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
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
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.