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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. GrindingThud
    Wow +1, great track!
  2. Bonavon Vovo
    My benchmark audio testing tracks are -
    Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror
    Gotye - Thanks For Your Time
    Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
    Lionel Richie Commodores - Easy
    Dire Straits - Walk Of Life
    Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
    Snoop Dogg - Who Am I (What's My Name)
    Feist - 1234
    AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
    Three 6 Mafia - Late Night Tip
    LIL Jon - Get Low
    Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
    Live - Lightning Crashes
    Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
    Moloko - Pure Pleasure Seeker (you can hear the keys on the sax being pressed if you listen)
  3. joehalo
    The Nightfly
    marone likes this.
  4. marone
    Paul McCartney - Yesterday
    Brian Eno - Energy Fools the Magician
    Adele - Live from Soho
    BoS - Say you will
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 (Op. 92)
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 (Op. 125)
    Doing The Reactionary (Streisand)
    King Crimson - One More Red Nightmare
    Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccata E Fuga (BWV 565)
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Fr Elise (WoO 59)
    George Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker (Op. 71) - Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy
    Jean Sibelius - Finlandia (Op. 26)
    Indian Stomp
    Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies

    Lastly, just to see how long a component lasts until it breaks up:
    A 24/96khz flac of the Space Shuttle STS-123 launch

    Most of these are on mp3 and I am upgrading sources now as gear comes in.
  5. christian u
    Mine are;
    Joni Mitchell     ''Travelogue"
    Frank Sinatra    ''Only the Lonely''
    Peter Erskine    ''As Is''
    Casandra Wilson ''Blue Moon Daughter''
    and lately Carmen Gomes ''Torn''and Thousand Shades of Blue''
  6. subsonic1050
    Hey all - New to the forum, but long time audiophile. Came across this thread, and had to resurrect it! Here are my reference tracks:
    1.) Max-O-Man by Fourplay (Self-Titled Album) - Great all around track for quick assessment
    2.) Marooned by Pink Floyd (Division Bell Album) - Highs really shine on this track, and just clarity in general
    3.) Apollo by Alan Parsons (On Air Album) - great track for bass response
    4.) The Boy From Ipanema by Diana Krall (Why Should I Care Album) - excellent for vocals
    5.) In The Stone by Earth Wind & Fire (I Am Album) - another great all around track
  7. carpediem328
    Papadosio- To End the Illusion of Seperation (it's a whole album.)
    Have it in lossless format, and just got my LCD-2s and it is amazing.
    Also tried Pink Floyd which was great.
  8. afeliz
    The Soundcarriers - Last Broadcast -- great all around track
    Ween - A Tear for Eddie (Live at Palais Extra on 1997-11-27) -- great guitar https://archive.org/details/Ween1997-11-27.sbd.remaster.flac16
    Rockfour - It Ain't Easy (When You're Gone) -- another great all around track http://rockfour.bandcamp.com/track/it-aint-easy-when-youre-gone
    Dire Straits - Six Blade Knife -- great bass
    Sebastien Tellier - Kilometer (Moulinex Remix) -- great bass, awesome track https://sebastientellier.bandcamp.com/track/kilometer-moulinex-remix
    Kno - Death Is Silent [Instrumentals] (whole album) - fantastic hip-hop instrumentals http://cunninlynguists.bandcamp.com/album/death-is-silent-instrumentals
  9. MattAnthony1990
    I have found J-Kwon's landmark recording "Tipsy" to be a fine way to test equipment. Now a decade old, "Tipsy" has come to define a generation. Not only will you have an excellent medium to test your equipment against but you'll get to re-live a true American classic time and time again. 
    "1, here comes the 2 to the 3 to the 4,​
    Everybody drunk out on the dance floor,​
    Babygirl ass jiggle like she want more,​
    Like she a groupie and I aint even on tour,​
    Maybe cause she heard that I rhyme hardcore,​
    Or maybe cause she heard that I buy out the stores,"​
    As you can see, you'll need to have a box of tissues on standby. Don't be ashamed. You wouldn't be the first moved to tears by J-Kwon. 
    A little comedic relief :p 
  10. MattAnthony1990
    Ok enough kidding around, two albums that I think get the job done are Radiohead's "Ok Computer" and M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming". Both were mastered properly and consist of 'complex' music. 
  11. amigomatt
    The soundtrack to 'The Artist" is exceptionally well produced.
    Denzea likes this.
