What's your "Go To" album when showing off your system?

My Reference Album for Impressing Listeners is:

Artist: Patrica Barber
Album: Cafe Blue


Many to choose from but



Mmmm ….Steely Dan Gaucho.


I let people choose their own music when they visit……music is very personal.


Even if they want to listen to Sidney Bechet, recorded in mono in 1923?

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I don’t bother trying to impress people with my system. I try to play music we all like when I have visitors sometimes they might make a comment about the system but mostly not. I bought it for the enjoyment of music not to show off and I would rather hear comments about the music than the system.


I create a profile for guests on Roon and encourage them to join the song-rota. Often discover interesting things from music minded friends. I find that one of the key benefits of the system is that it is just as at home with Jazz or classical as it is with metal or rap. My sons play lots of material that wouldn’t be in my normal rotation, but their taste does creep into my stuff too. Not all guests are into this, but I have a good number of guests on my Roon setup.

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Gary Boyle – The Dancer (1977, Vinyl) - Discogs


Gary Boyle - ‘The Dancer’ (1977), the track ‘Almond Burfi’ on vinyl and Rick Wakeman - ‘White Rock’ (1977), the track ‘Lax’x’ on CD. Both from the old days but very effective. Plus numerous Mozart Piano Concertos and Chopin solo piano pieces.


It really does vary. I can’t see any value forcing someone (especially a guest) to sit through a Diana Krall track if they hate jazz, or making a metalhead listen to a Bruckner symphony against their will.

I have a couple of mates who know their hifi and I’ll choose something well-recorded for them, but would still do so in knowledge of their tastes.

If someone who ‘isn’t into music that much’ asks about the system (it happens, especially if they find out what it’s worth!), I will always offer to let them hear it, but would ask what they wanted to hear, confident that it’ll make pretty much anything sound better than what they’re used to (especially now, when listening to compressed tracks in mono on a ‘smart’ speaker the size of a beermat is the norm).

And if they don’t care and I’m left with a free choice? I suppose you can’t go wrong with Brothers in Arms, hifi cliché though it may be.

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Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Carlos Kleiber (DG, 1975).

Unlikely ever to be matched, let alone surpassed.

This is an unplayed copy that I’m sending to Peter Swain, to amaze customers who come into his Cymbiosis shop.

(Apologies that it’s at a strange angle. I have no idea how to fix that!)


That’s a good one!


G – adjusted for you. I suspect you’re using an iPhone/pad or somesuch which often does this. Somewhere, there’s usually a ‘rotate’ button (circular directional symbol), which can adjust.


Thanks, so much. There’s so much that I fail to understand about modern technology. I’m now that “old fart” that I never aspired to be!

Anyway, back to the Carlos Kleiber record. I’m hoping that DG may reissue it soon, as part of their new Original Source series, with limited editions of classic LP recordings.


The Kleiber Beethoven’s 5th is definitely an “oh wow” recording. Hair standing on end every time.

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I just asked my friends and guests what they would like to hear. Since I enjoy most music and stream it enables me to play any requests.


I used to have a few LPs and later CDs which to my ears sounded particularly good and I used for “test” purposes, Nowadays the emphasis is on the performance because a system that works well in a room doesn’t need sympathetic material to make it sound good. As we have slowly and methodically pieced our system together for decades until, to our ears, it works perfectly in our room, the critical evaluation has stopped because we’re too busy enjoying out music collection.

We’ve never shown off our system to anyone. Guests don’t go into the lounge where the main system is. There are Musos scattered around the house, should music be required. Visitors can listen to anything they like; I’ve wasted days if not weeks of my life bored to distraction listening to someone else’s idea to excellent audio material, mainly at assorted dealers. The only two exception in the 30 years we’ve lived here being a retired studio engineer who I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in the lounge with, listening to his material and his stories about bands he worked with. He was here to listen to an amp, which he left with, so that was a both a productive and entertaining afternoon. The other was Jason when he came over with Ian from Audience Bath to rebuild our system, do some soldering and have a listening session to the result. Past that, the only other HiFi connoisseurs I know are the people who work at my dealer and some of the customers I’ve met down the years, including some forum members.

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Erasure by ……Erasure.

It’s a beautiful album. I love Erasure but this is unique in their album catalogue and different to their normal pop.


The list could be long, however last time I’ve used these 2 albums:

Lee Ritenour’s 6 string theory

Hiromi - Voice

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Totally Agree, its the music you are listening to not “The System”

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