The Best audiophile tracks to test equipment
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Hawkertempest

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I use Jheena Lodwick Feelings Vol.2 Victor Entertainment XRCD24 1009 Japanese pressing.
I have used it for selecting cables, power amps and speakers. It has never let me down and has really made it easy to separate the good from the chaff.
 
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post-12825208
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FFBookman

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"You're All I've Got Tonight" by The Cars.
 
The phase shift on the tom drums in the intro is a HUGE tell for resolution testing, should probably work for gear testing too.
 
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post-12825380
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discape

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Lake Of Fire - Nirvana unplugged (acoustic/electric balance and clarity and male vocals)
 
Grandma's Hands - Bill Withers live (acoustic and vocal intimacy, listen to the drums pop)
 
Speakerboxx intro - Outkast (808 bass)
 
U Know Whats Up - Donnell Jones (just a nice sweet sound neo-soul sound, should just sound full and lush)
 
You Don't Know How It Feels - Tom Petty (I tend to pay attention to how the very well recorded vocals mix with the very immediate band)
 
No Ordinary Love (remastered) - Sade (female vocals, tight early 90s production sounds)
 
Tilliboyo - Kronos Quartet, Foday Musa Suso (Beautiful Strings! Really work out those higher freqs, depth and space of sound)
 
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post-12825878
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FFBookman

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  Lake Of Fire - Nirvana unplugged (acoustic/electric balance and clarity and male vocals)
 
Grandma's Hands - Bill Withers live (acoustic and vocal intimacy, listen to the drums pop)
 
Speakerboxx intro - Outkast (808 bass)
 
U Know Whats Up - Donnell Jones (just a nice sweet sound neo-soul sound, should just sound full and lush)
 
You Don't Know How It Feels - Tom Petty (I tend to pay attention to how the very well recorded vocals mix with the very immediate band)
 
No Ordinary Love (remastered) - Sade (female vocals, tight early 90s production sounds)
 
Tilliboyo - Kronos Quartet, Foday Musa Suso (Beautiful Strings! Really work out those higher freqs, depth and space of sound)
 
Damn that's a good list. Check out the beginnings of "You're All I've Got Tonight" and "Living Is Stereo" by The Cars, get them in hi-res if you can. It's so easy to tell the differences with that phase shift effect, my ears just eat that chit up.
 
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post-12828488
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amigomatt

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Obviously, play uncompressed to really appreciate the scale of this tune and its production.  This is most certainly an exception to the often touted complaint that metal is badly recorded/mastered!  The dynamics, grit, clarity, virtuosity is captured and presented in amazing fidelity and without a hint of grain or distortion. What a tune.
 
My music tastes run far and wide but I hold a soft spot for old school death metal and these guys have restored my faith that the genre is still alive and kicking!  The first big riff is one of the most brutal and primeval I've ever heard.  TURN.  IT.  UP.
 
The rest of the album is great too.
 
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subwoofer

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Just thought I would add my list as it is quite different to the ones I've read (long thread so might have missed them).

Having just bought two new headphone amps, and four sets of headphones, I've been busy listening to this lot (All FLAC apart from the Bass tracks, but they soon will be too):

Madonna - Lucky Star (The Immaculate Collection)
Madonna - I’ll Remember (Something to Remember)
Madonna - You’ll See (Something to Remember)

Chicane - Windbreaks (Thousand Mile Stare)
Chicane - Spirit (Somersault)

Sting - We’ll Be Together (25 Years)
Sting - Fields Of Gold (25 Years)
Sting - A Thousand Years (25 Years)

Michael Jackson - Speed Demon (Bad)
Michael Jackson - Thriller (Thriller SACD)
Michael Jackson - Billy Jean (Thriller SACD)

The Prodigy - Spitfire (Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned)

Paul Simon - Diamonds On The Soles Of her Shoes (Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition)

Propellerheads - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Decksanddrumsandrockandroll)
Propellerheads - Spybreak! (Decksanddrumsandrockandroll)

Bass Tribe - Hard as Hell (Jungle Bass)
Digital D.J.’s - Rollin’ My 5.0 (Bass America: Collection One)
 
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post-12851984
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chrismini

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Also Aja by Steely Dan(whole record)
Holst: The Planets
The Gates of Delirium by Yes
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue(whole record)
Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
Man I could go on and on...
 
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amigomatt

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Also Aja by Steely Dan(whole record)
Holst: The Planets
The Gates of Delirium by Yes
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue(whole record)
Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
Man I could go on and on...
Which particular version of The Planets makes it on to your list? You didn't say.
 
