Best song to evaluate audio components

Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby aztwang » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:11 am

Curious what ya'lls favorite tracks are to evaluate speakers, tubes, cartridges etc. We all have our favorite sounds, female vocals, male vocals, high end cymbals, guitar, bottom end bass guitar, synth and midrange. It's difficult to find tracks that incorporate it all...SO, what
tracks do YOU use in evaluating audio components.

Cheers
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby aztwang » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:13 am

For male vocal, mid to low midrange and in particular guitar I find Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits works well.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby DeeCee » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:55 am

I wish there was "A" best song but there isn't. So I burned a CD of several very familiar songs that show off various musical elements (soundstage, dynamic range, frequency response, vocals, etc., and good ol' emotional response!)

The CD consists of the following:

Shirley Horn - The Music That Makes Me Dance
Rebecca Pidgeon - Spanish Harlem
Michael Franks - Dragonfly Summer
Dianne Reeves - Never Too Far
Fourplay - 101 Eastbound
Steely Dan - Jack of Speed
Grace Jones- Don't Cry - It's Only The Rhythm
Larry Carlton & Lee Ritenour - Take That
Herbie Hancock - Butterfly
Lee Ritenour - Boss City
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Miles Davis - So What
Buddy Guy - Sweet Black Angel (Black Angel Blues)
Cassandra Wilson - A Little Warm Death
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Ayre Conditioned » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:08 pm

I use a recording of my wife in her natural habitat (complaining). If I have the same reaction to the recording as I do to her in person then I know that my system is dialed in. If not then some adjustments are necessary.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Mr_Putty » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:26 pm

My taste is changing as my recods get cleaner. But, for sheer upbeat emotional FUN I like the clean and quiet 1980s Eaglebone Whistle, (Fretless 152). I also use my 80s rock albums that I am very familiar with, Doors, Hendrix, etc, and then include some classical and jazz. I always want confirmation across a broad selection of music. There is so much variation in recording quality and presentation, I listen for better clarity in vocals and anything that’s more musical. I only use my Prime for evaluating in the context of the question. It’s been a great upgrade.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby billo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:32 pm

For changes in my system I have my wife to take a listen. She gives me a thumbs up or down in like 5 seconds, no matter what's playing. She's right 100% of the time. It takes me awhile, like days, for me to get past the "new" sound and hear the good or bad.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby gene9p » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:45 pm

From Santana AMIGOS

Let it Shine.... incredible detail...vocal and instruments
It will have your speakers dancing

Gitano.... great guitar and vocal
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Peer Gynt » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:09 pm

I use Suzanne Vega, Tom's Diner and Luka

Dire Straits, Money for Nothing

Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man

Madonna, Live to Tell

Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tin Pan Alley

Paul Simon, Homeless

Barney Kessel, Easy Like

Ron Affif, Mark

Jack Wilkins, Windows

And many others. My last test is the recording on vinyl of my Mother’s solo of Gershwin’s Summertime.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Buck115 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:30 pm

For just about any changes in my system, I listen to LP's that are primarily guitar (acoustic or electric) instrumentals, Leo Kottke in particular.

However, my go to LP for testing after any changes to my tonearm or cartridge is The Pretenders album, “Learning To Crawl”, specifically the “Back On The Chain Gang” track. If the alignment isn't correct, sibilance will rear its ugly head when Chrissie Hynde begins what I refer to as the third verse that starts “A Circumstance beyond our control”. From my experiences, if the Azimuth is even slightly off, the “C’s” and “S” in “CircumStanCe” will smear from her voice’s centered position, usually towards the right side depending on how the Azimuth was off. If it stays focused and tamed, I know I got it right!!!!!!!
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Orchids1 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:28 pm

I use a mono (very important) 45 rpm lp of Ella Fitzgerald with very little instrumental accompaniment. This is a tip from Harry. I make almost all of my settings and adjustments by ear using this method. When her voice is crystal clear and emerges from the exact center, that’s usually just about right for stereo recordings. Btw, stereo records with complex instrumentation or vocals or pronounced stereo effects make things considerably more difficult, and what seem to be the proper settings and adjustments can vary from record to record and even song to song. Rich
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