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  • #61
    Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
    Adel. I like 'Make you feel my love' but, about anything she does will do. If a tweeter is not right, she will send you running out of the room. Etta James, 'At last' will do the same.
    Agreed. The piano is also very well recorded and should sound big and full. The best test of female voice is Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies - "The Trinity Session", track 3 - "Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis)" is especially challenging given a close mic and her naturally raspy voice... very hard to get right. The entire album is excellent and probably already documented here (a shame if it isn't).

    The firs track is excellent for voice and nice acoustic space.


    • #62
      Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

      Originally posted by the kid View Post
      Artist - Tracy Chapman
      Album - Tracy Chapman
      Song - Behind the Wall

      This is a vocals only song. 1:50 min.
      I agree Tracy Chapmans first hit album is really good acoustically. The ac. guitar is clean and stunning with just perfect bass lines. My favorite song is the last track "for you". There are pauses where the last notes just faintly stops before she starts again. Dead silence except for that dying note. This note slightly changes tone and audibility between different amplifiers so it will differentiate equipment. The musical arrangement is simple yet very textured at the same time. then there are the songs like baby can I hold you, another gem.


      • #63
        Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

        A very interesting thread.

        The last time I auditioned speakers, I made two CDs worth of favourite tracks (classical, jazz and pop/rock) and listened to about a minute of each. The tracks which really helped me decide on the speakers were:

        Angel by Sarah McLachlan

        Box by Sam Brown (title track) great drum sound

        Third Stone from the Sun, Jimi Hendrix from Are You Experienced and

        Gavotte and Rondeau from Bach's Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas, by Julia Fischer (beautiful music which needs very pure top end sound)

        However, as well as material which is well recorded, I threw in some tracks which were average or poor, as old and rare recordings are a significant part of my collection. They sounded much better with paper/composite speakers:

        Dylan's 'Clothes Line Saga" from The Basement Tapes

        Talkin' 'Bout You' from The Beatles Hamburg Live collection

        Beethoven Violin Concerto , 1926 Fritz Kreisler and Leo Blech

        Rule No. 1 - always take your music to a listening session!



        • #64
          Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

          If you want to test your speaker's resilience... Metallica, Dyer's Eve. Turn it up, and if it sounds bad you're either too old or your speakers need work ;).

          One of my favorite test tracks... Fleetwood Mac, The Chain, a lot going on in that whole song.

          Of coarse the whole Brothers In Arms disc, as well as most songs from the On Every Street album.

          Female vocals, personal favorite is Alison Krauss, Ghost In This House. Her track Lucky One is good too, great vocals and guitar.

          Bass tracks... Madonna's Music, and Beastie Boys, Intergalactic
          "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
          "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP


          • #65
            Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

            When I'm adjusting my system I find that when I can get good imaging and good (smooth, natural and dynamic) sound out of
            (a) a well-recorded piano concerto,
            (b) a good Frank Sinatra recording,
            (c) Take Five by Brubeck (all old guys' favorite test record), and
            (d) all of the above switched to monaural output (centered image)
            then I've got the bases covered for absolutely anything I decide to play.


            • #66
              Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

              Take Five has a nice crisp drum sound, although the bass drum is perhaps recorded a bit low - but it's quite in character/balance with the recording. For the piano concerto, I use the Tchaikovsky by Martha Argerich and Charles Dutoit, stunning 1960s sound and the piano isn't overly loud compared to some other recordings.

              Happy listening



              • #67
                Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky


                • #68
                  Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky


                  • #69
                    Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                    GREAT thread! Many mentioned here are now part of my repertoire too!

                    Some I don't think I saw mentioned:

                    Kroke, the album "Live at Home". All of Kroke's stuff is excellent but this live album in particular is so good, so well performed and recorded, that I payed a premium to import a CD copy from the UK:

                    Philip Glass, several tracks from several albums, but if I had to pick one it would be:

                    Duofel, "Eleanor Rigby". One crazy guitar cover:

                    Anything by Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer (try their "Music For Two" album if you are shopping). Add in tabla master Zakir Hussain and you have:

                    When I built my first DIY open baffles I wanted the sound of Charles Mingus playing in my living room. THIS is the track I designed my speakers to play:
                    Mingus Big Band - Haitian Fight Song

                    Jennifer Warnes "Way Down Deep" from her album "The Hunter":

                    Dead Can Dance "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove" from their album "Into The Labyrinth". Superb track for fine tuning stereo "sound stage" and in-room positioning:

                    I love The Who and consider their "Greatest Hits" one of the best mastered commercial offerings in my collection. Great stereo separation too.


                    • #70
                      Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                      I believe the best reference tracks are the one's that you are most familiar with. This is common among recording engineers... you learn your reference monitors with material that you know how it's supposed to sound. I have a short list of music that I've been listening to since I was a teenager, across all kinds of systems. I also feel that this type of list is personal, and will be a good reference point for how old you are. We tend to stick to the music we grew up with, particularly as teens and young adults.

                      That being said, I'll add just a couple from my era (I'm currently 40):
                      Jane's Addition - Then She Did...
                      One of my favorite sit back and relax tracks. clear separation of cymbals and a clean tremolo guitar tone

                      Soul Coughing - Maybe I'll Come Down (and other tracks from El Oso)
                      Unbelievable kick drum. There's a 30Hz range sub signal that rolls down with the kick that really lets you know if your sub is working

                      Rage Against the Machine (anything on self titled album)
                      Loud but punchy, good test of dynamic range across the spectrum

                      Depeche Mode (Violator)
                      Excellent fidelity of electronic instruments, lots of stereo imaging to get lost in

                      Also, you should check out mastering engineer Bob Katz's honor roll:
                      If anyone has a high standard of production quality and listening systems, it's a mastering engineer.
                      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


                      • #71
                        Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                        Techmaster P.E.B.'s 1993 album: It Came From Outerbass II



                        • #72
                          Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                          One of the demo tracks that was used at Chicago DIY this past summer was "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles. I have since added that to my library and it's one of my favorite go-to tracks. While looking for other recordings of the same song, I ran across a Finnish a capella group, Rajaton, who recorded "Eleanor Rigby" for their "Rajaton Sings the Beatles" album which was released on 8/21/2015 (I think). This is my #1 test track at this point and I think it would make an excellent addition to anyone's library.

                          As a holiday gift to you all, who have added so much learning, wonder, and frustration to my life, I offer a link to Amazon so you can check it out:


                          • #73
                            Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                            For male vocals >

                            Female vocals>


                            • #74
                              Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                              How about well engineered Test Albums. Here are some of my favorites

                              Crash Test Dummies-God Shuffled His Feet (My go to for anything new that I make or drag home)
                              Radiohead-Ok Computer (Late 90s work of art)
                              Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats-Self Titled (If you haven't listened to them yet, DO!)
                              The Flaming Lips-The soft Bulletin (Some may not like the way the drums are recorded; I think it's genius)
                              Cowboy Junkies-The Trinity Session (This album is just beautiful and inspired my formative years)


                              • #75
                                Re: Recommended Test Tracks/Recordings Sticky

                                Patricia Barber
                                Modern Cool
                                Light My Fire

                                Great for vocals and it will test your subs. Great song to boot.