Recordings that trounce your system?

Ever come across a recording, be it a particular track, passage, entire CD, LP, etc., that makes mincemeat out of your otherwise beloved system(s)? Mine have met their match in the form of Hans Zimmer's "Gladiator." Wondering if any of you would care to share any such experiences?
Well Fam, it used to be that musically a bit questionable Tschaikovski 1812 rendering done I think by Telarc and before them on Mercury Living Presence, which regularly made the stylus jump a groove or two when the cannon blasts came and the Quads politely shut down. In the meantime my system would take it, but I couldn't be bothered. I prefer music to cannonshots.
I have the Telarc pressing and it is a VERY demanding recording. Only the very finest systems will be able to do it justice. I too, prefer music over cannonshots, but it is a good demo disc when auditioning new analog gear.

A point of interest: My copy (I bought it used) contains a letter to the previous owner of the lp from Telarc's President giving advice on cartridge selection, tracking force, alignment, VTA, etc. in order to play the record without error. If anyone is interested, I'd be glad to post it here.
Detlof and Gthrush1: Your posts made me think of an amusing incident that I thought I'd pass along. In the early 1990's, I was overseas teaching graduate courses for Chapman University (Orange, CA) on US military installations in the western Pacific. Since I taught in the evening, my days were mostly free, and I decided to take a part-time job selling audio equipment for the Navy Exchange System at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. We carried a moderately broad range of brands, and among the various lines were Adcom and Klipsch. The sales on most of the gear in the "high-end" room had been really slow, because no one was there to demo the equipment for prospective buyers.

About a month after I started with the Exchange, I was doing a demo of a pair of Klipsch K-Horns (the big corner units), driving them with a pair of Adcom GFP 565 monoblock amps (talk about complete amplifier overkill for horns with 104 db efficiency). A pair of young sailors came in one afternoon and asked me to play the Telarc version of the 1812 Overture - they particularly wanted to hear the cannon shots at the end. So, we cranked up the Adcom/Klipsch combo. The system was being played at fairly high volume, and when the cannot shots went off, people came running from other parts of the Exchange building to see if something had blown up. Then, about 5 minutes later, the base fire department showed up, saying there had been a report of an explosion. I thought all of this was hysterically funny, although the Exchange Manager failed to see the humor in the situation.

The bottom line to the story? I sold a pair of K-horns and Adcom GFP-565 monoblock amps to BOTH sailors. Where they eventually put this stuff in their barracks was beyond me, but they seemed pleased as hell with their new gear. Apparently word got around among the younger enlisted guys that the Exchange had some "awesome" audio gear, because over the next 2 months, I sold virtually every item that had been in inventory for nearly a year (over $30,000 of Adcom gear alone -- and that was the Exchange price, which was 45%-55% below MSRP).

So, out there somewhere, there may still be a bunch of Navy guys groovin' to the sounds of the Telarc 1812. Never underestimate what sells audio gear .
That's a GREAT story!! I almost fell out of my chair when I read it! Did anyone experience tinnitis after that event?!

I've gotta imagine the SPL in that room must've been unbearable...
Great story, SD! I have the old Stakatto! disc, which has recordings of a number of instruments and other things (the breaking glass cut was enough to have my wife come running into the living room to stop me from throwing our crystal into the fireplace!), including a Boeing 737 taking off at an airport. One day I was playing this at a very high volume when the whole system went silent. Turns out that the amplifiers (at that time a pair of ARC M300s) had a tube saver circuit that prevents the amps from blowing up when too much low frequency signal appears at the input, thereby shutting them down. So that one beat my system, I guess. Musically, any DG digital CD from the early 80s will also trounce my system, in that it'll get me running to the preamp to turn the thing off before my ears start to bleed.
Yet another Telarc 1812 story: I was sitting in my dimly lit living room with an Adcom 545 amp driving my old Ohm H speakers. As the cannons went off, I thought I saw a swarm of bugs flying through the room. Turns out that chunks of the foam surrounds on the 8 inch drivers were getting blown out. By the way, I re-did the surrounds and those H's are still happily playing at my dad's.
Ah yes the Telarc 1812! I've had lots of fun with that one; played thru my Kilpsch's we measured >125dB SPL with a lab-grade meter sitting on the living room coffee table. The cats run for cover & the wife sometimes even slams the door during her exit. Other listeners catch their breath; they never heard anything like it, except at the 4th of July fireworks shows.
There's another one called Time Warp (a mix of spacey-soundtrack hits ala Star Trek Theme etc.) with some hellacious dynamic transients that will just about kill many speakers. With 200 watts per horn speaker you get dynamic slam & punch-in-the-gut fireworks bass to die for.
Love the 1812 stories, LOL! I tried the Telarc on my (then) new cartridge. Had spent 1hr setting it up to *perfection* while system was warming up, etc. Played the final, cannonball, track and... nothing happened! I.e., the arm tracked perfectly well, the sound emerged from the speakers as expected etc. So I put up the volume further and played it again.
Uncannily, the sound was softer!

