Steely Dan Aja as reference for testing speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by SuperLead100, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. 55Redneck

    55Redneck Canadian Redneck

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    I also have Pirates but I like the two I mentioned better for SQ and material. ;)
     
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  2. Lavane

    Lavane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Its not a bad idea to use albums produced with some flaws as well. Background noises, maybe an electric guitar that sounds a bit dirty, ect. On an average system you may not hear them. I have a Doyle Bramhall album that had me checking my speakers and equipment for problems. It turned out to be in the recording. I don't hear the noise in any of my vehicles or a system I have in my garage.
     
  3. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    As an aside, AK's founder took his moniker, and AK took its splash page font, from that album.
     
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  4. roadie1

    roadie1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Listened to that a couple times today!
    R1
     
  5. toddalin

    toddalin Super Member

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    Listen to the harpsichord at the begining (actually throughout the song but gets buried) of I need You to turn to (Elton John, SACD) and you can hear can hear the mechanical noises of the mechanism that plucks the strings.

     
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  6. kvining

    kvining Active Member

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    Yes
    Yes, my mistake...
     

     

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  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    McDonald's wounded water buffalo vocal stylings are unmistakable on the chorus of Peg.

    :(
     
  8. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Snagged a really clean copy of Aja on MFSL vinyl from Bartertown about the time this thread was started. It came in today so I'm spinning it now. First impression is quite favorable. I'll have to pull out my original on ABC, which is quite a nice copy, but I'm pretty sure I've never heard Deacon Blues sound this smooth.

    Thanks @dbxdx5 !
     
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  9. DanSolo

    DanSolo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I bought a used version of "Aja" by MFSL and i always have to turn it up to near "11" to comparably listen with the newer MCA version.
     
  10. roadie1

    roadie1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    On Adele's 21 album there's a quick sound of a standard telephone ringing. I'm sure I couldn't tell you which song but it's there. I feel like Pavlov's dog, I jump almost every time.

    You can hear kids playing in the background on Melody Gardot's CD "My One and Only Thrill" also.
     
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  11. DirtFarmer

    DirtFarmer Active Member

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  12. GregDunn

    GregDunn Active Member

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    This. If every track is EQed differently, and mixed at a different level, the output may have little in common with the sound of the actual instruments being fed in. I have played multiple acoustic instruments and listen to live performances all the time; recently, a friend's acoustic duo welcomed a sax player to sit in on a few songs. When the guy stepped up, I remember thinking "there's a lot of midrange on that sax" and then "Oh yeah, they do have a lot of mids up close, duh." Typically recording engineers try to adjust levels and EQ/compression for the instruments so they can all be heard in the mix, not so that they're completely accurate individually. This is especially true for electric instruments, or mixes where electric instruments dominate.

    Now, also consider that the ear, while a very inaccurate measuring device, is extremely good at identifying and categorizing sounds - that's how it evolved. Of course a trained listener can identify different instruments and vocalists, even if the recording is terrible. Can it accurately identify a 1dB lift at 2 KHz without a reference? I can't get that close, and a quick poll of some friends who worked in live sound indicates that neither could they; the threshold is probably 2-3 dB and maybe within 100 Hz in the midrange. We are biased toward hearing and identifying the instrument even through all the processing, and one of the great myths of audio is that our aural memory of something heard a week ago is good enough to compare to an electronic reproduction of same. True, many of us know what an instrument should sound like, but if it's close enough in ways that trigger our memories, we are likely to subconsciously make the jump to equivalence.
     
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  13. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    Let me get into my "way back machine"--nearly 40 years ago, there was a high-end audio dealer smack dab in the middle of the OSU campus in Columbus, OH--they would "entertain" all of us poor college students--let us drink and smoke (not just cigarettes) in their high-end audio rooms (with the sliding glass doors closed). No "snobbery"--just a lot of fun. Hell, the sales people weren't much older than we were. They knew we couldn't afford ANYTHING in those rooms, but we would buy enough volume of "lower-end" stuff to keep the doors open and the lights on--GOOD TIMES!!!
     
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  14. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    Just to throw another album into the mix...

    I remember a late '80s CES show - when it was still in Chicago - where seemingly every room in the high end area (McCormick East? McCormick Hotel?) was using Special EFX's Double Feature on GRP for demo purposes. Chieli Minucci and the late George Jinda had a unique sound that just drew people in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  15. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Super Member

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    I bought a pristine used copy a few years ago, and wasn't impressed. Haven't played it in ages, so I pulled it out and gave side one a spin. The mix just sounds so wrong, I couldn't even finish side one.

    jeff
     
  16. rot26

    rot26 New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Charm City
    First of all, this is a great topic!

    There are so many great responses and ref's to albums/tracks or audio dealers from our collective past.

    With that in mind, I wanted to give a shout out to Herm Schnelker of HJS Sound in Ft. Wayne IN.
    Herm introduced me, my 2 brothers, and many, many friends to the world of audio. He was a fantastic
    educator. Most of the gear in his shop was Marantz and JBL, but there were other options. I purchased
    Marantz, JBL, and Sony products from him, and still have/use them today.

    A Google search of HJS Sound provides slim results, but his shop was a heaven for many people in NE Indiana.
    And yes, his demo LP of choice was Dark Side of the Moon. I was able to hear that through all of the JBL's in mid-70s ...
    26, 36, 100, 65, 200, 300


    On to alternative demo LPs or tracks...

    Subjective of course, based on your favored type of music. I personally like to include guitar, horns, but here is a selection of tracks I would take:

    - David Bowie: Stay

    - Steely Dan: Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More

    - Humble Pie: Eat It, esp. Side 2

    - Lou Reed: Coney Island Baby. It's an especially 'clean' sounding LP

    - Roxy Music: Atlantic Years, but really could be any of their LPs.
     

     

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  17. noogies

    noogies My Favorite Woofers. Subscriber

    Don't you find that one a little too compressed to really make your speakers work?
     
  18. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Katy Lied is the first Steely Dan album that I fell in love with. Sonically flawed. Magnificently written and performed. I just look at the above recommendation and say" Any excuse to listen to that album".
     
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  19. noogies

    noogies My Favorite Woofers. Subscriber

    My feeling exactly. I love the music. I still get chills when I hear Doctor Wu, tinny cymbals notwithstanding. I just wouldn't use it to evaluate my system, is all.
     
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  20. rot26

    rot26 New Member

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    Location:
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    Feedback is good.

    I've got the Mobile Fidelity "Original Master Recording" LP.

    My cost-based bias may be showing, but I still like it.
     
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