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  1. #1
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    Your favorite CD to test the sound of speakers?

    What CD do you bring to the retailer when you shop for new speakers. I like to bring Grover Washington Jr's greatest hits -- usually play "take five (take another five)".

  2. #2
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I actually did shop for new speakers recently, and brought the following albums:

    Einstürzende Neubauten, Silence is Sexy -- bass
    Stabbing Westward, Darkest Days -- "busy" music
    Costanzo Festa, La Spagna (SACD; has some really nasty sonorities if the system is bad in the area of THD)
    Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells (also SACD) -- transients, and just plain familiarity
    Ghost in the Shell soundtrack -- there's a slow, four-note synth motif that plays just before the main melody kicks back in, during the "Main Titles" track (#1), that's usually a wash of noise on most systems.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  3. #3
    DPM
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    I use a home grown demo disk

    A little over a year ago I was auditioning speakers to purchase for my brother as a present. They were to be used with his recording gear. I brewed up a CDR of favorite tracks then hit the stores. Here is the track list:

    1) No Ego's Under Water/Aquarium Rescue Unit--This tune is somewhat bright, but it is punchy.
    2) Time Waits For No One/Ambrosia--Alan Parsons engineered this song. It sounds great, and I know it well.
    3) The Foot Of Our Stairs/Jethro Tull--Ian Anderson's deep voice is great for checking out the upper bass/low midrange of speakers.
    4) West County/Bela Fleck--Deep bass guitar on this one, and the banjo helps to highlight any excessive brightness in the upper mids.
    5) The Embrace/Al DiMeola--Nice guitar tone and lively dynamics.
    6) Mahle Jchi/R. Robertson & Red Rd. Ensemble--Very well recorded female vocals.
    7) 6:00/Dream Theatre--Hey, the speakers have to be able to handle the heavy stuff.
    8) The Indian Problem/Djam Karet--Some fairly deep/punchy drum transients on this moody number.
    9) South Bound Traveller/Al DiMeola--Nicely recorded percussion and articulate bass guitar.
    10) Your Latest Trick/Dire Straits--Gotta' test them speakers with some sax.
    11) Waitin' For The Bus/ZZ Top--Down and gritty blues rock that shouuld retain its nature on the speakers in question.
    12) The Crucible/White Willow--Well recorded prog instrumental with flute and decent dynamic range.
    13) Spring/Vivaldi--Gotta' try the classical.

    Dave M

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Demetrio's Avatar
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    Some favorites of mine:

    - BRIAN BROMBERG - Wood
    - VERTU- Vertu
    - BOZZIO LEVIN STEVENS - Black Light Syndrome & Situation Dangerous
    - CARLA LOTHER - Ephemera
    - HECTOR ZAZOU - Lights in the Dark
    - PORCUPINE TREE - In Absentia & Signify (REMASTER)

    Demetrio.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Make sure you play plenty of what you like to listen to. The most important thing is that they sound good when you're doing your regular listening.

    I'd also suggest playing some crappy recordings on them to see how they sound in a worst case scenario. You don't want something that makes some stuff unlistenable.

    In my opinion, those really good recordings don't necessarily tell you all you need to know about speakers. Sure, the great recordings sound great. You need to find out how what you really listen to will sound and how well they handle problematic discs.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I use:
    Alter Bridge...hey if a pair of speakers can make this crap sound good...I'm definitely gonna buy them.

  7. #7
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    Use a good sampler disc

    Initially, I listen to selected examples of full orchestra with massed strings, male vocals, female vocals, mixed chorus, and piano.

    There are a number of CDs that could be used and most of these types of music can be found on a good classical sampler. Since I have used it for so many years, I have used the DENON NEW RELEASES Classical Sampler 1985/1986, Denon GES-9079, and for consistency, I keep on using it. I get part of Schubert's 9th Symphony on Band 9, and operatic excerpts on Bands 10 and 11.

    I'd suggest you find a sampler that provides material which often sounds different on different speakers and which tells you what you want to know. There are quite a few sampler discs available and they usually don't cost very much since they are basically promotional discs.

