What's your Speaker Demo Track List?

ATLAudio

ATLAudio

Full Audioholic
Ratings
198 5
#1
Here's Mine!


OVERALL


Aja, Steely Dan: This is my all around everything track. Not only did the Annandale duo record and engineer this album incredibly well, it simply has it all, vocal range, acoustical variety, highs, mids, lows, sub bass, imaging, and depth.


The Holy Men, World Saxophone: Imaging and sound stage; and this is an incredibly tough test. The four saxes playing should all be distinctly located across your sound stage. Even if two of three saxes seem on top of each other that’s fine unless you spent thousands on your speakers.


Flight of the Bumblebee, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: An easier imaging and soundstage test but still useful.


Sentenza del Cuore, The Coryells; Depth imaging, and detail: The castanets should sound like they are coming from several feet behind your speakers and even echoing off large cathedral hall walls. For an added bonus the castanets should sound like they are made of wood, not plastic. This wood/plastic effect is subtle, and you may need to hear them on good headphone to know what I’m talking about. Of course, very good speakers will do this too.


BASS TRACKS


Train Song, Holly Cole; Bass Imaging, the sound of bass traveling across the soundstage with other acoustical accompaniments should sound enveloping.


Falling, Olive: clean captivating bass


Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Guns N Roses; The initial bass riff should be as immersing as possible without being muddy.


Higher Love, Steve Winwood: This recording is done with near perfect resolution, and bass should have maximum detail and contrast


Happy Pills, Norah Jones: The beat intro should sound clean and detailed


Latch, Disclosure: Club bass should do what you think clean club bass should do.


VOCALS


Come Away with Me, Norah Jones: Her voice is actually recorded a tad hot IMPO, but quality speakers should handle this without being fatiguing.


Nevermind, Leonard Cohen: This is a fantastic sounding record which Cohen does with a hot mic. This gives his voice incredible detail down to a spittle “lip-smacking” sound. He did this to give the impression of being talked to very closely, and intimately. But, it also shouldn’t echo or sound like it’s coming from all around you but secured with the front soundstage. This is a hard test.


OTHER:


Two tracks, Sex Action, LA Guns, and Better Together, Jack Johnson. Playing these two tracks side by side will show you the effect of acoustical advantage. It makes me long for a “bass knob” which I had in car audio. For home audio, it should show you what range of adjustment you’ll be making with your speakers/sub, and there will be one.
 
H

Hetfield

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
165 3 3
#2
I have quite a few but one that's a little obscure that I go to everytime is a DVD-AUDIO called Toy matinee by the band by the same name. It's so well produced and recorded and then mixed for 5.1 it's insane. Sound is just incredible.
I have a Dolby DVD also, from Dolby free that they sent me that has tgree 5.1 music tracks that are really, really beautiful as well.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#3
I have amended and changed my speaker demo playlist over the years. It continues to be an organic thing.
I update it as my tastes change and as I find new music that highlights something special. For years and years it always started with Pink Floyd and some DSOTM selections. I've moved those to emeritus status.
Still awesome, just sort of "moved to the hall of fame". (the songs below are clickable)

Here's what it looks like today:
Who? Richard Elliot
Notorius Rick Braun
Do I ever cross your mind Ray Charles & Bonnie Rait
Here we go again Ray Charles & Norah Jones
Crystallize Lindsey Stirling
Shatter Me Lindsey Stirling
Hello Adele
Hallelujah jeff Buckley
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes Paul Simon
Homeless Paul Simon
Please Read the Letter Alison Kraus/Robert Plant
Nothin' Alison Kraus/Robert Plant

While I have chosen each piece because it illustrates something special about an audio system, I didn't feel the need to describe each piece and its features because as soon as you play them it should become pretty obvious. I think you could take any of these selections and play them for the pickiest person you know and they should pass muster as a good tune. The addded benefit is of course they reveal cool things about your audio system, or, on a crappy system, will magnify the flaws.

Fire 'em up. Enjoy.
 
Mitchibo

Mitchibo

Audioholic
Ratings
82 1
#4
Carmina burana by which ever symphony you prefer. Dynamic tool.

Intro to Enter Sandman.

