The question asked 116 audio companies.
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THE QUESTION


Hi, some friends and I, who are admirers of your products,
were having a debate as to what might be some of the
recordings used in the tuning of your products.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much.
Name,
Location,
e-mail.

The Replies

MUSIC HALL
Hi,
Sorry that's a closely guarded secret - kinda like the formula for coke.
If we let it out, everyone will be making good sounding equipment and then what would we do?
Roy Hall

Just one?
One ingredient, a recipe will not make.
I can't even do DIY.

Ok - but don't tell anyone.
I will give you a clue.
1962
Roy Hall


Isley Brothers: Twist And Shout
Do I win a Maverick SACD player? 1/2 price?

Actually The "friends" are other members of Head-Fi.org where
we too often debate the value of various recordings and it
occured to me that knowing what was used by manufacturers
would be very interesting. This is also related to an
experience I had last fall when a high-end dealer (jack-a**)
refused to let me hear a particular speaker (Reference 3A)
due to the music I had been playing (Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine') and I enquired of 'Reference' about this. Tash Goka told me this was one of their reference recordings when tuning their speakers! So I'm e-mailing a pile of companies wondering if I can see some trends to share."

Hi,
You lose.
I use any recordings that sound good. If more often compare
new products to existing ones. That is a better reference point for me.
Wait 'til you hear my new product - The Music Hall Maven, 2 channel, high-end, stereo receiver.
Roy

AUDIONOTE
Thanks, well that is the interesting part, any record works
for evaluation under our syetem of evaluation, we call it
comparison by contrast, you can read the article about thgis
on our web site it is called Are You on the Road to Audio Hell?
Sincerely,
Peter Qvortrup

WYETECH LABS
I hope I don't disappoint you or your friends with my answer.
I design by science and buy my gut feelings. I bench test
each gain stage and when it does what I want it to do,
together with all the other stages, I build a prototype and
have my peers listen to it to determine if it cuts the
mustard. If they give it their blessings, I go on to the
production stage. So far everything that works out on the
bench has worked out in practice and Wyetech's reputation
speaks for that fact. I don't tune circuits.
A lot of my ideas that don't prove workable on the bench,
don't make it to the prototype stage.
Best Regards,
Roger Hebert
Principal Design Engineer

MANLEY LABS
Often played:
Rage Against the Machine
Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach
Sade
James Taylor
---
Cheers, EveAnna Manley, President

ACOUSTIC ZEN
Robert listens to about 60% classical and 40% jazz when
tuning his cables. There are no particular recording labels
used.
Sincerely,
David Schiavone
Acoustic Zen

CONRAD JOHNSON
That is a good question, and I have to admit that I do not
know; but I will ask Lew and Bill, and will email back to you
what they tell me.
yours,
Ed Deitemeier
Customer Service

JPS LABS
Some of the recordings we use here are:
Jack Johnson, Brush Fire Fairytales
Rickie Lee Jones, It's Like This
Jewel
Keb Mo
Tracy Chapman
Junior Wells (Telarc SACD/CD hybrid is best)
Pure Moods (a compilation- I, II, III, IV).
Vocals, Jazz, and Blues are mainly what we use at this time,
although finding very good recordings seems to be getting
more and more difficult. Some of our partners enjoy Classical
as a reference and there seems to be a greater selection of
good sound under that heading.
Take care... Joe

REFERENCE 3A & ANTIQUE SOUND LABS
Here is a part of the play list we use to voice our Reference

3A loudspeakers and ASL amplifiers:
Diane Krall, Live in Paris.
Kruder & Dorfmeister, Sessions.
Bobo Stenson Quartet, War Orphans (ECM).
Janis Ian, Breaking Silence.
Doreen Smith, Still of the Night (our production).
Shirley Horn, You Won't Forget Me.
Charles Mingus. Mingus Moves.
Radka Toneff, Fairy Tales.
Sheila Jordan, Songs from Within.
Viladimir Ashkenazy, Racmaninov Pionmo Conc # 2, 3.
Anne Sophie Mutter, Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Shostakovich, Leningrad Symphony.
Clash, London Calling.
Mezzanine, Massive Attack.
Kip Hanrahan, Exotica/ Coup de Tet.
Sinead O'Connor, Universal Mother.
Dollar Brand, Journey.

