Music for testing Hi-Fi

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Sat

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:DThis week I am going to check whether I'll get a CD of

Esbjorn Svensson Trio's "Somewhere Else Before" -Sony Music.

Just check the review at following link.

Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Somewhere Else Before [English]

The way it is discribed in the text by Scott Faller, I am just waiting for that moment to hear the heavenly music !! or in other words "Audiophile recording !"

Has anybody heard these guys! They are new to me.
I do not find any mp3's of EST for downloading on the net.

Sat
 

Sat

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I tried for EST CD at Planet M, Could not get it.

Do you know any place where it is available?

From where u got the DVD anyway?

Sat
 

VivekMansata

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hi ppl,

can you suggest me what music to take when auditioning speakers & AVR and what to observe while auditioning????

i couldnt get my hands on the above mentioned cd's also if u can mention indian stuff.

thanks

Vivek*
 

Sat

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:(

I really don't have an Idea, what Indian music/songs can be used
to test hi-fi.

You can try A.R.Rehman stuff.

Vande Mataram has some good music.
 

unleash_me

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Robert Rich-Seven Veils

Vas-Feast of Silence

Spyro Gyra-The Deep End

Goldfrapp-Supernature

Joe Satriani-Surfing with the Alien (new remaster)

Zarbang-Persian and Middle Eastern Percussion

Nicolas Gunn-Beyond Grand Canyon

Shriekback-Glory Bumps

Celtic Woman-A New Journey

Brian Bromberg-Wood II
 

smedhavi

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Hi,

Let us try to put together a list of Hindi recordings we could use to test HiFi.
Here are a few suggestions to start with:


  • [*]"Jab tere nain muskurate hain" by Mehdi Hasan - CLASSICAL GHAZALS - CD2
    • Live at the Royal College of Music London, 1990
    • With : Ustad Sultan Khan - Sarangi
    • Ustad Shaukat Husain Khan - Tabla
    • Released by Navras Records UK. Ltd. 1992 / Sony Music Entertainment (India) 2002
    • This is a good recording at a comparatively lower volume, and has a good dynamic range. You would have to boost the volume to begin with. The piece starts with Mehdi Hasan explaining the composition while the tabla is being tuned, very interesting sounds. Both, the singer as well as the tabla player get into their top form near the 12th minute. Look for the texture in the singer's voice and the aggressive slaps on the tabla.
  • Album "Legacy" Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Asha Bhonsle.
    • Recorded in California. Released in India by Music Today.
    • One of the best albums Asha has been involved with. Her voice varies from being husky and full throated, to pretty high pitched, while she is rendering these compositions by Mian Tansen. The taranas are great. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's Sarod has been recorded quite well, along with the tabla and pakhawaj. Don't miss the cello before the tabla/pakhawaj start on the longer pieces.

  • "Dil Se" by AR Rahman
    • AR Rahman is a good sound engineer. Unfortunately he targets his recordings to be radio friendly and for the mini systems, by boosting extreme frequencies at the cost of the mid range. So the male singers usually sound thin and loose whatever baritone they had. Whenever Rahman decides not to succumb to pressure, the results are great. He brought out Lata Mangeskar's real voice (at this age) in "Diya Jale" (the Tamil version by Chitra is good too). The title track has some good bass lines half way through the song. Even "Aye Ajnabi" follows the same style.


    [*]"Leela" - Movie, released by "Plus"

    • Good recording and a great album. This has been recorded by Daman Sood, arguably the best "sound recordist" we had in India. He ran the Western Outdoor Studios in Mumbai.Daman Sood was to sound recording, what Gautam Rajadhyaksha is to still photography. Daman Sood was involved with the " Playback and Fast Forward" magazine in the 1980's, which got me interested in audio. You can read some interesting old articles at:
    • + SoundRecordingFront
    • The first song "Jag ke kati sari raina" has a good combination of voice(Jagjit Singh), tabla and guitar. "Champai Dhoop Ke Saye" and "Dhuan Uttha Hai" have some interesting sounds too.


More to come...

Prithvi, these were among the CDs I was carrying when we met last year. I still have fond memories of that day. Looking forward to meeting you again sometime.

