List some excellent recorded tracks which makes your system sound good

Nitin K

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Hi Friends,

There are certain tracks that have been recorded exceptionally well & stand out from the other recordings. Credit goes to the sound studio & engineers who have used their skills & efforts to make them sound great. The higher, mid & the lower frequencies sound great & complement each other rather than overpowering the other frequencies. These tracks sound great at mid & low volumes too. The below tracks make my little Dali Oberon 1's with a sub sound really good & like a floor stander.
If other FM's can mention some more well-recorded tracks, then that would also help others to test their system along with enjoying the tracks.
Thanks.

Colour to the moon - Allan Taylor

No Sanctuary here - Chris Jones
Long after you are gone

Rahul Sharma - instrumental (Can also be enjoyed in 5.1 especially DTS Neural X)
Mystical soundscapes - Mountains ( Especially the first track)

Mystical soundscapes - Water( Especially the first track)
 
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Highly recommend:
1. Dali CD Vol 1,2,3(almost all tracks sound exceptionally good )
2. Blue Mind album by Anne Bison (specially Dragonfly track )
3. Wild Garden album by Josephine Cronholm
4. In a Time Lapse by Ludovico Einaudi
5. Not Too Late by Norah Jones
6. Anonymous Rejected Film Scores by John Murphy
8. Let it Bleed Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary
7. Humnasheen by Shreya Ghoshal
 
D

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“Looking for tracks/albums that make the system sound good” - this is where it starts. And then one keeps down and down the rabbit hole, getting trapped in how the system sounds and going further and further away from enjoying music.

Beware!
 

[email protected]

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“Looking for tracks/albums that make the system sound good” - this is where the rabbit hole starts. And then one keeps flown and down it, going further away from enjoying music and getting trapped in how the system sounds. Beware!
True. That’s why I never listen to CDs where I don’t like the music despite excellent reproduction quality.
 

Nitin K

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“Looking for tracks/albums that make the system sound good” - this is where it starts. And then one keeps down and down the rabbit hole, getting trapped in how the system sounds and going further and further away from enjoying music.

Beware!
In a small way true. But some benchmark is needed to test speakers, amps etc before buying. Besides some tracks make your existing system sound good & delay that upgrade.
I always feel that frequent short-term upgrades is a person's state of mind & financial strength which would compel him/her to do it anyways irrespective of music tracks by seeing & hearing newer models of amps, speakers etc.
 
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In a small way true. But some benchmark is needed to test speakers, amps etc before buying. Besides some tracks make your existing system sound good & delay that upgrade.
I always feel that frequent short-term upgrades is a person's state of mind & financial strength which would compel him/her to do it anyways irrespective of music tracks by seeing & hearing newer models of amps, speakers etc.

Best benchmark is a track/album on has heard 100s of times, remembers every nuance of and is representative of the kind of music one listen to. What’s the point testing a speaker/system with an audiophile recording that makes every speaker/system sound good?
 

Nitin K

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Best benchmark is a track/album on has heard 100s of times and remembers every nuance of. What’s the point testing a speaker/system with an audiophile recording that makes every speaker/system sound good?
That's the point. A good recording will bring out the best in your system & bad or a mediocre one will not. I may have heard a track 100 times which may not have been recorded well & may not qualify as a benchmark for me at least.
What I am implying is that a good recording is an art & skill of the sound engineer & studio which gives us the immense pleasure even at low listening volumes where you can still hear the frequencies clearly thereby enjoy the track. This is what makes the song/music much more enjoyable above the mediocre recorded tracks.
If an audiophile track would make every speaker/system sound good, then the itch to upgrade also would not arise. But I suppose people are governed by their own thinking & beliefs in that regard.
 
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RRR

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What I am implying is that a good recording is an art & skill of the sound engineer & studio
Thats precisely why sound engineer X or producer Y is preferred or sought after by a few artists.
Eg. David Foster, Quincy Jones, Elliot Scheiner to name a few.
 
