What's your top reference track - & Why?


Fink ‘Sunday Night Blues Club’ track 1 ‘Cold feet’…

Halfway through the track is a moment that will expose a systems potential…or failings

It’s taken a 252, 300dr, Supercap, 555ps, Focal Sopra’s 2’s to be able to listen with pleasure and not pain


Top three from my old Naim tracklist for quickly evaluating what a system was doing right and wrong;

No.1 Mary Gauthier - Falling Out of Love. With this track i could tell within about 20 seconds whether a Hi-line was working properly or not. After a second and third listen, just to ensure that it wasn’t down to any install issue, any Hi-lines that failed the Gauthier test went back to be reworked.

No.2. George Duke - The Black Messiah (Part 2). Christian McBride on double bass provides a great system test here. This one has tripped up many a mega-buck system. Any overhang, or lethargy in the bass and it’ll sound either flat, messy or as if it’s tripping over itself. Most Naim systems, if they’re working as they should, will excel with this track.

No.3 Mozart’s Zaide - Goodwin & AAC - Act 1, No.5 Duetto. Lynne Dawson and Hans Peter Blochwitz sing perhaps one of the most gorgeous duets committed to record. This is great test of voice and general coherence. When SL2s are properly set up, this track should take you to heaven.

Plenty of others, but with these three I could get a pretty good idea of a system within a fairly short space of time.


Thelma Houston - I Got the Music in Me from the direct to disc recording made by Sheffield Lab produced by Doug Sax in the mid 70’s was my first demo style track and there has been many others since.


I’ve just listened to the whole album - Face The Music which starts off with that track, very nice. I’ve never heard of him. Thanks for that.


Amused to Death is recorded using Q Sound hence the wide sound stage - it’s a sort of selective phase inversion technique that will give a spatial effect


Richard recommended this George Duke track a couple of years back on the old forum. It does sound superb.


Yello The Race from the Flag, the dynamic range is awesome :slight_smile:


He’s a legend. Passed away last year unfortunately. Started getting known with Cannonball Adderley, then spent a few amazing years with Frank Zappa (where he took up synths and singing). He’s much loved by FZ fans. Has many solo albums, some excellent, some less so :slight_smile: I believe he is Dianne Reeves’ cousin and helped launch her career.


Will also add Stimela by Hugh Masekela as an amazing recording for testing hifi. The 45rpm LP version is a sonic (and musical) wonder. It’s also brilliant on digital.


Blimey. I just played this at ‘37’ on my 272/XPSDR 250DR Proac Tablette 10 and it sounds HUGE! Deep wide & fabulous! Totally absorbing.

Cheers PB



I see, never got into Zappa. My brother in law was into Zappa years ago. I thought he was loony, maybe I was. I was a teen after all at the time.


Great track isn’t it Graeme :+1:


My goodness. Thats is a good audition track!


Ah, going to check Raza now then.


Yep, it’s a good 'un, but my top Yello track’s “Jungle Bill”, from the “Baby” album (IIRC I bought this over to yours once Nigel). You really get to hear what an active pair of speakers are all about! The percussive drive is quite astonishing. On flimsy 1990 vinyl.


Another great test album especially on the flimsy vinyl stuff :sunglasses:


Keb’ Mo’ - Keb’ Mo’.

Track 8 from this album has long been one of my test pieces … just driving, percussive, acoustic guitar blues and singing … on the right system, you’d swear he’s here in the room with you. :open_mouth:


is that the old Robert Johnson number ‘Come On In My Kitchen’?
In 1992 I visited Hazlehurst, Mississippi where Johnson was born to try to track down the spirit of the blues. Despite a lot of hunting around in the bars there we couldn’t find it.
But then we went to Memphis and managed to get into BB King’s 67th birthday party…


No, though that is the next track on this excellent album.

I attended a Naim evening at a local dealer’s some years back, and used this as a demo track, (well, it made a nice change from interminable Pink Floyd :roll_eyes:).

Must have something about it, though, as it was the only track to provoke a request for a repeat play from a couple of the other audience members.


Billy MacKenzie, who sings ‘Moon on Ice’ - lived along the road from me when I was a student. Used to see him walking his whippets often and say ‘hello’.

Dame Shirley a treat on this too.