Which are the top or Best Of The Best Mastering; Remastering Engenieers?

I Read here in this forum, in the kind of Blue thread that Bernie Grundman had done One of the Best remasters to vinyl;

I Wonder which other Engenieers, are in the same league?

Good Day everybody

Our own Gus Skinas.


Here’s a wild list of sound-wise leading labels combined with mastering engineers occasionally, which I put together from various mastering topics I started or commented here, hope it helps a bit. Still incomplete…I try to update when something else comes into my mind.

Bernie Grundman & fellows / ORG / ORG Music / Classic Records

Sterling sound & fellows

2L Lyndberg/Orange

Doug Sax RIP


Gus Skinas


Wally Traugott

Blue Coat/Marenco

Kevin Gray

Steve Hoffman

Sheffield/The mastering lab/Doug Sax

Stand Ricker RIP

Analogue productions and Acoustech generally (nearly all, as all done by great engineers)

Gateway mastering/Bob Ludwig

Masterdisk/Bob Ludwig




Northstar/Turtle Recordings/de Boer

Reference Recordings/Johnson





Sound Liaison



Opus 3

Water Lily


Windham Hill

Berliner Meister





M. A. Recordings

First impression music (FIM)




No matter how many times I listen to Steve Hoffman’s work, it always sounds “dull”, dark. I have experienced this over many of my different systems in my lifetime…and I like the guy.

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Bob Katz
Bernie Grundman
Bob Ludwig
John Davis
Emily Lazar
Wilma Cozart Fine


I can understand this very well. He softens a bit but at the same time does magic in overall tonality and color, especially mids/highs imo.

The strange thing is, the perception changes with gear quality. The biggest contrast to Hoffman probably is Grundman (at least on many golden era recordings). I had several gear status inbetween where I could just hear one of them depending on how the setup was voiced finally or how it was tweaked.

As soon as you have a really very revealing and well balanced setup, you can suddenly listen to both and get aware of their advantages without perceiving one as somehow strange or off sounding.

IMO making the step of a less good to a very good setup means recordings don’t sound equal anymore, you get aware of differences (especially but not only tonality) very intensively.

Making the step from a very good to an exceptional setup in my experience means, there are suddenly huge differences in soundstaging, ambience and energy/lifeliness but special tonality isn’t as harmful anymore, those other aspects dominate then.

So in my experience the observation you made is correct, but it’s perception will change with upgrades of your gear. It doesn’t mean expensive gear automatically sounds like that, it’s more a question of perfection in detail.


Hi @Paul,

Searching for Gus Skinas on Roon, there are a number of albums listed as being produced by him. Is that him and if so, I will make it a point to check them out.


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Arian Jansen, Yarlung Records

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Joe Gastwirt, #1
Bernie Grundman, #2
Bob Ludwig, #3

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Thank you

MFSL nowdays use to sound like cozy in bass; but i love it when listen in high volumes;

I heard the Old Days of MFSL there was a better re mastering engenieer, just like the very Old masters of mercury living presence.

Anyone who refuses the label’s execu-trash demands to brick-wall albums.

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Many great Decca sounds were recorded by Kenneth Wilkinson, such as these two:


For DSD…Gus…for PCM…Elliot Schiener. For 5.1 remixes…Steven Wilson & Giles Martin. Then there are all the Rudy VanGelder remasters. I really prefer the George Martin 1987 Beatles Re-Issues (including mono) but Giles Martin really has done The Beatles Catalogue justice…but no DSD sadly. Bob Ludwig’s 1994 Stones Atlantic years are another good one as are the SACD’s of their Decca years.

Those so many more and I’m sure Steve Hoffman, Bernie Grundman, MFSL, and so many more.


I though the Stones were dsd mastered by Gus; or maybe it was only the mono versions?

Bob Ludwig. Both the Atlantic Years CD’s (1994 Apogee “UV22” process) and the 2002 Decca Years SACD’s. Not sure who did the Atlantic years SACD’s though. Great sounding discs none type less. Blows away my old worn our (now long gone) 2nd or 3rd generation LP’s form the mid 80’s.

I prefer the mono dsd ones for now

Doug Sax is gone, but Bernie Grundman is still going strong. I looked up these two masters of mastering on Roon, and was amazed at their work. It’s a great way to discover well recorded music.

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Sax was a favorite, but probably second to Bob Ludwig (for me).

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I forgot about Bob Ludwig. I just looked him up on Roon, and his discography is impressive. He’s mastered a lot of my favorites. People don’t seem to realize how essential these guys are to an excellent recording. When a recording sounds excellent to me I check the album credits, and usually it’s no surprise who did the mastering.

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