What is your ultimate demo disc?

What is your ultimate <I>demo</I> disc?
Here it is
85% (41 votes)
Don't have one
15% (7 votes)
Total votes: 48

Last week we asked for ultimate evaluation discs, but when you want to <I>show off</I> a system or component, what is your ultimate <I>demo</I> disc?

tonyE's picture

Who cares? My friends are not audiophiles, they're music lovers. I just pass out some booze and we'll sit back for a while. Then we'll shut the system down as we go out to the porch and smoke cigars. Seriously folks, music enjoymnet is a very individual affair. Do you talk to your neighbor when the orchestra in in full tilt? Jeez, showing off a component—you guys are nuts.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Oscar Motettkor: Cantante Domino on Proprius CD. This is one time when a CD actually shines over its LP counterpart.

Donald N.'s picture

How the West Was One by Led Zep, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, "Intergalatic" by Beastie Boys, Computer Age by Nucleus, anything by the Black Keyes, and anything by King Tubby.

Mike Agee's picture

The first cut of Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna (the one with the LA-based ensemble) brings tears to the eyes of 1½ of those who hear it, ¾ if the tubes are hooked up. For a heavy groove and fun stereo effects with sufficient audiophile cred, a 12" 45 of UB40's "I've Got Mine" does nicely. A fine British pressing of Beatles for Sale lets kids know what the fuss was (is) about, and reminds adults.

Tim Bishop's picture

I would say Pink Floyad again, but the other most frequent disc I use to demo the capabilities of my system is Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells II. This one has spectacular highs, deep lows, and has drive and pace. It really shows what system matching, good gear and well-tuned room can be like!

Harris Haft's picture

The Pines of Rome,Dorian(DOR90182) The first track (#8 on the disc) will send your tweeters into a frenzy. The last track (#11 on the disc) goes very low and if you have a sub or full range speakers be ready to rumble.

Guy White's picture

Patricia Barber's Cafe Blue. Since it first came out, I have used it to tune any changes I have made in my system. I have the CD, the SACD, and the LP versions (my favorite being the SACD). I listen for too much sibilance, or not enough, the delicacy of the cymbals, and the sound of the acoustic bass. If the hair on the back of my neck doesn't stand up on "Too Rich for My Blood" during Patricia's vocals, then I know something is out of whack.

Audio Shack's picture

Anything by Led Zeppelin.

Dave M.'s picture

The disc I turn to for showing off my system is Mind Volume 1 by Isildurs Bane. The opening track, "The Flight Onward," is 12 minutes of very interesting Zappa-inspired progressive rock featuring a wide variety of instrumentation. The sonics are excellent.

Andy Stitt's picture

All DVD-Audio. For Stereo: Neil Young: Harvest. For Surround: Talking Heads: Remain in Light For dynamics/bass: Blue Man Group: Audio.

bob in stokesdale's picture

Hmmm. Not just one, and depends on how I feel and what they want to hear. When I want to show off the surround sound setup, I put on the DVD version of Violator by Depeche Mode—synthetic soundstage from a synth band. It kinda makes sense and sounds so cool anyway, lots of detail there. For LPs it's usually American Beauty by Grateful Dead (esp "Friend of the Devil"), or Aja by Steely Dan. Then there's "Tank," on ELP's first album. I don't know much about jazz or classical, I leave that to those who do. I've never settled on a CD, but Excursions in Ambience II (No One in the World by W.F.O.)really has some good thump to it, in fact I have to make sure the sub is dialed back a bit on that one. Ask me again Friday, and I might have a completely different list!

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I usually play "North Dakota' from Lyle Lovett's Joshua Judges Ruth. Very clean, detailed piece that's also darned good music. But I recommend you demo with a piece of music someone will like over what you will like.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I like to shoot for a realistic sound that someone can relate to. Try most any CD's from the Concord label. Two that are really good for adult pop vocals with a small group of musicians are Stacey Kent's The Boy Next Door and the latest from Karrin Allyson, Footprints. Great adult pop music that sounds really good, both on Concord Records.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition. It is one of my favorite works, but especially for showing off nothing else comes close—with or without real cannons.

Sean Jamieson's picture

Chick Corea: Trio Improvisations.The second disc of this double LP features all music by Thelonious Monk. Great Music and Sonics!

Fatbosco's picture

James Taylor's Hourglass on SACD. Never fails when I play my system to friends, especially the track "Gaia" with it's choral backing, and the deep bass! Also Janis Ian's Breaking Silence, the track "Tatoo" sounds as if she's in the room.

captaintampa@verizon.net's picture

First Chicago album, track one. "Listen"

Jed G.'s picture

First, I'll ask someone to pick a CD from my collection—something they are familiar with—that's the best way to elicit an "I've never heard it sound like that!" But if they leave it up to me, I'll probably put on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. (The whole album, not just the song.)

acres verde's picture

Bella Sonus Enamoured. Has it all, power, presence and the palp factor. On the Neurodisc label, but, unfortunately, no longer in print.

Aden's picture

Nils Lofgren: Acoustic Live. It sounds superb on my ES panels.

Louis P,'s picture

The Ckassic 45 rpm reissues of either The Royal Ballet, or the Reiner/CSO Pictures at an Exhibition. At 45 rpm, there is a staggering amount of detail, even compared to the merely superb 33.3 rpm versions.

Paul w's picture

Diana Krall's Girl in the Other Room is a superb recording, particularly the "Black Crow" and "I'm Coming Through" tracks. You know her voice, plus great piano, bass, and percussion.

Dave Bennett's picture

I use a Priory recording of Pictures at an Exhibition played on the Tonhalle organ. Truly spectacular sound & unlike that godawful Dorian recording, it's actually worth listening to for the music.

S.  Chapman's picture

My ultimate demo disc? I use the one with trains going from speaker to speaker, and the same disc also has the classic ping-pong game. Geez, the questions the past couple of weeks have really revealed why 'philedom is such a niche hobby.

Tom Warren's picture

For CDs I've been using Brendan Perry's The Eye of the Hunter from 4AD. This former The Dead Can Dance member's vocals are rich & bold with with smooth, bright and melodic instrumentalization. For Vinyl I'm very into the Disc D'Jour, which is forever rotating. Today I might play Johnny Cash's American V, A Hundred Highways from Lost Highway. Johnny's final sentimental statement is very touching and spiritial. Rick Ruben's production is simple and to the point. It is 180 gram, though a less then perfect pressing. Both these discs have incredible imaging and sound stage.

J Green's picture

Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Anything the person I'm doing the demo for likes and knows. Other wise what's the point? I want to show them what this system does for them not me.

Dennis's picture

Summer Time by Louis & Ella. Wow!

David .....Chicago's picture

Fleetwood Mac: The Dance DVD does it for me, Stevie Nicks' vocals are flawless to me but don't take my word for it. Get and see for yourself.

The Laughing Magpie's picture

Chesky Records' Rebecca Pidgeon: The Raven