Took me some time to realise I had blown BOTH ribbon TWEATERS. Woofers & midrange were fine. (fortunately I had replacements.)

As Detlof, I went back to listening to music -- Mahler II to be precise. BTW, the latter is also a good test for systems!
What a fine thread this has turned out to be! Thanks Fam, for initiating it and thanks SDcampbell for sharing that wonderful story with us! RCprince, it is unfortunatly not only the DG cds from the early eighties. I bought Abado's rendering of the Beethoven Symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonics and it turned out to be unlistenable. It made me raging mad, because his rendering is more than interesting and hell Greg, I thought things like that could only happen to me. I blew my last set of tweeters in my old Servo Static of yore, in exactly the same way!
By the way, I remember an LP, it had the recording of a thunderstorm on the one side and on the other the sound of a huge steam locomotive plus train starting off from a station. I must still have it was done by one of the audiophile labels in the late seventies..I don't remember which. It brought the house down, especially the engine and our cats used to wonder where the rain came from, when I played the first side, which started very softly. Well the thunderclaps and the sound of the engine regularly made my woofers struggle in helpless wobble...and then there was a Miller and Kreissel direct disk recording of a live performance of a folk singer group. There was a cut on it, called "dry bones", which had some incredibly fast transients, closely miked ,at very high level of all sorts of percussive instruments. It was a deadly test for amplyfiers, most of which I could drive into distorting and clipping, except that good old Threshold Stasis II, which I had mentioned in another tread.
That was a great story SD! I had a pair of the 565's & ran them with a set of the old style Kappa 8's. I had to wear earplugs when I cranked up anything past the 10 to 11 o'clock position if I didn't want my ears to ring. When asked why I played the stereo so loud I had to wear earplugs, I would say I wanted to have a concert in my living room. I sold the amps a few years ago & used the money to buy a Honda civic.
Driver, is that Civic the dual mono or the hi-current version?
Uh, it's the I wish I never bought it version. Actually, not a bad deal for an '84. It's still running.
Driver, you poor dear. How can you possibly still have a functioning carburetor on that Honda?! Actually, the 83-87 Civics weren't terrible cars, but clearly the 88-91 were Honda's best care ever, especially the 1.6 EX or Si. Up here in the rust belt they averaged only 18 months per exhaust system and 4 years on those crappy copper radiators.
Then there are the timing belts, ignition igniters, water pumps, and struts that'll break your teeth with therir ungenerous 1" travel! But what a fun upgrade for you....
check this out but be warned it will play havoc. I have actually use this disc to demo speakers and salespeople just about lose it. It is muzig vs the auteurs a electronic artist remixing the auteurs. At time very melodic at others very demanding of speakers.
Deven, which havoc-making record is that? BTW, most decca recordings of K Ferrier & Fischer-Dieskau (on emi) can trounce the system: very difficult to get the tonality of voice & accompanying piano right!
Greg, you might well add E. Schwarzkopf to that list(emi), especially the US pressings.
Peter Gabriel's fourth album (Security)
the song The Rythum of the HEat

the tribal drumming pushes all headroom aside

if your system is up for it, it's a real joy

it starts with a well recorded gunshot that will send some poeple lunging for the floor.
CAREFUL! one vaginal hair too much volume and your amp falls apart.
i dont think thee is vinyl of this though.