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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. wu6u3
    Yes, exactly! I love the sound of Volin, French Horn and Timpani. The sound is fantastic!
  2. bbfoto

    Regarding the tracks from the 2016 IASCA Competition CDs, they have been proven through listening and via testing in audio analyzation software that there are flaws in all of the tracks.

    There is an imbalance in the Left & Right channel Levels...

    The RIGHT channel is 0.6 dB louder than the Left channel.

    Obviously, this will create problems if you are expecting accurate reproduction of the tracks, especially in reference to the soundstage maps/instrument placement illustrations that are included with the CDs.

    The Zero (0) Bit track also creates a lot of noise due to improper application of Dither when they created the track. This also has caused playback stuttering & noise issues on Disc 1 when playing these from an iPhone or iPad that is connected to a DAC via the USB Lightning Cable and CCK3. Disc 2 seems to be fine in this regard.

    Unfortunately, as of this date, the IASCA organization have still not corrected this problem and are still selling the flawed discs! :-/

    There is more information here:


    Otherwise, this is an excellent compilation of tracks to test & evaluate your audio system.

    - B.B.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    eddiek997 likes this.
  3. Stranger Than Fiction
    Fans of electronic music would do well to check out just about anything from the Anjunadeep label. The production levels, to my ears anyway, are simply superb. Admittedly sometimes the vocals in some tracks errs on the three-cheese pizza side but that’s easily overlooked when there’s material like this being pumped out.

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  4. Stranger Than Fiction
    And this one is essential. The Noble K10Us really bring this piece of music to life:

  5. HiFiGuy528
    Hi B.B., interesting... Perhaps by today's standards the recording is not up to par. I do think 0.6db difference is not an audible difference.
  6. bbfoto
    On a decent system the difference is definitely audible and shifts the image placement and entire soundstage to the right. Center images (lead vocals for instance) appear to the right-of-center instead of being perfectly centered, and so on.

    You may want to also check out the tracks on the "EMMA" and "AYA" car audio competition Discs. :wink:
  7. bbfoto
  8. analytical
    I really like It's Too Late by Carole King from her album Tapestry. I think the recording was done really well.
    All the instruments sound very true to life, smooth and punchy when needed. Her vocals are very nice and clear. It's a nice and soothing song to listen to overall.
    Other tracks from this album are also quite good and some might prefer one over the other.
  9. Jake21
    The song "Police & Thieves" by the Clash might be a good test for fine detail and bass. There's faint whispering towards the end of the song.

    A more recent song that would be good for testing fine detail is "The Numbers" on Radiohead's album A Moon Shaped Pool.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    bbfoto and Wildcatsare1 like this.
  10. ohsigmachi
    [Putting my flame retardant suit on]

    Childish Gambino's "This is America" is superbly mastered. The spatial representation coupled with some very piercing and clear vocals (admittedly from the back up vocalists) are wonderful, it's all there: Bass, sub-bass, dynamics and decay vocals and treble... I love it sonically, even if I am not really a fan of him, his music in general or his message.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  11. ohsigmachi
    My standard test Playlist:

    "Teardrop" - Massive Attack
    "So Very Hard to Go" Remastered Version - Tower of Power
    "Judith" - A perfect Circle
    "Marigold" - J. Roddy Walston and the Business
    "Mr. Jukebox" - Joshua Headly
    "The Czar: Usurper / Escape / Matyr / Spiral" - Mastodon **MQA**
    "Naima" - John Coltrane **MQA from the Mono Album***
    SteveOliver likes this.
  12. chrismini
    I use the Ayre Acoustic Irrational, but Efficacious system enhancement disc. This CD has 3 minutes of pink noise, 3 different tracks of various brown noise for a total 10 minutes that are ideal for breaking in components, especially speakers and headphones. When I got my new HiFiMAN He-400's I played these tracks over and over for 5 days. The sound improvement was so good it was hard to believe they were the same headphones. The last 5 minute track is a sweep tone going from 5Hz to 20kHz. Again I was floored over the improvement. Best $10 I ever spent.

    Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here
    Frank Zappa The Yellow Shark
    Patricia Barber Companion Disc
    John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia Friday Night In San Fransisco
    Roger Waters Is This The Life We Really Want?
    Tori Amos Under The Pink
    Steely Dan Aja and The Royal Scam (anything by Steely Dan would work)
    Beatles Abby Road, The White Album, Sargent Pepper's, just to name a few
    Holst The Panets
    David Bowie Ziggy Stardust
    Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks

    Man I could on and on...
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
    KarmaPhala likes this.
  13. TYATYA
    "This is the time" by Billy Joel in album She's got away: love songs
    "Hey girl" by Billy Joel in album Collectes additional masters.
    "Keith dont go" by Nils Lofgren in album Acoustic live
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  14. bbfoto
    That's been one of my absolute favorite albums for a long time.

    Expertly recorded with just two microphones with as minimal of a signal chain as possible in order to preserve the phase coherency, a lifelike sound stage, and the sound of the instruments in 3D space.

    It's one of the best lifelike "you are there" recordings that I've ever heard. Highly recommended.

    I'm a saxophone and drum player, and another absolutely fantastic recording on the same label (Mappleshade Records) is "The Norris Turney Quartet - Big, Sweet N' Blue" and also "Clifford Jordan - Live at Ethell's".

    Well, now that I think about it, I may have already posted these here, but they're worth another mention. :p

    And do check out the album in my avatar..."The Steph Johnson Trio - Nature Girl". Really fantastic recording.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    eddiek997 likes this.
  15. ohsigmachi
    JLAB Audio has a similar 10 minute break in track available here:

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