Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Music / Hi-Fi enthusiast Les Adams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    100

    Personal reference recordings






    Your personal "reference" recordings?

    We all have our own “reference" recordings I guess. These are the records or CD’s we pull out every time we make an adjustment or buy something new for our systems. We also reach for them when we want to impress guests - or simply to remind ourselves of how sweet our system sounds and yes, it WAS worth spending all that money! These are the recordings that we already know sound great but wonder if they hold anything else deep down in the mix that a new set of cables or a tweak here and there might reveal!


    My “reference" recordings are:

    Lynyrd Skynyrd – Endangered Species (CD)
    Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill (Acoustic) (CD)
    Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (CD)
    Eric Clapton – Unplugged (CD)
    Julia Fordham – Porcelain (CD)
    Paul Simon – Graceland (Vinyl / CD)
    Dianne Reeves – Never Too Far (Vinyl)
    Michael Jackson – Thriller / Off The Wall (Vinyl)

    The awesome close-miked Lynyrd Skynyrd album is my favourite of all for both performance and recording - I love the stunningly intimate (if a bit high in the mix sometimes) vocal sound on the Nora Jones recording - I also enjoy the excellent and detailed Eric Clapton live performance (where a slight buzz on Eric’s guitar amp adds to the atmosphere just like you are in the front row) and then there are brilliant but complex mixes on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” that can sound muddy and confused on lesser systems but awesomely detailed when you get it right! For me, these recordings are representative of producers and sound engineers who are masters of their craft. Let's celebrate great producers and sound engineers by sharing our favorites!

    Whilst I suggest that these are all excellent recordings IMHO, it is not intended to be a list of the "best recordings of all time!"... merely the ones that I use for reference and sound great on my system.

    So what are your “reference” recordings?


    Last edited by Les Adams; 10-03-2007 at 02:19 AM.
    STEREO

    Garrard 401 Turntable mounted in Skeletal Oak Plinth /
    Ringmat 330 MKII XLR
    SME 3009-S2-imp Arm (Fixed shell)
    Shure V15Vxmr Cartridge
    Trichord Dino Phono Stage
    Arcam Alpha 8SE CD Player / Ringmat CDi Blue
    Quad 99 Pre-amp
    Quad 909 Power Amp
    Audiovector M2 Loudspeakers
    Silverlink Aero Bi-Wire Speaker Cables

    AV
    Denon AVR3801A/V Receiver (pre out to aux input of Quad 99 for front L + R)
    JBL Centre Speaker
    Gale Satellites for rear L + R

    Interconnects are Van Den Hul 102 mk3

  2. #2
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746
    I like Lindsey Buckingham's Out of the Cradle, Dire Straits-On Every Street, Donald Faygen-The Nightfly, Thomas Dolby-Aliens Ate My Buick, Garth Brooks-No Fences...John Mellencamp's The Lonesome Jubilee can sound awesome on the right system, and tinny on others.

    Good call on the Norah Jones. I like the Clapton one for sound quality, but don't care much for those hospital zone versions of his songs.

    A lot of jazz recordings are good for referencing and showing off. Bob James-Restless comes to mind.

    And how could I forget SRV's The Sky Is Crying.
    Last edited by 3-LockBox; 10-02-2007 at 11:47 PM.

  3. #3
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Graham, WA
    Posts
    341
    i'm confused, why is this thread double posted in General?
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  4. #4
    Music / Hi-Fi enthusiast Les Adams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    100
    Quote Originally Posted by dingus
    i'm confused, why is this thread double posted in General?
    Because when I posted it did not notice there was a forum dedicated to this topic so re-posted it here. My apologies.
    Last edited by Les Adams; 10-03-2007 at 02:38 AM.
    STEREO

    Garrard 401 Turntable mounted in Skeletal Oak Plinth /
    Ringmat 330 MKII XLR
    SME 3009-S2-imp Arm (Fixed shell)
    Shure V15Vxmr Cartridge
    Trichord Dino Phono Stage
    Arcam Alpha 8SE CD Player / Ringmat CDi Blue
    Quad 99 Pre-amp
    Quad 909 Power Amp
    Audiovector M2 Loudspeakers
    Silverlink Aero Bi-Wire Speaker Cables

    AV
    Denon AVR3801A/V Receiver (pre out to aux input of Quad 99 for front L + R)
    JBL Centre Speaker
    Gale Satellites for rear L + R

    Interconnects are Van Den Hul 102 mk3

  5. #5
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Graham, WA
    Posts
    341
    ah i see, no need to apologize, i was the one who was confused.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  6. #6
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,056
    well, my favourites:

    Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the moon, both on cd as on vinyl, although I like the vinyl version better...
    Miles Davis - Kind of blue
    Johnny Cash - american IV: the man comes around
    Shostakovich - symphony n°4 (played by the philadelphia orchestra)
    The Ghosts - The world is outside (Thanks Bernd)
    Aereogramme - My heart has a wish... (Also, thanks Bernd)
    Diana Krall - When I look in your eyes
    Johnny Guitar Watson - A real mother
    Grant Green - Green street
    Trentemoller - The last resort
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    Abbey Lincoln - Abbey sings Abbey
    Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters
    Herbie Hancock - Secrets

