn the volume up if they felt it wasn't loud enough. Classic.

Dark side of the moon is also supposed to be really good, and it sounds quite well.

And then there's pretty much everything by Tool.


Would you say that Porcupine Tree has rejected gross compression even with their new stuff? How about the remaster of Metanoia?

Haha, which album(s) did they put the "turn up the volume warning" on? I only have "In Absentia" and couldn't find one =\

EDIT: Oh, Gapkiller, I love the sound of "Fever" by Sleepy Sun!
  • Last Edit: 15 September, 2010, 01:20:16 PM by mdwittenberg

  • splice
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #4
The latest Iron Maiden album (The Final Frontier). You can listen right through without fatigue (assuming you like the music genre). It's actually less compressed than Tom Jones' "Praise And Blame", which is semi-acoustic blues. Both mastered by Bob Ludwig, who also mastered the Guns'n'Roses "Chinese Democracy", another one you can listen to right through.

And yes, just about anything by Tool / A Perfect Circle. Their albums are the textbook example of how to "make it loud for the radio / iPod" without destroying the dynamics.
Regards,
   Don Hills

  • EazyB-FRAC
  • [*]
What's the best mastered album?
Reply #5
The initial CD pressing of Rush's "2112" is damn awesome! It may not have the liner notes as the remaster. But it's the audio which is just perfect. And I'll bet the the original vinyl is just as delish as well.

Likewise, the original CD pressing of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is a sonic masterpiece. Sure, I'd like to give the nod towards DSotM but this is a fitting tribute to Syd Barrett, both sonically and thematically. Besides, "everyone" likes DSotM and I'm just deliberately being a contrarian in my pick.

As overrated as it is, "Frampton Comes Alive!" (I have to grin at that double entendre, whether intentional or not -- like, as compared to Oderus Urungus?) is pretty good for a live album. Unlike the previous albums I have both the vinyl and original CD pressing of this. And the vinyl blows the CD out of the water! :-)

--EazyB
[THIS SPACE FOR RENT!]

  • dyneq
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #6
Too hard to say what is 'best', but here are a few standouts...

"Pink Floyd's" (actually not the whole band) The Final Cut is, for me, one of the best-mastered albums I've listened to. I suspect that any of Roger Water's albums would also be in the same quality echelon and I look forward to finding out.

Another one from my collection which I wouldn't expect many other people to know about is the Finding Nemo soundtrack (composer is Thomas Newman).

In the classical vein, I'm a Baroque fan. Yo-yo Ma has done a couple of albums with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (with period instruments) that are beautifully mastered. Talk about dynamic range!

I could go on, but those are my current favorites.

  • db1989
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  • Global Moderator
What's the best mastered album?
Reply #7
I hear Rage Against the Machine’s eponymous debut album is quite well-regarded, and to me it does sound fairly good—but I definitely can’t say the same of its sequels!
  • Last Edit: 31 October, 2010, 05:00:26 AM by dv1989

  • Xenion
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #8
Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia DVD-Audio 88,2/24 Stereo is the best sounding album i own.

  • bsmooth
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #9
Well I also think that Dire Strait's Love Over Gold, is a very well mastered CD as well. Not the most popular, but then again the really good stuff  usually isn't anyways.

  • d_headshot
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #10
Pink Floyd's The Wall is a mastering staple for any collection. In my opinion it's production is much better than Dark Side Of The Moon. Some other examples of my favorites(all albums listed are original/not remastered releases except otherwise noted):

Ayreon - Universal Migrator(both parts)
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Conception - Flow(an example of a loud yet dynamic album)
Dire Staits - Dire Straits
Dire Straits - Love Over Gold
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Infected Musroom - Converting Vegetarians
Iron Maiden - all albums from 1981 to 1992
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick
Joe Satriani - Flying In A Blue Dream
Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani
Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny
Judas Priest - Killing Machine
Judas Priest - Stained Class
Judas Priest - British Steel
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
Kamelot - The Black Halo(another great loud yet dynamic album)
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Megadeth - Rust In Peace
Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
Motorhead - Ace Of Spades
Rush - 2112
Rush - Moving Pictures
Savatage - Streets: A Rock Opera
Steve Vai - Passion And Warfare
Wishbone Ash - Argus

  • Wander
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What's the best mastered album?
Reply #11
All in all these are not the best mastered albums of any time. But they are, considering each genre, pretty well mixed.
However, as for Korn, Tool and Reflux the listed albums are at least the best I know in their specific style of music.

Metal:
  • In Flames  - The Jester Race
  • Korn - Korn
  • Korn - Live is Peachy
  • Korn - Follow the Leaders
  • Shadows Fall - Of One Blood
  • At the Gates - Terminal Spirit Disease
  • At the Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul

Progressive Metal:
  • Textures - Dualism
  • Textures - Drawing Circles
  • Reflux - The Illusion of Democracy
  • The Human Abstract - Nocture

Progressive Rock:
  • Tool - Undertow
  • Tool - Aenima
  • Tool - Lateralus
  • A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms
  • A Perfect Circle - Thriteenth Step
  • Karnivool - Themata
  • Karnivool - Sound Awake
  • Dredg - El Cielo
  • After Crying - Megalázottak és megszomorítottak

Instrumental/Classical:
  • Jean Baudin - Solace

Trip Hop / Pop:
  • Portishead - Dummy
  • Portishead - Portishead
  • Little Dragon - Little Dragon
  • Little Dragon - Machine Dreams
  • Little Dragon - Ritual Union
  • Last Edit: 07 January, 2012, 11:23:41 AM by Wander