Finding the Best Recordings for Albums

Welcome Terri! You hit the topic I’m busy with for over 30 years (finding the best masterings of recordings in vinyl and digital). I think that’s what you meant with „best recordings“.

While I think Paul‘s comment, that every pressing operator makes vinyl pressings sound different serves mostly his personal vinyl paranoia :wink: , you certainly have more choices of masterings in vinyl, which isn’t a bad thing in fact (and nearly throughout better ones than on digital formats imo). I listen to both vinyl and digital extensively on very good rigs and make a lot of digital/vinyl comparisons, also of those done by the same engineers. It’s very interesting, but leads to having loads of multiple versions :wink:

So to help you, I can point you to a list of mastering engineers and labels I mentioned in my “mastering thread” below. If you buy records of those and some more, you get the best available masterings.

My best advice would be to search at or, see if you find a vinyl of your desired artist and then check, if one of the below mentioned labels or engineers was involved. Everything else means you need more experience or someone who has, to separate the average from the great. Keep in mind that compared to the choice you have with vinyl, most of the digital format”s masterings are average at best anyway regarding their mastering, except if they are done by the same engineers/labels (but usually much less music was mastered by them for digital formats).

Philly’s suggestion to search for the best mastering in the Hoffman forums is also a good one, just needs a little more patience.

If you listen to jazz it’s easy to find the best masterings, in Pop/Rock it’s more difficult.

In case of your Sergio Mendes, just google ‘Sergio Mendes mastering 180g’ and you will already find two of those engineers mentioned on different sites with some records.