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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Vladimir wrote:

If your hi-fi can make this sound beautiful without a struggle and separate everything in its dense production with a fine comb, it is a really good hi-fi.

E. S. Posthumus Unearthed - Nara

 

E.S. Posthumus Unearthed

 

 

 

 

Only just seen this. Listening as I type. What a fantastic sounding album.

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

sbrads wrote:

For testing drive, pace and dynamics there's one song that 95% of systems fail on and that's Young Man Blues on The Who's Live at Leeds.  It should sound like your at the front row of the concert and the drums should whack you in the chest.

 

Sounds good on my system.

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Vladimir wrote:

DALI Loudspeakers presents

 

Josefine Cronholm | IBIS

Wild Garden

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCrSZYDePms

http://www.dali-us.com/en-US/The-DALI-CD/Josefine-Cronholm.aspx

 

Sounds very nice! Bought the iTunes version.

Airport Express (still analog!), Artephonos Energa (tube-amp), Peitho 303 (infinite baffle speakers)

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

lejockey wrote:

Rick, I listened to the 100 active towers, and then the little 7s. The 100 towers are stunning, as are the 7s, but its hard to listen to the 7s having heard the 100s. I have a pair of DIY based on the drivers from the 50. I use an active crossover and some homemade amps. I love how ATC seem genuinly interested in supporting the DIY community.

 

The XLR8R podcast by Nicolas Jaar is 50 minutes of incredible sound Smile

Hi lejockey

Thanks for your reply.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Lisa Gerrard - Devotion (The Silver Tree)

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft

Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Do not only test with the best sounding recording, choose an album that's going to challenge the system. When I want to test for harshness or sibilance I always come back to David Bowie's Scary Monsters. That will sniff out any chinks in a system in no time at all.

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

manicm wrote:

Do not only test with the best sounding recording, choose an album that's going to challenge the system. When I want to test for harshness or sibilance I always come back to David Bowie's Scary Monsters. That will sniff out any chinks in a system in no time at all.

I wouldn't test today's system with old records that are ADD, AAD or AAA. I would strictly go for good production, non-compressed, DDD with most instruments, vocals and always try dense classical music passages with orchestral tutti. 

The danger in going A is you might prescribe flaws on the system that initially came from the wow, flutter, noise and lack of resolution in your test material compared to today's standards. Also bare in mind the best magnetic tape for studio recording is 13bit resolution at best.

The biggest mistake (which I also made for years) is people using Miles Davis - Kind of blue for testing fidelity. That recording is rubbish compared to todays standards. With a better resolving system you litterally hear the magnetic tape deteriorating as it plays. It is a popular album and most of us know it by heart but that doesn't mean it is a suitable reference for fidelity. It was recorded in 1959! The clean sounding remasters have so many filters through them to push down noise levels, you can imagine how much fine detail got lost there. Using a 1959 black and white movie as a reference for todays HD flat screen shopping is not a good idea IMO.

My point is, I prefer for the musical material to challenge the system, not the quality of the recording. I want that out of the way just like I want a clear lense to look at the stars.

B&W CM1 + FS-700/CM + Roksan Kandy K2 BT + Native Instruments TA2 + Commodore 64 LPSU + Audioquest Type 4

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

In my opinion any kind of heavy metal is a great way to test speakers. Especially Death Metal. It's genrally the most dence music of any genre with all that distortion and speed the music is played at. Listen to some on a small system if you don't know any death metal then on the speakers you are interested in or have see how clear the music is. Of course it won't be that clear like some clasical or pop but that the idea.

I can recomend some if you are interested.

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Glacialpath wrote:

In my opinion any kind of heavy metal is a great way to test speakers. Especially Death Metal. It's genrally the most dence music of any genre with all that distortion and speed the music is played at. Listen to some on a small system if you don't know any death metal then on the speakers you are interested in or have see how clear the music is. Of course it won't be that clear like some clasical or pop but that the idea.

I can recomend some if you are interested.

 

Please do. Thanks.  :beer:

B&W CM1 + FS-700/CM + Roksan Kandy K2 BT + Native Instruments TA2 + Commodore 64 LPSU + Audioquest Type 4

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Vladimir wrote:

manicm wrote:

Do not only test with the best sounding recording, choose an album that's going to challenge the system. When I want to test for harshness or sibilance I always come back to David Bowie's Scary Monsters. That will sniff out any chinks in a system in no time at all.

I wouldn't test today's system with old records that are ADD, AAD or AAA. I would strictly go for good production, non-compressed, DDD with most instruments, vocals and always try dense classical music passages with orchestral tutti. 

