Here are some of Bob Ludwig’s favorite albums he mastered through the years, with his comments:
1960s: The Band: The Band, “an iconic recording.” Also Led Zeppelin II, “made 54 years ago and played on radio every single day since!” For historical perspective, Ludwig notes that 54 years prior to LZII, the state of the art was “acoustical recording into a horn!”
1970s: Metal Machine Music, “the first time I worked with Lou Reed” and Sheik Yerbouti, “my glorious days with Frank Zappa.”
1980s: Journey’s Escape: “Don’t Stop Believing!”; Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly: “3M digital and (producer) Gary Katz!”; Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the USA, “the start of Bruce’s Stadium performances”; and Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms, “the first time a CD outsold the vinyl version.”
1990s: Foo Fighters’ The Colour and The Shape, “Dave Grohl!” and Nirvana’s In Utero, “Kurt fell asleep in front of the left speaker!”
2000s: Radiohead’s In Rainbows, “Nigel Godrich!,” and Springsteen’s The Rising: “It moved me to tears.”
2010s: Beck’s Morning Phase; Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories; and Wilco’s The Whole Love.
2020s: The Songs of Bacharach & Costello by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, and Metallica’s 72 Seasons.
Ludwig calls his bedroom headphone system “an absolutely killer setup!” Its source is a dCS Bartók streamer/DAC connected via Transparent Audio cables to a LTA Z10e tube electrostatic headphone amp, into which he plugs a pair of Audeze CRBN electrostatic headphones.