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Ar9Jim

Comparing system changes. Whats your favorite music test tracks.

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I tend to listen to the same tracks repeatedly when listening to system changes and effects. It's not easy for me to bounce around to different music and recognize small changes. For me its easier to use a song that I know well and detailed.
 
Currently I use Steely Dan- West of Hollywood, as a song to compare. It has qualities that make differences easier for me too perceive. At the beginning it has bells and lots of sparkle that are very useful details as well. The separation between kick drum and bass guitar is wonderful and the bass guy just kills it on this track. Piano, horns all great.
 
This W of Hollywood has kick drum with a strong leading edge that has some snap or pop to it. I noticed the battery supply seemed to soften the initial attack, being the largest change over the AC supply ( not an improvement ). The battery seems quite good at longer lasting synthesizer type bass. 
 
Do you have favorite music that you use for comparison of your system changes? Over time have you found yourself with a "go to" music for this purpose?
 
 
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I think the Carver Site! CD has a few really good tracks for this... Bela Fleck's Flight of the Cosmic Hippo is the last word in bass, the percussion is sparkling and his banjo is crystal clear.
 
Also, if you don't have it, get a copy of Flim and the BB's Tricycle CD. It is an outstanding recording, esp. Lunch Hour Wedding March...
 
 
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I think the Carver Site! CD has a few really good tracks for this... Bela Fleck's Flight of the Cosmic Hippo is the last word in bass, the percussion is sparkling and his banjo is crystal clear.
 
Also, if you don't have it, get a copy of Flim and the BB's Tricycle CD. It is an outstanding recording, esp. Lunch Hour Wedding March...
 
 
Got the Film and the BBs. Have a few of the DRP label. Like those Tom Jung recordings. Seems to something relating guys named Jung with good music.emteeth.gif

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I thought the CarverSite CD made by Mark was everyone's input on their favorite personal test tracks.
 
I like the Chris Rea "Road to Hell".  I was not familiar with Chris Rea until I got the CS CD.  I also like Styx "Mr. Roboto".  
 
Do you have the CS Cd Jim?   I have the FLAC files if you don't. 

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I thought the CarverSite CD made by Mark was everyone's input on their favorite personal test tracks.
 
I like the Chris Rea "Road to Hell".  I was not familiar with Chris Rea until I got the CS CD.  I also like Styx "Mr. Roboto".  
 
Do you have the CS Cd Jim?   I have the FLAC files if you don't. 
Hi Dennis, That would be great, I don't have it but would like to hear it.

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I thought the CarverSite CD made by Mark was everyone's input on their favorite personal test tracks.
I like the Chris Rea "Road to Hell". I was not familiar with Chris Rea until I got the CS CD. I also like Styx "Mr. Roboto".
Do you have the CS Cd Jim? I have the FLAC files if you don't.
Hi Dennis, That would be great, I don't have it but would like to hear it.

 

I am hopefully going to be dragging everything out soon to produce a few copies for Travis to take to Carver Fest - I would be happy to make you a set at this time, Jim - just pm me your address....

 

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I use "When You Say Nothing At All", by Allison Kraus. The opening vocals are so detailed it's spooky, and when her voice raises to full volume everything in your system has to be right, or she can sound very shrill.

 

I also use a few tracks off the Fleetwood Mac Rumors DVD Audio. "Never Going Back Again" has outstanding acoustic guitar sounds, and then on "Gold Dust Woman", I listen for the separation between the cymbal and cowbell in the opening - very telling...

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I use "When You Say Nothing At All", by Allison Kraus. The opening vocals are so detailed it's spooky, and when her voice raises to full volume everything in your system has to be right, or she can sound very shrill.

I also use a few tracks off the Fleetwood Mac Rumors DVD Audio. "Never Going Back Again" has outstanding acoustic guitar sounds, and then on "Gold Dust Woman", I listen for the separation between the cymbal and cowbell in the opening - very telling...
Very interesting comment on the voice level change and what happens if if something isn't right..
 
It would be easy to write off some of the system weakness to a recording problem. After all the changes are small, and unless your an audio nut, you wouldn't even care (my wife for one).
 
Interesting the variety and music with details that are difficult for a system to get right. Revealing/challenging music for accurate reproduction. Great recommendations guys. Thanks   

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OTd had recommended Eva Cassidy and I use Norah Jones also as a reference for vocals. The CF CD from DaddyJT is the reference for most systems I have, including the HT setup. The Battlestar Galactica theme is pretty good. Telarc CD Sampler 4 has Olympic Fanfare (thanks to treitz3s' recommendation) which shows the entire orchestra in it's full glory. 

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OldTexasDog,  Thanks for the recommendation.  I'll dig that one out of the collection.
 
My go to system tester used to be Tower of Power - Diggin' on James Brown.  The horns really reveal and test what a system can do.  I remember my buddy just bought a brand new high end Denon AVR and decided to test it out with that song.  As soon as the wall of horns slammed in, the Denon tucked its tail and went into overload.  Needless to say that he was very disappointed and headed back to where he bought it. 

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OTd had recommended Eva Cassidy and I use Norah Jones also as a reference for vocals. The CF CD from DaddyJT is the reference for most systems I have, including the HT setup. The Battlestar Galactica theme is pretty good. Telarc CD Sampler 4 has Olympic Fanfare (thanks to treitz3s' recommendation) which shows the entire orchestra in it's full glory. 

 
1+ on Norah Jones. 
 
On the classical side, Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man (that's right ELP did not compose that... ;-)  recording by any large symphony with decent brass and horn section kicks up some dust to compare minor changes.
 
One other I like is any solid U.K. brass orchestra (common recordings of local "hobby" orchestras that existed in the labor towns of the north.  The sound track to "The Full Monty" has some great brass music that puts my gear through a variety of paces.

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Aslan7, does that SACD have a stereo mixdown? Or is it 5.1?
 
 
Hey Phil,
 
This is the 30th anniversary edition hybrid SACD.  It will play stereo as well as 5.1 which is draw dropping---especially with that man running around your room! 

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