Vtory's Music (Re)Discoveries

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by Vtory, Aug 25, 2022.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    In essence, this is another "What are you listening to now?" thread. But from a little different angle: Hifi enthusiast's perspectives.

    For each entry, there will be three core elements to answer the following questions
    1. What audio rig am I listening with?
    2. Which recording I am listening to? (Jacket picture with album/recording information and/or links)
    3. What do I hear from this music-audio pairing? (only a few sentences would suffice)

    I'm going to update this thread myself regularly (hopefully on a daily basis) but welcome anyone who wants to share thoughts.

    PS. By the way, I'm nothing but a casual listener (as opposed to genre masters or experienced listeners). Please note that I'm disqualified to make any bold music claims in terms of supremacy, quality, etc. All I can say is whether or how I like the specific recording.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2022
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    [​IMG]

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0747313900879

    I always love Eriks Esenvalds's minimalist style shown in his Baltic contemporaries. In this choral work, he made a great use of a contrast between clear/sparse passages and dense/layered textures. With my modded Susvara, I could hear and appreciate more differentiation of individual voices as well as a clearer distinction between those voices and the hall, than what I owned before. Differences in tonal balance were subtle but enjoyably articulated.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  3. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    [​IMG]

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/p41nm0miz6azc

    One of my favorite works by Solti. I just like how this rendition presents. Damn beautiful recording.

    Soundwise, throughout the entire scenes in this album, Susvara's portrayal of detail and atmosphere is simply impressive. Unsentimental reading of Tchaikovsky's score is presented in high definition. I could follow each scene's unfolding orchestration in very fine detail. The musicians were almost visible in the headstage.
     
  4. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    [​IMG]

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0724384745158

    This album doesn't contain much low bass, which makes the midbass and all the upper range quality much more important. I like how my rig could resolve lots of complex and twisty synth squiggles, guitar screams, and bass lines. Susvara also did a fantastic job in communicating Paul Thompson's nuanced kickdrum in terms of both subtle microdynamic gradation and heavy kicks. Albeit a bit analytic (which I indeed look after), I'd take this presentation over excessive lower midbass boom any day.
     
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    [​IMG]

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/bh9ezqzcpljvb

    A little exotic way to listen to classical masterpieces. This work is done by an interesting collaboration between an ensemble specializing in music of 18-19Cs and a German early music ensemble with musicians from 7 nations: Concerto Koln and Sarband respectively. They attempted to demonstrate bidirectional flow between European classical music and traditional eastern music. Namely, 18C musical orientalism in Europe. For example, the opening track ("The abduction from the Seraglio") features traditional Turkish percussion adding unique vibe to the performance.

    I like how this album dynamically explodes with my rig. Particularly when Sarband adds an explosion of strings, winds, and exotic-ish percussion, although I set the volume to a comfortable level for the intro, there was way much more of a jump. Thrillingly good. I played the same tracks with other headphones and amps I have. And I'm sure the recording quality solely can't account for everything I heard -- obviously there's something magical going on with my audio chain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2022
  6. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    ZMF Atrium LTD koa < DNA Stellaris Special (EML rectifier, Linlai E-2A3, stock 6N1P) < Holo Spring 2 KTE < HQPlayer DSD256 (filter: poly-sinc-gauss-hires-ip, shaper: ASDM5ECv2) < 24/88.2kHz PCM

    [​IMG]

    https://www.alia-vox.com/en/catalogue/llibre-vermell-de-montserrat/

    This recording gives me the shivers whenever I listen to it closely with a good reproduction chain. With this chain, if I close my eyes I can imagine myself in the Barcelona church of Santa Maria del Pi where it was recorded. The spaciousness, resonance of the recording venue make the voices and period instruments rise above mundane matters. The bells that and drums that beat the rhythm fill the space with energy and drive, while the horns and strings that mark slower passages elicit intense longing. Muffled steps of performers (and audience?) remind us that this is a human performance in a human space. The performance was in remembrance of Montserrat Figueras, an amazing soprano and Jordi Savall's partner who was taken way too early by cancer.
     
