What selections do you play when showing off your system to others?

I find that when I'm having someone listen to my system that I usually play the same 4 or 5 selections. I tend to lean towards vocals and acoustic presentations. Mine are as follows:

Hold That Line- Tedeschi Trucks Band

Roadhouse and Automobiles- Chris Jones

The Hunter- Jennifer Warnes

River Blues- Eric Bibb

Flight of the Hippo- Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

It's All in the Game- Merle Haggard

Your Bright Baby Blues- Jackson Browne

What are yours?




Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan

Hell Freezes Over - pretty much any track - Eagles

Let Down - Radiohead


I ask them what they would like to hear and I play that. Easy to do with streaming, odds are it will have what they want. It is absolutely pointless to play them something they don't care for even if to your ears it is the best sounding record ever. Lesson learned.

My system is for my enjoyment - if someone's interested in music I will invite them to be the dj and listen with me.  

to name a few: 

John Denver, Rocky Mountain High

S&G, Bridge Over Troubled Water

Fleetwood Mac, Over My Head and I'm So Afraid

George Michael and Elton John duet live: Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me

Metallica, Wherever I May Roam

Rubenstein, Chopin Nocturnes


@wolf_garcia  "Nobody who doesn't already care about great audio really cares about how cool you think your stereo is. They simply do not give a damn generally, and may say something complimentary to be nice...kind of like "Nice train set," or "Nice tiny doll house furniture collection," or "Stamps...How cool!""

That's a bit of a cynical stance.  

Actually, I've made converts... some people who thought they didn't care, or hadn't ever really thought about it, have really come around very quickly to the concept of excellent stereo once they listened to some music through my system... even casual acquaintances who have attended my poker nights have taken notice and actually asked about my system, and that's just w a Pandora stream playing quietly in the background.  Neophytes ears can indeed be opened.

Some people have never really been aware of what a difference even a relatively modest carefully selected stereo system can make to music enjoyment.  Once they hear it for themselves, they can turn towards it very quickly.  Just today I was mentoring someone who approached me for advice about putting together a good budget system; his interest was piqued by what he had heard casually through my own modest system... 

Take A Walk On The Wild Side. Lou Reed

A Case Of You. Diana Krall

Magnificent Seven. The Clash

These Days. Greg Allman

Oh Well. Sara K

Tired of typing, but I agree with many here that it's best to let your friend pick some of the songs regardless of what I might think about the sonic quality. When they hear an old fave in a new way they tend to get it...

I'm hardly cynical...and it's not a "stance" as I did use the word "generally." I'm simply speaking from many years of reality with this stuff, and yeah they "can" turn towards it and it baffles me that most people just don't...they want giant screen televisions with crystal clear images, phones that do anything, blah blah...but serious audio? Ha. Go to nearly anybody else's house and they're perfectly satisfied with the convenience of being able to yell instructions at a tiny speaker and play bad classic rock in the background all night...drives me nuts. I've had people ask me for advice about what to get for themselves but they rarely follow through as the vast majority do not care. I'm fine with it as it doesn't dampen my fun one bit.

It's fascinating what others listen to. I like to look over people's music collections. Once ear opening electronic music. Vy experimental. Vy weird.

Planets Mehta LA Phil. 1st track Mars they will feel they're being invaded. And it will sound familiar cuz of being used as a soundtrack on many a video.

@andynotadam  , would that be the live at Paris recording of "A Case Of You"/Diana Krall  or the studio recording?

Great thread.  Here are my current digital choices, all served in high res:

Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25:  4 Moderato - Anne-Sophie Mutter - Carmen - Fantasie

Lay Lady Lay - Cassandra Wilson - Glamored

Horizontal Blue - David Piltch - Take One

Ocean Wide, Canyon Deep - Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula, Metropole Orkest, Jules Buckley - Djesse Vol. 1

The Spot - Mickey Hart - Planet Drum

 Siren Singing - Yello, Fifi Rong - Point

Analog is for another post.



@immatthewj Yes, the Live In Paris Version.

Also, Check out Black Hole Sun by Norah Jones live...

When pressed it can be difficult for some people to come up with a song on the spot.  Especially when surrounded by hundreds of CDs and records.  But if someone has made it into my listening room, then the odds are good I know at least a little something about their musical tastes.  So I like to pick something they are likely to have heard many, many times before.  Beatles or Stones.  Ella and Louie.  Take Five by Dave Brubeck.  You get the idea.  
It serves to put them at ease with something familiar and improves the chance they will hear something in that recording that they have not heard before.  

