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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not too sure about you guys, but everytime I get a new stereo/headphones/new speakers I use the same few songs to test them out. I'm just wondering if you guys do something similar and with what songs?


Mine are:


Suicide Note Pt. 1 - Pantera

The Great Destroyer - Nine Inch Nails

Til the Money Runs Out - Tom Waits

Love Reign O'er Me - The Who

Got Me Wrong - Alice in Chains MTV Unplugged

Hurt - Johnny Cash's Cover

The Earth Died Screaming - Tom Waits

and Burn - from the Nine Inch Nails Blu-ray
 

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Sounds like you listen to a lot of the same music I do ... Trent Reznor is the greatest musical genius of our generation in my mind. And there are plenty of NIN recordings that I use as well for critical listening and voicing a new design. And I wept the day both Dimebag and Phil Anselmo passed away



I branch out a lot when critical listening though, stuff like Patricia Barber or Chris Rea ... even some Lyle Lovett. Jack Johnson has some well recorded stuff that's enjoyable too, and I bet you'd like Rodrigo y Gabriella (they do a sweet Metallica Orion cover). I can't handle Classical/Orchestral stuff though, even though it's good for analyzing tonal accuracy, I just can't listen without getting bored.


Quality recordings are what's important to find, and it takes some searching to find them. Most stuff is clipped and compressed like crazy, even that Cash cover of Hurt gets extremely harsh in spots.
 

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Yup. I keep a CD just for my baseline.

Several cuts from Harry James, Dave Grusin, Amamda Mcbroom, Julian Bream, a bit of Night on Bald Mountain, a bit of Copland. Stuff I know really well so I usually don't get surprised with details I have never heard before. The age old "learning subject" why double blind testing does not work. All stuff I love, so I use it to see if I forget I am listening to a new piece of hardware and wind up getting into the music. Most pieces do have flaws that are worse or better depending on the system. I know where they are so I can listen for them. Most cuts were direct to disk recording originally.

Then I always let the salesman put on what he/she thinks will show off the equipment. Found a lot of really great stuff that way. Film and the BB's, Squirrel Nut Zippers, even Nora Jones.
 

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I crank the bejesus out of Joni's Raised on Robbery.
And then I listen to EVERYTHING.


CD
 

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Madonna-Vogue(this is for sound staging and BASS definition)If a pair of speakers or amp,pre,source can reproduce this song at very high SPL's,then you have something special there.


WAR-Low Rider(this song is for your mids and hi's,but also bass)this song will test your systems ability to reproduce a snappy cow bell at huge SPL's and if you squint your eyes you should find a different amp because your MID/HI does not like it! I like Classe amps(CA-300/400) on my mid/hi and Bryston on bass(if you can afford Krell on bass it is one of the best)


Led Zepplin-4th album....almost every song the drumkit sound sucks,SOO if you can make the drums sound great with your setup i am sure you have done your job.


This is for HIGH SPL clarity,I believe almost any system sounds good at 80db or less but once you reach 100db or more,try these songs,and i will guarante anything with double bass will sound very well defined.

john
 

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Another demo disc for me is Prince's The Truth. Love his music, but his production is usually pretty hot...but this is stunning. It's hard to find...it was a bonus, 4th disc included with the 3-disc "legal" bootlegs set Crystal Ball. It's like a Prince unplugged kinda thing; mostly acoustic guitar and some searing vocals, all close-mic, studio ambience.


Like I said, I just looked and it doesn't look like you can just get the disc on its own...and they stopped selling Crystal Ball long ago.


CD
 

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Santana 3 - it contains 2 CD's -- one a studio recording and the other live recording of the same songs. The studio version has better fidelity and is the disc I use most to evaluate sound. The live recording performances are better.
 

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Any Future Sound of London's albums, especially good Dead Cities, with tracks including "we have explosives". Perfect for testing all ranges of sound in crisp manner and to tap your feet and brains...
 

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If you ever want to hear an assortment of really well recorded material find out if there is an Audiophile Society that meets near you. Here in the Chicago area there is the Chicago Audio Society. I've been to a few meeting and I am always amazed at the music these gee...I mean guys find. From classical to rock, they have it all. Me personally I think any of the CD's the Steely Dan released sound really good.
 

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My 2ch. test audio is not necessarily what I enjoy listening to. In other words.


Diana Krall - Girl in the other room

Brian Bromberg - Wood

Ray Charles - Genius loves company

Babatunde Olatunji - Circle of drums


The above are not in my regular rotation.


Robert Miles & Trilok Gurtu - Miles_Gurtu

Seal - Best: 1991-2004 (DSD)


The above are in my regular rotation.
 

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Supertramp - Crime of the Century MFSL LP


Muddy Waters - Folk Singer MFSL LP


Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters MFSL LP SACD


Jazz at the Pawnshop LP SACD
 
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