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3 songs you would choose to test speakers

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  • #31
    When auditioning or testing speakers, I also use music which is not well recorded or mixed; much of the music in our collection is 60s, 70s and 80s rock/pop, 50s and 60s jazz and classical recordings from the LP era or even before.

    It's therefore critical for enjoyable listening that speakers let us enjoy that music. Of course, nothing has ever made my 1926 recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto by Fritz Kreisler sound good....

    For example, I auditioned the Dayton RS621 speakers (RS150 mid, RS28A tweeter) and found them too revealing of recording faults; in the same session I swapped to a SB Acoustics kit with paper drivers and fabric tweeters and enjoyed them more with my test tracks.

    'Lower fi' tracks included Please Please Me (Beatles); Odds and Ends (Dylan, Basement Tapes); Machine Gun (Hendrix Live LA Forum 1970 bootleg); and a 1955 recording of the Beethoven 'Emperor' Concerto by Emil Gilels.


    Geoff

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    • #32
      Second cut on Dave Grusin, Discovered again. Tight percussion. Clean bass and piano. Very good recording
      Any Julian Bream plays Alverez. If something is off, the strings sound too metallic.
      Mix of Joan Baez and Judy Mitchel. Odd voices seem to bring out issues. Maybe some Amanda McBroom.
      Have to add a forth. Something from Harry James, King James version. Trumpets can really highlight tweeter IMD issues. Buddy Rich band played too harsh to start with.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post
        When auditioning or testing speakers, I also use music which is not well recorded or mixed; much of the music in our collection is 60s, 70s and 80s rock/pop, 50s and 60s jazz and classical recordings from the LP era or even before.

        It's therefore critical for enjoyable listening that speakers let us enjoy that music. Of course, nothing has ever made my 1926 recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto by Fritz Kreisler sound good....

        For example, I auditioned the Dayton RS621 speakers (RS150 mid, RS28A tweeter) and found them too revealing of recording faults; in the same session I swapped to a SB Acoustics kit with paper drivers and fabric tweeters and enjoyed them more with my test tracks.

        'Lower fi' tracks included Please Please Me (Beatles); Odds and Ends (Dylan, Basement Tapes); Machine Gun (Hendrix Live LA Forum 1970 bootleg); and a 1955 recording of the Beethoven 'Emperor' Concerto by Emil Gilels.


        Geoff
        I'm with you. Good recordings are of course nice to hear, but the ultimate test is poor recordings. Speaker faults will often exaggerate their faults. And yes, very revealing speakers are a double-edged sword.
        Francis

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        • #34
          tvrgeek nailed it with the Harry James recording. I didn't mention that one as I am not aware of it being available in anything but direct to disc (which is what I have). It is a superbly recorded record. One of the few recordings where drums actually sound like real drums.

          Actually, I think some of the hardest things to get right in speakers are drums and percussion . A guitar can sound great through a mediocre set of speakers, but does it really sound like what was recorded? Who knows? There's so much processing going on (much of it intentional by the artists choice of guitar, amps, and effects) that the listener is not informed of that there's really no way to know if that's how it's supposed to sound. Brass and piano can also be very revealing as most of us know what a trumpet, saxophone, or a piano is supposed to sound like.

          So yes, I do use Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Bill Withers, and Paul Simon (particularly Graceland as noted earlier). But check out Charly Antolini - Knock Out 2000 for some seriously well recorded drums and Erich Kunzel Cincinnati Pops Big Band for horns and piano recorded right!

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          • #35
            I guess after reading through this, is there a distinction between testing for tuning a speaker, testing for defects and testing for overall fidelity/awesomeness of a speaker?

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            • #36
              I would also had Tchaikovsky 1812 overture for the cannons that will test your woofers!

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              • #37
                Originally posted by scardeal View Post
                I guess after reading through this, is there a distinction between testing for tuning a speaker, testing for defects and testing for overall fidelity/awesomeness of a speaker?
                You can test on just your favorite songs and good recordings, but then there's a good chance a mediocre recording will highlight flaws. So it depends on what you're looking for in a speaker.
                Francis

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                • Geoff Millar
                  Geoff Millar commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've said it here before, but my ideal set-up would be to have a pair of Classix 2.5s TMMs alongside our Slapshots MTMs so that I could switch between the two, depending on the music. Same sized cabinet, too.

                  Unfortunately our Classix II (TM) don't have enough output for the large space, but they are more enjoyable with less well recorded material.

                  Geoff

              • #38
                Don't overthink it. Listen to what you love, across as many speakers and rooms as you can. You'll hear the differences. For a wider variety of stuff that I wouldn't think of, I scroll through a couple Spotify lists: "Songs to test headphones with" and "Speaker Testing Tracks".
                Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                Wogg Music
                Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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                • #39
                  NOT this song --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNXI...ature=emb_logo

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                  • #40
                    Originally posted by Steve Lee View Post
                    You made me click on that. I thought for sure it would be a rickroll.
                    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                    Wogg Music
                    Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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                    • #41
                      A lot of great recommendations.

                      Church, Lyle Lovett or all of Joshua Judges Ruth. Just a great record with excellent engineering, a testament on how pop, rock, blues music should sound.
                      School, Super Tramp on BluRay. Awesome dynamics.
                      Morning Bell, Radiohead. If the congested parts sound open then you're doing something right.


                      A few more:
                      Fever, Ray Charles, Genius loves company. Small percussion is 180 degree wall to wall sound stage.
                      ...Dust, Elvis Costello. Just a great sounding cool song on a cool record.
                      Mule Variations, Tom waits. A total mixed bag.
                      Two against nature and Everything Must go, Steely Dan lots of great sound stage and punchy but limited drums.
                      Larks Tung in Aspic. Hard to imagine an early 70s record with such great dynamics.

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