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Top 10 Audio Fidelity Surround SACD albums / Make your List

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sperezmore

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Hello forum members,

In your opinion what is the top ten Audio Fidelity Surround SACD albums based on technical quality, fidelity and content.

Based on your picks I'll probably buy some titles that are not part of my collection.

Thank you

Regards,
 

Simon A

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Here are mine (in no particular order):

Bread - The Best of Bread
Earth, Wind & Fire - Head To The Sky
Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
The Guess Who - The Best of The Guess Who
The Doors - The Best of The Doors (this is the one that gave me the bug and got me to get a Multichannel set-up)
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears
America - Hearts

soon to be added:

Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties
Laura Nyro - Eli and the Thirteenth Confession
 

sbrom

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As a newbie, I've found the surround polls here at QQ to be extremely helpful.

Perhaps start with a list of Audio Fidelity titles (gleaned from AF's site), and manually map them to the poll accordingly.

https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/TabbedPollChart.htm




Hello forum members,

In your opinion what is the top ten Audio Fidelity Surround SACD albums based on technical quality, fidelity and content.

Based on your picks I'll probably buy some titles that are not part of my collection.

Thank you

Regards,
 

JonUrban

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Here's the roster if you need a reminder to make your picks:

AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN'
AFZ5-186: BLOOMFIELD, KOOPER, STILLS - SUPERSESSION
AFZ5-195: BS&T - CHILD IS THE FATHER TO MAN
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-197: BREAD - BEST OF
AFZ5-198: BS&T - BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (Second Album)
AFZ5-199: GUESS WHO - BEST OF THE GUESS WHO
AFZ5-202: EARTH WIND & FIRE - OPEN OUR EYES
AFZ5-203: GROVER WASHINGTON - WINELIGHT
AFZ5-204: AMERICA - HOMECOMING
AFZ5-206: THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS
AFZ5-207: BILLY JOEL - STREETLIFE SERENADE
AFZ5-212: THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - BIRDS OF FIRE
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS
AFZ5-216: LOGGINS & MESSINA - LOGGINS & MESSINA
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-220: JUDY COLLINS - COLORS OF THE DAY
AFZ5-223: HERBIE HANCOCK - THRUST
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
AFZ5-230: BOB DYLAN - BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6
AFZ5-231: AMERICA - HEARTS
AFZ5-234: BILLY COBHAM - SPECTRUM
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-238: MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER - FRESH AIRE 8
AFZ5-240: VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE COLLECTION
AFZ5-243: LOGGINS & MESSINA - FULL SAIL
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-520: NEW YORK VOICES - LET IT SNOW
 

JonUrban

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These are my top 10 at the moment, in random order:

AFZ5-206: THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS
AFZ5-234: BILLY COBHAM - SPECTRUM
AFZ5-198: BS&T - BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (Second Album)
AFZ5-243: LOGGINS & MESSINA - FULL SAIL
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-203: GROVER WASHINGTON - WINELIGHT
AFZ5-204: AMERICA - HOMECOMING
AFZ5-231: AMERICA - HEARTS
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-216: LOGGINS & MESSINA - LOGGINS & MESSINA
 

steelydave

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Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
America - Hearts
Billy Cobham - Spectrum
Labelle - Nightbirds
Jeff Beck Group - Self-Titled
Herbie Hancock - Thrust
Earth, Wind & Fire - Head To The Sky / Open Our Eyes (take your pick)
Blood Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire

Honourable mentions: George Benson 'Breezin' (massive sonic upgrade on the DVD-A) and The Doors Greatest Hits (much better surround mixes than the modern 5.1s, actually enjoy listening to these songs I thought I'd never want to hear again).
 

privateuniverse

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These are my faves:

AFZ5-207: BILLY JOEL - STREETLIFE SERENADE
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-202: EARTH WIND & FIRE - OPEN OUR EYES
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION

Admittedly, what tops my list has a lot to do with how much I love the music, but the mixes on all of them are great, especially the EW&F titles.
 

edisonbaggins

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It's kinda tough to pick 10! I like around 15 - 20 of the titles.


