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Best tracks to test soundstage

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

  1. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Cloverdale, CA
    Jefferson Airplane-Surrealistic Pillow
  2. LOVE that band.
  3. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
  4. Slack

    Slack Forum Resident

    A good soundstage is one that sounds natural .Anything else is just a weird noise and detracts from the music.Recording engineers who do this sort of stuff are wankers.
  5. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    I like weird noises and I think they add not detract from the music. Vanilla taste is boring.
    bever70 and timind like this.
  6. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Could not disagree more with this statement. A little spice is nice sometimes.
  7. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    Thanks for the heads up on that. Was a new one for me. Very good album, thoroughly enjoyed it. Will check out some of the wider discography in your post. :righton:
  8. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    Here's one I played last night in my 4 speaker car system that not only is a really good
    modern jazz song but plays around with up front mono with wide stereo playing real instruments.

    The triangle and some of the percussion floats around in my car while the woodwinds contrast the
    3D effect in mono.

    Blue Note's Booster's: Loop In Release album...Manzana

    I have the shortened version I got on the Space Jazz compilation album that doesn't have the head space like vocal imaging close to the end.
    Spin Doctor likes this.

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident


    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

  11. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    A few more suggestions;

    Roy Orbison “Blue Bayou”
    Gato Barbieri “India”
    David Peabody “Sewing Machine Blues”
  12. Tajo1960

    Tajo1960 Forum Resident

    Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band! All titles.
    Almost the best I've ever heard in my life. The orchestra and instruments are phenomenally expressed in space. Grandiose!

    Amazon.com : kenichi tsunoda big band

    Dallas wind symphony & Frederick Fennell - 1994 - Beachcomber (RR) (Tico Tico) - extraordinarily good;

    The Turtle Creek chorale - 1994 - Postcards (RR) - N'Kosi sikelel and Africa - extraordinarily good;

    Friedemann - Passion And Pride, especially the song "Passion And Pride" - of exceptional quality;

    Friedemann – Passion And Pride (1999, CD)

    The Commitments - I can't stand the rain (song) - very good;

    Pink floyd - The division bell (full album) - extraordinarily good ...

    Mickey Hart - Planet Drum - full album ...
    Ilusndweller and LakeMountain like this.
  13. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    Do you remember the title track to the first season of "True Detective"? The song is "Far from Any Road" by the Handsome Family. It is a nice recording that has some very precise instrument placements in the soundfield. A great song, and well recorded too.
    bever70 likes this.
  14. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    As a former big band player I thank you for posting the Manteca vid.

    First I've heard that song whose downbeat is not played on the one with a complete attack and release time signature I didn't know was possible.

    This is the one I have that has a huge head space whose downbeat is on the one. Sounds really good cranked up in my car.

    Tajo1960 likes this.
  15. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    Lambchop's "Is a Woman" album is extremely well recorded and delivers a nicely enveloping soundfield on a good system. You should be able to hear that certain instruments sound a bit "phasey" on some tracks and hear other details about the recording.

    Calexico's "Feast of Wire" album is also good at evaluating soundstaging ability because tracks should sound quite different from each other. Some have a more distant perspective, some have a deep soundfield that seems to envelope the listener, some deliver less reverberant energy and have a drier, more detailed perspective.
    Tajo1960 likes this.

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

    Finally, the indie rock scene appears to be getting some higher quality recordings (i.e., if you can get your hands on the hires album)
  17. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Pacific Northwest
    Hey Todd,
    I listened to the Qobuz hi res and didn’t hear it either. I am not familiar with the album or song, so I listened to the whole track. Where at the beginning did you hear it on the Tidal version? Sorry I don’t have access to the Tidal version to compare the two.
    toddrhodes likes this.
  18. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    I'm gonna have to go back to his place and listen again. I've tried every version, tidal, Qobuz, etc... And nada. I'm starting to think it was literal crickets who only started yapping in his back yard when we started the track. The fact it happened twice is awfully weird but there's just nothing there in the recording that I can tell. I did confirm he doesn't have MQA (neither do I) so it's nothing in that realm either.

    Thank you for giving it a shot, I really appreciate it!
    Kristofa likes this.
  19. Danny Bezak

    Danny Bezak Active Member

    For what it is worth, my 60 year old ears barely hears it with the MQA version and the Qobuz high resolution version is way more pronounced. Crickets, I am not sure. What I am hearing, is the high frequency air type sound, however that very high frequency air sound does seem to produce an echo behind me that does indeed resemble crickets.
    toddrhodes likes this.
  20. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    Fascinating - thank you for taking a listen!
  21. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    A poor pressing / recording of Miles Davis Bitches Brew, followed by a good pressing / recording Miles Davis Bitches Brew.

    If you're system is up to it, the differences can be stark. That is, for some, if you can sit through an entire side without looking for a chalkboard to run your nails over... :)

    <important to state here I like Miles and Bitches Brew.... :) just know the polar opposite feelings on the work>

    There's just so much going on a times, it'll really test your soundstatge clarity, separation, punch, attack, timbre / tonal accuracy... all in one side of the LP.
  22. fish

    fish Forum Resident

    NY, USA
    All of them. You need to listen to what you like first and judge the "improvement" based on that.
    LakeMountain and TheVinylAddict like this.
  23. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Ultimately, this is really it.... it takes me a long time to pass judgement on new gear (or used) when I get it in... I listen to all types of music, and so much can change as far as your opinion / assessment as you put things through different recordings, genres, gear, etc.
  24. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    You are absolutely right about that!

    I have been listening to my CD collection for the past months and I hear a great improvement in all of them. I am picking now CD’s from my storage which I had discarded in the past for being “not so engaging “, but the Sparkler DAC brings them to life! There is now air around the instruments and voices, which makes them sound much more natural, and where the recording allows also more depth. I am enjoying CD’s just as much as my vinyl now!

    This thread has helped me ( and hopefully others) now to go cherry picking for really amazing soundstage recordings!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
    Kristofa, MGW and Gi54 like this.
  25. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    A few more:

    Be Good Tanya cover of Townes Van Zandt "Waiting Around to Die"

    Cowboy Junkies cover of Springsteen's "Thunder Road"

    Ricki Lee Jone cover of the Drifters "Under the Boardwalk"
    timind likes this.

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