Seeking Popular Songs For Demonstrating Audiophile Systems to Non Audiophiles

Just tell them my story. I had a home theater based system with an S300 power amp supplying JBL 590 speakers. Streaming from Apple Music from Apple TV. Great for convenience and flexibility. I thought it sounded okay.

Then I got Revel Performa3 speakers for L/R. So much better.

But then, my dealer loaned me a NAD 368 because it has potential to add Blu streamer module and HDMI for 2 Chanel TV. Well holy holy holy Mary and Joseph. Listening to MQA on Tidel is a revelation. I had a friend check me. He heard two songs and said the NAD playing Tidel way better than the AVR playing Apple Music. And he told me has bad hearing.

Once you know, you know!

Good luck and have fun.

One more thing. I tried the NAD integrated with its 80 watts. Reviews said it was good. But when I added the S300–wholly hell. It sounded 100% better. In every way. Base punch. Clear highs. Awesome minds. No joke.

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If I was trying out a system I would bring my favorite/best/greatest /most familiar recordings. I would expect my guests to do the same.

PS: only 1 of the recordings mentioned above resonates with me.

I have a stable of more than the two songs I mentioned. I didn’t want to direct the thread too much with my biases. I personally am more of a jazz guy and older vocals, e.g. Miles, Louie, Ella, Frank.

It is highly unlikely I would listen to any of the listed recordings either, but this does not matter; the task is to identify recordings the average person would know and which are well recorded.

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Which was harder to do then I expected…


Most people keep listening to the pop music they listened to in high school and college. Thus the choices are often age dependent.

Agreed. Ultimately I want to compile a playlist in Roon with a variety of popular songs that people will recognize quickly. My go-to has actually been Hotel California on Hell Freezes over as well as some others previously mentioned. Also I am 55 and rather clueless on recent hip well recorded stuff.

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Earth, Wind & Fire - Serpentine Fire

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My blind friend came over and asked me to play 7 by Prince. Embarrassed I have not listened to this on my system. Fun stuff.


Just looking at the pic, I’m guessing you have invested far more in your system than I. But, I got to ask, those speakers…I don’t recognize them (but I don’t recognize a lot of gear these days). My first thought was some sort of Christian Willy Wonka design. What are they?

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How are the RELs treating you?

Love the set up…


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Beautiful system, beautiful room.

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B52s Cosmic Thing has some instantly recognisable tracks and can turn the head on a good system.
same goes for some madonna stuff (Vogue era comes to mind).
also Christine and the Queens for the young uns.

and as mentioned above, few can resist MJ’s Thriller!


MBL 101 MK II speakers and MBL Noble electronics. Omnidirectional speakers create a unique experience.


They are working great and annoying my neighbors on certain songs. Crossovers set from 23 to 27 hz. Realizing I need to bolt down some cabinets in the kitchen behind the listening area.


Your system looks phenomenal I’d love to throw a set of those subs behind my Martin Logan CLX speakers! Makes my F113 JL’s look anemic!

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I love omni directional, and I was right, way out of my league.

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Have you tried widening the range?

I currently have my six pack set at 20, ~70 and 120 with volume set low across the set (4-6 clicks). My mains start rolling off at 45.

Fantastic system, that must sound wonderful. I noticed an LP on the stand to the lower left of the picture, but can’t place it. Clearly not Prince, looks like later Archie Shepp?

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