EGGLESTON WORKS
Well, our music runs the gamut. We try very hard not to get
stuck in a rut with what we tune with or what we use in
shows. We go from Beck to Sinatra to classical and
everywhere in between. We also are alway eager to hear about
stuff that people have found that sounds good. I will let
you in on a little known secret though. Our big speakers the
Ivy are at Bob Ludwig's Gateway Mastering Studios in Maine.
Bob has worked on more Grammy winning albums than just about
any other engineer out there. We are always going through
his recent work and using it in our demos and tests. The
reason is that much of it is pop and mostly mainstream stuff
that most people know. Bob always is on the money as far as
quality music is concerned, working mainly with artists that
care very much about their finished product. Feel free to go
to www.gatewaymastering.com and find a list of his grammy
projects (I believe this is listed somewhere on the site).
You'll find some unexpected gems there.
I hope this helps.
Jim
EW
egglestonworks

HEADROOM
We listen to lots of different stuff, but I particularly like
the Chesky Records Monty Alexander disc “Carribean Circle”
lots of dynamics and depth at the same time. I also like Jon
Faddis “Remembrances” and the John Basile Quartet “The
Desmond Project” also on Chesky.
In general we listen for clear articulation without any
stridence. We listen for a good mixture of depth and
dynamics---usually hard to get at the same time. And---most
importantly---we listen to our own reaction to what we’re
hearing. Sometimes you can’t analyze the differences in what
you’re hearing (usually near the end of the design cycle) but
one option will have a “magical” effect on your listening
satisfaction; that’s what we’ll go with.
Cheers,
Tyll

GR RESEARCH
Female vocals: Patty Larkin, Allison Kraus, Jennifer Warrens, Norah Jones,
Holly Cole, and a few others.
Male: Lyle Lovett, Jack Johnson, Sam McCain, Dave Mathews (some) various
custom demo discs with various artists, Burmester CD's, etc.
Symphony pieces conducted by John Williams.
Hard stuff: Metallic, AC/DC, Blue Man Group, Evanescence.
They have to do it all.
Danny

LEGACY AUDIO
A variety of things are used in the tuning process including various tones,
sweeps, and subjective listening. There is no set program material used for
the subjective listening but things such as Dianna Krall and Aaron Neville
are used quite often.
If there is anything else I can do let me know.
Chris

MARK LEVINSON
Are you referring to Mark Levinson products?

I'll move forward as though you were, to answer your question. The traditional recording used is our "earwitness" Piano recording that ships in the packaging with many of our products. The recording has been used for years (I think since 1996) for various listening tests & tasks.

Last week (to be more current) we were listening to a new batch of No.431 and No.432 Dual-mono power amps. The listening test was blind, and we were comparing a small ECO that required a capacitor vendor change on one item on the board. The music used was Grace Jones (Trevor Horn produced) "Slave to the rhythm" and Thomas Dolby (Bill Bottrell produced) "Aliens ate my Buick" also Hawaiian Slack key guitar Masters Series CD and Frank Sinatra "Only the Lonely" remaster CD
I hope that answers your question, I am fascinated to know what your thoughts were prior to knowing what we've been using.
Thank you for your interest
Andrew M Ward | Regional Sales Manager
Mark Levinson Audio

WILSON AUDIO
We use a wide variety of recordings to tune our products. Dave Wilson owned a recording business and he uses his own work to voice the products. The most important thing to understand about using recordings as tools is the depth of knowledge one must have about the recording, AND knowing what to look for when performing micro adjustments. If you have any further questions, you can e-mail me directly at the address listed below.
Hope this info helps,
Daryl Wilson

VMPS AUDIO
I use ordinary CD's of the kind of music I like. Go to www.audiocircle.com for more suggestions, or you can ask owners what they like.
B

TOTEM
We basically use about everything that we listen to.From Eric Bibb, Ray Montford to Monteverdi to Madonna.Whatever our mood and inspiration that week will be used to properly ascertain the development of our products.It is very difficult if not impossible to tune with only some types of music.If one listens to a cut enough times it gets under the skin and representing it message correctly is the way to go.
Thanks
Totem

GUTWIRE
If you go to our website, click on the music page, you can see the recordings that we used frequently. I am more curious into what kind of debate you guys had?
Regards,
Herbert
GutWire Audio Cables

AKG
Factory testing of headphone and driver designs is not conducted using recorded media. Rather, a tone generator produces sounds at specific frequencies which are fed into the headphones and evaluated through an artificial ear. The artificial ear is a test fixture in the general shape of a human ear but with a microphone mounted in it. The perceived sound from the artificial ear can then be compared to the original signal.
Here at AKG, USA we do not have an artificial ear test fixture but can do similar testing with a tone generator and the technician’s ears. Our repair technicians will also use recordings familiar to them in order to evaluate suspected defects. Most headphone defects are obvious to an experienced listener and measurement does not need to be as precise as in an R & D lab.
Mark Zucha
AKG, USA

MOON AUDIO
Patricia Barber SACD Hybrid cd: Album "Companion" Track seven
Eagles XRCD2 Album "Hell Freezes over" Track 6
Burmaster Sampling CD2
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Album Texas Flood Track 12
Stereophile Test Cd's
How's that?
Thanx
Drew Baird
Moon Audio

HARMONIC TECHNOLOGY
Thank you for your interest of our products. Is this possible that I can call you to discuss the detail about your requirements? We would be very much appreciate.
Thank you.
Regards!
Jim Wang, President

