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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
    What tracks would you guys suggest to test highs.
    I have lot of tracks to test bass, I have some tracks to test mids, but I have realized that I lack tracks for highs.
    I have immediately thought of Jazz (which I do not like much so I have few and listen never), and I have seen I have a few tracks of that with some nice hi-hat and other metal percussions which are good for highs from 6 to 12k more or less.
    But that is. Not much.
    Some suggestions?
  2. Stuff Jones
    Old and not exactly audiophile but I use this to test my highs.

  3. Giogio
    Old is not a problem for me.
    What I do not understand is, where are the highs? The trumpet? You must be very good to isolate highs and mids of one same instrument to test highs.
    I would, yeah, ok, be able to distinguish which headphone makes that trumpet sound more bright, but it would be harder than with something which is mostly/only on the high frequencies. And, I would not know if the trumpet should sound like that (so bright, maybe too bright?).
    The drums on the background are ok for me as highs but the trumpet is so strong that I cannot concentrate on them.
    When I think of highs I mostly think of instruments like shakers, hi-hat, and similar, which would sound very "turned off", not alive, and quiet, if highs are not good.
    But I am not really sure if this is a good assumption. Lately Dirac and the XTZ Headphone Divine changed a bit my perception of how highs can sound, and probably should sound (among BT Headphones).
    And that effect I have noticed it on those kind of instruments. Percussions. That's why I thought, maybe I need percussions to test highs.
  4. DigMe
    Yo Yo Ma - Gabriel's Oboe from "Plays Ennio Morricone" Some great ambient mic recording where you can hear Ma's breathing and the subtlety of horsehair on cello strings etc.. Plus a wide range from the combined instruments.

    Radiohead - Everything in Its Right Place from OK Computer. The opening low end on this that continues through the song is so lush and I want to feel enveloped in the sound.

    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Stomping Grounds from the album Live Art (1996). Soundstage. The back and forth between all of these instruments really lets you hear separation and width. And again there is a broad range of tones from the electric bass to the high end of the electric banjo. Also, as a bass player of 24 years years and a longtime fan of bassist Victor Wooten I know EXACTLY what his tone should sound like!

    Marcus Miller - Power from M2. All ranges of bass and mids. The lead bass should sound VERY crispy and punchy. There is a sub bass that plays below it throughout the song starting about 20 seconds in as well. Looking for good separation and reproduction in all these Sounds.

    Mùm - A Little Bit Sometimes from Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy. Man everyone should try this one. Lots of little sounds and noises on the higher end but the sub bass tone that hits at :48, 1:00 and about every 12 seconds is a great test for sub bass fundamental reproduction.

    Sleeping at Last - I like this guy for vocals. Range is on the higher end for male. I listen to a number of his songs but like I'll Keep You Safe from Atlas: Year One and All Through the Night from Covers. I think his recorded piano sound is a little lacking in transparency but I like to listen to listen to vocal repro in headphones.

    Recently l added:
    Renauld Garcia-Fons - Hacia Compostela from Solo: The Mercevol Concert. Garcia-Fons gets A surprising range from his 5 string upright bass and this song covers them all along with playing slow and big as well as tight and fast.
    golov17 likes this.
  5. golov17
    Bang & Olufsen - Activ Listening Vol-1.XII
  6. DigMe

    I don't know if this is high enough but check out a couple of tracks from the album E18 by Detektivbyrån. Tracks 2 and 3 - Hemvägen and Nattöppet respectively. Both have some high bell sounds that coincidentally start around 1:40 on both songs as well as other high tones throughout. Also track 11 has a lot of the same high bells as well as some nice electronic bass beat mixed in.
  7. DigMe
    Ok one more Giogio - my friend and percussion maestro Todd Meehan and his performing partner Doug Perkins performed a critically acclaimed piece by composer Tristan Perich for one bit synth and percussion. It is called Parallels and it is 45 minutes of mostly treble! :) check it out. It's different but lots of highs to listen to.

    Search your preferred music source for Tristan Perich Parallels
  8. Giogio
    Oh yeah, those should work :)
    I will have to reconsider my definition of highs.
    I check with my headphones and Dirac and I tell you. Thanks :)
  9. Burkebang
    Here is some music I love and listen to when I audition new gear:
    Nils Lofgren - Acoustic Live
    Diana Krall - Live in Paris
    Dire Strates - On the night
    Katie Melua - Piece by piece
    Frank Sinatra - Sings for Only the Lonely
    Karunesh - Zen Breakfast
    Beethoven - Symphonien nos. 5 & 7 - Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber
    Verdi - James Levine - La Traviata
    Arve Tellefsen & Nidarosdomens guttekor – Stille natt (Norwegian. Great music and a fantastic recording. Available on Spotify or Tidal)
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  10. DigMe
    Just discovered the Folk Singer album - amazing recording... from 1964.  Y'all should listen to this.  Check out track 3 - My Captain. 
  11. SomeGuyDude
    Black Math Horseman's "Wyllt". The opener "Tyrant" will expose midbass bloat IMMEDIATELY. If the drums are bloofy and muddy you got yaself some bad headphones. 
  12. mangus
    Love and use much of these, though often prefer Shine On You Crazy Diamond to DSOTM tracks.
    I have to use Hotel California, though as the Dude says "I hate the f'ing Eagles, man!"
    I also use Massive Attack Angel to test bass extension, and the attack/decay after the heavy bass intro (the decay is quick but there).
    Although it's lo-fi, I do like Black Keys Ten Cent Pistol too -- lots of space and airiness in the track.
    Norah is an easy go-to for female vocals, though Tori Amos is often more challenging (sibilance, ability to hear voice clearly when instruments really kick in).
    On the question of treble, I've found that Oasis Supersonic is difficult for most systems -- comes through as just harsh and undefined (though perhaps that's just the recording/master) - but I have found it to sound better on some really good setups than others.  YMMV
  13. Fifinder
    I have about 130 tracks in a Tidal playlist that is all about evaluating hifi equipment...as well as music enjoyment.
    From that list, some random favorites. All of these are amazingly well recorded.
    - Blues Walk, Lyle Lovett
    - Deeper Well, Emmylou Harris
    - My Home Is In the Delta, Muddy Waters
    - Lingus, Snarky Puppy
    - 1001 Nights, Lhasa de Sela
    - Deacon Blues, Julian Coryell
    - Rivers of Congo, the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
    - Arroyo, Erik Truffaz
    - The Persuaders Theme, Persuaders
    - Once I Wished a Tree Upside Down, Trilok Gurtu
    - Prelude, Claude Chalhoub
    - SOB, Daniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
    - A Letter to Tracy, Keb Mo
    - The Goodbye Look, Donald Fagen
    - Train Song, Holly Cole
    - Dragon Bone Hill, Big Big Train
    - Bosphore, Renaud Garcia Fons
    - Planners and Thinkers, Metropolis
    - Red Right Hand, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    - That Train Don't Stop Here, Los Lobos
    - Arabian Waltz, Rabih-Abou Khalil
    - Sentenza Del Cuore, the Coryells
    landroni likes this.
  14. DigMe
    His stuff is amazing to listen to.  I like Fortaleza off of that album as well.  I don't see it on Tidal but Hacia Compostela is a fantastic track from his album Solo - The Marcevol Concert. 
  15. goyete
    Hello, I have got a new album of Fiona Joy in DSD and my equipment sounds incredible:
    The Sony PHA-3 with MDR-Z7 sounds great...
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