AVForums South Africa

Source Material => CDs/LPs/Lossless/DVDs/Bluray/Games => Topic started by: Shonver on February 21, 2007, 12:41:48 PM

Title: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on February 21, 2007, 12:41:48 PM
Can we make a list of recommended reference material, so that we can (mostly) be on the same page when describing our listening experiences? I just read a review here http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=1140186#post1140186 (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=1140186#post1140186) and it struck me that there are 2 categories of listening material: (1) for showing off how nice a system sounds and (2) for evaluating system performance.

Now, Dianna Krall is seductive even on a ghetto blaster. She can make a poor system sound good. I believe this is because of the simple, uncomplex nature of the arrangements typically found on her recordings. But these types of recordings do nothing to challenge a system...

The reviewer I linked to above used cuts that are dynamically challenging and complex. And this is where the fun starts...

So, can we make up a list (preferebly not extensive) of tracks and/or albums that are useful for testing/evaluating particular aspects of system performance? Below is a thumbsuck of possible categories. I'm sure the more informed fellow members can refine and extend the categories.

Dynamics/Dynamic range
Low frequency extension
High frequency extension
Mid-range resolution
Colouration (bass/mid/high)
High-power compression
Low frequency integration (subwoofer)

If we could compile a list of source material that presents good testing material for these categories (or whatever categories we finally decide on), I'd be persuaded to invest in those exact CD's, DVD's, vinyl, etc. But please, let it also be good music .
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: skinnyfat on February 21, 2007, 12:51:32 PM
Sounds like a grand idea.

My proposals would be (in addition to those already mentioned)

Led Zeppelin II - specifically 'Whole lotta Love'. Jimmy page was an excellent producer and his arrangements were really carefully constructed. Definately one of the first to really exploit 'stereo'

Kraftwerk
Any Organ music
Norah Jones

....and a few more I haven't thought of yet ;D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: GearSlave on February 21, 2007, 01:13:54 PM
What a great idea. I've also been looking for some 'reference' music, but I don't mix in the right circles to know what the benchmark is

But please, let it also be good music .

Hehe! The reason why I don't mix in the right circles... At the last AV show at Indaba I walked into a listening room (can't remember the vendor, but there was some Sonor stuff standing around) and the track that they put on wasn't music, but a guy talking and a hell of a racket in the background. Everybody's eyes were closed, they were totally absorbed. I almost passed out from laughter...
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on February 21, 2007, 01:14:44 PM
@Skinnyfat: OK, but what specifically do these recommendations bring to the mix? I know Nora Jones sounds good, but I'm suspicious of the excessive processing applied to her voice; this for me falls into the Dianna krall category. However, if there's something specific I should be listening for, pray tell. (I know that very few- if any- recordings are perfect all-round).

My idea is for qualified recommedations. Something along the lines of:

Artist: Nora Jones
Album: Bat from hell
Release: Polydor 1997, Germany
Tracks: 1, 3, 6
Highlights: Very wide dynamic range, minimal processing. Piano sounds very realistic. Was not evident on my Polk VG-1's, but really only noticable on the Martin Logan XR-3 ESL's. Really showed up the Polk's inability to reproduce dynamics at realistic listening levels.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: DRNB on February 22, 2007, 08:47:04 AM
Excellent idea Shaun, but may I suugest that we make this a "sticky" theat?

Well, I'm at work & when I get home in the evenings I usually forget to get some details.

But for now, I like to use Jennifer Warns track - "Way Down Deep" for testing midbass/bass masking. Its starts with Ithink a timpany, and then a Double Bass is added. If your speakers "Boom" for isntance, it would sound like one instrument producing the bass.

Also like to use Mary Black, "NoFrontiers". Good to check how your setup handels female voice. 
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: skinnyfat on February 22, 2007, 09:01:07 AM
Set sticky  :)
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Viagara on February 22, 2007, 09:13:06 AM
Excellent idea Shaun, but may I suugest that we make this a "sticky" theat?

Should this now be a sticky "teat" or "thread" LOL! Sorry Norval I know we all get dyslectic from time to time ;D

Other that that I don't have much to offer at the moment. I have some favorite CDs and tracks, but offhand can't give a technical explanation as to why I like them(Dark side of the moon, Norah Jones, Patricia Barber, Katie Melua, Coldplay, etc, etc)

So all things said, I am a NOOB concerning technical quality, but I know what type of sound I like ;D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: skinnyfat on February 22, 2007, 09:25:50 AM


So all things said, I am a NOOB concerning technical quality, but I know what type of sound I like ;D

THAT IMO is the nail on the head!!

Whilst all of us here know the difference between good and crap sound, not all of us are technically astute. However, my feeling is that if it sounds GOOD to you and you enjoy the music/movie as it is played back then that's good enough for me.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hi-Phibian on March 28, 2007, 03:13:06 PM
This is an interesting thread but a tough one.
If it is purely for academic purpose with reasonable music, I am not sure if the Chesky Ultimate Demo disk is still available, but that would be a good one to get. A good range of tunes, each introduced with a description of what to expect.

Did I hear that little red guy with the tail say "Group Burn".........
That would be illegal yes?




Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chipwelder on March 28, 2007, 03:24:58 PM
Nick's test trax at the Audiofest were quite good... maybe slightly OTT...

Patricia Barber live at the something or other...

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue... newest re-issue...

Diana Krall the live to two track version one she did with GRP...

Every other audiophiles fav... Jazz at the Pawshop 1/2/3

Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 28, 2007, 03:27:20 PM
I am not sure if the Chesky Ultimate Demo disk is still available, but that would be a good one to get.

From http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=UD95 (http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=UD95):

Quote
Reading about transparency or focus will only take you so far, the Ultimate Demo Disc serves as an aural dictionary by cueing the listener to specific sonic qualities of each selection. By consistently using the Disc, hearing & understanding these terms will become so much easier. The Disc can be used to evaluate speakers, receivers, preamps, power amps, CD players, digital to analog convertors, even cables. Artists on this disc include: Rebecca Pidgeon, Ana Caram, Leny Andrade, Sara K., Monty Alexander, Johnny Frigo, Fred Hersch Trio, Livingston Taylor, & more! Demo's include: High Resolution, Transparency, Holographic Imaging, Focus, Midrange Purity, Depth, Transients & many more!

Sounds kinda built for purpose. And reasonably priced. Who sells Chesky here?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Viagara on March 29, 2007, 08:46:16 AM

Patricia Barber live at the something or other...


That is probably Patricia Barber live in Paris. Excellent recording.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hi-Phibian on March 29, 2007, 10:57:47 AM
Assuming we are looking for something quite absolute, commercial recordings where one was not present at the session are merely comparisons of presentation if used to test I would say. Sure, they will show certain nuances on some rigs and not on others, bass, impact  etc etc. But how deep should that soundstage be? How far back was the drummer or is the more we exaggerate the space between performers the better?

Thus if we want an absolute one needs input on how things were recorded and placed and info about venue etc. The Chesky disk comes close and so do some of the Stereopile discs as there is typically documentation on what was done.

WRT to Mrs Costello, Ms Barber, AKUS, The Hunter etc etc, these tend to sound good on a ghetto blaster and get better as the rig gets better but are not particularly taxing imo, what is that hunter bass supposed to sound like? Where was the mike when recorded?
A typical test/show off track used by many is the good old Hotel California on Hell freezes over but have you ever heard a kick drum sound like that in real life? I have not but maybe I have not heard the right kit. (Drums or HiFi).

