PDA

View Full Version : New Speakers/Best Recordings to Evaluate



Fahzz
2017-03-17, 17:16
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.

dasmueller
2017-03-17, 19:37
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.

w3wilkes
2017-03-17, 22:22
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.

Pascal Hibon
2017-03-18, 03:58
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?

d6jg
2017-03-18, 13:29
My go to audition album is Stanley Clarke's School Days. Great bass (obviously) but also wide dynamic range.

Fahzz
2017-03-19, 11:21
Thanks for the responses.

Mnyb
2017-03-20, 13:11
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 .

Fahzz
2017-03-20, 17:56
My living loud days are over:D. 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!

Fahzz
2017-03-20, 18:01
My living loud days are over:D. 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!

meep
2017-03-21, 01:31
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/800-series-diamond-ten-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:1170674065:playlist:74EvqIV0OcC6MCJ0T 4PUcQ
Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/1170674065/playlist/74EvqIV0OcC6MCJ0T4PUcQ

Two of my favourite album recordings are;

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

They sound so crisp and clean.

Wirrunna
2017-03-21, 02:13
I have a pair of Klipschorns in a large well damped living room and very occasionally someone will realise that what they thought were corner cupboards are in fact speakers. To demo them I play Buddy Guy - Blues Singer and then to show how loud they can go I crank up Boney M's Rasputin.

For interest, there is a thread on the Klipsch forums https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/168594-3-go-to-songs-for-testing-speakers/

emalvick
2017-04-07, 15:59
I think it would be best to work with recordings that have been remastered AND are not victims of the loudness wars where music is pushed to the max.

This is where vinyl can be nice. A variety is nice. I have some nice recordings in 24-96 format that I like to use just because they aren't highly compressed and tend to have more dynamics.

I appreciate the earlier suggestion about live music and listening to voices. I never thought of that myself.

I do like judging my equipment via some old 50's and 60's era jazz albums, some which are live, as you can pick up a lot of detail in those recordings.

Pascal Hibon
2017-04-08, 01:55
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.


I would be very careful with such statements.
I've listed a couple of live performances in my response above. I use those because they are very well recorded. I never heard those particular songs live myself but I know how the CD sounds. So, I'm not "comparing them" to the actual live performance.
To me it is all about the recording quality. And in that regards, I would never exclude live performances (if they are well recorded).

On another note, some people are referring to good recordings when they aren't dynamically compressed (too much).
To me that is only one aspect of "the well recorded" album or track. In my opinion there are other parameters to take into account before I stick my "good recorded label" on a CD or track. How the recording as been mixed, how the different vocals and instruments have been EQ'ed, etc. In a previous life I've mixed quite some PA sessions and that's probably why I'm looking for those things as well.

bakker_be
2017-04-08, 05:13
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?

You should maybe add Luc Van Acker & Anna Domino - Zanna to that list. It's wonderfully multilayered with some astounding deep bass as well ...

Pascal Hibon
2017-04-08, 10:34
You should maybe add Luc Van Acker & Anna Domino - Zanna to that list. It's wonderfully multilayered with some astounding deep bass as well ...

Thanks for the tip bakker_be! I've added Zanna to my reference list.
Have you heard the version Sweet Coffee made of that song? It's on the their Naked City album.
Sweet Coffee is a highly underrated band in my opinion.

iPhone
2017-04-10, 22:25
If I want to see how a Speaker System performs over a varying range of music, styles, instruments, and voice, I carry the following:

I always start with the Stereophile Test CD Volume 2 because if channel identification and channel phasing are not correct, one is wasting their time. A guy was in HiFi Buys a couple months ago and they had been switching sources and pre-amps around and then the guy started to listen in earnest for about 25 minutes and said he was impressed. It sounded flat and muddled to me with absolutely NO Sound Stage. Put the Test CD in when he was finished and the channels were reversed at the pre-amp and the phase was wrong.

Erich Kunzel:Cincinnati Pops/Time Warp (wide dynamic range plus some 18Hz organ notes, if there is a long silence that seems out of place, the speakers don't have a good bass foundation)

Spies/Music of Espionage

Flim & The BB's/Tricycle (modern Jazz)

Miles Davis/Kind of Blue/ All Blue (Davis, Evans, Coltrane, need I say more)

Keb' Mo'/Just Like You

Amanda McBroom & Lincoln Mayorga/Growing Up in a Hollywood Town/ Amanda (female vocal)

Nylons/Seamless/ The Lion Sleeps Tonight/ Up on the Roof

Checkfield/Distant Thunder/ Clockwork

Dire Straits/Brothers in Arms/ Brothers in Arms

Billy Joel/The Bridge/ Baby Grand

Stevie Ray Vaughan/Couldn't Stand the Weather (Remastered)/ Hide Away/ Couldn't Stand the Weather

Coldplay/A Rush of Blood to the Head/ Clocks

Pascal Hibon
2017-04-11, 04:05
Flim & The BB's/Tricycle (modern Jazz)


Looked this one up on the net and it seems like a great album. As far as I can tell from youtube it seems very well recorded.
I tried to buy but it doesn't seem to be very popular in Europe... A few places where it is available at very ridiculous prices. Even at Amazon it is listed at 40 Euro but can't be shipped to my address.
Do you know by any chance where I could buy this on CD or download?

