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Good CD's for evaluating Soundstage?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Koch, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi:

    This could have gone into a few different categories (it really deals with the whole system, from CD to apmps and speakers), but I thought this would be the best place...

    I have been re-evaluating my speaker placement, and want to evaluate how the soundstage is. Obviously, some CD's might be engineered well, but not show a great soundtage... so what is a good CD to judge this with?

    Currently, I have been using Supertramp's Crime of the Century, but I would like to work more CD's into my mix for judgement and evaluation...

    Thanks!
     
  2. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Good question.

    I like most any Stevie Ray Vaughn CD/Album for evaluating imaging. In particular, I like "Blues at Sunrise" and "Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughn." Very revealling about a systems ability to image.

    I also like Eric Kunzel's Orchestral Movie Soundtrack disks on Telarc CDs. Extremely large soundstage.

    Diana Krall CDs also seem to be a favorite with audiophiles. I prefer Nat King Trio if you can find them.

    James Taylor's DVD live at the Beacon Theater played back in DD 2.0 (dd stereo)give you nice visual cues to check what you are hearing from the DVD. Most people I know prefer the 2.0 playback to the multichannel on this disk, so it should work well with your imaging testing.

    Chris Isaak Baha Sessions is a must have.

    Also, Jonatha Brooke "Live" is another must have. Good acoustic rock type music with some unbelievable female vocals. There is an acapella track on this CD that will come to life like nothing else if you have your system imaged.

    I am sure others can recommend some SACDs and etc...

    The bottom line is get a stack of CDs from dif. genres of music.
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Search the archives, this has been discussed a few times with many good suggestion being given. My favorites, in no particular order:

    Eric Clapton - "Unplugged"
    Dave Matthews - "Crash"
    Pink Floyd - "Pulse", though this uses Q-Sound
    Eagles - "Hell Freezes Over"
     
  4. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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    Chesky puts out "The Ultimate Demonstration Disc," which provides intro discussions for benchmarks such as resolution, depth, midrange, presence, transients, dynamics, etc. The discussion mentions what one should look for in a good, better, best, system setup. Then it plays a selection of music that demonstrates the particular benchmark particularly well. I've found it a useful tool in auditioning equipment, particularly as I get more and more familiar with the recordings.
    http://www.chesky.com/catalog/body_c...133&CATEGORY=1
     
  5. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    John Lee:

    That looks perfect- Like an Avia or VE for CD. Cool.

    Someone mentioned Diana Krall. When I was messing around, I gave her a whirl, as I thought it might really be good. Maybe my speakers were not set up well at that point (I did a lot of playing around!), or maybe I chose the wrong song... but I did not get anything that impressed me, soundstage-wise. And see, that is why I was asking- her albums do sound great, but should I expect a wide soundstage, too?

    Anyway, like I said, my speakers were probably not tweaked right when I did her, so I will give that another lsiten!

    Thanks all!
     
  6. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  8. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    EXCELLENT CD's
    This is what I use to Demo my system including my car system..VERY VERY nice sets and recorded EXTREMLY well!
    Good Luck.
    Also try to look for the Focal Disks..they are AWESOME as well!
     
  9. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I found that Underworld's "second toughest in the infants" to have an excellent sound stage, and is relatively clear of unintended noise.

    "Crime of the Century" is a wonderful CD also, though it is a bit more "noisy".

    Martin.
     
  10. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    "Innocence and Despair," the Langley School Music Project. Just kidding! Arnold's Fifth Symphony with Penny (cond.) and the National Orchestra of Ireland on Naxos. Big sound stage that should extend well beyond your speakers. You can tell where the various instruments are on the stage, not only laterally but depth-wise. The thing about the recording is that, like all Naxos discs, it's cheap -- around $7.
     
  11. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    There is a single song that does it for me:
    "Man In the Long Black Coat"
    Bob Dylan (from "Oh Mercy")
    The soundstage is incredible, as is the entire recording. It's the only time you'll find Dylan's voice appealing. [​IMG]
     
  12. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Stereophile also makes test CD's for speaker placement, imaging, etc. I have 2 of them. www.acousticsounds.com sells them. Test CD #2 and #3 are very good. #3 is weighted toward Home Theater setup. They come with a booklet that explains what you should be hearing from your system during a particular track, You'll need to use a magnifier to actually read it though. They cost $15 each I believe. [​IMG]
     
  13. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Don't You want real music? Anyways here's the first page of a list of 130 Reference CDs. The Reference List is what Avangarde uses to demo their high end audio speakers. Thanks to Jim Smith at a Sonic Culture weekend in which I got to meet him and get his demo list. I'll also mention the Avangarde Duos to be exceptional horn speakers that changed my perspective toward horns.