JM2c
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 29, 2007, 01:09:15 PM
WRT to Mrs Costello, Ms Barber, AKUS, The Hunter etc etc, these tend to sound good on a ghetto blaster and get better as the rig gets better but are not particularly taxing imo, what is that hunter bass supposed to sound like? JM2c

This is exactly my problem. I have a particular Return to Forever CD that sound always sounded harsh, cacophonous. I always blamed it on a bad recording. That is, until I heard it on a friend's audio system. I believe it was the resolution capability and low colouration of his Martin Logan electrostats that finally was able to separate the instruments and reveal that it was not after all a bad recording. Now I have one torture disc. I need more... :evil grin:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hennie on March 29, 2007, 05:11:28 PM
Does anybody sell Chesky locally?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hi-Phibian on March 29, 2007, 05:26:01 PM
Does not look like it according to their website.

I used to work for one of the companies in a group that was the agent but that was a long time ago...

Think one will have to buy of the net, I also did not see the disk on their website anymore....
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hennie on March 29, 2007, 05:37:07 PM
I also came to the conclusion that they were not represented locally. Even if that specific disc is not available they have a number of others I'm interested in.

A friend regularly orders from Amazon. Maybe the route to go.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 29, 2007, 06:06:55 PM
I'm quite sure that there used to be an agent. A while back I wanted to buy a Chesky demo disk, but they would not sell to me direct because there was a distributor here. I did not buy in the end, because the local price was out of proportion to the import price.

I may just go ahead and buy this disk over the net.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Hi-Phibian on March 29, 2007, 06:12:08 PM
Shaun, bounce a mail if you are interested in a subjective comparison set for evaluating EAC vs Nero  ;D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 30, 2007, 09:59:06 AM
Hehe

I have too many irons in the fire at the moment, so this disc will have to remain on the buying list a while longer. First got to sort out my hardware. But I very nearly went ahead and did it - easy to do if the cost is not too high: you think you have the change, so why not? But all these impulse purchases simply mean that stuff that's supposed to be done already just slips further down the overdue list. :'(
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Byrd on May 05, 2007, 07:59:15 PM
I really like that chesky ultimate demo disk. Livingstone Taylor's - Grandmas Hands is brilliant.

Overall a very good disk
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Gliding Dutchman on May 05, 2007, 09:52:50 PM
My list of ref material:

Diana Krall - Live in Paris > Dynamics, response, "delicate-sounds" (like her lips... :-*)
Neil Young - Harvest > Ambience, Nuances, "Being there"-staging
Chris Rea - Road to hell > Drive and dynamics
Chris Jones - Roadhouses & Automobiles > Deep bass response and highs
Madelein Peyroux - Careless Love > Mid-range, voiceing
Holst - The Planets (on Telarc Digital) > System noise, dynamics staging; in short, the whole shèbang.



Nota Bene:

Quote
I know Nora Jones sounds good, but I'm suspicious of the excessive processing applied to her voice;

Nah, N Jones's voice is not digitally modified. Her 1st album is the best recorded album in a very long time. Most of the tracks were recorded at AVATAR studios in New York with a total analogue system...
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: kay on June 12, 2007, 06:04:44 PM
Couple more from me, just to add some variety:

Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, 30th Anniversary Hybrid SACD
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: alanB on November 12, 2007, 04:05:29 PM
Hi Guys

My 1st post on this forum having just found it.

With regard to reference material stuff.  CD's I always take along when listening to a new system are as follows:

Stuff that I use to judge a system (based on my own intimate knowledge of the CD's in question) but which doesnt necessarily sound stunning, even on the best systems are:
1) The Blessing (CD title The Prince of Deep Waters) particularly tracks 3 and 7 (Hurricane Room and I Want You), neither is recorded asbolutely well but they are great complex pieces of music and only really good systems can keep the instruments separated and not become strident when all the instruments/voices are going full bore.
2) Yello (CD title Motion Picture) great test of a system's bass response especially tracks 1 and 5 and 6. Great example of good synthisized music which is well recorded. The couch should shake before you lose the "space or ambience of the music"  or you hear any hint of distortion!
3) Dave Mathews (CD title Under the Table and Dreaming).  Especially track 11 for voice and stringed instruments.
4) Mary Black (Babes in the Wood).  OK this is an old reference, but is still probably the best recording of any female voice I have ever heard.  Only good systems can really give you all her vocal power without distorting or loosing the texture of her voice, especially tracks 5 and 9.
5) The Gene Harris Quartet (Its the Real Soul), any track.  This is good recording that needs a good system to really bring out the fragile nuances of the piano especially.
6) ZZ Top (Rythmeen), track 11, if your system can do justice to this at high volume without  the soundstage collapsing into a ball of diffuse blurry noise, your amp at least is worth the money!

Stuff that just sounds good and is a test of just how good, good hifi can be is:
1) Lucky Peterson (I'm Ready) track 5 (Who's been Talking) and track 12
2) Lynard Skynard (Endangered Species), tracks 2 (Heartbreak Hotel), 4 especially
3) Renee Olstead (no title), track one "Summer Time" is simply awesome!
4) Diana Krall, (The Girl in the Other Room) track 3 (Temptation) is probably my favourite from her.
5) Juniour Wells (Keep on Steppin), tracks 1 but especially 2 (Sweet Sixteen) and 3
 
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Nadfan on December 19, 2007, 04:27:00 PM
A friend of mine bought a David Chesky Audiophile sampler cd in Germany. Exquisite resolution and attention to detail! Even the copy he gave me sounds exceptional. A good assessment for musicality and sound stage presence.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: oradba69 on December 20, 2007, 06:57:55 AM
See it is available on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Demonstration-Disc-Critical-Listening/dp/B00002MXUH/ref=pd_sim_m_title_5 (http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Demonstration-Disc-Critical-Listening/dp/B00002MXUH/ref=pd_sim_m_title_5)
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: ben.selier on February 11, 2008, 06:45:59 AM
I bought the following from Amazon - with no problems at all, arrived in 7 days

Chesky - ultimate test disk
chesky - 20th aniversary
chesky - vocal recordings
Telarc - jazz sampler
Focal - test disk

all of these are really good to test your system - if you guys want some more - you can always get the IASCA (mobile car sound)  test disk locally - not a bad recording at all
- star wars theme
- superman theme
some stuff from michael ruff
ect ect ect, i used it quite a lot to help setup my system
also anything from sheffield is really good.