Billy Idol Eyes without a Face.

The Civil Wars.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#5
Carmina burana by which ever symphony you prefer. Dynamic tool.

Intro to Enter Sandman.

Billy Idol Eyes without a Face.

The Civil Wars.
the intro to Enter Sandman is one of my favorite thumping pieces of music. I am not a fan of the genre, or of Metallica, but Enter Sandman and their cover of Bob Seger's Turn the Page are two epic songs for head banging. Love them. If you want to show off some drumming, that's a great selection

The Billy Idol selection is another one that just sounds like butter (I'm hurting for metaphors, its late and I'm tired). I have his greatest hits album and when I'm in the mood, its a great listen.

I do not know the Carmina Burana piece. I shall have to go and track it down. Any favorite versions?
Got a link?

Thanks for tossing some selections in. This could be a really interesting thread
 
H

Hetfield

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
165 3 3
#6
Does anyone have the Metallica: Metallica album better known as "the black album" in DVD-AUDIO? It's absolute insanity. The incredible clarity and all the music that went into that album was just awesome. The intro to "of wolf and man" will just blow you away. Feel the power of the kick drums in your chest, throughout your whole body. I wish Metallica would go back and remaster every album in 5.1. I'd love that. "Fade to Black" is 5.1 might just be the greatest thing ever. I'd love to hear that.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 
Mitchibo

Mitchibo

Audioholic
Ratings
82 1
#7
the intro to Enter Sandman is one of my favorite thumping pieces of music. I am not a fan of the genre, or of Metallica, but Enter Sandman and their cover of Bob Seger's Turn the Page are two epic songs for head banging. Love them. If you want to show off some drumming, that's a great selection

The Billy Idol selection is another one that just sounds like butter (I'm hurting for metaphors, its late and I'm tired). I have his greatest hits album and when I'm in the mood, its a great listen.

I do not know the Carmina Burana piece. I shall have to go and track it down. Any favorite versions?
Got a link?

Thanks for tossing some selections in. This could be a really interesting thread
https://www.amazon.com/Orff-Carmina-Burana-Carl/dp/B000003FH3

This is my favorite version, though there are others. I’m sure you’ll recognize the first piece.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic General
Ratings
522 6 5
#8
I do have a folder named Test.

What I do first is a "tour the force", a little bit of "brutal display of power" :)

My speakers are small, 6 litre of volume. What strikes people first is how big they can sound. This is why I start with some of the tunes I recommended in the Subwoofer Candy thread - Massive Attack; Pray for Rain, SZA; Ur, Nx Worries; Lyk Dis and so on.

Whoever never heard of these speakers is usually looking around the room to see where is the woofer. :)

After this, we're going into details and subtlety. Crossroads by Tracy Chapaman is my go to for that "the singer is in your living room" effect. And it works every time. Especially if you play that after some Dire Straits. If I want it loud, clear and "natural sounding" I crank up some Chris Rea; Daytona, Paul Simon; Boy in the Bubble, Steely Dan; Black Cow... People are astonished how clear it is even when being loud, how you can still talk to each other and how it's not tiring.

Strings are so soft, romantic and beautifully recorded on David Gray; Last Summer and KEF's do wonder with these, everyone gets the goose bumps. They sound heavenly.

Depending who is visiting me, I might go into more specifics like explaining how there should be nothing but dead silence when there's pause in the song because this means that drivers are on a tight harness :) I play Sade; Soldier of Love and Harold Faltermeyer; Axel F (it's a crapy song, but conveys what is important).

I play some Loreena McKennitt for spaciousness as she often has her music played in some churches.

At the end I usually ask people I'm demoing my speakers to to tell me what they like so they can hear it through the KEF's. Other than having my room ad some boominess, I never found anyone who would dislike them in any way.

I did find some people suspecting of something being fishy since they are so small and play quite big. They often think something is bloated, but when they listen to how it sounds, doubts are usually dispersed. They don't find anything out of proportion in the sound itself.

@Bucknekked you most certainly do know Carmina Burana, you just need to hear it. Maybe you don't know it by name. When we were younger we were all struck by the Boorman's scene of the knights of the round table galloping to the most famous part of this composition. It cuts into your brain and stays there.
 