  12. JayDogon
    #1 Take the Power Back by Rage Against The Machine
    #2 Blunt the Knives by Howard Shore and Dwarf Cast (The Hobbit OST)
    #3 Oh My Love feat. Katyna Ranieri (Drive OST)
    #4 Tur Kue Kwam Fun (Only God Forgives OST)
    #5 Better than I've Ever Been Remix
    #6 Breaking of the Fellowship (Fellowship of the Ring OST)
    #7 Snake Eater (Metal Gear Solid 3 OST)
    Denzea likes this.
  13. mironathetin
    Mine is Bruckners Symphony No 4, directed by Sergiu Celibidache with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
    It shows, if your system has stage, you hear many (unwanted) details, like coughs in the audience, creaks of the wooden stage, turning of pages.
    Of course, in general nobody wants coughs. These are unavoidable in classical live recordings though. In this case they give a tremendous impression of the width and depth of the listener side of the Gasteig music hall in Munich.
    With a low- or mid-fi system, you wont her the coughs at all. The same is true for the sounds of the instruments mechanics or the breathing of the players.
    In the beginning, these sounds were annoying me a lot. But, as I bought more stuff, I found out that on high end electronic these are the easiest benchmark because they are barely audible.
    The same with people who speak in the audiences: Who live at Hull for example, or Stones Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out ("Paint it black, you devil" [​IMG]). If you understand it all, the equipment is not too bad. 
    The Bruckner recording also contains silent passages (second movement) with contrabasses playing the deep notes. This is a good probe how deep your system really goes. You will also hear, if your system can reproduce the colorful and complex overtones of old wooden instruments.
    Not to speak of the incredible dynamics of the recording of more than 21 db. There are crescendi, where you may test how good your system can handle complex passages etc. etc. 
    Bruckner contains no piano, though, which is always good to hear too. I like to combine the Bruckner recording with Rapsody in Blue - Bernstein on the piano and conducting, New York Philharmonic from 1959. The Piano sounds more detailed on the LP recording, especially concerning the hammers hitting the strings, but for the real Piano sound, the CD is a good source too. Finally voices, either Dylan ( the new Blood on the tracks SACD) or Maria Callas (Naxos' Norma in Mono).
    Maria Callas has also sort of complex overtones in her voice [​IMG].
    christian u likes this.
  14. KElyas
    I'm really glad you weren't being serious [​IMG]
    okay, so my choices:
    Amy Winehouse - Valerie (for some reason the only well mixed track on Back to Black imo but its great to test soundstage width and mids - female vocals, guitars and the sound of bass player plucking on the bass
    Funkadelic - Maggot Brain  (soundstage, detail, highs)
    The Game - Don't Worry (Male/female, Mids, Highs, Bass, including kick impact
    Ludacris - How Low (Bass)
    DJ Quik - El's Interlude (Voice, Bass, Mids, Highs, Detail, Soundstage)
    Also the album which I just found recently thanks to Spotify's 'Discover', Moon Ride by Leon Ware has some great recording and mixing quality so would be worth a spin for testing headphones/speakers. Hey you know I just did a little research to find who mixed the LP and I discovered that the guitarist on the album also plays on the the DJ Quik album that the above song is from, even though they're 10 years apart and from different genres. What a small world we live in!
  15. christian u
    The Paul Berner album/download ''Road to Memphis''(Sound Liaison) is my go to album  at the moment,for soundstage depth and cable,preamp etc. comparisons.
    The album is sublimely well recorded (and well played too).
    For speaker placement it is perfect because of the very clear placement of the instruments.
    Guitarists, Pieter Teehuis and Ed Verhoef, are placed one left and  one right,reed player Michael Moore,
    placed slightly off center to the left and Paul Berners bass slightly  to the right.
    The download has no compression, to my ears, and is covering the whole range from a whisper(Moore)to a roar(Teehuis).
    The recording has been done live in front of a small studio audience,and because of that,one can occasionally hear a cough or a sniff, but that all adds to the very realistic experience one gets from this album.
    The deep but well defined bass of Paul Berner really shines on my Sennheiser HD800,makes me wonder why people call these headphones too analytical,this album just sound gorgeous on the HD800.
    (but on the other hand when listening to the Hi-res version of ''Layla'' from Derek and the Dominos,Eric Clapton and Duane Allman,  I did find myself being a bit analytical and hurried to put the old L.P.version on.)
    There is no drums on this album,and because of that , one can really hear how much air( treble) there is hidden in the sound of a well recorded upright bass,my old Phillips hp 8900,and Sennheiser hd 520 which are decent headphones, all things considered,does show their shortcomings here.
    The album is true studio master,direct  one to one copy of the studio mix,24bit,96khz,download and only available straight from the Sound Liaison web site.
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