    I would include the rest but it takes time to type it all out. (The list isn't online so I had to hand type this in)

    1. Tears of Stone - The Chieftains - Guest artists Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall, Natalie Merchant, Bonnie Raitt, Sissel, etc. - BMG 09026-68968-2
    2. I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray - The Fairfield Four - Warner Bros. 9 46698-2
    3. Requiem: John Rutter - Turtle Creek Chorale - Reference Recordings RR-57CD
    4. Le Cenerentola: Rossini - Chailly, Bartoli - London 436 902-2
    5. The Healer - John Lee Hooker - Capricorn 314 538 689-2
    6. The Columbia Radio Music Hour, Vol. 1 - COL 66466
    7. Return of the Grievous Angel/a tribute to Gram Parsons - AMSD-80024
    8. Virtuosa Valentina, Vol. 2 - Valentina Lisitsa - Audiofon CD72070
    9. Grateful Heart: Blues & Ballads - Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Bullseye Blues BB 9565
    10. Slow Down - keb' Mo - Okeh/550 Music BK 69376
    11. The Roy Haynes Trio featuring Danilo Perez & John Patitucci - Verve 314 543 534-2
    12. Arnold:Chamber Music - English Piano Trio - Naxos 8.554237
    13. A Quiet Eye - June Tabor - Green Linnet GLCD 3129
    14. Companion - Patricia Barber - Blue Note/Premonition - 7243 5 22963 2 3
    15. Bruckner Symphony #4 - Gunter Wand, Berlin Philharmonic - RCA 09026 68839 2
    16. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - Lucinda Williams - Mercury 314 558 336-2
    17. J.S. Back: Sonatas & Partitas - Paul Galbreath, guitar - Delos DE 3232
    18. Road Tested - Bonnie Raitt - Capitol CDP 7243 8 33705 2 8
    19. Ports of Call: Iber, Chabrier, Sibelius, etc. - Eije Oue, Minn. Orch. - Reference Recordings RR-90CD
    20. Truth from Lies - Catie Curtis - Guardian - 7243 8 35435-2 6
    21. This One's for Blanton - Duke Ellington/Ray Brown - Pablo OJCCD-810-2
    22. Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Snow - DCC Compact Classics Inc. - GZS-1051
    23. Don't Smoke in Bed - Holly COle Trio - Manhattan CDP 0777 7 81198 2 1
    24. Tutti! Orchestral Sampler - Reference Recordings RR-906CD
    25. Spirit & the Blues - ERic Bibb & Needed Time - Earthbeat!/Opus 3 - R2 75686
    26. Beethoven Bernstein - Hilary Hahn - Sony Classical SK 60584
    27. Hell Freezes Over - Eagles - Geffen GEFD 24725
    28. Forget about It - Alison Kraus - Rounder 11661-0465-2
    29. Love Scenes - Diana Krall - Impulse! IMPD-233
    30. Party Doll and Other Favorites - Mary Chapin Carpenter - Columbia CK 68751
    31. Mozard Portraits - Cecelia Bartoli, Vienna Chamber Orch. - London 443 452-2
    32. Live at the 1990 Concord Jazz Festival - Third Set - Concord Jazz - CCD-4454
    33. Trios - Rob Wasserman - MFSL UDCD 752
     
  14. wayne p

    wayne p Stunt Coordinator

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    For sound stage and accuracy of the sound I would strongly recommend two CDs, Dead Can Dance-Into The Labyrinth & Jesse Cook-Vertigo.

    With the opening track of Labyrinth, there is a set of maracas that hang in space slightly above and to the left/front of my main left speaker. If your system is setup well the image will be so solid you will swear you can grab them. There is also track 3, which is solo female voice. Very powerful with a solid center image. There are some other startling features on this disc which will test your system along with some wonderful music. Extremely well recorded.

    My second recommendation is a 20 bit master. It is very natural in sound. Great, somewhat flamenco style, music with a bonus track featuring Holly Cole's version of Fragile (wonderful). I find on a well set up system you can hear three distinct guitars, lower left, center, and center right. On track three there is a cello that comes in with bow strokes (after 100s of plays I still get chills at this point in the CD) between and somewhat ahead of the center and right side guitar. Very solid imagery throughout this CD.

    This reflects two channel play back.

    Listen and enjoy.
     
  15. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    My favorite for soundstage testing remains: Chris Rice, Smell the Color 9.

    Lots of good tracks here, but the title track is outstanding for imaging and soundstaging. Exposes weaker systems and comes alive with stronger ones. Imaging extends well beyond the scope of the speaks.

    John G
     
  16. Nico

    Nico Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow great cds! Another ones are Sarah Brightman's Classic, David Foster's The Recordings, and Dave Brubek's Time Out.

    Nico
     
  17. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    "Joshua Judges Ruth" by Lyle Lovett.

    Good stuff!
     
  18. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    I've never seen/heard this one, however, Chip Davis should really do a nice job on this as he does with most stuff.....Anyone ever tried this?

    Home Theater Demo
    Mannheim Steamroller DVD Audio/Video

    Track Listings
    1. Chip's approach to 5.1 surround sound
    2. Real time meter display
    3. Moonlight at Cove Castle
    4. Mozart Quartet in C Major, menuetto
    5. Waterfall
    6. Night Party
    7. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
     
  19. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I second Dead Can Dance, "Into the Labyrinth". Gave it a listen last night. Oooohhh, good!

    Martin.
     
  20. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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