AFZ5-186: BLOOMFIELD, KOOPER, STILLS - SUPERSESSION
AFZ5-195: BS&T - CHILD IS THE FATHER TO MAN
AFZ5-197: BREAD - BEST OF
AFZ5-198: BS&T - BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (Second Album)
AFZ5-199: GUESS WHO - BEST OF THE GUESS WHO
AFZ5-206: THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS
AFZ5-207: BILLY JOEL - STREETLIFE SERENADE
AFZ5-216: LOGGINS & MESSINA - LOGGINS & MESSINA
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
 

fredblue

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Well.. I'm going to have to cheat and do 12 in total, sorry.. :eek:
(but there is method in my madness.. why these are important/meaningful personally in each case in parenthesis)

Personal Top 10:
AFZ5-186: BLOOMFIELD, KOOPER, STILLS - SUPERSESSION (Previously Unreleased/Cancelled Sony 5.1),
AFZ5-195: BS&T - CHILD IS THE FATHER TO MAN (Previously Unreleased/Cancelled Sony 5.1),
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS (Cancelled Sony SACD of this Quad classic),
AFZ5-197: BREAD - BEST OF (One of the best Quad Hits compilations imho),
AFZ5-206: THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS (Ditto),
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS (Legendary Quad, mostly with good reason),
AFZ5-234: BILLY COBHAM - SPECTRUM (Previously Unreleased/Cancelled Warner Quad),
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY (One of Columbia's most immersive Soul/R&B Quads),
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION (Previously Unreleased Quad),
AFZ5-243: LOGGINS & MESSINA - FULL SAIL (One of Columbia's best, textbook mix from their main man Larry Keyes)

Honourable mention for two reissues of essential 5.1 DVD-A's:
AFZ5-203: GROVER WASHINGTON - WINELIGHT
AFZ5-204: AMERICA - HOMECOMING

The two 5.1's above, Scheiner's on fire with easy listening and AOR.. he takes material that's pedestrian in places to a whole other level. AFZ5-203 & AFZ5-204 are unmissable, imho.
 

sperezmore

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AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN'
AFZ5-186: BLOOMFIELD, KOOPER, STILLS - SUPERSESSION
AFZ5-195: BS&T - CHILD IS THE FATHER TO MAN
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-197: BREAD - BEST OF
AFZ5-198: BS&T - BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (Second Album)
AFZ5-199: GUESS WHO - BEST OF THE GUESS WHO
AFZ5-202: EARTH WIND & FIRE - OPEN OUR EYES
AFZ5-203: GROVER WASHINGTON - WINELIGHT
AFZ5-204: AMERICA - HOMECOMING
AFZ5-206: THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS
AFZ5-207: BILLY JOEL - STREETLIFE SERENADE
AFZ5-212: THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - BIRDS OF FIRE
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS
AFZ5-216: LOGGINS & MESSINA - LOGGINS & MESSINA
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-220: JUDY COLLINS - COLORS OF THE DAY
AFZ5-223: HERBIE HANCOCK - THRUST
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
AFZ5-230: BOB DYLAN - BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6
AFZ5-231: AMERICA - HEARTS
AFZ5-234: BILLY COBHAM - SPECTRUM
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-238: MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER - FRESH AIRE 8
AFZ5-240: VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE COLLECTION
AFZ5-243: LOGGINS & MESSINA - FULL SAIL
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-520: NEW YORK VOICES - LET IT SNOW

Thank you for the list Jon

Bolded are the titles that I own, now I'm trying to decide which titles I can get based on the recommendations of my fellow forum members.

I own GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN' on DVD Audio, maybe an upgrade is in order if my fellow members think so.

Thanks guys.

Regards,
 
Last edited:

fredblue

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Here are mine (in no particular order):

Bread - The Best of Bread
Earth, Wind & Fire - Head To The Sky
Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
The Guess Who - The Best of The Guess Who
The Doors - The Best of The Doors (this is the one that gave me the bug and got me to get a Multichannel set-up)
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears
America - Hearts

soon to be added:

Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties
Laura Nyro - Eli and the Thirteenth Confession
The Doors SACD from AF did something very cool in that case, Simon.. a great thing for you and great for all of us here at QQ too, if I may say, when it gave you the Surround bug.. you got the fever and there's no cure! :yikes :upthumb
 

~dave~~wave~

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...based on technical quality, fidelity and content...
In my subjective opinion:

The Sly album has great content, but being so old is weak on fidelity.

