Which track sounds best on your speakers?

P5 and 800 Diamond series reports from CES 2010

So, you’ve bought your brand new speakers – be it our award-laden Zeppelin ipod system, the equally heavily awarded 685s or a gleaming pair of 802 Diamond – and you’re lining up your favourite music to test them on.

We want to know what you’ve found sounds the best. Which stand-out  track would you play when your friends come round and you want to really show them off, or perhaps justify why you bought them to your partner.

It might be that you hear something new in an old favourite that you’d never heard before or that suddenly it sounds as if Keith Richards is playing in front of you.

The Daily Growl from Lambchop’s Is A Woman sounds brilliant on my 684’s – there is a beautiful depth and warmth and a really immediate live feel that always makes people ask who the artist is.

We’d love to hear from you on what makes your speakers sing.

259 Comments

  • Dan says:

    You can’t beat The Who’s classic Live At Leeds album. Put on My Generation, don’t be shy with the volume and it’s like the band are playing in your living room.

  • John says:

    A live album! Dan surely you are mistaken. While I sort of agree that a live recording can be kind of fun, but it’s not the kind of track I’d use to show off my 802Ds!
    A good female vocal will win over doubters every time. Eva Cassidy’s Songbird is the album to reach for – and because Fields of Gold is the first track, you don’t even have to skip through!

  • Forsberg says:

    My 685s are mostly used as fronts in a HT setup, but when I really want to kick back, I put on the CD Hard Candy, by Counting Crows, and put on the track Holiday in Spain. Adam Duritz’ vocals sound amazing from B&Ws!

  • Andreas says:

    Chris Jones – Moonstruck album
    and
    Katie Melua – Call of the search

  • Barbara says:

    Everything is wonderful, piano, voice, string quartets ….
    A friend heard it and bought one for herself.

  • Mike says:

    I am a big fan of listening to the whole rat pack gang (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Michael Buble, etc..) More of the Michael Buble recordings sound better due to the fact that they are newer.

  • Yves Nadon says:

    I bought the Zeppelin and Sia’s live version of Lentil sends shivers to anyone who listens to it on the Zeppelin. Her voice, strong and emotional, stands out thanks to a great sound system.

  • mario says:

    Writer’s block
    Just Jack.
    m

  • nathan says:

    Weird fishes by Radiohead-in fact the whole of In Rainbows sounds amazing. It sounds like Thom Yorke is in the room!

  • Niall says:

    My friends always ask to hear “Frankie” from Club des Beluga’s album Swop. It really shines on my 685’s.

  • Mike says:

    Cream Live at The Royal Albert Hall May 2005

  • Geoff says:

    The Black Crowes. Thorn in my Pride.

    Jaw-dropping !

  • Alexis Rodriguez Salvo says:

    I have bought a pair of 805S bookshelf speakers, playing a Meridian amplifier and CD, with Nordost flat silver cables.

    It sounds very good.

    What I like the most is:
    Brandemburg Concerts, by “Il Giardino Armonico” (Milan), recorded by TELDEC, “Das Alte Werk” collection.

    Brass are incredible in first movement of Concert N°1.

    I also have enjoyed so much the last movement of N°9 Simphony of Beethoven, by “Europe Chamber Orchestra”, directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Another TELDEC marvel.

    I will tell you about more highlights of listening…

    Regards,
    Alexis.

  • Hicham AOUDA says:

    First thank you for your inquiry.
    I’m listening now for a few weeks to my B&W 802D. I bought as well a pair of 805S and HDTM2D for Home theater.

    My satisfaction with the 802Ds is 60%… any speaker is part of a system and unless there is proper synergy, the whole experience is not maximized. I wish if B&W provided as well advice on cables and electronics that pair well with B&W802D or any speaker and how to improve room acoustics, speaker posiioning. In my case I paired it wih CLASSE, hoping being from the same company, it will work well…. I regret, what I read in the reviews is not meeting my expectations of these speakers.

    I ve
    B&W 802D
    Classe CA2200
    Classe CP-500
    Straighwire rapsody cables
    PS audio PPP
    VH audio power cables
    weiss Minerva Dac and previously Naim CD player

    what I like is female voice and generally the mid-range
    The highs can be harsh
    the bass is rolled of

  • Benny says:

    I love to hear Sara K. – All your love (turned to passion)! That sounds good!

  • Paco Colores says:

    I agree that live music is the best! U2 and Peter Gabriel sounds like no other. U2’s City Of Blinding Lights and Peter Gabriel´s Growing Up Live: Solsbury Hill track.

  • patrick says:

    hi,
    When we listen to the b&w speakers we heard the Dire Straits with the number Money for nothing. From that moment on we have no more doubts about the speakers. The sound is amazing.

  • denis van helleputte says:

    with the zeppelin in my room I take great pleasure while listening dogs’from pink floyd..or Aisha from ‘death in Vegas’..even Aphex twin’…at the moment zeppelin does self choice with Herbie Hancock’firewater’.I let it continue to improvise to the next song’!

  • kkkeith diplock says:

    i love the sound off madaline bells voice from stone the crows nice roar beltter better than janice joppling should take time and listern

  • Bo says:

    One piece that i find awesome on my Zeppelin is a classic one, The Phantom of the opera. It sounds great in my livingroom!

  • Jamie says:

    Leftfield’s Release the Pressure from their very well produced album Leftism sounds fantastic on my MT-20 speaker system, the clarity of the vocals coupled with the pounding bassline really sound mint :)

  • Brian says:

    I recommend anything on the Pete Gabriel “Play” DVD. Remixed in 5.1 by Daniel Lanois and Richard Chappell, the sound quality and depth to the mixes are amazing.

  • Erik Jan says:

    Piano is the most difficult to get right in a recording, IMO. Perahia playing Schumann’s first sonata (Sony) has transformed from a decent recording to a sonic spectacular, on 802d’s driven by a modest Linn setup.

  • Ray says:

    Above & Beyond presenting Oceanlab – I Am What I Am

    Can’t beat the voice of Justine Suissa when it comes to trance.

  • Laurence says:

    One track that really stands out is Canto de la tierra from the Andrea Bocelli album Sogno, this is truly amazing be it quiet or with the volume up it does stand out the quality of the Zeppelin compared to others on the market i dont feel at present there are any that are near in sound or build well done B&W

  • Mark says:

    Wow, that’s a tough one… my partner bought my Zeppelin for me as a Christmas gift and I love it. I’ve got what I hope a pretty broad tastes and I’m going to cheat and pick my top three tracks to get the most out of my Zeppelin. First up would have to be Being Boiled by The Human League, then it’s a another Zeppelin, Since I’ve Been Loving You from the re-mastered version of Led Zeppelin III…Heaven! And just to tip me over the edge on the bliss scale I’m going to have to go for Song To The Siren by This Mortal Coil, never fails to touch me…enjoy.

  • George Tsiolis says:

    DIRE STRAITS – PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS

  • Evan says:

    Song: Here’s To Life
    Sung: Jacintha
    Album: Autumn Leaves – the songs of Johnny Mercer
    Speakers: 685s on loaded stands.

  • Mal says:

    Roger Waters Flickering Flame always a ‘show off’ fave. Tracks ‘Too Much Rope’ and ‘Three Wishes’ get most people looking for the surround speakers behind the sofa. Funny thing is, there aren’t any. Only a pair of 683’s sitting in front of them.

  • Steven says:

    I have to agree with Dan, a live recording – if recorded well which The Who’s Live At Leeds is – can be the perfect track to show off your speakers. The energy and atmosphere are amazing, close your eyes and you are there. It’s not been included in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 albums of all time for nothing.

  • Jukka says:

    I love to show off the dynamic range of my pair of 683’s by playing:

    Grande Piece Symphonique, Op.17 — Andantino Serioso – David Sanger – César Franck — The Complete Organ Music Vol. 1

    With the volume at the proper level it feels like having an organ in your living room.

  • Randy DIDDEL says:

    iRobot by Alan Parsons is one I use a lot. Starts slow and at low levels and slowly builds. A great way to demo linearity.

  • Justin M. Forbes says:

    Tough choice, there are several, but it was “Now We Are Free” from the Gladiator soundtrack that made me pick the N804s to begin with. Delerium’s “Terra Firma” (the first track on Poem) is probably the one I use to show off the speakers most though.

  • Geoff says:

    I just can’t see how a live album can sound better than one that has been recorded in a studio specifically for the purpose of enjoying it in your own living room. All the painstaking effort that goes into the production surely can’t be in vain. The atmosphere created in tracks such as Sting’s Sacred Heart is compromised in the live versions.

  • Roland says:

    Hope has a place, Enya. Sounds very good on my 705’s. One among others.

  • Shaun Marin says:

    I was listening to some new hi-fi equipment from Rotel last week through a pair of the new CM9s in black, and my personal favourite of the tracks I listened to was Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s I See a Darkness.

    It blew me away. It was the mixture of a great recording and a really revealing system. The voice was wonderfully natural, and you really got a sense of the room in which it was recorded. Great stuff.

  • Noel says:

    Agadoo by Black Lace.

    OK, seriously: Gift of Freedom by Charles Webster is the one I seem to reach for. Warm bass, open and atmosphereic, velvet vocal. Gets the hairs on the back of my neck.

    …maybe I should try out some 80s pop cheese and see how the 805s transform and breath some new life into those wedding disco nightmares. ;-)

    Big up to Mark for mentioning Human League’s Being Boiled. I’m going to try that when I get home.

  • braun1928 says:

    Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy

    It’s a song I always use to test speakers, amps, everything. I was able to hear them on the 703 (which I bought), but it was a killer song on the Nautilus’. Blew me and my friend away, hearing things we never imagined to find there, specially the ambient noise.

  • Sneaky Potato says:

    I had the 601 s3, waiting for my 685s to arrive.

    tracks…

    DIre Straights – Private Investigations
    Kraftwerk – Elektro Kardiogramm, La Forme
    Vaughn Williams – Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis
    Dave Matthews Band – The Dreaming Tree, Steady As We Go
    Blindside – Silence
    Coldplay – Trouble, Fix You
    Tori Amos – Under the Pink album

    The Dire straights track is big and full of detail and i love how the dynamics swing. The Kraftwerk is amazingly produced. Vaughn Williams is just beautiful. The percusion on DMB is great for a kick and the detail and the piano sound on Steady as we go is something special.
    Coldplay and Tori Amos the percussion and the detail in her voice.

  • bob says:

    the backround music in the film quantum of solace/james bond never sounded so good. the b,w speakers i listen to are? well thats my secret/hint /61 and62/two very good years. a long time listener. BOB

  • Christian Meermann says:

    Cultured Pearls – Sentimental Mood. The deepest bass I have ever heard.

  • Christian Meermann says:

    Forgot to mention… I own a Zeppelin.

  • NIck says:

    Kruder & Dorfmeister
    Jazz Master – Alex Reece
    Found on the K&D Sessions

    Sounds amazing on my CM7s

  • Barry says:

    Try ladi6 – track 6, (Question?)

    http://www.ladi6.com

    myspace.com/ladi6

    great on 802ds

  • Stuartyboy says:

    I have the Zeppelin and its fair to say that almost anything sounds great on it! Hooked up to the tv via optical cable and the FooFighters Live at Wembly 2008 on Blu-ray sounds fantastic!!! Coupled with the great picture its like being back at the that concert last year! Well recommended!

