Music to soothe the savage tubes.

Does anyone have a song that MUST play when test listening to their amplifiers? I'd like some suggestions of music to create a compilation CD for testing. I've been fiddling with a tube amp for a few days now and sometimes I feel I have a nice sound until I go through my CD collection and find some instrument in some song that jumps out at me in a bad way.

My taste of music varies and all suggestions are welcome. I have a niche for soft classic rock from the 70s and 80s.

Peter Gabrial - Games without frontiers. In my opinion, this song's percussion really stands out on quality equipment. It feels as if the percussive instruments are right next to me. The whistling also makes distortion stand out like a sore thumb. Would that be harmonic distortion?

Phil Collins - Another day in paradise. This song has a wide feel and many subtle sounds that would go unnoticed on poor equipment.

Pink Floyd - Dark side of the moon. Can't forget this. I love to sit back with my eyes closed and listen for something new. How many times have you said "I've never heard that before" the first time you heard it through quality headphones? :)

Classical music is always a great test. I'd love some suggestions. Perhapse something on the pipe organ? Give me tracks that have the highest highs, the lowest lows, and everything imaginable in between.
 

wdcw

Member
2010-07-21 11:21 pm
Gday lazzer408,

Here's a couple, the problem is you'll find out where my head is at.

YouTube - Europa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile), Santana
YouTube - Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
YouTube - Steve Vai - "Tender Surrender"

Some Bass
YouTube - Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - 1973 - Original

Average Aussie Guitarist ha!
YouTube - Tommy Emmanuel - Classical Gas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYmIKcP7Nbc
This last one is a guy in his lounge room, it has some very high shrill harmonics in parts.
It would be easy to tell if your amp has changed the sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1OYzH0Teo8

Cheers
 

M Gregg

Disabled Account
2010-06-28 11:04 pm
UK
Sweet as a flower. Walter trout band. << Just like it!

John Lee Hooker & Santana, The healer.

Mary black, moon and St Christopher--Revolution By beatles << Vocals and distortion. Not a great fan of revolution, however I have heard a lot of equipment seem to fall apart with this. The mix gets in a real mess!
 
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what about "sixty years on", by elton john from the album "Elton 60 - live at madison square garden"... I like that version..

Peter Framton "show me the way" (or any other you like) from the album "Frampton comes alive" (Edit: better if you have the vinyl record!)

maybe you can try with some jazz for the mids tones and the percussion...sth like "hide and seek" by joshua redman (Edit: also I like when you can hear some detail, as the player breathing and that kind of stuff; those details are more noticeable in a good sound system)...
 
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Peter Nero, "Young & Warm & Wonderful" Album, "Secret Love" cut. RCA LSP-2484. Solo top octave grand piano, intensely difficult to reproduce. Also some soft jangly percussion on other cuts. Can be compared against your own house Steinway for calibration. Not my favorite song musically, but great for testing intermodulation distortion. ZZ Top "Afterburner" CD or LP, "Woke up with w***" cut. Bass drum is taut like my band director taught us to adjust it: bass drums should go "whap", not "booog". Tests woofer damping and time alignment over frequency. Rudolf Serkin, Beethoven Sonatas, Colombia MYK37219 CD, also LP version. Cut 3 Moonlight "presto agitato". Intense loud piano hits, IM distortion at loud levels. My 1961 ADC phono cartridge wouldn't track this LP properly, but the 1970 Grado FTE would.
 
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Music to soothe the savage tubes. What constitutes "savage tubes" ?

Quote:- bass drums should go "whap", not "booog". Yes, but low end music should be felt as well as heard. That means shifting air and not very many L.speakers can do this given alot of rooms are small. A well damped base-loaded reflex cabinet is excellent for artillery pieces but that can only come about when the amp transient reponse is optimised.

My version of Vangelis Reprise has a suprisingly low S/N ratio, esp Psalmus Ode with a clear voice. This comes out better on tube amps than SS.
Perhaps, the quality of many CD's of that era is a tribute to the very low noise analogue mixing desks of the 1990's period. In comparison by todays lot, I am often appalled by the poor noise and buzzes which marr the quality of modern digital recordings.


richy
 
I prefer mine, I recorded it long time ago and listen since then to test amps and speakers.

http://wavebourn.com/rain_helicopter.mp3

With clean reproduction it sounds very real. The trick is, what is recorded is well familiar, but unlike musical instruments are not remembered how they sound through other amps/speakers. So listening to it you compare with real sounds, not reproduced.
 
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Classical music used to demonstrate audiophile equiptment is usually of the very colourful type often with a veritable battery of percussion instruments; Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, Ravel etc. If you really want to challenge you amplifiers, see if it can separate the much more grey-coloured orchestration of a Brahms symphony. Also any multipart choral work.
 
Music to soothe the savage tubes. What constitutes "savage tubes" ?

Tubes are beasts. Large powerfull electron valves running at lethal voltages. It's amasing that electronics have come so far since the tube. 1 volt ICs packing 3 billion transistors is mind boggling yet the tube is more fascinating and mystifying to me. It's big, hot, bulky, and simplistic yet the tiniest whisper is amplified with seemingly perfect clarity. The music sounds alive. It breathes. It produces a more emotional experience with it's warmth, clarity, and soul. The beast lives.

I'm sure everyone has seen this. YouTube - 1000W Amplifier Philips EL6471 at full power At 2:45, can you feel it? :D That's what I'm talking about.