What recordings do you use to test new gear?

Would be interested to know what recordings
people use to set standards for purchasing new
I take Fiona Apple "Tidal". Make sure the system is fully warmed up. Play #3-Shadowboxer & #4-Criminal. You'll find out if the system is dynamic on these two songs..
Then play #5-Slow Like Honey. Close your eyes. If the systems is right, you'll hear an excellent recording of a female vocalist with what I consider an excellent voice. Don't try to do this with non-believers in the room! Banish them & turn out the lights if possible. This is not backround music! Be patient & repeat if needed..

see: Which CDs to test a component? this thread was begun by turnaround on 01/20/02.

Thanks cfb ... don't know how I missed that thread
Try Tori Amos's "Cornflake Girl". Awesome vocals, piano and lots of stuff going on. I have found this song to be very challenging for a system to adequately resolve and yet sound real.

1. Something that you like, that represents your tastes, that you've heard a hundred times.
2. Timbre. A good choir like the Robert Shaw Chorale. Do the voices sound human ?
3. Imaging. The trio sonata in C from Bach's Musical Offering. Can you follow the violin,cello,flute,and harpichord without the speakers getting in the way?
4. Frequency Extremes,Bass. The JS Bach Organbook Frequency Extremes,high. The cadenza from any violin concerto. Are the half stops clean and on pitch?
5. Dynamic Range. The slow movement form Mozart'sa Piano Concerto #21. It starts soft,builds to a climax,and dies away to soft. Does the distance between pp and ff sound about right at overall performance amplitude?

Hope this helps,