FIY, one of best Bass Test Discs
Thought I'd put you all onto a disc that has helped me assess the quality of the bass in my system. It's the best disc I've ever encountered for this purpose.
Jonas Hellborg's THE SILENT LIFE
Yes, it's weird in a way; solo electric bass. The whole disc. Can be a bit much, but man can you hear incredible detail, and you can hear if your bass has what it really takes to do SERIOUS bass.
There are many discs with electronic bass that go lower, I'm sure. And there are probably beautiful discs that have symphonically produced passages that plumb the depths of one's subwoofers. I haven't explored those genre's much. Maybe someone has a great test disc in those categories.
But this one is great for it's genre. "Melt the strings fast" bass in portions of the disc. You should be able to hear every note played. If you can't your bass lacks definition. You should be able to hear the individual vibrations of the low strings on track 8. If not, you're missing a lot of richness.
Finally, let the question never be asked again, "Do I really need a pair of subwoofers...?" This disc is proof positive of the stereophonic nature of the low end. If you do want the best in reproduction, you need either mains that reach the 20's or twin subs. I know many will disagree; they may have affinity for monitors, or listen primarily to solo voice. To each his own, but I'm convinced a person is missing out greatly if the system cannot reproduce accurately the lower frequencies from 20's through 80's hz.
Oh, no, it's not about loudness, but authority and presence in the low end. This disc will let you hear if you have it or not. And it does not take a rich man to achieve this. My speaker system (speakers alone, not cabling) was assembled well below $4k, thanks to Agon.
This is one obscure disc, but what a kickin' experience with a boss bass system!!