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Best Hi-Res Audiophile Releases 2014.


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What is your nomination for best hi-res audiophile recording or recordings of 2014?

 

May I start out with suggesting the new group Batik;The Old Man and the Sea.

This album is so beautiful written and played that I have played everyday for the past 2 weeks. And the sound stage is stunning, maybe the best engineered Sound Liaison album so far or at least as good as the Carmen Gomes albums or the Paul Berner album from the same label.

 

It is available as flac and wav, flac being cheaper for some reason $15 vs $20.

 

BATIK (WAV)

 

Batik%20Hoes%20300%20shadow%20v2.png

With the Suite; The Old Man and the Sea, the new ensemble Batik, presents them self, with a piece of music, that vividly brings to life Ernest Hemingway's classic tale of the old fisherman. Batik has composed and improvised a dramatic story telling SoundScape around the key elements of the novel. You can read the novella on line here, it is a unique experience reading the book and hearing the gorgeous Batik compositions at the same time:
The 9 pieces of music were performed live in the studio in front of a select audience.The musicians were placed in front of a stereo pair of microphones with additional spot microphones on each instrument. The musicians were playing without headphones, the reason being that we believe that when we get the musicians to play together in the same room, without headphones, it creates a number of musical and technical benefits:

As they are not ''separated'' by the headphones, the musicians, in order to hear each other are forced to create a natural and musical balance, a balance which is then easily captured by the main stereo pair of microphones. Because of the natural and musical balance the need for compression to control levels is no longer necessary. Since everybody is in the same room, the boxed sound which is so common in many modern recordings is absent and the sound of the room helps ''glue'' the sound of the recording.

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Lost in Romance by Lyn Stanley

 

Lost-in-Romance.jpg

 

This is wonderfully performed and recorded. The sound is both lush and intimate and the performer makes these standards worth hearing. It's available in high res at Downloadsnow.net and at Acoustic Sounds. But also, as I learned later, from Michael Fremer's Analog Planet, you can get it on vinyl.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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I find I've only purchased 12 hi-res albums to-date in 2014, but all of them are gems:

 

Screenshot 2014-04-22 13.15.02.png

*click image to enlarge and actually see the album covers ;)

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > iFi Audio xDSD + iFi Audio xCAN > Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Pioneer Elite SC-81 > MartinLogan Motion series home theater speakers + M&K subwoofer

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While I purchased quite a number of high-res albums this year, I just noticed only 2 of them are actually true 2014 releases, and I assume this is what this thread is about.

 

Both are highly recommended:

 

CPE Bach: Magnificat (24/44)

 

4835201-origpic-894880.png_0_0_100_100_250_250_0.png

 

eClassical - C.P.E. Bach: Magnificat, Wq. 215, nicely reviewed by Boris here:

 

Viewing Review: CPE Bach: Magnificat, Heilig ist Gott, HC Rademann, 24bit 48kHz - Computer Audiophile

 

and just recently:

 

Jan Lundgren Trio: The Flowers of Sendai (24/96)

 

3760002142531_230.jpg

 

Available on Qobuz even before it's official release date. Right now at -20%.

 

Flowers Of Sendai | Jan Lundgren*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

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This another favorite of mine;

Eliane Elias/Marc Johnson; Swept Away

Swept-Away1.jpg

 

 

Swept Away sees the top-class quartet of pianist Eliane Elias, double-bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Joey Baron and saxophonist Joe Lovano commune over music that is engaging and sensual, lyrical and swinging. Brazilian-born star Elias previously joined ECM veterans Baron and Lovano on Johnson s 2005 ECM album, Shades of Jade, which reaped praise far and wide. The New York Times enthused over the luminescence created by the close partnership between Elias and Johnson, while The Village Voice said the album was shimmering yet its lusciousness has all sorts of tensile strength. The same words suit Swept Away, which includes a brace of melody-rich Elias compositions, ranging from the easy-flowing title track to the smoky romanticism of Be Is for Butterfly and after-hours vibe of It s Time. Johnsons brightly grooving, Eastern-tinged When the Sun Comes Up is another highlight, and the album closes with Johnson s solo bass treatment of the old American folk song Shenandoah. Swept Away is music of depth that is disarmingly easy to love.
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While I purchased quite a number of high-res albums this year, I just noticed only 2 of them are actually true 2014 releases, and I assume this is what this thread is about.

