COI Records - Ultimate Audiophile Test Disc

A very comprehensive test and room acoustics disc

[COI Records Ultimate Reference Test Disc]
[Italian version here]

Product: Test disc for the system and the room
Manufacturer: COI Records
Where to purchase: Ebay store - E-mail contact: - Malaysia
Recommended Retail Price: 20 US$ + shipping
Reviewer: Piero Canova - TNT Italy
Reviewed: February, 2023


Readers who regularly visit the TNT-Audio website should have recognized some shared beliefs about a High-End reproduction system. One of them is the importance of a listening room properly tuned for good listening. I cannot stress enough how important it is to install your system in a room that respects some parameters in terms of linearity, reverberation time, and other acoustic characteristics. Plenty of people believe this means listening in an anechoic room, but this is completely wrong. A good theatre is far from being anechoic, but the quality of the room makes a huge difference in the listening experience.

Personally, some years ago, I decided to carry out a radical tuning of my listening room so I asked a professional, working full-time in the acoustics of large rooms and theatres, to tune my room to the best level reasonably achievable. Reasonably means that my room may still have some defects, but to overcome these remaining defects would mean ending with a room that cannot be used for any other purpose but listening to music. It cost me as much as a reference component, but I rate this the best spending I ever made to improve my listening experience.

In the market, several test records have the main aim to see if your system has been correctly installed (left/right, correct phase and like) or if it can reproduce some aspects like stage width, depth, PRaT, and so on. I have several of these test records either in vinyl or CD format and several of them are quite worn so when it was offered tome to review another test disk I was a bit skeptical about the added value of it. Regarding the acoustics of the room and system positioning, leaving aside University texts on acoustics, my reference has always been "Get Better Sound" by Jim Smith (previously reviewed here at TNT-Audio) that explains, in a quite simple way, how to position your system and several of the interactions between your system and the room.

What are we talking about

The Ultimate Audiophile Test Disk is a package that contains a double CD and a booklet. The first CD contains 99 tracks of sine waves at different frequencies, square waves, pink noise and white noise both as single frequencies or sweeps. If you have a spectrum analyzer (for our purposes most of the time a good app on your phone is enough) and you load the track 93 you have a signal in the 20 to 60 Hz range so you can see immediately how deep your system goes in the real world and which is the true response of the room + speakers system. Try it and you will see that in most of our rooms, it is very common to have peaks or lows of 10dB in this range.

The second disc is more related to reproduction parameters like sound-stage and the quality of the sound of several single instruments. As an example, section 47 is a solo electric guitar that begins clean, then goes into overdrive and finishes heavily distorted. The tracks containing music have an equalization favoring a bit too much the low and high frequencies for my taste, but the overall quality of the recording is excellent.

The manual is made of some 20 pages and offers some basic explanation of room acoustics and how to use the tracks on the CD. On pages 12 and 13 as an example, you have the description of a modern drum kit, and on the previous page where in your virtual stage should appear every single drum or cymbal using tracks 11 and 13. In this way, you have a perfect visual reference of what you should hear and thus you are able to check if your system is doing what is expected. There are tracks like 31 and 32 where you can compare a drum solo either compressed or uncompressed.

This part is, in my view, the true added value of this test disc: by showing you an image of where the single components of the drum set should be, you can better place your speakers in order to reach this virtual stage or you can check if a specific component is performing correctly in this parameter.

audiophile_reference_disk_6 audiophile_reference_disc_7


Among the vast number of test records, the Ultimate Audiophile Test Disc by COI records offers what most other test discs offer, but with the added value of some integration with room acoustics. Considering the improvements you can get by using it compared to the cost of a single component, I rate it as superb value and a very useful tool to have.

DISCLAIMER. TNT-Audio is a 100% independent magazine that neither accepts advertising from companies nor requires readers to register or pay for subscriptions. If you wish, you can support our independent reviews via a PayPal donation. After publication of reviews, the authors do not retain samples other than on long-term loan for further evaluation or comparison with later-received gear. Hence, all contents are written free of any “editorial” or “advertising” influence, and all reviews in this publication, positive or negative, reflect the independent opinions of their respective authors. TNT-Audio will publish all manufacturer responses, subject to the reviewer's right to reply in turn.

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