|All Artists: Sheffield|
Title: Drum & Track
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sheffield Lab
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
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Amazing stereo test album!
Jason P. Gold | Long Beach, CA | 09/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD started out as two black vinyl direct to disc phonograph playable albums. I own a copy of both original factory sealed black vinyl Sheffield direct from the microphone to the cutting lathe long playing stereo albums. This review is based on those albums, scratches and all. These albums were not recorded for the mass market, but for audiophiles to test their systems. No tape recorders or digital equipment or transformers were used in making the original recordings. The master lacquer disc was cut live as the music was played, using specially built microphones, boards, & etc.
Many of the Sheffield albums received Grammy nominations for their engineering. No noise. No distortion. Transparent. Dynamic. The biggest problems was that only one pressing disc could be made, thus, these were limited edition records. Only about 250,000 albums could be pressed. The other problem is that vinyl is easily scratched. The CD version resolves these issues.ja
The "Track Album" was hailed by Absolute Sound as "the best sounding rock record ever made." This is not to say it is great music; while the album contains solid instrumental rock which is well played, it was not designed to impress with musical innovation. The WOW comes from the quality of the recording. It is beautifully recorded straight basic instrumental rock music. The studio band is made up of just the basic instrumental tracks which form the backbone of any rock album -- keyboards, percussion, bass, guitar and drums. In order to fit the full dynamic range of the music on the album, both sides of the original vinyl took up a total of just 16 minutes.
The "Drum Album" is the other pure test album done by Sheffield. One side of the vinyl is Jim Keltner, the other of Ron Tutt. Keltner plays around on his drums and shows just how many sounds can come out of his set. This includes Keltner blowing on a little whistle and coughing at the end of the side. Ron Tutt's side is more cohesive as a drum solo, but stylisticly more basic studio druming. This album is one of the best tests I know for a stereo. A drum set produces instantaneous peaks, amazing dynamic range, and the full range of frequencies from the kick drum to the cymbals. This will show the flaws in a set of speakers! Listen to the decay time for the snare, tom toms and kick drums and you will tell you how clean your amplifiers are. Listen to the kick drum and you will see just how well your speakers handle a bass transient.
Jaw dropping in its clarity, punch, sonic accuracy, dynamic range and speed, this is the album to use if you want to see how good your system is or when looking at upgrading.
These were limited edition albums because only about 250,000 copies could be printed from the single master disk, and, like all vinyl, they get scratches. CDs fix these problems, but, unfortunately create their own because they don't have enough data to sound right. Hopefully, Sheffield will get about to putting it on SACD or DVD-Audio in the near future.
If you are looking for stereo test albums, or just some of the best Big Band recordings ever made, I also recommend buying the Harry James albums on the Sheffield label. James said "Commin from a Good Place" was his best sounding album ever. Both the sound and imaging are amazing."
This is THE sound evaluation disc.
Jason P. Gold | 08/23/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're really looking for a CD to evaluate the sound of your stereo, then this is the disc for you!! Without a doubt! Just listen and you'll se what I mean. Chock full of solos and drum tracks that'll make your heart pound ."