I usually get comments about the clarity of the vocals or the instrumentation, but occasionally someone says something really nice to hear like “I can’t really tell where the sound is coming from” or my favorite ever comment, “your subwoofer is really dialed in well.” 
I wasn’t using a subwoofer.  

I played UB40: Red Wine to sell my Salk Songtowers. It was sold as soon as the bass line came in. No negotiating. Had to prove there was no subwoofer. It's really the room.


Also outstanding: 


Lalo Schifrin: Bullit Soundtrack 1968.

John Barry: 007 theme

Ella Fitzgerald: The Very Thought of You.






@immatthewj Yes, the Live In Paris Version.

Also, Check out Black Hole Sun by Norah Jones live...

@andynotadam  I was on an ebay SHM CD buying binge, and I believe I did get that live Norah Jones CD.  I have only listened to it once, though.  I picked up the Live Krall SACD from Amazon when I was on another binge.  I do really like that live cover version she does.  Although I think I've only listened to that one 3 times, my impression was that it was very dynamic.  Wallflower is my favorite SACD by Diana Krall; I like the tracks she covered and I think she did a great job.  Her cover of "Desperado" rivals Linda Ronstadt's (imo) and I love her cover of "California Dreaming."

On yet another binge (MD this time) I think I picked up every SACD by Norah Jones they had available.  On one of them, she does a cover of Tom Waits "Long Way Home" that always makes me smile and want to sing along (which I don't, because I really want to hear Norah, not my own out of tune singing).

Mostly what they want to hear but my demo faves are

Guitarmass - Infected Mushroom

Bass and Drum intro- Nils Lofgren

Xavier Rudd- Follow the Sun

SRV- Tin Pan Alley

Fleetwood Mac- Landslide ( demo track on extended version)

Bcuz I'm all about that bass:

Stevie Ray Vaughn - "Tin Pan Alley"

Dave Matthews: "Grey Blue Eyes"

Prince: "Dark"

P.M. Dawn: "I'd Die Without You"

Diana Krall: "My Love Is"

Whitney Houston: "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)"

Eightball & MJG: "Just Like Candy"    *Only a quality set up will catch all of the bass in this one. 


Blown Away - Sivert Hoyem

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word - Lydia Gray

Silver - Rising Appalachia 

On’n’On-Ruined by Rick Rubin - Justice

Momma Sed - Puscifer

Limit to Your Love - James Blake

Here's some tracks that would show off a great system...

'Isobel' - Yuri Honing Trio (Alive)

'Drum Boogie' - Arne Domnerus (Live is Life)

'Acoustic Revenge' - Antonio Forcione (Live!)

'Dream a Little Dream of Me' - Benny Goodman (Benny Goodman & Friends)

'Private Investigations' - Dire Straits (Love Over Gold)

'Chuck E.'s in Love' - Rickie Lee Jones (Naked Songs Live and Acoustic)

'Dimming of the Day' - Tom Jones (Spirit in the Room)

'Startup' - Bernt Moen (Closure)

'Done Got Old' - Buddy Guy (Sweet Tea)

'Resurrection Blues' - Otis Taylor (White African)

'Mondscheinsonate' - Ray Brown/Laurindo Almeida (Moonlight Serenade)

'Blues in Advance' - Clifford Jordan (Live at Ethell's)



A few that came to mind:

  • Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
  • Corazon Espinado - Santana
  • Just Like You - Keb' Mo'
  • Year of the Cat - Al Stewart
  • Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Some great suggestions here!  I usually have a few selections that I think sound really good on my system (Philip Glass selections, Michael Jackson, etc) but if I know that persons personal tastes I play something they know well.  That’s when it gets interesting.    My granddaughter likes 21 Pilots.  One friend loves Queen.  Another likes female torch song vocals.  They each sit in my chair and I play what they like.  The usual comments when I play a song they know very well, “Wow! What a great system!  I’ve never heard this song sound better”.

Mission accomplished. 

Delayed response...

First, the guy asked what selections do you play.  Just list the songs you feel show your rigs capabilities and stop with the lack of "emotional connection"

I went through most of the posts and listened for songs that made my system come alive.  That's the fun of the forum; to discover music and equipment that enhance your experience.

That said, while listening to recommendations, I came across this outstanding piece that will test the dynamics of your rig.  Truly spectacular.  Needless to say, I had an emotional connection!

Mazeppa, Act I: Gopak from  Eiji Oue - Minnesota Orchestra  - Album: Exotic Dances from the Opera

Others I like:

Man in a long black coat - Bob Dylan

Rider on the Storm - The Doors

Apoleipein - Metaz Descendez 

Happiest Days > Another Brick 2 - Pink Floyd

Then they can play what they want!


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