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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Link to download: 50 Track Demo - Google Drive
Total edited runtime: 2 hours 40 minutes 5 seconds [approx. 4.5 hours without edits]
Total tracks over 5 minutes: 6
Average runtime of tracks under 5 minutes: 2 minutes 57 seconds
Total size of playlist: 6.55GB
Bit depth and resolution: 16-32bit/44.1-192kHz (I wanted as little compression as possible)

Track list:
[song name, artist name, runtime, bit depth_resolution_bitrate]
01 - Keith don't go - Nils Lofgren 3:53/16_44_1411
02 - Samba Pa Ti - Santana 4:45/32_192_12288
03 - All A Dream - Norah Jones 2:13/24_88_4234
04 - Mercy,Mercy,Mercy - Great Jazz Trio 3:43/24_88_4234
05 - One Love,People Get Ready - Bob Marley 1:53/16_44_1411
06 - Something About the Way You Look Tonight - Elton John 2:39/16_44_1411
07 - Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits 2:30/16_44_1411
08 - Spanish Harlem - Rebecca Pidgeon 1:48/24_88_4234
09 - Back In Black - ACDC 1:53/16_44_1411
10 - Piano Man - Billy Joel 1:58/24_88_4234
11 - Smooth Operator - Sade 2:54/24_96_4608
12 - Seeya - Deadmau5 2:01/16_44_1411
13 - The Chain - Fleetwood Mac 2:44/32_192_12288
14 - Thriller - Michael Jackson 3:13/16_44_1411
15 - Fever - Ray Charles & Natalie Cole 2:41/24_192_9216
16 - Learnin The Blues - Oscar Peterson 2:28/24_192_9216
17 - Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman 1:37/24_48_2304
18 - Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden 2:28/24_96_4608
19 - Hotel California [Intro & Outro] - The Eagles 2:58/32_192_12288
20 - Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd 3:47/16_44_1411
21 - The Lady In Red - Chris De Burgh 2:07/32_192_12288
22 - Baby Come Back - The Players 1:47/32_192_12288
23 - Burbujas de Amor Juan Luis Guerra 2:25/16_44_1411
24 - Bohemian Rhapsody - Finale - Queen 2:51/32_192_12288
25 - One Day In Your Life - Michael Jackson 1:22/32_192_12288
26 - Black Cow - Steely Dan 2:41/32_192_12288
27 - La Vie en Rose (feat. Edith Piaf) 1:52/24_96_4608
28 - Beat It - Michael Jackson 2:28/32_192_12288
29 - Gone Home - Ending - Stevie Ray Vaughan 1:02/32_192_12288
30 - L-O-V-E (Remastered) - Nat King Cole 2:32/24_192_9216
31 - Is This Love - Bob Marley 1:03/16_44_1411
32 - In The Air Tonight - Climax - Phil Collins 2:17/32_192_12288
33 - Money For Nothing - Intro - Dire Straits 1:11/32_192_12288
34 - Money - Pink Floyd 4:34/32_192_12288
35 - Lady - Kenny Rogers 2:34/32_192_12288
36 - Life in the Fast Lane - The Eagles 1:47/32_192_12288
37 - Any Colour You Like - Pink Floyd 3:40/32_192_12288
38 - The Look Of Love - Diana Krall 2:32/24_96_4608
39 - Paranoid Android 2:43/16_44_1411
40 - Free Bird Lynyrd Skynard 4:19/16_44_1411
41 - Eruption - Van Halen 0:45/24_192_9216
42 - Dogs - Pink Floyd 8:12/24_96_4608
43 - Europa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile) - Santana 5:06/32_192_12288
44m - Fade To Black - Metallica 6:55/16_44_1411
45m - For Whom the Bell Tolls - Metallica 2:30/16_44_1411
46m - Orion - Metallica 8:29/16_44_1411
47m - Ride the Lightning - Metallica 3:03/16_44_1411
48m - Strip The Soul - Porcupine Tree 4:26/16_44_1411
49m - Face Of Melinda - Opeth 7:57/24_96_4608
50m - Ghost Of Perdition - Opeth 10:29/24_96_4608

Hello everyone,

For those who don't know me, my name is David Budo and I've been member on AVS since 2007. I have learned so much in that time thanks to the knowledgeable people on here. As a thank you, I put together this 50 Track Demo representing all major musical genres [excluding hip hop/rap because I don't like that "music" and it's generally mixed/mastered really poorly]. This list also excludes classical music, as I'm still working on a list just for my favourite genre.

