Baskets of Recordings and Facets of Reproduction

More of the Music of Rickie Lee Jones

Reviews and Commentaries for Rickie Lee Jones’ First Album

You need to use a basket of roughly five to ten recordings to test your equipment, tweaks, room, cleaning regimen and the like.

Don’t rely on any given recording to be The Truth. None of them are.

To illustrate this idea, imagine your stereo as a huge diamond. Every recording you play is showing you a different facet of that diamond, corresponding to a different characteristic of your system’s reproduction.

Audiophile X will play a record and say it has bad bass. His bass reproduction is excellent when playing other recordings, so this record, which seems to have bad bass, must be at fault. If you have been in audio for very long, you should easily recognize the conclusion this person has drawn as a case of Bad Audiophile Thinking. 

Audiophile Y plays the same record and says it has good bass. Assuming the record has good bass for a moment, what in fact is happening in Audiophile X’s system is that most facets of his bass are good, but some facet of his bass is bad, and this record is showing him some shortcoming in his bass reproduction that his other records are not showing him. 

If Audiophile X makes some changes to his stereo, and the record in question now has better bass, and, importantly, other records still sound as good or better than they used to, then some measure of success will have been achieved, and another step forward will have been taken in that very long and often frustrating journey we are all on.

The diamond has many flaws. We find them and fix them as we go about the business of tweaking and tuning, which has the added benefit of improving your critical listening skills.

To help you improve your stereo, room, electricity and the like, we have scores of records that are good for testing a wide variety of different aspects of audio reproduction. If you like a challenge, and own some of these records, preferably Hot Stamper pressings you bought from us (because we know those have the right sound), we invite you to have at ’em.

RECORDS THAT ARE GOOD FOR TESTING

Records that Are Good for Testing Ambience, Size and Space 

Records that Are Good for Testing Bass and Whomp 

Records that Are Good for Testing Bass Definition 

Records that Are Good for Testing Big, Clear and Lively Choruses 

Records that Are Good for Testing Compression 

Records that Are Good for Testing Energy 

Records that Are Good for Testing Grit and Grain 

Records that Are Good for Testing in General 

Records that Are Good for Testing Midrange Congestion 

Records that Are Good for Testing Midrange Presence 

Records that Are Good for Testing Richness and Smoothness 

Records that Are Good for Testing Sibilance (It’s a Bitch) 

Records that Are Good for Testing Side to Side Differences 

Records that Are Good for Testing Smear 

Records that Are Good for Testing Speed 

Records that Are Good for Testing String Tone and Texture 

Records that Are Good for Testing the Lower Midrange and Mid-Bass 

Records that Are Good for Testing Transparency 

Records that Are Good for Testing Treble Issues 

Records that Are Good for Testing Tubey Magic 

Records that Are Good for Testing Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars 

Records that Are Good for Testing Upper Midrange Shrillness

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