Nightbirds has great technical quality and musicianship. Not everyone's cup of tea on content, since it's dance music, and while the lyrics are socially conscious on some tunes, others are lightweight.

Same for the Jeff Beck. It's very much of it's time vocally and lyrically. 1972 "boogie all night long". I'm of that era, but not for everybody.

If you dig Spectrum, Birds of Fire might please you. Not as crisp in fidelity on some tracks to my ears, but an historically important jazz fusion recording. Unique quad mix with drums in the rear.

Your mileage may vary.
 

sperezmore

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Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
America - Hearts
Billy Cobham - Spectrum
Labelle - Nightbirds
Jeff Beck Group - Self-Titled
Herbie Hancock - Thrust
Earth, Wind & Fire - Head To The Sky / Open Our Eyes (take your pick)
Blood Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire

Honourable mentions: George Benson 'Breezin' (massive sonic upgrade on the DVD-A) and The Doors Greatest Hits (much better surround mixes than the modern 5.1s, actually enjoy listening to these songs I thought I'd never want to hear again).
Steelydave,

Do you highly recommend to buy George Benson 'Breezin' SACD? Already have the DVD Audio.

Thank you.

Regards,
 

Simon A

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The Doors SACD from AF did something very cool in that case, Simon.. a great thing for you and great for all of us here at QQ too, if I may say, when it gave you the Surround bug.. you got the fever and there's no cure! :yikes :upthumb
Thanks for the kind words Adam. :) I'm also happy to have found this place and hang out with so many groovy people.

I actually had forgotten one that I meant to add to my list:

AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP

That was my first Jeff Beck purchase ever and it got me to invest thousands of Yens in the Beck, Bogert & Appice Japan SACD and I love both discs.

I know I'm not alone in thanking Audio Fidelity for all these amazing Multichannel SACDs and in hoping that many more are coming our way.
 

~dave~~wave~

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AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN'
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-212: THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - BIRDS OF FIRE
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-220: JUDY COLLINS - COLORS OF THE DAY
AFZ5-223: HERBIE HANCOCK - THRUST
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
AFZ5-230: BOB DYLAN - BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-238: MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER - FRESH AIRE 8
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-520: NEW YORK VOICES - LET IT SNOW
I would assume that, like me, you would never buy some of these titles no matter how highly they were rated by a bunch of strangers on the internet.
Undreamed of in my youth is the current ability to sample almost all the audio online in some form to know what you're getting.

Hearing a bit of the Herbie Hancock again reminded me why I didn't purchase it when it came out.

Personally, I love Supersession, bought it when it came out and nearly wore it out on vinyl.
A delight to re-visit in quad after a long lay-off.
But I won't buy Child Is Father To The Man since I already have it in stereo and don't play it enough to be interested in owning it in surround.

I've never paid for an Alice Cooper recording and am not about to start now.

Bob Dylan fans already own Vol. 6 in stereo (and know if they love it enough to think it would benefit from a surround upgrade).
I can't imagine anyone else getting it just because it's a surround mix of a 1964 solo acoustic concert.

Mannheim Steamroller is an acquired taste, but have always had a reputation for high fidelity and superb production values.
(Full disclosure, Chip Davis is a local legend who lives 60 miles from me.)
For what it is, (which some folks consider robotic cod new-age classical dreck), it's a peak in his career as a composer and performer as a one-man synth and drum band.
Do you need to own it? You could do worse if you appreciate that sort of thing.

Etc.
 

sperezmore

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AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN'
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-212: THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - BIRDS OF FIRE
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-220: JUDY COLLINS - COLORS OF THE DAY
AFZ5-223: HERBIE HANCOCK - THRUST
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
AFZ5-230: BOB DYLAN - BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-238: MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER - FRESH AIRE 8
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-520: NEW YORK VOICES - LET IT SNOW


I would assume that, like me, you would never buy some of these titles no matter how highly they were rated by a bunch of strangers on the internet.
Undreamed of in my youth is the current ability to sample almost all the audio online in some form to know what you're getting.