Thanks,
Sharad
 

hemantwaghe

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What about Piya Basanti by Ustad Sultan Khan??


also Hell Freezes over by Eagles?? Funny I,ve visited audioshops in India,Dubai & Kuala Lumpur - almost 70% time I heard hotel california

Also Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd.
 

unleash_me

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also Hell Freezes over by Eagles?? Funny I,ve visited audioshops in India,Dubai & Kuala Lumpur - almost 70% time I heard hotel california

Hemant,

That is because, Hotel California track is EQed with very high low-end purposefully, to create the thumping sound during their comeback concert after "14 year old vacation":rolleyes: during the Hell Freezes Over concert in 94.

Btw, this DVD is a definite aution tool for both audio and video. Try to get the DTS version itself.

Cheers!
 

smedhavi

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Piya Basanti is an interesting album too. It has nice songs with good vocals. It does not have an overdone orchestra. I like the song where the rain breaks out midway.

I have the "Hell Freezes over" album in many formats, including DTS-audio CD, and XRCD. I like the XRCD best. It works well as a test album just because you get to hear it during so many auditions.

Talking about EQeing with very high low-end, I just bought a HDCD called "The Five Songbirds/A Reference Collection of Female Vocalists" (from acousticsounds.com) and was shocked at the high volume used for the low-end.


Thanks,
Sharad
 

particleman

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For me, Steely Dan's and their frontman, Donald Fagen's albums are choice picks for auditioning. They were truly a band that paid close attention to the recording and mastering of their work. Both the "Gaucho" [Hybrid SACD] and "The Nightfly" [CD] have excellent sound and the former is possibly one of the best SACDs on the market. They also typify that 70's-80's sound that I enjoy (smooth, not the annoying disco that came before or the kitschy pop that followed).

The remastered Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue" CD is an excellent reference for jazz. As is the John Coltrane "A Love Supreme" SACD.

For good old rock I use The Kinks' The Ultimate Collection 2-CD set. Very deep and full bass that really gives the woofers a workout and very good mastering in all. Possibly the most "analog-sounding" recording I've encountered.

For vocals, I use either Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald or Eva Cassidy albums. In general most Verve and Telarc label CDs make for good test CDs.

The remastered fifth Peter Gabriel album "So" is a good all-round CD with a diverse lot of instruments. The haunting opening strains of "Mercy Street" or the percussion on "This is the Picture" is rather telling.
 

unleash_me

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I dont know how much of an 'audiophile' stuff this is, but some hindi cds i use are Lakshya, Dil Se, Lagaan and very recently Jodha Akbar- just love the complexity, can give a tough time to many hardware out there.

Cheers.
 

moktan

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For me, Steely Dan's and their frontman, Donald Fagen's albums are choice picks for auditioning. They were truly a band that paid close attention to the recording and mastering of their work. Both the "Gaucho" [Hybrid SACD] and "The Nightfly" [CD] have excellent sound and the former is possibly one of the best SACDs on the market. They also typify that 70's-80's sound that I enjoy (smooth, not the annoying disco that came before or the kitschy pop that followed).

The remastered Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue" CD is an excellent reference for jazz. As is the John Coltrane "A Love Supreme" SACD.

For good old rock I use The Kinks' The Ultimate Collection 2-CD set. Very deep and full bass that really gives the woofers a workout and very good mastering in all. Possibly the most "analog-sounding" recording I've encountered.

For vocals, I use either Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald or Eva Cassidy albums. In general most Verve and Telarc label CDs make for good test CDs.

The remastered fifth Peter Gabriel album "So" is a good all-round CD with a diverse lot of instruments. The haunting opening strains of "Mercy Street" or the percussion on "This is the Picture" is rather telling.

amen to that..especially steely dan..i also thought paul simon's graceland (you can call me al, diamonds on the soles of her feet ..etc) great given the range of your typically african harmonies..and instruments..also rye cooder's collaboration with the malian singer ali farka toure TALKING TIMBUKTU..and wonder why nobody mentioned frank zappa..he does things with music that i cannot even start explaining here...amongst the new groups i especially like DEERHOOF very interesting musicality..but they do need time to grow on you and david Thomas and Pere Ubu..what a strange voice..blissful punk music..
 

hemantwaghe

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What About Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon?" While reading some reviews I realised it is still used after appx 35 years!!!
Some say that remastered CD layer on SACD is not good - any comments?
 

particleman

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As odd as it sounds - music for testing a hi-fi system is not necessarily "great" music - we are concerned with quality of the recording and true-to-life portrayal of instrument sound. Unfortunately great musicians are often let down by poor recording or engineering of their work (or in the case of archives, poor maintenance thereof). So you may not see some of the best artists listed here.

