What songs do you demo your kit with?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by meduk1, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. meduk1

    meduk1
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    I've seen the threads for best albums but wondered what standout songs people use to demo their kit with? I'm looking to create an iTunes playlist with some of the suggestions.
     
  2. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    Aren't you better off using your own favourite music? You have presumably heard it over and over for years in various ways. If a new stereo means you hear something new then that's good.
     
  3. meduk1

    meduk1
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    Yes, but what I'm wondering is what songs people think really shine through their systems - would be keen to hear something new.
     
  4. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    That's a good question.
    I think its generally those with a simple, acoustic recording. Recordings from the '70's are often good, as they can be well produced, and don't suffer from compression like modern recordings. Anything popular from the last 20 years is unlikely to show off a good system.
    Ironically, the first thing that springs to mind is Elbow.

    Nick
     
  5. HeadBanger

    HeadBanger
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    Try Level 42's World Machine CD from 1985 (not the 'deluxe' re-compressed version). Amazing dynamics and deep bass. Especially the opening track.....
     
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  6. Craig uk

    Craig uk
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    I'll second that, only for me it would have to be the original pressing on vinyl -POLH25.
     
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    You do want music you are familiar with, but your favorite song might not be ideal for auditioning audio equipment. Modern music tends to be over-produced and often simply a drone of music with a back beat. You need to pick music that has some detail in it with good separation of instruments, and crisp controlled sound. In shifting your attention from instrument to instrument, you are also shifing your attention across the frequency spectrum.

    Also, you don't want music that too heavily emphasizes one part of the spectrum. Club music and Rap/Hip-Hop can be very bass dominant, and they don't have very complex music backing them up. There is more to music than just bass.

    Pick music that lets you shift your attention easily from one instrument to the other. Also, things like female vocalists and piano are a good test of a system. If they can sound natural, then you are on your way.

    You want crisp detailed snaps of the drums, not just a hiss but a crisp detailed sizzle of cymbals. You want smooth realistic bass, not droning one-note thump. But to hear these things, they have to be in the music to begin with.

    While complex music does represent one test of a system, more detailed and separated music is going to be the truer test.

    What that amounts to from your collection of music, only you can determine. But, the music you pick has to be sufficient to allow you to hear the details of the music and the ability of the equipment to reveal those details.

    Roy Buchanan (electric blues) has good instrument separation, and makes if very easy to shift your attention from one instrument to another, to hear the sound quality in those particular ranges.

    Santana "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is pretty good. It starts with Cello, then a female vocalist sings the lyrics, then Santana comes in with a guitar solo.

    That's about the best I can say. You need music that helps you evaluate the equipment, not simply a song that is pleasant.

    I would say "detail" is the watch-word. To hear details, you need detailed music. Most droning Pop music is not going to work no matter how much you might like a given song.

    To hear the details, you have to have details to hear.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  8. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    When I change something in my system I always have a blast of Tears For Fears - Badman's Song...talk about dynamics!

    *Sound on this YT video is terrible...get a lossless file ;)

    Tears for Fears - Badman's Song
     
  9. Pikeyp

    Pikeyp
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    When I first got into 'serious' hi-fi many years ago there were a half dozen albums that were doing the rounds at dealers demonstration rooms and exhibitions ... of the top of my head ..

    Alan Parson's Project ... Turn of a Friendly Card
    Pink Floyd ... Dark Side of the Moon
    Dire Straits .... Making Movies
    The Blue Nile ... Walk Across the Rooftops

    For me? ... maybe Dire Straits first LP? .... everyone knows 'Sultans Of Swing' and can appreciate if it's sounding good I would think.
     
  10. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    My first ever shop demo of a proper separates system was Dire Straits - So Far Away
    It was just a Technics system with Wharfedale floor standers but from that moment I was hooked ;)
     
  11. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    I take all sorts including ones i don't really listen to, like classical, but because I get alot more info from those than what i listen to on day to day basis, is why i take 1 or 2 tracks.

    My last demo i had various tracks :
    Flower Duet - Sous le Dome Epas (Classical)
    Jill Scott's 'Who is Jill Scott' and from the live recorded version
    Floetry - Butterfiles
    Bob Marley's Redemption songs and a few other of his
    A few tracks from other reggae artists like Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond
    1 or 2 good quality soulful house, garage and Jungle
    Some old school soul/funk - George Clinton, Tom Browne, Jones Girls
    My Favorite Things - Ronnie Jordan

    All of the above have a requirement to sound better than good before i think of allowing the item to cross my doorstep, although it could be a compromise between 1 or 2.

    As much as i agree with that, but if that is predominately what a person listen to, they will have to incorporate it in the demo to see how good or bad it comes across. No point only demoing with music that may make a setup sound great but is not your daily/regular or even if at all, intake and buying it on the strength of that. you could be disappointed and on a long and maybe expensive road to recovery
     
  12. HeadBanger

    HeadBanger
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    Ah, The Seeds of Love. Brilliant album and (the orig CD) sound quality is just sublime too.

    I just wish current music CDs and downloads sounded this good.....:(
     
  13. faiz0

    faiz0
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    There are some great tracks on the Jill Scott album, especially 'A Long Walk'.

    'Butterflies' is a brilliant song, Floetry's version is cool, Michael Jackson's even better.
     
  14. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    I concur. Love that woman's voice. And MJ version of Butterflies is .. Words can't describe. It was that which put me onto Floetry. And the fact that they hail from my hometown of Camberwell and penned that for MJ makes it more the sweeter.
     
  15. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Notice how very few to no people are recommending Contemporary Pop music.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  16. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    ''Contemporary pop music'.

    I was going to post something but ,predictive text kicks in and changes 'pop to 'poo' every time so maybe I should leave it there :D.
     
  17. Ambo

    Ambo
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    I prefer tracks that start simple then build up to a complex crescendo, so for me:

    Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees (from The Bends) and
    Pink Floyd - Hey You (from The Wall).

    work particularly well.

    Both have simple acoustic guitars and vocal to start and end up with plenty of oomph!
     
  18. TB303

    TB303
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    Can I suggest Daft Punk's Random Access Memories?
    It's gloriously produced, not compressed to death and has a great combination of electronic music with older funk and rock samples and a real live drummer (in some of the songs).

    But like people said, anything that you like and know well.
     

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