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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. edulov
    This song is not even near to be bright, it even does not have really extended treble, up to 16kHz mostly. How bad should be a gear to make it bright?
    Can someone check it and reveal such DAC/Amp?
  2. JBal4
  3. edulov

    Problem. All them are way to simple in music and vocals. No much detail, no options to test pace and resolution.
  4. edulov
    Finally decided to touch one aspect here, since I found it looking for test tracks.

    In short - between words and expressions which are used to describe headphones and speakers there is one group, related with dull/vibrant/lifeless and etc.

    My collection of headphones includes 40+ different cans, 5 different good soundcards/DACs/Headphone amps, so I am sure that it is not my imagination and refers to headphones. The gear just make it "more o less visible".

    So happened that some tracks sounded correctly from the technical point of view, but compared with other headphones the "quantity of life, vibe" was different. From dead/no life to joyful, engaging and full of life through a level of grades, 4 or 5 I could say.

    If someone also had such sensation and still have such headphones near, I would appreciate if you could try my list of tracks, posting the impressions.
    Please take into the account, that not all songs were on the same level of "joy" in the same cans, like 1 song -good, 2 - acceptable, 1 bad, for example. Or 3 good, 1 excellent. Something like this.

    I just hope you can share your impressions indicating which headphones gave such result.

    BTW, one additional thing confirmed. Some of cans which required burning, greatly improved here to. Others improved in more technical specs, but in the "life(less)" category. A number after the song is a dynamic range (foobar, dynamic range meter plugin 1.1.1)

    1) Afric Simone - Hafanana  (13)
    2) Queen - We will rock you (10)
    3) The Stranglers - All Day and All of the Night (6)
    4) ZZ Top - 2000 Blues (11)

    Also If you have another track in mind with the same stable behavior, I'd love to try it.
  5. dassury
    1. Flight of the Cosmic Hippo - Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (Bass Quality)
    2. Fahrenheit Fair Enough - Telefon Tel Aviv (Bass depth, Stereo imaging)
    3. Hey Nineteen - Steely Dan (Soundstage, Clarity)
    4. Vision One - Röyksopp (Highs/Brilliance)
    marklivia likes this.
  6. edulov

