What songs/pieces do you listen to to test challenge speakers?
Please state artist and song and maybe what exactly you're trying to test.
- Keith Jarret "the Koln concert"
- George Winston " Summer" - "December"
- Pat Metheny & Charlie H. " Beyond the missoury sky"
plus, in the same session
- Bob Dylan " MTV unplugged"
- Suzanne Vega "Solitude standing"
- Ry Cooder "Jazz"
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band " When the circle be unbroken vol.2"
- AC/DC " Back in black"
( ALL: standard Compact Disc version)
Strange "combination", eh? They have opposite "caratheristics".
Maybe you can say one or two of these are bad recording. IMO this is not true 100%. Please listen first with a good earphones and then with your ultra high end speakers..... ;)
When modifying / tweaking, I often use:
Jenifer Warnes-"The Hunter"CD, for bass-musicality, track8: way down deep.
Dire Straits "On Every Street", track1: Calling Elvis, I find useful for checking "attac"
Nils Lofgren "Acoustic Live" for clarity & detail...
I like to use the old News Bose album on vinyl. It is the most natural sounding recording that I have ever heard and demonstrates the good qualities of a speaker very well.
IMO doesnt matter what it is you choose to listen to aslong as its something you know very well. So if there is any slight difference in the way the song/tune is delivered your sure to notice it.
Additionally you do want it to cover the entire audio spectrum. No use listening to a string quartet of a viola two violins and a cello if you are wanted to try out your new sub!
I think something that really has a demanding range of sounds and authority is Dave Brubeck's Take Five.
The piano and horn are so sweet and toned, while the drum solo and bass can really set you back with their assertiveness during the syncopated beats in the 5/4 time.
There are hundreds of other pieces of music I like to try though. ;) That's the fun of it.
is a good test song
-- Yellow Jacket, Run for Your Life;
-- Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, World Music Tour;
-- Ramsey Lewis, Sky Islands;
-- Eric Kunzel, Ein Straussfest;
-- IASCA test disc;
-- Sting, Ten Summoner's Tales;
-- Sade, Life-Promise-Pride-Love;
-- The Lion King (I test my loudspeaker with my twin kids :) )
KLF's "the white room" has lots of HF transients that can actually "free up" your speakers - dont blame me this comes from my memories of either, "Hifi Choice" or "what hi-fi" from when I was a kid. still its hard work for most kit
Annie lennox' little bird has some very Looooow notes on it too. which a surprising number of systems fall flat on, in fact complete failure to reproduce is possible.
Then for speed howmanynotescanyougetinwithoutitgettingmessy I'd have toccatta because its fast, or flight of the wounded bumblebee by Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt, can you pick out every note?
I'd also second 5th elements comments, pick something you're recently familiar with to see what your expecting matches / is surpassed by what you're hearing. Lamb, not the most complex piece of music, but if I don't like the way it sounds I can pack it up.
For me the beautiful thing about hifi is the ability to really listen to any single instrument in the piece if music. So picking something you can follow thats multilayered will soon tell you what you're listening to. If you're familiar with the piece as well this is a very effective test.
Some of my reference CD's
Kari Bremnes: Over en by (Vocals and Midrange dynamics)
Ivar Kleive & Knut Reiersrud: Himmelskip (Bass dynamics, attack and Power handling)
Nils Lofgren: Acoustic live (Clarity and transients)
Allison Kraus & Union Station: live (Clarity, space and background noise)
Mark Knopfler, Pink floyd, Rammstein ++ For musicality and Fun factor.
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