Top 2 Test Tracks

audioluvr
audioluvr Posts: 3,317
edited March 2019 in The Clubhouse
What are your top two "go to" test tracks for testing audio equipment and what are you specifically listening for in these tracks? Here are mine:

Beatles 1: The Ballad of John and Yoko. Location of each voice and the realism that's portrayed in them. Guitar string action and decay. Individual Percussion instrument locations, action and decay.

Charlotte Cardin Drive: Drive. Realism of female voice. Digital cymbal location in far left. Bass Guitar control.
Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

by Dr. Sardonicus
«1

Comments

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,367
    edited March 2019
    David Benoit "ReBach"
    Donald Fagen "Morph the Cat"

    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 2,022
    Grover Washington Jr.... Reed Seed.... will reveal an RD0194's weakness real quick.

    Same artist..... E Preciso Perdoar.....
    Test your tweets and MW's capabilities.



  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,317
    Thanks! Good start going on here. Who else?
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • verb
    verb Posts: 9,809
    For me, either Deadmau5 or Juno Reactor to get some really good bass notes.
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cables, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, Northstar Designs Intenso DAC, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,317
    steveinaz wrote: »
    David Benoit "ReBach"

    Really digging David Benoit! Thanks Steve!
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • tophatjohnny
    tophatjohnny Posts: 3,311
    With me it's the Top.2000 so too.many 2 list..but Wooden Ships for separation and as mentioned Morph the Cat (and anything off that album) are sure bets. Plus 1800 other goodies. 😂🎩
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,367
    edited March 2019
    audioluvr wrote: »
    steveinaz wrote: »
    David Benoit "ReBach"

    Really digging David Benoit! Thanks Steve!

    That "Every step of the way" album is fantastic. "Rebach" has a lot of mid-bass growl that I use to see how accurately a speaker can pull it off, without sounding "wooly". Lots of great drive as well. That's a tune that I always grab a handful of volume knob on. The recording is excellent, but a touch bright in the treble. It will expose "over cooked" tweeters.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • codycatalist
    codycatalist Posts: 2,661
    Ai - Motohiro Hata
    You tell me that i'm falling down - Linda Ronstadt
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • MrBuhl
    MrBuhl Posts: 2,419
    Tunnel of Love - Dire Straits (Actually the whole Making Movies CD)
    Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (start to finish the whole thing)
    VA HT HK AVR20II, Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD, Polk Audio RC80i / Polk Audio CSi3, 60" Panasonic Plasma, Nordost / Signal Cable A2 / Wireworld / Pangea / Magic Power
    VA 2 Channel Focal Electra 926 speakers, Pass Labs X150.5 Amp, Eastern Electric MiniMax Preamp (Tutay mods), Eastern Electric Minimax CDP (Scott Nixon mods), Music Hall mmf 5.1 Turntable, Parks Audio Budgie Phono Pre , Audioengine B1 streamer, MIT S3 IC's / MIT Shotgun S3 Speaker Cables / PS Audio power cables
    Noggin Schiit Valhalla, Pangea, Phillips Fidelio X1, Polk UF8000

    Polk SDA1c modded
    Polk CRS+ 4.1TL modded (need veneer)
    Polk SDA2BTL (fully modded)
    A/L 1000VA Dreadnought Canare 4s11 SDA cable
    SACD Marantz DV8300
    Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD
    Yamaha YP-D6
    Soundcraftsmen PCR800
    Audible Illusions L1 Preamp
    Vincent MFA based Cocci Tube Preamp
    Pho-700 Phono Pre
    Signal Cable Silver Resolution IC's






  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 14,412
    edited March 2019
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • WagnerRC
    WagnerRC Posts: 2,014
    The wall in entirety is a blast from the past and well worth it. Dire straits “why worry” is good too.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,317
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 9,284
    Knopfler “Donnegan’s Gone” or ”Shanghai-La” off his Shangri-La SACD. I prefer to test gear out listening to SACDs.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,359
    audioluvr wrote: »

    oh, yah...

    but, FWIW...

    I have more than two, but these two would always be near the top of the list, especially for loudspeaker assessment.

    1) for vocals and general "they are here" real-ness



    2) for bass (specifically, for quality, quantity, and to see if there are any screws loose and/or issues with drivers!)




    Obviously B) I don't use the YT videos for serious assessment, but this way y'all can try before you buy.
  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 2,878
    edited March 2019
    steveinaz wrote: »
    David Benoit "ReBach"
    Donald Fagen "Morph the Cat"
    Nice, I'm a GRP Records fan as well. Chick Corea - Light Years on GRP was my first new CD. I've had several tapes and records from that label.
    xschop wrote: »
    Grover Washington Jr.... Reed Seed.... will reveal an RD0194's weakness real quick.
    Same artist..... E Preciso Perdoar.....
    Test your tweets and MW's capabilities.
    I love Grover!

