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    What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

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    sKiZo

    Posts : 1285
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by sKiZo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:37 pm

    Ya, eh ... Nora Jones is the ultimate test for my room ... without proper eq and setup, that one will really push the sonics. If I can get her voice and piano just right, as in my ears aren't bleeding at the end of the record, my work is done. Ain't nuttin' I can throw on that will stress the system more.

    Not to mention it's just some right pleasant tunage ...

    dougmon

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2013-11-04
    Age : 59

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by dougmon on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:15 am

    Abbey Road.
    Bunch of old blues and rockabilly stuff.
    Some vintage Hawaiian stuff.
    Some Blue Note CDs (Kenny Dorham is a big favorite.)
    Some Django.

    Lately I've been listening to a lot of 16th century (and earlier) vocal and instrumental stuff, so if I ever go out to audition equipment again, that'll be there. (I have to admit, I haven't really been in the market for new stereo stuff for the past six years or so....)

    tkemmett

    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2013-10-24

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by tkemmett on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:53 am

    Annie Lennox's Medusa ....most all tracks
    Sara Jarosz' Simple Twist Of Fate
    David Lindley, Mercury Blues
    Dave Brubeck, Take Five
    Tony Rice, Shadows

    pjp3

    Posts : 39
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Age : 54
    Location : Pelham, AL

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by pjp3 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:23 am

    I have to agree with Nora Jones.
    I also like the dynamics on The "Honeydrippers" Volume One.
    The only volume released.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1285
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by sKiZo on Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:41 pm

    One new addition ...

    Gold Bug - Turn of a Friendly Card - Alan Parsons

    That has a really wide stage with identical material left and right. Also has a STRONG center stage with huge gaping holes between the three. Perfect for dialing in the balance.

    Fired that up yesterday and it pointed out what sounded like a slight shift to the right. Tweaked the volume, but that dragged the midrange over too far. Volume back down, and adjusted the parametric eq a touch in the upper mids.

    cheers 


    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:03 pm

    sKiZo wrote:One new addition ...

    Gold Bug - Turn of a Friendly Card - Alan Parsons

    That has a really wide stage with identical material left and right. Also has a STRONG center stage with huge gaping holes between the three. Perfect for dialing in the balance.

    Fired that up yesterday and it pointed out what sounded like a slight shift to the right. Tweaked the volume, but that dragged the midrange over too far. Volume back down, and adjusted the parametric eq a touch in the upper mids.

    cheers 

    'Zat like a Paramedic EQ?

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1285
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:05 am

    Q. What did the Paramedic say to the stroke patient with left side paralysis?
    A. You're going to be all right!

    Brap

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2013-11-28
    Age : 61
    Location : Lisle, Illinois

    Favorite Test CD's

    Post by Brap on Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:20 pm

    Personally, I use Sheffield Lab's CD's for new gear and listening to speakers. "Drive" is a great collection of genre. Michael Ruff doing "That's not Me" is an excellent track. Listen for the cow bell!

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:41 pm

    Dang it all now I want to go listen to something.  I'm getting to the bank in a couple days to get a check out to some guy named "Bob" to get my VT70 kit (tee hee!!)  But I have a question.  Folks keep referencing a LOT of vinyl.  How does one know if it's a newer pressing or off the original master tapes?  I can't find this information easily for LP's.  I don't have a turntable (yet) and have been looking about and wondering if catalog numbers are searchable to find out if they're from the original master recording or not.  Am I right in assuming some later pressings might be from the CD and not of high quality?  And finally: if it's CD, is it the "Gold" or "Mobile Fidelity" etc or what release?  Isn't that information critically important in this discussion?

    EDIT: I have nowhere locally to buy LP's unless a record/CD fair comes through so I'm pretty much stuck to the internet.

    daveshel

    Posts : 147
    Join date : 2011-11-06
    Location : Tucson AZ USA

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by daveshel on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:01 am

    Mobile Fidelity Sounds Labs at mfsl.com and Music Direct at musicdirect.com come to mind if you don't want to mess with ebay.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:34 am

    Laminarman wrote:Dang it all now I want to go listen to something.  I'm getting to the bank in a couple days to get a check out to some guy named "Bob" to get my VT70 kit (tee hee!!)  But I have a question.  Folks keep referencing a LOT of vinyl.  How does one know if it's a newer pressing or off the original master tapes?  I can't find this information easily for LP's.  I don't have a turntable (yet) and have been looking about and wondering if catalog numbers are searchable to find out if they're from the original master recording or not.  Am I right in assuming some later pressings might be from the CD and not of high quality?  And finally: if it's CD, is it the "Gold" or "Mobile Fidelity" etc or what release?  Isn't that information critically important in this discussion?

