Originally Posted by MattTCG
Originally Posted by TMRaven
I'd probably hate that CD. Please, no Allison Krauss, anything but that.
No Allison Krauss. ...blasphemy. Here is what I'm using to test AD's with:
1. Patricia Barber: Modern Cool. The first track has wonderful bass extension and Patricia's fantastic raspy vocals. 24/96
2. Daft Punk: RAM. Just how well can the AD handle electronic and super deep bass? 24/96
3. Muddy Waters: Folk Singer. One of the most intimate and realistic studio blues recording I know.
4. REM: Murmur (MFSL recording) Just a great pop album. Stipe just really rocks this whole album out.
The MFSL versions of the REM CDs are a classic example of bad remastering.
The MFSL cleans up and improves the bass and treble - the result is that the instruments are clearer - and so the mix is all wrong.
The cymbals, drums and bass become higher in the mix and it sounds more like a high energy jazz combo.
The original REM CDs are just fine, and they sound the way the band should sound. They have what Mike Ting of headfonia.com calls "PRaT" - Pace, Rhythm and Timing. The MFSL remasters have less.
This same thing happens with a lot of the remasters of rock albums - more clarity and less rhythm.
By the way, I would say that the reason you think you can't hear soundstage very well, is that you test headphones with tracks that don't have a very good soundstage.
This is the problem with only using "music I like" to test headphones. J. Gordon Holt once told me "The quality of the recording is usually inversely proportional to the quality of the performance". You need to have at least a few tracks that are great recordings, even if you do not like them. Usually this means two mikes (left and right) in a room with the musicians. Otherwise, the soundstage is fake, because it is created with pan pots on the mixing board (he said from experience doing just that).