    I use a variety of other material for those speakers that pass the gauntlet of the sampler selections, such as Beethoven or Brahms symphonies, Roger Whittaker, Dire Straits, Diana Krall, Patricia Barber, Mozart's Requiem, Vladimir Horowitz (piano), Three Blind Mice jazz recordings, and so on.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  8. #8
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    I also use a demo comp, with a bunch of varied stuff on it. The tracks I can remember include:
    Porcupine Tree - Radioactive Toy
    Eagles - Hotel California (live acoustic)
    Nora Jones - Lone Star
    Sting - All This Time
    Steely Dan - Babylon Sisters
    JC Mellencamp - Your Life Is Now
    Yes/Steve Howe - Mood for a Day
    Mark Knopfler - Speedway in Nazareth
    Aerosmith - Living on the Edge
    Mr. MidFi
    Master of the Obvious

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr MidFi
    I also use a demo comp, with a bunch of varied stuff on it. The tracks I can remember include:
    Porcupine Tree - Radioactive Toy
    Eagles - Hotel California (live acoustic)
    Nora Jones - Lone Star
    Sting - All This Time
    Steely Dan - Babylon Sisters
    JC Mellencamp - Your Life Is Now
    Yes/Steve Howe - Mood for a Day
    Mark Knopfler - Speedway in Nazareth
    Aerosmith - Living on the Edge
    Yes, it makes it easier and more efficient for everybody, both you and the store employees.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  10. #10
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    The last time i went to sample speakers i took with me:
    1.- Roger waters amused to death, Q recording excellent for soundstage, with lot of fine details.
    2.- Dead can dance into the labyrinth an excellent choice for female voice i use The wind that sahkes the barlow ( a capella from Lisa).
    3.- Erich Kunzel and cincinnatti pops on Telarc, i think you should hear a full orchestra on your speaker of choice from this one i sampled The seven magnificent and also sprach zaratustra.
    4.- Al Dimeola orange and blue.
    5.- Diana Krall when i look into yoy eyes.
    6.- Also some dvd Like Yes shimphonic and Roger waters .
    7.- cat Stevens mona bone jackon remastered.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    If you had a LOT of time I would do this and you don't need any recordings and you'd be surprised how well it works - Does not require the products fom company who wrote the article either http://www.audionote.co.uk/anp1.htm

    But basically it doesn't matter what you throw it at from any genre - good speakers will play Everything extremely well - if not - keep looking.

    Still - even I don't have the time commitments to follow the article and it would work better if two sets of speakers are at the front of the room which works for Audio Note because they're supposed to be in corners but most speakers should be 3-4feet into the room so comparing 2 like that is very tough.

    So I usually Bring a wide variety of music and recording qualities to the table:

    I don't bring everything at each session but I might pull out 4-5 from each general genre.

    So Classical/instrumental or what I call Pop Classical:

    Yo Yo Ma "Classic Yo-Yo"
    Beethoven "Piano Sonata Vol 1"
    Beethoven (9 symphonies)
    Albinoni "Adagio" (I love the oboe maybe because I used to play it but more that Albinoni makes it sound right).
    Bach - The Art of Fugue
    Correlli - Concerti Grossi - nos. 1-6 and 7-12
    Chopin - Nocturnes - Vol 1
    Dvorak - Serenade for Wind
    Naxos - Art of the Baroque Trumpet
    Liszt - Years of Pilmgrimage
    Handel - Fireworks ...
    Vivaldi(again my liking for the oboe and organ) He's my favorite.
    Emma Shaplin - Carmine Meo
    Mozart - COncerto Flute And Harp - Violin Concertos 3 and 5. String Quintets(complete), Piano Concertos (complete),

    Jazz/New Age

    Pat Metheny group - several tracks - next time i'm going in with the LP's
    Jane Bunnet - various tracks
    Paul Desmond - Take Ten
    Ella Fitgerald - a 3 disc set
    Dianna Krall - "Girl in the Other Room and certain tracks off of her previous albums
    Miles Davis "Kinda Blue" -- Kinda Obvious
    Deodato "Also Sprach Zarathustra"
    Natalie Cole "Unforgettable"
    Norah Jones - both albums
    Acoustic Alchemy - (never go out without these guys)
    The YellowJackets.
    Angela McCluskey - She was on sampler i liked the song - go to order it and they don't sellt the album??? Had to order it??? what's the point of samplers if you don't carry them??? Anyway she has quite a unique voice. Unique will be loathed or loved - she's groing on me. Ther eis a lot of hall effects in her first track which is interesting.

