We’ve selected seven albums that we think bring out the best in the new 700 Series. From stunning highs, to muscular lows, via wonderfully detailed midrange all delivered by new innovations, all we ask you to do is put your feet up, and enjoy.
(George Solti/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, 1968)
Recorded in the Sofiensaal, Vienna in 1967, this stunning choral work has exceptional spatial placement and lots of ‘air’ around the performance. The first piece – Requiem – has everything you could possibly want from a demo track, beginning subtly and building to a stirring crescendo of the massed voices of the Chorus of the Vienna Staatsoper. Play it on any of the floorstanding models in the 700 series and in particular, on the 702 S2 for the most dramatic effect. The Dies Irae section, while shorter, is just wonderful to showcase dynamics.
2014’s While (1<2) is the seventh and most ambitious release from Canadian producer deadmau5, a sprawling 25-track double-album set that experiments with textures, instruments and genres with gleeful abandon. Opener Avantia is classic deadmau5, its broad bassline vistas underpinning a gloriously expansive progressive house hook, while Mercedes is a walloping stomper propelled by Kraftwerk-esque synth. For all that, the album’s final track is the real star: Seeya pairs ferociously powerful electro-bass with a real-life bass guitar to spawn a taut, hammering progressive house monster, its fearsome drive expertly accompanied by a searing vocal from American punk rocker Colleen D’Agostino. If you really want to understand what the Aerofoil Profile bass cone can do, play this. Loud.
Take Me To The Alley
This warm, emotionally engaging Blue Note recording is a supremely clean-sounding production. It places Porter’s famously sonorous voice at the heart of a full and deep soundstage, while the lack of background noise is made all the more obvious by the low noise and effortless transparency of the Continuum cone. If you can listen beyond Gregory’s wonderful voice – not easy – the other key emphasis here is on spatial placement. Instrumental strands and vocal elements are perfectly placed in the image before you, the speakers receding into the background.
No Beginning No End
It’s hard to pigeonhole José James to one particular musical style: No Beginning No End effortlessly intertwines hip-hop, R&B and modern jazz into a compelling fusion that’s both unique and endlessly inventive. With legendary performers such as Robert Glasper and Pino Palladino in the engine room it’s no surprise that the album’s instrumentation is supremely tight and effortlessly rhythmic, but the real star is James’ sultry, soulful voice, his Sly-Stone-smooth style perfectly complementing his record’s slick, silky production values. The other standout feature is the astonishing authority of the disc’s bass, especially on It’s All Over Your Body. Palladino co-produced the final mixes and clearly, The Who’s post-Entwhistle bass guitarist knows a thing or two about low frequencies…
Ray Charles/Milt Jackson
Atlantic’s 1957 recording is a jazz-soul fusion that pairs Ray Charles, the increasingly experimental king of R&B, in an instrumental collaboration with legendary jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson. It’s a superlative recording, each instrument sounding effortlessly natural within a realistic and wholly convincing soundstage. There’s a considerable noise floor to the presentation – it is a period recording, after all – but the precision of the percussion and the realism of each instrument’s phrasing is simply wonderful. Close your eyes and you’ll easily place each performer in the soundstage: How Long Blues is a particular highlight, especially on 705 or 702 S2.
Terry Evans, Hans Theesink, Ry Cooder
This eclectic, bluesy collection pairs Evans’ soaring gospel-inflected soul with Theesink’s gruff, growling baritone. It’s an unusual but highly effective combination, the pair flowing their way through an exceptionally well-produced disc. The style ranges from mournfully melodic to properly stomping, with Ry Cooder’s powerhouse guitar adding an extra edge to three of the thirteen cuts. The standout demo track is It Hurts Me Too, a simple but perfectly focused duet that’s sure to grab you: it’s an especial delight on any of the three-way loudspeakers in the new 700 Series thanks to their decoupled Continuum midrange drive units.
Find out more about the new 700 Series here.