rligeti, you absolutely correct! Jean Michel Jarre is the original master of the Ethereal Synth! I have been listening to him since the mid 70's Oxygene, when I had a pair of Koss PRO AAA cans. I love to listen to airy, spacious, ethereal music like Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Michael Hedges, Brian Eno, and the Master, Mike Oldfield (especially QE2)! A stellar pair of Cans is one of the best avenues to experience the Mood & Passional Transitions these great musicians have composed. Just thought of Pink Floyd & Alan Parsons, also, I have a pair of QJ signature AKG-701's that perform due justice to these recordings!
I have recently become a HUGE FAN of NuForce audio cans & amps. Too me, they not just give you bang for the $$$, but I am truly hearing things in the music I have always listened to, I never heard before! NuForces products are just so quick and produce such a flat response and beautifully defined soundstage, they must be reverse-engineering some Alien Audio Standard.
In fact, there first pair of real over the ear Studio Monitor Cans will soon be released & I HAVE been waiting over a year to buy a pair!
I guarantee for the $200 or so price tag, they will sound better than Cans 3-4 times the price! That has been my experience with each and every earphone & Amp I have purchased from then, IMHO! I also l also love Neo-Progressive Rock like Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Pendragon, & anything PT genius leader ,Steven Wilson, has a part in. Right now that would be his personal self-titled endeavors!
Wow, what an awesome thread. Downloading Dream Theater right now and see what the fuss is about!
I'll offer a few alternatives based on stuff folks posted:
If you love Dire Straits-- Check out the 2nd album you never hear: Communique. "Once Upon a Time in the West" has an hypnotic bass line. Also the drums at the end of "News"-- it's like sitting at a sound check on good cans, and it's fresh because you never hear any of its songs on the radio.
Eric Clapton Unplugged gets a lot of praise, deservedly. But there are two other albums that will blow you mind-- On "Play the Blues Live from Lincoln Center" he pairs with Wynton Marsalis for an evening of jazz standards. Clapton backed by a big band? Are you kidding? Also for more grit-- check out "Me and Mr. Johnson". An outstanding overdrive recording.
McCartney has released 96k recordings of all of his early solo records- available for download from his web site. Band on the Run and RAM (the more I hear it, the more I believe it's the answer to "Pet Sounds" he always wanted to make with the Beatles).
Oh-- for the Beatles-- Of course anything is terrific, and the re-issues sound fine-- Check out the Beatles "Love" for a remix sonic sensation. I'm not a huge fan of re-mixes in general-- but George Martin oversaw this one, and it's pretty creative. His son did the actual mixing, as Sir George's hearing has failed in a bitter irony.
Speaking of remixes-- There's an SACD floating around of The Grateful Dead's "American Beauty". It's a bit of a remix (sonically, not content)-- with an insanely wide soundstage. Even if you hate the Dead, it's a recording to appreciate. It's the best sub-bass on a rock recording I've ever heard.