  7. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    @earnmyturns Thanks for your input. Seems a must to check out. Unfortunately couldn't find it in qobuz. I found one and added to the cart in Amazon tho. Looking forward to listening by myself.
     
  8. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sivga SV023 < SMSL HO200 < Gustard X18

    Aside: SV023 is probably unknown to 99.99% of the forum. See my thoughts here https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?members/vtory.2746/#profile-post-30582

    [​IMG]

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/5099921372759

    A great recording in very early age (1957 if I recall correctly). My audio chain revealed not only how rich and mellow Nat's voice was but also how closely he sang to the microphone. The whole presentation soaked in rich strings including sharp/shrill violins with a great casualness. I found myself drawn in deep by the intimacy in his voice.
     
  9. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    upload_2022-8-28_22-16-33.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0603497936670

    One of entertaining moments of hifi audio is we can enjoy synesthesia aroused by hearing solo and grouped voices with instruments. And Ry Cooder's Jazz (1978) is definitely one of albums suiting that purpose. Of course I do also like authentic music style and modern renditions of music from an earlier time in this work.

    WIth my audio chain, warm and forwarding male voices contrast sharply with Ryland's vocal solos which are cooler and more distant to my ears. Instruments are clearly placed in the headstage. I co-localize his guitar with his voice. And more importantly, the relationships between them and their tonal characteristic were more consistent and natural.
     
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < Gustard X18

    upload_2022-8-29_12-33-43.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/phhnovn0medfb

    When I first checked out this album, I had to see the album artists list twice. What? Who and who? Haha. But the collaboration turned out an excellently effortless sounding work.

    Some tracks in this album, however, perplex many audio chains I've tested before -- to get the bass perfectly right. The third track, 'Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us', is one of them. Love the nice synergy in my current chain. They all together sort it out. Alison's voice is pure and sweet, as is the violin. No bloat I used to hear in the bass with some other audios. The bass lines remains full and decisive. Zero hint of bass deprivation. I'd also comment that, no matter which volume level I played it, I always heard full, dynamic, taut, and balanced lows.
     
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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < SMSL HO200 < SMSL M500.3 (testing new combo for fun)

    upload_2022-8-30_12-33-43.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/su9k7w1qf3rxb

    The Creation (2022) is a great compendium of pieces celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Lockenhaus Festival. I like Helena Winkelman's concerto for cello and strings (atlas). The brooding sound world is uniquely compelling, and the last movement's inexorable force and driving beat, through thrilling percussion, wowed me.

    With the smsl chain I was testing, the sound was a little cooler. But thrilling and liquid enough to make me melt into the music. Bass was tight and convincing albeit not quite equal in impact to that was elicited from my usual upstream (LA90+X18) tho. I love that the background was dead silent and felt like a blank canvas from which colors blossomed forth.
     
  12. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sivga SV023 < SMSL M500.3

    upload_2022-8-31_13-12-41.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0002894758202

    I don't think Clifford Curzon need any explanation from me. I love how he've conjugated intellect, precision, accurate phrasing, personal sense of color, and first rate technique.

    Today, I was finding his performance on Brahms's 1st piano concerto in this album with sorta minimalistic audio chain. This combo easily enthralled me more than I thought. I could hear a good soundstage depth from the image of the London Symphony Orchestra surrounding the piano. The double basses and cellos sounded moderately warm. Lower registers of the piano were a bit more present to me, but it was still in good balance with upper registers as well as other orchestra. It was a happy listening by all means.
     
  13. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < SMSL HO200 < SMSL M500.3

    upload_2022-9-1_18-4-21.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0801061025632

    This is seriously Flying Lotus's most complex and profound work of music (including contributions of great guests). He has taken jazz to a new ground with weird distortions and synthetic sounds that fit the dying theme to a unique style and level. I keep returning to this work whenever I want to listen to big music with serious scale.