    On a more chilled out note, fans of Fink will love it on a Zep. “This is the Thing” from the Distance and Time album sound nice, with “Sort Of Revolution from the recently released album of the same name sound controlled and life like. A real pleasure to the ears on a mellow Sunday…

  • René & Anne says:

    We like to listen to Magnolia by J.J. Cale ( collected cd)
    We have B&W 802D in combination with siltech wiring and pure high end masterclass ( sugden)
    try it!! and you enjoy.

  • DaveyG says:

    I got myself a pair of M1s for myself for Christmas and, though I don’t have a full-blown hi-fi, I have to say that Brian McKnight’s “6,8,12” and “Back at One” sound fantastic. The bass is nice even without the accompanying subwoofer and vocals are crisp and clear. Super..

  • Kevan says:

    The first time I heard the Zeppelin was in a John Lewis store and I was amazed. It was the first time I’d heard ‘an iPod system’ that sounded like a ‘real hi-fi’. Listen to Girl in the Water by Josh Ritter – he almost whispers the vocals whilst the lush production builds underneath. The lyric are superb… “Pretend the Dove from above is a Dragon and your feet are on fire!”

  • Charles says:

    Yoshimi battles the pink robots by Flaming Lips. Now this is a very taxing album because of the way the album was mixed and few hi-fi systems can actually manage to tap into the music and make sense of this album.

  • Chris says:

    There are a few tracks I really like to demo on. A couple of tracks from the Pink Floyd DSOTM 5.1 SACD (Money – d-uh – and Time). Also, on the DVD-A side of the Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues dualdisc, I reallly like the alternate version of Burning Down the Houe.

    Any of those three tracks, when cranked, will have me smiling, laughing, and drooling like an idiot. Ain’t that what it’s all about?

    Finally, there are a number of tracks on this B&W demo CD I was able to scam from a B&W dealer. It features all tracks recorded at Abbey Road, but I think the track that gets me fired up the most on that disk is Fever (is it Peggy Lee????) just because you can really (and I know this sounds weird) hear her mouth…. Odd, freaky, but very cool. Close your eyes, and she’s singing right in front of you.

  • Tito says:

    Tengo unas 802-D ( I have a 802-D )
    Pink Floyd – Final Cut
    Genesis – Seconds Out
    The Who – Tommy in CD and SACD
    ZZ Top – Eliminator
    y muchos otros ( and many others )

  • Christian Meermann says:

    On my Zeppelin:

    Marillion – Happiness Is the Road.

    Transparent clarity meets well-balanced power.

  • Josias Lundager says:

    On my 684 floorstanders I like to listen to the police.

    Listening to every breath you take, by the police is simply awesome using these speakers!

    I love the sound of the double bass combined with finger play in the guitar by

  • Josias Lundager says:

    I love to listen to Every breath you take, by The Police, using my 684 floorstanders.

    I simply love the sound of the double bass combined with the clever finger play on the guitar. The beat is so simple and easy to enjoy!

  • Josias Lundager says:

    Sorry guys the first post was a typo

  • david says:

    The whole of Talk Talk’s The Spirit of Eden album sounds wonderful through any decent speakers, and it should be listened to in one go, but the track that stands out for me is I Believe in You.

  • DB says:

    “Children Of Planet Earth” by Meat Beat Manifesto, from their 2008 album Autoimmune will demonstrate the Zeppelin’s bass response with considerable aggression.

  • jeff says:

    Listened to some B+Ws in my price range 703s, Had to buy them, naturally,at home A friend and myself were listing to something I forget what it was, we both yelled the same rude word when the 703s put out some bass that did not seem possible from speakers this size, more than happy

  • Rainer says:

    Songs I need to hear at least once a day on my 802Ds:
    Sting: They dance alone (from “Nothing like the sun” (Vinyl))
    Annie Lennox: Precious (from “Diva” (CD))
    Frank Zappa: “Watermelon in easter hay” (from “Joe´s garage” (Vinyl))

  • Florian says:

    “He’s Gone Away” from Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny on my Zepplin

  • John B says:

    Dire Straits from the remastered double album, Fourplay, Diana Krall, George Benson, Dave Grusin & Lee Ritenour GRP samplers, Vicente Amigo (flamenco), Paco de Lucia
    I play on Rotel RCD991 Audiophile Edidtion CD player, Monarchy amps amd CDM-9NTs
    Question: the aluminium domes on the tweeters are deformed and with some holes or scratches in it, they came completeley intact. Don’t know when this happened (overload??) I have not been able to differenciate sound. Do I have an earproblem?

  • Peter Ubbe says:

    I have nearly the same setup like Hicham AOUDA with 802D, CA-2200, CP-500 and CPD-102 from Classé.
    My expectations does not match my experience with this equipment. The sound is a bit squeezed and hard without perspective. Only simple and easy tunes sounds ok, but everytime when it get complex with more instruments, it sounds close to terrible. Ofcourse not what I expected from this kind of equipment.
    Norah Johnes – Come Away With Me – vinyl is one of the best tunes for the above system.

  • Amal says:

    Bob Marley – Three Little Birds

    Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe

    Kanye West – Say You Will

  • alex cook says:

    joy division – atmosphere

    the title says it all it has it in spades

  • Gordon says:

    B&W Speakers, Cyrus CD Player & Amp make Rory Gallagher’s “Shinkicker” come to life. Rory isn’t dead – he’s alive and well and in my living room.

  • Vangel Ajanovski says:

    This is pretty hard but it is a very good idea, I think it should be better organized, not just as a comment list.

    I have a B&W 5.1 setup (309-s in front, lCR3 center and 303-s in the back) powered on Harman Kardon AVR-4550. When I have a choice I usually choose DTS over Dolby sound source, and when listening to stereo sources I rarely listen to them in pure 2.0, I usually switch to HK’s Logic 7 5.1 M preset for classical and similar or DTS:Neo6 Music for electronic trance and techno. The settings change the music quite a bit, but most times it subjectively feels better.

    I chose this equipment among a dozen other combinations of roughly the same price range testing with:

    – Mike Oldfield – parts of Tubular Bells 2003 DVD-A
    – Craig Armstrong – The space within us CD
    – Infected Mushroom – Dancing with Kadafi – MP3 (weeell :) you can flame me for this)
    – Etnica – Mad Crickets – CD

    These few things got me hooked and made me choose the setup over others.

    I am also a huge fan of Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Enya, Andreas Vollenweider and all of them sound very very good, but I have heard a better performance of Vangelis music from a pair of 3 times larger in volume floorstanders.

    If I would showcase now – I’d still choose those ones and I am extremely happy of the first two tracks on the Craig Armstrong album I mentioned – the piano sounds very very natural and the beat going on like a true heartbeat – moves you thru. And lately concert DVDs of Peter Gabriel – I play them on repeat whole day long. Also Tori Amos – Welcome to Sunny Florida DVD – Precious Things track.

    Ok enough. :)

    Btw, I have never felt the lack of a subwoofer. Lord of the Rings – Two Towers final battle shattered the floor.

  • Mikal says:

    My 685’s is driven by an Dynaco ST70 power amp, with quad matched Mullard EL34 tubes and Vincent SA-31 preamp.

    My taste of music is quite wide, but the albums who spins the most in my Sony XA5ES is; Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
    Metallica – Ride The Lightning
    Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
    Deep Purple – Made In Japan
    Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
    Queen – A Night At The Opera
    And some other classics, mostly from the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s…

  • Pierre says:

    I’ve got B&W’S in nearly every room. One good track to play in Spanish Guitar by Tony Braxton.

  • Laz says:

    Well well…
    5th place: Air- moon safari (Source)
    4th place: Pink Martini- Hang on little tomatoe
    3rd place: Nick Cave- The boatman’s call (mute)
    2nd place: The corryells (chesky)

    and the winner is…
    Pink Martini- Sympathique!

    difficult to get hold of it, but utterly brilliant

  • Stig says:

    The track Black Smoke from the soundtrack to the film, Angels and Demons, by Hans Zimmer, is simply outstanding for demonstrating a speakers performance, particularly bass frequencies. (802 N)

  • Christopher John says:

    I started listening to radio at age 3 in 1s953 when my grandfather built me a wonderful vacuum tube wireless set. Using our half-wave aeiral I was able to tune in not only to the BBC band shows but Amercan AM stations like AFN where I learned to appreciate the jazz orchestras and their singers, doo-wap close harmony singing and the new rock’n’roll. That’s what started my life-long carer in singing in all styles starting with skiffle and progressing through British rock and pop to traditional folk, cassical oratorio and latgely to modern choral singing in which community choirs commission up-and-coming composers in a varitey of musical geres to write for choral forces.

    So I’m intersted in the capacity of hi-fi to reproduce th human voice. I also want to hear how hi-fi systems reproduce pianos as I have studied acoustics and trained as a professional concert piano tuner.

    For me, good pair of loudspeakers (not to mention the other parts of the system) needs to resolv voices in several parts of harmony and allow me to tell whether I’m listening to a Steinway, a Bosendorfer or whatever.

    One-take, direct recordings are the gbest an I like bvoth direct-cut vinyl and CDs taken from the sound engineer’s station at a public performance.

    One of the best live recordings of piano is Dick Hyman’s recording of Jazz Pieces From 1937 pressed on CD and also available on vinyl (played in a jazz club with an audience using a very nicely prepared Bosendorfer Imperial grand) Another is Dominic Aldiss’s Noght Music, an experimntal piece of piano ad electronic synthesis using a prototype Yamana grand now available on iTunes.

    The most appealing voice recordings I have are of my own Norwich-based choir VoiceProject, particularly our recording of the first performance of Soul Journey, a piece writen for us and accompanied by jazz atrombonist and BBC Jazz award winner Dennis Rollins. This was only a short-run recording so, like most of my collection of recordings from performances in which I have sung and pianos I have tuned, they are a little unieuq. Failing this, the best voice on offer in the recording business is that of Victoria de los Angele and any of her recirdingsw will reward close attention.

  • Rafael Barros says:

    Vinyl: Boppo for J.J. (Album: The Good Life with Paul Smith, Barney Kessel, Frank Capp and Monty Budwig) /// CDs: 88 Basie Street (Album-XRCD: 88 Basie Street with Count Basie; All or Nothing at All (Album: Love Scenes with Diana Krall); Lightnin’ (Album-XRCD: JVC XRCD Sampler with The Bill Holman Band). With any B&W speaker. That’s It.

  • Rafael Barros says:

    oops… I have a DM2 [that’s right: DM2 (like new)- somebody change by 802 D?]

  • brett says:

    Genesis – Selling England by the Pound SACD

  • Rachel says:

    Honestly, I have never appreciated the delights of wham rap until I played it on my Zeppelin, crank it up and dance like no one watching.

  • Tom says:

    I’ve got a pair of 685’s, pwoered ny a marrnantz pm6002, absoilute joy when listening to

    Flying Lotus – Shhh! – Madvillain’s “Shadows of tomorrow”.

    Check it out!

