Recommendations for albums/tracks to test hi-fi/headphones

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I know there's a few audiophiles on ILM so wondering what things you use to give your system a workout. Obviously Floyd/Steely Dan etc are a given but would prefer recommendations off the beaten track e.g. J Dilla's Donuts or Muddy Waters 'Folk Singer'.

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:27 (five months ago) Permalink

The The's "Dusk"

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:32 (five months ago) Permalink

For the hi-fi: A Certain Ratio's "Waterline" / "Funaezekea" 12" single - or any of the original Factory 12"s really

Jeff W, Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:33 (five months ago) Permalink

I'm no audiophile, but in terms of a workout, perhaps go for some modern classical/home listening stuff that mixes electronics with complicated low-end information and a mixture of acoustic instruments, lots of modern film soundtrack composers do this.

MaresNest, Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:37 (five months ago) Permalink

if the purpose is to figure out if you like a given system I recommend listening to whatever music you love for a period of time and see what you think

if the purpose is to make your stuff sound great then "Six Blade Knife" by Dire Straits and "Aja" by Steely Dan and "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac sounds good on any system and to go a bit deeper stuff like "Man in the Long Black Coat" by Dylan (with Lanois on the console) can sound mindblowing on a good system, as can the live version of "Hotel California" from Hell Freezes Over or "Keith Don't Go" from Lofgren's Acoustic Live, in general live recordings can sound p cool on a good system, good dynamics

speaker manufactor DALI released some v good compilation cds, here is (most of) number 1 on Spotify - a "fun" track from their vol 2 is the incredible Elvis recording of "Fever"

unfortunately most recent stuff is overcompressed and sounds better on worse systems

niels, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:22 (five months ago) Permalink

the locus classicus for this sort of thing is harry pearson's "TAS list" -- a list of super-fidelity recordings (pressings, actually) compiled for the magazine "absolute sound" and which still has something of a cult following and is responsible for certain recordings of e.g. respighi's "pines of rome" commanding three figures on the secondhand market (lol). in a nod to HP's list, TAS still makes an annual list of in-print recordings that they feel meet a very high standard of fidelity, spanning most genres. here is 2018:

beyond that, you can be reasonably sure that anything that passes through MoFi, speakers corner, classic records, sheffield lab, etc. is going to sound A+

and then for some reason these records immediately came to mind as the type of thing i always see in hifi boutique nutso super sound $$$ shops:

joni mitchell "the hissing of summer lawns"
jennifer warnes "famous blue raincoat"
herbie hancock "maiden voyage"

budo jeru, Saturday, 1 December 2018 16:13 (five months ago) Permalink

Those Ben Liebrand Grand 12 Inches comps that we've been polling. The earlier volumes certainly. I love rock music and noisy stuff on headphones but disco is such a good model for full frequency mixes and it's built to work out big high quality sound systems.

Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Saturday, 1 December 2018 17:29 (five months ago) Permalink

xp i tested my newest 'cans' with headhunters

j., Saturday, 1 December 2018 18:00 (five months ago) Permalink

by herbie? always found that kinda thin sounding

niels, Sunday, 2 December 2018 10:47 (five months ago) Permalink

Right now I am looking for good hi-fi speakers. For the dynamic range and the instrumental details I will check Talk Talk's "Spirit of Eden" and the new Julia Holter album "Aviary".

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 2 December 2018 10:56 (five months ago) Permalink

The problem with Aja is it sounds good on everything. Nobody decides to not buy a hi fi because of how steely dan records sound in it. Maybe a famously bad sounding record would be a better test?

29 facepalms, Sunday, 2 December 2018 12:29 (five months ago) Permalink

Rickie Lee Jones, "The Magazine"

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 2 December 2018 12:50 (five months ago) Permalink

as I mentioned there are two types of "test" music 1) music that sounds great on your stereo (on any stereo, really) and amazing on an amazing setup and 2) what you actually listen to

some music let's you listen to the speakers, but in general (unless you're an audiophile) you're more likely to be listening to the music

good speakers sound great, wouldn't worry too much abt it

niels, Sunday, 2 December 2018 12:52 (five months ago) Permalink

I use the Spotify playlist “Songs to Test Headphones With” by Spotify, sounded pretty sweet on my skull candy ear buds

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Sunday, 2 December 2018 14:16 (five months ago) Permalink

First track on the Sigur Ros album with the angel embryo thingy.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 2 December 2018 15:06 (five months ago) Permalink

the 96kHz version of Niks Frahm's last album

StanM, Sunday, 2 December 2018 15:07 (five months ago) Permalink


StanM, Sunday, 2 December 2018 15:08 (five months ago) Permalink

I have lossless files in a playlist plus this -

Fastnbulbous, Monday, 3 December 2018 05:32 (five months ago) Permalink

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