McIntosh
We use a mix of recording and music types so we are not just tuning to one type. We have used "Pomp & Pipes" for pipe organ.
The "Chiller" Sound track for thunderclaps and sound effects, and Jessica Simpson, Madonna and Brittany Spears for bright, over produced recordings. We use Rebecca Pidgin " Spanish Harlem" for female vocal test. For DVD audio we use Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band "Swing'n for the Fences" and Gram Nash "Soul survivor" and Claptons "Riding with the King". . Diana Krall's "Peel me Grape" is also a favorite. Dark side of the Moon definitely gets played on every speaker we design as well as Stevie Ray Vaugh's "Can't stand the weather". we play a bunch of movies on them too, the video game sequence that opens "Toy Story 2" and the avalanche scene from "triple X" are my favorites. A recording on Stockfisch records that B&W sponsored and uses to promote their speakers in Europe is Steve Strauss "Powder House Road" only available at www.cdbaby.com in the U.S., is a fine recording for male vocal and acoustic guitar. there allways is a new favorite recording and in fact, Alison Krause and Union Station "New Favorite" had a lot of play on the XRT28s during their development. My buddy from Sonance just sent me a sound board recording of Henrix at albert hall that I plan on trying out on the next new speaker.
Hope you won the bet,
Chuck
Chuck Hinton of McIntosh Tech. Support

BASIS AUDIO
Many of us manfuacturers have been in the business for 20 years or more (over 20 for me) and have come from the days of vinyl being our only source. During such a long time I have collected records that I use for testing based on various criteria.

Some I use simply because I love the music and have heard them on hundreds of systems. They may not be the most neutral, but I know how I feel they should sound, and I love listening to them. They are certainly non-audiophile, such as Joan Baez Diamonds and Rust or New World Symphony on Argus.

Then there is the category of superb recording quality AND music I like......Bill Henderson Live on Classic records singing "Send in the Clowns" is an example of that, as are many RCA symphonic recordings out of the 60's. Dire Straits "Love Over Gold".........Supertramp "Breakfast in America".........Ella Fitzgerald "Let no Man Write My Epitath"...........

There are hundreds of record that I use regularly, but I have to stress that although I listen to these to learn we do not let them define the direction of our products. Designs are solely based on the concentricity and absolute roundness of round parts (platters, pulley), lack of friction and noise in bearings, Isolation properties of the isolation systems, damping qualities of the belt, lack of resonance of the subchassis, and so on......... In this regard turntables and tonearms are easy (if one has the technical background and ability to measure the technical properties) as the goals are very straightforward. It is not like building an amplifier where the measurements don't mimic real world conditions due to the complexity of the signal and the difficulty of the measurements. With turntables the results are predictable. Listening is after the design is done.....not used to determine design direction. After the product is done listening is done to see if there are any inconsistencies with what we projected. Rarely is there a surprise (none with the 2001, 2500, 2800, Vector tonearm) and always (so far) listening results have been able to be correlated with technical aspects and measurements.
I hope this gives some of the answers to your question.
Best regards,
Armando (A.J.) Conti
There are some strictly audiophile recordings that I find fun to listen to and can also use for specific things, like Dafos (unbelievable recording quality and world class percussionists, though many would not call this music) or the Sheffield Drum record.

JEFF ROWLAND
A few things to clarify, before we get into the music:

We don't tune our products. Our goal is to make the products
as neutral as possible and as faithful to the recording as
possible. What this means is that if we were to "tune" the
products, they would be faithful to what we wanted to hear
rather than what may actually be on the recording. For
example, if we were to listen to a number of things and find
that the system sounded bright, we would make changes to the
sound of the amp even though the recordings themselves may
actually be bright. In other words, we can make anything
sound good, but what if the recording wasn't any good to
begin with? So we design our products with the best
measuring techniques possible and the best design ideas that
we have in order to make the products as accurate as possible.
After the design stage is completed, we listen to the
products to see how we've managed to improve upon the last
generation. Contrary to what a number of marketing people
will tell you, verifying performance via measurements will
generally give you a good idea of what we can expect - if we
see results that show consistent and/or improved performance
somewhere on the bench, that will generally translate to
audible improvements in the listening room.
If for some reason we listen and find something has changed
for the worse in comparison to the last generation of
products, we then go back to the bench to try to isolate that
change and figure out where it originated. Because music is
an inexact reference - no one really knows what a recording
is supposed to sound like because it's always been heard
through systems that have inherent colorations - we have to
rely on exact references, which are testing criteria and
predictable reactions that we've developed and can interpret.
With all of that being said, we do a lot of listening for
specific things with a lot of different recordings. In our
listening room, we probably have over 1000 CDs, LPs, DVDs,
and SACDs that we use to evaluate our progress, including
everything from Mahler to Mitchell to Metallica and just
about everything in between, including a number of pieces
that no one has likely heard of in this country. We do a lot
of compilation recordings on CD-R, as that makes it a lot
easier to listen to a number of things without having to
constantly get up and change the disc or LP. At this point,
I think we're up to 9 or 10 different compilations in
addition to the rest of the original recordings we already have.
Not all of the music is "audiophile quality" and very little
of it is audiophile music to begin with. Though the
recording quality may be pristine, most audiophile music
isn't really something anyone wants to listen to over and
over and over again. Pristine recordings of music nobody
wanted to hear in the first place aren't a lot of fun to
listen to repeatedly, though there are exceptions. Most of
what we listen to is music that we're very familiar with so
that any changes, new information, or improvements will be
readily audible and recognized immediately. Since we have to
listen to things over and over again, we want to at least be
able to listen to things we like.
Best regards,
Rich Maez
Technical Services Director,
Jeff Rowland Design Group