    Jazz lovers in the house! I Love it! Myself, I have several cuts that I know are not the best recordings out there but I love the music and have listened to these on SO many systems. Cuts like:
    Yellowjackets - Like a River
    Quincy Jones - The Places You Find Love
    Fourplay - Chant

    However, for the top two I would go with some old standby audiophile HIGH dynamic range tracks that I use more so for testing than music that I listen to everyday.

    FILM & THE B.B.'s - Tricycle (DMP label)
    http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=&album=Tricycle
    Just look at the dynamic range above. I read about this cut in a stereo magazine ages ago and its has been in my collection ever since as a test and tuning disc. This cut will rip a weak system a new one. A great system will make the piano, bass, and dry sounding drum kit very realistic and tight! Man is that kick drum tight! and great punch from the toms! Here's some background on this track:
    Flim and the BB's recorded its second album, Tricycle, for DMP Digital Music Products, an audiophile record label started by Tom Jung. The album was the first non-classical recording to be released in compact disc format. It was recorded on the Mitsubishi X-80 digital audio recorder at Sound 80. The disc displayed the full dynamic range available in CDs, becoming a popular test disc for this reason. It was also the first jazz album to be recorded, mastered, and delivered in the digital domain. The recording chain, after the first few feet of microphone cable from the musicians' instruments, remained in the digital domain until it was decoded by the consumer's CD player. DMP's releases were for the most part recorded directly to two-tracks as opposed to the more common multi-track method. This means that there was minimal use of overdubs and the majority of the music was performed, recorded, and mixed "live" to the digital recorder.[3] The cover art for Tricycle was drawn by Bill Berg's son Jacob.

    IGOR STRAVINSKY- DAVID ZINMAN/ BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
    Track 6 - Infernal Dance of King Kastchei from the Firebird (TELARC Label)

    Very dynamic with delicate soft passages and bombastic loud passages with a WIDE and DEEP stage. Again, this track will kill a weak system as the quiet passage will be muddy and the loud passage will cause breakup. When everything is right, one will get that "Best Seat" in a concert hall feel!
  • aiconn
    aiconn Registered User Posts: 277
    I use a couple of tracks that I know well, and have used since the late 80s/ early 90s. From The Music of Espionage by Spies I like track 3 - Interlude for it's bass notes. I use Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me from Luck of the Draw to judge overall tone and smoothness.
    PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC/Preamp
    Denon DVD 2910
    Quad 12L Active Monitors
    Marin Logan Dynamo 700W
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,359
    edited March 2019
    . . . . .
    (I may come back to this anon)

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,367
    I have quite a few DMP selections/samplers. Very, very good recordings---I think they're all DDD.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,367
    edited March 2019
    aiconn wrote: »
    I use a couple of tracks that I know well, and have used since the late 80s/ early 90s. From The Music of Espionage by Spies I like track 3 - Interlude for it's bass notes. I use Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me from Luck of the Draw to judge overall tone and smoothness.

    "I can't make you love me" is simply spectacular, both in a music sense, and recording. Her voice is haunting. Love Bruce Hornsbys' piano in it as well.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • stretchl
    stretchl Posts: 1,318
    Great thread!

    “The Ballad of Bill Hubbard,” on Roger Waters’ “Amused to Death.” Widest soundstage I’ve heard. Both spoken word (Ww 1 soldier Alf Razzell) and Waters’ pleading drone.

    Makes perfect sense! :D
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
    - Isaac Asimov

    Hi-Fi
    Apple Lossless --> Squeezebox Touch --> Joule Electra LA-100 Mark iii --> Yaqin MC-10t --> LSiM-705's
    Cabling by Groneberg
    Visuals
    http://StretchPhotography.com
    http://Vimeo.com/channels/stretchphoto
  • simm
    simm Posts: 524
    stretchl wrote: »
    Great thread!

    “The Ballad of Bill Hubbard,” on Roger Waters’ “Amused to Death.” Widest soundstage I’ve heard. Both spoken word (Ww 1 soldier Alf Razzell) and Waters’ pleading drone.

    Makes perfect sense! :D

    That track is amazing on SDA’s
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 14,412
    aiconn wrote: »
    I use a couple of tracks that I know well, and have used since the late 80s/ early 90s. From The Music of Espionage by Spies I like track 3 - Interlude for it's bass notes. I use Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me from Luck of the Draw to judge overall tone and smoothness.

    Hello, I will be honest...I do not know you from Adam. However, your post here perked my ears or raised an eyebrow. In a positive light, mind you.