    Want more unusual electronic music visit

    http://www.inverted-audio.co.uk

  • Jim says:

    For me it’s got to be Paul Brady’s ‘Nothing But The Same Old Story’ (performed live) on my DM601s3’s

  • Alan says:

    Setup
    B&W 604 S3
    Citation 7.1 pwr. amp in biamped/ biwwired 450/ch.
    Nakamichi pre-amp
    Music Hall CD-25 cd player
    Tara Labs interconnects

    On my setup, Everything that is recorded clean sounds good, some metal, some rock and almost ALL Jazz.

    My favorites to demo with are:

    Acoustic Alchemy- Back on the Case….phenomenal recording, there are some songs on here that you think the guitarist is sitting on a stool in the middle of the listening room playing his acoustic.

    3rd Force, any of their albums sound excellent….great new age/jazz with quite a bit of bottom end.

    Craig Chacico….excellent jazz guitar and ultra clean.

    I have several others that sound very good but these really standout and have people really smiling as they listen.

  • Marjan says:

    I own DM 603 S3 in a combination with Marantz PM7200, generates an excellent combination.
    As for the tracks, when i want to show my speakers away and that is a lot :) i do it depending on the audience but here are some of them

    1. Herbie Hancock – New York Minute
    2. LTJ Bukem – Watercolors
    3. Herbie Hancock – Butterfly
    4. Artemis – Inner Worlds
    5. Nu-Moon – Possible Words
    6. Chick Corea Akoustic Band – Autumn Leaves
    7. Herbie Hancock – The Essence
    8. St. Germain – Rose Rouge
    9. Shpongle – Crystal Skulls

  • Outsharked says:

    Anything by Steely Dan; Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms;
    Amy Winehouse – Back In Black; early Hall & Oates; Rufus Wainright – Release the Stars; Afro Celt Sound System – Release.

    Some Motown stuff can also be a good bet – pretty clean and simple recordings, performances of bounding enthusiasm and relentless energy.

    (Everything as digits from a lossless iTunes library to an Arcam AV receiver, bi-amping a pair of AE Evo 3s.)

  • Jim K says:

    KARMA by Pharaoh Sanders is the richest album I’ve ever listened to. DM 605 S2. I am the music!

  • Brandon says:

    Tom Sawyer by Rush on my DM603 S3’s on vinyl. I’ve heard it so many times on so many speakers, I can tell what’s missing. Except when I listen to it on my B&W’s.

  • Jason says:

    Sorry to hear Peter. Try adding a nice power conditioner like a Furman reference 20 and some MIT speaker cables. An outstanding combination for sound quality on any music. Also the same combination found at Skywalker Ranch.

    Some favorite music of mine to play on B&W speakers is Josh Groban “Oceano”, Dire Straits greatest hits (DVD version with 24 bit), just about any classical music, Pink Floyd “another brick in the wall”, Metallica, Nickel Creek, I guess I could go on and on. The speakers are so good at reproducing anything you put through them and not coloring the sound.

  • Derek says:

    Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms SACD is incredible. I love the multi-channel mix. I have CM7s CM1s and a CM centre. The intro of “Money for Nothing” gives when goosebumps when the guitar comes in. It sounds like your head in centered in the middle of a drum rack in the beginning of the song.

  • George (San Francisco) says:

    Listening to my 602-S2’s via Rotel receiver and Rotel RCD991 (very sweet chip), I love to demo the third movement of Shostakovich’s 8th symphony (Colin Davis and the Concertgebow). The E-flat clarinet will split your eardrums, and the progression from the low strings through to the high ones is marvellous, not to mention the absolute clarity of the snare drum.

    Seconf favorite – Berglund conducting the last movement of Sibelius’ Fifth.

  • Stone says:

    “Both sides now” New version, sung by Jomi Mithchell…And Guy Pearce “start agin ” and want to much” . All I have in Lossless and sound like you are not just in the romm with them , but standing beside them. NOt many people know Joni Mitchel decided to finaly record the song she wrote..Brilliantly, and I haven’t met a soul that knows Guy Pearce can sing as well. Guy’s music is from the soundtrac “a Slipping down life” .

    All of this was ear guilding from my Zeplin! Realy incredible

  • stephen says:

    ” Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”- Paul Simon, the original and the remastered versions. Great demo.

    “Tin Man”- America- great harmonys and weaving bass

    “Stoned to Say the Least”- St Etienne
    “Spring”- St Etienne
    “I Can See Clearly Now”- Holly Cole.

  • Athar Rafiq says:

    Diana Krall
    Boulevard of Broken Dreams track I would like to play on my B&W’s for my friends.

  • kaskarrabias says:

    Sorry, I don’t speak english well.
    I have a 685 pair, and I love their sound with rock and metal music.
    TOOL-“la-te-ra-lus”
    Opeth-“Still Live”
    GATHERING-“A Sound Relief” (DVD)
    PINK FLOYD-“Dark Side Of The Moon”

  • kaskarrabias says:

    And don’t left hearless:
    METALLICA-“Metallica” (the black album)

  • Dave says:

    I have the older 600 series S2 speakers along with the CC6 and DS3 rears i always show High Def Blu ray movies because they sound fantastic and always get a good reaction….not bad for speakers 10 years old!!!

  • AbyssinianGuy says:

    I think the best song for testing the sound of speakers is Teardrop by Massive Attack. I have a pair of 685’s hooked up through a NAD amp abd they handle this song really perfectly.

  • Flight 666 says:

    Marantz amplifier etc. with B&W DM 602 first series:
    Nr. 1 must be the entire album ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ from Genesis
    Nr. 2 & 3 Opeth: Master’s apprentices and In My Time Of Need.
    Nr. 4 Peter Gabriel: In Your Eyes from the Secret World-tour

  • Mark says:

    through my faithful bi-wired 602’s..it “heat Miser” by Massive Attack..close your eyes and perpare to be staggered by this track..it’s AWESOME..honestly

  • Jerome says:

    On my 804S with CDP Musical Fidelity A5 and the A5 amplifier, y like to play Stacy Kent and Englishman in New York from Sting.
    It is all time a pleasure to listen all my CDs on my HiFi Components.

  • SonnyBoy says:

    Come Dance With Me with Diana Krall from the album From this moment on sounds awsome on a setup with Naim and 805s supported by a REL Storm sub.

    Just awsome!

  • Simon Apostolski says:

    On my 685’s, I can never get enough of the sound of Jan Garbarek’s “I Took Up The Runes” and “In Praise of Dreams” ; Keith Jarrett’s “Inside Out”, “The Koln Concert” and “At the Blue Note”. I can just feel the sound.

  • Alex Barnett says:

    Gretchen Perters “Guadaloupe” on the “One to the heart One to the Head”CD is awesome. Emmylou Harris ‘Michelangelo” from “Red Dirt Girl”. Tom Russell “Crucifix in a death Hand” frpm Modern Art. Guy Clark “No Lonesome Tune” from Workbench Songs are cuts that all highlight vocals, midrange bottom & soundstage beautifully. Truly tell you if your system integrates and balances as high end should.

  • Candy Snow says:

    Geroge Michael – Songs from the last century – sounds like he’s there with you.

    Michael Jackson – Black & White – the intro where the muffled sound suddenly bursts into full clear rock & roll. Watch the listeners face change from “What’s this tat we’re listening to”, to “WOW, give me some of that”.

    RS.

  • Kyrjens says:

    Playing on 804N, with Electrocompaniet Emc 1 up, Ec 4.7 preamp and Ec Aw 250 power amp.
    Chris Jones No Sanctuary Here from Roadhouses & Automobiles.

  • Paul says:

    If I am demonstrating to others then it would depend on their musical taste, i would pick something they liked from my collection but would steer them to something well recorded.

    For me at the moment Jazz at the Pawn Shop on CD especially in in HDCD sounds stunning on my 805s

  • ShewbieDo says:

    “Ode to Billy Joe” – Patricia Barber on Cafe Blue

  • Stuart M says:

    The song “Columbus” by Mary Black.
    Breathtaking vocals, strings, and piano.

  • applejack says:

    have 4 pair DM6
    connected to luxman C 1000-M 4000
    I’ll let you know…

  • applejack says:

    you should ask Tim De Paravicini

  • rob owen says:

    hmm. toughie. i think the tangram album by tangerine dream sounds rather nice on my 683’s.

  • anonémous says:

    For speaker testing/ listening in general I love

    Heat of the Sun – By Strunz & Farah (some of the best spanish guitar you’ll ever hear)

    Down to earth – By peter Gabriel (so multilayered that it is a nightmare for bad speakers, but perfect on my 685’s)

    Summertime – Molly Johnson (if you’re testing bass, or voice this song has the most separated instruments/voice, and is great)

    The beginning of Hurricane 2000 – The scorpions, and the Berliner Philharmoniker (great, intense violins and electric guitar)

    You Know I’m no Good – amy winehouse (her voice is really hard for bad speakers to handle…also has ok bass line)

    Prayer – Brian wilson (very multilayered as well)

    oh, and anything from Pirates of the Caribbean – by either klaus badelt or Hanz Zimmer (though “Jack Sparrow”, “He’s a Pirate”, and “Drink up Me Hearties Yo Ho” are the best)

  • Pauls says:

    Just about anything live sounds incredible on my 705’s. Specific tracks that really demo the speakers:
    -“Sally’s Song” by Amy Lee from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack re-release
    – “Bell bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton from the One More Car, One More Rider live release
    – “The Rainbow Connection” by Sarah McLachlan from the Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff CD

    My setup:
    – B&W 705
    – Rotel RCD-1072 source
    – McIntosh MA6500

  • Christian says:

    All of Royksupp’s new album on my 684s (powered by a NAD C352), awesome.

  • Rob from Rothbury says:

    I’ve a pair of XT4s hooked up, via Atlas cables, to a Musical Fidelity kW250S. Favourite tracks/albums to show it off?
    Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (the classic hifi test album!),
    Widor’s 5th Organ symphony – only bettered live at Westminster Abbey!!
    Graceland – Paul Simon
    The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
    In the Hall of the Mountain King – Greig
    Eva Cassidy’s beautiful voice

    The XT4s handle just about anything with ease
    Thanks,
    Rob

  • tony says:

    Dire Straits, Brothers in arms, Your latest trick. It’s hard to beat this track for a demo. Some artist just sound better live a good example is Ani Difranco living in clip. It blows away the studio recordings there is just more feeling in her live performance.

  • J.D. says:

    i love MOVIE-tracks on my 603’s (front) and 602’s (rear)

    for show-off for example:

    movie “Heat”
    the moment the police awaits the bankrobbers when they leave the bank.

    unbelievable, like you are really there
    when the shoot-out begins :)

  • Jim W says:

    I have an eclectic mix of music, but when showcasing my system (B&W 600s with 700 center, Adcom amps circa 1990’s, B&K processor, and Rotel for surrounds), I tend to play two songs:

    – Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm by the Crash Test Dummies.
    – Stories of the Painted Desert by the Rippingtons.

