I know everyone has some reference album or tracks you play when buying new gear!
Mind sharing some?
thanks in advance
I have several great recordings that I use as benchmarks, most of them are classical though (the most beautiful form of art in my opinion):
Fritz Reiner and the CSO's recording of "Pictures at an Exhibition" is one of the very greatest recordings by almost any measure (they offer a SACD version, which I recommend, unless you can get the vinyl version of it):
Carlos Kleiber's recording of Beethoven's 5th and 7th symphonies, while not the very best recorded, is easily one of the greatest recordings ever (due to the musicality, among other things):
Weezer's Pinkerton (on vinyl is ideal) is also great:
I would also say most classical or jazz recordings in SACD (or high resolution downloads - greater than 44.1/16 bit) would be benchmarks that you could use to audition with new gear.
The album 'Sea Change' by Beck. It's not a jazz title, but it's available in better than CD quality, like 88.2 / 24 or better.
It's extremely well recorded!
It's not a jazz album, but the recording quality is extremely good.
One of my favorite album is the "Buena Vista Social Club" from Nonesuch Records.
My favorite tracks are #1 Chan Chan, and #8 El Carretero.