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What are the best demo songs for a 2 channel system that will knock my guests socks off? I am looking for a list of great musical and clean recording to demo my system off?...thanks in advance
 

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Well, there's all kinds of stuff out there... Any specific genres you're looking for? I'll offer some random stuff here:

Bossacucanova: Essa Moca ta Diferente -- album is Uma Batida Diferente
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon -- whole album
Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man -- not sure on album
Air: The Vagabond -- album is 10,000 Hz Legend
Paul Simon: Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes -- album is Graceland

Those are a few that I enjoy anyway...
 

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Flim & the BB's Big Notes, the track Funhouse is my favorite. This is an older CD (late 80's) but recorded digitally non the less and produced by DMP records
 

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I'm actually planning on doing a segment on how to put together a listening test disc in one of my next 2 or 3 episodes. Paul Simon "My Little Town" not as a show off piece, but to test difficult material. The recording is a little muddy, but the instrumentation is still really dense. If a set of speakers can make that track sound open, then you've really got something.
 

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If you are looking for recordings that on a right a properly designed [low resonance, wide dispersion omnipolar] and placed [within an appropriately acoustically treated environment] system sound like real life Mapleshade Records has a large selection of titles. The largest problem with their recordings is that they insist on using analog recording methods which means there is audible tape hiss. Besides that one issue these are some of the most realistic recordings I have experienced both in a tonal and timbrel sense along side imaging, listener location etc...

Ethan Frome is one specific opera that is a great example of what I am talking about.
 

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I would suggest if this is to impress other people with your system, make them realize how music can sound, or sell them on what you've got, it would be best to use material that is very familiar to them. Perhaps very popular music that everyone knows, or have them bring material that they are fond of. If they've never heard their music on a really good set-up, it can be quite enlightening to them when they hear details, and other things that they've never noticed before. Of course good demo material may make them think WOW that sounds good, but when it's something they've heard a thousand times and they know the track inside and out and find themselves thinking "I've never heard this sound like that!", it's even better.
 

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Trouble with that is that most list-pop these days only sound good on a clock radio...
True...I often forget that there's no accounting for taste. Although I'm sort of assuming that people who are truly interested in good sound and are passionate about their music will not be bringing that stuff for demo material. Not all pop is bad though even if it is heavily compressed and has very basic sound palette used. Example MJ's Thriller album. Everyone has heard this album a ton of times on a bunch of different set-ups and you think you know the track, but when you hear it on a really good system it can surprise you.

Personally I like the track Stones from the Sky from the band Neurosis for evaluating speakers.
 

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I have several songs I use to evaluate equipment. They are:
  1. Patricia Barber Nardis (Cafe Blue)
  2. Patricia Barber Orpheus/Sonnet (Mythologies)
  3. Yellowjackets Wildlife (Live Wires)
  4. Chesky Ultimate Demonstration Disc (almost anything on it).
  5. CCR Suzie Q
 

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I enjoy the Flim & the BB's CD as well.

Years ago ,(maybe 15? ) I went into an audio shop to look around . I told the sales guy that I was looking for a set a speakers with good bass. He showed me a pair of Definitive tech speakers and said they would play the full range of music. I had a Flim & the BB's cd (BIG Notes? ) in my pocket .He was surprised (by the look on his face) on how fast the woofers bottomed out....
I had a few cd's by them , the last one I bought was not recorded on the DMP label .
 

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Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart - Take Me To God
Just about any cut on the CD. This world music CD will show of the range and dynamics of your system quite well. It’s got plenty of deep bass and lots of attack but most of all the human voice show off a system better than just about any other instrument. I also would second the choice of Paul Simon’s Graceland CD.
 

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If you like Flim and the BB's then Lee Ritenour is another Jazz musician to give a listen to one of his most recent CDs Smoke N Mirrors is fantastic. I also recommend the group Fourplay whom Lee has also played for.
 
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