What are your audiophile recordings for system evaluation and setup?


I worked with my favorite non-audiophile commercial sound reinforcement system designer on a small college auditorium system in the south suburbs of Chicago. The space was older and constrained so my designer was limited in speaker choices and location. He ended up re-using existing openings but significantly upgraded the speakers and added a very well placed sub. The owner saw the
system, after install, and demanded a meeting with all involved. Never even turned it on. He claimed it cost him $250K plus to get nothing more than what he already had. My sound reinforcement designer brought a Diana Krall CD! Turns out the guy was an older Jazz fan but didn’t know Diana Krall. He said, “That sounds like a real up-right bass.” We left with a happy client!

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How about Gonzo-style Moby Dick solo in a drum store?



A sign at Preservation Hall in New Orleans.

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Party on Wayne.



Sort of like - $5 if I do it, $10 if you watch and $15 if you help

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I don’t know if I own any “audiophile” recordings. But I do have recordings that I think sound great and I listen to them over and over and over, often the same track when I’m making a change in gear or positioning.



Good one!



Jesse Cook - One World for percussion, guitar, imaging and instrument separation
Neal Pert - drum solo on the RUSH R40 album
Norman Brown - After the Storm - sound stage and instrument separation
Chesky Audiophile SACD for testing system - great tests for 3D imaging and noise floor
Cindy Bradley - Bloom



@bruce-in-philly So, I picked up this exact CD based on your recommendation. THANK YOU! Wow, what a great compilation - extremely well performed, recorded and mastered. What a treat.



For fun, throw in some ok to bad recordings. I find audiophile systems have two distinct sounds: revealing and forgiving. I once had a forgiving system that made just ok recordings sound amazing, and really everything sounded equally amazing. I would describe my system now as revealing, where bad recordings sound bad and great recordings sound great. Have fun!



Smoke 'em if you got 'em. :sunglasses:



I keep coming back to the SACD version of Yellowjackets’ ‘LifeCycle’.



This has been one of my go-to albums for many years now.



Amen! The studio efforts, while groundbreaking at the time, always felt a bit “stiff.” This was a performance that captured the chemistry between these musicians and with pretty darn good SQ for the time.

Mail](https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986) for Windows 10



Great choices. BTO out for #1 is a long time favourite of mine. Blue Collar is awesome too. Love Nils Lofgren Acoustic Live - Ted hit out of the park there.

Here are a few

Tom Petty Live Anthology Ladies and Gentleman & Nightwatchman
Dave Grusin Homage to Duke (incredible studio recording)
Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic Take it Easy
Paint it Blue Songs of the Rolling Stones Wild Horses & Honky Tonk Woman
Grace Jones Slave to the Rhythm Hot blooded mix
Lynrd Skynrd Endagered Species Sweat Home Alabama
John Martyn Glory Box
Bob Dylan Oh Mercy The Man in the long Black Coat
James Brown People Get Upnand drive your funky soul
Black Eyed Peas They Dont want music
Julie Driscoll Brian auger the trinity Season of the Witch
Muddy Waters Folk Singer Good Morning Little School Girl




I also use Dire Straits “Communique” and Hugh Masekela’s “Hope”



Chicken Run Movie Soundtrack.

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In general for system evaluation and setup I use recordings I made of two bands I was a drummer within recorded in my then garage apartment space. I knew the room, the equipment, the players, and I have listened to these on every system I’ve had since 1985 or so. They tell me a LOT.

The other constant is I use not necessarily “audiophile” recordings but recordings I’ve heard for years on many systems such as John Coltrane “Crescent,” Charles Mingus “East Coasting,” Miles Davis “Miles Smiles,” or Jimi Hendrix “Band of Gypsys.” These tell me a lot as well.

There is one recent recording I think is very well recorded and mastered on both LP and cd that I know put into the evaluation rotation: Jose James “Yesterday I Had the Blues,” a Billie Holiday tribute album on Blue Note.



When you set up your system or need to check its performance, what recordings do you use?



I use my Qobuz list… You can try that @akubacki