    Of course, the Core album by STP in DVD Audio works when I’m showcasing how to peel paint off my neighbors walls, but that’s a different kind of showcase entirely…

  • Scott G says:

    1. Skydiggers self titled
    2. Tommy, The Who, DVD-Audio
    3. Temptation – Holly Cole Trio
    4. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
    5. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue DVD-Audio

  • Adam C. says:

    on my pair of 602 S2s with a CC6 S2 Center:

    Dredg – El Cielo SACD
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon SACD
    Ray Charles – Genius Loves Company SACD
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue SACD
    Bjork – Medulla DVD-A

    Dire Straits – Communique (Vinyl)
    Steely Dan – Aja (Vinyl)
    Radiohead – Kid A (Vinyl)
    Godspeed You! Black Emporer – Lift yr. skinny fists (vinyl)

    300 Soundtrack
    Tool – 10,000 Days

    okay, that’s plenty. I love posting these and reading others!

  • Hallvard says:

    I work selling B&W so I have had and listen to all the speakers from the M1 to the 801D. These are all songs I simply love to listen to on all of them.

    Sting – Fragile
    (All This Time)
    Richard Bona – Bisso Baba
    (Reverence)
    Kari Bremnes – Sangen om fyret ved Tornehamn
    (Svarta Bjørn)
    Gåte – Skrømt
    (Jygri)
    Dire Straits – Money For Nothing
    (Brothers in Arms)
    Vamp – Fuglane Vett
    (I Full Symfoni)

  • Jon says:

    “everything sounds great on my 683’s !!!!”

  • Tom says:

    Incubus, morning view or Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue on my B&W 705’s. Then for a compare, I throw on Sevendust’s Next album (worst mastering ever) or Metallica’s new Death Magnetic (again, crappy recording) to compare the amazing dynamic range and accuracy of the spearkers.

  • Geoff says:

    I have a pair of 603 S3s, an LCR 600, a pair of DS3s, and a 608 sub.

    Tracks:
    MONDAY Nalepa remix by The Glitch Mob
    Enter Lord Vader by John Williams
    Lateralus by TOOL
    The S&M version of Memory Remains by Metallica
    Crystal Method’s Legion of Boom DVD audio album
    Daydreamin’ by Lupe Fiasco
    anything from the Lord of the RIngs soundtrack
    The movie Master and Commander

  • Franklin Tegelaar says:

    Try the cd Flag from Yello, nr. Otto di
    cantania for a subsonic bass and Andreas
    Vollenweider ( any cd) for high’s and a stereo immage that brings a tear to your eyes, so beautifull.(and much more music offcourse)
    At least on my set witch is a pair of 801’s, Musical Fidelity A3.2 pre-amp, Atoll 200 amp, Cambridge Audio 840C cd-player, Thorens TD 320 with AT33ML, upgraded by van den Hul including all wirering, Deskadel interlinks, d.i.y. powercords from Oyaide P-23 cabel and conectors from Furutech, connected to a Ps-audio Quintet for clean power.
    Enjoy, Frank.

  • Andy says:

    On my Old Denon PMD 1060 i listen to:

    – Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring.
    With a great drum solo on the intro…

    – Roger Waters – Amused to Death.
    – Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms – Listen to So Far Away , the tone of the voice of Mark Knopfler on This song is great.
    – REM – Automatic for the People – Nightswimming – Great atmosphere and beautiful Emotions in the voice of Michael stipe.

    – Marillion – Brave – A remark in the CD booklet is “play it loud with the lights out” – Just do IT!!!!!!!! and You’ll see!!!

  • bryce says:

    alanis morrissets mary jane is incredible
    on my 683 and put a spell on you ccr the feedback on the guitar sounds like the amp is in the room amazing

  • Dax Abraham says:

    Diana Krall, Blue Man Group, Shakti on my 605’s sounds awesome ….

  • Nigel says:

    Every part of my system was bought after listening to ‘Now we are free’ from the Gladiator soundtrack.

    Diana Krall – ‘I could drink a case of you’ from Live in Paris is stunning.

    In fact I agree with another poster, John, who says that female vocals always win.

    For movies, switch to DTS and run the opening battle scene from Gladiator. From the rustling of the corn through Maximus’ fingers, the robins’ wings fluttering, through to the brute force of the Mars Bringer of War style battle score I’m rivetted. And so is anyone else I’ve sat in the middle of it.
    Who needs a subwoofer when you have 602s3s up front?

  • Bruce McLean says:

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – by Jacques Louissier Trio – this was a demo disc when I selected last CD player NAD C545BEE played through NAD 370 Amp to B&W Matrix 804 speakers with small Missions at the back

  • Bill says:

    I absolutely love Stevie Ray Vaughn’s:
    Rivera Paradise. It was what was played for me in the audio room when I bought my speakers and it sold me on their quality of sound.

  • Mikael says:

    I have a pair of B&W 683 in my room and listen to almost all genres. Mostly rock, hard rock, metal. But if I’m going to buy a new pair of speakers I’ve got at short list of what I came up with now.

    Bill Withers – Lovley day
    Anna Ternheim – My secret
    Dire Straits – Money for nothing
    Nils Lofgren – You
    Prodigy – Spitfire
    The Knife – Like a pen
    Scorpions – Money and fame

  • Andy K says:

    Second the Leftism album. In this genre the In-Sides album by Orbital and Poney pt1 by Vitalic.

    The best quality live album I’ve heard is the Corrs Unplugged, Andrea’s voice is crystal clear.

  • adam h says:

    on my ccm50 and asw2 my choise is Monster Magnet with the song spacelord

  • fernando silva says:

    I listen to hard rock,pop, metal,etc.
    I have 603s3 with rotel 1062 amp+951 cd player and supra ply 3.4s bi-wire.
    They sound great with Depeche Mode, Def Leppard, Metallica, paradise lost, etc…

  • max says:

    Dire Straits where do you tink you’re going (lp)
    Roger Waters Perfect Sense
    Antonella Ruggiero Solo tu (registrazioni moderne)
    Pink Floyd Shine On You Crazy Diamond
    cdm7se

  • Richard says:

    I’m fortunate to have Chord Electronics CPA400/SPM1400E pre/power + B&W 802s + Nordost Valhalla cabling.
    Eclectic music tastes, but for demo showing power & range Wojciech Kilar’s Dracula theme and for notes that just hang, shimmering in the air Enrique Iglesias’ Hero.

  • Francesco says:

    I have a 302 speakers with paradigm ps100 sub for low fq. I listen tons of music, I really love the guitars and femenine voices in this small speakers. My favorites are, Natalie Merchant(tiger lily), Alison Krauss (Live with Union Station), Caty Melua (Pictures), Maria Rita (segundo), Amy Winehouse (Frank).
    And… this reference Records- Astor Piazzola “Live in Central Park; Mile Davis “Quiet Music”, Alan Parsons “on air”……etc….etc….

  • Jason says:

    I have to go with “Can’t You Hear me Knocking” from “Sticky Fingers”. It has everything in it, and at just over 7 minutes in length, it is long enough that you don’t repeat it.

  • Gary says:

    I run 683’s,Martin logan Grotto sub with rotel pre-amp/amp combo. I love Nora Jones (Come away with me,Nightingale) off of her 200 gram vinyl album. Along with Supertramp reference recording (Crime of the Century). White Stripes (Icky Thump)brings out the bass with meg’s drums. And for digital, the Eagles (Hell freezes over)DVD. The song (Seven Bridges road)at the end in DTS surround is skin tingling.

  • Dee says:

    Sopot-Hamburg Jazz Quintet….

    on my 703’s…..pure heaven
    Cheers

  • javier says:

    I have a 805 speakers, with a pre Rotel rc 1070 + 2 ampli (monoblocks) Rotel rb 1070 (300 w aprox.)
    the songs are the next
    Diana Krall – temptation
    Katie Melua – Spider´s web
    Dire Straits – Private Investigation
    The sins of thy beleved – all alone
    Therion – Ljusalfheim
    Metallica – unforgiven

    The sound is amazing

  • Ralph says:

    The best track I heard on my 703 and creek evolution amp and evo 2 cd player is “Sing, sing, sing” played by the GRP All Star Big Band album live.
    Other really good albums are the dmp music cds like “Flim & the BBs” especially “Tricycle”.

  • C'Man says:

    I love the track ‘Sunrise’ by Norah Jones on my 705s – which really shows off the 705’s ability with vocal and natural instruments. The other track I crank up, is “Something’s Missing” by John Mayer, which gives ppl a surprise when they hear the bass come in from such a small pair of standmounts.

  • Michael Meyers says:

    Tough call there are a lot of great recordings. But to show off the N803 driven by a MF A308 Integrated with a Theta Data Basic II Transport and MF TriVista DAC front end. It has to be the following.

    Holly Rea :)
    Bruce Cockburn :)
    And last but not least Flim & the BB’s :)

    I think I can honestly say it doesn’t matter which track from any one of them.

    Oh we won’t go into vinyl for it rocks!!!

  • Alex says:

    Depending on the audience and my mood I use the following set to demonstrate the sound of my B&W 804s:

    Cowboy Junkies. The Trinity Session.
    Muddy Waters. Folk Singer [ULTRADISC Mobil Fidelity re-master]
    Elgar. Cello Concerto. Sea Pictures. Du Pre. Baker. Barbirolli. [1965 EMI]
    Jennifer Warnes. The Hunter (“Somewhere, Somebody” track and “Way Down Deep” – for base)
    Roger Waters. Amused to Death.
    Romeo Is Bleeding. Soundtrack.
    Pink Floyd. The Dark Side Of The Moon. [ULTRADISC Mobil Fidelity re-master]

    I didn’t feel the need to upgrade my equipment for almost 10 years. To drive my B&W 804s I use Theta Basic II transport with Theta Progeny DAC hooked to Anthem PRE1 with two NAD 216 THX power amps (horizontal bi-amping) with WireWorld speaker and interconnect cables.

  • Menno says:

    Set consists of Technics SL-P1200 CD player, connected to DAP5500 pre amp from Denon connected to POA 6600 power amps from Denon connected to model 801-F .
    Tracks that always sound verry good (in random order):

    It’s probably me – Sting
    Afternoon + Hands And Clouds – Andreas Vollenweider
    Luna tu – Alessandro Safina
    Planet Dada (Flamboyant) – Yello
    Three wishes – Roger Waters
    Tu – Sarah Brightman
    Spente Le Stelle – Emma Shapplin
    The Race – Yello
    The Rythm devine – Yello
    Cold Rain – The Blues Company
    Noches Calientes – Rosenberg Trio
    Foolish Games (Edit) – Jewel
    Deeper Well – Emmy Lou Harris
    Tattoo – Janis Ian
    Aerial Boundries – Michael Hedges
    Respect the Wind – Eddie and Alex Van Halen

    And, wel… I could go on for hours and hours, but these (old) 801’s just always sound great!

  • freddy says:

    B&W dm683 with rotel rsp 1098 and rmb 1075,marantz and audiaquest king cobra’s.
    leonard cohan live in london
    dido live dvd
    dire straits sacd brothers in arms
    ima galguén abisimo arriba
    everything from simple minds

  • Fred says:

    I listen to jazz mostly. My babes are CM1 with Cambridge, Sony SACD, and Velodyne sub. Ecletic sound from:
    ~Rick Braun Sessions Vol1 (entire album)
    ~Miles Davis Kind of Blue (who doesnt?)
    ~Winston Mankuku Ndlozi (rare compilation from early 1960s by SA’s finest saxophonist)
    ~Joe Henderson, Best of (listen to El Barrio, Spanish inspired saxo lube)
    ~John Mayer Live (not jazz but the guitar riffs on bluesy Cd1 are great)

    B&W bloggers i want SACD jazz Cd’s, any recommendations?