Anyone can borrow these digital files, but you have to give them back when you’re done. I don’t want the studios coming after me, so remember this is a loan. You have a century to return these tracks back to me. I'll be waiting...

So why did I do all of this? My main intention is to setup a standard set of files that everyone can have. I don’t expect anyone to listen for hours every time, but instead pick the ones they liked best, or create a playlist that caters to their guest(s), to use as a test, demo, etc. For example, someone may use Beat it, while another might use Thriller. One says, "I hear this on my system every time I listen to Beat It." The other guy who doesn't use Beat It now has the exact file used and can make a more direct comparison.

If everyone has access to the same files, it reduces the variable of different people listening to different mixes/masters, and can listen to the same tracks used on their own systems to compare. I've heard pretty significant variations on remasters of numerous albums. Pink Floyd (my favourite band), as an example is notorious for this. Sure it's the same music, but the differences are easily audible.

I figured, I didn't want to go too esoteric in my selection, as I find it annoying when reviewers talk about music that maybe them and a handful of other people have heard and often isn't the most appealing. I have found the average person seems to lose interested after a while with these types of tracks.

I realised that most demo lists are cut to go through tracks quickly, which is perfect for blind testing or rapid switching comparisons, but doesn't make for a great listening session. Having made these lists in the past, I know this from experience. With the 50 Track Demo, I cut the music to allow a longer listening session, lower listener strain through reduced repetition, and for an overall fluid experience. I hate having to stop songs part of the way through, but I also don't like abrupt openings/endings [unless the artist intended that]. All but 7 of the tracks have been shortened this way and I tried to pick tracks that would satisfy the largest demographic of people, including women. I figured if guys get their ladies into a listening session, they might get their enthusiasm up to increase the budget on future purchases [not that you all have that issue].

I also maximised amplitudes of all tracks to within 0.0db - 0.5db of clipping using Waveshop. Hopefully, you will be able to set the volume once and forget it.

Here are some feedback questions I wouldn’t mind if anyone answered: 1. Which tracks do you feel would be helpful in gauging your system versus which are fecal matter in that regard? 2. At what level did you listen to the playlist? 3. Are there any tracks you think would be better to replace the ones on there now? 4. Is there another mix/master of any track from my list that you think is better? 5. Are there any issues with any of the tracks that you can hear (distortion, clipping, etc.)? 6. Do you feel this list provides enough material and variation to give you a comprehensive feel for any system you might listen to it on?

***

BONUS: Here is a mix of Pink Floyd's music that I made. I went through their entire discography of digital vinyl rips that I have and cut out all of the musical sections without lyrics. Then I selected only the pieces that produce that "flow state" feeling, which I then mixed into this 1 hour 27 minute piece. Maybe you'll enjoy it.

24 Bit - 96 khz - 4608 kbps - 2.74GB

Happy listening!
 
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I like your taste. This is an interesting idea, having a standard set of music files for folks to compare.

Much of this gets regular rotation in my home already, and I love Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and the Eagles. The only thing that comes to mind is that it’s incredibly hard to make those particular bands a couple other listed sound bad on pretty much anything. Not that I would consider that a negative, just if we are looking for comparisons it may make things a little more complicated.
 

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I actually do similar approach in testing speakers or speaker-sub integration whenever I switch setup around the house. I have a set of 30+ tracks of various genre saved as a playlist in my Volumio (RaspberryPi). There is one track I always use to test transition from male vocal to mid-bass to integrate sub by ears (although I have umik but too lazy too use it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like your taste. This is an interesting idea, having a standard set of music files for folks to compare.

Much of this gets regular rotation in my home already, and I love Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and the Eagles. The only thing that comes to mind is that it’s incredibly hard to make those particular bands a couple other listed sound bad on pretty much anything. Not that I would consider that a negative, just if we are looking for comparisons it may make things a little more complicated.
I agree, but to hear differences on tracks you know well is the best way to show off a system to an average person, in my opinion. Compare it to a video demo where animated films can look good on any display, but you can tell the difference easily when you see them on a reference level display. If the community can agree on a set of tracks for extreme differentiation and analysis, and can share the lowest compression files with me, I'll do the work of editing them for a shortened demo playlist and stick them in my Google Drive for everyone to borrow.

