Off topic: listening to a nice record...

Dear Forum,

although it is slightly off topic because there seems to be somewhat of a habit of DIY / hifi-forums while talking about hifi leaving the the music out, I would at least sometimes like to hear what kind of music you are actually listening, which goodies you have discovered or what music gives you the proverbial "shiver down the spine". And I am not talking about "reference recordings" here, which we use for testing specific sound reproduction properties.

It may not be to everybodys taste, here is a recording which does not only consist of brilliant music but can also give you back the faith in the art of recording:

Santiago de Murcia Codex

played by The Ensemble Kapsberger with Rolf Lislevand

( Auvidis/Astree 1999 )

This is early baroque music from Mexico around 1730, but it sounds more like "World Music" or you could name it "Old New World Music" or "Early Age Music". You must listen yourself.

The equipment list of the recording is a mouthwatering one:

- 2 Bruel & Kjaer 4006 microphones

- Crookwood Paintpot preamplifier

- DCS 904 DAC in 96kHz/24bit configuration

- recorded and edited in 96kHz/24bit on an AUGAN OMX24 soundstation

- digital conversion and dithering from 96kHz/24bit to 44.1kHz/16bits by a DCS 972 converter

(no tubes, no digital reverb)

This recording is like a window to the music. I heard the musicians also live, which is the hard act to follow as always.
Although there is a slight noise floor (maybe from the dithering), you can here the space vibrate around the instruments.

-> I just listend to this record and thought I should tell you that ...

happy listening

My favourite album is the Denon audio technical CD. The band noises sound great when shortened and normalised to an equal loudness contour.

You have raised a good point though.

For "pure" listening pleasure, I admire Jan-Eric Persson's recordings and the ethos behind the Opus3 label.

Also experimental music on BBC Radio 3.

And loads of other stuff according to mood.

Are any DIY audio members musicians or recordists as well, using DIY equipment to record your own material?
lohk said:
Dear Forum,
although it is slightly off topic because there seems to be somewhat of a habit of DIY / hifi-forums while talking about hifi leaving the the music out, I would at least sometimes like to hear what kind of music you are actually listening....

I think you very very wrong here! I think (no proof for that) most of the DIY's listen to music with a (very) dedicated ear. Of course there are a few people out there who only listens to noise, cracks, clicks, distorsion etc but they are in minority.

LIsten to good music with cool audio gear, it's fun! :D

please do not tell another member "you are wrong" (attacking the person), tell him, "i do not agree with your point" (adressing the point, completely different attitude :) )


i agree with peranders' point. For me music is the reason i toy around with audio gear. Music is my only dope. Unfortunately the Creator has not equipped me with flexible and sensitive hands; if i look at my typing (typo in every 3rd word, all wrong order typos), i doubt i ever will able to learn harpsichord, i am not even dreaming of playing piano. So i have to listen to gorgeous musicians playing gorgeous music and to get my audio equipment to open the window to music as wide as possible. Meanwhile i am quite good in both.

Thank you for your hint, i will definitely check it out, i am as well into into early composed music as i am into world music.

while i am typing that, a CD-reissue with acoustic shellac recordings is spinning: The violinist is Vasa Prihoda, an almost forgotten Czech virtuoso. It is a mixed program; i do not care about the composers, Prihoda's play makes my eyeballs swim in tears of joy (shucks, i have to hunt some shellac OPs!!). Imagine Anne-Sophie Mutter's technical command of the instument combined with David Oistrakh's musicality and seductivity and lush tone and the result squared then.
Before that CD i had Michael Rabin playing the Paganini Caprices (vinyl OP, of course !!); i am careful playing that recording, i care to have the time for all three sides as it is almost impossibe to me to interrupt it once it started.

opus3: my preferred album is "Tommy Oernbergs Blue Five featuring Kenny Davern". Gorgeous Dixieland, sonics are a bonus.

Early music: The Finish ensemble "Hortus Musicus" delivered some outstanding recordings of medieval and renaissance music on the Russian Melodya label.

Even earlier music: my preferred ensemble for Gregrian Chant is the "Choeur Des Moines de L'Abbaye de Saint Pierre Des Solesmes" with Dom Joseph Gaillard conducting. Pure sonic mysticism, i would go as far and call it hypnotic.

Not so early music: Giovanni Pieluigi da Palastrina: Missa Papae Marcelli, sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge under David Willcocks, released on EMI. Meant to be sonic propaganda of the Catholic Church back then, it does the job! You hear the :angel: sing :)

Japanese classical music: The album is called "ZEN"; Katsuya Yokoyama plays classical Shakuhachi masterworks.
The Shakuhachi is a Japanese wooden pentatonic flute. This flute has an enormously rich spectrum of overtones, hence the music is pure overtone music; the base melody does not matter much.
Released by the German Wergo label (vinyl: wergo SM1033/34). Pure sonic mysticism as the hint above, but the mood is quite a diffferent one. If you want your soul to find a rest, listen to this.

Back to shellac. Hinthint try to lay your hands on SonyClassical's re-issue of the Budapest String Quartet playing Beethoven string quartets. Two albums, each with 2 CDs.
Order code is:
SonyClassical MH2K 62870 and MH2K 62873
This is their 1st recording of the works from around 1940. A second recording on mono vinyl from the early 50ies and a third one on stereo vinyl from the early 60ies exsists. For me the BSQ is the absolute summit of string quartet performance, in respects of technical virtuosity and command as well as in respects of differentiated, idiomatically correct, emotionally plausible/integral interpretation.
Back to the mentioned shellac re-issue of LvB SQs: you will be stunned how open and juicy the sound of that recording is. If the gorgeous music gives you a chance to notice it. The BSQ shows here how a SQ ensemble can (and should) sound and sing.