Album Spotlight - James Taylor's "Hourglass"

treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,511
Hello and good afternoon to you all. As you know, I simply love a well recorded album. Not because it makes your system shine but because of the sound. You know, the beautiful end result as to what hits your ears.

Well, every once in a while you come across an album that you rarely ever hear about or maybe never heard about that simply sounds wonderful. Please allow me to introduce you to James Taylor's "Hourglass" DSD SACD. SKU number 7464-67912-6

4zvncwvtqvd1.png

Unfortunately for some, if you do not have an SACD Player? This is not for you, as it will not play. With that said, it features Yo-Yo-Ma on the Cello but includes other instruments that include the fiddle, tin whistle, harmonica, Acoustic bass, Soprano, Tenor and Alto saxophones as well as both guitar and steel guitars. The album also includes vocals by Sting, Jill Dell'Abate and Shawn Colvin.

Now, I do not have the redbook version and I have not heard the LP in years but if you do not have this album and you have an SACD Player? Get it. You will not be wasting your hard earned money. It can be hard to find great music with a stellar recording but one needs not look any further than this for that great combo. I would even go so far as to say that this album may just be one of James' finest albums.

Simply great music.

Tom

PS - I would not recommend getting the recent LP's of this. I have read a lot of bad things about the mastering/pressing. Caveat Emptor.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~

Comments

  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,617
    Yep, that's a good one. I have a number of his on SACD. They are all superbly done.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,973
    edited March 4
    treitz3 wrote: »
    if you do not have this album and you have an SACD Player? Get it.

    Done.

    The cover/packaging on the one I found looks different:

    s-l1600.jpg
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,511
    I took all that extra stuff off when I got it. This is what it looks like now...

    gagq8rckgsa4.png

    The only way to know that it is "Hourglass" now is if you look at the side of the CD (as if it were in a rack). There are different versions out there, even Japanese if memory serves. I just wanted to let folks know exactly which one I had (SKU Number) because different releases sometimes offer vastly different sound.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,903
    It's an awesome album especially in high rez. I was just using it to demo the Monitor Audio Silver 300's.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,973
    treitz3 wrote: »
    I just wanted to let folks know exactly which one I had (SKU Number) because different releases sometimes offer vastly different sound.

    Yep, that SKU is the exact version I ordered today. Psyched that I found one in still sealed condition, as I am weird about having my CDs in pristine condition if at all possible.

    Here's the release page: https://www.discogs.com/James-Taylor-Hourglass/release/5582217
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,795
    I'll add it to my tidal Playlist, thanks Tom!
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • Typ44qTyp44q Posts: 1
    This is a great album! I tried to purchase it a few years back on SACD from ebay and was sent the wrong version. All the other copies seemed overpriced at the time.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,511
    Hello @Typ44q and please allow me to offer a very warm welcome to Club Polk.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,973
    My mint condition sealed copy of Hourglass arrived, exactly as shown in the photo I posted above. The seller even managed to ship it in a way that protected the case, so no cracked jewel case!
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,511
    Someone's in for a good listening session tonight!

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,973
    Hey @treitz3, I finally played this SACD earlier for the first time since I got it. I let it play from start to finish and the sound quality was exceptional, just as you said.

    The signal path was: Marantz SA-KI Ruby -> Norma Audio Revo IPA-140 -> Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 (NrT)

    It's always impressive to me how putting in a SACD in a way "elevates" the performance of the equipment upstream. Suddenly everything can show you what it's really capable of when you are feeding it a quality source.

    For me, SACD is still the ultimate digital format. It sounds better than CD, streaming, FLAC, high res, etc. Actually putting in a SACD and playing it "live" sounds better to me than high res rips of the same songs. I don't know if that's a placebo or imagined effect, but it's what I've noticed.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,511
    Glad you like it Drew. I like to spotlight things that are noteworthy or that are not so mainstream, yet definitely stand out in the crowd. This album definitely made the cut.

    When it comes to digital format? I would argue RB and SACD are the top two digital formats. I say that with full confidence because when you compare a RB Burmester album I have to any of my top sounding SACD's? You would almost say that the RB bests SACD's. Ask anyone who has heard the "Choo-Choo" song on my rig at Carverfest.

    I have a couple of more examples like this that I have heard in my travels but it boils down to the recording and mastering much more than the format itself. With that said, "in general", SACD's do sound better than a RB.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!