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WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

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timwileman's picture
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Hi WHF staff...

i just wondered whats each of you current fave films/tracks/albums that you use to review kit and why, i was wondering as from some of the recent posts it seesm like you have a diverse taste selction even if your all called Andy!

Andy Clough's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

Judging by the number of reviews I've subbed that refer to the Gladiator soundtrack, I'd say that's one of the team's favourites!

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

,,, but we also like real music. Devil

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Clare Newsome's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

It's one of them we keep going back to!

It's interesting that you've equated our musical tastes with what we choose to test with. Yes, we'll always reach for a few tracks we know inside out, from a wide range of musical genres - as well as using a selection of new music every month - but quite often the most testing tracks are hardly 'favourites' in the sense of us enjoying the music. Instead they're the most complex, or challenging (and that can mean badly produced mainstream pop as much as any superb recording, with everything in between).

In short, in the process of a hi-fi product being team-tested, it gets an incredibly eclectic mix of music thrown at it - or how else would we be able to judge its credentials as an all-rounder?


It's a similar story with movies - we test at least 10 new movies/music DVD/Blu-ray releases every month, including the big blockbuster movies most people will buy, plus a good smattering of music releases, too, but also have our favourites that we use to really dig down at what a product's capable of.

For example. the DVD and Blu-ray of Training Day is one of our favourites to test colour and detail; there are certain scenes in Blood Diamond that are great to test colour and motion-handling, and the attack sequence from Letters from Iwa Jima (or the dawn battle in Master and Commander) are wonderful tests of dynamics and bass.

It's about this time of year - when Awards testing begins in earnest - that we start to know every last detail in the most-used test tracks (music and movies) to the point where it quite puts you off listening/watching those examples for a long time! (Same thing happens with demo clips/tracks at Shows!)
 

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timwileman's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

i see what you mean clare, yes i did equate it to tracks/films that are your faves as thats what we as customers of hifi use to audition kit.


i suppose there perhaps maybe music that is used to test certain aspects (bass, soundstage, vocal etc...) more than others and do the staff have differences in what they would use to test those aspects etc...

in the same vein as the mentioned films that you go back to for looking at colour or motion etc...


which reminds me i must re-watch master and commander and letters from iwa jima when i finally get round to buying and av reciver Smile

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

Just for the record, can I say that the Gladiator soundtrack makes me want to murder small kittens.

 a couple of test faves of mine:

 1) A roughly 20-minute section from the middle of Matrix Reloaded, starting with the exquisite martial arts scene in the house of the Merivingian, leading to that extraordinary car/bike chase scene. C'mon, say what you like about the story's shortcomings but action movie footage doesn't come any better than this. Plus, it's a sterling workout for every part of your system.

2) Master and Everyone by Bonnie Prince Billy. As simple and as natural-sounding as recording gets. When you're comparing two excellent hi-fi amps and you need to hear what an unprocessed acoustic guitar really sounds like.... stick this on.


3) Radiohead: In Rainbows. Partly because I love the record, and partly because it has a bit of everything you need to test a hi-fi. Viciously complex rhythms for precision and timing, nakedly natural vocals and acoustic guitars, huge soundstages (if your system can reproduce them), plus a very wide tonal range that takes in great big tsunamis of deep bass. If you only had one disc to thoroughly test a hi-fi, this would be a good bet.

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John Duncan's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing
dominic dawes:
3) Radiohead: In Rainbows.



What was that about kittens?

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Clare Newsome's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

Well exactly - and that's the beauty of team testing. We all get to use tracks that float our respective boats, plus the test favourites, plus hear lots of other music besides - sometimes even things you then go out and buy yourself.....

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing


Do you have office kittens as well?

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing
JohnDuncan:
Do you have office kittens as well?

Not since they were trained to  use the toilet in Clare's bunker 

timwileman's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

sorry not getting the kittens reference, is that a track on the album mentioned? as i dont have a copy?

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing
JohnDuncan:
Do you have office kittens as well?

Sadly not. Our boss has just bought a couple, though - better warn of him of Dom's proclivities... 

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Andy Clough's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

I have seen Clare sitting in her 'executive chair' stroking a white cat, though... very Blofeld.

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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing
Andy Clough:
I have seen Clare sitting in her 'executive chair' stroking a white cat, though... very Blofeld.

Well I got the eye look right this week...

 Blofeld

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Alec's picture
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing
JohnDuncan:

dominic dawes:
3) Radiohead: In Rainbows.



What was that about kittens?




I think i found that funnier than is healthy. Need to get out more, perhaps.
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Re: WHF staff's fave films/tracks for reviewing

Interesting subject. Just wondered whether the staff at What Hi-fi? S&V after all the testing of numerous kit ever get fed up of audio/visual when you get home?


The reason why I say that is because one of our friends is a restauranteur and after preping and serving wonderful dishes, all he wants to do when he's at home is eat simple food. 

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