then i agree on Chris Rea, Nora Jones, Dana Krall

now this one you going to laugh - not my cupa tea but really good to test your system "infected mushroom"  mostly wierd dance tracks - but really good to test speed, accuracy, bass integration also quite good to judge staging on.  like i said test disk and not something i will listen to
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: ben.selier on February 11, 2008, 06:48:28 AM
HERE IS A RUNDOWN ON THE IASCA DISK
this is for the iasca official sound quality referance cd
which was used in part of the 2005 events and will be used exclusively in the 2006 events

track 1 don dorsey " ascent "
not officially used as a judging track but is a very good track to listen to as regards hearing if a system is capable of the full range of frequencies there is some extreme low frequency content in this track which is perfect for trying out subwoofers
the voice and introduction at the beginning of the track is that of mary ellen papadeas whom is the iasca presidents wife

track 2 left and right channel verification
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
without doubt one of the most important tracks on the disc
please take time to listen to the WHOLE of this track not just the first few seconds through judging experiance ive learned that just because you get " left channel left channel " correct
doesnt necessarily mean your going to get the " right channel right channel " bit correct also

track 3 phase verification track
this track is not offically used as a judging track but the judge may sometimes play this track if he hears something which is out of the ordinary he or she may also put comments on your score sheet
this is an excellant set up track if used correctly for setting up mid and high frequencies so as voices appear as natural as possible simply listen to the track and listen to the voice both in and out of phase there should be a differance in your perception as to where the voice is originating from and how tight the image focus is
simply keep changing the phase (positive and negative) on your speakers until you get the best focus you can get

track 4 instructions for the tonal accuracy and spectral balance part of the judging section

track 5 john williams star wars "throne room and title ending "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
the reproduction should leave you with a felling of being in a massive music hall with an equally massive orchestra
around nine or ten seconds into the track there should be quite a bit of low frequency information which should be felt as well as heard the notes should be distinct and should both start and stop not run into one another
around 29-30 seconds into the track there should be a french horn at the back of the stage on the right hand side these should echo around and bounce of the edges of the soundstage at around the same time there are some high frequencies played from the xylophone they should be clean and crisp but overpower any of the other instruments

track 6 john williams superman " the planet krypton "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is an excellant test of the ability of the system to play extreme low frequency information
the judges will mainly be listening for around 1.09 seconds into the track where there are a succession of eight or nine very low notes all sustained for around two seconds they should descend in order the fourth note in succession is the 18hz note when this is played correctly the music should be felt as well as heard if done correctly you should feel a small vibration through the car and the sub may appear to flutter
all this should be done without the sub ever losing control of the notes and producing just one long continuous note
right at the end of the track there is a crescendo from the tympani drums the strings and the organ these should increase in volume but not get so loud so as the subwoofer is
the dominant speaker heard

track 7 jaques loussier " gavotte in d minor "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is primarilly used for testing midbass and midrange frequencies
right at the beginning of the track the double bass is very prominant the notes should be clear and concise not drone on from one to another at arond 40 seconds the double bass plays a sustained low frequency note which should last a while if it doesnt improvements can be made in this area
one of the other instruments being scrtinised is the kick drum which again should be quick and have weight behind it without being overdominant the kickdrum has two sounds one being the hammer hitting the skin then the hammer coming off the skin the judge may occasionally comment on
these
at around 23 seconds the piano begins to play it should sound larger than life and not compressed in the slightest
it should sound as if coming from the front of the vehicle not the passenger side footwell
at 45 seconds the piano plays a low sustained note which should last a for a few seconds if it doesnt again improvements can be made

track 8 instructions for the staging evaluation
in the next three tracks the judges will be looking for
information regarding THE LISTENING POSITION ,STAGE HEIGHT , STAGE WIDTH, STAGE DEPTH AND AMBIANCE

track 9 henry mancini "theme from the pink panther"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
theres a lot going on in this track but at the beginning the piano at far left is an excellant referance as to the stage width on that side of the car with the triangle on the right hand side but slightly in a bit so bear this in mind the saxophone is also quite prominant in the recording it should sound a lot deeper and further into the mix and should be positioned around left of centre to centre the brass and drums will be even deeper into the stage at around the 42 seconds mark the orchestra finally gets moving and from here on in you should be able to determine the size of the room and hear the reflections off the walls it should sound like large and lush

track 10 lincoln mayorga "camarillo"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is excellant for judging stage height and also stage width
SET UP TIP ...right at the begginning of this track there is a bass playing at left of centre right at the front of the stage pay particular attention to this as every car sounds differant
simply follow the bass line and see where you think it originates from and where it moves 23 seconds into the track the bass play a particular low note to see if you have things set correctly it should not move if however it moves forwards and backwards then you have a slight imbalance of the midbass speakers and subwoofer if it jumps from one note to another from left to right in the car then you have a speaker imbalance from left to right in the car a well set up system the bass will not move and will appear to all come from the front of the car with the subwoofer undetectable
the tambourine at the beginning of the track should be right on the stage boundary on the right hand side a little deeper than the bass the saxophone should be central with the drums slightly deeper in the mix right at the front of the stage is the piano and it should sound large and bold as its the closest instrument
both guitars are the outermost instruments on the track and again can be used to determine the outermost points of the stage

track 11 carl orff "fortune empress of the world "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
at the begginning of the track only a certain section of the choir are singing and if you listen carefully a piano is playing very gently right at the front of the stage
at 41 seconds into the recording (first timpani strike) the sound should change and the whole of the choir are in full voice and the sheer size of the room should be very evident
if you cannot get the impression of a huge cavernous hall with a symphony orchestra and full choir then there are a few improvements which can be made to your system
this track is excellant for judging stage depth pay particular attention to the timpani strikes

track 12 staging evaluation track technical track
"left centre and right narratives"
NOT USED IN COMPETITION
but can be usefull for set up purposes or checking tonality on voices

track 13 instructions for imaging track evaluations
differant judges will use differant referances throughout the evaluations the end result being the same the two main parts to imaging are "relative position" and "focus"

track 14 imaging evaluation #1
"blues stay away from me " harry james band
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
in this track generally the two instruments which are used for referance are the trumpet at slightly inside far left and the baritone sax at far right the trumpet is slightly inside far left and this must be taken into consideration
the judges will listen for these two instruments and then wait to see if anything catches them out
TIP.. generally the things which makes imaging either move or
briefly change in size is down to intensity and tonality changes between the left and right channel so conentrating on these things in set up can greatly improve this portion of
evaluation

track 15 imaging evaluation #2
" i will find you there " micheal ruff
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
theres lots going on in this track but the main things to listen out for are the three vocals which are at centre the male vocal which is far right and the female vocal which is far left
the female vocal is located further back in the stage than the centre image there are also two instruments to concentrate on the guitar which plays infrequenctly at left of centre and the trombone at right of centre
again concentrate on relative position and focus of each individual instrument or voice

track 16 imaging evaluation #3
"too close " clair marlo
OFFICAL JUDGING TRACK
the main thing to concentrate on with this track is the female centre vocal which should be exactly in the centre and not move when either low or high notes are sung
other refernace which can be used on this track are the accordian at left of centre and the guitars at just inside far left and far right

track 17 imaging evaluation #4
seven drum beats
generally this track is not used by iasca uk judges but several other countries in europe do use this track for imaging evaluation so ill run thorugh it anyhows
tip.. when using this track listen to the tonality first before the positioning listen to the track a couple of times whilst going across does the tonality change at all ??? if so this points to an inbalance between the left and right speakers and mre work will have to be done to get this better
after this has been done then lsiten to the relative positions
of the strikes if the strikes are even and equally placed fine if one side seems to be more dominant than the other then there is a balance problem within the system if however you seem to struggle achieving a centre image then this can crossover point induced or overall relative level of midrange

track 18 explantion of linearity evaluation (tracks 19-23)
track 19 level setting instructions for track 20
track 20 level setting track for linearity evaluation

to set this correctly the volume should be set so as to be equal to the spoken voice of the judge at a normal level
once the volume has been set it will not be changed between the tracks until the evaluation is finished
the judges are looking for differnces between the three levels
the low level linearity is generally used to test if the system still has the correct amount of subbass in the system on low
the double bass and the kickdrum are difficult instruments to get right at low level even though this is not a bass heavy track at all some systems will be concieved as having a lack of subbass
the midrange should allways stay open and clear without ever becoming harsh or overbearing especially at high level

track 24 noise evaluation instructions

track 25 noise evaluation "a la valse"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this is a very clear and clean recording which starts loud and then towards the end of the track gets quiter good systems should still have music playing at 1.03 seconds into the tarck without being overcome by gain hiss or a noise gate being induced
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 14, 2008, 08:06:26 PM
Any Micheal Buble CD, even though they are studio mixed, they are just flippin brilliant. The music is excellent and the man just has the best voice.

