The List

If you compiled a listing of the very best audio products and recordings you've heard, the crème de la crème, what would you include? "The List" is our version of this -- an inventory of the audio equipment we at The Audio Beat admire most, along with recordings whose sound is as near to live as reproduction gets and whose musical merit is high enough to warrant repeat listening.

We don't claim that "The List" is all-inclusive -- how could it be? -- and we won't limit ourselves only to equipment we review. We do audition each piece of equipment sufficiently to include it here, and in some cases we own the products we tout. Price will not be a factor in any way.

The CDs, SACDs and LPs are simply the best-sounding recordings of real music we've come across. There are no musically empty sonic spectaculars here, just recordings with artistic value captured in sound that most ably suspends disbelief.

"The List" is by its nature a work-in-progress. We will add new audio components as they become familiar to us, and we will subtract older ones that we are either not sure of any longer or have been discontinued. Music is forever, so there will be only additions of recordings to "The List" and no subtractions.

Short descriptions of each recording and product will be added at a future date.

Music

All recordings are in stereo unless otherwise noted.

CDs

Greg Brown • Further In [Red House Records RHR CD 88]
Greg Brown • Slant Six Mind [Red House Records RHR CD 98]
Greg Brown • The Poet Game [Red House Records RHR CD 68]
Jakob Dylan • Seeing Things [Columbia 88697 02328 2]
David Grisman & Tony Rice • Tone Poems [Acoustic Disc ACD 10]
Korngold • Symphony in F-sharp; Tänzchen im alten Stil [Ondine ODE 1188-2]
Keith Richards • Main Offender [Virgin V2-86499]
Hans Theessink • Hard Road Blues [Minor Music 801047]
Jessica Williams • Live at Yoshi's Vol. 2 [Max Jazz 214]

SACDs

Berlioz • Symphonie Fantastique; Le Roi Lear [PentaTone PTC 5186 338]
R.L. Burnside • First Recordings [Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2026]
Grieg • Complete Symphonic Works, Vol. 1 [Audite 92.651 ]
Mahler • Symphony No.5 [EMI Angel AA8681-82/Esoteric ESSE 90057]
Verdi • Messa Da Requiem [CSO-Resound CSOR 901 1008]

LPs

Albeniz • Suite Espanola [London/Original Recordings Group CS 6581]
The B-52s • The B-52s [Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-004]
Beck • Sea Change [Geffen/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-308]
Nat "King" Cole and his Trio • After Midnight (mono) [Capitol Records/Analogue Productions AAPP 782-45]
Nat "King" Cole • Just One of Those Things [Capitol Records/Analogue Productions AAPP 903-45]
Miles Davis • Seven Steps to Heaven [Columbia/Analogue Productions APJ 8851-45]
Dead Can Dance • Into the Labyrinth [4AD/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-001]
Dead Can Dance • Spiritchaser [4AD/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-002]
España [London/Original Recordings Group ORG 104]
Falla • The Three Cornered Hat [London/Original Recordings Group ORG 102]
Andrew Hill • Point of Departure [Blue Note/Music Matters MMBST-84185]
Diana Krall • Live in Paris [Verve/Original Recordings Group 440065]
Diana Krall • The Look of Love [Verve/Original Recordings Group 549846]
Liszt • Concertos Nos.1 & 2 [Philips/Speakers Corner PHS 900-000]
Lee Morgan • Candy (mono) [Blue Note/Music Matters MMBLP-1590]
Gerry Mulligan Quartet • What Is There To Say? [Columbia/Original Recordings Group ORG 111]
Nirvana • Unplugged in New York [DGC/Original Recordings Group ORG 034]
Art Pepper • The Complete Art Pepper at Ronnie Scott's Club [Pure Pleasure PPAN012]
Sonny Rollins • Vol.1 (mono) [Blue Note/Music Matters MMBLP-1542]
Muddy Waters • Folk Singer [Chess/Analogue Productions LPS-1483]
Cassandra Wilson • Blue Light 'Til Dawn [Blue Note/Pure Pleasure PPAN BST81357]
Neil Young • Live at Massey Hall [Classic Records 43328-1-200G]

Equipment

Speakers

Crystal Cable • Absolute Arabesque
KEF • Blade
ProAc • Response K6
Tidal • Sunray
Vivid Audio • G1 Giya
Wilson Audio • Alexandria XLF
Wilson Audio • MAXX Series 3
Wilson Audio • Sasha W/P

Amplifiers

Analog Domain • Artemis monoblocks
Atma-Sphere • MA-2 Mk 3.1 monoblocks
Audio Research • Reference 250 monoblocks
Ayre Acoustics MX-R monoblocks
Lamm Industries • M1.2 Reference monoblocks
Lamm Industries • ML2.2 monoblocks
Lamm Industries • ML3 Signature monoblocks
Siltech • SAGA
Ypsilon Electronics • Aelius Mono Amplifiers

Preamplifiers

Allnic Audio • L-3000
Audio Research • Reference 5 SE
Convergent Audio Technology • SL-1 Legend
Robert Koda • Takumi K-10
Siltech • SAGA
VTL • TL-7.5 Series III Reference
Zanden Audio • Model 3000

Digital

Esoteric • K-01 CD/SACD player
Wadia Digital • S7i CD Player
Zanden Audio • Model 2000P CD transport and Model 5000S digital-to-analog converter

Analog

Allnic Audio • H-3000 phono stage
Allnic Audio • H-3000V phono stage
Furutech • Ag-12 tonearm cable
Furutech • Silver Arrows tonearm cable
Gryphon Audio Designs • Legato Legacy phono stage
Kronos Audio turntable
Nordost • Odin tonearm cable
Spiral Groove • Centroid tonearm
Tri-Planar • Mk VII UII tonearm
TW-Acustic • Raven AC turntable

Interconnects & speaker cables

AudioQuest • William E. Low Signature interconnects and speaker cables
Crystal Cable • Absolute Dream interconnects and speaker cables
Nordost • Odin interconnects and speaker cables

Power products

AudioQuest • William E. Low Signature power cords
Shunyata Research • Hydra Triton and Typhon Power-Conditioning System
Shunyata Research • Zi-Tron Anaconda

Isolation platforms, equipment racks

Silent Running Audio • Craz²

Headphones & amps

Apex • Pinnacle Headphone Amplifier/Preamplifier
Audez'e • LCD-3 Headphones

 

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