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Great song to test sibilance in your system.

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One of the most annoying aspects to my ears is sibilance, that crunchy-ness that the letter S can ruin a listening experience.
 
When choosing components, especially speakers, I like to run one particular song through them.
 
On the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, track 8 is Dusty Springfield singing Son of a Preacher Man.
 
It has a lot of 'essing'. I know what it sounds like when it's right. It can go terribly wrong.
 
Recently I listened to some KEF's and found them too crunchy on the owner's system for my liking. It might have been due to another component, but he had decent gear, so I figured these were not to my taste.
 
I'm curious as to what you guys use for reference when demo-ing gear.
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Allison Krauss "When You Say Nothing At All".  The beginning of this song has so much detail - The guitar just floats, and her voice is so soft.  I especially listen for the "k" at the end of the word "dark".  Then it gets interesting - When the song kicks up about 30 seconds in, the force and volume increase exponentially.  It's at this point that her voice can easily get that "OMG, turn it DOWN" response - IF you don't have the quality speakers and power to keep it listenable.  When done right, it's an incredible musical ride - I get chills just thinking about it...jaw_dropper.gif
 
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For me, it's Nora Jones. First track from Come Away with Me, "Don't know Why I didn't Call."
 
The inflections of and intensity of the volume in her voice, and the acoustic instruments and piano dance across the room, if the system sounds right --- that is, to my untrained average ears.  Big Grin
 
 
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Allison Krauss "When You Say Nothing At All".  The beginning of this song has so much detail - The guitar just floats, and her voice is so soft.  I especially listen for the "k" at the end of the word "dark".  Then it gets interesting - When the song kicks up about 30 seconds in, the force and volume increase exponentially.  It's at this point that her voice can easily get that "OMG, turn it DOWN" response - IF you don't have the quality speakers and power to keep it listenable.  When done right, it's an incredible musical ride - I get chills just thinking about it...jaw_dropper.gif
 
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Oh I'm gonna LIKE this thread.  And I almost can't wait to test this tune, Mark.
'Demoing Gear?'
This is my 2 cents---- for now.
1. Allman Brothers Band -- No One to Run With.   If you want to test a good rock and roll tune, overall dynamics, huge transients, especially bottom end balanced with enough mid, (since there are huge toms with some timely woodblock).......I get my best SPL with this tune. 
2. Rush-Moving Pictures- Camera Eye.  Even though this tune was AAD I'm sure.  It starts with quiet city street sounds, and develops into a typically Rush like hugely dynamic tune.  Early Rush synthesizer (not the 'too much kind')  Monster transients  (not deep sub like, more mid-bassy) as all three pound out measures that stop and start like they are linked telepathically.  Transients that I can't get enough of.   And, Good Lord Almighty, Geddy's bass line is one of the best of any Rush I've ever heard imho.  If you have the power to both produce the peaks, and at the same time can hear the detail of Peart's drums and that bass line, you have Carver power.
 
edit:  apologies if this is a hijack.  If there is a more appropriate thread for demo tunes, it might be time we dusted it off along side this one.
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I agree 100% with AndrewJohn on Don't Know Why I Didn't Come. I borrowed by neighbours B&W804 speakers and with my tube amp, her voice was perfect. Then I had to give them back and with my B&W805s its not as good and it bugs me constantly.

 

For sibilance, I use Paul Simon's "Something So Right".

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I'm curious as to what you guys use for reference when demo-ing gear.
 
Well, here are some of the tracks Bob uses...
List courtesy of James over at the other site:
 
CCR - Suzy Q
 
Patricia Barber - What a Shame
Patricia Barber - Inch Worm
Patricia Barber - Nardis
Patricia Barber - Ode to Billy Joe

Patricia Barber - Too Rich for my Blood
 
Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
 
Beatles - Hey Jude 
Bela Fleck  - FLight of the Cosmic Hippos 
 
And my personal favorite on the Bob list...
 
Holly Cole Trio - I Can See Clearly Now
 
I can tell within 2 seconds after this track starts if I'm going to like your bass or not.
This track plays nice with open baffle speakers. 
Listen to the bass behind her when she says "bad feelings" at 1:04.
The vocals from 4:10 onward can be amazing on the right gear.
 
Other notable bass tracks I like:
Gotye - Don't Worry, We'll be Watching You
If you've got it pretty loud at 2:26, it gets fun for a few secs.
See if the gear you're testing can take it. 
 
 
Esperanza Spalding - The Peacocks
The Plats hate this track. They buzz when pushed.
Edit: Maybe it was Erykah Badu - On and On
or Erykah Badu - Rimshot
Regardless, this trio of tracks will wake 'em up or break 'em up.
 
 
Techmaster P.E.B - Bassgasm
For the love of God don't play this track on a pair of biamped Plats.
The energy below 50 Hz will smoke them.
By smoke, I mean smoke.
MDQ-4s aren't enough to prevent it. 
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Lots of good suggestions I'm going to have to check out! emsmile.gif 
 
IMHO your test playlist should always include selections that you are very familiar with. A good system should verify what you already know is there, a better system will reveal what you *didn't* know was there!
 
Here's one I like:
 
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It starts off with "Also Sprach Zarathustra". There's a sustained 16Hz (and 32Hz) organ note through almost the entire track. It really "separates the men from the boys" (and the cones from the spiders) WRT subwoofers! If you're looking for transients, the "Banditen Gallop" will make you jump. "Diverse Kanons" is a wide-ranging synthesizer. Other tracks have male and female soloists and chorals. And a good, clean, loud Beach Boys romp.
 
This Kingston Trio live album has good dynamics:
 
20140622062216667.jpeg 
 
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For sibilance, Paul Simion's Something So Right, as Balok indicated; So Many Things by Sarah Brghtman on Eden, or Stranger In Paradise on the Harem recording. 

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Who's good at making a compilation CD? Maybe we can put together a top 12, 4 for sibilance, 4 for bass and 4 more for imaging. We can throw some songs out there then everyone nominates three songs for each category(no more, no less or it won't average right) we'll take the top 4 vote getters at the end and put them on one list. Something like that, so we can all compare a certain set of songs when reviewing gear. I might not be expressing my idea well, sorry.

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Who's good at making a compilation CD? Maybe we can put together a top 12, 4 for sibilance, 4 for bass and 4 more for imaging. We can throw some songs out there then everyone nominates three songs for each category(no more, no less or it won't average right) we'll take the top 4 vote getters at the end and put them on one list. Something like that, so we can all compare a certain set of songs when reviewing gear. I might not be expressing my idea well, sorry.

This^^^
A common disc at an accepted resolution.  So we have a common music bible for gear review.
Lets even title it something cool.
Gotta be a little careful with song rights.??

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But wasn't Napster's main problem sharing tracks without royalties?
It was soo long ago.....

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Well, allrighty then.
 
Maybe the next step would be to start a thread for each section for selections.  And then put a poll on top as soon as there are good selections.

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Ummm.  Me too. 
I plan on doing some listening first. emwink.gif
Maybe track nominations should include mp3 links at least??
 

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I don't think we need to vote. If everyone nominates three per category, the four highest vote getters win. I think it's less important if we 'like' the songs as much as they serve a purpose. Challenging to reproduce is the key.

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Let's start with sibilance category.
My nominations-
1.  Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springdfield(Pulp Fiction ST) 
2. 6 Underground by Sneaker Pimps
3. Teardrop by Massive Attack
 
Give those a listen on YouTube. Tell me what you think.
Extra credit if you know where you heard Teardrop.cool0016.gif 

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