Whenever I hit the road to attend a HiFi show or help set up a system I make sure I am armed to the teeth with my reference material.
Going into a stereo setup without my trusted media would be akin to that old nightmare of showing up at a cocktail party naked.
Our reference music is critical because we know how it is supposed to sound. Knowing how it sounds in my reference system gives me an instant edge on tweaking and dialing in any other system until an equilibrium is achieved.
If I were in that proverbial desert island scenario with but one choice of disc there’s no doubt in my mind what that disc would be.
The latest Audiophile’s Guide: The Loudspeaker.
Yes, this is indeed a shameless plug for the disc, but that won’t stop me from suggesting it.
It is my desert island disc.
Skip the book if you want, but do get the disc.
On that disc is one of the most valuable tools I’ve yet used. The individual tracks from the assembled whole.
Track 9 of the disc is Gabriel Mervine’s Whisper. It’s a delightful track. Played on a properly set up system it truly sounds like the musicians are in the room with us. Scary almost.
But often it’s challenging to dial that whole track into perfection.
Which is why tracks 4, 5, 6, and 7 are so valuable. On each of these tracks, the individual musicians play snippets of their parts in Track 9: get Gabe’s solo trumpet sounding right on track 4, then see how Tom Amend’s piano fits in on track 7, and so forth. We made certain that each of the tracks is exactly the same as in the final mix.
As you dial in each of the tracks you can imagine how eventually the whole will sound correct.
The desert island disc.
If you have only one, this would be it.