Tweaking – Test CDs

Stereophile magazine CDs (especially the second one)
Classical, jazz, test tones, specifically designed to tweak audio systems.

Sheffield/Autosound 2000 CDs – especially “My Disk” and “Amplifier Setting CD”
Jazz, classical, test tones, used to set and check everything.

IASCA Set-up Disk
Great reference CD to tweak all aspects of your audio system, especially if you are into competition.

Chesky Records – “Guide to Critical Listening – The Ultimate Demonstration Disk”
Jazz, classical, etc. This CD guides you through the different tracks. Check an audiophile quality system.

Chesky Records – “Jazz Sampler Vol 1”
Half of the CD is impeccably recorded music and the other half has different tests.

Testing Limits of Audio System

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – “The Great Fantasy Adventure Album”
Movie soundtracks. Dynamics! Takes your system to the limit. Check the Jurassic Park tracks for high SPL.

Kitaro – “Kojiki”
Jazz/Japanese music. Transients in the lower and upper ranges.

Rusted Root – “When I Woke”
Pop. Lower-end transients (bass and midbass)

Morphine – “Yes”
Rock. A lot of bass guitar and horns. Will push mids and midbases to the limit.

Tchaikovski – “1812 Overture, Nutcracker”
Classical. Dynamics, staging and imaging. Listen to the cannons at the end of 1812 Overture.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Blood Sugar Sex Magic”
Rock. Dynamics, lower end (kick drum and bass guitar should be distinguishable).

Audio CDs


Focal CD: “Disque de Demostration – Focal Automobile – No 1”
The best reference disk you can own. Different types of music to test staging, imaging and detail.

Sheffield/Autosound 2000 CDs – “Drive”
Another great reference CD. Jazz, classical, used to check everything

Boston Acoustics CDs – Especially the first 3 (jazz mix, bass and imaging)
They might be very hard to find, but are worth getting.

Roundup Records – “Roundup the Unusual Suspects”
Sampler – all kinds of music. Transients, vocals, etc.

Northern Exposure – “Music From the Television Series”
Rock, classical, pop, jazz, etc. Dynamics (track 7), overall balance.

Chesky Records – “The Collection Series No. 1” and “The Vocal Collection”
Jazz. Transients, vocals, staging and imaging.


Basia – All her CDs
Jazz/pop. Transients, female vocals.

Ray Obiedo – “Iguana”
Jazz. Good to test dynamics, bass/midbass transition.

Acoustic Alchemy – “Back on the Case”
Jazz with acoustic guitars. This CD has a lot of detail for midrange testing.

Spyro Gyra – “Collection”
Latin jazz. Dynamics, staging and imaging. Use to test limits of midbass drivers.

Fourplay – “Between the Sheets”
Jazz. Test bass/midbass transition. Lots of bass guitar.

Dire Straits – “Money for Nothing”
Rock. If you have any problems in your lower end, the title song will bring them out.

Commitments – “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”
Rock. Test vocals, staging, system dynamics.

Diane Schuur – “Love Walked In”
Jazz. Great CD to test vocals (midrange performance).

Nana Mouskouri – “Veille Chansons de France”
Easy Listening. Vocals, high frequency details.

Cats – “Selections From the Original Broadcast”
Broadway musical. Vocals. Test the limits of your mids, overall balance. Should sound very natural.

Guys and Dolls – “The New Broadcast Recording
Another Broadway musical. Vocals and great music.