    I do think this album scales well with better audio. This is because, at any given moment, it spans most of the audible frequency range and fills the entire soundstage with clutter. That being said, I was fully satisfied with the way how my audio sorted it out. They distributed it over a larger area so that all those little pieces were better separated. Love the vast headstage.
     
  14. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sivga SV023 < SMSL M500.3

    upload_2022-9-2_14-18-14.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/sgp2wafw4muib

    This is a beautiful jazz album by a young and talented vocalist. Well played and crafted numbers throughout. Cecile's voice is amazing, great range from a deep chest voice to a jazz soprano head voice especially well demonstrated on the title track. I stumbled across this work a while ago -- later I realized how lucky I was.

    On the Sivga-Smsl duo, I liked how well the kickdrums were defined while having good weight ('You Bring Out the Savage in Me'). The double bass had excellent articulation and could be easily distinguished from the kickdrums regardless of their overlapping frequencies ('John Henry').
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  15. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sivga SV023 < SMSL M500.3 (this duo is growing on me...)

    upload_2022-9-3_10-33-51.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/pwbac2aqdj24b

    Being into jazz recently, I learned great jazz can sometimes be done by very minimalistic components. This live recording from Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau's performance (at the Enjoy Jazz Festival in 2007) excellently proved it right. Unbelievably chill music from just two instruments.. A piano and a double bass. That's it.

    On the Sivga-Smsl duo, Brad's piano was pushed forward at me a little more than I used to hear with my other audio pieces. Never wrong or annoying by any means. Perfectly enjoyable. I also love how my audio could reproduce Charlie's double bass: particularly, sublime heft and leading-edge definition.
     
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sivga SV023 < SMSL M500.3

    upload_2022-9-4_9-7-6.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/jvpho7rxbimvc

    This relaxed and welcoming cello work by Zuill Bailey may be one of the best ways to enjoy Sunday morning. In this album, his performance and interpretation is more sensitive and nuanced than even his prior works. Full of beautiful musicianship, fresh insights, and superb engineering as well.

    The last -- sublime recording quality -- is worth mentioning because I think this recording finds him 100%. The sound and energy kept pulling me in deeper with very black background. On the Sivga-Smsl duo, his tone was full, and the distinct contributions of bow, strings, and wood were easy to hear and appreciate. I was originally planning to listen to only a few tracks (one suite at most) but my early morning hours fully disappeared before I was aware of it.
     
  17. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hifiman Susvara (mod) < Topping LA90 < SMSL M500.3

    upload_2022-9-5_12-17-42.png

    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0634904078362

    While I'd say Radiohead's albums are all solidly great, the Amnesiac is my favorite. I really like their dark and dreamy takes with a ton of ambiance and layering, interesting lyrics, and soul-touching music.

    This album scaled well with my audio, too. Here are some examples. I could thoroughly enjoy bass -- seismic heft and yet without sacrificing nuance and details ('Like Spinning Plates'). Percussion sounded real and of physical presence despite it must be mostly electronic ('Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors'). The feeling of immersion was powerful and Thom Yorke's voice was haunting and almost visibly hung there in the headstage ('Life in a Glasshouse'). Overall, very absorbing experience.
     
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  18. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    I'm right with you on this one. "I Might Be Wrong" is one of those tracks I keep constantly getting back to. Music I'll most likely listen to 30 years from now.
     
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  19. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    The album is in fact available on Qobuz. I had to do some variations in the search terms before it was found. The funny thing is, I already had it favorited from a mention by @earnmyturns some time ago. I had trouble finding it then, and again this time.
    https://open.qobuz.com/album/0191018386634
    Screen Shot 2022-09-05 at 9.29.18 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
  20. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Another bookmarked tidal album, thx
     

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