  • Kris says:

    Lyngdorf – B&W 804S
    * Bartok’s opera “Bluebeard’s Castle”: opening of the fifth gate (combines full orchestra blast and a ppp solo soprano within one minute).
    * Orlando di Lasso: Propethiae Sibyllarum (de Labyrintho) (chamber music stage, realism of voices, overtones.
    * Gia Kanchely: last 5′ of violaconcerto “Styx” (contains about everything to illustrate the various qualities of a speaker. High/low, dynamics, single piano,single viola, choir, full symphonic orchestra and most importantly: music that should carry you away from judging speakers to sheer joy)

  • steelydan96 says:

    use any good speakers you like, mine are Harbeth. Jaco Pastorius bass on Joni Michells Don Juans Reckless Daughter track Talk to me on vinyl. Steely Dan AJA and Donald Fagen Nightfly.

  • Spiza says:

    For me:

    SACD The Pink Panther Theme, Ultimate Mancini.

    SACD Carmina Burana Carl Orff, Robert Shaw. (very dificult to reproduce)

    SACD Pentatone Classics RQR

    SACD Richard Strauss-Also Sprach Zarathustra, Fritz Reiner: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (very dificult to reproduce)

  • Barros says:

    You will forgive me, but the question does not make sense. It’s the other way round. Speakers have to deal with the music I like. I’m not choosing music that fits them best…

  • Dewald Visser says:

    I listen to a wide variety of genres but there is a few that is really special in the sonics department.

    Janis Ian – Breaking Silence (180g Vinyl Issue)
    Jennifer Warnes – The Hunter
    Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
    Sara K – Water Falls (180g Vinyl Issue)
    Ryan Adams – Gold
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Pink Floyd – DSOTM (30th Anniversary Ed on Vinyl)
    Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer (Original Vinyl Issue)

  • julio says:

    Opps!. That’s a splendid question. Firstly I’ve just read the whole list and I would like not repeat on my elections.

    1.- Harry Connick Jr. (“She”) CD 1994
    You could use any track for stunning sound, but just try with the first track for this record: ‘ She ‘ ( same title as the cd)… Please, be careful with the volume. The bass could break your woofer or your nearly mirrors!!! After that you has brilliant vocals, and a fabolous rythm section with rip-roaring pianos.

    2.- Dead Can Dance.- “Into the laberynht” (1993). Try with cd, but exist SACD too!.
    Vocals, exotic, mistique, medieval. That’s superb.

    3.- Rickie Lee Jones.- “Girl at her Volcano”. Cd (1983 Ep). Try with any track, or just directly with the cover ‘ Under the boardwalk’.

    4.- Queen .- ‘The Game’ DVD Audio 2003 5+1 brilliant mix as must be done!.

  • Juanjo Arias says:

    BW603 S3 – Pioneer A307R Integrated Amp.

    – Knopfler – You and Your Friend, Live (Album On The Night)
    – Aaron Neville – Close Your Eyes
    – Enya – May it Be (Lord of the Rings)
    – Evanescence – Good Enaugh – Lithium – My Inmortal
    – Hayley Westenra – Wuthering Heights

    Listening DVD Movies:
    Pioneer 5.1 – 100w/Ch
    Infinity Beta 250 Center Speaker
    JBL Balboa 10 Rear Speaker
    They are not expensive, cuestion of Money jejj.

    The Beginning of Lord of The Rings, The Felloship of the Ring (Spanish Version – Spanish Voice, Great)

  • Angel says:

    AC/CD Live

  • JUAN ANGEL says:

    El disco en Cd el JACINTA – AUTUMN LEAVES ( 1999 ).
    En LP Carmina Burana – Deutsche Grammophon.

    Mis cajas son B&W 705 con cables Mit, amplificador TecnoLine MJ60 con KT 66 y de compact disc un Audiomeca Kreature con cables audioquest.Tocadiscos JVC con capsula ClearAudio Classic Wood.

    Perdon por escribir en español.

  • Alvaro Suas says:

    The Eagles – Hotel California – Acoustic in Melbourne.

  • Steve says:

    603.3’s plus LCR600 and 610’s rear powered by a Rotel 1056. Turn it up and get blown away!

    Dave Holland Big Band: Overtime
    John Patitucci: Mistura – great Brazilian jazz

    Patti Larkin – Strange Fruit – HDCD – rich acoustic – great space for an acoustic CD

    Afro Celt Sound System – Release – huge drummingis

    Trilok Gurtu – Bad Habits Die Hard-Incredible live CD -Trilok’s drumming is one of the great auditory experiences!

    Strength in Numbers- Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck –

    Steve Hackett -Genesis Revisited –

    Cassadra Wilson -Thunderbird – produced by T-Bone Burnett

    Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale-Breathless
    some electronic wizardly well mixed – great space.

    that my 2 cents!

  • Gerry says:

    Bi-amped pair of 804s,

    I use the Eagles – “Hell Freezes Over” CD for my friends. Tracks 6 – Hotel California, 7 – Wasted Time, and 12 – Take it easy.

    Personally I like late night listening with lights off

    The 804s bring the music alive

  • cyrano says:

    Bonjour !
    I always tested the different speakers with :
    “TAKE FIVE” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Eugene Wright on bass and Joe Morello on drums.
    Best regards.

  • louis Mertes says:

    the ultimate speaker test for me are
    ” emotion ”
    and for the test my favourite choice are ( in a lot of others…)

    Svarta Bjorn – Sangen om fyret ved Tornehamn
    The Chieftains – The Foggy Dew with Sinead O’Connor
    The Judds – Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues
    Van Morrison – Have I Told You Lately
    Ten Years After – I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes
    Michael Franks – Underneath The Apple TreeTom Waits – I Never Talk To Strangers
    gerard lesne – vivaldi – cum dederit –
    arvo part – miserere
    hopkinson smith – luth pieces from j dowland
    Led Zeppelin – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
    Blood Sweat & Tears – Sometimes in Winter

    put the records on the studer A730, turn on the accuphases twin and…
    just listen !

  • Mike says:

    B&W 804s + Primaluna Dialogue Two + Yamaha CD-S 2000

    Mark Knopfler – Je Suis Desole
    Dire Straits – Telegraph Road
    Jesse Cook – Closer to Madness
    Dave Brubeck – Take Five
    Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful Life
    Diana Krall – temptation
    Antonio Forcione – Tears Of Joy
    Strong/Whitfield – Papa Was a Rolling Stone

  • virgilio says:

    Mi equipo: opera consonance 15th anniversary-amplificador, xindak muse se-compact disc player,thorens td-240 – giradisco,B&W CM1-las magnificas cajas acusticas. Mi musica: Joe strumer -redemption song. JEFF BECK-Where were you.the Beatles-Happiness is a Warm gun.The Clash-Complete control.Stones-Fingerprint file.Neil Young-Rockin´in the free world.Bob Dylan-Jokerman

  • Hubert says:

    B&W 804S + Rotel RCD1072 / RA 1070

    Selection of loudspeakers through (partly)listening of classical music:
    > Viviani: Sonata Prima / David Guerrier (trumpet)
    > Bach: BWV 1007, Sarabande / Ophélie Gaillard (violoncelle)
    > Hume: Loves Farewell / Jordi Savall (viole)
    > Vaet: In Tenebris / Dufay Ensemble, Jordi Savall + Motserrat Fiueras (Viole + sprano)
    > Vivaldi: Cantate Pianti sospiri / Philippe Jarousky (contre-ténor)
    > Ravel: Concerto for Left Hand in D-Major / K. Zimerman (piano) P. Boulez
    > Beethoven: Fantasia for piano, chorus and orchestra in c-minor, op 80 / Hélène Grimaud (piano)swedish radio choir & symphony orchestra, e. p. salonen
    > Handel: Dixit Dominus / Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra, J. E. Gardiner
    Haendel

    Finally, very happy with these B&W 804 (coming from old Cabasse Galion).
    What could be result with 803D or 802D ?

  • Can M. says:

    602 S3’s with Rotel RX-1052 Integrated + Rotel RCD-1072 CD Player.

    Tindersticks – Tiny Tears (2nd LP) (for dynamic range and detail)

    Brad Mehldau – Perugia (Places) (soundstage)

    Tool – The Pot (10,000 Days) (for low end and high volume)

  • JKJK says:

    DM685….
    The Nightwatchman – The lights are on in spidertown

  • Spoons says:

    Leftfields Leftism has for years been my showcase albumn of choice.My recently acquired B & W’s have surpassed expectations.

  • Ron says:

    The Rippingtons’s – Sahara.
    I have Nautilus 805’s Bi-Amped with a fully rebuilt Dynaco ST70 for the highs and a NAD C160 for the mid/lows. The planets aligned tonight and it was magical!

  • Koen says:

    My setup:

    7.1 system
    801D in the front powered by 2 Bryston 28sst monoblocks (1000watt)
    center HTM2D powered by a Bryston 4SST and 4 SCMS for surround wich are powered by a Denon AVC-A1HD amplifier.

    My favorite surround scene is the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan”. Bullets fly past you with scary detail and explosions carry enough oomph to knock you out of your seat.
    As for music my favorite track to expose all the detail that the 801D is equiped to offer is “Jazz Variants” by the O-Zone Percussion Group. I also like Rossini’s Sonatae a quattro for two violins, cello and double bass. More contemporary i like to blast Underworld through my system, much to the disgust of my neigbours (joking). The Blu Ray of Chris Botti is also an amazing experience. Yo Yo Ma’s rendition of “Cinema Paradiso” accompanied by Botti’s trumpet is truly moving. I love this thread, it gave me a lot of pleasure reading other people’s choices and broadened my view. Cool !!!

  • Stacy says:

    Fantastic idea doing this list – I have the old LM-1 speakers (Nickel cabinet with 801 tweeter) and 608 sub) driven by Rotel; been listening to buy 802s (comparing with a few other brands, but can’t get away from my love for the 802s!).

    “Every time” listening is Jennifer Warrne’s “Famous Blue Raincoat,” Claudio Abbado/Chicago Symphony Orch., Romeo and Juliet (Sony Classical SK47179); Paul Simon “Surprise” and “You’re the One,” Simon and Garfunkel’s original (sans band) “Sounds of Silence” from Garfunkel’s “Up ‘Til Now” CD; Cat Stevens “Where do the Children Play;” Beatles “Here Comes the Sun”).

    Often included: Dusty Springfield “Look of Love,” Ella Fitzgerald “Over the Rainbow (from “Pure Ella”) “Summertime” (brilliant piercing trumpet intro) and “Night and Day”, Annie Lennox “1000 Beautiful Things” from Bare; Leo Kotke “My Father’s Face” (CD); Peter Gabriel “Up” and “Security (“Lay Your Hands on Me” and Rhythm of the Heat) and several other PG tracks from other CDs.”

