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What vinyl recordings would you bring to an audio show to use for auditioning gear?

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  • What vinyl recordings would you bring to an audio show to use for auditioning gear?

    RMAF is coming up quick. What five records would you bring to use for auditioning gear? Curious to see what the answers are as I am still pondering what to bring....

  • #2
    I'm not going, but if I were I'd bring:

    Dido - No Angel (Classic Clarity)
    Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Speakers Corner)
    Aaron Neville - Warm Your Heart (ORG 45RPM)
    Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (MFSL)
    Neil Young - Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise)
    John Lee Hooker - The Healer (Classic)

    Good cross-section of various genres. I wouldn't bring any Jazz or Classical since there would likely be plenty of that being played everywhere.
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

    Comment


    • #3
      I usually bring more because being a reviewer, often get more of an opportunity to audition gear. Plus I will change up albums through the show to avoid boredom. I try to bring along at least one rock, jazz and classical album. In addition to which, these albums are selected to assess dynamics, low end (for what it's worth at shows), male and female vocal, large scale orchestral and soundstaging.

      Off the top of my head, several examples of albums that I've brought to shows include:

      Lou Reed: Transformer (Speakers Corner)
      Super Percussion (Super Analogue Records)
      Schuller: Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee (Mercury Records, 2nd and 3rd movements)
      Elvis '57 (Analogue Productions)
      Dean Martin: Dream with Dean (Analogue Productions)
      Doors: LA Woman (Analogue Productions)
      Sonny Meets Hawk (Classic Records/RCA)
      Imada: Now (TBM, 180 gm reissue)

      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        The LPs listed thus far are well-recognized audiophile recordings, but I prefer to demo audio gear with well-recorded but non-audiophile albums. This way, I can get a sense of how equipment will sound with the vast majority of my collection, which consists mostly of relatively ordinary LPs, rather than tweaked-for-the-spectacular recordings. For example:

        T-Bone Walker, "Plain Ole Blues" (Charly)
        Lucinda Williams, "The Ghosts of Highway 20" (Highway 20)
        Elvis Presley, "Elvis's Golden Records" (RCA reissue, stereo)
        Shawn Colvin, "Uncovered" (Fantasy)
        Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

        Comment


        • Gusf
          Gusf commented
          Editing a comment
          Love the Lucinda Williams album.

      • #5
        Originally posted by Goheelz View Post
        The LPs listed thus far are well-recognized audiophile recordings, but I prefer to demo audio gear with well-recorded but non-audiophile albums. This way, I can get a sense of how equipment will sound with the vast majority of my collection, which consists mostly of relatively ordinary LPs, rather than tweaked-for-the-spectacular recordings. For example:

        T-Bone Walker, "Plain Ole Blues" (Charly)
        Lucinda Williams, "The Ghosts of Highway 20" (Highway 20)
        Elvis Presley, "Elvis's Golden Records" (RCA reissue, stereo)
        Shawn Colvin, "Uncovered" (Fantasy)
        Fair and good point actually. I know for myself that I listen to many more non-audiophile releases, so here are a few I'd bring:

        Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman (German Pink Island)
        Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (UK Harvest a3/b3)
        Janis Ian - Between the Lines (Columbia Canada)
        Roxy Music - the high road (Warner Canada)
        Led Zeppelin - LZII (Atlantic Canada RED label)

        Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

        Comment


        • 1morerecord2clean
          1morerecord2clean commented
          Editing a comment
          Ain't they yummy!

        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          Johnny- you know I'm a big fan of Between the Lines. Is your red label Canadian a TG in the deadwax? The red label of III with TG is comparable to the UK first and is a relative bargain. Not easy to find outside of Canada, though.

        • Johnny Vinyl
          Johnny Vinyl commented
          Editing a comment
          Unfortunately mine does not have the TG inscription (W SD 8236 S-1 G M), but it still sounds very nice. I'm not a super ZEP fan, so I'm ok with the copy I have.

      • #6
        While reviewers get a pass asking to play several different records unless you know the exhibitor the average person has to contend a track or two specially if it's busy. Make your own pick and take along a few records that you really like and know well, some people bring records to impress others that won't tell you anything about the product. The one thing I recommend is to start with the same track that you use for setting up your own arm & cartridges at home to figure out the state of their setup first. Shows are tough, time is limited and often the analog setups can be far from acceptable.

        david
        Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
        Distribution: NEODIO

        Special Sales: van den Hul
        Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

        Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

        Comment


        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes and sometimes we can even get a little after hours listening in too!

        • david k
          david k commented
          Editing a comment
          Always happy to oblige, we're often in the room until very late demoing during CES.

      • #7
        david k I've only been to a few audio shows, but I agree that sometimes dealers at shows are not exactly eager to hear non-audiophile-approved music supplied by (potential) customers. This is crazy, in my opinion, and yet there's always a chorus in various audio publications complaining that the industry is in trouble. Maybe it's the way music-loving, music-toting customers get treated? I liked the model at AXPONA that allowed for arranging in advance for private listening sessions with dealers. A great concept.

        Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

        Comment


        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          David- like the "No Stairway" sign in Wayne's World, you might put up a sign prohibiting sonic banalities. I was once researching something about professional clowns (don't ask, this was years ago, before the recent pandemic of creepy clowns) and one of the first hits I got was from a professional clown trade association seeking to ban "clown porn." Now, I don't want to spend too much time thinking about what that involves, but the concept of the international "NO" sign (red circle with transverse bar) and the words "sonic porn" might be funny.
          Don't take me the wrong way- I haven't had much sleep lately.

        • Goheelz
          Goheelz commented
          Editing a comment
          Bill Hart "Sonic banalities": an excellent and apt phrase to describe music that's both awful and played to death! I shall borrow your fine phrase, with your permission, but plan to use it only on occasion, to avoid the dreaded rhetorical banality effect (endemic among audio writers).

        • david k
          david k commented
          Editing a comment
          Bill- I wonder if they wanted the ban because the clowns were giving it or taking it, certainly worth a google search! Sonic banalities it is, we'll use that term for next CES!

          david

      • #8
        Last show (Newport) I bought three LPs with me. All three were "suspect" when I asked to have them played, but all three also helped stop people in their tracks and got them to to sit and listen,
        Samantha Crain - Under Branch & Thorn & Tree (100% analog)
        Sublime - Sublime reissue, 180 gram two record set)
        Alec Lytle and them Rounders - The End of Ours (a digital recording, but beautifully done, and the LP still sounds better than the CD)

        Of course I also bring a USB stick with a variety of digital files for those exhibits that don't do LP.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        -
        Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
        Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
        Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
        Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
        Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

        Comment


        • JCOConnell
          JCOConnell commented
          Editing a comment
          That's a good idea with the USB stick. You could even put some familiar vinyl rips on there.

      • #9
        I actually have considered requesting lps with lesser quality in audiophile terms...albums that don't blow me away sonically. Not referring to crappy mixes or poor bootlegs, but rather good recordings that just don't shine. An example would be Joe Henderson At The Lighthouse. I much enjoy the music; have listened to dozens of times; curious if it the high-end systems are capable of an even more involving presentation.
        Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.

        Comment


        • #10
          Not going either, but my picklist would be:

          - Jacintha: Here's To Ben
          - Shelby Lynn - Lost Highway
          - Fanfare for the Common Man: RR/Oue
          - then either Dream With Dean (AP) or Nat King Cole Love Is the Thing

          Myles, Super Percussion is a great LP. Surprised not to see DCD ITL :-)
          Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

          Comment


          • #11
            Originally posted by allenh View Post
            Not going either, but my picklist would be:

            - Jacintha: Here's To Ben
            - Shelby Lynn - Lost Highway
            - Fanfare for the Common Man: RR/Oue
            - then either Dream With Dean (AP) or Nat King Cole Love Is the Thing

            Myles, Super Percussion is a great LP. Surprised not to see DCD ITL :-)
            Ha! I forgot. I always forget DCD. It's for some reason for me eminently forgettable.

            I also am considering Bob and Ray (that sounds amazing on the right system) and Blade Runner. But things are fluid at this point!
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

            Comment


            • #12
              Some other non-audiophile LP's I'd consider bringing:

              Maria Muldaur - S/T
              Phoebe Snow - S/T
              Tracy Chapman - S/T
              Bruce Cockburn - Stealing Fire (Most of BC's work on the True North label is excellent)
              Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

              Comment


              • #13
                Thanks for the responses everyone. As for DCD, I brought Into the Labyrinth to RMAF in 2014. Its a great recording and great music.

                Here is my tentative list which I need to trim down a bit before heading to Denver:

                Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show of the World - great new folk stuff on Drag City (DC 2012)

                War - Why Can't We Be Friends? (UA441H) Yeah - but believe it or not, the recording is dynamic as hell and really fun music; excellent recording

                Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim - WIllie's Blues (Prestige/Bluesville 1003 - Analogue Productions Reissue) - great music and great recording. The lead off track, "Nervous" is exceptional.

                Sofia Pfister - Sophia Pfister (self-released) - this is great, singer from LA, you may have heard about her on Fremer's website. Think Norah Jones crossed with Hope Sandoval.

                Shelly Manne and His Men - Live! Shelly Manne and his Men at the Manne Hole (Contemporary S7593/4 Japanese Reissue) Great live jazz record that rivals Shelly's at the Blackhawk Vol 1-4.

                Lou Reed - Transformer (180 Gram RCA reissue)

                Rob Wasserman - Duets (MCA Records) - One of the best recordings of pop music out there. Rob's duet with Jennifer Warnes called 'Ballad of the Runaway Horse' is a track that Sonus Faber uses to train dealers how to set up their speakers.

                Sonny Stitt - Now! (Japanese white label promo Impulse) Perhaps the most under appreciated jazz sax man and album out there. Trust me - it has the 'in your room' illusion on every track.

