Best song to evaluate audio components

Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby pathguy » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:11 am

Ayre Conditioned wrote: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.

OMG!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Golear » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:29 pm

Here's a very good resource on speaker set-up, from Genesis Technologies:
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/wp-c ... cedure.pdf

I have not done this because I can't get the recordings. But it's great to read about the criteria. It might be difficult to get those recordings, too. Even if you got them, the result may depend in part on the CD player, amps, interconnects, and speaker wires, etc. There's also some info on the Wilson Audio site on how they find the best spot for their speakers.

I've used "Prof. Johnson's Astounding Sound Show" LP from Reference Recordings to check the bass and imaging. The "Tafelmusik" LP from Reference Recordings has a lot of room ambience and imaging info.

The "Gaite Parisienne" LP from Analogue Productions has a lot of slam. So it's a great source to check dynamic contrast. The opening of "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits is a great way to check on this, too.

I've also used "Star of Wonder" LP, by Reference Recordings. There are two tracks featuring hand bells, which have a lot of high frequency info and harmonics and decay. It's a great way to check alignment and anti-skate. When listening to them, check on the muscles in your shoulder. If they're tense, you're hearing distortion!

The "Tracy Chapman" LP is surprisingly good for a multi-miked recording. "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd has some fantastic tracks. Most, if not all, of the Pink Floyd albums are very well recorded.

"The Mission" soundtrack has amazing height. You can "see" the full height of the waterfall. It's quite amazing.

The "Chariots of Fire" soundtrack has very good, deep bass. And at the end of the final track on Side 1, you should imagine yourself sitting in a cathedral. If you don't get good sound, it's possible your LP is a reissue. The cover of the LP should be a relatively dark blue. These are readily available.

The "Tour de France" soundtrack from Kraftwerk is very interesting. You should be able to "see" a cyclist riding in a circle, between the speakers.

The "Symphonie Fantastique" from Reference Recordings has a large orchestra playing feverishly and loud.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby suntea » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:43 am

Orchids1 wrote: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

Is the 45rpm LP "Let no man write my epitaph" by chance? If not, what??
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Orchids1 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:00 pm

Suntea, That’s right. Not only is it a great record to use for settings and adjustments, it’s a great record, period. Rich
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby BillM » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:36 pm

I always use side 2 of Madman Across the Water, I used it today when dialing in VTA. Indian Sunset usually tells me what I need to know.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby gene9p » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:17 am

from the AMIGOS album by Santana..LET IT SHINE. There's so much going on a true test for any system.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby Dorian » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:49 am

BillM wrote:I always use side 2 of Madman Across the Water, I used it today when dialing in VTA. Indian Sunset usually tells me what I need to know.

What do you listen for specifically on that track for VTA? I have the album and am curious if I hear the same thing.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby BillM » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:42 pm

Dorian wrote:
BillM wrote:I always use side 2 of Madman Across the Water, I used it today when dialing in VTA. Indian Sunset usually tells me what I need to know.

What do you listen for specifically on that track for VTA? I have the album and am curious if I hear the same thing.


The vocals in Indian Sunset will sounds horrible if anything is off, really bright. Getting the VTA right really smooths and warms up the vocals. Why I don't know but that's just what I hear.
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Re: Best song to evaluate audio components

Postby kurtster » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:52 pm

Buck115 wrote: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!!!!!!!


I have that Pretenders album. I will give it a good work out. IIRC, Precious from their first album also has some tricky parts as well. Pretenders are very dear to me being a long, long time Cleveland area resident.

Just last night I broke out my 1969 GB pressing of Blind Faith. That took a little bit of work to dial in the VTA. The whole side 2 with Sea Of Joy and Do What You Like are very demanding between Winwood's voice and Baker's drumming. Baker's drum solo on Do What You Like has everything you need to see how well you cart is set up. For general purpose and S & G's, I like Billy Thorpe's Children Of The Sun for a real good work out of the entire system.
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