@Moktan:
Yes, Paul Simon really came alive when he collaborated with African and South American musicians. My favourite Simon album is "The Rhythm of the Saints" - brilliant for testing percussion. I do not care for his most recent work - sadly, as with Sting, it has become too commercial to be intimate or familiar.

Frank Zappa is always fun to listen to -- though jazz purists may be a bit more reluctant to welcome him to the fold. Again, recording of his work is not always top-notch or even good enough (case in point - "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series). However you could be right about FZ - "The Grand Wazoo" could make for an interesting test disc with its plethora (putting it lightly!) and diversity of instruments.

@hemantwaghe:
DSOTM shows up with great frequency on a lot of lists. The new SACD is IMHO far better engineered than the previous CD release. As I no longer have my original issue CD I cannot compare it with the CD layer on the new one - and aural memory is unreliable so can't comment. The new recording is fantastic! It does not sound 35 years old and plays far better than new stuff. I do not use it for auditions myself because on some tracks there's just too much going on. If they do a cleaner release of "Atom Heart Mother" it could make for interesting listening.
 

moktan

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As odd as it sounds - music for testing a hi-fi system is not necessarily "great" music - we are concerned with quality of the recording and true-to-life portrayal of instrument sound.

some provocative and i feel quite relevant issues brought out here..


Audiophiles... do they actually like music? | Word Magazine some excerpts here...

Does audio quality matter to you? Or would you be happy listening to your music on pretty much anything? I fall into the latter category - Or to put it another way, given a finite amount of money, and effectively the choice between;

a) A super high-end audiophile setup, plus a few albums/CDs to go with it.

or at the other end

b) A mini system from Dixons plus a ton of CDs

I'd go for the latter every time.

This is partly prompted by an old colleague of mine who used to boast about his super hifi system and all the fancy components/cables that went into it. When I eventually was invited to his place for dinner with some other colleagues, I was disappointed to find out that while he indeed had a VERY nice sounding system, he only had about a dozen CDs to play on it. One of which was "Bat Out of Hell". Which frankly I though was a bit of a waste... seemed he was more interested in the quality of the reproduction than what was actually being reproduced.

Anyone have an opinion on this?
 
Last edited:

dinyaar

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Hi to all,
Moktan i would choose the former and then add to my CD collection as time wears on, dont think i would be happy with tons of CD s with a mini comp from Dixons. Whenever i feel the system i have is not up to scratch my music listening keeps gradually reducing in spite of having tons of music collected over two decades.
As regards this thread i just take cd s that i would listen to very frequently as i can then compare if the system i am auditioning does any more for me than my own set up. And i always take a few poor recordings too((Most U2 cds). I have a friend who heard just one song (Hotel california- i think the new recording as thats what most dealers demo with)and bought the set up only to be disillusioned later!!!!!!
Regards.
 

Bass Treble

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Hello to all

Recently i had a chance of purchasing Andrea Bocelli's Under The Desert Sky (easy listening ) beautiful Vocals and orchestra , This CD can be used for testing the Mids and Hi freq in a Speaker.

Also try Sarah Brightman's "Harem ".

Dev.
 

kooldeep

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1. FIM Audiophile reference IV
2. High end audiophile test - Demo CD Marantaz
3. Wilson Audio Ultimate Reference Cd
4. Alan Parson and Stephen Court Sound Check CD
5. Burmester CD 2 Test cd
6. Burmester CD 3 Test cd
7. OPUS3 - [TEST.CD3]
8. OPUS3 - [TEST.CD4]
9. Tacet-The Best 2004
10. Audiophile Reference 2 - Popular Music
11. Stereophile Test CD
 
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