I actually do similar approach in testing speakers or speaker-sub integration whenever I switch setup around the house. I have a set of 30+ tracks of various genre saved as a playlist in my Volumio (RaspberryPi). There is one track I always use to test transition from male vocal to mid-bass to integrate sub by ears (although I have umik but too lazy too use it).
I do the same thing. The obsessive part of me checks with my Umik after to see if my ear was accurate, and it almost always is very close to spot on.
 
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I do the same thing. The obsessive part of me checks with my Umik after to see if my ear was accurate, and it almost always is very close to spot on.
Right. When using AVR for 2-ch systems, I let the Audyssey take care of room correction and sub integration. But IME Audyssey kills imaging and soundstage. That's why I use plain integrated amps or separates for dedicated 2.x ch music systems. Sub-integration is not exactly plug-and-play on these systems. That's when I rely on my ears, using a set of test tracks like yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right. When using AVR for 2-ch systems, I let the Audyssey take care of room correction and sub integration. But IME Audyssey kills imaging and soundstage. That's why I use plain integrated amps or separates for dedicated 2.x ch music systems. Sub-integration is not exactly plug-and-play on these systems. That's when I rely on my ears, using a set of test tracks like yours.
I have never been a big fan of Audyssey or the other AVR auto-calibrating software. I never get adequate results compared to putting in the extra work and doing it manually. Many seem to like it and find them beneficial, so I'm in the minority.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@JP12 , here is a mix of Pink Floyd's music that I made. I went through their entire discography and cut out all of the musical sections without lyrics. Then I selected only the pieces that produce that "flow state" feeling, which I then mixed into this 1 hour 27 minute piece. Maybe you'll enjoy it. I'll also put it in the first post for anyone else who wants to give it a listen.

 
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@JP12 , here is a mix of Pink Floyd's music that I made. I went through their entire discography and cut out all of the musical sections without lyrics. Then I selected only the pieces that produce that "flow state" feeling, which I then mixed into this 1 hour 27 minute piece. Maybe you'll enjoy it. I'll also put it in the first post for anyone else who wants to give it a listen.

Awesome. Thanks man, I’ll give it a spin. 🙂
 

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@Dbuudo07, I quickly listened to your tracks. Good job. I like how you condensed the tracks but still maintained the flow (ex: Tracy Chapman - Give Me 1 Reason, Hotel California intro and outro, etc). BTW 20% of my speaker test playlist overlaps with yours. But, in my playlist I specifically included some tracks that make bad speakers sound bad (ex. Evanescence - Bring Me To Life). Also I like how you maintained consistent volume level in your Ultimate Flow State Mix. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Gyroscopics , thank you very much for taking the time to listen to all of this. I really appreciate it. That's pretty cool that our brains overlap in demo material tastes. Your feedback is great and thank you for the kind words. I'll check out the Evanescence track and start compiling a list of tough tracks for audio systems.

I listen to that Flow State Mix at least once a week. Really gets my brain going.
 
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@Gyroscopics , thank you very much for taking the time to listen to all of this. I really appreciate it. That's pretty cool that our brains overlap in demo material tastes. Your feedback is great and thank you for the kind words. I'll check out the Evanescence track and start compiling a list of tough tracks for audio systems.

I listen to that Flow State Mix at least once a week. Really gets my brain going.
No problem. You might also wanna check Dennis' Philharmonic Audio Test Tracks. He included a really clean version (intro) of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (intro). I got a CD copy when I bought my BMR's from Dennis long time back. But someone ripped and uploaded the tracks to google drive and gave the URL in the Philharmonic Audio thread here at AVS. I don't have the URL but you can do a thread search.
 

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Right. When using AVR for 2-ch systems, I let the Audyssey take care of room correction and sub integration. But IME Audyssey kills imaging and soundstage. That's why I use plain integrated amps or separates for dedicated 2.x ch music systems. Sub-integration is not exactly plug-and-play on these systems. That's when I rely on my ears, using a set of test tracks like yours.
I have never been a big fan of Audyssey or the other AVR auto-calibrating software. I never get adequate results compared to putting in the extra work and doing it manually. Many seem to like it and find them beneficial, so I'm in the minority.
You guys need to move up to XT32 from 2016+ and decide on a cut-off frequency above the transition. Imaging and soundstage are enhanced by fixing the bass, the main benefit of room correction. It is when the default target curve is not right for your speakers and room that you can get bad results from the treble.
 