    Depending on interest, a pick from… Handel’s Messiah, The Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood, June Christy’s “Something Cool,” and Aimee Mann “Save Me,” Alison Krause and Gillian Welch “I’ll Fly Away” from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” The Avengers “White Nigger” from “The American in Me,” Beck “Guero”, Brian Eno/David Byrne “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” Cars’ “Good Time Roll” and “Drive,” Cassandra Wilson “Blue Light ‘Til Dawn” CD, Grace Jones “Slave to the Rhythm,” Eagles “Hotel California” (track), Edgar Winter Group “Frankenstein”, Edo De Waart/SF Symphony performing John Adam’s “Shaker Loops” (Phillips CD), Elton John “Captain Fantastic,” “Someone Saved My Life Today,” Harry Christopher’s The Sixteen, Harry Nilsson “Cowboy,” “Love Story (You and Me),””All I Think About is You,” “Perfect Day,” “Lazy Moon,” “Many Rivers to Cross” and “The Puppy Song,” Cher “All Because of You” (from “Heart of Stone”), Coldplay “Viva La Vida”, Quincy Jones “Q’s Juke Joint,” 10cc “Art for Art Sake,” Steely Dan “Josie” from Aja, Joan Armatrading (1st Album and “Into the Blues” – very different sounds!), Randy Newman “Bad Love” CD, Paul Simon (first LP), The Who “Who’s Next”, Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti”, David Bowie (several tracks, lately the CD “Earthling” and Black Tie White Noise (“I Feel Free”)) which takes me to… Cream “I Feel Free” and the Doors “The Very Best of the Doors.” Of course Queen (pick a track) and the first Police LP (really?!).

  • Pedro Brognara says:

    Just Own the 801D. Testing with Krell 400xi this beasts excells in every style of music, including and specially with Metal genre which is my favorite. Listening to Judas Priest, Halford and Fight, it´s like if i was at the front row of the show. Sweet, coherence sound, with a huge bass attack make me totally satisfied with them. Best B&W speaker for Rock and Metal \m/o.O\m/

  • Monty says:

    My system is now 3 yrs old and burned at an average of 5 hrs per day so its a tough decision to select songs as everything sounds phenomenal on it.

    Strictly 2 Ch:

    1. 603 S3 pair in Maple – 2.5 way is very tricky n satisfying
    2. Arcam A70 int amp – entry level to true high end sound.
    3. Marantz CD7300 (made in jap) – very robust & flexible with high speed pressings/formats
    4. Linn Gold RCA directional int connect
    5. Speakers bi-amped, screwed & criss crossed with a pair of Linn & Kimber 4PR.

    Tracks i would go on n on with:

    1. Miles Davis – Blue in Green (Kind of Blue 50th aniv addition recorded in correct tempo – Columbia records)
    2. Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto – Insensatez, Girl from Ipanema (Verve records)
    3. Keith Jarret – Too young to go steady (Standard’s Live – ECM records)
    4. Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans – ELSA (Know what i mean – Riverside records)
    5. Something Else – Autumn Leaves (Blue Note records RVG edition)
    6. Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane – Lush Life (Impluse records)
    7. Barry White – Staying Power, Never Never gonna give you up & Love serenade
    8. Issac Hayes – Shaft, Rock me easy baby
    9. Stevie Wonder – Vision & Joy inside my tears, Knocks me off my feet
    10. Neil Diamond – Stones
    11. George McCrae – I need somebody like you
    12. Steely Dan – Aja & Glamour Profession
    13. David Sanborn – Man from Mars
    14. Maxwell – The Suite theme
    15. Pink Floyd – Money (24 bit remastered SACD hybrid)
    16. Eric Clapton – Going down slow
    17. JJ Cale & Eric Clapton – Hard to thrill
    18. David Gray – White Ladder
    19. Seal – Killer, Praying for time (acoustic ver)
    20. George Michael – Last request, Going down, cowboys & angels
    21. Paul Brown – Back to the city

    I guess I need to stop here… the lists seems never ending!

  • Alex says:

    It’s been said many times, but it is so true, female vocals shimmer on my 685s. If you have any pair of the 600 series I would highly recommend you give a listen to Kate Nash’s “Made of Bricks.” The 685s makes Kate’s unmasked British accent and wispy tone so present, that it is as if she is lying next to you in bed.

    I am currently driving with an old Arcam Alpha 8 Integrated and Power amp pair. WIthin two weeks these will be replaced with Roksan’s Caspian Integrated and Power amp pair–can’t wait.

  • PaulG says:

    If given a chance to listen to only 1 song it will be Spanish Harlem – Rebecca Pidgeon. Chesky Records.

  • PaulG says:

    Sound best??

    Spanish Harlem – Rebecca Pidgeon Chesky Records on my 685s on Rotel RA05 amp

  • Roland says:

    Acoustic sounds best on this speaker. Heavy bass music on loud levels will struggle.

  • Raul says:

    Champion Sound by Fatboy Slim

  • chris h says:

    My setup,
    801Fs series 80
    Musical fidelity A370 power amp
    Musical fidelity MVX pre amp
    Audioquest Emerald interconnects
    Musical fidelity A306cr cd player
    Thorens Td321 turntable
    MIT T2 speaker cable
    PureAv power conditioner
    What can I say about this setup with a combined age well over 50 years? It excells in everything I throw at it. From simple acoustic stuff like Doug McLeod, Keb Mo to Beatles,Stones, and of course Led Zep. From slick rock like Steely Dan, to all the amazing sounds of electronic like Massive Attack,T hievery Corp., Gary Numan, Crystal Method, I can go on to the wee hours, I love my B&Ws. I will probably upgrade one day, so I spose you can guess what speakers I’ll be seeking. Thanks.

  • stuart says:

    I’ve just bought a zepp,and have to say that joy division’s unknown pleasures has taken on a new dimension,an audio pleasure!!!

  • JofM says:

    The newly remastered Beatles CDs sound excellent on my 803S speakers (yes, the stereo ones, sorry mono purists). Also, anything by Porcupine Tree.

  • JofM says:

    I have been listening to my 803S speakers with single wire connections to my Rotel RB-1080 amp. When I bi-wired them they sounded a lot better with all of my CDs.

  • clives says:

    Speakers ;cm7s,cm1,cm centre.
    cable ; chord
    equip;denon 2930 dvd / denon 3806 amp.

    Just running the speakers in but cm7s for hifi just amazing,not sure
    how far to play away from back wall at moment.

    music highlight Brothers in arms 20th anni edit 5.1 / sacd disc

  • TomW says:

    I got a pair of 685’s since about 1,5 years now.
    Using a Denon 4308 as my receiver, and a 700AE CD player.

    There are a few songs I truly love on them.
    Pink Floyd – Wish you were here (digitally remastered): Have a sigar, Wish you were here.
    The acoustic guitar on the second sounds so fantastic, it’s like the player is in my room playing it live.

    Led Zepplin – Physical Graffiti (digital remastered): In my time of dying.
    Guitar and bass sounds great, but the drums… Especially the first drums that kick in sounds so fantastic.

    Speedy J – !ive: The Oil Zone.
    Just everything from low to high in this song makes it great.
    It’s the song I first listened on my previous speakers, and again on the 685’s.
    Whether you like House music or not (it’s actually Ambient House in this case) it just sounds fantastic.
    http://www.discogs.com/Speedy-J-ive/release/54781

  • Joris says:

    Speakers: 684’s

    Amplifier: Marantz PM5003

    Currently listening to: ‘Design Your Universe’ by a Dutch gothic metal band ‘Epica’. Excellent band that sounds even better on these excellent speakers.

    Like: warm sound. Excellent bass but not overwhelming. Very clear and crisp high tones. Excellent over the entire line actually.

  • Timo says:

    Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant EP (2008) .. complete

  • krakoviak says:

    Previously i’ve been using my AV receiver Onkyo 875 and as a source blu-ray player. Now i’m using Marantz PM-43 (which i’ve bought for £43 on eBay) amplifier and old Marantz CD-67 (recommendation) and sound is much more than perfect. Sounds much better than on even twenty times more expensive Onkyo ; ) What sounds good? Pretty much everything except heavy metal music (Onkyo’s better). The best sound realisation of course Pink Floyd : ) The albums i’ve been listening and i fall in love were albums of Kodo, Queen, Pearl Jam, Hans Zimmer, Grzech Piotrowski, Republique and B&W Very Audiophile New Recordings. Anyway speakers are great whatever they plays, tracks in TrueDolby HD and DTS-HD are stunning : ) Speakers very recommended : )

  • krakoviak says:

    i forgot to say, speakers are B&W 685 ; )

  • peter says:

    Billy Joel, A matter of trust (Music DVD version is the best!)
    Via sonos zp90 -> Marantz SR7001 -> On Linn Komponent 110, B&W LCR60 S3 , B&W 602 for surround and paradigm prd-8 sub.

  • Dave says:

    Ativin’s ‘Summing The Approach’ sounds wonderful on B&Ws. It was recorded by Steve Albini, who uses B&Ws in his studio:

    http://www.electrical.com

  • Prudz says:

    Using my 704, I really like to listen to some Pink Martini or something more orchestral like a certain symphony no 9 from the great composer Dvorak. I think those sound wonderful on my system… even though I am still waiting for this great set-up with 2 802s driven by something McIntosh! I can’t wait to hear the new Diamond Series (and have the cash to buy a pair!).

  • Jonziebal says:

    Well, before I sold my 802D’s to get the new 802 Diamond, I liked to listen to Trentemøller and Mike Sheridan. Electronic semi-ambient music with a huge soundstage.

    But… Now I don’t have any 802D’s, basically because B&W told my supplier (Hifi Klubben Denmark) that the new 800 Diamond range would be available from March.

    So why do they suddenly tell my supplier that the 802 Diamond will not arrive before the end of the summer??

    Thanks a lot B&W. You make me addicted and leave me without my sound for perhaps 4-5 months… I’m dying a slow and painful death here:)

    Anybody care to share thoughts on this?

  • Robert says:

    The Last Carnival By Bruce Springsteen. Who knew that an electric acoustic could fit so well inside my xt 4’s. You can hear the strings being fret and the treble portion of the track floats around the room like the smoke of a midway BBQ. …..

  • Jason says:

    I love hearing Phil Collins In The Air Tonight or The Eagles Witchy Woman, Angel by Sarah McLachlan is very nice also

  • Mo says:

    Play any Queen track with the 800D and Classe CA-M500 combination. The experience will take your breath away. You just can’t stop listening, time and time again.

  • Eddie Evans says:

    Okay folks this is the first time i have ever been to this site and before i even get started i must admit i,m amped up (no pun intended) to start researching what i hope to be my new set of B&w,s i have been a klipsh speaker dude for 30 yr.s and always will have a big place in my sound brain cells for that awesome piece of audio technology.Now with that said from the very first time that i was truly blessed to hear my first set of B&Ws i must admit that to say i was blown away would be the most understated desciption in history.like many of many of us who;s heard these sound boxes being demonstrated on Dire Straits money for nothing i then became addicted to that sound of pure melody. and i have lusted (in a good way of course) for these amazing speakers. my only problem is they normally need a welding rig to feed them enough food wattage wise that is.but one day my life will then be complete with my purchase of ( r2d2).