Eh, reference material and able to enjoy it! That's more my cup of tea.

PS. NOT the DVD's, that sounds really, well, like a DVD......bad
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: The Godfather on February 15, 2008, 09:31:59 AM
RR, you sound really "into him"

To me Mike Bubble doesnt sound natural, pleasant, but not natural compared to the Chesky recordings for example. To much reverb & hf added. I think it is difficult to get a studio recording to sound natural.

Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 15, 2008, 11:37:45 AM
RR, you sound really "into him"

To me Mike Bubble doesnt sound natural, pleasant, but not natural compared to the Chesky recordings for example. To much reverb & hf added. I think it is difficult to get a studio recording to sound natural.

To me the best recorded and performed male vocals are Buble and Andrea Bochelli. IMO very well recorded, good imaging. On the Amore Album, track no6 (can't remember the name), Andrea Bochelli sings a duo with Stevie Wonder. It is so realistic, the two okes standing next to each other, Andrea almost centre stage and Stevie next to him to the left of center. Brilliant studio recording, makes it sound very real.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: The Godfather on February 15, 2008, 04:30:40 PM
I would be interested to hear what your opinion is of any of the Chesky Recordings?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 16, 2008, 07:58:46 PM
I would be interested to hear what your opinion is of any of the Chesky Recordings?

I'd like to listen to it, from the feedback on this forum is must be good. I'm gonna ask my local CD man, Ziggy, whether he can get it. (He usually can get anything  )
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: jamster on February 16, 2008, 08:01:32 PM
HERE IS A RUNDOWN ON THE IASCA DISK
this is for the iasca official sound quality referance cd
which was used in part of the 2005 events and will be used exclusively in the 2006 events

track 1 don dorsey " ascent "
not officially used as a judging track but is a very good track to listen to as regards hearing if a system is capable of the full range of frequencies there is some extreme low frequency content in this track which is perfect for trying out subwoofers
the voice and introduction at the beginning of the track is that of mary ellen papadeas whom is the iasca presidents wife

track 2 left and right channel verification
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
without doubt one of the most important tracks on the disc
please take time to listen to the WHOLE of this track not just the first few seconds through judging experiance ive learned that just because you get " left channel left channel " correct
doesnt necessarily mean your going to get the " right channel right channel " bit correct also

track 3 phase verification track
this track is not offically used as a judging track but the judge may sometimes play this track if he hears something which is out of the ordinary he or she may also put comments on your score sheet
this is an excellant set up track if used correctly for setting up mid and high frequencies so as voices appear as natural as possible simply listen to the track and listen to the voice both in and out of phase there should be a differance in your perception as to where the voice is originating from and how tight the image focus is
simply keep changing the phase (positive and negative) on your speakers until you get the best focus you can get

track 4 instructions for the tonal accuracy and spectral balance part of the judging section

track 5 john williams star wars "throne room and title ending "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
the reproduction should leave you with a felling of being in a massive music hall with an equally massive orchestra
around nine or ten seconds into the track there should be quite a bit of low frequency information which should be felt as well as heard the notes should be distinct and should both start and stop not run into one another
around 29-30 seconds into the track there should be a french horn at the back of the stage on the right hand side these should echo around and bounce of the edges of the soundstage at around the same time there are some high frequencies played from the xylophone they should be clean and crisp but overpower any of the other instruments

track 6 john williams superman " the planet krypton "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is an excellant test of the ability of the system to play extreme low frequency information
the judges will mainly be listening for around 1.09 seconds into the track where there are a succession of eight or nine very low notes all sustained for around two seconds they should descend in order the fourth note in succession is the 18hz note when this is played correctly the music should be felt as well as heard if done correctly you should feel a small vibration through the car and the sub may appear to flutter
all this should be done without the sub ever losing control of the notes and producing just one long continuous note
right at the end of the track there is a crescendo from the tympani drums the strings and the organ these should increase in volume but not get so loud so as the subwoofer is
the dominant speaker heard

track 7 jaques loussier " gavotte in d minor "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is primarilly used for testing midbass and midrange frequencies
right at the beginning of the track the double bass is very prominant the notes should be clear and concise not drone on from one to another at arond 40 seconds the double bass plays a sustained low frequency note which should last a while if it doesnt improvements can be made in this area
one of the other instruments being scrtinised is the kick drum which again should be quick and have weight behind it without being overdominant the kickdrum has two sounds one being the hammer hitting the skin then the hammer coming off the skin the judge may occasionally comment on
these
at around 23 seconds the piano begins to play it should sound larger than life and not compressed in the slightest
it should sound as if coming from the front of the vehicle not the passenger side footwell
at 45 seconds the piano plays a low sustained note which should last a for a few seconds if it doesnt again improvements can be made

track 8 instructions for the staging evaluation
in the next three tracks the judges will be looking for
information regarding THE LISTENING POSITION ,STAGE HEIGHT , STAGE WIDTH, STAGE DEPTH AND AMBIANCE

track 9 henry mancini "theme from the pink panther"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
theres a lot going on in this track but at the beginning the piano at far left is an excellant referance as to the stage width on that side of the car with the triangle on the right hand side but slightly in a bit so bear this in mind the saxophone is also quite prominant in the recording it should sound a lot deeper and further into the mix and should be positioned around left of centre to centre the brass and drums will be even deeper into the stage at around the 42 seconds mark the orchestra finally gets moving and from here on in you should be able to determine the size of the room and hear the reflections off the walls it should sound like large and lush

track 10 lincoln mayorga "camarillo"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this track is excellant for judging stage height and also stage width
SET UP TIP ...right at the begginning of this track there is a bass playing at left of centre right at the front of the stage pay particular attention to this as every car sounds differant
simply follow the bass line and see where you think it originates from and where it moves 23 seconds into the track the bass play a particular low note to see if you have things set correctly it should not move if however it moves forwards and backwards then you have a slight imbalance of the midbass speakers and subwoofer if it jumps from one note to another from left to right in the car then you have a speaker imbalance from left to right in the car a well set up system the bass will not move and will appear to all come from the front of the car with the subwoofer undetectable
the tambourine at the beginning of the track should be right on the stage boundary on the right hand side a little deeper than the bass the saxophone should be central with the drums slightly deeper in the mix right at the front of the stage is the piano and it should sound large and bold as its the closest instrument
both guitars are the outermost instruments on the track and again can be used to determine the outermost points of the stage

