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  1. #1
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    New Speakers/Best Recordings to Evaluate

    Hi:

    New speakers coming. Can I get some suggestions from this group about albums that are very well recorded for getting a sense of how good the speakers are? I'm pretty eclectic, but not a classical fan. Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    This is way to open-ended for folks to help you. What I would do is pick music that I already have . Pick different styles/genres and recordings that you are familiar with.

    Actually you are doing this backwards. One should select a range of recordings and then go to a showroom, play them and compare different speakers.

    Since you have already purchased the new speakers play a variety of well recorded music and make an estimation of how good they are.

  3. #3
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    For your new speakers I'd suggest you use your most favorite well known music to do your evaluation. Then you can do a showdown with what you already know.
    Main system - Rock Solid with LMS 7.9 on WHS 2011 - 2 Duets and Squeeseslave
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Pascal Hibon's Avatar
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    Over the years I have compiled a small list with music that I use to evaluate speakers (and other gear).
    To me it is key to know the songs very well (how do they sound) and that the reference music is well recorded.
    The name of the album is between brackets at the end. I understand that your taste might not be the same as mine, but the albums listed are worth a listen since most of them are very well recorded.
    Below are a few songs I use (in no particular order):

    Ibhola Lethu (Our Football Team) - Johnny Clegg & Savuka (In My African Dream)
    Janie Runaway - Steely Dan (Two Against Nature)
    Roots (Back to a Way of Live) – Incognito (100░ and Rising)
    Need to Know – Incognito (Tribes, Vibes and Scribes)
    Rock Me Baby - Tina Turner (What's Love Got To Do With It)
    Steamy Windows - Tina Turner (Simply The Best)
    Looking For Clues - Robert Palmer (The Very Best Of Robert Palmer)
    Mustang Sally - The Commitments (The Commitments)
    Wag The Dog - Mark Knopfler (Wag The Dog)
    Smoking Gun - Robert Cray (Strong Persuader)
    Bayou Woman - Tony Joe White (Lake Placid Blues)
    I'm On My Way - The Proclaimers (The Best Of... (87-02))
    Aniron - Enya (The Very Best Of Enya)
    Earthchild – Tocadisco (Dance)
    Sax-A-Go-Go - Candy Dulfer (Live In Amsterdam)
    Flesh For Fantasy - Billy Idol (Idol Songs - 11 Of The Best)
    Autocensor - Blue Blot (Shopping For Love)
    Is It Real - Count Basic (Life Think It Over)
    Somebody Up There Likes You - Simple Minds (New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84))
    Le Monde Tourne Mal (Live) - Axelle Red (Alive)

    This one is not particularly well recorded (dynamically compressed) but I love the baseline in it.
    I also like Marianne’s voice signature.

    Lola R. For Ever - Marianne Faithfull With Sly & Robbie (Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited)


    Am I reading it right that you already bought the speakers?
    Last edited by Pascal Hibon; 2017-03-18 at 04:03.
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  5. #5
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    My go to audition album is Stanley Clarke's School Days. Great bass (obviously) but also wide dynamic range.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses.
    Living Room: Squeezebox v3 (Wired), Pioneer Elite VSX 80, KEF LS50, Paradigm SE center, SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer, Paradigm Atom Monitor v.5 surrounds
    w/ Harmony 650 Smart Remote
    Dining Room: KEF Q100
    Anywhere Else As Needed: Boom
    Router: Asus RT-N56U
    Server: LMS Version 7.9, Dell Laptop, Windows 10 Home

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    One missunderstood recommendation is to use some live recordings.
    In this case live should be understood as well made acoustical recordings ie " non loudspeaker music ".
    Sounds you may have heard in reality without the help of speaker technology.

    Voices are great if a human voice sounds coloured the speakers will not make you happy in the long run . We hear voices all the time . But again use a natural recording.

    Also pick some very dynamic stuff and bass rich tracks , some very "messy" tracks with a lot of things going on at the same time probably loud .

    Some speakers that are spectacular with voice and small ensembles may collapse when pushed with something louder .
    Shouty with a tendency to power compression and muddy bass .
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    My living loud days are over. I'm looking for accuracy and realism, and I'll just go with some of my favorites. I have some in mind, including some old school acoustic jazz, and some female singers. There's also a Bill Withers compilation that I always thought sounded great.

    Side note: since the speakers are an upgrade, I thought I'd upgrade the speaker wires and get some with banana plugs. I spent $60.00 for three 12 gauge cables (one for the center channel). I did NOT shop here: http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_anjou_sc.htm
    Apparently some people pay $5000 for these things!
    Living Room: Squeezebox v3 (Wired), Pioneer Elite VSX 80, KEF LS50, Paradigm SE center, SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer, Paradigm Atom Monitor v.5 surrounds
    w/ Harmony 650 Smart Remote
    Dining Room: KEF Q100
    Anywhere Else As Needed: Boom
    Router: Asus RT-N56U
    Server: LMS Version 7.9, Dell Laptop, Windows 10 Home

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    My living loud days are over. I'm looking for accuracy and realism, and I'll just go with some of my favorites. I have some in mind, including some old school acoustic jazz, and some female singers. There's also a Bill Withers compilation that I always thought sounded great.

    Side note: since the speakers are an upgrade, I thought I'd upgrade the speaker wires and get some with banana plugs. I spent $60.00 for three 12 gauge cables (one for the center channel). I did NOT shop here: http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_anjou_sc.htm
    Apparently some people pay $5000 for these things!
    Living Room: Squeezebox v3 (Wired), Pioneer Elite VSX 80, KEF LS50, Paradigm SE center, SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer, Paradigm Atom Monitor v.5 surrounds
    w/ Harmony 650 Smart Remote
    Dining Room: KEF Q100
    Anywhere Else As Needed: Boom
    Router: Asus RT-N56U
    Server: LMS Version 7.9, Dell Laptop, Windows 10 Home

  10. #10
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    A while back, I came across this list that was used by B&W in the development of the 800 Series 3;

    http://blog.bowers-wilkins.com/music...n-demo-tracks/

    I wasn't very familiar with some of the artists and very few of the tracks but I've become very used to them now and even discovered Chris Jones out of it.

    I made a Spotify playlist but if you can track down the originals at higher resolution, it's very worthwhile;

    Spotify URI: spotify:user:1170674065laylist:74EvqIV0OcC6MCJ0T4PUcQ
    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/117067...OcC6MCJ0T4PUcQ

    Two of my favourite album recordings are;

    Roadhouses & Automobiles - Chris Jones
    West of the West - Dave Alvin

    They sound so crisp and clean.
    Last edited by meep; 2017-03-21 at 01:57. Reason: typo


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