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  1. #1

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    Default Simple question, maybe not.

    "For accurate and demanding purposes, can anybody fill me in as to what YOU use as a "test reference" CD, SACD (or vinyl)?"

    Edit: allow me to clarify....What music do you listen to to test your system?
    Last edited by treitz3; 12-11-2007 at 12:43 AM.
    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". - Kenneth Swauger

  2. #2

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    Because I have no other sources and I'm a college student, I use an ipod and a combination of organ, piano, classical, and vocal pieces with which I am very familiar. An ipod is not recommended, but it's better than unfamiliar songs played on an unknown CD player.
    My system

    "The world is an ever evolving clusterf*ck." --treitz3

  3. #3

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    Let me rephrase, of the aforementioned formats....For accurate and demanding purposes, can anybody fill me in as to what YOU use as a "test reference"?
    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". - Kenneth Swauger

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    good question....I would like to know that myself
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  5. #5
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    I just purchased the HiFi News, Cardas, and The Analogue Test records. All three have something different to offer in challenging and setting up an analog rig.

    Three of the actual reference LPs I use when checking out something new in the rig are Pink Floyd's, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond & Welcome to the Machine;" Telarc's Tchaikovsky's, "Capriccio Italien;" and finally "Jazz at the Pawnshop" the 180gm pressing.

    PS: I forgot, I always use Zuben Mehta & The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's performance of "The Swan Lake & Nutcraker Suites."

    Those four pieces of music are all I need to check the musicality of an addition to my rig.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    I just purchased the HiFi News, Cardas, and The Analogue Test records. All three have something different to offer in challenging and setting up an analog rig.
    We need to start another thread on this. That, my friend is valuable information for my vinyl front.

    TXS for the rest of the references Joe. ;)
    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". - Kenneth Swauger

  7. #7

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    I have reported Joe as he discriminated and deliberately left digital out of his post.:p:D I agree with him that test LPís are good for setting up, but music is the true test. I also eagerly await his comments on the two test LPís I donít have. Iím not sure if the Cardas and Analogue Test records come with universal protractors, but if one has the need, the HiFi News LP comes with a nice one.

    The Rives Test CD contains some partial tracks of excellent sounding Mapleshade recordings. Other than that I use excellent recordings of material that I like to hear. It doesnít have to be exotic material either. Police, Ghost in the machine and Syncronicity have a deep bass range with great impact and dynamics. Steely Dan Aja and Gaucho are also excellent choices. So are Dire Straits, and we could go on and on. I am fond of Patty Larkinís Regrooving The Dream CD for demos.
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    I would highly recommend a good test LP. One of my faves is an old Fisher test LP.

    That said, it depends on what you are looking for....for bass response, pick up the Telarc disc Round-Up. The cut from the William Tell Overature will separate the 'haves' from the 'have nots'

    One of my fave demo discs is Jennifer Warnes "The Hunter".....I also have a direct recorded, unedited master recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons that I use (however, you can't find this one anywhere because it was never for sale)...however there are several good versions out there.

    BDT

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nms View Post
    Because I have no other sources and I'm a college student, I use an ipod and a combination of organ, piano, classical, and vocal pieces with which I am very familiar. An ipod is not recommended, but it's better than unfamiliar songs played on an unknown CD player.
    I don't think that an iPod is a terrible source...but, we've got to get you out of the dark ages. When I get back, lemme rummage around.....I might be able to come up with something on the cheapish to free side.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

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    SACD: "Dark Side Of The Moon" hybrid multichannel, "Boston" SL stereo
    CD: Queens "A Day At The Races"
    DVD: Roger Waters' "Live In The Flesh"
    I'm no audiophile, but these sources represent a wide spectrum of sounds.
    Good luck.
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD View Post
    I don't think that an iPod is a terrible source...but, we've got to get you out of the dark ages. When I get back, lemme rummage around.....I might be able to come up with something on the cheapish to free side.

    BDT
    If done properly it makes a great source. However, there are many other factors that come into play. Such as what quality the music was ripped at, whether your going through the 1/8th jack or through the Ipod connector, whether your going through the Ipod connect or Ipod Dock(for charging), the cable quality you choose, etc.

    I wish someone would come by and have a listen on my 2ch Ipod rig, I wanna see what people think of how it compares to other media formats.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    I have reported Joe as he discriminated and deliberately left digital out of his post.:p:D
    Guilty as charged but only because of lack of experience in my own rig with digital.