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You guys need to move up to XT32 from 2016+ and decide on a cut-off frequency above the transition. Imaging and soundstage are enhanced by fixing the bass, the main benefit of room correction. It is when the default target curve is not right for your speakers and room that you can get bad results from the treble.
I use Denon X4400H equipped with XT32, in my main HT. I use integrated amps and separates for my 3 other dedicated 2-channel systems (some 2.1). Sorry cant afford three X4400H for 2 ch systems.
 

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I use Denon X4400H equipped with XT32, in my main HT. I use integrated amps and separates for my 3 other dedicated 2-channel systems (some 2.1). Sorry cant afford three X4400H for 2 ch systems.
But then Audyssey is not doing anything in your 2ch system, so I don't see how you arrive at the problem you stated on an X4400H. Maybe on X4200W and earlier.
 

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But then Audyssey is not doing anything in your 2ch system, so I don't see how you arrive at the problem you stated on an X4400H. Maybe on X4200W and earlier.
Right, what I said was:

When using AVR for 2-ch systems, I let the Audyssey take care of room correction and sub integration. But IME Audyssey kills imaging and soundstage.
So IME "Audyssey kills imaging and soundstage" based on my experience with older Denon receivers. But I don't have problem Audyssey messing up subwoofer-integration. But I never used the Denon X4400H for 2 CH because on the same system where X4400H is used, my HINT (fed by Denon) drives the L/R speakers. When I play 2 / 2.1 ch music on that system, I only turn-on the HINT which has its own bass management. I do have older Denons (3805 and 4310) but the former is idle while the 4310 is used in a 5.1 mini-HT system on my guest bedroom (separate from my 2 ch music-only-systems).

Pardon the details, but bottom line, I never really got the chance to use the X4400H for 2.1 ch music purposes. I bought it for Atmos/Auro-3D. Who knows maybe it's great for 2 CH music. I should try it some time, but again it only feeds my HINT (in bypass mode) for L/R amplification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
To anyone interested,

I purchased an E1DA 9038D, which arrived yesterday and wow! It's a little DAC and headphone amp dongle that connects to phones, tablets, PC's, or laptops.



This little guy is phenomenal. Combined with my laptop (Acer Helios 300 17.3") running Linux Mint, and ALSAMIXER, with the DeadBeef player, handily trumps my Oppo BDP-105 Blu Ray player's headphone output in every way. The noise floor is inaudible, which is to say, the background noise with nothing playing is completely black and I can listen at lower volumes while hearing every detail in a track. It is extraordinarily neutral and takes EQ really well. Sounds have great separation, and the midrange is incredible. I recently replaced the earpads on my Meze 99 Classics with a pair from Brainwavz, which tamed the boosted midbass and opened up the soundstage a little. The addition of the 9038D has brought my Meze's to a much higher level. The soundstage and imaging is now much larger and more precise at the same time. I created a 15 track playlist from this 50 Track Demo and was blown away.

I couldn't be happier with it. In fact, I'd go as far to say that anyone who uses a laptop to listen to music from its 3.5mm headphone jack should invest in one of these. At $105 USD with the little USB C cable, it beat my $2000 player with ease in every department. I don't think I'll ever use my Oppo again to listen to music on my headphones. I might even get a 3.5mm to split RCA cable to use it as a DAC for my speakers.

In terms of usability, I simply plugged the USB C cable into the USB C input on my laptop and Linux recognised it immediately. I went into ALSAMIXER and selected the 9038D, boosted the output to 50% and I was done. I have more output than I can handle at that level.

Here are some measurements from an objective review on ASR:

















I'll compare it to the Topping E30 DAC and L30 amp next week.

Cheers!

P.S. I have no affiliation with the company or product whatsoever.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For anyone interested:

I compared the E1DA 9038D to the Topping E30 DAC and L30 amp. The 9038D holds its own and is almost on par with the $300 USD Topping desktop combo. However, the Topping set does have a slight edge in bass control, and I really mean slight edge. I would be perfectly happy only using the 9038D everyday, as it is practically audibly flawless.

Some measurements of the Topping gear from ASR:

E30 DAC







L30





 

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Very cool thread thank you for posting this. I'm looking to purchase that dac for my desktop pc, looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very cool thread thank you for posting this. I'm looking to purchase that dac for my desktop pc, looks good.
Nice! Let me know what you think if/when you get it.
 
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