Music History

Published on April 30th, 2016 | by Alan Cross


Buying Audio Gear? Here’s the Album You Should Used to Test It Out

Whenever I was in the market for speakers, I had my reference disc: Steely Dan’s 1977 album, Aja. This thing was performed so well, engineered so precisely, produced so carefully and mastered so perfectly that I can’t think of another record that can highlight the strengths and expose the flaws of any audio gear. Open Culture points to us to some of the finer points of how the album was made.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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5 Responses to Buying Audio Gear? Here’s the Album You Should Used to Test It Out

  1. anon says:

    There was a good article floating around last year or so about how I.G.Y (from The Nightfly) is the go-to track for sound engineers to test a system.

  2. Marty Murray says:

    Back in the day, “Crime Of The Century” by Supertramp was another good one to use.

  3. Dick Woodcock says:

    Bohemian Rhapsody will give any speakers a good workout.

  4. nathan says:

    my favourite audiophile swears by an album by Dead Can Dance

  5. Jason says:

    I’ve always used Tears For Fears – Seeds Of Love LP although there are a ton of really good LPs for testing depending on your musical tastes.

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