Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.
Dream with Dean is great for finding any traces of “honk” in your midrange. Getting Deano’s baritone to sound tubey and rich, to get the sound that Bing Crosby could get just by opening his mouth, is not all that easy on some systems, mine included. Correctly set VTA is critical in this regard, but pretty much everything must be working at its best for Dean to sound as intimate and natural as we know he can on the best pressings.
Balancing the lower mids with the upper mids is the goal, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. This album is great for testing, and guaranteed to bring practically any high-dollar system at a stereo showroom, a convention, or your very own home to its knees.
This is my favorite Dean Martin record of all time; just Dean and a jazz guitar quartet behind him (featuring Contemporary favorites Barney Kessel and Red Mitchell!) doing standards. On the best copies, the immediacy is absolutely mind-blowing. It’s a shame that there aren’t more Frank Sinatra records that sound like this.