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fLUX

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Keith Dont Go - Guitar sequences are amazing

Viraah - Sense of stage performance with a wide soundstage, has amazing lows in a rhythm

Also "No Sanctuary here" which you have listed & was recommended by a FM , in love with the song now.
 

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I may not be a right person to make a comment in this thread as I don't even own HT or Stereo system. But, based on my experience so for i found one thing. When i ask or seek to find tracks in google to test speakers, so many people suggested so many tracks. If i put them together, it comes to 100s of tracks. Even if i collected that much, unless i hear them multiple times using a good quality monitor grade headphone, I won't be able to tell if i heard it right. Despite all this, during audition, I might be able to listen to only couple of songs. For that, I really didn't know why i collected so many of them. After collecting so much and listen to them, I get a feel that why i hang on to these unknown faces (for me) when I heard my Raja sir and Rahman sir from my school days and enjoyed them to fullest and still remember many songs by heart about what instrument will play and how it will sound. So, now when i go for audition, I pick 2 songs from Raja sir and 2 from rahman sir which i listened over and over and one or 2 from international music esp with vocals backed with instruments in mid range and mid bass and along with some high octave string notes which tell me how much directional sound throw at me. I start with playing the song about less than 6 to 12 db than my normal listening volume and check if i could enjoy the song to the fullest. Then, I move to normal listening level and then to a threshold level i can listen which shouldn't give any fatigue or uncomfortableness. Then i play one or two HT demo clips with good audible freq range to check the sound stage, dialog and low freq extension (with and without sub). That's how my audition goes.. In summary, I just want to put on my artistic hat only in audition and always wear the casual listener hat and don't do too much research about how each note and freq sound. Just enjoy the music as a whole..
 

spirovious

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A similar thread has few more suggestions
 

Nitin K

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Thats precisely why sound engineer X or producer Y is preferred or sought after by a few artists.
Eg. David Foster, Quincy Jones, Elliot Scheiner to name a few.
Absolutely true RRR. That's why talented people are the most sought after in any field.

Keith Dont Go - Guitar sequences are amazing

Viraah - Sense of stage performance with a wide soundstage, has amazing lows in a rhythm

Also "No Sanctuary here" which you have listed & was recommended by a FM , in love with the song now.
I am sure Flux, "No sanctuary here" & "Colour to the moon" will sound enjoyable on your system.

I may not be a right person to make a comment in this thread as I don't even own HT or Stereo system. But, based on my experience so for i found one thing. When i ask or seek to find tracks in google to test speakers, so many people suggested so many tracks. If i put them together, it comes to 100s of tracks. Even if i collected that much, unless i hear them multiple times using a good quality monitor grade headphone, I won't be able to tell if i heard it right. Despite all this, during audition, I might be able to listen to only couple of songs. For that, I really didn't know why i collected so many of them. After collecting so much and listen to them, I get a feel that why i hang on to these unknown faces (for me) when I heard my Raja sir and Rahman sir from my school days and enjoyed them to fullest and still remember many songs by heart about what instrument will play and how it will sound. So, now when i go for audition, I pick 2 songs from Raja sir and 2 from rahman sir which i listened over and over and one or 2 from international music esp with vocals backed with instruments in mid range and mid bass and along with some high octave string notes which tell me how much directional sound throw at me. I start with playing the song about less than 6 to 12 db than my normal listening volume and check if i could enjoy the song to the fullest. Then, I move to normal listening level and then to a threshold level i can listen which shouldn't give any fatigue or uncomfortableness. Then i play one or two HT demo clips with good audible freq range to check the sound stage, dialog and low freq extension (with and without sub). That's how my audition goes.. In summary, I just want to put on my artistic hat only in audition and always wear the casual listener hat and don't do too much research about how each note and freq sound. Just enjoy the music as a whole..
Selvaa, you are right in whatever that works for you. Some may be happy listening to tracks on a phone whereas some on a proper system. I am not an audiophile & for my simple belief, the music gear is meant to augment the track & not vice versa. But if the track of my favourite artist is well recorded then that would take the enjoyment of listening to another level. If you are testing the track at different decibel levels to check for listening fatigue then a well recorded track would definetly sort that out. A lot of times listening fatigue occurs either due to poorly recorded tracks, components that accentuate certain frequencies or playing at unbearable volume levels.
Suppose if you have 2 options of hearing a cd of Rahman sir's hits. One mastered very well with the voice & instruments more natural & alive. The other cd mastered with less clarity of vocals & instruments. Which one would you choose to listen & enjoy more ?
My opinion is that a good recording will draw you more towards cohesive & immersive listening & will have more clarity even on the headphones. Its just that the recording clarity of the track will strike for some rather than analysing the frequencies. Audiophiles may analyse & enjoy it too.
 
