Best tracks to test soundstage

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LakeMountain, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Which tracks or albums do you recommend for testing 3D soundstage?

    Personally, I am specifically interested in CD tracks, as I recently acquired a CD DAC with an analog processor to improve soundstage. However, any well recorded track that cleanly places voices/instruments in width and depth should also be of general interest for checking any set up.
     
  2. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    This can sound anything from very good to absolutely incredible depending on system and set up.



    The Willie DeVille, Miracle album is a fantastic recording.
     
  3. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    A couple I use

    Sarah Vaughan After Hours

    [​IMG]

    NJ Percussion Ensemble Percussion Music

    [​IMG]


    Kiril Kondrashin & the RCA Victor Orchestra doing Rimsky Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol

    [​IMG]
     
  4. manxman

    manxman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Isle of Man
    Metallica's "Enter Sandman" – the original, unremastered recording – is a superb test track, with astonishing depth and presence.
     
  5. dividebytube

    dividebytube Forum Resident

    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    some time worn classics:

    Buddy Guy/Junior Wells - Drinkin' TNT 'N' Smokin' Dynamite - on a good stereo you should be able to hear individual audience handclaps, etc.

    Supertramp - Crime of the Century - the barking dog should sound like it's in the backyard

    Pink Floyd - The Wall and Darkside of the Moon - the helicopter in the Wall, the depth and width of the voices

    Dead Can Dance - Spiritchaser - the drum should be well outside the boundaries of the speakers.
     
  6. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  7. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    I have used the Cowboy Junkies' The Trinity Sessions for 25 years for just that purpose. Recorded in a church in Toronto the sound is architectural, truly 3D. The entire album fits your specification but I have used the first three tracks in particular. One of the true tests for me is when I don't want to stop the album to try the next option.
    I confess that I do not really 'get' the helicopter, dog, handclap thing ... I want to listen to great music not sound effects. But each to their own.
     
  8. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    I would also recommend DCD’s live Toward The Within. It has a lot going on around the stage.

    JohnK
     
  9. Lenny

    Lenny Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Great thread!

    For a classical choice I would suggest Rachmaninov Symphony 1, Ashkenazy, Concertgebouw Orchestra, esp Movement 4 (London/Decca)
     
  10. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    The Reference Recordings recording of Chicago Pro Musica playing the Three Penny Opera Suite is another good one

    [​IMG]

    Also, another audiophile release, Arthur Blythe's Night Song, recorded in a church space:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gi54

    Gi54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Totally concur with the Trinity Sessions by the Cowboy Junkies

    Also 'Kind of Blue', 'Sketches of Spain and 'Ali & Toumani' because they're good recordings / productions and I know the albums so well.
     
  12. manxman

    manxman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Isle of Man
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  13. Greg Gee

    Greg Gee "I think I got the best one."

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I'll second the recommendation for Crime Of The Century by Supertramp...great soundstage on my MFSL CD!
     
  14. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Roger Waters ... Too Much Rope. See if you can get the 180 degree stage when the horse carriage passes by
     
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  15. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I cannot remember about the soundstage and depth of this recording (tbh it's never been something that's been important to me), but although totally different from Assassin Of Love (an outstanding digital recording which both features and is produced by Mark Knopfler), this Oscar Peterson track certainly sounds stunning. I used both tracks in the past to demonstrate Hi-Fi equipment. Several came back and mentioned they had bought the albums.




    Edit. Another fabulous recording (and mastering!) is True Love Ways from the simply stunning

    Buddy Holly - From The Original Master Tapes
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
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  16. Davey

    Davey NP: Broadcast ~ Haha Sound (on repeat, as usual)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    If you'd like to try out a new artist, the Faten Kanaan album from last year, A Mythology of Circles, is very nice, both music and sound, with a nice sense of space. I listen mainly to the vinyl, and it is highly recommended by me, but the digital is very good too. Mastered nicely by Heba Kadry, who has her own studio now. She used to be with Timeless Mastering, but parted ways a year or so ago and moved her equipment to her own new studio, still in Brooklyn, NY. She's got quite a client list and discography, it's really surprising the number of recent albums I love that have passed through her studio, one of the best ... Bio & Discography — Heba Kadry Mastering ...

    But anyway, back to the music, it's kind of a mix of chamber pop and ambient, lots of vintage analog synths, some vocals, very pastoral sounding with lots of expression and textures in the electronics. It's very cinematic, epic even, and does conjure images hinted at in the title A Mythology of Circles. There's a very nice review at Treblezine that captures this imagery well ...

    Faten Kanaan : A Mythology of Circles
    That one of the closing tracks is titled “The Heron” is striking. The image of emerging from some quickly closing cave on the edge of the river Styx, shade no longer in tow, gazing out across the grass and stone and water of Greece only to have your eye caught by a low swooping bird snatching a fish from the waters, preening its feathers and flying away into the dipping sun. It is a stoic image, one that resolves itself to knowability and unknowability. There is a sense of intimacy in the music, a bass presence that grows like the warmth of a mother or of the heating stones of the earth. There is a great deal of ambient and ambient-associated music that gets by merely on pleasant soundscapes, but this is something else, a craft image gently tailored second by second in its scant miniatures to assemble into a specific guided whole. It feels more often like a score to a film you can see in your eye or like watching a dialogue-less play enacted on a stage, its movements and staging terrifyingly vivid. You can almost feel the hot red sun baking down upon you, Grecian curls hung limp with sweat on your brow as you look longingly into the gaping mouth of the pit of hell that holds that which you seek. This is perhaps the most overriding sense and, at last, her reunion to the greats of Schulze and Vangelis and Tangerine Dream; even when it is not a soundtrack record, it feels like one because the internal emotional narrative arc of the music is so obvious and tactile, the images so specific and grounded and undeniable, that you feel like you’ve walked away from a new and riveting Tarkovsky film rather than an electronica record.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
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  17. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    Dire Straits Telegraph Road; On my main rig there is decent center imaging with solid imaging coming from acoustic treatments which are 3' outside and parallel to the speakers.
     
  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    this one has incredible width, depth and height. it can reach BEHIND your head with pinpoint positioning if your speakers image well and are optimally positioned. Also some nice sonics !
    listen through and bout 1:30 you can even hear it on laptop speakers !

     
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
  20. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    We get requests- one of my all time favorites for relaxed listening! Also for testing a controlled bass response, especially by drawing the bow over the bass strings.
    Since I have the record and CD I used these for comparisons. And with my new DAC cum analog processor for the first time the CD beat the record (by a small margin).
     
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  21. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Agree The Trinity Sessions is fabulous.

    Supertramp, Crime Of The Century has stunning songs, brilliant performances, moving lyrics, outstanding production and most masterings are very good, some outstanding. Yes, it does have a cuckoo, but both musically and sonically, it is essential.

    Interesting that MFSL put it out before Dark Side Of The Moon.

    Another fantastic analogue recording that was always one of the first that I played having done a system upgrade is Kate Bush, The Kick Inside.
     
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  22. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Great to have recommendations for classical music! I have never been disappointed by recordings done in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
     
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  23. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
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  24. nyrjoe

    nyrjoe Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    Pink Floyd - Mother, about 1:40 in...
     
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  25. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK

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