Thanks for the tip by the way.
You're list also made me buy Keb' Mo' - Just Like You

iPhone
2017-04-11, 07:43
Looked this one up on the net and it seems like a great album. As far as I can tell from youtube it seems very well recorded.
I tried to buy but it doesn't seem to be very popular in Europe... A few places where it is available at very ridiculous prices. Even at Amazon it is listed at 40 Euro but can't be shipped to my address.
Do you know by any chance where I could buy this on CD or download?

Thanks for the tip by the way.
You're list also made me buy Keb' Mo' - Just Like You



Glad you enjoyed Flim & the BB's Tricycle. Also check out their CD Big Notes. Tricycle and Big Notes are my two favorites from them but I do enjoy listening to all their CDs and songs. All their CDs where either DD digital Direct to Disk or DDD CDs so they are all clean and sound great. Tricycle was the very first CD release that was not a Classical recording. I believe all of the Flim and the BB's discography is Out of Print. So any NEW CD is going to be one that a company or person put aside so it will be costly. I also don't know anywhere that has digital downloads of their CDs. I would look for a "stated" clean like new used copy. Amazon here in the US shows a copy for $14.99. There are several used CD stores here in Atlanta and they might have a copy.

I have asked on several Forums what CD is peoples' favorite to listen to when listening to high end speakers and have generated some replies finding some new music. I probably need to find a Forum or website that actually deals with Music to find new music via opinion and suggestion. The radio is no help whatsoever as the current new music is not even music in my opinion.

Pascal Hibon
2017-04-12, 21:32
Glad you enjoyed Flim & the BB's Tricycle. Also check out their CD Big Notes. Tricycle and Big Notes are my two favorites from them but I do enjoy listening to all their CDs and songs. All their CDs where either DD digital Direct to Disk or DDD CDs so they are all clean and sound great. Tricycle was the very first CD release that was not a Classical recording. I believe all of the Flim and the BB's discography is Out of Print. So any NEW CD is going to be one that a company or person put aside so it will be costly. I also don't know anywhere that has digital downloads of their CDs. I would look for a "stated" clean like new used copy. Amazon here in the US shows a copy for $14.99. There are several used CD stores here in Atlanta and they might have a copy.

I have asked on several Forums what CD is peoples' favorite to listen to when listening to high end speakers and have generated some replies finding some new music. I probably need to find a Forum or website that actually deals with Music to find new music via opinion and suggestion. The radio is no help whatsoever as the current new music is not even music in my opinion.


I tried to reply to your PM message but it seems that your inbox is full.

iPhone
2017-04-12, 21:57
That is odd, my PM shows a green bar at the end which I thought meant I still had room to work with. I know my Sent to Received are not balanced, maybe I exceeded number of received. I'll go delete some Sent and Inbox messages to to make sure there is space. Please try sending it again.

Keith


I tried to reply to your PM message but it seems that your inbox is full.

Mnyb
2017-04-12, 22:11
I would be very careful with such statements.
I've listed a couple of live performances in my response above. I use those because they are very well recorded. I never heard those particular songs live myself but I know how the CD sounds. So, I'm not "comparing them" to the actual live performance.
To me it is all about the recording quality. And in that regards, I would never exclude live performances (if they are well recorded).

On another note, some people are referring to good recordings when they aren't dynamically compressed (too much).
To me that is only one aspect of "the well recorded" album or track. In my opinion there are other parameters to take into account before I stick my "good recorded label" on a CD or track. How the recording as been mixed, how the different vocals and instruments have been EQ'ed, etc. In a previous life I've mixed quite some PA sessions and that's probably why I'm looking for those things as well.

I've just out for that one should use some records with a foot in reality .
There is nothing wrong with the rest of the selection of well recorded recordings with good dynamics and wide frequency content et al. They surely gives the speaker some excercise.
Compare speakers by how others speakers sound can quickly get confusing similar to http://seanolive.blogspot.se/2009/10/audios-circle-of-confusion.html

Btw , my comment about complex and slightly loud music it has a meaning even if you normally listen quieter .
Power compression sets in early in some speakers it will affect everything especially dynamic music when the avarage level is low but peaks could be higher. Or if it has really low or complex bass passages .

It's not easy to,pick speakers one gets used to how ones current pair sounds over time in the room.
Try to move and your in for a fun surprise:) it's not the same the first couple of days .

Pascal Hibon
2017-04-30, 23:17
I would like to add this one to the list:

Beverly Jo Scott - Honey & Hurricanes (https://www.discogs.com/Beverly-Jo-Scott-Honey-Hurricanes/release/664266)

Berverly is an American singer who lives in Belgium. She had scored a hit in the beginning of the nighties with Hey Nanna. The album is very well recorded. I really like the way the drum kit is mixed on this album.