    4. Treble - Yes, overall balance of lows and highs- Yes. Brilliance - No, except really bad cases.
        Thanks, I'v added it to my test track list since it has really wide treble extension.
    2. Bass depth - formally yes, but some LQ bassy headphones would give similar result, so its difficult to see if it is good control on bass extension or LQ boomy lows.
        Stereo imaging - yes, but quite quite simple.
    1. Low and mid bass. You should hear clear reverb in lows. LQ and even MQ (in lows) cans will give horrible all-boomy sound. Also you should clearly hear all plates and string plucking (is present in several moments).
    Some fresh/frozen new meat if you look for bass extension but hate primitive EDM/Hip-hop mess:
    Sinéad - Within Temptation. 2011, DR5 (sorry)
    Stole The Show (feat. Parson James) - Kygo. 2016, DR4 (sorry). This track includes several bass extensions, none of which could be mistaken with artifacts of LQ bass heavy cans. Also it allows to check general bass-treble balance
  7. LGV10
    Noob/lurker here.  First post.
    Was looking for some test tracks and hopefully links to free download stuff.  Anything of that sort would be helpful.
    BLOWN AWAY that I did NOT see:
    JAMES NEWTON HOWARD AND FRIENDS:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLnHgKotezg (If I missed it, sorry).
    Or anything recorded at Sheffield Labs:  http://www.sheffieldlab.com/
    Or any RICKIE LEE JONES!!  She has a lot of great stuff and well recorded.
    Sinead OConnor:  Three Babies and also Black Boys on Mopeds.  Enjoy her amazing voice.  And check out the whole album "Am I Not Your Girl?"
    And as some have mentioned, actual test tracks would be nice.  Piano scales, drum tracks, etc.
    These are somewhat test tracks:
    Acid test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jolgf8_URs
    Drum test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRYX0Aex1iE
    Synthesizer test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYMX5QuUaj4
    Penultimate Bass test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO1-fLbbM4g
    Microphone test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdbyYwRfAOc
    Of course, YMMV
    kageroh likes this.
  8. thingol
    Well I've read all the comments and I gave this some thought (I'm relativly new to the topic but I have a lots of earphones to test) and I came up with this list:
    1: AC/DC: Thunderstuck
    the dynamic in the first couple of "Thunder" just blows me away.
    2: Jennifer Warnes: Way Down Deep
    multiple kind of drums here, and there is one that sounds extremely awesome and some cheaper headphone failes to deliver it
    3: The Who: Baba O' Riley: 
    the  intro of this sound is just amazing. with the right setup you can feel the music overwhelming you... and then the rest of instruments kick in. genius!
    4: pink floyd: dark side of the moon: Time
    they say that this is one of the best mastered album ever existed: I don't know if its true nor not, but Time is a great track imo to test detail and soundstage.
    5: dire straits: sultans of swing
    well this one is a little warmer and more guitar. classic rock surely is one thing to be proud of, humanity!
    6: Chris Jones: Long After You Are Gone
    oh hell... when you first listen to this song you might think its warm and smooth... but then you realise the overwhelming bass
    7: Yosi Horikawa: Bubbles
    I consider this track for some kind of audiophile porn: the ping-pong balls and the bubbles are exteremly crazy: very good track to test details and even though it doesnt have any instrument in it, the soundstage too
    what do you guys think? 
    Wildcatsare1 and loungecat like this.
  9. LGV10
  10. LGV10
  11. LGV10
  12. loungecat
    Love that track by Yosi, definite eargasm
  13. edulov
    Great songs, no doubt. But sonically they are quite simple, useful to check general impression and general balance. If hp's or gear fails in such tracks they are worse then garbage.
    4: pink floyd: dark side of the moon: Time
    Prised here many times. Serves to test everything except bass extension.
    7: Yosi Horikawa: Bubbles
      Fun. And Yes, I completely agree that it serves perfectly to test details. About soundstage situation is more complicated. If we take width as a distance from left to right, then this track do not offer exceptional. It has width, but what is more important for me - this track offers depth (front to back)! Not much, but easy to hear if your cans offer it.
    Also tried other tracks from 2012's album. Fun to listen, especially "Letter". But nothing special for HiFi testing.
    Considering his nex, 2013's album, the track "Splash" is good for testing detalization, but in a narrow frequency range.
    2: Jennifer Warnes: Way Down Deep
    Agree with thingol. Very good to test lows, since drums have deep bass extension. Hp's without extension, and more importantly - w/o body and control of lows will sound horrible. Also take into the account that cans with upped mids will give a sensation of forward female voice. Way too forward. Please take into the account that control of lows, especially of extended lows greatly depends on gear.
    6: Chris Jones: Long After You Are Gone
    Also 100% agree. Track has prominent extension in lows, so consider this detail while listening.
    3: The Who: Baba O' Riley: 

    The Who never were the guys of my realm. This particular track I checked in HiRes (24 but/96kHz). I can use it somehow to revise detalization in mids and lower treble, but mostly it goes in 11kHz range, some seconds up to 14kHz. Regular lows. So 0% usability to test modern gear and headphones.
    I consider this track for some kind of audiophile porn: the ping-pong balls and the bubbles are exteremly crazy: very good track to test details and even though it doesnt have any instrument in it, the soundstage too

  14. thingol
    first of all, thank you for the advices.
    to be honest, thunderstruck and sultans of swing brings some personal feeling to the party: I've listened to these songs over and over in the past decade and I know in my heart how they shall sound in ears. I'm planning to change of of them to some led zeppelin but I didn't have the luck to get them in proper quality.
    I'll probably also take your advice on the Baba O' Riley and try to change it to something else. Looking forward to hear the rest of the yosi horikawa songs.
  15. DJSpaderJader
    Pretty much anything by Outkast
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