i see "random access memory" keeps popping up in reviews as a reference recording...
i like the music and it is catchy and all... but *reference*...? REALLY?
it is so *ELECTRONIC*... vocoder voices galore. the instruments mixed together in a sterile vacuum. it sounds extremely clean alright. but it is such an artifical mix - staging is utterly artificial.
i will admit it tests the dynamics of a system, it is clean. but i would NEVER EVER use it as a reference recording to go to a store an audition a piece of equipment. there is so much bettter stuff out there.
and please don't say miles davis "kind of blue"... brilliant as it is artistically, the hdtracks hd version has the piano so statically frozen on the right that you have to truly focus on the performance and snap out of trying to distill details, because they are underwhelming when it comes to many things.
it kinda annoys me these two recordings have become such clichees in stereophile reviews, because neither of them are really memorable audio engineering examples.
so i ask fellow readers... what do you take to auditions?
i love Kevin Mahogany recordings, they are truly awesome. i take "Pride and Joy" every time i want to audition a system. *great* recording, everything is there - a pristinely recorded and amazing human voice, a fantastic a capella choir, and acoustic instruments galore. listen to the percussion and everything in "never can say goodbye"... now THAT is a reference recording. another reference i have is an old Karl Munchinger recording of Pachelbel's omnipresent "canon"... it is flawed but staging and dynamics and the performance are amazing, and the slight analog hiss in this case adds to it. and because i love and worship the music, i will always use the Coltrane and Hartman album as a reference, it is as natural as it gets. as is Bill Evans "waltz for debby" which i think is my fav live recording.
while i LOVE keith jarrett, i find in many recordings the piano dominates, it's covered by so many microphones it doesn't seem to be cleanly placed anywhere in the room. again, great sound often - indistinct spatial resolution.
curious about what fellow members think? daft punk a reference, really, other than for sheer dynamics (which you can prolly test out with almost any decently recorded 256-VBR MP3?