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Records for listening tests

not only the audiophile ones work well...

Editor's choice

[Italian version]

If you ever attended some HiFi Show or visited an audiophile-oriented dealer you may have noticed that, for evaluation purposes, some strange recordings are very popular there. Audiophile recordings, that's the name of the game: records (CDs or LPs) containing excellently recorded musical tracks (Music, not noise) that can be succefully used to test and evaluate HiFi components and systems.
Since some of these records are very popular among audiophiles, they allow quick on the fly tests, since everyone knows the tracks...in other words, you can minimize the number of unknowns (unknown variables, that is) when listening to a component since, at least, the record is the same.
Now, these audiophile recordings are sometimes musically boring, normally very expensive and HARD to find (the best way to find them is visiting HiFi Shows). Hence here comes your faithful TNT-Audio with a list of cheap, easy to find, musically involving, commercial recordings which can be used for HiFi evaluation purposes as well.
No need to search for exotic/esoteric records, just visit any records store in your town and buy 'em. Many of the following records are dirt cheap too (mid price, nice price etc.).

Anyway, before the long list of commercial titles, here's a short list of audiophile recordings you may need to know:

Some audiophile recording

Just few titles, mainly used by me when evaluating HiFi gear. Yeah, I know there are many other (maybe better) audiophile recordings out there...but this is not meant to be an exaustive and complete list. Actually I have maybe 100 audiophile test records.

The commercial, cheap, easy-to-find test records!

This is just a small list of commercial recordings that can be successfully used to evaluate HiFi gear. Of course the list is largely incomplete but I hope it can give a small help to audiophiles who hate spending money on test records and prefer to buy real Music instead.
Do not send e-mails asking to add your favourite test records as this could easily become a plain nightmare.
I've not included classical recordings because there is a so vast choice that it is impossible to me to name few titles. As a matter of fact, many old recordings (Decca, Living Stereo etc) sound better than many modern ones. Final comments. The records above have been listed with the aim to give a short list of well recorded commercial albums that can be used for HiFi evaluation purposes.
These records can put in evidence both pros and cons of HiFi components, better than standard commercial recordings. It is useless to test HiFi stuff with badly recorded discs: you just listen to the faults of the recordings instead of those of the HiFi component. Please remember that a HiFi system should be able to play ANY kind of Music.

Warning for non-audiophiles. DO NOT judge audiophiles by the records they use to test HiFi with. Those discs serve only as a quick reference comparison test, nothing else. Audiophiles love Music and listen to Music, independently of the way it has been recorded.

He who swears to love Music should try to listen to it in the best way is possible.

© Copyright 1999-2012 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com

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