PARASOUND
Actually, we would have to ask our audio engineer/consultant
John Curl that question. His designs have been applied to
our components for years (all our amps, and most of our
preamps). To be honest, he looks at test equipment more than
music to voice our products. Mr. Curl is constantly looking
for the cleanest and best sounding components for their
dedicated purpose. He will listen to every capacitor and
resistor before he listens to the amplifier as a whole, and
at that point we all usually listen for pleasure, because by
picking out the best internal components for the job, you
almost always end up with an amazing result.
Our goal is to design clear, precise, reliable components.
Your ears and your speakers color or components more than
anything else.
Sorry for the vague answer, but it is the truth.
Enjoy,
Ross Hulstein

JOSEPH AUDIO
we use a wide variety of recordings, including some we've
made ourselves
of Pipe Organs, Local groups, Jazz ensembles and the like.
Several qucik favorites
Louis Armstrong - Stachmo Plays King Oliver
John Rutter requiem (ref recordings)
Mahler Sym #1 (florida symph, Judd)
Aimee Mann - whatever
Many different Chesky recordings
Jeff

VTL
Thank you very much for writing to VTL.
Next time when you send us an email,
can you please include a relevant Subject
field so we know that your email is a legitimate question
related to our company or products. There are so much spam
out there these days that it is very easy to overlook emails
that do not have a subject field.

First I want to let you know that we use analog only in our
serious listening tests. We found by experience that a good
analog system can give you so much higher resolution and
information that it is an absolutely essential tool for
critical listening. Second, when we do critical listening we
are usually listening to a small selection of our reference
recordings that consist of symphonic works, chamber music,
piano concertos, vocalists and jazz ensembles. We are
listening to tonal qualities of instruments and voices and
looking for harmonic balance and structure rather than sound
stage or imaging in this stage of our listening tests.
Anyway, there are many attributes and factors that we are
looking for in our listening tests, but most importantly we
must have the patience to go back and listen to the same
recording over and over again to look for minute differences
when we are voicing our products.
Sincerely,
Bea Lam

MUSE ELECTRONICS
In as much as our products are not the type that
require "tuning" as opposed to loudspeakers where some
voicing choices are subjective, there really is not an
answer to your question. As for recordings that we
use in the qualitative evaluation of performance, we
try to stick to those that we have actual knowledge
of, specifically those that our engineer was involved
in either the recording, mastering or authoring.
These include projects from numerous labels (mostly
high end) of a variety of musical types.

Your question is not one that we have encountered
previously, might I ask what motivated it?

HALCRO
Halcro uses many and varied recordings when testing our
current products and new technologies. We mainly use three
different styles:
- Female vocal (Eva Cassidy or Patricia Barber, but many
others)
- Very complex orchestral
- Solo violin or piano
I am sorry I can not be more specific. If you have any
further questions, then contact us anytime.
I have attached our brochure to this email for your reading
pleasure.
Kind Regards
David Pope

LAMM INDUSTRIES
Thank you for appreciating our products -- it is always
gratifying to get feedback like yours.
We have to disappoint you, though -- we don't "tune" any of
our products. We create equipment with predefined and
predictable parameters, which means that each of our products
comes out exactly as it was planned. There is no
trial-and-error approach in our design process, and therefore
no subsequent tuning or other "corrective" measures involved.
Once the design is finished, that's it.
On the other hand, we enjoy listening to classical, jazz,
vocals, and any fine music that exists. We always keep in
mind the final goal of our efforts -- to be able and to
enable others to connect to the essence of music and, through
this connection, evolve and grow as human beings.

Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance to you.
Best regards,
Elina D. Lamm
Executive Assistant

VOX
Hi,
Please clarify me which kind of products you talking about
and what is your ideas?
Regards
Vox Trade

EXPOSURE HIFI
I must say that we are a bit old fashioned in as much as we
listen to Free, Led Zep, Stones, Pink Floyd, Bad Company etc,
you can see the trend!
Bst rgds
Andy Whittle

GOLDMUND
Interesting point you are making! In fact it is one of Goldmund's philosophies not to base the tuning of our products on what you hear, but what you measure. That is really the basis of the exceptional sound quality of our products. We have developed a test bench that
will compare input and output on quantitative measure points. This method is developed over years and is becoming more and more precise.That's also why if you have a bad source, the output will be bad on a Goldmund system - there is no way to hide the bad quality through internal noise.
I know it did not answer your direct question, but I hope it
gives you an idea of how we're doing things around here.
regards,
Kjeld Jespersen