 

Both are highly recommended:

 

CPE Bach: Magnificat (24/44)

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]11996[/ATTACH]

 

eClassical - C.P.E. Bach: Magnificat, Wq. 215, nicely reviewed by Boris here:

 

Viewing Review: CPE Bach: Magnificat, Heilig ist Gott, HC Rademann, 24bit 48kHz - Computer Audiophile

 

and just recently:

 

Jan Lundgren Trio: The Flowers of Sendai (24/96)

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]11997[/ATTACH]

 

Available on Qobuz even before it's official release date. Right now at -20%.

 

Flowers Of Sendai | Jan Lundgren*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

The first one I agree, that's a really climate recording. For the second one, I listened over the Qobuz and finally decided to buy it. It seems to be a really good album and excellent recording mastered in Rainbow Studio by J.E.K who is doing the masterings also for ECM Records.

 

Additionally it also seemed to be the real high resolution recording:

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 08.49.23.png

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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The first one I agree, that's a really climate recording. For the second one, I listened over the Qobuz and finally decided to buy it. It seems to be a really good album and excellent recording mastered in Rainbow Studio by J.E.K who is doing the masterings also for ECM Records.

 

Additionally it also seemed to be the real high resolution recording:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12013[/ATTACH]

If you like it, he also did a very nice solo recording last year, also 24/96:

 

Man In The Fog | Jan Lundgren – Télécharger et écouter l'album

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+ 1

What is your nomination for best hi-res audiophile recording or recordings of 2014?

 

May I start out with suggesting the new group Batik;The Old Man and the Sea.

This album is so beautiful written and played that I have played everyday for the past 2 weeks. And the sound stage is stunning, maybe the best engineered Sound Liaison album so far or at least as good as the Carmen Gomes albums or the Paul Berner album from the same label.

 

It is available as flac and wav, flac being cheaper for some reason $15 vs $20.

 

BATIK (WAV)

 

Batik%20Hoes%20300%20shadow%20v2.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

''Flowers of Sendai'' is a very pretty record.

I just miss a bit of placement in the stereo field, to me the tendency these days, with a few exceptions, to have the piano and the drums being present, all the way from Left to Right, messes up the sound stage. But I do think it is was worth the money paid, well recorded and Very well played and composed.

11997d1398224952-best-hi-res-audiophile-releases-2014-3760002142531_230.jpg

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''Flowers of Sendai'' is a very pretty record.

I just miss a bit of placement in the stereo field, to me the tendency these days, with a few exceptions, to have the piano and the drums being present, all the way from Left to Right, messes up the sound stage. But I do think it is was worth the money paid, well recorded and Very well played and composed.

11997d1398224952-best-hi-res-audiophile-releases-2014-3760002142531_230.jpg

 

100% agree about placement in stereo image. Most of the modern recordings suffer with that. Pity! Regatding performance I like it as well.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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This one has very good placement.

What is your nomination for best hi-res audiophile recording or recordings of 2014?

 

May I start out with suggesting the new group Batik;The Old Man and the Sea.

This album is so beautiful written and played that I have played everyday for the past 2 weeks. And the sound stage is stunning, maybe the best engineered Sound Liaison album so far or at least as good as the Carmen Gomes albums or the Paul Berner album from the same label.

 

It is available as flac and wav, flac being cheaper for some reason $15 vs $20.

 

BATIK (WAV)

 

Batik%20Hoes%20300%20shadow%20v2.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
100% agree about placement in stereo image. Most of the modern recordings suffer with that. Pity! Regatding performance I like it as well.

 

Very true,but why is that, the general lack of placement in modern recordings?

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100% agree about placement in stereo image. Most of the modern recordings suffer with that. Pity! Regatding performance I like it as well.

 

Very true,but why is that, the general lack of placement in modern recordings?

 

That is a good question! We have all these modern computerized equipment and good monitors and cans, so why it sucks I dont know. Maybe mastering or mixing engimeers are not listening in details?!