    The Rest:
    Rory Block "Tornado"
    Jesse Cook "Tempest"
    Madonna "Immaculate Collection" - and tracks "Vogue" and "Die Another Day"
    Tina Turner "Simply the Best"
    Dido "Life For Rent"
    Leahy: Lakefield (Excellent fiddle highland dance group from Eastern Canada)
    Sarah McLachlan - Pretty much all of her stuff - including her Re-mixed Trance disc
    Delerium hits - Trance/progressive.
    Phil Collins - But Seriously
    Santana - Abraxas and Shaman
    Loreena McKenitt - Parallell Dreams, The Visit.
    The Outfield "Play Deep and Voices of Babylon"
    Jackson Browne "The Pretender and Running on Empty"
    Areosmith "Pump"
    Motley Crue "Dr.Feelgood"

    Some others I usually bring a lot less- (Lee Morgan, The Beautiful South "Welcom to and Carry on Up the charts", Don Henley "The end of the Innoocence" Gowan, Gloria Estefan "Greatest Hits", Fleetwood Mac "The Dance", Jewel "This Way", Corona "Rythm of the Night" from Dance mx 94, Enya "Sheppard Moon", Sarah Brightman "La Luna", Deanna Carter, Bad Company "Holy water", Amanda Marshall, Eric Clapton "Unplugged", Goo Goo Dolls "Dizzy up the Girl", Linda Rondstadt, Mike Oldfield "Tubular Bells II", Dave Brubeck Quartet "Time out Take Five", David Sanborn "Closu-up, Pearls, SOngs from the Night Before", Patricia Barber "Cafe Blue", Sade "Greatest hits, Promise, Diamond Life, Schindler's List Sound track, Amadeus Soundtrack,

    Yes I had nothing to do tonight.

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    If you had a LOT of time I would do this and you don't need any recordings and you'd be surprised how well it works - Does not require the products fom company who wrote the article either http://www.audionote.co.uk/anp1.htm

    Still - even I don't have the time commitments to follow the article and it would work better if two sets of speakers are at the front of the room which works for Audio Note because they're supposed to be in corners but most speakers should be 3-4feet into the room so comparing 2 like that is very tough.


    Yes I had nothing to do tonight.
    Yo, RGA! Ya' lost? I didn't know you ventured out this far in the woods. Good to see ya here. You know when I saw your title here on this post I ventured a little guess that you'd manage to work AN into the thread. Not that you're predictable or anything... Thanks for making my day.

    For those here who may not stray over into the Speaker forum I offer this little bit of insight into the RGA's parents house which should bring everyone up to speed:

    ***editor's disclaimor: The following events are (probably) fictitious. Any similarity real or imagined to real people or events is (more than likely) a coincidence.

    Momma RGA: Son, I'm glad you came up for dinner tonight you hardly ever leave the basement anymore.

    RGA: Well I'm not happy about it but I'm afraid if I gnaw on the AN cabinets it will affect the bass resonance, then where would I be? I wish Domino's would deliver through the basement window but they said that's just too creepy-the wussies.

    Poppa RGA: Son, you've got to get out of the house-for real-not just to audition speakers. You've got a CRT tan and the music blarring out from the cellar is just annoying and don't go giving me more of that AN gobbledegook. Wouldn't it be nice to go out and meet a nice girl?

    RGA-Girl, what for? (light bulb clicks on) Oh Dad (RGA blushing) don't worry these ANs of mine are ported and Peter Q says...

    Momma RGA-SON! Stop that right now, we're eating here!!! (Poppa RGA just shakes his head wondering just where they went wrong) Well, your father and I have come up with a solution to increase our communication. We'll record some musings of our day and pose some questions to you and we'll record it to CDR and then you can listen to us from your speakers. We will wait for your respones by checking the forums at AR. If you've got time for all those posts for the all those other people living vicariously through the internet, you can make time for us in your posts.

    RGA: Ahh, mom!

    jc

    For those who don't know, RGA admits that he has something of a problem and this is just meant in fun. If it doesn't work out that way just report the post and ask to have it removed since I'll be heading to work now and won't be able to monitor it.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  13. #13
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I've actually listened to Audio Note speakers -- nice imaging, but they didn't handle busy music well.

    I completely disagree with that Audio Note philosophy of auditioning equipment and/or speakers. One needs to know if the weaknesses one is hearing is on the recording or not, and one cannot do that unless one is familiar with the recording.