TANNOY
First of all there are obviously a lot of electronic
measurements made on individual components and a lot of math
done before anyone gets to listen to anything. When we
finally do get to actual “listening” tests the key is to use
a wide variety of material that’s well recorded- this could
include anything from classical music, piano, voice to Diana
Krall, Steely Dan, No Doubt (for extreme low end), hip hop
etc and one of our guys likes to listen to the Rankin Family
because of the highly pitched female lead voices. Different
recordings are used for different things- frequency response,
balance, imaging, harshness, realism etc etc etc. What is
vitally important is that the music was well recorded and
that you know what it “should” sound like- even a recording
with flaws in it can tell you a lot about what you’re
speakers are telling you or are not telling you.
Wayne Dietrich

McIntosh (again!)

I wonder what you all had speculated we might use. I imagine
some folks assume we only use classical, or strictly
Audiophile recordings or not listen at all and just use
scientific analysis techniques. We actually use more science
than listening, as vast amounts of careful engineering occur
long before we have anything to listen to.
Do you guys have any suggestions of stuff I should buy for
testing new gear and for demos at the trade shows?
Chuck Hinton of McIntosh Tech. Support

SIGNAL CABLE
Certainly. I listen to all types, more Jazz & Vocals, also
quite a bit of Classical. The CDs that I have used pretty
often for listening tests are:
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Jacintha - Autumn Leaves
Diana Krall - A few of her CDs
Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
Vivaldi - Four Seasons
I do have a pretty long list, this is just to name a few.
Thanks,
Frank

PSB
Our technical department advises me that they test our
speakers with all music types. They listen to different and
new music all the time to see how the speakers will sound.
Thank you for your interest in PSB speakers.
Best regards,
Karen Pritchard

GRANITE AUDIO
Diana Krall
Patricia Barber
Blood Sweat & Tears
Eric Clapton
HDCD Sampler with jazz, classical, choir music
Jerry Douglas
Frank Sinatra
Dire Straights - Sultans of Swing
Sam McClain
Joe Cocker
Mozart
Blenders
Christy Baron
Ronnie Earl
to name a few.
Sincerely, Don Hoglund

HSU RESEARCH
Here are some of our current favorites:
1) Artist: The Fairfield Four
Album: I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
Track: There Must Be A City
2) Artist: Ray Montford,
Album: Shed Your Skin,
Song: One Witness
Purchase Info: http://www.raymontford.com/
3) Artist: Holly Cole,
Song: Tango Till They’re Sore
4) Artist: Marcus Miller
Album: M2 (M Squared)
Track: Cousin John
5) This song demonstrates capacity of the subwoofer to
reproduce bass detail.
Artist: Bela Fleck,
Album: Flight of the Cosmic Hippo,
Song: Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
7) This track demonstrates some 25 Hz bass.
8) This track demonstrates the realism of the bass.
Artist: Yim Hok-Man
Album: Poems of Thunder
Song: Poem of Chinese Drum

LINN
Some of the recordings that have been used lately include:
Claire Martin - Too Darn Hot!
Barb Jungr - Chanson
Barb Jungr - Every Grain of Sand
Magnificat - The Victoria Requiem
SCO - Brahms Violin Concerto

I hope this helps to settle the argument!
Best wishes
Caroline

ENERGY
We do not really tune our speakers to any specific type of
music, we use our anechoic chamber and our years of
experience and research to determine what does sound good.
With the many different tastes of our customers and how
speakers are designed, it would be impossible to tune for one
specific type of music, that is not how speakers are
designed.A good speaker can play all types of music, and do that well.
I believe our speakers do that.
Best wishes,
Scott Goodman

CARY AUDIO
Greetings. Nice to hear from you today. I used full-scale
orchestral music in the design process. I believe that once
an amplifier or a loudspeaker is performing in a realistic
fashion with classical music, most other forms of music will be correct as well.
Have a great weekend and thank you for your interest in Cary
Audio ..............
Dennis

SONG AUDIO
Sorry for the delay in replying due to my travel to New Jersey.
We are mostly using normal recording of classical music,
vocal and instrumental as well as full orchestral. To name a few recordings are as follows:
1. Zigeunerweisen op. 20 from Carmen Fantasy, Anne-Sophie Muter Wiener-Philharmoniker James Levine.
2. Mozart 21 Lieder Laser Light 15-876 "Mitsuko Shirai".
3. Angela Gheorghiu Diva EMI Classic
We also occasionally use Live Recording of Pop Recording,
such as Eva Cassidy's "Live At Blues Alley."
Song Kim

JM REYNAUD
Because I am a music lover I hait the "audiophile's records"
and I use to juge my product only "normal "CD's .The tuning
of the products is made in laboratory (only) any correction
to the design is applied listening the CD's (it exist bad and
good records of course)
Best regards
JM Reynaud

