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Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Does anyone have favorite CDs that they use to audition equipment? I realize the standard advice is to take what you are familiar with, but I was wondering if there were CDs that were especially good for the purpose (e.g., highlights bass). Thanks.

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

If it's a bass-tester you're particularly after, Massive Attack's Angel  is a belter....

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Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

I just cd's that I'm very familiar with for various reasons:

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (because it's recorded exceptionally well)
Alison Krauss And Union Station - New Favourite (because it's recorded exceptionally well, and because Alison her vocals can sound too warm and upfront on some equipment. I also feel the stereo-imaging is excellent)
The Libertines - The Libertines ('Can't stand me now' is recorded like a pig and full of energy, some systems really make it sound flat and boring and just don't know how to cope with the phenomenal bass on the track)
Massive Attack - Mezzanine (For the sheer pace some tracks exhibit)

 
These are just some cd's I really like to test out stuff. Even though it's probably not the advice you're looking for, just pick out some cd's you're really familiar with. Take into consideration how they sound on your current set, and then listen and try to find out if you hear more or less detail, if it sounds more exciting or just plain boring?

I work in a Hifi section of a big electronics store and if I want to impress customers I just pick out a cd that's recorded very well. Some cd's just sound amazing on about every system they're played on. Don't be fooled by promotion disc like the ones that are used on Bose system, they're made to sound good.
 

Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Ave maria by mozart is ideal or to say the truth it will put most sistems to theyr limits on dinamics, treble, bass,midrange the lot ...so u can realy see wat the sistem is capable of how low ,high,loud,fast it can go and how it responds to a seriously hard piece of music to be reproduced and also if it can make u feel the music or if it is too clinical

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Jeff Buckley - Grace. Any Dire's cd as long as it's remaster. The Eagles - Live. Bob Marley - Legend

Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

I will tell you what not to carry:

1. Very well recorded CDs (they will sound great on about every system, so how do you judge)

2.  CDs made by Audio system manufacturers, specifically created for demonstrating their system (they are designed to highlight the strengths and conceal the weaknesses)

3. CDs containing tracks you haven't heard at least a 100 times

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Carry on up the charts - Beautiful South (all tracks)
Colour of Spring - Talk Talk (track 4, 7, Dirol
Goodbye Country, Hello Nightclub - Groove Armada (tracks 2 and 5)
Eden - Everything But The Girl (all tracks)
Soul Mining - The The (track 4)
Play - Moby (tracks 6 and 14)
The K&D Sessions - Kruder & Dorfmeister (all tracks)
Rumours - Fleetwood Mac (tracks 2 and 3)

The CDs above all have great quality recording and cover the spectrum of sounds for reference. From voice to electronic instruments

Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

having recently upgraded to my current (see sig) hifi, coming from something significantly less able I've been suprised at how some music really benefits from the extra fidelity... and some doesn't.

I think it comes down to how it's recorded and more significantly, how much compression is used before it is put on a CD. Ever heard a track fading out and the background hiss gets mysteriously louder? that be compression.

Well anyway, I was really quite suprised just how awesome the listening experience was when I put 'wave of mutilation' by the pixies back on. Wow. You want to look to the finer poitns of you hifi then I definately reccomend this album. It's great music too. If you don't know the pixies.. with an album name like that, no it isn't death metal:)

If you want to give your bass a workout... well. I found that the true test, in my mind, is the last track on 'fallout' by Front Line Assembly. It's called Unconscious and it will rock your socks off with its subsonic bass, ther eis plenty else along with it though. Never forget, it's not just how well your system can belt out a basss note, it's how much the system straining to reproduce that bass note screws up the rest of the audio response. Homogenic by Bj0rk has a great first track for bass... and really the whole album is good for showing off your hifi.

To be honest, I was somewhat disappointed at how much my favourite band, nine inch nails, was largely unimproved by the better stereo. Yeah it was better... hell maybe I've listened to it so many times there isn't anything new to hear hehe.

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

never fails this one,take your own cd's most hifi shops will play their best sounding disc's to get your hard earned cash.i am not being rude to jeolsims musical tastes but apart from the the's uncertain smile on the soul mining album i woudn't know what sounds good because i have not heard any of them.do any of these meet your musical tastes,if so go ahead if not then you know what to do.ps rumours but only on vinyl.

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

 Take a listen to YES: Big Generator: 1st track. This album has a treble which is barely controlled. This album will show up a poor/border line treble performance. I always get the feeling the treble emphasis is on. Cool for a bright sound.

Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Rumours on vinyl... Wonderful!

 

Anonymous
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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

Groove Armada a good suggestion for testing the Bass - especially those 2 tracks. One of my personal favourite cds is Platipus Records Volume 3, Well recorded for a Trance Album and some of the tracks have so much going on they rival any orchestra for complexity. BT is another artist whose production is excellent.

When my new systm arrives, another tester for me will be HardFi, Stars of CCTV. The recording of this CD is so trashy that I'm yet to hear it sound anything near as good as thier live performance. I think the best thing really is to stick to what you know - forget pretention.

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

...A more obscure choice mebbe's but try and get hold of Lindsay Buckingham's "Out Of The Cradle" (try Amazon)......Fleetwood Mac's guitar player released this in 92' and it is one of the most sumptously recorded CD's ever released ..it has everything ....bass, separation, presence,  ..some reviewers thought it was too well produced!

..Seriously it IS that good ...... 

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

1) Release The Stars - Rufus Wainwright
2) Cuckooland - Robert Wyatt
3) At Least That's What You Said - Wilco
4) Mozart Piano Sonatas played by Mitsuko Uchida
5) Under the Blacklight - Rilo Kiley
6) The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death - John Fahey

Just six that are spinning around on my hi-fi at the moment, to wondrous sonic/audio effect.

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment

the only cd i can think of that everyone should at least have a listen to is spectrum by billy cobham.on vinyl it's awesome on cd it's very very good

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Re: Good CDs to use to audition equipment
the only cd i can think of that everyone should at least have a listen to is spectrum by billy cobham.on vinyl it's awesome on cd it's very very good.....  ...Agreed .....and the DVD-A version ROCKS!

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