    (and some more)

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  7. #7
    42 Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    West of the fields, long gone
    Posts
    1,338
    I have a System Demo mixed disc that I made for such occasions, with tracks from Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia, Steely Dan Gaucho, Whiskeytown Stranger's Almanac, Eagles Hell Freezes Over, Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, Sting Soul Cages, Los Lobos' Kiko and a few other old faves thrown in.
    Mr. MidFi
    Master of the Obvious

  8. #8
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    In a dead sea of fluid mercury
    Posts
    1,900
    back in the pioneering days of Rave Recs we made group compilations and anyone could get their hands on a copy just by asking. Group comps kinda died out and I think the joint is worse off for it. At any rate, we came up with a 2 volume set called Sounds Good! Motivated parties would send a track or two of really well recorded music to a "compiler" who would organize, copy and mail out the finished product to RR members. I took my faves off these two discs and created my own demo disc and still take it out with me when auditioning equipment.

    Maybe Davey still has the track listing on line for those comps? IF not, I'll pull them out of the binder and add them to this thread. Some really great sounding stuff on there, even if it all didn't really mesh with my own tastes.

    Tears For Fears
    The Nine
    Firebird Suite final passage from Telarc I think?
    Muddy Waters
    Eric Clapton
    Dire Straits - may have been Knopfler
    An organ piece from a Delos International disc and lots of others that escape me at the moment.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  9. #9
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    back in the pioneering days of Rave Recs we made group compilations ...
    I remember when we cared...*oh wait, caninal ancestory was suggested about me by an overly sensative RR'er last time I said that...let me expand on that:

    1) I think the novelty wore off the whole CD-burner thing
    2) I think most everyone thought their comps rocked and everyone else's sucked
    3) Perhaps there is/was some concern over the RIAA suing 12 year old girls and nuns
    4) Yech's Afrosheen comp showed what could happen when the wrong person made a comp
    5) Maybe people felt they gave more than they got, so they quit offering

    That comp you mention sure sounds good though (I never got one though - sniff)...I do miss those days, but for the most of us, coming to RR was a sort music journey, ney...a quest. I know it was for me. I came here to expand my musical horizons and boy were they (I even learned how to argue better). But after a while, I think as my tastes became more defined, I wasn't as prone to seek out comps as I once was, and since I listen mostly to prog, well...let's just say there weren't any takers (*I still got that copy of Roine Stolt's first CD that Troy sent you gratis, but you hated it, spat on poor Troy's feeling with a scathing review and then you sent it to me, for like 20 bucks or something*).

    But last year when I was loading down my MP3 player, I pretty much used about every comp anyone had ever sent me and to my surprise, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Maybe we should try to revive it...

    Anybody up for a prog comp? din't think so


    *I took a little creative liscense here

  10. #10
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    884

    Testing vs. Demonstrating

    For me, testing the system or auditioning equipment and showing it off to friends are two different things, and the recordings I use for each are different.

    For auditioning, I generally start out with these;

    Denon 1985/1986 New Releases Classical Sampler. I use bands 9-11, which are excerpts from a symphony and two operas. I've used these for years, and it provides some consistency.

    I've recently been using a passage with high massed strings in Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony beginning about a minute and a half into the first movement it often shows up diffraction problems with many speakers. Of course, lesser speakers will also show some colorations, too.

    Roger Whittaker, 16 Golden Classics on Castle, usually Band 10, "What a Wonderful World." Sometimes I use other male vocals such as Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits).

    Diana Krall, Love Scenes, Band 1, "All or Nothing at All." Sometimes I use other female vocalists such as Patricia Barber or Angele Arsenault.

    Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 4th movement, usually Suiter on Denon or Leibowitz on Chesky. Sometimes I use other choral recordings, such as Mozart's Requiem.

    Classical piano, often Horowitz or Earl Wild, the latter well-recorded by Chesky.

    Very few speakers pass on all these. After that, I'll try anything else I feel like.

    For the deep bass, I try organ recordings with bass below 20 Hz, such as Michael Murray's Bach on Telarc or Jean Guillou's arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition. But that's subwoofer territory.

    I seldom show off my system, as such. Usually, I will play something requested, something the friends like. Once it was Ravel's Bolero (some people's idea of basic classical music!) and I took out the old Ansermet recording, which is very good, BTW. Most people like popular music, so there's always Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, the Clancy Brothers, Diana Krall, Roger Whittaker, or Peter, Paul and Mary--I don't have very many recordings in those genres. Headbangers wouldn't like my system, anyway.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    A sometimes wet and damp York, England
    Posts
    528

    Denon Sampler and 'Sounds Good'

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    For me, testing the system or auditioning equipment and showing it off to friends are two different things, and the recordings I use for each are different.

