Audiophile Labels and Pressings
- Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
- Speakers Corner
- Sam Records
- Tone Poet
- Impex REcords
- Pure Pleasure Records
- Analog Productions
- ERC Electric Recording Company
- Music Maters
The Best Audiophile Labels Both Past & Present
These music labels have pushed the boundaries of how we hear music by putting in years of constant work, money, and dedication with the end goal of making the listener’s experience more enjoyable and capturing an artist’s rendition as accurately as possible.
All the while making you feel like your right there, just a couple of chairs back from center stage just lost in the music.
Labels going that extra mile and bringing that something special to be heard, endearing music lovers to a soft spot in their hearts as well as capturing their ears.
I thought I would compile a list of the best audiophile labels from both past and present so people would have a reference spot to check or make it easy to just go looking for new audiophile music. I will give a little bit of information about the company and pressings.
Great music needs to be heard, whatever your music tastes are.
Our souls demand passionate music that sounds amazing and which moves us inside.
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
This is probably the most well-known audiophile label out of all of the audiophile labels out there, as they specialized in the production of audiophile recordings. They are known for their vinyl records, CDs, and SACD. The first recording on Mobile Fidelity was in 1958 and still going strong today. There is a high number of MFSL collectors out there (completists), and when there are a low number of specific pressing, the price can reflect the high demand for this label.
The prices can range from medium to high for new pressing. Aftermarket prices vary wildly some as high as $2000.00. The new Ultradisc One-Step Pressings are very popular audiophile recordings and start out at $125.00.
This highly unique and interesting label is based out of Paris, France, and was founded by Fred Thomas and focuses on jazz. Fred runs the whole show over at Sam Records, everything, a total one-man show. Sam Records focuses on only pressing records from the master recording and recreating artwork from original materials. Most of Sams’s pressing sell out pretty fast, as high demand and a limited run all contribute to sell-outs. The prices are very reasonable as well.
Another aspect to consider is each record is looked over by human eyes looking for defects or imperfections. Attention to detail is a good way to describe this small but essential record label. Sam Records deals almost strickly with jazz records, at least that is all I’ve seen for sale.
This is a great audiophile record label, reissuing many high-priced and hard-to-find albums that are cut from the master tapes. Founded by Chad Kassem in 1991 in Kansas and also opened his own record pressing company Quality Record Pressing (QRP) in 2011. These pressing are quite well-known for their audio quality and presentation (album covers, booklets, etc.).
They focus on just about every music genre out there and have a great number of albums to choose from, as wells as selling audio equipment and accessories. Quality in spades, from the mastering to the album jacket I have never had an issue with any AP record.
A true American Icon and national treasure, recording many of the all-time best jazz albums ever recorded! Original pressings fetch top dollars and are highly sought after as it is generally thought the original pressings sound the best. Founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion, Max Margulis, and Francis Wolff.
Blue Note is still releasing albums from contemporary artists and also releasing their golden-era jazz albums in both their Tone Poet Series and The Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series. Both series are analog releases from the master tapes. The Tone Poet series has a wonderful tip-on gatefold jacket when the Classic Series is cheaper and has a lesser quality jacket. Both series are relatively affordable, as compared to buying an original, they start at $25.00 for the Classic Series and $35.00 for the Tone Poet Series.
Another relatively new audiophile label founded in 2010 by Abey Fonn and the team from the older Cisco Music. They use the best analog mastering and manufacturing techniques to deliver audiophile music to people that love music. Their jackets are just amazing and you can tell a lot of work is put into the album jackets, as well as the music.
Releasing audiophile albums in 180-gram LPs, 24k gold CDs, and SACDs.
Founded by Mike Hobson and Ying Tan in 1994. Initially, they licensed classical albums from RCA Living Stereo then later ventured into Verve’s jazz archive. This was purchased by Acoustic Sounds owner of Analogue Productions in 2010. Their focus was specialized audiophile reissues of classic albums, mastering from the best source possible (master tapes). In 2001 they started using Quiex SV also know as Super Vinyl.
Most of the Classic Records were mastered by Bernie Grundman.
Electric Recording Company
This England-based company out of London was founded in 2012 by Pete Hutchison. Pete has been working to recreate small batches (300 or fewer) albums of both jazz and classical albums from the 1950s and 1960s. ERC also uses restored vintage equipment to copy how albums were recorded in the 50s and 60s, hoping to capture the magic from those decades. These albums cost a lot of from $300 to $600 for each one.
Never had the pleasure of listening to any ERC records but from what I hear it is a mixed bag, some amazing sounding recordings and some not so much. A lot of issue with album jackets.
Music Matters Jazz
Music Matters Jazz has been at work since 2007 reissuing the classic golden era of jazz music. The owners are Ron Rambach and Joe Harley. MMJ press their albums in 45 rpm, 33 1/3rpm, and 33 1/3 on SRX (Super Vinyl) from the original master tapes. The SRX albums are highly sought after and have quickly sold out driving aftermarket prices sky-high. Their inventories are quickly diminishing as they only have the 45 rpm albums left for sale.
MMJ revolutionised the vinyl world by reissusing and presenting audiophile records that were presented excellent from the cover art and jackets. Many companies followed suit afterwards coping there level of detail.
This American label stated in the 50s by Sidney Frey and based in New York City. A record label specializing in audiophile reissues having done many famous titles.
David and Norman Chesky founded this audiophile record company back in 1878. They focus on recording music in the way people hear music by using techniques that help in this manner and the spaces that they record the music in, churches, and such.
Founded in 1976 and always heading to the best new technical advances in the world of sound. Releasing in multiple formats, CDs, Hybrid SACDs, LPs, and the new HRx discs. Mostly focusing on classical, jazz, world, and blues releases.
They mainly focus on jazz and classical reissue music and are out of Germany. Only having their music on vinyl LPs and using only master tapes and in its entirely analog cutting systems. So all analog, important to audiophiles for sure.
DCC Compact Classics
This company was first known as ABC-Dunhill Records but was changed due to legal issues to DCC Compact Classics. Had the famous engineer Steve Hoffman mixing all the albums. They produced 50 remastered vinyl reissues and over 240 CDs. Many of the CDs had 24 karat gold plating.
Three Blind Mice
This is Japan’s audiophile label equivalent to America’s Blue Note Record label, and which they focused solely on Japanese jazz artists. The creator was Takeshi Fujii who started the label up in 1970. These recordings as highly sought after as they are renowned for the quality of their recordings. The last album was produced in 2004.
Some titles being currently pressed on Impex Records.
This label was founded by Doug Sax and Sherwood Sax, and Lincoln Mayorga in Southern California. An audiophile label that used a direct-to-disc technique for both classical and jazz records.
Founded in 1898 by Emile Berliner. This German label produces all most entirely all classical audiophile music albums. They been around for a long time and still going producing fantastic albums.
This is a UK based audiophile label that is owned by Mike Valentine. They sell vinyl, CD’s, and also have for download high resouloution audio. Their vinyl is often “Direct Cut” to vinyl. They have mostly classical ablums but also some world music and jazz. The also have the first binaural recordings cut to a record, these binaural recordings are specifically designed for headphone users.