track 11 carl orff "fortune empress of the world "
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
at the begginning of the track only a certain section of the choir are singing and if you listen carefully a piano is playing very gently right at the front of the stage
at 41 seconds into the recording (first timpani strike) the sound should change and the whole of the choir are in full voice and the sheer size of the room should be very evident
if you cannot get the impression of a huge cavernous hall with a symphony orchestra and full choir then there are a few improvements which can be made to your system
this track is excellant for judging stage depth pay particular attention to the timpani strikes

track 12 staging evaluation track technical track
"left centre and right narratives"
NOT USED IN COMPETITION
but can be usefull for set up purposes or checking tonality on voices

track 13 instructions for imaging track evaluations
differant judges will use differant referances throughout the evaluations the end result being the same the two main parts to imaging are "relative position" and "focus"

track 14 imaging evaluation #1
"blues stay away from me " harry james band
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
in this track generally the two instruments which are used for referance are the trumpet at slightly inside far left and the baritone sax at far right the trumpet is slightly inside far left and this must be taken into consideration
the judges will listen for these two instruments and then wait to see if anything catches them out
TIP.. generally the things which makes imaging either move or
briefly change in size is down to intensity and tonality changes between the left and right channel so conentrating on these things in set up can greatly improve this portion of
evaluation

track 15 imaging evaluation #2
" i will find you there " micheal ruff
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
theres lots going on in this track but the main things to listen out for are the three vocals which are at centre the male vocal which is far right and the female vocal which is far left
the female vocal is located further back in the stage than the centre image there are also two instruments to concentrate on the guitar which plays infrequenctly at left of centre and the trombone at right of centre
again concentrate on relative position and focus of each individual instrument or voice

track 16 imaging evaluation #3
"too close " clair marlo
OFFICAL JUDGING TRACK
the main thing to concentrate on with this track is the female centre vocal which should be exactly in the centre and not move when either low or high notes are sung
other refernace which can be used on this track are the accordian at left of centre and the guitars at just inside far left and far right

track 17 imaging evaluation #4
seven drum beats
generally this track is not used by iasca uk judges but several other countries in europe do use this track for imaging evaluation so ill run thorugh it anyhows
tip.. when using this track listen to the tonality first before the positioning listen to the track a couple of times whilst going across does the tonality change at all ??? if so this points to an inbalance between the left and right speakers and mre work will have to be done to get this better
after this has been done then lsiten to the relative positions
of the strikes if the strikes are even and equally placed fine if one side seems to be more dominant than the other then there is a balance problem within the system if however you seem to struggle achieving a centre image then this can crossover point induced or overall relative level of midrange

track 18 explantion of linearity evaluation (tracks 19-23)
track 19 level setting instructions for track 20
track 20 level setting track for linearity evaluation

to set this correctly the volume should be set so as to be equal to the spoken voice of the judge at a normal level
once the volume has been set it will not be changed between the tracks until the evaluation is finished
the judges are looking for differnces between the three levels
the low level linearity is generally used to test if the system still has the correct amount of subbass in the system on low
the double bass and the kickdrum are difficult instruments to get right at low level even though this is not a bass heavy track at all some systems will be concieved as having a lack of subbass
the midrange should allways stay open and clear without ever becoming harsh or overbearing especially at high level

track 24 noise evaluation instructions

track 25 noise evaluation "a la valse"
OFFICIAL JUDGING TRACK
this is a very clear and clean recording which starts loud and then towards the end of the track gets quiter good systems should still have music playing at 1.03 seconds into the tarck without being overcome by gain hiss or a noise gate being induced

Man this brings back memories. Must have heard this disc 30 000 times ...
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: The Godfather on February 17, 2008, 05:42:17 AM
I'd like to listen to it, from the feedback on this forum is must be good. I'm gonna ask my local CD man, Ziggy, whether he can get it. (He usually can get anything  )

There are a large range of Chesky Recordings. They are all good. The disk mentioned here is simply one of their specialised disks. The basic premise of their recording methodology is to leave the signal unmolested.

www.chesky.com
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Family_Dog on February 17, 2008, 10:10:32 AM
I'd like to listen to it, from the feedback on this forum is must be good. I'm gonna ask my local CD man, Ziggy, whether he can get it. (He usually can get anything  )

Your local CD man, Ziggy, will never see me again ever! Once bitten, twice shy. You are aware that much of his stuff is not genuine, of course.

-F_D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on February 17, 2008, 11:46:05 AM
You are aware that much of his stuff is not genuine, of course.

You mean its all... Stardust?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 17, 2008, 02:49:52 PM
Hi Family Dog

You're not the first one to say it, and you're probably right. I think however it has more to do with DVD's, but I'm not sure.

The stuff I get from him is usually imports, and SACD, no way to fake it.

While it is your full right to point this out, I wish to add by saying that I've seen some major rubbish at mainstream CD shops in the cities as well, some stuff that family of mine even reported to ASAMI once. So this is rife in the industry, not just the small 'oriental' CD shops.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 17, 2008, 02:52:35 PM
There are a large range of Chesky Recordings. They are all good. The disk mentioned here is simply one of their specialised disks. The basic premise of their recording methodology is to leave the signal unmolested.

www.chesky.com

thanks, I'll have a look at the site.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: The Godfather on February 17, 2008, 05:36:58 PM
Hi Family Dog

You're not the first one to say it, and you're probably right. I think however it has more to do with DVD's, but I'm not sure.

The stuff I get from him is usually imports, and SACD, no way to fake it.

While it is your full right to point this out, I wish to add by saying that I've seen some major rubbish at mainstream CD shops in the cities as well, some stuff that family of mine even reported to ASAMI once. So this is rife in the industry, not just the small 'oriental' CD shops.
Why no way to fake it?

FD - Why not throw this Ziggy to the Wolves?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Family_Dog on February 17, 2008, 08:08:46 PM
Hi Family Dog

You're not the first one to say it, and you're probably right. I think however it has more to do with DVD's, but I'm not sure.

The stuff I get from him is usually imports, and SACD, no way to fake it.

While it is your full right to point this out, I wish to add by saying that I've seen some major rubbish at mainstream CD shops in the cities as well, some stuff that family of mine even reported to ASAMI once. So this is rife in the industry, not just the small 'oriental' CD shops.

Sorry, my omission. It was with DVDs. Ziggy served me himself, and I told him at the time that I would be a regular customer, even with the 90Km return trip from Klerksdorp. When I returned the DVD (Elton John - Greatest Hits) because it played quite happily on an el-cheapo DVD player, it hopped, skipped & jumped on my Denon DVD 2200 player and he changed it quite willingly. The new one did the same thing. After the third time, I said I would rather exchange it for something else. Suddenly, the DVD which was on his shelves and cost me about R250 at the time, was only worth R70.00.That annoyed me immensely, and the fact that when I returned it the second time, I saw his son (presumably) go into a room and remove another DVD from an open spindle, the type that one buys with 100 blanks on. No cover, no box - nothing! I then also saw the loose labels lying on the floor of his store room. When the guy noticed I was watching what he was doing, he quickly closed the door. The DVD also had the brownish tint to the underside where it was written to, genuine ones are silver. At no time did he say anything to let me believe that the DVD was not genuine  >:(

I happen to know the Chairman of RISA, and he mentioned they do have regular raids there.

A pity, Ziggy does indeed have a very good selection of DVDs & CDs. However, our small village shop "Music Addiction" here in Klerksdorp serves me well, and are very willing. Bought three DVD there yesterday, reasonably priced.

