Stereo Test Songs

13 Mar

It’s very helpful to bring your own test CD when comparing stereo equipment for purchase. The CD is usually a collection of songs you know and love that can highlight different qualities in equipment. If you’re only going to listen to house music on your stereo, there’s no reason to listen to the dealer’s remastered copy of Kind of Blue. If you haven’t noticed yet, my musical tastes run pretty wide and the test CD reflects that.

On Your WIngs – Iron and Wine

Like starting a wine tasting with a light bodied white wine, my CD starts out a fingerpicked guitar and Sam Beam’s hushed singing style.

The Littlest Birds – Be Good Tanyas

Someone once said that the best stereo test song features a woman and an acoustic guitar. Even better with three.

Sweet Thing – Van Morrison

This is actually more of a jazz song than rock. I specifically listen to Richard Davis’ bass line and Connie Kay’s brushed cymbals.

So What – Miles Davis

Introduces piano, trumpet and sax into the test. Also, this album has been remastered so many times, I think its perfect by now.

Pass the Peas – Maceo Parker

This recording has a lot of crowd noise which really helps testing the rear speakers on 5.1 systems.

Salute Your Solution – The Raconteurs

I’d like to include a more classic classic rock song, but this Raconteurs tune really puts woofers to the test.

Bloody Well Right – Supertramp

If nothing else than the first beat. This song tests a speaker’s “tightness”

Piggy – Nine Inch Nails

Another song that tests a system’s “roundness” Is stereo testing starting to sound as hifalutin as wine tasting? The whole thing is very subjective.

Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 – Otto Klempere cond.

A classical choral song that tests a system’s “soundstage” that is, how things sound 3D, rather than coming from two speakers.

Ravel’s String Quartet in F major Allegro Moderato – Quatuor Ysaye

Another classical test, this time a quartet.


One Response to “Stereo Test Songs”

  1. Ed March 14, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    LFO by LFO!

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