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.



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!

Hunter’s & Collectors - Betty’s Worry or, the slab (bass, vocals, horns)

El Ten Eleven - Fanshawe (bass, harmonics, picking, “fret work”)

Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool (RVG ed) BUDO. 

Michael Hedges - Aerial Boundaries. I saw him live a week before his fatal accident, sitting 3 rows back. Every time I listen to that song I can hear and see in my mind’s eye the intense amount of work he put into that guitar. Gives idea of soundstage, highs, mids.


King Crimson - Court of the Crimson King , “I Talk to the Wind.” Vocal harmonies, flute, cymbal shimmer

Crimson Jazz Trio - same song. Piano.


But I can get a LOT out of just Hedges’ work.

Anything but popular songs...

Guess why ?

Not always, though. I really appreciate the following mainstream songs that sound pretty darn good:

Your Power by Billie Eilish

Billie Bossa Nova by Billie Eilish

Exile by Taylor Swift & Bon Iver

I forgot

Cassandra Wilson, Blue Light till Dawn

great distinctive voice, terrific musicians and engineering

I like Roger Waters the Ballad of Bill Hubbard, the dogs barking way off the the right and slightly behind me and the conversation floating in front and out side the left speaker always amazes me.

Traffic, Dear Mr. Fantasy is a great one for me, Steve Winwood’s voice sings almost directly in my right ear and literally makes earlobe tingle.

Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love, a lot of action high above and slightly behind my head.

Dave Brubeck Take 5

Madonna’s Vogue is well done and good to test 3D IMO, not my style, but pretty cool.

Stuart Copeland’s drumming on The Police Zenyatta Mondatta.

Speaker are Kii Audio Three and Steamer is Auralic Aries.