JADIS
Each unit that leaves the factory is tested with the CD "XLO
Reference Recording Test and Burn - INCD"
But for every new created model , many different CDs of
different types of music are used, like, for example :
"Le temps passe" Michel Jonaz (french singer)
" Tango" Julio Eglesias
" La Damnation de Faust" Berlioz by Sir Colin Davis
" The Organ Workof JC Bach" by Jean Guillou
" Repuiem op.89 of DUORAK" by the Prague philarmonic orchestra
" Audio Florida Bella" Monteverdi by Rene Jacobs
" Symphonia N°3" Saltsaens by the Philadelphia Orchestra
Kind regards,
Sales Department

PMC
Try some of the tracks on the attachments
Miles Roberts
Head Of Sales
PMC Ltd

QUICKSILVER AUDIO
I use recordings from the late 50s and early 60s. I also use
recordings which I have made with two large diaphram tube
type condenser microphones driving a Quicksilver mic preamp.
Thanks for your support.
Mike Sanders

MAGNUM DYNALAB
Nice to hear from you, to do the tuning of our tuners we use
instrumentation which allows us to test under many different
situations. If we can help in any other way please let us know.
Best Regards
Larry

KIMBER KABLE
Thank you for your inquiry. Here is a list of recommended
recordings.
Best Regards,
Todd Walldorf
Popular/Jazz
Dee Carstensen – Regarding the Soul (1st cut)
NYC EXIT 9001 2
David Wilcox – Nightshift Watchman (3rd cut)
Song of the Wood 7921
Jim Messina – Watching the River Run
A&M 161175
Dire Straits – On Every Street
Warner Brothers 2-26680
Keb’ Mo’ – Keb’ Mo’ (2nd cut)
OKeh/550/Epic
Karla Bonoff – New World
Music Masters 65138
Robbie Dupree – Walking on Water (1st cut)
Miramar 23033
Kim Bracken – Gotta Road
CueGee Rec. (801-278-0623)
Susan Ashton – Wakened by the Wind
Sparrow SPD-1259
Diana Krall – Love Scenes (2nd cut)
Impulse 233
Holy Cole – Temptation (9th cut)
Blue Note 31653
James Taylor – Live (2nd & 13th cuts)
Columbia 47056
Pierce Pettis – While the Serpent Lies Sleeping
Windham Hill 1087
Janis Ian – Breaking Silence (Gold)
Analogue Productions 27
Mary Black - By the Time It Gets Dark
Gifthorse 10013.
Mary Black – The Holy Ground
Gifthorse G2-10010
The Story – Grace in Gravity
Elektra 61321
Patricia Barber – A Distortion of Love (9th cut)
Antilles 314-512235-2
Take Six – So Much 2 Say (7th cut)
Warner Alliance 25892
Cassandra Wilson – Dance to the Drums Again (10th cut)
DIW/Columbia 53451
Crosby Pevar and Raymond – CPR
Gold Circle 0145
Rachelle Ferrell – Individuality (Can I Be Me?) – (2nd cut)
Capital CDP 7243 4 94980 2
Randy Thorderson – Mons Ganau
randy@thorderson.com
Graham Nash – Songs for Survivors
Artemis 751130-2
Tina Malia – Shores of Avalon (1st cut)
Higher Octave OMCD 11797
Classical
Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique (5th cut 2:20)
Reference Recordings RR-11
The Turtle Creek Chorale – Psalms (10th cut)
Reference Recordings RR-86HDCD
Songs My Mother Taught Me – Delmoni (Gold)
John Marks Records (jmrcds.com)
Sacred Feast – Gaudeamus (SACD)
DMP SACD-09
IsoMike CES 2004 Sampler

NORDOST
There are tons and tons of CD’s that come with each person
during a demo. Everyone has their own tastes. I’ll try to
give a bit of a list. These are by no means a consistent list
of what we always use, it changes often. A lot of these are
my own biased memories.
John Bonamassa – Anything by John Bonamassa
Al DiMiola – Tour DeForce – these are 2 great guitar players
who can really put the speed of a system to the test.
Peggy Lee – Fever
Elanor McEvoy – Portrait of a Songwriter
There are a bunch of Danish and Russian performers that Lars
has, but I can’t remember their names.
I always bring a whole different set of music along.
I start with Little Axe – The house the Wolf Built. This is a
great CD that will exploit and draw out a really bright
system. The twang of the sampled guitar can be painful unless
the system has a nice smooth high end.
Sarah McLachlan – The Freedom Sessions. On a decent system,
you can hear her saliva as she sings. Kind of gross to think
about, but it’s like she’s singing in your ear.
Then it just starts to get mean.
Sister Machine Gun – The Torture Technique. There are tracks
on this CD that will take advantage of every aspect of a good system.
Laibach – WAT. This is brand new. You can hear the vocalist
rip shake your chest even when he just talks. There is also a
lot of choral and orchestrated music added into the heavy electronic music.
NIN – Downward spiral.

