Songs you use when auditioning gear

What are some of your favorite songs to play when auditioning gear?  I often listen to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.  Just about anything off of Gaucho or Aja by Steely Dan or Joni Mitchell’s Hejira or Hissing of Summer Lawns usually gets spun up too.  Dreams, in particular, is such a great song and is recorded with the balance I really like as well as a full and wide soundstage.  Wondering what some of yours are to see what I’m missing.



A well-recorded jazz CD, if you can find it, is Fred Hersch Trio Plays...on Chesky Records.  It's a very natural, realistic recording of a piano trio with natural ambience and soundstaging.  Another one, not as good musically or recording-wise, is pianist Michael Garson's Serendipity on Reference Recordings.  I used to use track 6 from the latter CD when auditioning speakers and other gear because it has some very high, hard-hit piano notes that I thought were good for assessing for treble harshness.  That recording is from 1986 so I would imagine there are better ones around by now.  Diana Krall has some good CDs, well-recorded, mostly piano trios or quartets.

There is  only one LP for meeting my needs - Roger Water's - 'Amused to Death'

Frequency Extremes and Back Ground detail that can put many set ups under strain to present in a way that impresses.


Excellent suggestions as above. A few more for your consideration;


Diana Krall- The Look of Live (Live in Paris CD).

Jamie Cullum - Frontin' (Twentysomething CD/SACD).

Miles Davis - So What (Kind of Blue CD/SACD).



AC/DC - Back in Black CD

Nirvana - Unplugged: Live in New York CD.

Pearl Jam -  Ten CD

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon CD/SACD

Steely Dan - Aja CD


Happy Listening!