    If I had to recommend good digital references however it would the Mapleshade sampler CDs. Diverse music that is very, very well recorded.

  13. #13
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    I'd have my set reference material right now. This is stuff I would throw in for my set generation and friends who would visit.


    HD-DVD - Transformers
    BR – Cars
    SACD – NIN (only because my collection is extremely limited)
    DVD-A – The Police (limited)
    DTS – The Police (limited)
    CD (Sctually Wav format) – Lincoln Park: Minutes to midnight (contemporary) / Rush Chronicles (classic: My generation).

  14. #14

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    I use the stereophile test cd #2 and a mix cd I made which has a mix of classical, acapella vocal, strings, as well as more modern styles such as rap and electronica. Every system is sweating by the time it's done with that cd ;)
    Lovin that music year after year.

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD View Post
    I don't think that an iPod is a terrible source...but, we've got to get you out of the dark ages. When I get back, lemme rummage around.....I might be able to come up with something on the cheapish to free side.

    BDT
    You guys are way too nice! That would be wonderful!
    My system

    "The world is an ever evolving clusterf*ck." --treitz3

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I was originally speaking of music that you listen to. I apologize for not being clear in my question to begin with. What music do you listen to to test your system?
    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". - Kenneth Swauger

  17. #17

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    Donald Fagen: Kamakiriad or Nightfly
    Or for you metal heads out there: Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power.
    Goat horns in the air!!!!

  18. #18
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    Excerpt from Post#5;

    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Three of the actual reference LPs I use when checking out something new in the rig are Pink Floyd's, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond & Welcome to the Machine;" Telarc's Tchaikovsky's, "Capriccio Italien;" and finally "Jazz at the Pawnshop" the 180gm pressing.

    PS: I forgot, I always use Zuben Mehta & The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's performance of "The Swan Lake & Nutcraker Suites."

    Those four pieces of music are all I need to check the musicality of an addition to my rig.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Excerpt from Post#5;
    snob.;)

  20. #20

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    Why buy a test CD? I simply use a couple of my favorite CDs.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50Ē LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

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  21. #21

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    Same here EB. When Mark & I went to Goodwin's I brought along a cd that had 10 of my favorite songs on it to check out the speakers.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    Why buy a test CD?

    No one has to buy a test anything. If you don't have a use for one, don't buy it. My Rives test CD has 1/3 octave test tones from 20-20kHz, compensated tones for the Radio Shack SPL meter, phase testing along with Mapleshade Recordings for subjective testing.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Guilty as charged but only because of lack of experience in my own rig with digital.
    J/K bud. Did you report me?:D
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    If I had to recommend good digital references however it would the Mapleshade sampler CDs. Diverse music that is very, very well recorded.
    I just picked up their sampler and have to agree, it's very well recorded and has something for everyone on it.

    For vinyl I listen to MoFi's release of Bob Marley Catch a Fire.

    Digital it's DSOTM SACD or the Mapleshade release.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  25. #25
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    I like to use certain songs from these particular disc's to help me determine SQ differences when I change something in my system.


    Donald Fagen-Morph the Cat DVD-A and CD.-Title track has dynamic and punchy mid bass.

    Barenaked Ladies-Gordon -good male voice test.

    Porcupine Tree-Stupid Dream track #11 and Chuck Loeb -Simple Things track #7 both tracks are great tests for bass and mid bass tightness and detail.

    Charlie Haden and Pat Meteny-Beyond the Missouri Sky.


    Pink Floyd DSOTM SACD

    Eric Clapton-Unplugged CD -great for soundstaging and instrumental placement.

    Eric Clapton-Back Home-DVD-engaging room filling multi ch sound even if a bit unnatural.


    I use several disc's by these guitarists to show intrumental detail Jesse Cook,Craig Chaquico and Acoustic Alchemy.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by GV#27 View Post
    Donald Fagen-Morph the Cat DVD-A and CD.-Title track has dynamic and punchy mid bass.
    I can't believe I haven't gotten this yet. It has been recommended to me many times. I'm such a slacker. :(
    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". - Kenneth Swauger

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    I can't believe I haven't gotten this yet. It has been recommended to me many times. I'm such a slacker. :(
    Im a Fagan- Steely Dan fan but I like this one more for its excellent sound quality than I like it musically.I should add that I do like it just not as much as AJA or Gaucho.It is definately worth getting.
    Last edited by GV#27; 12-11-2007 at 07:48 PM.

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