Hope this helps. If you ask someone else here, you’ll get
very different answers.
Best Regards,
Jeff Wells

VPI
Frank Sinatra - Witchcarft
Willie Nelson - Ponco and Lefty, Stardust
Charles Gerhardt - The Thing
Steve and Edie - Language of Love
The Hunt For Red October
Any Capitol Nat King Cole original
Most Ansermet Decca's
Most Reiners RCA's
Bernstein- most Berlioz

Enjoy your listening. Sheila

SOUND LAB
Thanks for your note. Your questions is hard to answer as we
have a continual flow of musical recordings through our facility.
We listen full-spectrum from rock through
classical. I would probably need to publish a new list
periodically to answer your question. The product isn't
"tuned" as you mention. We've established a set of design
parameters for full-range electrostatic speakers by which we
know, through experience, that a new speaker design will
perform as anticipated. Of course, we also check our designs
by listening to familiar and unfamiliar recordings, just to
keep up with the recording industry.
Thanks for your interest.
My regards,
Roger West

DH LABS
Very good question. No one has ever asked us that.
I actually like use my own recordings. Before starting DH Labs,
I did live recording for several years (mostly classical music),
which was very vaulable experience for me.
I find that using my own recordings is more helpful than
commercial recordings, because I have a better idea how
things should sound. We also do bypass tests, where a long
length of cable is switched in and out of the signal path.
This is an especially helpful test if you can do it with a
live mic feed, because the source signal is so pure.
As far as commercial recordings go, Water Lily acoustics
makes some of the most transparent sounding recordings I've
heard. We do use those sometimes. Their music selection is
definitely outside the mainstream, but some of it is quite interesting.
Best regards,
Darren Hovsepian
President
DH Labs, Inc.

JOLIDA
Backstreet Boys, Madonna, Conan the Barbarian, Celene Dion.
That is to make sure of smoothness and that poorly recorded
material can sound musical.
For Critcal. Dire Straights, Cantate Domino, Rebecca Pidgeon, Mozart.
Michael Allen

QUAD
Our products are designed using the very latest Audio
Precision test equipment.
Listening tests are performed afterwards by our
marketing team
using a wide variety/types of music.
Regards,
Rob Flain

CARDAS AUDIO
Well, there are a few of us who do listening tests and we all
use different material on different systems. We all use
analog and digital recordings and all of us are interested in
all types of music. For your amusement I will list some
common artists frequently heard in my rig as references:
Lyle Lovett
Tom Waits
Natalie Merchant
Jack Johnson
Dead Can Dance
Greg Brown
Ben Harper
Cowboy Junkies
Chris Isaak
Many other recordings get played also... classical,
electronic, jazz... it's very hard to list them all.
Brian Von Bork
Cardas Audio

KRELL
We use a lot of different recordings that cover a wide
variety of music. Two that I can share with you are Diana
Krall's "Peel Me a Grape," and BB King/Heavy D and the Boyz,
"Keep it Coming." We also use "Pie Jesu" on Reference
Recordings recording of John Rutter's "Requiem."
Have fun!
Best regards,
Irv Gross

THIEL
We use some of the same recordings every time and then add in
some new material. The ones we use all of the
time are: Chet Atkins and Mark
Knofler; Neck and Neck, Rebecca Pigeon; The Raven,
Mary Black; No Frontiers, Margie Gibson; Say it with Music,
Stephen Stills; Stills Alone, and
Jacques Loussier;Play Bach Now.
Thanks again for contacting us. If I can help you further,

please let me
know.
Best regards,
Shari Graham

ROKSAN
We use any recording! In fact the listening test are done
with a wide range of material and different types of
recording. This way we get a better picture of the
performance of the product. Some of these recordings are live
(Classical, Jazz, Rock ...) some are very processed (Modern or electronic ..) etc.
Hope this has helped if not please contact us again.
Regards
Roksan Audio, Technical

NAD
We use all different musical recordings to check our
equipment. We use new and old, and all different musical
forms. Sorry that I can't be more specific.
Thank you for your interest in NAD electronics.
Best regards,
Karen Pritchard

HOVLAND
Wow, that is a big question! We use a ton of different
music: jazz, classical, world, female and male vocals, rock, blues, small
acoustic (with good upright bass), big soundtracks, etc. Both CD and LP.
To be fair and to give a decent picture of our varied tastes,
I'd have to list close to a dozen albums for each of the above genres,
but sadly I can not spare the time to do so. Yet if you tell me
what sort of music you like, I'd be pleased to tell you the name
of a current musical favorite of mine in that same realm.
We are true music lovers here, and I personally own over
4,000 recordings (all over the map; past and current).

By the way, our favorite D/A converter is the Dodson 218
(www.dodsonaudio.com). Beats the pants off others at twice
the price. Even the earlier model 217 Mk.II (or Mk. IID) is a winner and has been our reference for years.Feel free to write back to tell us about your systems and tates.
Very best regards,
Alex J. Crespi
 
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usc goose

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nice work, thanks.
 
