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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were auditioning speakers what would you listen to in order to compare speakers?


Right now I'm considering burning the following tracks:


For proving a wide dynamic range:

Enya: Shepherds Moon

Dave Mathews Band: So Much To Say


Guitar:

Van Halen: Spanish Fly

Van Halen: Cathedral


For Proving a Snare Drum:

Glory sound track (loads of snare drums in this one, pick pretty much any track at random)


I'm mostly a movie watcher but it's hard to burn sections from a blu-ray.


Thanks for all the responses in advance!
 

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I think you're off to a great start.


Primarily, what you want to demo is material that you know well. Things you know how they sound on your existing system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] /forum/post/19595181


I think you're off to a great start.


Primarily, what you want to demo is material that you know well. Things you know how they sound on your existing system.

I echo that; but don't agree you're off to a great start. Spanish Fly? Cathedral? Really...is that what you put on when you want to jam some VH? I suspect you're picking them because you think they sound "good" (no offense, but no VH album is exactly a class in mastering...lol) or "cool" to demo.


Irish is right; don't worry about a "mix" tape. Take a handfull of CDs that you know like the back of your hand. That way, you'll know if it sounds "better" than what you're used to...and in what ways.


CD
 

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To me, it would depend on the speaker type the individual is interested in.


Be it limited LF designs, big full range designs, stats or planars. Each type has inherent strengths and weaknesses, and one would need to flesh out the ragged edge to examine exactly where it stood.


For transient attack, I've used the Sheffield Track/Drum record for twenty or thirty years. For midbass accuracy and overall tonality, I prefer well produced, well engineered female vocals, ie Diana Krall. For HF detail and overall top to bottom balance, Gaucho only in SACD. Actually, this is my go to reference for any system. For LF weight, and punch Black Uhuru's Slippin' into Darkness. For imaging and subtle micro detail, Stereophiles Silverman recording, at least I think that's it, whichever it is it's killer...I mean 3D 2 channel.


I've got live to two track recordings I've made while mixing different acts. They're uncompressed and I'm intimately familiar with the balance of the live event, these work well too. One in particular, has so much going on, 9 players, that it's thick and congested on many speakers, however on highly resolving speakers, w/low distortion, I can pick out each player L to R.


Here's the problem; in this hobby today, it seems as if all the best gear value wise, is ID only. So, you almost have to rely on design criteria, and return policy. Otherwise, you have to work hard to hear what you can stumble across.


Good luck, you'll need it.
 

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wacki,


This is kinda' irrelevant but thought it was very interesting that you chose Dave Matthews Band - So Much To Say. I've always loved how this song sounds.


Whenever I show someone my little home theater setup, a lot of times I play this song. Also, I'll play it in the car when showing off the stereo setup in there. Just something about that song that sounds good almost no matter what. Thought I'd share that.



Good luck.
 

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Bring a handful of CDs. Those I think work well might not work for you because you have to know the cuts well.
  • Soul Ballet: "Trip The Night Fantastic". Tons of bass and a great overall workout.
  • Bona Fide: "Soul Lounge". Bass, horns, piano, cymbals. Another great overall workout.
  • Chris Rea: "Hofner Blue Notes". Hard to find but this one album is a bass guitar workout.
  • Armik: "Rain Dancer". Acoustic Guitar.
  • Diana Krull: "From This Moment On". Female Vocals.
  • Patricia Barber: "Night Club". Female vocals.

Individual Cuts:
  • Patricia Barber: Cafe Blue - "Ode to Billy Joe". Female vocals.
  • Rebecca Pidgeon: Retrospective - "Spanish Harlem". Female vocals.
  • Fourplay: Best Of Fourplay - "Chant". Kick drums.
  • Rusted Root: When I work - "Drum Trip". Need I say mare?
  • Chris Rea: Hofner Blue Notes - "Spy". Bass Guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner /forum/post/19595364


I echo that; but don't agree you're off to a great start. Spanish Fly? Cathedral? Really...is that what you put on when you want to jam some VH? I suspect you're picking them because you think they sound "good" (no offense, but no VH album is exactly a class in mastering...lol) or "cool" to demo.