  • Tony Hampton says:

    I remember when I first got my 602 s2. The first thing I tested them with was
    Tool – Lateralus, followed by Crystal Method – Vegas. And I’m pretty sure I listened to DSOTM that day as well.
    That was 10 years ago, and they still sound great. Maybe someday I can upgrade to the 800s.

  • ali says:

    well the first time I heard 805S speakers was with a naim 202/200 combination. It was the best system I ever heard.

    Now I have a NAIM nait XS with 805S and it really, really sings.

    Any track and every track.

  • Ben says:

    It has to be Omgyjya-Switch7 by Aphex Twin.

    No other track can make use of the Zeppelin like this track. You haven’t heard what your Zeppelin can do until you have heard this track through it.

  • Paul Vernon says:

    Just been listening to Vegas by The Crystal Method with my eyes closed and it struck me that the surround effect that I get out of my B&W DM601s is nothing short of spectacular. Things whizzing around my head from only two speakers… Phenomenal really and of particular note on that album is Cherry Twist. I also regularly listen to and thoroughly enjoy DSOTM and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

  • gptan says:

    My set up
    S603 ,and Onyko AV Receiver it sounds fantastic with
    xrcd carpenter cd disc , dvd with saving private ryan

  • Barry McKee says:

    Santana – Abraxas. The perscussions are fantastic! The 685’s perform very, very well.

  • Ollie says:

    My favourites which I use as reference tracks when comparing different components.
    I know excactly how they sound on a bad and a good system…
    Keb Mo – That’s not love
    Beck – The golden age
    Radiohead – Karma police
    Stevie Wonder – Love’s in need of love today
    Roxy Music – More than this
    Peter Gabriel – Growing up
    Genesis – Firth of fifth
    David Bowie – Wild is the wind

  • Jaime says:

    Only one track I ALWAYS use to test speakers…..

    HEY NINETEEN by Steely Dan – Album: Gaucho

  • Ken says:

    I always like to play various John Mayer tracks on my Arcam FMJ & b&w 804s setup.

  • Henry wotton says:

    Pink Martini: never on Sunday incredible clarity on very low bass feqs
    Azymuth: Dear Limerz….. Oh my God!

  • John 804 says:

    On my 804s

    – Bob Dylan: The Man in the Long Black Coat
    – Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
    – Radiohead: Exit (Music for a Film)
    – U2: With or Without You
    – …

  • Joe Lubow says:

    The question perpetuates two misperceptions. First “What song sounds best on your speakers” implies that the sound of your rig is primarily only – or only, even – on speakers. Second, it implies that certain speakers will sound better for certain kinds of music – maybe you have speakers that do jazz well, or classical. Or they shine on Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” but can’t do the same job with Miles Davis. These are both spurious propositions.

    I realize B&W is a speaker manufacturer (and one of the best), and that the sound of any audio rig emanates directly from the speakers. I love my (Linn Ninka) speakers, but the folks who made them would be the first to tell you “garbage in, garbage out.” The sound that comes out of them is dependent, in decreasing order, on the quality of the performance, recording, player (turntabe, disc player, iPod, etc.), preamp, amp(s), and lastly the speakers. “What song sounds best on your hi-fi?” is a far more appropriate question.

    Except that it’s not. Because if you have a good hi-fi, the answer is “every beautifully performed and recorded song.” In my collection of audiophile vinyl, 24-bit digital files, and a few well made CD-s, there are lots of amazing sounding pieces of music. (I have lot’s of bad CD’s and scratchy records too).

    A lot of the ECM records – in particular I like Steve Tibbetts – are beautifully made. Most of the stuff put out by Classic Records – whether Coltrane or Peter Gabriel or Stravinsky – are beautifully made. Likewise for Speaker’s Corner, MoFi, Simply Vinyl, and anything pressed at RTI. There isn’t one song. There are all the best recorded and most moving songs and musical pieces in my collection.

    The songs that people pick to answer this question are simply the songs they love the most, that were recorded well. And I figure if people who love music love these songs, there must be something to them. So the question, while silly in a way, does lead to an interesting list of “songs that are well recorded and that people who love music really like.” And that is worthwhile.

    So while the entire “Fine and Mellow” album by Ella Fitzgerald is incredibly performed and recorded, the title track is my favorite, so it “sounds the best” to me on my speakers. But I doubt if I bought different speakers I’d pick a different track. The same goes for, say, Richard Thompson’s “Front Parlor Ballads.” The whole thing is a masterful powerhouse of immense emotional impact, but my favorite song is the haunting “My Soul, My Soul.” I just chose a couple of records that were sitting out at the moment, but I could do the same for hundreds of marvelous recordings. And I don’t see how to choose one. There is no way to compare Ella Fitzgerald and Richard Thompson, anymore than I could choose between Chopin and David Byrne or Coltrane and Dylan.

    All I know is I am thankful to have been born into a time when civilization has advanced to the point where so many remarkable artists are able to not only create such magnificent and moving performances, but to record them in a way that I can experience them whenever I want.

  • Joe Lubow says:

    I regret the typo in the second sentence above. It should read:

    First “What song sounds best on your speakers” implies that the sound of your rig is dependent primarily – or even only – on speakers.

  • Barry says:

    My Top 5 DVD’s include:

    Alison Krause & Union Station “Live”
    Leonard Cohen “Live in London”
    Roger Waters “The Wall, Live in Berlin”
    Bryan Ferry “Dylanesque Live”
    Roy Orbison “Black & White”

    Actually can’t think of any album that is decently produced that doesn’t play well on B & W speakers.

  • Barry says:

    Make it Top 6

    I have to add: Cowboy Junkies “Trinity Revisited”

  • Stuart says:

    This is for Jonziebal.
    You are not on your own, the 802 diamond series 2 are in short supply in Canada too, I placed an order for a pair in rosenut only to be told there is a 3 month delivery. On the bright side I did manage to get a pair of 805 diamonds which I use for surrounds

  • Joe says:

    I’m a bit obsessed with Florence and The Machine’s new album, Lungs. An absolutely stunning production, and a stunning speaker system to play it on.

    One of my favourites for testing speakers, is Robbie Williams, You Know Me.

    Of course, it’s always in ALAC (FLAC)

  • WANGJUNBO says:

    i need the photograph of the drive unit of the CT 8.4 LCRS and CT 7.0 LCRS Speakers .

    Thank you!

  • Stuart says:

    I have been a B&W man for over 40 years. Over the past 3 years I been upgrading my home theatre and audio system, this year was time to replace my 703s there is nothing wrong with them and have given exellent performance over the years but I wanted some thing to compliment my new Krell equipment the 505 SACD player, S1200 processor and S1500 7 channel amp. I have listened to the 800 series speakers many times since they were introduced and could never on with them so at the start of 2010 it looked as though I was going to have to defect to another manufactorer. In March I got a phone call from my audio store to say they have a pair of 802D series2 on demonstration and would I like to audition them so armed with a hand full of SACDs and an open mind I went to the store. They looked the same , using the same size speakers so how could they sound any different to the earlier models?
    It was’nt many minutes into the session that I realised just how wrong I could be , they were far more open across the frequency range than the previous models better sound staging and equally as good as speakers at a much higher price in short I was sold. I placed an order only to be told there would be a 3 month wait as it tuned out it was nearer to 4 months they finally arrived on 6 August 2010.
    Now to my play list all the following are SACDs
    Jacques Loussier plays Bach Pastorale in C minor
    Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone The mission and Lady caliph
    Marin Marais Bells of St. Genevieve.
    Deve Brubeck Take five
    Steely Dan Gaucho

  • Tony says:

    Supertramp – No inbetween

  • Benny says:

    Ben Webster Meets Gerry Mullighan. 1959.
    Fantastic recording.
    Nautilus 803

  • DaveC says:

    What an incredible list to help make a Friday or Saturday evening listening session all the more exciting. Rather than my own “go to” favs, I get to now try some of the many great recordings listed here.

    I’ll toss in mine. Yes, I agree female vocal will win over people every time, and Fields of Gold is one incredible piece to impress with. But… my all time go-to fav for sound* is Rickie Lee Jones’ album “It’s Like This”, specifically Steely Dan track “Show Biz Kids”.

    And for fun, who can hate tossing on a “45” (okay, modern 12″ version ) of Louis Armstrong doing I Ain’t Got Nobody (on the flip side of St. James Infirmary, another sonic knock out).

    And lastly, lest I forget the CD crowd, I always go to Ana Caram’s “Solidao, off Chesky’s “Best of Chesky Jazz & More Audiophile Tests, Vol. 2”. I even had the rep from YG Acoustics ask to borrow the CD from me at one of the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival shows to better show off his gear.

    Can’t wait to start pouring through the many fab suggestions given in the list. And if the question was out Top 10, I’m sure I’d have a Joan Baez in there, ……..

    * we’re listening on Signature 800s with mostly Levinson ref gear, with Oracle/Basis/Koetsu/Acoustic Research for the analog front-end.

  • Ian says:

    Maybe an unusual choice, but when I played “Paul Van Dyk – Another Way” to a friend through B&W804’s, the friend (manager of a local Sevnoaks store) went out and bought a pair too!

  • Ed says:

    Derek Trucks Band Songlines

    the whole album

  • Phélan Ségur says:

    I always get goose bumps when I hear Cassandra Wilson’s “Fragile” from the album “Glamoured” …

  • gabriel says:

    I have a Nautilus 805, Lin Classik receiver (Pre), Creek 5350 SE (Amp), Nordost Blue Heaven interconnects and Van den Hul CS-122 speaker cable (biware).
    The sound is very good for the total of my music.
    The best:
    Vangelis-Voices (come to me)
    Pink Floyd-Meddle (a pillow of winds and echoes)
    Neil Diamond-Hot August Night (canta libre)
    Depeche Mode-The singles 8698 (enjoy the silence)
    Pink Floyd-The Wall (complete)

  • Ole says:

    Was to a demo on Rega Planar 9 and an Exon 3 which is a mono power amp (required then 2 Exon 3 for stereo listening), and we selected speaker B & W’s New 700 Series Loudspeakers. Vinyl 33 joker Mann, it sounded as though Bob Dyland stood seven meters from us alive am god BW

  • Ole says:

    Can anyone tell me Who makes the best speaker in the U.S., surely there is no better than BW I doubt what with JBL or Jensen

  • Loriaux says:

    What about Pink Floyd’s Echoes?
    Being alone in the living room late in the evening and listening to the Zeppelin is sumply perfect!

  • SM says:

    i have two set-ups, and i find that i enjoy specific types of music depending on which one is being used…

    On my 685s (part of HT package) I enjoy rock music or something with more tempo – Lenny Kravitz (Are You Gonna Go My Way), Kings of Leon (Crawl), U2 (Mysterious Ways)

    On my CDM1 NTs i prefer jazz or acoustic recordings – Miles Davis (Pan Piper, Summertime), Seether (One Cold Night [Live]), Julianna Rayes (Dominoes), John Mayer (Neon/Belief [live]), Ernest Ranglin (Below the Bassline)

  • nella says:

    As I can do the correct choise …everything is so amazing…..

