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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. chrismini
    Phil Spector cried out for mono on his way to prison. In case he was a little before your time, he invented the "Wall of Sound" and reproduced Abby Road. He was a crazy genius and one of the most successful  producers in the industry. Then he shot one of his ladies and wound up in The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There was a bio-drama about him on HBO with Al Pacino portraying him. He liked women and firearms. So now he's rotting in a prison cell. He used to hand out t-shirts that said "Bring Back Mono"
    Mono might sound OK with headphones, but with stereo loudspeakers it sounds horrible. Can anyone list the records he produced like Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys?
  2. chrismini
  3. FFBookman

    You and I have a very different version of "amazing".
    Accuracy is king to me.  Pumped EQ, boost, and fake delay is not impressive, it's garbage.
    That makes me disagree with your assessment.
    I'd take clean signal  - pure file, good DAC, clean discreet amp - playing 24bit files to $50 computer speakers
    the best speakers or cans you have when playing MP3's through a phone.

    Speakers are not the problem -- crap recording, crap mastering, compressing into even crappier source files, crap conversion, crap filtering, and cramp amplification is the real problem.  Up the chain.
    Plus speakers are basically the same for 50 years now. Nothing new to see (hear) there.  But the average guy's signal chain is a disaster these days.
    RJson likes this.
  4. FFBookman

    I learned to mix in stereo b/c I grew up listening to mostly stereo mixes on FM radio, vinyl, cassette. Note that we are referring to 'simulated stereo' of L-R, and of course we could use binaural but it never really caught on as a mixing format.
    Mono is truly powerful.  Moving things around the mix is more of an art form in mono. Often times one of the best ways it actually move the instruments or mic.
    Side note - I've recently mixed a few sessions with the old-fashioned L/R/C only concept, where you hard pan or leave it center, but no increments.  It's a thrill and does sound more like classic records. The instruments get to fill the space between the extremes. The pan dial is simple and direct.
    The Beatles in mono is revelatory. They were a ROCK BAND, something that gets lost in the early stereo mixes, IMO.  
    It took me listening to the mono mixes to remember they had a kick drum! A low, thick kick that the bass player locked into. It was in the center of the stage.  My leg tapped far more to the mono mix than the stereo mix.
    Their rhythm section pocket was just obliterated in the stereo mix. Makes them sound like boys, not men.
  5. musikevan
    Another fan of good mono...if its well recorded. No phase problems, lower surface noise on vinyl, more natural presentation.
  6. serman005
    It's not technically an audiophile album but the Eye in the Sky by the Alan Parsons Project is a really, really well-recorded album by a noted producer. I use it to test gear regularly.
  7. Hi-Fi'er
    Is there a way to rip audio tracks off a DVD? Wouldn't they be considered high quality?
  8. eddiek997

    As far as I remember, there used to be a way to rip the DSD layer from Sacd/DVD Audio but it required an older Playstation 3.
    There is also Dvd audio extractor but I haven't used it.
  9. Hi-Fi'er

    Thank you. I'll try the DVD extractor.
  10. John2e Contributor
    Listening to Porcupine tree" The Sound of Musak " 48/24 now . It was converted from the DVD-A of In Abstenia and it sounds phenomenal!

    Had all my DVD-A's and SACD's converted to High Rez and DSD by http://www.goldeneardigital.com/ $5 a disc highly recommended
  11. accuphaze
    IMHO I believe It's hard (impossible?) to hear from your system something missing in your test tracks: how can you understand if a speaker reach low frequencies using music completely lacking them? We could make similar examples for what regards high frequencies, soundstage, detail, dynamic ... and so on.
    There are tracks that change a lot(!) when played on different systems: often my choice focus on those tracks because I know they have one more chance to expose system qualities and limits. Here are some examples that were useful for me through the years:
    Robert Lucas - Luke & The Locomotives (cd xrcd)
    Kunzel - Mancini GH - Peter Gunn (cd Telarc)
    Dire Straits - Money 4 nothing (cd)
    Metallica - Sandman - (cd)
    AcDc - Hells bells (cd)
    Pink Floyd - The Wall - cd1 track 3-4-5 (2011 remaster)
    Saint Saens - Dance macabre (cd Reference Recordings - Mephisto & co)
    Some more tracks are harder. Even if recommended by friends/collegues I didn't "understood" them at first as "test tracks". I began to use them frequently only AFTER heard them on high level (price?) systems:
    Nojima Liszt - La campanella (cd Reference Recordings)
    Therese Juel - Tiden bara gar (cd Opus3)
    U2 Rattle & hum - I still haven't found (cd)
    Heredia - Gypsy Flamenco (cd Chesky)
    Respighi - Pini via Appia (cd Decca Dutoit or Reference Recordings)
    Majorga - Summertime (cd Sheffield jazz experience)
    Saint Saens - Dance macabre (cd Telarc - Chiller)

  12. FFBookman
    "You've Got It Bad Girl" by Stevie Wonder lossless (preferably 24bit) --
    the intro with the radical stereo vibrato on the synth will expose many flaws in a file or a system.

  13. FunkyMonkey909
    That is a very respectable list, I have used most of these tracks as system testers at one point or another. Also, some of the best recorded tracks I know.
  14. Myk28
    This song always works very well for me when it comes to testing

  15. Galaxy358
    If you guys like video games you should listen to Nobuo Uematsu's Distant Worlds I, II & III. It contains music from Final Fantasy series played by an orchestra. The quality is quite superb to my ears.
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