The Stereophile test cd's are a good start. Also have a look at the Soundcheck 2 test cd (one site that has info and price is at "http://www.interstudio.co.uk/sndchk.htm" although I believe it may be available slightly cheaper elsewhere) which has some good sleeve notes to guide you. Regards, Richard
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My two favorites are: Engineer's Choice II by Delos # DE 3512 it has excerpts of John Eargle's favorite recordings. The other one is "My Disc" The Sheffield/A2TB Test Disc, Sheffield Labs # 10045-2-T it contains various techincal tracks in addition to some reference music very help full when setting up a new system or further tuning your current set up. Cheers:>)TIM
Get the Ayre Irrational, but Efficacious system enhancement disc.
Talk about a shortcut to greatness.
This disc will wake up your system by putting it through the ringer.
There's no music to impress your friends when they come over, rather,
full frequency sweeps, pink, brown and white noise, in and out of phase, and whatever else it does, it does it extremely well. Any gear that passes a signal will benefit from it.
After that, just about anything you play will sound great, if not better.
You can get the best price from Elusive Disc. They gave me an unadvertised discount of 15% and offer USPS which is all you need for shipping. Every other site didn't which dramatically increased the cost.
All the best,
If you talking about proper technicians test cd's then you can't go passed.
These are the ones I have, not cheap but good tools.
Easy: any of Stereophile test CDs to check that your Left channel is Left...
Then the last chapter of "Get Better Sound" and CD "The Chieftains. tears of stone". If you do not want the torture of listening to Diana Krall and Joni Mitchell while tuning up your rig, then use Symphony No.3 by Gorecki (Electra Nonesuch 979282-2) while looking at Stereophile Buyer's Guide 2008, page 221). PM me if you need a copy of that article
Depends on what you’re trying to do. For setting up speakers the best is the XLO Test CD, using the track with Out of Phase info. "Listen to my voice. It should be coming at you from all around the room." When you get the best non-coherent surround sound effect after experimenting with speaker location as well as room tuning devices from the Out of Phase track you’ll get the best coherent stereo from tracks on CDs that are In Phase, which as fate would have it are not that abundant. May the force be with you. 😳