    For auditioning, I generally start out with these;

    Denon 1985/1986 New Releases Classical Sampler. I use bands 9-11, which are excerpts from a symphony and two operas. I've used these for years, and it provides some consistency.
    Wow, I used to have that sampler (wonder what happened to it) it certainly did feature some great sounds. I remember the excerpt from Der Rosenkavalier was particularly impressive when he stamps his feet and you could feel the cast move across the stage. Also some nice pieces from Debussy (Rouvier) The Paganini Ensemble and Bach.

    Regarding the 'Sounds Good' comp here's the tracklisting I have, but I think there was a few variations on it floating around

    Disc 1
    1. Jesse Cook/Sting - Fragile
    2. Muddy Waters - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
    3. Govi - Serenade D’Amor
    4. Bryan Ferry - River Of Salt
    5. Dire Straits - Six Blade Knife
    6. Holly Cole Trio - Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
    7. Ernie Andrews - When They Talk About You
    8. Kenny Rankin - Erienda
    9. Junior Wells - Use Me
    10. Eric Clapton - River Of Tears
    11. KendraShanks/Bartz - Paris Bossa
    12. Keiko Matsui - Sonora
    13. Ruben Romero - La Gloria
    14. Amy Grant - Missing You
    15. James Taylor - Coperline (live)
    16. Pat Kirtley - Grandpa’s Lullaby
    17. Stravinsky - Firebird Finale

    Disc 2
    1. Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Take My Chances
    2. Eric Clapton - River Of Tears
    3. Amy Grant - Missing You
    4. Jesse Cook/Holly Cole - Fragile
    5. Kim Fox - Could Have Been A Saint
    6. Steve Lucky - Rumpus Room Honeymoon
    7. Eric Clapton - Farther Up The Road
    8. The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away
    9. Susan Tedeschi - He Treats Your Daughter Mean
    10. John Hiatt - Wreck Of The Barbie Ferrari
    11. Patricia Barber - Use Me
    12. Chip Davis - Reggae Mannana Man
    13. Godhead - Afterthoughts
    14. Up Bustle And Out - Running Rude
    15. Nightmares On Wax - Morse
    16. Govi - Serenade D’amour
    17. Nickel Creek - Let It Fall
    18. Holly Cole Trio - Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday

    Cheers
    Mike

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    In a dead sea of fluid mercury
    Posts
    1,900
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Wow, I used to have that sampler (wonder what happened to it) it certainly did feature some great sounds. I remember the excerpt from Der Rosenkavalier was particularly impressive when he stamps his feet and you could feel the cast move across the stage. Also some nice pieces from Debussy (Rouvier) The Paganini Ensemble and Bach.

    Regarding the 'Sounds Good' comp here's the tracklisting I have, but I think there was a few variations on it floating around

    Disc 1
    1. Jesse Cook/Sting - Fragile
    2. Muddy Waters - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
    3. Govi - Serenade D’Amor
    4. Bryan Ferry - River Of Salt
    5. Dire Straits - Six Blade Knife
    6. Holly Cole Trio - Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
    7. Ernie Andrews - When They Talk About You
    8. Kenny Rankin - Erienda
    9. Junior Wells - Use Me
    10. Eric Clapton - River Of Tears
    11. KendraShanks/Bartz - Paris Bossa
    12. Keiko Matsui - Sonora
    13. Ruben Romero - La Gloria
    14. Amy Grant - Missing You
    15. James Taylor - Coperline (live)
    16. Pat Kirtley - Grandpa’s Lullaby
    17. Stravinsky - Firebird Finale

    Disc 2
    1. Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Take My Chances
    2. Eric Clapton - River Of Tears
    3. Amy Grant - Missing You
    4. Jesse Cook/Holly Cole - Fragile
    5. Kim Fox - Could Have Been A Saint
    6. Steve Lucky - Rumpus Room Honeymoon
    7. Eric Clapton - Farther Up The Road
    8. The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away
    9. Susan Tedeschi - He Treats Your Daughter Mean
    10. John Hiatt - Wreck Of The Barbie Ferrari
    11. Patricia Barber - Use Me
    12. Chip Davis - Reggae Mannana Man
    13. Godhead - Afterthoughts
    14. Up Bustle And Out - Running Rude
    15. Nightmares On Wax - Morse
    16. Govi - Serenade D’amour
    17. Nickel Creek - Let It Fall
    18. Holly Cole Trio - Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday

    Cheers
    Mike
    Oh, yeah I guess they are a bit different. Mine is similar but definitely different. Maybe me and Dustychalk are the only ones that got The Nine and Tears For Fears : )

    Thanks for doing that. By the time I was done with baseball practice last night, I was done for.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  13. #13
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark

    Thanks for doing that. By the time I was done with baseball practice last night, I was done for.

    jc
    Are you coaching?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •