Reference CD for testing audio gears

agidol

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Steve
Hi, I'm curious as to what discs do you play when it comes to testing speakers and receivers? I like listening to Jazz so I usually bring Jane Monheit's taking a chance on love or Grover Washington Jr.s Take five. As for Rock, I thought Santana's supernatural was exceptionally well recorded so I also bring it to test speakers. I'm all ears as to what your reference CDs are -- so I can expand my own collection. thx.
 

Phil A

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I use lots of them incl. but not ltd. to:

Al Di Meola "Kiss My Axe" - particularly the 2nd cut for bass response
Rosanne Cash "Ten Song Demo" for vocals/imaging
Kasey Chambers "Barricades adn Brickwalls" for bass and imaging (title cut)

Lots of others but can't think of them at the moment.
 

PaulDA

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I use Genesis' Selling England by the Pound--Firth of Fifth as my primary test track. It has acoustic piano (a pseudo-classical intro), lots of high frequency cymbals, deep synth and regular electric bass. It runs the gamut of sounds in about nine minutes. If the gear passes that initial test, then I run through a sample of different genres:

Alison Krauss and Union Station--Live (SACD) Possibly the best recorded music I've heard, certainly the best I own.

Pletnev Plays Schumann--(SACD) A solo piano recording that is familiar to me and quite good. Piano is an excellent instrument for testing gear, IMO.

Joe Henderson--Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (SACD) A great jazz album.

Elgar's Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending by Hilary Hahn (SACD)--Among my favourite performances of the Elgar.

I find these usually separate the good from the less good in terms of equipment performance. I don't have "golden ears" but I've done some recording in a studio and I've been in choirs.

The most important thing, to me, about "reference CDs", apart from being well recorded, is familiarity. You should be very, very familiar with the music you use. Just my 2 cents.
 

Ron Reda

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I'm not 100% but I could have sworn I read somewhere that this disc was sourced from a CD recording ala Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me"...any truth to that???
 

Phil A

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No - there was a big media splash about this being the 1st live non-classical DSD recording. I think Sony pitched in and they used something like 32 microphones to capture everything.
 

James_S

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Nov 3, 2000
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Haven't listen to that cd in awhile, going to pull it to listen now.

I usally bring:

Robert Wells - Rhapsody in Rock
Jesse Cook - Tempest or Gravity
Neal Schon - Beyond The Thunder
Diana Krall - The Look of Love
Louie Bellson's Magic 7 - Air Bellson 1st song: Air Jordon
 

gene c

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When listening by myself, I use Boz Skaggs-Live DVD, Genesis- A Trick Of The Tail and Steely Dan-Aja, for the reason PaulDA mentioned. Familiararity. When others are listening I also use the Brad S. Miller MoFi produced DTS-CD versions of Steve Millers-Fly Like An Eagle and/or BTO's Not Fragile. Just love the way they sound. On hi-res, The Beach Boys-Pet Sounds and Dire Straights-Brothers In Arms are exceptional.
 

Marty M

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As a jazz fan, I suggest you audition a Holly Cole CD. You will get a real sense of the bass from the stand-up bass in her group.
 

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