    You should post more often, sir (or ma'am).

    Tom

    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • mrloren
    mrloren Posts: 2,368
    Gee,

    I have a few to many.

    1. Dire Straits, Money for Nothing SACD
    2. Pink Floyd Wish you Were Here SACD
    3. Rush 2112
    4. Tychaikovsky 1812 overture by Cincinnati Pops SACD.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN75RU710DFXZA,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk LsiM 705
    Center: Polk LSiM 704C
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES AVR, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc
    Cerwin Vega AT-12 (blasters) Advent Prodigy (listening)
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,317
    edited March 2019
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    I really like this one! It has a broad variety of imaging and frequency testing sounds. Definitely a great SDA track.

    ... working down the list from there...
    mrloren wrote: »
    Gee,

    I have a few to many.

    1. Dire Straits, Money for Nothing SACD
    2. Pink Floyd Wish you Were Here SACD
    3. Rush 2112
    4. Tychaikovsky 1812 overture by Cincinnati Pops SACD.

    All great tracks! I have a Rush Exit Stage Left SACD that I really like to use also for showing off my SDA's to friends. The first few tracks sound kind of like the crappy non SACD recordings but "Trees" and "Xanadu" are really cool!
    Post edited by audioluvr on
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • BC6
    BC6 Posts: 109
    I always listen to Bruce Cockburn's Incandescent Blue from Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws album first. Not because it's a great test of a system, but because it's the song that started me on the audio journey. It starts with a guitar ostinato in the left channel, then brings a big bass drop. I remember vividly listening at a friend's house and being blown away by the surprise and sudden thud of the bass. I've spent decades and thousands of dollars trying to recreate that moment, but finally realized it was about the moment and not the equipment. I'll never have that same surprise again, but I always listen to that song first to remind of the magic music can bring.
    2 Channel: Atohm GT-1 speakers, Atoll IN400 integrated amp, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB with Ortofon Bronze cartridge, SotM sMS-200 ultra streamer, SotM sPS-500 power supply, and homemade infinite baffle subwoofer with two Fi Audio IB318 drivers.

    HT: All Polk: SDA 2.3tl fronts, CSiA6 center, 500-LS ceiling, RT/FX, RTi8, Monitor 4 rears, plus Yamaha CX-a5100 AV Preamplifier/Processor, Yamaha MX-a5000 11.1 channel amplifier, and Sony XBR55-AE1 OLED TV.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,359
    BC6 wrote: »
    I always listen to Bruce Cockburn's Incandescent Blue from Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws album first. Not because it's a great test of a system, but because it's the song that started me on the audio journey. It starts with a guitar ostinato in the left channel, then brings a big bass drop. I remember vividly listening at a friend's house and being blown away by the surprise and sudden thud of the bass. I've spent decades and thousands of dollars trying to recreate that moment, but finally realized it was about the moment and not the equipment. I'll never have that same surprise again, but I always listen to that song first to remind of the magic music can bring.

    Funny, I love Bruce Cockburn & I love that album, but that particular track I don't often play... I guess I should give it a spin again sometime soon!

    Thanks!

    :)
  • stretchl
    stretchl Posts: 1,318
    I’ll also add Joss Stone’s heavy breathing (oh... her singing too) on the opening track of The Soul Sessions, “The Chokin’ Kind.”

    I always need a cold shower after that one.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
    - Isaac Asimov

    Hi-Fi
    Apple Lossless --> Squeezebox Touch --> Joule Electra LA-100 Mark iii --> Yaqin MC-10t --> LSiM-705's
    Cabling by Groneberg
    Visuals
    http://StretchPhotography.com
    http://Vimeo.com/channels/stretchphoto
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    Billie Jean from Thriller
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,228
    edited March 2019
    Super Tuff to answer this with only 2 tracks. I use about 10-20 different tracks depending on what I am hearing.
    I usually start out with "Bonny Portman" off the "The Visit" Album by Loreena Mckinnett.
    Once I determine my emotional connection or not I move to "Mercy Street" off the "Winter Nights" Album by Al Di Meola. This song is another one that takes you on a journey and only the best sounding speakers can really pull you into the music instead of just listening. If I loose myself in either of these songs then I know I'm listening to a very good system.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,433
    Fleetwood Mac - The Chain, off the Rumors DVD Audio - it HAS to be the DVD-Audio high res version. The improvement in sound quality over the CD and/or LP is significant. The separation, clarity and staging are sublime.

    Dishwalla - Candleburn, off the Opaline DVD Audio (High res version, not 5.1). The detail and presence, especially in the opening, is outstanding.

    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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