    Here's my philosophy: buy the most expensive speakers you can. Then you'll brainwash yourself into believing they're the best (within your price range). End of story.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  14. #14
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Here's my philosophy: buy the most expensive speakers you can. Then you'll brainwash yourself into believing they're the best (within your price range). End of story.
    LOL...Sad part is, there's a mountain of truth in this statement...

  15. #15
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    I've actually listened to Audio Note speakers -- nice imaging, but they didn't handle busy music well.

    I completely disagree with that Audio Note philosophy of auditioning equipment and/or speakers. One needs to know if the weaknesses one is hearing is on the recording or not, and one cannot do that unless one is familiar with the recording.

    Here's my philosophy: buy the most expensive speakers you can. Then you'll brainwash yourself into believing they're the best (within your price range). End of story.
    Peter the correct statement should be ,,"then they will burn in""

  16. #16
    RGA
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    Jim Clark

    Now that is truly funny - Indeed i was getting a bit overly addicted to this stuff for a while. But Women come and go - Audio Note hopefully will always be there. And I gots ta say it -- I love playing very busy music nothing does it as well

  17. #17
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Jim Clark

    Now that is truly funny - Indeed i was getting a bit overly addicted to this stuff for a while. But Women come and go - Audio Note hopefully will always be there. And I gots ta say it -- I love playing very busy music nothing does it as well
    At the time I thought it was funnier than heck but then I started getting a little uneasy about it since you and I generally post on different forums and haven't had much interaction. Your Audio Note posts seriously crack me up and I hope you keep plugging away and I'm also glad you took the post as I intended.

    jc
    posting from the lovely confines of Dales Athletic Club
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  18. #18
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    Wow a Sugden A48

    in your equipment list. I haven't seen or heard one of those in a long time, still it's a classic amp, they used to make them about a mile up the road from where I used to live.

    Still back to the question, not that I audition speakers that often, but I would take my own CDR comp, culled from remasters etc. I put it together about 4 years ago and it borders on middle of the road stuff before I really discovered this place and opened up my ears to all sorts of new stuff, but saying that I still enjoy listening to it now and then.

    It's all well recorded and the danger is it sounds good on anything, but I've heard it enough to decide if I'm hearing something new or better than before.

    ARTIST TRACK
    1. Fiona Apple - Shadow Boxer (5:20)
    2. Elysian Fields - Jack In The Box (3:50)
    3. Cracker - Big Dipper (5:33)
    4. Bob Marley - Blackman Redemption R (3:28)
    5. Greg Brown - Small Dark Movie (3:51)
    6. Tears For Fear - Woman In Chains R (6:19)
    7. Dr John - In The Name Of You (4:41)
    8. Sarah Macl’an - Angel (4:23)
    9. John Whelan - Jigs (4:33)
    10. Sting - All This Time R (4:46)
    11. The Clash - Charlie Don’t Surf R (4:49)
    12. The Eagles - Hotel California (7:05)
    13. Rush - Manhattan Project R (4:59)
    14. Grace Jones - Nightclubbing R (4:59)
    15. Rage Machine - Bombtrack (3:59)
    16. Bryan Ferry - Piece Of My Heart R (3:01)
    17. Stacey Kent - Blanket Of Blue (4:01)

    Cheers
    Mike

  19. #19
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    My late few

    My main demo disk is Bob James- Grand Piano Canyon. Pretty much Fourplay before the name change. Familiarity is the main reason as well as how it is recorded along with the various tracks. One includes a Jackhammer for purcussion.

    The disk that made me buy my Dynaudio Audience 82s was SRV Couldn't Stand the Weather. Mainly, Tin Pan Alley. To hear this in the right size room with proper acoustics is awesome to say the least.

    For female vocals I use Annie Haslam's One Enchanted Evening that is recorded live in a little church near me. It has that "You are there" sound.

    Larry & Lee (Carlton-Rittenour) Track 3 is L.A. Underground. It has a bass line that is so deep most systems can not reproduce it in any form but mushed together notes. The Dyns have no trouble with this track as long as your amps has some good control. It realy came to life when I added my Stratos amp to the mix.

    Elements (Danny Gotlieb-Mark Egan) recorded on the Novus label are some high power recordings.

    There are more but these are my main tracks for any system, not just speakers.

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