This is one of three posts… Bass, Midrange, Treble…
So, what are your favorite recordings to:
1 - Show off bass - the fun stuff for your friends and to show off your system
2 - Understand bass capability - the real reason for the system
3 - Make fart sounds - c’mon, you know you do it.
Testing treble: Tunes to test/express TREBLE
Testing midrange: Tunes to test/express MIDRANGE
Bruce in Philly
My current track (digital or vinyl) to have an idea of the maximum bass you will be hearing from the vast majority of albums are either of the the first two tracks off Donald Fagen’s “Morph the Cat”. The title tune, and “The H Gang”. I use this pretty much as a quick way to set levels on subs, in the sense of, “pretty much nothing else will have More bass than this”, and in fact it is usually a Lot more than most things.
Perhaps an indication of how far things have come in that department on vinyl especially, as “back in the day” they could never put the proper amount of John Entwistle on Who albums without the needle jumping out of the groove ; )
O-Zone Percussion Group - “Jazz Variants” is my current favorite. Nice balance between the various base registers.
The stunning SACD will do the trick
I’m a sucker for Bach organ works and I just found one at Walmart of all places. Thanks for the suggestion.
Béla Fleck - “Fight of the Cosmic Hippo”
Pretty insane in the bass department! Definitely the reference for deep bass.
A “sucker” with damn good taste.
There’s something very basic and very satisfying about a Bach organ piece played in the right venue (church) on the right machine and properly recorded.
I have a few but there’s always room for one more
To show off Bass :
- 6:20 into Firth of Fifth (Studio version). 200g Quiex Vinyl
- Tarkus/Trilogy MoFi LP’s
- Since I’ve Been Loving You. Celebration Day BluRay 2.0 PCM
- Santana Supernatural CD
- Bach : An Organ Spectacular in 5.1 DVD-Audio
To show off Musicality/Micro-Dynamics :
- Dave Brubeck Time Out
- Miles Davis Kind Of Blue/Someday my Prince will Come/Sketches of Spain/Miles & Quincy Live At Montreaux 1991 BluRay 2.0 PCM
- John Coltrane BlueTrain SACD/Coltrane ‘58 - QoBuz/A Love Supremes SACD
- Any Diana Krall/Holy Cole - Cause they’re Canadian Eh !
- In The Court Of The Crimson King 2009 40th Anniversary and all the other Steven Wilson KC 5.1 Remixes (Islands)
- Living Stereo Pictures At An Exhibition, Rhapsody in Blue/An American in Paris
- Nat King Cole SACD reissues from 2010
To just crank it and have some fun :
- Rush, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Tangerine Dream Virgin Years (I want the Boxed Set but. It’s already put of print…lost my chance on Amazon a month ago and hesitated)
- Max Webster, Triumph, The Guess Who, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Tragically Hip
- Telarc’s SACD 5.1 of 1812’s infamous Cannon Shots (but there is music on the disc too)
- A bunch of other famous Classical Discs too numerous to mention here
I had the MCA 1/2 Speed Mastered Mastersound early 80’s pressing that I bought at a Flea Market outside Ottawa, Ontario. People hate these discs but I like how they sound and preferred it over my 1995 who’s Next CD.
I have a playlist I use to test and compare different systems.
Some of the tracks that show me how the system’s bass sounds (crisp/ boomy/ droning/ punchy/ etc) include:
- Madness, by Muse
- Wildfire (Feat. Little Dragon), by SBTRKT
- Bury A Friend, by Billie Eilish
- TEVA833, by Varien
- Angel, by Massive Attack
- Royals, by Lorde
- Let Go (Feat. Grabbitz), by Deadmau5
- Bombtrack, by RATM
- Brass Monkey, by Beastie Boys
- Billie Jean, by Michael Jackson
- Hey Nineteen, by Steely Dan
They aren’t necessarily hard-out bass heavy tracks, but they each have different styles and frequencies of bass, that give me a good idea how a system is doing compared to others I’ve heard.
Paul Desmond, “Take Ten”.
Good for all ranges. (upfront) acoustic bass, alto sax, archtop guitar, cymbals, snare with brushes, it’s all there.
Also, Dave Brubeck’s Timeout. Gets it right on all aspects, frequency response, imaging, transparency, and coherence.
Yes there is. Heard Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor live in a church for the first time last week… Magnificent! .
Check out track #10, “Sloppy Seconds” (featuring Bootsy Collins & Bernie Worrell), on the 1996 album, “T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M,” which stands for The Awesome Power Of A Fully Operational Mothership. Overall, I think this album is lackluster, but “Sloppy Seconds” is a standout track with some great bass.
Note to TIDAL users: Track #10 is misspelled as “Sloopy Seconds.”
Great find, thanks!
There seem to be many mastering versions around: anyone you’d recommend?