    EDIT: I have nowhere locally to buy LP's unless a record/CD fair comes through so I'm pretty much stuck to the internet.
    You're at the mercy of the vinyl or CD marketers as to the nature of the source material for a particular pressing or issue.  I have one or two very crummy LPs that seem to have been just duped off an equally crummy CD.  "Re-mastered" is another double-edged sword, as in some cases the original mix was better. I've never owned a bad Mobile Fidelity recording, whether CD or vinyl; those guys have been around a long time, at least since Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus, and seem to know what they're doing. A good website for both vinyl and optical media is Elusive Disc; between them and Mo-Fi you can find about anything. Recordsbymail.com is another great source.
    If you're buying old vinyl look for first-pressings. That's when the master press was least worn. Those mostly went to radio stations and music critics and are marked "Not for Sale" and often look like cut-outs.
    Living out in the sticks needn't limit your access to vinyl. Garage and moving sales, thrift stores, etc., can turn up some real beauties. I bought a stack of near-virgin Brubeck early Columbia releases and got change back from a fiver. Still looking for that box of Sheffield Labs releases for under a buck, but it will happen . . . probably in the same yard that's got the '56 Vette under a tarp for sale for $50.

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:31 am

    Dee..thank you for the feedback and advice. My son and I were in Audio Classics and they have a small, worn selection of LP's. He's 12, and he said, "Dad! Look at these cool musician posters." I pulled one out and he asked what it was and I suddenly felt a bit older.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1285
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by sKiZo on Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:01 pm

    Lucky me ... I have a premier record store a pleasant drive away ...



    Bopped down yesterday in fact and came back with a couple earlier releases by Bonnie Raitt and Leo Kottke. Corner Records also share a roof with Wayback Audio - they sell premier equipment, and there's usually a few fanatics hanging around for chit chat. While they were trying to sell me Rogue and Jolida, I was telling them all about Latino ... cheers 

    And ya ... remasters are a bit of a crap shoot. The good ones do clean up the recordings quite a bit and yet maintain the integrity of the piece ... the bad ones clean them up too much and get sterile. Eliminating all the tape and transcription noise can also remove important dynamics and it just doesn't sound the same ... a very fine line. Determining that line and not crossing is where the magic can happen.

    Good example > the King Crimson anniversary editions
    Bad example > pretty much any of the Peter Gabriel re-issues

    I'd also add The Beatles "super disks" to the bad example list - very clean, but they lose a lot of the grit of the early releases.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:20 pm

    This got me to remembering, about two years ago, the Fred Meyer store in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho mistakenly ordered vinyl instead of their usual CDs for a big pre-Christmas re-stock. The vinyl arrived and they had no bins for it, and for some reason the store couldn't return 'em, so they put 'em out for a song (pardon the pun) just to get rid of 'em; there were bargains galore! Naturally, I heard about that one after the fact.

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:12 pm

    Van Morrison, Born to Sing: No Plan B. The track "Going down to Monte Carlo."

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:28 pm

    I had forgotten this all-time classic: "Music for Non-Thinkers," by the Guckenheimer Saurkraut Band, recorded in the Crystal Room at Gumps Department Store in San Francisco in the mid-1950s.

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:04 pm

    deepee99 wrote:I had forgotten this all-time classic: "Music for Non-Thinkers," by the Guckenheimer Saurkraut Band, recorded in the Crystal Room at Gumps Department Store in San Francisco in the mid-1950s.

     confused  That sounds utterly un-enjoyable Smile

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:27 pm

    Laminarman wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:I had forgotten this all-time classic: "Music for Non-Thinkers," by the Guckenheimer Saurkraut Band, recorded in the Crystal Room at Gumps Department Store in San Francisco in the mid-1950s.

     confused   That sounds utterly un-enjoyable Smile

    Ahhh, much to learn, Grasshopper, much to learn . . . Smile

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:52 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    Laminarman wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:I had forgotten this all-time classic: "Music for Non-Thinkers," by the Guckenheimer Saurkraut Band, recorded in the Crystal Room at Gumps Department Store in San Francisco in the mid-1950s.

     confused   That sounds utterly un-enjoyable Smile

    Ahhh, much to learn, Grasshopper, much to learn . . . Smile

    I used to love that show!!!!

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:55 pm

    Laminarman wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:
    Laminarman wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:I had forgotten this all-time classic: "Music for Non-Thinkers," by the Guckenheimer Saurkraut Band, recorded in the Crystal Room at Gumps Department Store in San Francisco in the mid-1950s.

     confused   That sounds utterly un-enjoyable Smile

    Ahhh, much to learn, Grasshopper, much to learn . . . Smile

    I used to love that show!!!!  

    We're showing our age, methinks.

    Donkeyshins

    Posts : 19
    Join date : 2011-07-18

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Donkeyshins on Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:29 am

    I've found that Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is an excellent way to test your system (vinyl or CD - both are excellently mastered). Whatever I'm listening to has to be musically engaging, so I'd rather go with 'Double Nickels On the Dime' (which was very obviously recorded on a budget) than some audiophile gem with a performance that bores me to tears.

    -D

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 128
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:50 am

    My VTA St 70, VTA preamp and tubes are all still breaking in. I use side three of Electric Ladyland to hear the improving sound. Loud.

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: What are your favorite "test" CD's or LP's ?

    Post by Laminarman on Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:45 pm

    Donkeyshins wrote:I've found that Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is an excellent way to test your system (vinyl or CD - both are excellently mastered).  Whatever I'm listening to has to be musically engaging, so I'd rather go with 'Double Nickels On the Dime' (which was very obviously recorded on a budget) than some audiophile gem with a performance that bores me to tears.

    -D

    I hear you. I bought some highly regarded Miles Davis and John Coltrain. God, I wanted to suck on a gas pipe it was boring. It's all personal taste and we have to enjoy our music.

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