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Steely Dan - Gaucho SACD (probably the best SACD I have, dynamics, quality lows)
Eagles - Greatest Hits DCC gold (Take it Easy is great for mids testing)
Nils Lofgren - Acoustic live ('You' f.e.)
Dream Theater - Awake (6.00)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (Second hand news, Go your own way)
Symphony X - Underworld (Without you)
Allan Taylor - Hotels and Dreamers (The Beat Hotel)
Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (Blackest Eyes, Trains) / Fear for a Blank Planet (Anesthetize)
Dire Straits - Love over Gold (It never rains) / Brothers in Arms
Pink Floyd - Wish you were here (remaster!)
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds SACD (God only knows)
John Coltrane - A love supreme
The Band - Stage fright MFSL SACD (Just another whistle stop / The shape I'm in)
Cowboy Junkies - Trinity sessions
Don Henley - Building the perfect beast MFSL (Boys of summer)
The Who - Tommy (SACD > MFSL; Pinball Wizard)
Eva Cassidy - Live at the Blues Alley
Kensington - Vultures (Ride)
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror / Dirty Diana
Toto - Fahrenheit (Till the End) / Tambu (I will remember / Dave's gone skiing)
The Gathering Field - Lost in America (Middle Road / Bound to be / Rhapsody in Blue)
Faith no More - King for a day... (Evidence)
Opeth - Still Life (The Moor)
Daft Punk - Tron soundtrack
 
Not all 'your average audiophile tracks' but they're my reference and memories of how speakers sound of should sound via these mixes
 
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FFBookman

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  Steely Dan - Gaucho SACD (probably the best SACD I have, dynamics, quality lows)
Eagles - Greatest Hits DCC gold (Take it Easy is great for mids testing)
Nils Lofgren - Acoustic live ('You' f.e.)
Dream Theater - Awake (6.00)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (Second hand news, Go your own way)
Symphony X - Underworld (Without you)
Allan Taylor - Hotels and Dreamers (The Beat Hotel)
Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (Blackest Eyes, Trains) / Fear for a Blank Planet (Anesthetize)
Dire Straits - Love over Gold (It never rains) / Brothers in Arms
Pink Floyd - Wish you were here (remaster!)
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds SACD (God only knows)
John Coltrane - A love supreme
The Band - Stage fright MFSL SACD (Just another whistle stop / The shape I'm in)
Cowboy Junkies - Trinity sessions
Don Henley - Building the perfect beast MFSL (Boys of summer)
The Who - Tommy (SACD > MFSL; Pinball Wizard)
Eva Cassidy - Live at the Blues Alley
Kensington - Vultures (Ride)
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror / Dirty Diana
Toto - Fahrenheit (Till the End) / Tambu (I will remember / Dave's gone skiing)
The Gathering Field - Lost in America (Middle Road / Bound to be / Rhapsody in Blue)
Faith no More - King for a day... (Evidence)
Opeth - Still Life (The Moor)
Daft Punk - Tron soundtrack
 
Not all 'your average audiophile tracks' but they're my reference and memories of how speakers sound of should sound via these mixes

That's a solid 2 hour listening session -- good stuff!
 
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chrismini

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I agree with you completely. Good choices!
 
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jlaseter

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Count Basie - Gone an' Git It Y'all from the Telarc Collection recently became my #1 test track.
 
After that:

Oscar Lopez - Classical Soul
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Yes - Roundabout
Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station
Earth, Wind, and Fire - Fantasy
Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 7
Daft Punk - Aerodynamic
 
And, if you want a laugh, Youngbloods - Get Together has a good test -- the ability to discern the "human metronome" vocal track in the background. Once you hear it, you cannot unhear it!
 
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alcyst

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And, if you want a laugh, Youngbloods - Get Together has a good test -- the ability to discern the "human metronome" vocal track in the background. Once you hear it, you cannot unhear it!

There he is, in my left ear, what's he saying, "de-duh-de-duh"? Its more a d than a b. Before the vocal starts there might even be a word. Lovely one, thanks.

There are a few of these out there. Which is the famous one where you can hear a band practicing in the next room?

Try: http://www.hometracked.com/2007/08/23/10-recording-bloopers-that-made-the-album/

I have never heard the squeaky bass pedal in Since I've been loving you.
 
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jlaseter

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There's also a mysterious one at the beginning of Stevie Wonder's Superstition. It sounds like a window was left open or something, because you can hear something that sounds like a car horn.
 
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