Hearing a bit of the Herbie Hancock again reminded me why I didn't purchase it when it came out.

Personally, I love Supersession, bought it when it came out and nearly wore it out on vinyl.
A delight to re-visit in quad after a long lay-off.
But I won't buy Child Is Father To The Man since I already have it in stereo and don't play it enough to be interested in owning it in surround.

I've never paid for an Alice Cooper recording and am not about to start now.

Bob Dylan fans already own Vol. 6 in stereo (and know if they love it enough to think it would benefit from a surround upgrade).
I can't imagine anyone else getting it just because it's a surround mix of a 1964 solo acoustic concert.

Mannheim Steamroller is an acquired taste, but have always had a reputation for high fidelity and superb production values.
(Full disclosure, Chip Davis is a local legend who lives 60 miles from me.)
For what it is, (which some folks consider robotic cod new-age classical dreck), it's a peak in his career as a composer and performer as a one-man synth and drum band.
Do you need to own it? You could do worse if you appreciate that sort of thing.

Etc.
From that list I'm on the fence to buy

AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN' (love this album, already have the DVD Audio)
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY

The rest of that list, like you said, I really do not care about the music.

Regards,
 

fredblue

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AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN'
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-212: THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - BIRDS OF FIRE
AFZ5-215: SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - GREATEST HITS
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-220: JUDY COLLINS - COLORS OF THE DAY
AFZ5-223: HERBIE HANCOCK - THRUST
AFZ5-229: ALICE COOPER - MUSCLE OF LOVE
AFZ5-230: BOB DYLAN - BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY
AFZ5-237: LAURA NYRO - ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
AFZ5-238: MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER - FRESH AIRE 8
AFZ5-248: BLUE OYSTER CULT - SECRET TREATIES
AFZ5-520: NEW YORK VOICES - LET IT SNOW




From that list I'm on the fence to buy

AFZ5-185: GEORGE BENSON - BREEZIN' (Already have the DVD Audio)
AFZ5-196: LABELLE - NIGHTBIRDS
AFZ5-219: JEFF BECK GROUP - JEFF BECK GROUP
AFZ5-236: EARTH WIND AND FIRE - HEAD TO THE SKY

The rest of that list, like you said, I really do not care about the music.

Regards,
What's the order of priorities with these AF Surround titles for you?

1.) Music itself,
2.) Surround mix,
3.) Sound quality..?

Different order? Other criteria?

Its so difficult for any one of us here to advise you, if they are not artists you'd normally listen to (or even entertain in the first place) if they weren't in surround.

Personally, if I may, Breezin' AF SACD does have superior sound to the old DVD-A, as steelydave says but for me it's lacking the 2 X bonuses and one of them ("Down Here On The Ground") was the highlight (both musically and in surround) of the old DVD-A.. I realise it was never on the original album in the 70's.. but it is as good a track, if not better than almost everything on Breezin' ..and so for that reason I can't recommend the SACD over the DVD-A, if you love the album (as I do) you need both versions.

EWF/Head To The Sky & Labelle my musical kind of thing so I'm biased but the Quad mixes of both are excellent as well, among some of the best from Columbia & assoc Sony labels I've heard.. so I'd get those two as a priority out of the 4 in your potential shopping list.

I enjoy the Jeff Beck Group.. but as albums go I much prefer Rough & Ready, Blow By Blow & Wired, all of which have Quads as you know, they're just stronger complete records so I'd rather hear those any day of the week but that is again v.personal and not to damn that album or Quad with faint praise.. I don't know if that's been of any help to you at all.. possibly not! :eek: These things are all so subjective..
 

Simon A

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There's also the matter of availability. You're lucky as the titles you are interested in are still easily accessible. You may want to go for the ones that may give the indication of being sold out and then catch up on the titles that are still on the market.
 

fredblue

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There's also the matter of availability. You're lucky as the titles you are interested in are still easily accessible. You may want to go for the ones that may give the indication of being sold out and then catch up on the titles that are still on the market.
Very good point.. everything in this "surround game" (even The Scorpions!) is available once it's gone out of print, at a price.. ;)
 
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