Doves - The Last Broadcast Track 9 "Pounding" Tests Bass weight, speed and complexity handling.
The best track for demoing speakers is one you know back to front and inside out.
Personally i use my 'Cynic' CD, not because I love it (which I do), but because I've owned it for years and years and know every nuance. It's also a very complex piece with multi-layered instruments. A perfect test disc.
Hi-Fi: Arcam A85, P85, CD192. B&W 602S3, PV1, Grado SR125, Atlas Titan, Hyper 2.0.
A/V: Sony KDL-V40A12U, BDP-S760, Humax Youview, Onkyo TX-SR875, B&W MT30 7.1, QED HDMI-P, S.A XT
I always take "OK Computer" with me. "Subterrenean Homesick Alien" I always think is a good one.
Sonos & Apple TV -> Cyrus 8XPD (with PSX-R) -> Spendor A5
Sony Blu Ray & Sky HD & Apple TV -> Sony Surround Amp -> Jamo Surround Speaker Kit.
Or Exit to a film (or whatever it's called) on OK Computer. Then the other ones I use are "Free - Allright now" (lots of "air" to it) and Supertramp - Logical Song...dunno why, just always liked it!
Very true, it has to be something you know inside and out....
Its an amazing album, really well produced and at times dark and heavy and then really open and subtle. I second Exit Music For a Film....
I take a few along. Last demo I took:
Martin Taylor, Gold - cos guitar reproduction (fnar) is important to me
Havana Swing, Django's Lion - for some lovely double bass. Depth and control
Pavement, Terror Twilight - cos I know it well
Nick Cave, Dig Lazerous, Dig - how do they deal with lots of noise!
I think, though, if some speakers aren't quite right I tend to over analyse them and try and pick out the things I think they do well. These will never be right.
If the speaker is right for you - you'll grin within 4 notes. You won't need to analyse them - just try a few tracks out to make sure they produce the same reaction with all your tastes.
....IGY from Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly" either on CD or Vinyl or DVD-A! ...sensational sound quality .......Also...Steely Dan's "Gaucho" DTS CD .. which really shows what how well your AV system deals with SACD/DVD-A's(Ok So I'm a Steely Dan obsessive!)...Others?....Was (Not Was)'s "What Up Dog" ...great sound AND a great performance from this criminally underrated band.
Oracle Delphi 1 / Zeta /Goldring 2200. Onkyo Tr 875. Marantz CD 85 SE.Sony CDX 355 300 Disc CD Multi-Player
Lake Audio 1015 Ft Speakers and Lake Audio Ctr. Wharfdale Diamond III Rears. Ruark Vita 100 Sub Woofer. Pioneer PX 50d Plasma. Denon 1940 DVD. Panasonic DMR ex 777 HD/DVD-R. Pioneer 989 avi DVD Player. Sony BDP185 Blu Ray player, Sky HD Box
Tom Waits - Real Gonea pretty muddy mix i think so needs a decent system to have it sounding good.
Something from Underwater Sunlight by Tangerine Dream. Quite appropriate for a fish.
Erykah Badu - Rimshot (Intro), Great bass (punchy and deep), Great 'klack' from drumstick hitting drum rim, Great Vocals.
Good test for muddy bass.
D' Angelo - Brown Sugar, Same as above but with added details, vocal effects, and intricate detail. Also listen to 'When We Get By' for some good jazzy instruments and stand out vocals.
Beastie Boys - Intergalactic, Lots of delicate effects that could get lost on lesser systems.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Jamming, From the 'Legend' Album, Just perfect, vocals can sound 'compressed' and 'shut in' on lesser systems.
Pretty much anything off the last Rush "Snakes and Arrows" 180gram vinyl - utterly stunning copy, mastered to near perfection and with space and separation between all the instruments. God knows, Rush just got cool again! A great test LP for both speakers and record decks IMO.EDIT: You could also add Talking Heads 1983 LP "Speaking in Tongues" - lots of detail that needs picking out. Get the right recording (CD or LP in fact) and if your system's picking up everything going on (the track "Moon Rocks" is a fine case in point), you'll get oodles of detail and a cohesive whole. If it's a "muddle" then something needs fine tuning!
Onkyo TX-8050 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 / Marantz SA7001-KI / Apple TV 3 / Sony PS3 320Gb / Denon DVD-3930
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