I picked Spanish fly because I'm a relatively strong guitar player. One thing I noticed about paradigm is that they were the first and the only speaker I've heard (and as of right now) that has accurately reproduced the sound of a grooved fingertip sliding over cross wound guitar strings (the lower sounding guitar strings). When I heard that song being played through a set of paradigms the first time I literally said out loud "wow, I didn't even realize that was caught by the microphone". I was amazed and have used it as a reference point ever since.


I'm curious what you consider to be a class in mastering.

Quote:
Irish is right; don't worry about a "mix" tape. Take a handfull of CDs that you know like the back of your hand. That way, you'll know if it sounds "better" than what you're used to...and in what ways.


CD

I know Spanish Fly like the back of my hand. In high school I probably listened to it and played it on my guitar every day for at least 6 months.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacki /forum/post/19596003


Thank you sholling, I will try to obtain lossless mp3's of those.

That's like finding a girl that's a "little bit" pregnant.
For lossless you're looking for .flac or apple lossless. Flacs being more common.


Edit: That Chris Rea album is the only one I know of where he plays bass.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacki /forum/post/19595954


I picked Spanish fly because I'm a relatively strong guitar player. One thing I noticed about paradigm is that they were the first and the only speaker I've heard (and as of right now) that has accurately reproduced the sound of a grooved fingertip sliding over cross wound guitar strings (the lower sounding guitar strings). When I heard that song being played through a set of paradigms the first time I literally said out loud "wow, I didn't even realize that was caught by the microphone". I was amazed and have used it as a reference point ever since.


I'm curious what you consider to be a class in mastering.




I know Spanish Fly like the back of my hand. In high school I probably listened to it and played it on my guitar every day for at least 6 months.

OK, well I stand corrected then; it turns out you have good reasons for choosing Spanish Fly. That's the kind of thing you should be looking for; pieces you know well, and that maybe demonstrate a trait you're interested in. Maybe I'm not the person to be talking to about this; I'm kind of an anti-audiophile audiophile.


One of the things most people will warn you about, is an audio store, that will try to use their own "demo" pieces to make systems sound good. That's all well and good, but unless you listen to Patricia Barber a lot, who cares if it makes her sound good...lol. That's why you should always bring your own music. And then I think people get self-conscious about just bringing albums they know well, and they start picking stuff they think will "impress" the salesman; like it's deemed worthy of demoing.


I also don't like the idea of a "mix" CD. Don't get me wrong; I did it in the day. But again, we don't...or maybe I should say I don't...listen to music that way; we don't just listen to the best cuts from an album, strung back-to-back. Obviously you're a Van Halen guy; neither Spanish Fly nor Cathedral have any vocals. Don't you want to see how your new speakers will handle, oh I don't know...a song where DLR is actually singing...lol.


As far as VH records not exactly being well-mastered; uh, they're not. I have them all, including the remasters...and predictably, they're hot enough to fry an egg on. But my point wasn't don't use VH to demo; again, the opposite...if that's what you listen to, then demo that. My point was, if you were picking Spanish Fly or Cathedral, because you thought it was "good-sounding", I wouldn't say it was. FYI, 1984 is probably the best of the bunch.


And...not to whip a dead horse...but I'm not saying only demo good-sounding tracks. Another mistake, in going with a demo mix, IMO. Sure, you want to see what your new speakers are capable of, and they can only sound their best, when fed by the best source material (I'm a big believer in GIGO). But some people consider a system that can even-out flaws in material a virtue. Some don't; some want it to ultra-revealing, warts and all. So again, there's something to decide for yourself.


After all; like Sholling said...there is no such thing as a lossless mp3. That's like saying a tube, solid-state amplifier; mp3s...by their very nature and design...are meant to be loss-y. Not to seem like a snob, but you can do better. Ripping to lossless is no harder, and hard-drive space is pennies-cheap these days.


Good luck,

CD
 
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