The danger in going A is you might prescribe flaws on the system that initially came from the wow, flutter, noise and lack of resolution in your test material compared to today's standards. Also bare in mind the best magnetic tape for studio recording is 13bit resolution at best.

The biggest mistake (which I also made for years) is people using Miles Davis - Kind of blue for testing fidelity. That recording is rubbish compared to todays standards. With a better resolving system you litterally hear the magnetic tape deteriorating as it plays. It is a popular album and most of us know it by heart but that doesn't mean it is a suitable reference for fidelity. It was recorded in 1959! The clean sounding remasters have so many filters through them to push down noise levels, you can imagine how much fine detail got lost there. Using a 1959 black and white movie as a reference for todays HD flat screen shopping is not a good idea IMO.

My point is, I prefer for the musical material to challenge the system, not the quality of the recording. I want that out of the way just like I want a clear lense to look at the stars.

I have to agree with manicm on this. It is always worth trying something scrawny sounding from the past. I have a few CBS favourites like Simon and Garfunkel that are ideal. Unless you only own recent all digital hires stuff and I certainly don't this seems to me an essential test.  I guess it is similar to the way WHF use low Rex downloads when testing DACs as well as better resolution tracks.

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

I have, for no obvious reason, been playing all the songs on my Nano in alphabetical order during my gym sessions. Today I was on 'L'.

Third or fourth song up was 'Love will tear us apart', tha original album version, followed immediately by the live version. These are both on the collectors Edition of 'Closer'.

To this day the live version still sends goosebumps up and down my spine. The pace, energy and shear passion of the track cuts right through you, quite awsome.

 

Assuming it was recorded in the union 'concert hall' in Malet street I may well have been present, but you know what they say about the punk era, if you can remember what you are doing, you wern't doing it right.

I often comment that I think one of the best ways to evaluate a system is to see how well it connects you to the music, In much the same way I have used a couple of Brubeck tracks that have studio and live versions on the Legacy version of "Time Out'.

Of course in both cases these are different performances, and completely different sound wise, but concentrate on the 'feel' of the performances, try it and see if it works for you. 

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Choose music you know! If I may suggest:

Agnes Obel with The Curse. 

 

http://youtu.be/6h9XUYj96ho

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

I have found that complicated tracks (with a lot going on?) that I've thought were just bad recordings tend to end up being great as the quality of speakers improve - I would try a some music you find muddled as often decent speakers unravel the mess whereas tracks you already like & think are well recorded often sound no better with higher quality speakers - Just my 10p worth.

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Vladimir wrote:

My point is, I prefer for the musical material to challenge the system, not the quality of the recording. I want that out of the way just like I want a clear lense to look at the stars.

It may not have been obvious, but that was my point. Scary Monsters, my 1999 remaster anyway, is a brilliant recording. But Bowie's lisps, and vocal emphasis on consonants on this album will reveal any weaknesses in a system ruthlessly. If you want to test high-frequency refinement look no further.

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RE: Best Songs to Test Speakers

Vladimir wrote:

manicm wrote:

Do not only test with the best sounding recording, choose an album that's going to challenge the system. When I want to test for harshness or sibilance I always come back to David Bowie's Scary Monsters. That will sniff out any chinks in a system in no time at all.

I wouldn't test today's system with old records that are ADD, AAD or AAA. I would strictly go for good production, non-compressed, DDD with most instruments, vocals and always try dense classical music passages with orchestral tutti. 

The danger in going A is you might prescribe flaws on the system that initially came from the wow, flutter, noise and lack of resolution in your test material compared to today's standards. Also bare in mind the best magnetic tape for studio recording is 13bit resolution at best.

The biggest mistake (which I also made for years) is people using Miles Davis - Kind of blue for testing fidelity. That recording is rubbish compared to todays standards. With a better resolving system you litterally hear the magnetic tape deteriorating as it plays. It is a popular album and most of us know it by heart but that doesn't mean it is a suitable reference for fidelity. It was recorded in 1959! The clean sounding remasters have so many filters through them to push down noise levels, you can imagine how much fine detail got lost there. Using a 1959 black and white movie as a reference for todays HD flat screen shopping is not a good idea IMO.

My point is, I prefer for the musical material to challenge the system, not the quality of the recording. I want that out of the way just like I want a clear lense to look at the stars.

 

I don't agree with that, if most of your music is old recordings what is the point of using modern ones and for me jazz it is mostly 50s and early 60s, rock is mostly 70s. Also I find the slightly off recordings or albums are a better test of a system than perfect ones. On my system I can still enjoy 1956 recordings like Tenor Madness and Saxophone Collosus in mono. Yes KOB is not the best recording, the tape was running too slow on several tracks.

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