Neil Cowley Trio - Displaced
Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP / Musical Fidelity AMS 35i / Focal Electra 1028be / MIT AVt MA speaker cable-Matrix 12 xlr / Chord powerchord / GIK acoustics
Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra - Solti/Chicago SO
Clear Spot - Captain Beefheart & Magic Band
Prairie Wind - Neil Young
West Side Story - Andre Previn
Surf's Up - David Thomas & Two Pale Boys
Remain In Light - Talking Heads
Tusk - Camper Van Beethoven
Hot Shots II - The Beta Band
Luna - The Aliens
Scratch My Back - Peter Gabriel
Elysium - Pet Shop Boys
Gaucho - Steely Dan
Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
To name but thirteen.
It never occured to me that David Thomas did stuff outside of Pere Ubu - a big thanks!
To the OP - stuff other people's suggestions & take music you know well, both well-recordered & poor.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2 & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 4GS/Sennheiser MM450.
I stumbled across an old cd in the glove compartment of my car the other day .Radiohead . Kid A .May not be to everyone's taste but will sure give your system a good test .Some tracks may sound like a mass brawl with only instruments used as weapons .some tracks are stunning .big soundstage ,vast amount of musical instruments and sounds getting thrown at you from all directions.I might even slip into the straight jacket and give it another go in the morning . Good Luck !
Squeezebox Touch.Audiolab 8200cd.Leema Pulse.Leema Xero .Mission Stancette stands.Chord Carnival.C A Interconnects.
I own (and love) Kid A.
I actually prefer it to OK Computer, which tends to sit nearer the top of many "greatest ever albums" polls. I think it's an excellent test disc, too!
I should probably also clarify (as per my original post) that I'm not auditioning a new CDP. I bought it already and it's being delivered tomorrow. I'm reallly looking for a few CDs to get the absolute best out of it futher down the line (and perhaps expand my musical horizons in the process).
Some interesting and useful suggestions so far. Thanks to all that have contributed and apologies that I haven't had time to reply to all posts.
One I came across the other day is Mari Boine, a norwegian from the far north, her albums are well recorded, 8 Seasons is a bit too electronic for me but her Balvvoslatjna or Gula Gula are more acoustic. For more ideas have a listen to Radio Paradise online.
Also try John Hiatt Bring the Family album.
Female vocals try Kathleen Edwards, Catie Curtis, Patty Griffin and Thea Gilmore.
Male vocals try Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice.
One remaster I have found to sound brilliant is Talk Talk The Colour Of Spring. Recorded at Abbey road, the production sounds absolutely amazing and on the first track you get piano, double bass and lush orchestral strings, which make for a great test.
I also recommend the 2009 remaster of Kraftwerk The Man Machine, this version of The Robots is simply the best and will test bass response rather nicely.
Have fun with your new toy.
Five from the classical world:
Greig Songs - Anne Sofie Von Otter / Bengt Forsberg - A Gramophone record of the year it is simply beautiful; one of the greatest recordings of solo singing ever made.
Tallis - Spem In Alium - There are lots of excellent versions but the Naxos version is cheap and good!
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture - Mercury Living Presence (Recorded in 1958 it's still going strong - the live cannon are dramatic)
Dowland Lute Music - Nigel North on Naxos (any of the 4 volumes) - A real test for a hifi because it is so spare. Just a lute player in a room, the notes should be pure and emerge against silence (except for hearing the player's fingers moving on the strings).
Saint-Saens Organ Symphony (No 3) - Barenboim, Chicago SO - Lovely tunes and very exciting when the organ joins the ochestra. (I play it when my neighbours are out so that I can have it loud.)
Shelby Lynne – Just A Little Lovin'. The title track sounds amazing. It is so well recorded that the first time I heard the song, I swore that must have been what SACD was all about... Nope, plain Red Book, but excellently miked and mastered.
Joshua Redman – On The Sunny Side Of The Street. His debut album, from 1993. Saxophone jazz (in this song accompanied by the fantastic Christian McBride on double bass). Easy on the ears, and a great recording too.
great selection, Chris. The Grieg songs were one of my cd choices when I selected my Krell and Sonus faber system. My cousin wrote the translations!
Also, I favour the Tallis Scholars in Spem as I went to school with their engineer!
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Just been listening to Jeff Talmadge - Gravity, Grace and the Moon on spotify, seems a very good recording, very clear and plenty of dynamic range.
Also try Steve Hoyem - Prisoner of the road, amazing voice.
Oh and try the Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions.
you might wanna find out how it behaves with heavy riffing guitars as i found out plenty of amps 'prefer' piano or acoustic,dance..no wonder with such music they all get good vibes..
Nad C352pd,C545bee,Denon DNP720ae,Panasonic DMP BDT500,JBL l830,Rel Stampede,Chord Cobra+,Atlas Element Integra and hundreds of assorted guitar driven cd's and dvd's
I always recommend Deep Forest by Deep Forest for the surround sound you get from stereo speakers.
Another in this vein is Goodbye Country Hello Nightclub by Groove Armada.
Other good listens, Who - Live at Leeds and the Beatles re-releases of a couple of years back. The Mono collection is supposed to be the best for production [original] values but they are at least an arm and half a leg.
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 or Marantz CD50SE (modded] - AVI ADM 40
also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system] and Grado SR80i
Take the MUSIC YOU LOVE. Surely you buy a HiFi to listen to that.
Stereo: Amplifiers: Arcam Alpha 9 integrated & 9P power amp (bi-amped), CD Player: Arcam Alpha 9, Speakers: Acoustic Energy AE120s
Telly etc: Sony KDL 40EX-503, Sony BDP S360, Sky+HD
Thanks again for the all suggestions.
I think there are now more artists/albums listed than I can possibly work through. Some relatively arbitrary googling of names to follow...
Just to reiterate, I'm not taking music anywhere. My new CDP is being delivered tomorrow and I thought I'd compile a list of potential purchases that would sound great. I agree entirely that it's essential to listen to music you know when auditioning. There's no clear point of reference otherwise.
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