Incidentally, Bossie, who used to work for Ziggy opened a CD shop here some years abck, great selection too. But they over-extended themselves with two shops once the City Mall opened and sadly exist no more. Great pity. He really knew his music too.


-F_D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 18, 2008, 08:12:59 AM
I saw his son (presumably) go into a room and remove another DVD from an open spindle, the type that one buys with 100 blanks on. No cover, no box - nothing! I then also saw the loose labels lying on the floor of his store room. When the guy noticed I was watching what he was doing, he quickly closed the door. The DVD also had the brownish tint to the underside where it was written to, genuine ones are silver. At no time did he say anything to let me believe that the DVD was not genuine  >:(

I happen to know the Chairman of RISA, and he mentioned they do have regular raids there.
-F_D

That is really sad and very wrong. I have heard that they were fined once (probably more), but wasn't sure exactly what for. Now with your story, I have to say: The laws are clear, what the hell do they think?

I still however ordered SACD's from him, since it is cheaper than ordering from lets say Acoustic Sounds. These dirty tricks however bother me (now that I've heard a clear description of someone actually seeing these activities). I think dealers like these should be avoided, unless they do not do this anymore. I'll provide feedback if I hear anything. (Maybe you can speak to the RISA guy and here what the current situation is at Ziggy's?).
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Cleansound on February 18, 2008, 08:51:43 AM
Looking at page one mention is made to Patricia Barber, yes it is Live in France and is a great recording with a fantastic track listing, I particularly enjoy her version of Norwegian Wood.

My reference records are as follows.

1.Tsuyoshi Yamamoto-Midnight Sugar, jazz precision at it's best the man plays the piano as precise as a surgeon uses a scalpel and at times gets pretty ruthless and pushes the envelope so much that one would think he has gone into a mad frenzy, a great accoustic album with drums and double bass, my favourite record of all time.

2.Bill Evans- Walts for Debbie a jazz trio at their best and the improv. of Bill Evans as he would only be enjoyed live, this is a beautiful melodic album and probarbly one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time in a stunning ensemble and fantastic accoustics.

3.Feist-The Reminder this female has a voice that stirs up excitement and often reminds one of the likes of Kate Bush and even the great Edie Brickhell, stunningly composed tracks with a constant mood change through out the entire record.

4.Death Cab for Cutie-Plans very cleverly composed record with a bit of electronica and some serious guitar playing thrown into the mix, the songs are all enjoyable and Americana at it's best, the drumming on this record in my opinion is revoltutionary.

5.Janis Ian-Breaking Silence great audiophile record with fantastic musicianship and vocals so relaxed one would think she was recording this record since childhood, the guitar work is absolutely flawless and the percussions on this record add to the eclectic feel.

The above 5 records are not my favourites, except for Midnight Sugar which is my number one record of all time but I mention these albums in particular as the music never gets tiring and they are all excellent recordings that will push the limits of your system.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Viagara on February 18, 2008, 11:08:23 AM
Looking at page one mention is made to Patricia Barber, yes it is Live in France and is a great recording with a fantastic track listing, I particularly enjoy her version of Norwegian Wood.

3.Feist-The Reminder this female has a voice that stirs up excitement and often reminds one of the likes of Kate Bush and even the great Edie Brickhell, stunningly composed tracks with a constant mood change through out the entire record.

I absolutely agree with you on Patricia Barber. Feist I also enjoy, but sometimes feel that her voice sounds "distant" on the CD. I don't know how to describe it, but maybe I am too used to close mic(and over-processed) recordings ;)

Have you heard Kate Bush's Aerial? Quite different to her previous albums, but I enjoy it.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 18, 2008, 11:59:01 AM
Why no way to fake it?


What!!

SACD, very small market, I don't understand this question at all..
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Cleansound on February 18, 2008, 12:17:10 PM
I absolutely agree with you on Patricia Barber. Feist I also enjoy, but sometimes feel that her voice sounds "distant" on the CD. I don't know how to describe it, but maybe I am too used to close mic(and over-processed) recordings ;)

Have you heard Kate Bush's Aerial? Quite different to her previous albums, but I enjoy it.
I have Aeriel on vinyl, simply stunning.
The Feist on the cd. also sounds distant at times, I have this record on vinyl and it's just so dynamic.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Viagara on February 18, 2008, 01:05:30 PM
The Feist on the cd. also sounds distant at times, I have this record on vinyl and it's just so dynamic.

Phew, so at least its not my imagination :o
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: The Godfather on February 18, 2008, 01:27:58 PM
What!!

SACD, very small market, I don't understand this question at all..

http://ww.sa-cd.net/showthread/25946/25994
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 18, 2008, 04:45:40 PM
http://ww.sa-cd.net/showthread/25946/25994


Damn, nothing in the world escapes 'fake' treatment. Still, there is no market in SA for this. Most CD shops don't even know what SACD is (Look & Listen and musica comes to mind).
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: DRNB on February 22, 2008, 09:39:41 AM
Damn, nothing in the world escapes 'fake' treatment. Still, there is no market in SA for this. Most CD shops don't even know what SACD is (Look & Listen and musica comes to mind).

Don't be fooled by thinking its in S.A. only. I've asked around in Munich where could I find specialist CD and also HiFi shops. I've most of the times been refured to a shop named "Saturn". Just a glorified version of HiFi-corp (but their products are not gray at least) ;D.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: RR on February 27, 2008, 07:21:57 PM
These are my reference albums:

1) Vanessa Williams - The sweetest days. (CD) this disc will show up any midbass attenuation immediately. It also has the most beautiful soundstage and instrument arrangement. As said before, my reference/test albums must be stuff that I like, and I like this one a lot.
2) Sarah Mclachlan - After glow (CD). A real torture disc, will again show up lack of neutrality, this time in the lower bass range.
3) Sarah Mclachlan - Surfacing (CD) - Just because its so beautiful. O ja, midrange clarity to die for on a good setup.
4) Micheal Buble - The original album and 'Come fly with me'. Both excellent recordings. I have heard it on systems where the fluidity of his voice is lost, including a really expensive Krell Based system. This is a good test along with the Vanessa Williams album to hear if one would be able to still relax with the music, instead of hearing how the numbers are crunched.
5) Antiphone Blues (stereo SACD). This disc is SACD's best marketer, because it kicks the Antiphone LP out of the park.
6) Jazz at the Pawnshop Disc 1 (Stereo SACD) - Just the intro track, the part where one can hear the next door club banging away (Only on BIG speakers).
7) Beethoven 3&4th Piano Concerto's - Sony Classical - Murray Perahia - Again this disc is used to ensure that the music is put first, not the system. I've heard CD players that cock this one up badly by disrupting the flow of the music in favour of analysis. A good CD player should give all the detail whilst allowing the music to flow.
8 ) Boardwalk Pipes & Bach on the Biggest (CD & LP) - Atlantic City Organ - Oh dear, if you ever want to hear if your amp can control your speakers, or if your speakers have any audible resonance frequencies. The only music I have ever heard that tripped up an REL Stadium subwoofer.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on July 21, 2008, 09:16:25 AM
OK. I just had a thought...