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ipodstudio

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I'm not sure whether I feel better or worse...
 
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Permonic

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Nice work. Interesting answers. Other companies didn't reply yet?
 
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fewtch

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This is a truly enlightening post... thanks!
 
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eyeteeth

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Well it was fun to do.


For the sake of completion I included every response including the uninteresting. I was suprised by the amount of misspelled words. I liked when they were very detailed as HSU's was for example. I was also amused by very dry replies such as NAD's. The most suspicion was Harmonic Technology, I did reply to "Is this possible that I can call you to discuss the detail about your requirements? We would be very much appreciate.Thank you.Regards!Jim Wang, President". And he called me right away but never really understood the question and was very guarded. He mentioned the outrageous prices for some other companies cables and informed me of the locations of HT dealers in my area. The other cable guys came through great, very specific Kimber and Nordost "On a decent system,
you can hear her saliva as she sings. Kind of gross to think
about, but it’s like she’s singing in your ear."

Chuck Hinton of McIntosh was great and I feel obligated to get back to him with recommendations which there are plenty of around here.

But I still want to know what was the 1961 recording Roy Hall refered to?
 
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ipodstudio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeteeth
Well it was fun to do.


"On a decent system,
you can hear her saliva as she sings. Kind of gross to think
about, but it’s like she’s singing in your ear."



Yuck!! What next? If you have a really great system you can hear her breakfast digesting...?
 
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eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ipodstudio
I'm not sure whether I feel better or worse...



I'm not suprised if you feel worse. You worked yourself into a lather


What were you like as a kid before your birthday? Bouncing off the walls driving your parents nuts?



Permonic:I might press those non-responders and other interesting companies at some point and post the results. But of course I won't be mysterious and I would leave out the uninteresting replies.
 
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ipodstudio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeteeth
I'm not suprised if you feel worse. You worked yourself into a lather


What were you like as a kid before your birthday? Bouncing off the walls driving your parents nuts?




Far worse and my mother got to put up with all of it...
 
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tom hankins

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Very interesting. Thanks for the fun reading. Keep the replies coming.
 
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KYTGuy

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Enlightening, and revealing, and tantalizing...thanks for that.

(On a really good system, you should be able to tell that the postal van three doors down from the studio has low compression in cylinder three, and that the postman has new shoes....)

sadly, my system doesn't make the grade.....my wallet is several orders too small..
 
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PinkFloyd

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Nice one eyeteeth :)

I'm appalled by the amount of manufacturers who don't use their ears during the design stage to "tweak" the sound and rely solely on bloody computers to design a product..... no wonder half the gear sounds awful.

It's a well know fact (take it from me it is) that the Sugden headmaster was designed without a pair of headphones ever being plugged into it..... purely designed on a computer.

It's a well known fact that you can design equipment using a computer but the only way you can finalise the design and tweak it is by using your ears...... I wish some of these computer operators (so called designers) would take a leaf out of the real designers book and start using their ears.

The response from a few of those manufacturers is enough to ensure I'll never contemplate any of their products.

Nice bit of research eyeteeth.

Well done :)

Quote from Quad:

"QUAD
Our products are designed using the very latest Audio
Precision test equipment.
Listening tests are performed afterwards by our
marketing team
using a wide variety/types of music.
Regards,
Rob Flain"

WHAT??????? Their "marketing team" listen to the designs
I'd have thought the designers would be the people to listen before passing it on to the salesmen to "market" hmmmmmmmmmm....


Quote from Parasound"

"Actually, we would have to ask our audio engineer/consultant
John Curl that question. His designs have been applied to
our components for years (all our amps, and most of our
preamps). To be honest, he looks at test equipment more than
music to voice our products. Mr. Curl is constantly looking
for the cleanest and best sounding components for their
dedicated purpose. He will listen to every capacitor and
resistor before he listens to the amplifier as a whole, and
at that point we all usually listen for pleasure, because by
picking out the best internal components for the job, you
almost always end up with an amazing result.
Our goal is to design clear, precise, reliable components.
Your ears and your speakers color or components more than
anything else.
Sorry for the vague answer, but it is the truth.
Enjoy,
Ross Hulstein"

That's more like it!!!!!!!
 
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eyeteeth

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Thanks All, for the compliments.


The whole process did involve a fair amount of work, and although genuinely curious myself, I don't think I would have gone through the effort were I to have been the only recipient.
I also thought some of the posts lately were recycled a little earlier than usual, and something fresh would be nice.
 
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eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PinkFloyd
I'm appalled by the amount of manufacturers who don't use their ears during the design stage to "tweak" the sound and rely solely on bloody computers to design a product..... no wonder half the gear sounds awful.


Makes you wonder if some companies are resting on their laurels? While some newer ones are putting forth the effort combined with the right attitude. Upon receiving the Parasound e-mail I felt not suprised that they have been getting such good press about their products lately if their work was reflected by their philosophy. (I almost bought their entry level preamp a few years ago as it was cheap and had headphone output. Now I wish I had).
 
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