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killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic General
Ratings
522 6 5
#9
It is passed my edit time and I'm so sorry for not naming T.B. Sheets by Van Morrison. T.B. Sheets has some very high pitched harmonica. It always pierce my ears and somehow it is nice and pleasant through my LS50'

I remember thinking if I ever come across speakers that make this sound pleasant to me, I'll stick to them. (Crank it up)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#11
When I audition speakers they're in my place and have the whole library to choose from, hard to narrow it down to a portable list I'm taking to a store.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,002 9 17
#12
Buck gave me a great mix cd for checking out speakers, though I usually just take a few songs along with me.

Chevelle: An Island
Tool: The Pot
Tool: Wings For Marie
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
Alanis Morrisette: Thank U
Neil Young: Old Man
Alice In Chains: I Stay Away

I mostly listen to some pretty heavy music so that's what I want a speaker to play well, but I try to include a little acoustic and male and female voices as well. That's where Floyd, Neil and Alanis come in.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#13
Buck gave me a great mix cd for checking out speakers, though I usually just take a few songs along with me.

Chevelle: An Island
Tool: The Pot
Tool: Wings For Marie
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
Alanis Morrisette: Thank U
Neil Young: Old Man
Alice In Chains: I Stay Away

I mostly listen to some pretty heavy music so that's what I want a speaker to play well, but I try to include a little acoustic and male and female voices as well. That's where Floyd, Neil and Alanis come in.
Pogre
The Alanis Morrisette is one of the sleepers on that list. Its a great tune but it also punches way above its pop star weight. I enjoy listening to that one. Neil Young is another underrated performer. Love that old buzzard
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#14
My favorite Carmina Burana is this one

This one is interesting, too
wow. there's a whole lotta stuff going on in that recording. I do recognize the music although I probably couldn't do it by name. thanks for the reference. that's a whole lot of sound when you turn it up. No wonder TLS Guy says you can blow your speakers with classical music if you aren't careful
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,002 9 17
#15
wow. there's a whole lotta stuff going on in that recording. I do recognize the music although I probably couldn't do it by name. thanks for the reference. that's a whole lot of sound when you turn it up. No wonder TLS Guy says you can blow your speakers with classical music if you aren't careful
I'm listening to O Fortuna right now. Very dynamic. In the beginning percussion comes crashing in. I've heard this before in movie soundtracks. If I were into classical this would be my heavy metal.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#16
My dad introduced me to Orff's "Trionfi" when I was in high school and studying Latin (see also Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite); one of a few crossovers in our musical tastes....he also turned me on to Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Co, but mostly he was into classical stuff. I think he said he was originally attracted to the sexual aspects of the works.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#17
My dad introduced me to Orff's "Trionfi" when I was in high school and studying Latin (see also Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite); one of a few crossovers in our musical tastes....he also turned me on to Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Co, but mostly he was into classical stuff. I think he said he was originally attracted to the sexual aspects of the works.
you mean the short lived but wonderful combo of the fellas & Janis ?

Big Brother & The Holding Company Piece of my Heart

Somewhere, this was also included as a Grammy Award winner
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,227 7 34
#19
Yep, he gave me the 8-track of Cheap Thrills....think I've got two LP copies as well as a cd now....someone stole the 8-track :)
ah, the 8-track tape! now there's something the young whippersnappers today have no appreciation for.
some of us complain that technology has "moved on" and left cherished pieces of gear stranded.
I don't know anybody that misses the 8-track tape format. Maybe some of the tapes, but not the format.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#20
ah, the 8-track tape! now there's something the young whippersnappers today have no appreciation for.
some of us complain that technology has "moved on" and left cherished pieces of gear stranded.
I don't know anybody that misses the 8-track tape format. Maybe some of the tapes, but not the format.
I sure don't miss the 8-track but I was styling nonetheless....I had a tape deck in my first car instead of just radio (and where it and most of my tapes got stolen from). Some apparently are even resurrecting the lowly cassette, claiming it as having "charming" characteristics....https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/tell-me-about-nakamichi-dr-3-cassette-deck.109294/ Altho I did have some killer cassette mix tapes once upon a time.
 
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