Any chance someone could compile a disk of high quality recordings that also serve to highlight particular system attributes? A sort of standard forum reference, if you will. I realise there'll be copyright issues, but has not stopped anyone so far (and it's for the greater good). Alternatively, we could agree on a set of discs that form a standard reference library. This, of course, extends to all formats.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: GearSlave on July 21, 2008, 10:41:55 AM
That is a great idea!!!!! I'm in!

At least it'll help us to even the playing field a little as to source material. Any thoughts on a track list yet?

My contribution:

The first track off Tubular Bells II - Sentinel - Mike Oldfield.
The 9th track off Only Trust Your Heart - Crs Craft - Diana Krall.
The 4th track off Romanza - Il Mare Calmo Della Sera - Andrea Bocceli

Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on July 21, 2008, 12:28:44 PM
Nice start, but you have say what each track is good for. The idea occurred to me when I realised that we'd be discussing the GerDAC's performance.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: GearSlave on July 21, 2008, 12:45:44 PM
It's hard for me to say, as I don't know/want how to describe music.

I have specific things I listen for and as I get better gear more of the recordings come out. If it'll help, here are the things I listen out for, usually doing an A/B:

1. The decay of the strings of an acoustic guitar. This shows how effective the kit is at retrieving detail.
2. The hihats on the drums. If recorded properly, these are not supposed to have single tones, but almost a "warble" (probably the wrong word) as they decay. Also, listening to ride cymbals, you want to hear the bell like decay, not just an abrupt ending of the note.
3. Stereo image. This is one of the trickiest ones as there are so many factors in the chain that can affect it (as I recently experienced).

So, to relate that to my selection:
1. Sentinal has such a varied "palette" of sounds. It is a reasonably busy piece and it helps to figure out how well your kit handles these kinds of passages. Can you still isolate instruments or does it just become a noisy affair?
2. Crs Craft is nice to me personally because of the jazzy drum solo that the guys do. Also, there are some really nice ride cymbal passages and a fair amount of bristle work on the snare. It is recorded very well and the sound of real drums is a known entity to me.
3. Il Mare Calmo Della Sera - I just like this song for the emotion. It is quite a dynamic piece of music and I listen to possible "screechyness" in Andrea's voice in the opening passages.

These are the things I can think of ;D
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: LAV on July 21, 2010, 06:57:17 PM
On B&W's Society of Sound pages there's a remastered instrumental album by the Afro Celt Sound System. Ooooohhhh!!! Definitely worth a try.  Downloadable as 16 or 24-bit FLAC. 8) Give it a whirl!  :)
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: GearSlave on July 21, 2010, 08:40:58 PM
Very catchy tune!
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on November 14, 2011, 01:07:51 PM
Now... about that compilation...
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: fdlsys on November 14, 2011, 03:44:07 PM
^---- definitely...
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: surfsup on November 23, 2011, 12:33:58 PM
I am by no means an Audio seller, but if I want to show what my Cambridge 640A Azur can do i put on track 9 of the latest Example CD. When you mix good solid bass and an acoustic guitar being played at the same time, along with vocals, it really tests things quite nicely.

The song is not everyone's cup of tea, but try it and let me know.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: ish on December 05, 2011, 03:06:01 PM
I have a Sheffield Lab recording of Amanda McBroom with Lincoln Mayorga called Growing Up In Hollywood Town which I always used as a
reference. Great music as well
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: frikkie on December 05, 2011, 03:24:12 PM
Chris Jones - No Sanctuary Here.

Very good recording, giving the system quite a wide-ranging workout. Gruff male voice needing substantial mid-range resolution to adequate resolve and reproduce; deep, solid electric bass giving subs/woofers a serious run for their money, and fine detail like triangles which tend to get lost on lesser playback setups. Not to mention very well played acoustic guitar, which in itself requires some resolution.

Give it a bash!
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: LAV on December 05, 2011, 07:38:40 PM
Chris Jones - No Sanctuary Here.

Very good recording, giving the system quite a wide-ranging workout. Gruff male voice needing substantial mid-range resolution to adequate resolve and reproduce; deep, solid electric bass giving subs/woofers a serious run for their money, and fine detail like triangles which tend to get lost on lesser playback setups. Not to mention very well played acoustic guitar, which in itself requires some resolution.

Give it a bash!
I definitely need to test-drive this.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: sav on April 22, 2012, 10:47:32 PM
I can't believe nobody's mentioned Eric Clapton's MTN Unplugged yet. Simply brilliant in my opinion.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Rotten Johnny on April 23, 2012, 04:50:18 AM
track 6 - "Dracula & Friends, Pt. 1" off Antoine Dufour's Sound Pictures.  During the opening of this track you can clearly hear Dufour's hand moving against the body of the guitar as he plays.  If you don't hear it come through clearly the system isn't resolving it well enough.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: surfsup on April 25, 2012, 03:52:09 PM
Anything by Lana Del Ray..... :clap:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: marsbeetle on December 08, 2012, 04:22:56 PM
Track 5 "Three O'Clock Blues" from the album Riding With The King: B.B. King & Eric Clapton - incredible guitar work by BBK/Clapton and some great bass too.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: u235 on December 09, 2012, 08:33:41 AM
Chris Jones - No Sanctuary Here.

Very good recording, giving the system quite a wide-ranging workout. Gruff male voice needing substantial mid-range resolution to adequate resolve and reproduce; deep, solid electric bass giving subs/woofers a serious run for their money, and fine detail like triangles which tend to get lost on lesser playback setups. Not to mention very well played acoustic guitar, which in itself requires some resolution.

Give it a bash!

One of the best. Its also recorded for space. The bass chorus has a depth and almost echo on it that varies a lot from one system to the next.

If someone has a good recording of King Crmson's Lark's Tongues in Aspic, its a wonderful test - huge dynamic range, lots of clashing percussion, mellifluous bass and kick-drums that leave bruises. Rudi's system exposed my CD of it as kak - a good recording will be  real test.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: BWS on December 19, 2012, 09:26:25 AM
For Headphone reference I like to use Rat in mi Kitchen by UB40, loads of bass, treble and stereo effects perfect for testing a headphone's mettle
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: BWS on December 19, 2012, 10:49:36 AM
For Headphone reference I like to use Rat in mi Kitchen by UB40, loads of bass, treble and stereo effects perfect for testing a headphone's mettle

Add: Pictures of you by The Cure  :thumbs:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: cleansound on December 19, 2012, 11:01:27 AM
Has anyone mentioned Janis Ian - Breaking Silence.
I always mention this one, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto - Midnight Sugar.

