Guys(mainly Audiophiles), I'm curious what CDs you use as reference material when listening to your setup. Note that I'm looking for sound QUALITY reference material, not what hits the hardest. I like balanced music that will make the entire setup shine, so I can evaluate certain setups. Thanks.
Depends on what I'm listening for. As far as just a total music experience, I like Eric Clapton and the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" CD. These CD's are very good for imaging (especially the Eagles as a lot of it is live performance) and bringing out little subtle nuances you normally wouldn't hear on lesser speaker sets. For driver placement and blending (such as mid to tweeter placement) I like to use female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan, female vocalists tend to work well when trying to get the best vocal tonality. I've been listening to a lot of Lacuna Coil lately, Cristina is an AWESOME female rock vocalist, and she's really hot . The male singer sucks at times though, on some tracks I listen to I'd love to smash him in the mouth with a shovel. I really wish they'd drop him. Anyway, Pink Floyd recordings are excellent as well.
anything you can find on ebay by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) "Master" recordings on 24K gold CD. the remastering is amazing. Personally, I use Jeff Beck's Wired, Floyd's DSotM, Wish you were here, and the wall, and a few other selected CDs along with some good, well mastered CDs I have of classical/baroque stuff.
other good reference stuff are female vocals like sarah mclachlan, alana davis, and cassandra wilson. any smooth jazz or live club type jazz, solo artists like Clapton's live stuff, and so forth. anything complex, or good for singling out a good soundstage and imaging where specific instruments or vocals are highlighted and isolated. Music with good detail. This generally eliminates most rap and metal.