You may want to branch out in your music selection as well to some chamber music. Orchestral music tends to be highly textured and complex (one of the reasons I love it so and am a subscriber to my local orchestra). I found the following classical works great for comparisons, but you'll need to spend many hours to get a valid comparison:
- Starker Bach Cello suites (Mercury Live Presence)
- Kodama Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Pentatone)
- Fliter Chopin Preludes
- Emerson Quartet Schubert Death and the Maiden
- Grimaud/Gabetta "Duo" album
- Pires Chopin Nocturnes
Familiarity with the recording is important. I suspect you have others that you will find helpful.
If you're an orchestra only person, check out some of the amazing recordings on the "Reference Recordings" label. The dynamics and texture of the recordings are ecstatic at times! Particularly great for auditions are Eiji Oue doing Fanfare of the Common Man and Firebird.
Again, taking hours to become intimate with the recordings on your equipment is key to recognizing the differences in the same way a musician can understand a the beauty of a piece performed that they're intimately familiar with (or be brought to great emotion by it's failed performance). Once you have those hours logged, you begin to notice things missing and added when you swap out equipment.
Great list there mikesale. I think the Emersons are the best recordings of Schubert quartets I've heard.