Hehehe, just read through the thread and I did so way back  :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Atjan on January 09, 2013, 11:04:23 PM
track 6 - "Dracula & Friends, Pt. 1" off Antoine Dufour's Sound Pictures.  During the opening of this track you can clearly hear Dufour's hand moving against the body of the guitar as he plays.  If you don't hear it come through clearly the system isn't resolving it well enough.
Was listening for this. Is it after the initial strum and before the drumming of fingers on the guitar? If I have to ask I guess its not so clearly here, but I do hear some movements there which I guess must be his hand on the instrument.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Rotten Johnny on January 10, 2013, 06:22:20 AM
Was listening for this. Is it after the initial strum and before the drumming of fingers on the guitar?
Yep, that's it, it continues into the track also.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Atjan on January 10, 2013, 06:52:51 AM
Cool! I managed to injure my pre (again), so I'm limping along on the Mav's pre section. So just checking.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: WD on January 10, 2013, 03:29:59 PM
"Bluesville" off Count Basie's "88 Basie Street". Builds to a wonderfully extravagant full band sound/ climax. Lots of brilliant brass that should delight the ears on a good system.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8f/88basie.jpg)

88 Basie Street is a 1983 studio album by Count Basie.
At the 27th Grammy Awards, Count Basie won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band for 88 Basie Street.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: THE MAN on May 21, 2013, 08:17:10 PM
I have to mention

2004 - Bowers & Wilkins - Very Audiophile New Recordings

Inludes
Allan Taylor ,Sara.K, Steve Strauss,Chris Jones ,Paul Stephenson

The recordings are immaculate,and the secret behind them is Stockfish Records
Final mixing is done on B&W Nautilus's (for audiophiles by audiophiles)
They even cut their own vinyls
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: naughty on December 24, 2013, 05:21:50 AM
OK. I just had a thought...

Any chance someone could compile a disk of high quality recordings that also serve to highlight particular system attributes? A sort of standard forum reference, if you will. I realise there'll be copyright issues, but has not stopped anyone so far (and it's for the greater good). Alternatively, we could agree on a set of discs that form a standard reference library. This, of course, extends to all formats.

did anyone ever get down to that compilation?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: TimbaLand on February 18, 2014, 07:41:11 PM
You raise me high by Josh Groban on the David Foster hitman bluray.
When the bass and choir comes in it's so amazing. Lot of balls will be demanded from your system to give justice to the scene
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chrisflex on March 09, 2014, 08:39:51 AM
Ray Charles'

Genius Loves Company

http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Loves-Company-Ray-Charles/dp/B0002F7I9Y

Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 09, 2014, 09:16:18 AM
did anyone ever get down to that compilation?

Sorry, I'm only seeing this now. No, there was never a compilation done. But now, with so many more members having joined (the OP was in 2007!), it should be easier to come up with one. Just to recap: it is about identifying tacks that are good for demonstrating or evaluating specific aspects of a music reproduction system.

The original post:

Can we make a list of recommended reference material, so that we can (mostly) be on the same page when describing our listening experiences? I just read a review here http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=1140186#post1140186 (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=1140186#post1140186) and it struck me that there are 2 categories of listening material: (1) for showing off how nice a system sounds and (2) for evaluating system performance.

Now, Dianna Krall is seductive even on a ghetto blaster. She can make a poor system sound good. I believe this is because of the simple, uncomplex nature of the arrangements typically found on her recordings. But these types of recordings do nothing to challenge a system...

The reviewer I linked to above used cuts that are dynamically challenging and complex. And this is where the fun starts...

So, can we make up a list (preferebly not extensive) of tracks and/or albums that are useful for testing/evaluating particular aspects of system performance? Below is a thumbsuck of possible categories. I'm sure the more informed fellow members can refine and extend the categories.

Dynamics/Dynamic range
Low frequency extension
High frequency extension
Mid-range resolution
Colouration (bass/mid/high)
High-power compression
Low frequency integration (subwoofer)

If we could compile a list of source material that presents good testing material for these categories (or whatever categories we finally decide on), I'd be persuaded to invest in those exact CD's, DVD's, vinyl, etc. But please, let it also be good music .
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 09, 2014, 09:22:55 AM
Perhaps we should first agree on a list of aspects of sound categories (anyone have a better/single word for me to use here?).

Then when we suggest a song/passage we can state what category we are proposing it for.

I'm thinking that this could result in a series of compilations, each having different songs for the same list of categories.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chrisc on March 09, 2014, 04:16:19 PM
How do you want the compilations to be presented?  As far as I can see there are 3 options

16 bit 44.1KHz CD
24 bit 96KHz DVD-Audio disc
24 bit 96KHz SACD
24 bit 96KHz and 192KHz FLAC file on a USB stick

Choices 2 and 3 require a compatible player, but the sound from DVD-Audio and a Hi-Res FLAC file is excellent

As to the content, I would suggest as much natural instruments and voices as possible.  Steer away from studio effects and gimmicks.  It does not all have to be classical music, there is solo guitar and folk music which is very good.  Some of the older recordings made by Dire Straits are well-recorded

Count me in to assist.  Next question - how do you want to distribute it?
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 09, 2014, 05:50:49 PM
I'm sure that FLAC at 16 bit/44.1kHz and 24 bit/96kHz would be fine.

My initial idea was for a reference list, but of late I am thinking of having it on disc. However, this might cause us trouble. It is simple enough to discretely share copies of tracks  :shh: , but doing so on a large scale... hmmm...  :nono:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chrisc on March 09, 2014, 05:52:21 PM
Copying a 16Gb USB drive takes all of 5-8 minutes and you can do up to 5 at once
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Shonver on March 09, 2014, 05:58:57 PM
Hehe... I didn't mean logistically... I meant ethically  :angel:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: Kent Kassler on March 09, 2014, 06:53:54 PM
....most people here own b&w's.....i dont think ethics are a problem really :point:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: naughty on March 14, 2014, 08:51:34 AM
....most people here own b&w's.....i dont think ethics are a problem really :point:

ROFLMAO
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chrisc on March 14, 2014, 08:55:16 AM
You are not going to sell the recordings, nor are you going to broadcast them in public, so no law is being transgressed
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: ghostinthemachine on December 22, 2014, 09:19:39 PM
Boy & Bear - Lordy May - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQYMeccD-sw

The opening drum riff is goosebump material on a great system!
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: wanda on May 10, 2015, 08:21:02 AM
Erykah Badu - Baduism Live is a good test for dynamic range....the drumming is fantastic. Some lightening fast bass lines too. Great soul-jazz cd imo. If the intro 'Rimshot' does not get you in the mood....then the cd is probably not your cup of tea.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: AlleyCat on May 10, 2015, 08:57:06 AM
Wanda, that bass on there is wicked. I doubt that the music on there will be appreciated by those wanting to make up a test disc though. I would love to see ChrisC sit through that whole song, let alone an album of Erykah Badu.
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: chrisc on May 10, 2015, 10:01:48 AM
I might cringe through it!  With earplugs!  No, I will listen to anything, but it does not mean I'm going to rush out and get it.  The best recording I have heard in the past year is a Channel Classics DSD download with Rachael Podger and the Holland Baroque Society playing Vivaldi's La Cetra

(http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/o505/capecomputerclub/prev_zpsp3btoehx.jpg) (http://s1145.photobucket.com/user/capecomputerclub/media/prev_zpsp3btoehx.jpg.html)
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: jeinnor on October 31, 2017, 07:38:27 AM
....most people here own b&w's.....i dont think ethics are a problem really :point:

They do?  :BWAHAHAH:
Title: Re: AVForums reference source material
Post by: naughty on November 18, 2017, 11:20:41 PM
I'm sure that FLAC at 16 bit/44.1kHz and 24 bit/96kHz would be fine.

My initial idea was for a reference list, but of late I am thinking of having it on disc. However, this might cause us trouble. It is simple enough to discretely share copies of tracks  :shh: , but doing so on a large scale... hmmm...  :nono:

can it cause problems if you dont sell it or charge for it ie make a test disc and give it free to attendees of Hi-Fi club meetings etc .... does anyone know the actual law in this regard (ie confirmed with no speculation)