Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tracks for evaluating Hi Fi

Headphones and the amplifiers to drive them have become a bit of an obsession around here. For me, Alastair started it here for me. 

Clearly my hearing is not as good as it was when I was in my teens but there is a visceral pleasure in high quality audio even now.

Not all music shows it up and here is a little list of tracks I use to evaluate a new amplifier or headphone. It doesn't mean that these are particularly Hi Fi tracks, just that I know them and they reveal the differences for me. YMMV.
  • Jean Michelle Jarre, Equinox Part 4
  • Ry Cooder, Bop Till You Drop, I think it's going to work out fine.
  • Eagles, Hotel California, Hotel California - not really Hi Fi but so familiar that I can pick difference easily and hear the bad edit in the middle
  • Keith Jarrett, The Koln Concert, Part 1 (well any part really)
  • Dire Straits, Love Over Gold, Love over gold
  • Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, John Eliot Gardiner; Monteverdi Choir, March 1
  • Steely Dan, Remastered: The best of steely dan then and now, Hey Nineteen
  • Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, Psycho Killer
  • Eric Clapton, Unplugged, Tears in Heaven
Hmm, maybe this list reveals something about me rather than Hi Fi evaluation. Anyhow, it's my little list for what it's worth.


Alastair said...

I think that's the trick - if you know the song well you are more likely to pick out differences in the audio equipment.

FWIW here are the tracks I used when I was last listening critically to music.

And what's that in the photo? Intriguing!

Peter Marks said...

The box shown is my latest Chu Moy amplifier using the printed circuit board design I published a few days ago.

It's a good one as the box has a removable cover for the battery. All previous boxes require a screwdriver to change the battery.