  • Jody says:

    There are many of course, but two that come to mind are:

    Sonic Youth – Hits of Sunshine
    SADE – Flow

    Both are brilliant tracks for testing any audio gear

  • Aramis says:

    Chicago 17 in analog (Vinyl-LP) – every track sounds great because the recording is excellent – and B&W does justice to it!

  • justin says:

    Yanni Live! The Concert Event Bluray !!

  • Nico says:

    After getting my Nautilus 805’s and a Krell for my 50th birthday five years ago, my tastes changed due to the sound quality.

    I now can’t stand all the reverb that goes into most classical recordings, because if the recording is good, like most of the Telarc recordings, it sounds like the instruments are actually there in the living room. I don’t have a cavernous room, so reverb sounds phony now.

    Biggest surprise… Madonna albums are so well recorded that I actually like some of them now. Yeah, I’m shocked too.

  • Yashovardhan Sdohani says:

    when testing my speakers and showing the acoustic quality i don’t prefer bass-tracks at all
    So Electronic , Trance or any other sub genre aren’t of any use.
    I listen to more of Instrumental or live songs to do justice with my setup.
    my favorite track

    Stephane De Lucia – Trippin (a must try for all the audiophiles here )
    Dire Straits – Sultans Of the Swing
    Simon And Garfunkel – Scarborough Fair Canticle
    Pink Floyd – High Hopes

  • Rein says:

    One of the things you tend to do when buying a more expensive set is listening to music that you normally would not. The differences between recording techniques and production styles becomes so more evident on better systems.

    I really don’t like steely dan. I dislike Fagens voice and the music sounds uninspiring to me. But boy does it sound good on my trusty N800’s married to a Krell FPB400. So well produced. That super tight bass response, the energy, the uncolored sound. Hats off.

    Another CD that is in my top five (sound wise): Neck and neck from Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins. Detail beyond comparison.

  • Manjul Saxena says:

    I have an 802D, Krell-450MCX and Esoteric -X03SE combo. I have to say that “Jazz at the Pawn Shop” on CD and “Brotthers in Arms” on SACD are the BEST sound I have heard to date. The sound has redefined my expectations (raised them beyond what I could possibly have imagined). I look forward to the sound of vinyl because I honestly feel that the “clicks and pops” would somehow be “sweeter” coming out of the diamond tweeters.

  • DAVID says:

    Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab: SACD:Doobie Brothers:Toulouse Street:”Cotton Mouth”
    Awsome!!!

  • DAVID says:

    Forgot to mention: B&W 683/Esoteric X-03SE/Audio Quest Cheetah/Pioneer Elite SC-09TX/Transparent Audio MusicWave Super Bi-Wire/Transparent Audio Super power cords.

  • JACK says:

    I have not had the chance to listen to much on my Zeppelin as i have only had it a fortnight but it must be said what i have heard has raised the bar considerably compared to the Technics 7series seperates i own. I have quite a diverse taste in music everything from Dylan and Lennon through to the Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and everything in between, but the likes of Supertramp Dire Straits The Black Keys Mumford & Sons and those mentioned above have all sounded absolutely brilliant blasting through the Zeppelin. But a point worth noting is if you want your music to have the best quality you need to create Apple Lossless versions of all your tracks as this doubles the bit rate and your tracks jump from 320kbps to more like 1000kbps depending on the length of the track and you really notice the difference when you play them through the Zeppelin although tracks at 320kbps still sound awesome.

  • Tom says:

    These are my reference tracks for whenever I am testing speakers or HiFi gear. Sublime on a good system.

    Talk Talk – The Rainbow
    Autechre – Second bad Vilbel
    Wilco – Pot Kettle Black
    The Necks – Piano Bass Drums
    Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass – Offering

  • Tom says:

    I just checked my collection and my reference Autechre track is actually 902 Quarter.

  • Fredric says:

    I don’t know why but the Pink Floyd album Delicate sound of thunder has been with me for many years now and is still a great listening experience.
    The complete live performance never gets old for me, it’s still as fresh today as it was 22 years ago. ;)

  • Randall Stroud says:

    Right now, my favorites are the two Keith Greeninger and Dayan Kai tracks from the Blue Coast Collection, plus a few cuts from their new CD “Make It Rain” which was produced by Cookie Marenco from the Blue Coast album.

  • Callum says:

    Surely it depends on the individual, each have their own preference on what “the perfect sound” is – ignoring particular musical tastes. Also if you have listened to a song a lot then you know its detail that others wouldn’t notice on first or even several listens.
    I think a good set up should be capable of outstanding quality in all genres:

    My usual repertoire is something similar to:

    Light Rock: Dire Straits, Muse
    Heavy Rocky/Metal: Metallica, Guns’n’Roses, Avenged Sevenfold
    Guitar: Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmtseen
    R&B/Rap: Eminem, 50 Cent
    Classical: Canon in D, Air on the G String, Adagio in G Minor, Scott D. Davis (he is pianist who has done covers of rock/metal songs, very good)

    Obviously the appropriate songs for the rock, heavy metal, guitar and r&b/rap genres must be selected, i.e. those I know well and that contain intricate sounds and/or a range of frequency.

  • Christian says:

    There are so many noteworthy tracks, so this is but a small choice:

    Sting: On A Winter’s Night – the whole CD
    Sting: Soul Cages – the whole CD
    Marillion – Ocean Cloud (Marbles (Disc 1))
    Yes – Cinema
    Yes – Dreamtime

    If you are into bass:
    Cultured Pearls – Sentimental Mood
    Marillion – The Invisible Man

    Enjoy!

  • jan says:

    My B&W nautilus 803 are perfect for all kinds of music .my favourites: John Mc Bride—Jacques Loussier(Satie) and
    of course Pink Floyd : Meddle and Dark side of the moon
    Hotel California (the eagles) sounds perfect in accoustic version

  • DanLydon says:

    White Noise Sound’s eponomously titled debut album has been the first thing I’ve listened to on my new Zep today and I’d just like everyone to know it sounds absolutely flipping fantastic!

  • Filip Majsterek says:

    @jan
    Please, can you tell me, which Eagles’ album do you have with acoustic version of Hotel California?
    Maybe somebody else know which album contains acoustic version of this song?

    Best regards,
    Filip Majsterek.

  • HiFiAficionado says:

    Some of the tracks that I particularly like listening to on my hi-fi sound reproduction system (CD player, preamplifier, power amplifier and loudspeakers) are as follows:

    “Money” from “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.
    “Blue Bayou” from “Simple Dreams” by Linda Ronstadt.
    “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” from “Simple Dreams” by Linda Ronstadt.
    “Old Paint” from “Simple Dreams” by Linda Ronstadt.
    “Go Your Own Way” from “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac.
    “Don’t Stop” from “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac.
    “Dreams” from “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac.
    “Band on the Run” from “Band on the Run” by Paul McCartney and Wings .
    “Stairway to Heaven” from “Led Zeppelin IV” by Led Zeppelin.
    “Kashmir” from “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin.
    “In My Time Of Dying” from “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin.
    “Not Pretty Enough” from “Barricades & Brickwalls” by Kasey Chambers.
    “Big Jet Plane” from “Down the Way” by Angus and Julia Stone.
    “We Belong Together” from “Pirates” by Rickie Lee Jones.

    We are so very fortunate to have so many talented artists, of which the above are but a miniscule selection, whose works we can choose from, as well as the audio equipment that can bring to life their performances in our own listening rooms.

  • Fredric says:

    Any track with Yello is a great “test” for a hi-fi setup. ;)

  • Domenico Cubadda says:

    Setup
    B&W Zeppelin Air

    [re:jazz] Expansion
    Promised Land
    Gabrielle

    [re:jazz] Point Of View
    All I Need
    That Night
    Writing On The Wall
    Inner City Life
    Written In The Stars

  • Tariq says:

    Zeppelin

    The whole of ‘A Passage In Time by Dead Can Dance’

  • Thomas Holm says:

    Hello.
    Here’s some of the tracks that really makes my 805D’s shine!

    Jakob Dylan – We don’t live here anymore
    Drori Hansen Furniture – I wanna Love
    Jeff Buckley – Lover, you should have come over
    Wilco – Hate it Here
    Fleet Foxes – The Shrine/An argument

  • Gordon Gartrell says:

    I just ordered some new B&W CM8s from Best Buy. To test the speakers in their Magnolia speaker room, I used the new Blue Coast Collection 2. My favorite track is “Another Grey Morning” by Jenny Mammina. Her voice sounded fantastic and really filled the room coming from the CM8s.

  • Baris says:

    C5
    In my C5 headphones once I loved from Shirley Horn, Dexter Gordon Mahna de carnaval, Blue Bossa sounds so great detailed, crispy and at the same time rich bass.

    Zeppelin:

    jon hopkins light through the veins and Hotel Costes Where do I begin remix

  • peter says:

    From the Mac / Airport Extreme-Express combo its Cara Dillon -She Moves Through The Fair from Life at the Grand Opera House in Apple lossless (downloaded from B&W Society of Sound!)
    From CD its Pink Floyd- Us And Them from Dark Side Of The Moon
    From Vinyl its Radiohead- Weird Fishes/Arpeggi from In Rainbows

    All listened through on 805s in conjugation with ASW610 on Cyrus CD8+PSX-R, Cyrus 8vs2 (pre amp)+PSX-R and 2x Smart power amps.

  • Cyrile says:

    Rakim by Dead Can Dance.
    I have a Live version recorded in Montreal and WOW!
    In fact most live versions of this song sound great!

    Also, most Sosciety of Sound releases are rather phenomenal, as they should be coming from B&W…

  • Bob says:

    http://bethhart.com/user_images/news/beth-hart-joe-bonamassa-dont-explain.jpg All of this

  • ellas says:

    U2….Unforgettable Fire

  • siebren says:

    One of my favorite songs, played on my B&W 604 s3.

    Ilse de Lange – Hurricane
    Anouk – Lost
    John Hiatt – Have a little faith in me

  • siebren says:

    The Kyteman Orchestra sounds magnificent on my B&W 604. One of my favorites is ”Preaching to the choir”

  • Scott says:

    802Diamonds, Savage Garden – too the moon and back. nice mellow bass and detailed highs in shifting stereo. goo test for a system and speakers

  • Alain says:

    – Diana Krall – “Abandonned Masquerade” from “The girl in the other room” album
    – Ray Charles/ Norah Jone – “Here we go again” from “Genius loves Company” album
    – Yo-Yo Ma – “The Mission:Gbriel’s Oboe” from “Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennion Morricone” album
    – Anne sophie Mutter – “Carmen Fantaisy,Op.25: Allegro Moderato” from “Carmen Fantaisy” Album
    – Sting – “Fields of Gold “from “All this Time” album
    is my test playlist of the moment.But it change depending on my humor.

  • Marco says:

    Hi, I would suggest Chan Chan by Compay Segundo from CD “Duets”; this Cd has many songs that sounds very good.
    Other Cd’s that sounds very good are Rock Ballads, they were recorded in Netherlands by Magnum.

    Cheers

  • matthew laming says:

    Soma White-“Better Reality” amazing sound

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq0pDWD_DwI

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