                Shelly Manne and Jack Marshall - Sounds Unheard Of! (Contemporary Analogue Productions Stereo reissue). Phenomenal sound effects recording of drums, various precision and acoustic guitar.

                Nic Jones - Penguin Eggs (Topic Records UK ) - great UK folk revival from the early 80's. Very good recording of close-miked voice and percussive acoustic guitar

                Comment


                • #14
                  Originally posted by philb7777 View Post
                  Thanks for the responses everyone. As for DCD, I brought Into the Labyrinth to RMAF in 2014. Its a great recording and great music.

                  Here is my tentative list which I need to trim down a bit before heading to Denver:

                  Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show of the World - great new folk stuff on Drag City (DC 2012)

                  War - Why Can't We Be Friends? (UA441H) Yeah - but believe it or not, the recording is dynamic as hell and really fun music; excellent recording

                  Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim - WIllie's Blues (Prestige/Bluesville 1003 - Analogue Productions Reissue) - great music and great recording. The lead off track, "Nervous" is exceptional.

                  Sofia Pfister - Sophia Pfister (self-released) - this is great, singer from LA, you may have heard about her on Fremer's website. Think Norah Jones crossed with Hope Sandoval.

                  Shelly Manne and His Men - Live! Shelly Manne and his Men at the Manne Hole (Contemporary S7593/4 Japanese Reissue) Great live jazz record that rivals Shelly's at the Blackhawk Vol 1-4.

                  Lou Reed - Transformer (180 Gram RCA reissue)

                  Rob Wasserman - Duets (MCA Records) - One of the best recordings of pop music out there. Rob's duet with Jennifer Warnes called 'Ballad of the Runaway Horse' is a track that Sonus Faber uses to train dealers how to set up their speakers.

                  Sonny Stitt - Now! (Japanese white label promo Impulse) Perhaps the most under appreciated jazz sax man and album out there. Trust me - it has the 'in your room' illusion on every track.

                  Shelly Manne and Jack Marshall - Sounds Unheard Of! (Contemporary Analogue Productions Stereo reissue). Phenomenal sound effects recording of drums, various precision and acoustic guitar.

                  Nic Jones - Penguin Eggs (Topic Records UK ) - great UK folk revival from the early 80's. Very good recording of close-miked voice and percussive acoustic guitar
                  I sometimes bring the two Shelly Mannes you listed to shows too. The Contemporary/Analogue Productions 45 rpm release has been a long time reference for me. Barney Kessell's playing and the sound of his guitar is unbelievable. Not to mention Manne's drum solos. Wow.... Only thing with my reissue copy is that it's slightly less than 12-inches in diameter and ergo my ring clamp won't hold the album down.

                  Sounds Unheard Of has been an even longer reference since Sid Marks introduced it to me some 20+ years ago (I also think he wrote about it for my magazine Ultimate Audio back in the late '90s). Superlative sound though just a little too ping pongy at times. I have a number of originals, Chad's original (not on the same level sadly as the original) and a test pressing of the soon to be released new reissue from Chad. I wish though someone would have released it at 45 rpm.

                  I also have the Nick Jones album around too (just haven't seen it in a while)! Great album. Was imported at one time by Rega Records (late '90s) and Mike Trei had given me a copy back then. I think we also talked about some of the other artists on Topic Records (don't get the Shanachie versions) such as June Tabor and her album Aqaba.

                  I just got the latest 33 rpm version of the Willie Dixon but haven't had a chance to give it a spin yet.

                  Will have to check out some of your other suggestions!
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                    I sometimes bring the two Shelly Mannes you listed to shows too. The Contemporary/Analogue Productions 45 rpm release has been a long time reference for me. Barney Kessell's playing and the sound of his guitar is unbelievable. Not to mention Manne's drum solos. Wow.... Only thing with my reissue copy is that it's slightly less than 12-inches in diameter and ergo my ring clamp won't hold the album down.

                    Sounds Unheard Of has been an even longer reference since Sid Marks introduced it to me some 20+ years ago (I also think he wrote about it for my magazine Ultimate Audio back in the late '90s). Superlative sound though just a little too ping pongy at times. I have a number of originals, Chad's original (not on the same level sadly as the original) and a test pressing of the soon to be released new reissue from Chad. I wish though someone would have released it at 45 rpm.

                    I also have the Nick Jones album around too (just haven't seen it in a while)! Great album. Was imported at one time by Rega Records (late '90s) and Mike Trei had given me a copy back then. I think we also talked about some of the other artists on Topic Records (don't get the Shanachie versions) such as June Tabor and her album Aqaba.

                    I just got the latest 33 rpm version of the Willie Dixon but haven't had a chance to give it a spin yet.

                    Will have to check out some of your other suggestions!
                    One of the best things about audio shows is meeting people and sharing great music! I always leave a show with a list of records I have to find! Hope to see you there and share a bit of music Myles. I am always interested in what you post your are currently playing!

                    Comment

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