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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That is a good question! We have all these modern computerized equipment and good monitors and cans, so why it sucks I dont know. Maybe mastering or mixing engimeers are not listening in details?!

 

Well most people do not have any idea of speaker placement, and do not own very good Headphones, but I also think that your are right mkrzych, that a lot of engineers nowadays has no idea. And maybe is is more complicated to mix with good placement.

 

Andre_misterieus_shadow.png

On this picture from the ''After Silence'' session you can clearly see the main microphones up in the air with the musicians placed around them, and if you listen to the album, you actually see/hear exactly that.

But reading further in the liner notes one also understands the complications of recording this way, but the result is remarkable.

 

After Silence was recorded with the musicians playing together in the same room, without headphones.The reason being that in our opinion that creates a number of musical and technical benefits....... The musicians interact much more as they would do in a concert situation...and as they are not ''separated'' by headphones the musicians are forced to create a musical balance...the need for compression to control levels is no longer necessary...we can use a minimalist microphone setup and there by reduce phase problems...since everybody is in the same room, the boxed sound which is so common in many modern recordings is absent...the sound of the room helps ''glue'' the sound of the recording. That sounds like an easy solution but bear in mind that in order for this to work:the studio has to have a good sound.....the musicians have to be very good and well prepared as it is very difficult to repair mistakes because of the ''cross talk'' between the instruments....we have to be very precise when choosing and placing the microphones...and the puzzle of placing the musicians at the right distance to the main stereo microphone pair and at the right distance to each other is very time consuming.

from the liner notes, further reading and listening examples;After Silence (FLAC)

 

Andre%20300%20met%20schaduw%20320_300.png

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Well most people do not have any idea of speaker placement, and do not own very good Headphones, but I also think that your are right mkrzych, that a lot of engineers nowadays has no idea. And maybe is is more complicated to mix with good placement.

 

Andre_misterieus_shadow.png

On this picture from the ''After Silence'' session you can clearly see the main microphones up in the air with the musicians placed around them, and if you listen to the album, you actually see/hear exactly that.

But reading further in the liner notes one also understands the complications of recording this way, but the result is remarkable.

 

 

from the liner notes, further reading and listening examples;After Silence (FLAC)

 

Andre%20300%20met%20schaduw%20320_300.png

 

Yes, completely agree about Soundliaison recordings, but they are really focused on that kind of achievement at the end. I am just wondering if it is so complicated for regular studio to listen to the recording over the headphones and try to place the instruments correctly based on the knowledge how the jazz trio is usually placed on the stage - is it so difficult, don't know.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Yes, completely agree about Soundliaison recordings, but they are really focused on that kind of achievement at the end. I am just wondering if it is so complicated for regular studio to listen to the recording over the headphones and try to place the instruments correctly based on the knowledge how the jazz trio is usually placed on the stage - is it so difficult, don't know.

I agree, but actually these recent John Scofield albums has rather good placement;

uberjamdeuxLRG.jpgpietystLRG.jpg

 

But it is an exception to the rule I'm afraid.

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Hello jhwalker I really like your selection of Martha Argerich, Claudio Abbado & Orchestra Morzart

Can you tell me where I can find the hi-rez download. HD- tracks or Classic online do not have it listed

In their catalogs Itunes carries it but I don't wont to go that route so any help would be greatly appreciated..

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Hello jhwalker I really like your selection of Martha Argerich, Claudio Abbado & Orchestra Morzart

Can you tell me where I can find the hi-rez download. HD- tracks or Classic online do not have it listed

In their catalogs Itunes carries it but I don't wont to go that route so any help would be greatly appreciated..

 

Qobuz:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : Piano Concertos No.25 & No.20 | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart par Martha Argerich – Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

Just noted it's only in 44/16 (i.e., Redbook lossless), so shouldn't have been in my hi-res list :/ But it's still a great recording, and if you want it on CD, you can get it on Amazon, as well:

Amazon.com: Piano Concert: Music

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > iFi Audio xDSD + iFi Audio xCAN > Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Pioneer Elite SC-81 > MartinLogan Motion series home theater speakers + M&K subwoofer

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