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In yesterday's post, I shared with you some of my playlist I use to design and verify equipment performance. That list continues today.
  • San Jacinto, Peter Gabriel, New Blood. It's Peter Gabriel and it's a great recording. Not a lot more need be shared.
  • Haydn Sonata 49, Lois Shapiro. Good luck finding this gem. I've linked it to a used copy and perhaps there's others to find as well. Piano is rendered nearly perfect and the music of Haydn, well, superb.
  • Summer Wind, David Elias. Terrific recording of this gentle man's music. Elias is an audiophile like the rest of us and cares a great deal about the quality of his music.
  • Keith Don’t go, Nils Lofgren, Acoustic Live. After about the fiftieth play of this at audio shows I swore to God I would never play it again, yet there are great reasons to do so. The quality of the guitar tells me a great deal about circuitry.
  • How’s your mother in law, Red Norvo, The Forward Look. If memory serves me correctly this was Keith Johnson's first live recording. But right or wrong, few live recordings capture the essence of live jazz as well as this one and if you can't hear the musician's footfalls on the wooden floor you need a subwoofer or new electronics.
  • Cymbeline, Loreena McKennitt, Live in Paris and Toronto. Who knew? A harpist that attracts thousands to her concerts? And good recordings too? This track was one of the main references used to voice the Torrey's update. Getting the plucks and harmonics just right is near-impossible.
  • Going Home, Junior Wells. Best of luck finding this gem, but if you do, grab it. It's tough to reproduce correctly because it's not recorded well, but good systems separate themselves from the poor recording and then it's wonderful to enjoy.
  • Black Night, Doug Macleod, There’s a time. This lovely Reference Recording has all the trappings of a live album, with the control and precision of a studio version. On less than perfect equipment, this can sound unpleasant. But get it right and you're in heaven.
  • Thanks To You, Boz Scaggs. A must have if you're interested in seeing if your system has bass. Most don't. Very few systems I know of can reproduce the last note of the electric piano as full and properly as the others. Most people don't even know the note is there because they haven't the bass response to bring it to them.
There are nearly fifty tracks in my reference library and my head hurts trying to link all these. I'll do one more round tomorrow. More at a later date.
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Paul McGowan

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