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Nitin K

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A similar thread has few more suggestions
If the threads are similar then requesting the mods to kindly merge them as one.
 
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D

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That's the point. A good recording will bring out the best in your system & bad or a mediocre one will not. I may have heard a track 100 times which may not have been recorded well & may not qualify as a benchmark for me at least.
What I am implying is that a good recording is an art & skill of the sound engineer & studio which gives us the immense pleasure even at low listening volumes where you can still hear the frequencies clearly thereby enjoy the track. This is what makes the song/music much more enjoyable above the mediocre recorded tracks.
If an audiophile track would make every speaker/system sound good, then the itch to upgrade also would not arise. But I suppose people are governed by their own thinking & beliefs in that regard.

One isn’t contesting the merits of good sound recording here. Of course that’s valuable.

It’s the titling of the thread that I am referring to. When we ‘start seeking out tracks which make our system sound good’, our focus is shifting from ‘listening to good music or even well-recorded good music’ to ‘listening to our system’. I guess it depends on the individual, but many of us have gone down that path where we went away from enjoying the music, only to realise and recover later. This is my main point.

As a smaller point (as it might be getting into technicalities of the argument), if it’s the good recording that’s giving you immense pleasure at low listening volumes, how do you use that to assess the system? Because that incremental improvement in low level listening is attributable to the track and not the system. A better resolving system will make even a poorly recorded track sound incrementally listenable at lower volume. So, when we are assessing the low level listenability of a system, it doesn’t matter how the track is recorded, any track would be able to be heard at lower volume on a more resolving system than the level at which it could be heard on a less resolving system.
 

Nitin K

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One isn’t contesting the merits of good sound recording here. Of course that’s valuable.

It’s the titling of the thread that I am referring to. When we ‘start seeking out tracks which make our system sound good’, our focus is shifting from ‘listening to good music or even well-recorded good music’ to ‘listening to our system’. I guess it depends on the individual, but many of us have gone down that path where we went away from enjoying the music, only to realise and recover later. This is my main point.

As a smaller point (as it might be getting into technicalities of the argument), if it’s the good recording that’s giving you immense pleasure at low listening volumes, how do you use that to assess the system? Because that incremental improvement in low level listening is attributable to the track and not the system. A better resolving system will make even a poorly recorded track sound incrementally listenable at lower volume. So, when we are assessing the low level listenability of a system, it doesn’t matter how the track is recorded, any track would be able to be heard at lower volume on a more resolving system than the level at which it could be heard on a less resolving system.
No issues Sachin, we can definitely have a difference of opinion on this. Regarding the title, I had found my modest gear to be pretty decent for the price & size of it while hearing the usual tracks. But after listening to these nicely recorded tracks, I came to know what the system is capable of.

