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!

marxy 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.