Songs to test headphones with


I like listening to some of the Pink Floyd alumni. Have enjoyed Syd Barrett and John Entwhistle. I’m taking your recommendation and ordering the Waters record from Music Direct in 180 gram vinyl.

I’ll probably use speakers first. Now what drink pairing should I consider?


That’s a well thought out list. I use Pink Floyd a lot but I also use Beethoven symphonic music to find depth in the strings.


Yes, this has been a classic test track for years. I have always liked to test with some Henry Mancini, either Pink Panther theme or Peter Gunn. Mancini is always very well recorded and everyone has heard Mancini on theater sound systems, on a number of hi-fi systems, and if you’re lucky, in person.

Why am I saying this? I have a remaster CD, but when I went to buy the Roger Waters vinyl, there was a note I could get free shipping if I spent a wee bit more, so I finally got a 180 g vinyl pressing of Pink Panther. I can’t wait. This is beautifully recorded fun music. The sneaky percussion may set to tone, but the mellifluous horns are just to die for.


I’m finding my preference is moving towards well recorded live tracks, or live miked tracks.
For spacial placement, & soundstage: Cowboy Junkies Blue Moon Revisited (song for Elvis).
for overall timbre: C.P.E Bach Cello Concerto #1 and Buena Vista Social Club [Chan Chan
Female Vocal: Eva Cassidy Autumn Leaves (Live at Blues Alley).
Male Vocal: Emmit Rhodes Dog on a Chain and Ralph McTell The Islands.
Bass Amy Winehouse Amy, Amy, Amy_Outro… and You Know I’m No Good

I could go on but those are my go to tracks for auditioning any equipment




Try starting with:Mahler Symphony 5,Minnesota Orchestra,Osmo Vanska(conductor)…Bis Records Label. I also do SACD Multichannel but I listened to this on headphones also. I might have some quibbles about the interpretation but I would call this a demonstration disc on my list.


Try starting with:Mahler Symphony 5,Minnesota Orchestra,Osmo Vanska(conductor)…Bis Records Label. THE WHOLE THING. I might have some quibbles about the interpretation but I would call this a demonstration disc on my list.


I may be off key a little with this as I aren’t specifically suggesting a song as such but a genre. I really love listening to acoustic music. I feel like this genre allows you to pick out detail and clarity easier. This may be just my subjective experience so may be of no use to anyone else. But it’s what I like. Classical music with a little Rachmaninov is also nice to hear. Anyway sorry I am wandering a little.


Prayer heard and answered. [ √ ]


Hells bells. Someone brought up Eva Cassidy, now I have to listen to “Time after Time” and cry at my desk again.


My Music Direct package came in today. Got that Roger Waters album have not listened to it yet. The HENRY MANCINI - Pink Panther Sound Track album came in. 50th Edition in gorgeous PINK vinyl!. Music direct has several other buying choices, and a lot of Mancini.

I couldn’t wait. The album jacket is a near duplicate of the original, with album notes by Peter Sellers. Very funny. The label is black RCA Victor, DYNAGROOVE. With an explanation of how RCA mastering tape is used for DYNAGROOVE. And how they are using an electronic brain for the first time to help solve the problems of traditional mastering.

The album sounded very good. It’s a 180 gram disc, and I put it on the VPI and screwed down the record weight gently, then cue’d the music.

This soundtrack Mancini orchestra is very well recorded, traditionally, not with a lot of individual miking (micing?) of instruments, although it’s clear that there is some with the percussion, such as xylophone and wood percussion instruments. Dynagroove mastering personnel seem to have been very concerned with soundstage, I listened on speakers, not phones, and there is less left/right blend than I hear with most modern recordings. Needed to sit back a few feet from the usual sweet spot.

Yes, the horns are delicious. The piano is very clear, and according to Seller’s liner notes has strings in it. In the next weeks, I’ll try some headphones on it, but I just wanted to hear the vinyl. Recently I heard this album streaming, and the vinyl is more relaxing on my ears. It’s not an expensive album, and if you are a vinyl fan, I think you’ll want this kind of content in your collection.

The final cut, “Something for Sennett” is crisp, brightly recorded (but not overbright) percussion that makes you smile. Think Keystone Cops music.


Having just purchased an Audeze LCD-X and JDS DAC/amp, I’ve been putting my new toys through some torture tests. Favorite recordings:

Jorge Mester and Pasadena Symphony: Also Sprach Zarathustra & Saint-Säens Organ Symphony recorded binaurally. Pasadena Symphony? It’s an orchestra made up of A-list studio musicians that record motion picture soundtracks.

Carlo Maria Giulini, Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinski’s Firebird. The latter half from The Dance of King Kastchei through the Finale is phenomenal. One of my favorite orchestral performances.

The Singers Unlimited A Cappella recordings. These singers create such dense harmonies that I have heard many speakers and headphones break up attempting to reproduce the recordings. A true vocal music torture test.

For acoustic Jazz, I chose Oliver Nelson’s “Blues and the Abstract Truth” and Miles Davis’s “Kinda Blue”. Classics of the genre. Also Chris Botti’s “Impressions” and Chris Walden Big Band “Full On” both gorgeously recorded by Al Schmitt.

Moving on to contemporary music:

Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall”, “Thriller”, “Bad”. Bruce Sweden is a legendary recording engineer for a reason.

Taylor Swift “Reputation”. Not her best album, but an expansive recording. Lots of huge synthesizer pads and basses. The biggest selling album of 2017 must have done something right.


Andrew and Lismore… listen to the tam-tams at the very end of Movement One…Mahler Symphony 5


Any classical?


I would recommend for the Mahler Ninth first Leonard Bernstein with the New York Phil. or the Concertgebow (which has the better sound) and for really great sound and performance Ivan Fischer with the Budapest Festival Orch. No bragging or complaining but I own over 200 Mahler recordings of Mahler’s 10 symphonies (maybe. just crazy).


Don Ross - A Million Brazilian Civilians. This is a great album. Instrumental guitar and much more.


This topic had me thinking about essential music. One of my favorite early musical memories was Benjamin Britten’s “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” My parents had an RCA Victor version, and it was bundled with Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”, with a guide to instruments in the orchestra.

There are so many recordings of this now, but I can’t help but think that any of the good ones would be an excellent choice to underscore how your system reproduces key basic sounds.


For classical I like Ravel’s piano concerto in G major and Moravec’s Chopin nocturnes. Desi is also pretty fun


So Many. One I have rediscovered is Pink Floyd Final Cut. It was introduced as a “holophonic” record when released. It has some great effects that work well on headphones.


I often use Fleetwood Mac - The Chain when trying to explain soundstage and imaging to people who start to become interested in headphones. The intro makes it really easy to separate the instruments since they come in one at a time from left to right and the drums are right in the center of your head.