I would differ in my opinion on incremental improvement, in low level listening being attributed to only the track & that a better resolving system making a poorly recorded track sound incrementally better would sound contradictory. We have heard a lot of professional reviewers mentioning highly regarded systems, that system A is highly resolving & transparent & will be unforgiving for badly recorded tracks. Hence in this case a good system cannot make a badly recorded track sound good & will faithfully bring out the best or the deficiencies of the track. Then there are systems which would colour the sound & make them sound more listenable.
The concept of garbage in & garbage out would be applicable to quite an extent here too.
 

fLUX

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As a smaller point (as it might be getting into technicalities of the argument), if it’s the good recording that’s giving you immense pleasure at low listening volumes, how do you use that to assess the system? Because that incremental improvement in low level listening is attributable to the track and not the system. A better resolving system will make even a poorly recorded track sound incrementally listenable at lower volume. So, when we are assessing the low level listenability of a system, it doesn’t matter how the track is recorded, any track would be able to be heard at lower volume on a more resolving system than the level at which it could be heard on a less resolving system.

IME this does not hold true in many cases. A highly resolving & transparent system would expose flaws in a poorly recorded track and might not really make it sound better. Keeping the resolution aside , any system which colors the sound regardless of the tier it falls in would make the poor recordings still sound good.

Just to provide an example based on my limited listening experience amongst the speakers i have listened to, the Aria 926 does treble really well, in "Keith Dont Go" guitar strings sound very natural and every nuance can be heard as against every other system I have heard. Track is very well recorded , sounds good in other systems but sounds phenomenal on the Aria. Some old bollywood classics of SareGama sound equally bad on all my speakers as the recording in itself is poor so the speaker on which I listen to it does not even matter.
One isn’t contesting the merits of good sound recording here. Of course that’s valuable.

It’s the titling of the thread that I am referring to. When we ‘start seeking out tracks which make our system sound good’, our focus is shifting from ‘listening to good music or even well-recorded good music’ to ‘listening to our system’. I guess it depends on the individual, but many of us have gone down that path where we went away from enjoying the music, only to realise and recover later. This is my main point.
I agree this would happen if that becomes our sole purpose of listening to music. I have listened to very limited variety of music till date and love exploring recommended tracks or random tracks on spotify, some of which have gone to become regulars.
 

Vivek Batra

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I guess nothing wrong in exploring the capability of your system by playing well recorded tracks. It gives us a satisfaction that we have invested in right equipment and if at times we don't like something being played, it's not the equipment but the recording.

I also look for such tracks when not in mood to enjoy music but to enjoy my gear and it makes me happy that my money is not wasted in wrong piece of equipment. I think if we fully know how resolving and transparent our system is, we can save a lot on illusive upgrades.

Regards
Vivek
 
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A highly resolving & transparent system would expose flaws in a poorly recorded track and might not really make it sound better.

My comment was specific to ‘low level listenability’ that the OP mentioned.
 
D

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I guess nothing wrong in exploring the capability of your system by playing well recorded tracks. It gives us a satisfaction that we have invested in right equipment and if at times we don't like something being played, it's not the equipment but the recording.

I also look for such tracks when not in mood to enjoy music but to enjoy my gear and it makes me happy that my money is not wasted in wrong piece of equipment. I think if we fully know how resolving and transparent our system is, we can save a lot on illusive upgrades.

Regards
Vivek

Let me make a final attempt to explaining my point. When we start doing this, we also start optimising and accessorising in ways that brings out the audiophile artefacts of such test tracks better. Like we introduce an isolator here and a power cable there. While this starts bringing out better the parts that wow us, slowly the system also starts losing the soul of the music - which even an ordinary radio brings out well. And we start finding the non-audiophile but musically superior tracks sound worse (un-engaging) than what they did earlier. As a result we end up listening less and less to the music we loved till now.

Anyway, that’s been my (hard-earned) experience, and that of some others that I’ve interacted with. I can’t claim it to be universally true. It’s for each to go through their own experience and decide what works/doesn’t for them.

Anyway, there’s no shortage of tracks that can make (any) system sound better. I can suggest looking up Chesky records for those interested in this approach to testing a system. They also have CDs explaining what to look for in the reproduction. FWIW.
 
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