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The Best audiophile tracks to test equipment

Discussion in 'Music' started by deafmutelame, Mar 9, 2005.
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  1. Giogio
    22 tracks, man?
    You want us to listen to 22 tracks without even telling which is suggested for what? Which for bass, which for mids, which for highs, which for soundstage, which for detail, which four panning...
    Before I am even just contemplating the idea of listening to 22 tracks you need to be a bit more specific about the what for.
     
    In the while, following the opposite trend which you mean to launch, and more the trend of the motto in my signature, I propose you all dear fellow Head-Fi'ers the one and ONLY track which can be used to proof the moodstage of your headphones.
    If while listening to this track you do not smile and shake your head, there is definitely something wrong with your headphones.
     
    Moodstage Test
     
    Cheers.
     
  2. HarleyZK
     
    Yeah, it is pretty hard to find recordings that rival Chesky and others in fidelity.
     
     
    Have you ever listened to Shpongle before? If not, they are a pretty good mix of electronic and vocals and acoustic instruments and are well produced.
     
    Ott, the Orb, Phutureprimitive, Shulman, Zero Cult, Kaminanda, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Future Sound of London, Entheogenic, Bluetech, Tycho (there are more than them too) are worth look into for some more well produced electronic stuff. That is if you lean towards the genres these acts create. I think the style though leans towards that kind of production because it isn't really very aggressive (though I have heard super clear EDM before).
     
    I enjoy testing headphones with these artists because not only for the bass, but also a lot of the time the spacious open sound the artists create in their albums.
     
  3. lamode
     
    I've tried some of the artists you mention but didn't like them, sorry :)
    For deep electronic bass I am more likely to listen to something like Massive Attack
     
    HarleyZK likes this.
  4. Redcarmoose
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lnUeovQ68Tw


    I just use the song Time from DSOTM. The song has maybe 40 different versions all slightly different. I just use the Box Set 16/44.1 original remaster. I have heard the song for over 40 years. I have maybe heard 10 new copies of DSOTM ripped from different vinyl records in different sample rates, as well as the plethora of new digital official releases the last couple of years. Each copy had its own strong points but I stick with the mid 1990s CD as I know it.

    After the chimes stop there is a bass and synth attack which is a good test of bass and clarity. Right after the stereo toms come in and it seems to be a good test for both pace, and soundstage. The beginning of the song has all this going on in a reasonably short time frame so it's easy to remember.

    The very beginning of the album has a heart-beat which is correctly placed to the right, as if you could hear a person's heart-beat across from you.

    It has been said Pink Floyd did this as the heart is slightly off center to the left which is the right side if the person is facing you.

    There are actually a couple mixes where the heart-beat is on the left. This is wrong and so if you hear it that way you have to check to see if it is the recording or the system in question.

    This low heart beat is always heard best on very good recordings of DSOTM along with premium systems. Thus, one element of the system can be quickly judged in the first couple seconds of the album. I use this to try and understand the low end retreival of the software and source and well as the ability of amp and headphones.
     
  5. mellowjamie
    Hey all.
     
    I wouldn't necessarily call my tracks "audiophile", but they are the tracks I use to choose equipment. As follows:
     
    1. "In Time" by the Black Keys
    I use it to get a feel for soundstage and detail. There's a lot of details and instruments going on in the song, and it does a very good job of hi lighting short comings in soundstage.
     
    2. "Fall at your feet" by Crowed House
    It's a very smooth song, and if a piece of equipment is colouring a particular tone, it will show up in this song.
     
    3. "Lose Yourself to Dance" by Daft Punk
    I use this for bass. It's a bass heavy track, and if the bass is too muddy or bloated it will drown out the rest of the song.
     
    4. "Shy Guy" by Diana King
    Opposite. I use this for treble. If the gear is too bright, this song will hurt your ears.
     
    5. "What's the Difference?" by Dr Dre
    I don't use this song for anything specific, but it can highlight too much bass. 
     
    6. "One Day Like This" by Elbow
    This song has so many tracks it's unreal. Good kit will make this song come alive and surround you with musicality. Poor equipment will flatten it. It's also a good measure of soundstage.
     
    7. "Outside" by Foo Fighters
    Purely to see how the gear handles rock.
     
    8. "Concetro No 1 in E Major" by Vivaldi
    Purely to see how the gear handles classical music
     
    9. "I am Electric" by Heaven's Basement
    This album, whilst being one of my favourites, can be hard to listen to. The sound is very bright and needs good kit.
     
