When your pals come over to hear your audio system, what do you pull out to impress them?
Chesky Record's Ultimate Demonstration Disc
My favorite is "Spanish Harlem," by Rebecca Pidgeon of Chesky.
Pete Fountain on "Reel to Reel." "Dance Macabre" on "Witches Brew," RCA Living Stereo LP. Stanley Clarke, "Live at the Greek," CD. Now I have their attention!
DCC's Cars gold cd
Ancient Dreams by Patrick O'Hearn
Grover Washington, Jr. "All My Tomorrows"
Isao Suzuki Trio/Quartet, "Blow Up" (1973); Three Blind Mice records
Metaphysic Mambo by Richard Bone
Too hard a question. It all depends on the friends and who they happen to bring with them. If I have the guys over, it's all high-powered classic rock or modern techno-whatever. A night of dinner and wine with some close friends is usually done with much quieter tastes in mind, from the wine and food all the way through the music. One last thought: I don't like the word "demo." My system is not a machine that is designed to be operated. It is a living, breathing being that requires all the love and compassion I can spare. Therefore, the word "demo" is inappropriate. One should say, "When your friends come over, what music do you choose to showcase the portions of the spectra, both audio and emotional, that you think your friends will best respond to?" Nobody wants to turn on $10,000 worth of time and effort, only to find that your buddies are looking at your PlayStation games and wondering whether to play hockey or kill zombies. As far as a disc I use for myself to really check a certain sytem out, it is Frank Sinatra's "Only the Lonely." The Capitol reissue is fantastic, and Frank's voice never sounded better. That's it for me. Thanks for the space.
My own master recordings or vinyl
I love to play a well recorded L.P. from the 60's on my trusty TNT and watch the reactions of my friends who have not the record for 35 years.Other than that, anything by Yello!
UFO Tofu by B&#eacute;la Fleck and the Flecktones is my most common demo record, but let's face it: the best thing you can do is let them hear their favorite music for the first time.
seal (2nd album)
I let them chose, they are most impressed when THEIR favorite CD's sound better than they have ever heard them.
Christy Moore - At The Point Live Madonna - Ray Of Light Michael Ruff - Speaking in Melodies ACDC - Ballbreaker
Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" by Il Giardino Harmonico (Teldec), just to show them that even such a musical clich
If I really want my system to strut its stuff, I reach for the vinyl. Here's a short list: Bobby Jones, "Hill Country Suite'" on Enja; Chico Hamilton, "Spirit Sensitive," original India Navigation; L.A. Four, "Going Home," Eastwind D2D; Doug MacLeod, "Come to Find," AudioQuest; Miles Davis, "Live at the Blackhawk," original six-eye promo; Archie Shepp, "Looking for Bird," Steeplechase; Dizzy Gillespie, "Have Trumpet Will Excite," Verve mono!; The Klezmorim, "Metropolis," Flying Fish; Jutta Hipp and Zoot Sims on Blue Note Deep Groove pressing; Hampton Hawes, "Live at Montmarte," Arista; Bill Evans, "Quintessence," Fantasy; Ben Webster, Joe Zawinul, "Soulmates," OJC (can I hear an Amen for OJC?); "Ben Webster Encounters Coleman Hawkins," Classic reissue; Tom Waits, "Swordfishtrombones," Island promo; Billie Holiday, "Body and Soul," Mobile Fidelity; "Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster," Verve; Tommy Flanagan, "Confirmation," Enja; Wayne Shorter, "Speak No Evil," Blue Note (Yay Blue Note!). I could go on and on. Can't do that with SACDs; not enough of 'em!
Pat Metheny, "Imaginary Day"; Chemical Bros., "Exit Planet Dust"; Tom Petty, "Wildflowers."
I play whatever they want to hear. It all sounds great on my system. Ad nauseum: It's about the music.
Dr. John's "Goin' Back to New Orleans" (Warner Bros., 1992) always comes along when I audition new audio equipment. It sounds great and is the best album of the decade. When friends come over, I play music rather than demo the system.
Our friends come over to see us, share a meal and have conversation. We listen to music as an adjunct to those activities. Once in a while someone will comment that the system really does sound good. We play the music that our friends enjoy. Some like ONLY classical. Some really dig "Austin Back Alley Blue". The teenagers go for Captain Beefheart, Beck and old Impulse jazz. I love it all. I have been to others' Audio Buddy gatherings with the likes of Garth Leer and the other gods. Great sound, but it seems like a circle jerk.
Lyle Lovett "Joshua Judges Ruth" Sweet, warm, dynamic.
I play music and since my taste is both varied and excellent, dare I say, they are always impressed.
Dead Can Dance, "Into the Labyrinth"
Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." I have a six-eye and the remastered CD of "Time Out." While I personally feel that the rattle of the strings on the fingerboard of Eugene Wright's bass is a little overdone, it is impressive. But you still cannot beat the LP for the sheer size and power of Joe Morello's drum kit, although the cymbals are fairly well reproduced on the CD. Dave's piano sounds more natural on the LP, as does Paul Desmond's sax, but there is more emphasis on the "mouth sound" of the sax on the CD. I think this is a great cut to test any equipment or accessory because it contains many of the elements we look for in "audiophile sound," except maybe state-of-the-art soundstaging.
Shelley Carroll with members of the Duke Ellington band, on Leaning House records.
XLO Reference Recordings
Los Lobos-Kiko great band, incredible record, super sound. It's a triple threat!
I wish I could find a single CD to use as a demo disc. The closest to this that I have come is a CD that came free with an issue of "Hi-Fi News" a number of years ago while I was living in the UK. It is Tim Handley's "The Art of the Tonmeister." It has a collection of this engineer/producer's work, covering a wide range of classical music. I love this disc for its well-recorded acoustic instruments and human voice. This will tell you a lot, but not the whole storyyou need some pop music with the bigger bottom end and that smack of electric instruments. For this I use the Fi/Analogue Productions "Pop Sampler." This very-well-recorded CD is full of blues, pop, jazz, and it gets pretty rocky too. Between these two CDs' wide spread of music and the great skills used to record them, I can evaluate and demonstrate to you all what the equipment or a system will or won't do. It's great to have these two CDs as tools that I can count on.