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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently starting a quest to upgrade and am wondering if my assumptions for what cd's to bring are correct.I know I should use music I know well,but I could use guidance in what to pick.My tastes run towards bluegrass and acoustic music.but I also lean towards alt.country(Steve Earle,Buddy Miller,Robbie Fulks,etc) and hard country(Jones,Dale watson)And oh yeah=love the Allman Brothers.Any suggestions on what would be good test discs in these areas?
 

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Our musical tastes don't overlap much so I will leave it to others to suggest specific titles.


When auditioning audio, in addition to selecting music representing a full range of frequencies and sonic characteristics (voice, string, percussion, woodwind, brass, piano), I feel it is also very useful to select music that you are very familiar with in a live format.


If the goal is accurate sound reproduction, IMO the reference should be live sound and which component seems to come the closest to that experience. Since our aural memories are short and easily fooled, I will try to listen to live music as much as I can before the audition of a critical audio component. Because I play piano and have spent more time listening to live piano than to recorded piano, this is one of the references I personally use when assessing how "accurate" a component seems to me.


_____

Glade
 

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Allman Brothers Band - "Eat a Peach" (Polygram, 1997) and " Seven Turns" (1990) are my favorites of their studio albums. The Allman Brothers are of course awesome live: "At Filmore East" is also available on DTS CD if you will have that capability. They also have 2 concert DVDs.


I would not buy new albums for auditioning speakers since your familiarity with the material is more important. When I went auditioning I put together a CDR with my favorite tracks from a variety of genres; make sure to include spoken word (to check for natural reproduction - its obvious when there is coloration on the human voice) and something to test evenness of sound across a wide frequency range (a piano or organ doing a chromatic scale would do this)


I can't help you on the other artists (never heard of them). But if you like bluegrass you may want to pickup the new Alison Krauss SACD at somepoint.


sathyan
 

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lonwolf,


This should be palatable for you:


Pick up a copy of Skynyrd's "Endangered Species". It's awesome demo material. Unplugged session. Very dynamic and detailed. I took it to the high-end exhibits at CES a few years ago as one of my demo discs. You'll have a lot of fun with it, I promise.
 

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I am not a Country music fan.


However, I dig bands such as the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, old ZZ Top, etc. I'll say that Ry Cooder and Chet Atkins have put out some great stuff, in regards to both quality of recording and musicianship. I also agree with the plug for Alison Kraus.


I don't know if Lyle Lovett fits into you're kind of music, but his albums are always very well engineered/produced. "Lyle Lovett and His Large Band" has some very good acoustic and full-range demo material -- a very good, clean, dynamic album.
 

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Lon, by far, the best advice is to take what you are familiar with: your own music. The stuff you listen to is what you want your system to reproduce. When you hear the right setup, you will say, "Now, that sounds right!" You'll get goosebumps, and feel like they're in the room with you. Kind of like escapeism for your ears.


Beware:

Nothing you listen to will sound the same in your own space. You must audition speakers in the room and position they'll occupy if/when you keep them. Also, most people don't realize that the mere existance of other speakers in a showroom have an audible effect on the sound, because they, too, radiate some sound via acoustic coupling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well,I think I led everyone astray by mentioning specific artists-not a good idea.But thanks for the input.What I'm trying to do is put together a cdr for demo purposes.Thanks for the tip on spoken word-I hadn't thought of that.I thought I should use cuts with a lot of orchestration,and its good to have that confirmed.Also,I've read Sinatra is a good test for dynamic range,also female vocals.I was leaning towards tracks with strong acoustic and electric instuments-is that a good idea? Again. thanks for the input and yes I do like both Alison and Lyle
 

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I know everyone recommended against music you don't know but I'll throw it in anyway:


Rebecca Pidgeon, "The Four Marys" Specifically the track "Texas Rangers" Well recorded female vocals. It's a Chesky release and available from their website.


I heard this first while auditioning speakers and it has since become something I use to audition new ones.


Adam
 

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