    10. "New Sensation" by INXS
    A test of over produced pop music!
     
    11. "Two Minutes to Midnight" by Iron Maiden
    This is a test of rock, but also a great test of mid range and how a fast gear can be.
     
    12. "Closer" by Kings of Leon
    Soundstage and a test of midrange
     
    13. "Brand New Day" by Kodaline
    Soundstage mainly. But also overly bright gear will destroy this song.
     
    14. "Swim" by Madonna
    Detail, soundstage and bass. A lovely song produced by William Orbit, with layer upon layer and beautiful texture. On the right gear you can close your eyes and drift.
     
    15. "Gone in the morning" by Newton Faulkner
    Detail, soundstage, mid range... 
     
    16. "Take the Power Back" by Rage Against the Machine
    Bass and mid bass measurement mainly. The kick drum makes this song and if it's not there it can sound a bit bright.
     
    15. "Give it Away" by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
    Because I want to see how the gear handles Flea.
     
    16. "Come on Over" by Royal Blood
    The bass can be very muddy on this song. Good test.
     
    17. "Take Back the City" by Snow Patrol
    See how it handles acoustic guitar
     
    18. "Something Good Can Work" by 2 Door Cinema Club
    Modern poppy electronica. A good test of any gear. Tends to have a warm sound to it.
     
    19. "Life is Beautiful" by Vega 4.
    Because it was the first dance at my wedding OK?
     
    That's it! :)
     
    johnnybrick likes this.
  6. eddiek997
  7. golov17
    Ralf Illenberger - Sedona, Cricklewood Broadway – Beady Belle :)
     
  8. Stuff Jones
     
    + 100. 
     
    Another advantage of an acoustic track is that you know how its supposed to sound. We've all heard live acoustic instruments and so have a real baseline against which to compare our equipment.
     
    You don't know how electric music is supposed to sound.
     
    Twain250 and lamode like this.
  9. golov17
    Yello - Stella [remastered],
    Yello - Progress & Perfection,
    ATB - Trilogy 2CD,
    Stina Nordenstam - And She Closed Her Eyes, good records, imho
     
  10. Dobrescu George
    Rings of saturn - the heavens have fallen - sounds great, should sound great
     
    Haggard - awaking the centuries - it has a good dynamic range, and instruments, soundstage separation
     
    Dance Gavin Dance - Acceptance Speech - Has some interesting sound effects, which good equipment should reproduce nicely
     
    Metallica - The day that never comes - almost no dynamic range, was bad recorded and mastered, i use it to see how equipment reproduces problematic files
     
    Eminem - Rap God - pretty good track for testing bass.
     
    Infant annihilator - flayed and consumed instrumental - this track has very very problematic cymbals, they are abbrasive, it is good for testing new equipment 
     
  11. Asr
     
    Classic case of ignorance of synthesized music, if that's what you meant by "electric". Many synthesizers have highly distinct sounds that can be picked out by anyone who's familiar with their sound, such as the classic 303 and 909. Some other synthesizers can be exceptionally good at reproducing the sound of a real acoustic instrument, and will make you think you're listening to an acoustic instrument when you're really not.
     
    I often use (well-produced) electronic music to test equipment first, before using acoustic music, as it quickly tells me more about a transducer's abilities than acoustic music does, such as treble & bass extension, and how clean & clear it's capable of sounding. Ambient electronica is highly useful for that in particular.
     
  12. golov17
    And synthesizer "Hammond"?
     
  13. Dobrescu George
    I just figured out that i need a track for testing acoustic guitars, as they seem to be reproduced prety bad by  some equipment..
     
  14. Giogio
    Anybody who listen regularly to electronic music and also go dancing, would know how it's supposed to sound.
    But i get your point.
    Although i really am not sure at all that we know how each instrument is supposed to sound. Each guitar sound different, each violin, each drum...
    You listen them in a room and it's something, in another room is different.
    And live, if you mean concert, also is through speakers.

    All is relative.
    But more importantly, what's the point?
    Just test headphones with the music you listen to, and pick the one which sounds best to you with that music.

    All the rest is audiophile virtuosism.
     
  15. lamode

    As an electronic music lover, I have to disagree completely. You don't know what any synthesiser "sounds" like without it being played through a sound system which distorts the original waveform, changes the FR, etc. The difference with a voice or acoustic instrument is that we know how it sounds in real life without any sound system. That's why it's a much better test.
     
    Twain250 likes this.
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