Wake Up Your Ears Sampler

April 3rd, 2014 0 Comments



Our Price: $4.98 (limited time only!)
Value: $17.98

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At Audiogon, our goal is not only to provide a safe marketplace for your evolving system, it’s also to give you the tools to elevate the hobby. This Wake Up Your Ears! sampler contains hand-selected tracks designed to aid in training your ears to actively listen while showcasing your audio components. While listening, you may find that you need to make some system tweaks in order to fully appreciate the capabilities of your high-performance gear. Without the dynamic range compression present in other recordings, David Chesky produces high-quality music rich with subtle nuance and emotion that’s severely lacking in most studio recordings today. Audiogon is proud to partner with HDtracks to help you Wake Up Your Ears!


If you want to hear how good a speaker or headphone can sound you have to play great sounding recordings. It’s the old “garbage in, garbage out” maxim at work, because if the recording isn’t up to snuff no speaker or headphone can make it sound better than it really is.

Chesky recordings are free of dynamic range compression, processing and other forms of studio trickery, so they more accurately portray the sound of music than most mainstream recordings. That is, instruments and voices sound more like they do in real life, so when you listen to a speaker or headphone the question is, how realistic does it sound? With heavily processed recordings, i.e., most rock, pop, hip hop, electronica, etc. it’s impossible to know what they’re supposed to sound like.

Uncompressed music isn’t “loud” all the time, so a whisper quiet vocal isn’t as loud as a screamed one. We’ve all gotten used to hearing music mixed and mastered to have a consistent volume level. Since the music on this sampler retains its natural dynamics intact you’ll probably have to turn up the volume on your phone or hi-fi a notch or two from your normal listening level to enjoy the music’s full dynamic range.

Track Listings

Chesky Binaural+ Series

The Binaural+ Series is the first ever of its kind, and is changing the way people hear music on their headphones. The Binaural+ sessions were recorded in high-resolution 176kHz and 192kHz/24bit sound with a special Binaural head (a “dummy” human head with specially calibrated microphones where the ears would be). This technique captures the sound of music as if you were sitting in front of the band.
amber Track 1
Title: Good Mystery
Album: Sessions from the 17th Ward
Artist: Amber Rubarth
Genre: Folk
Written by: Amber Rubarth
Published by: Inspiraled Music (ASCAP), Chesky Productions (ASCAP)Chances are you haven’t heard a recording where the singer’s voice wasn’t dynamically compressed, but Ms. Rubarth’s voice is 100% au naturel. Her guitar and the accompanying violin, cello and percussion were also unencumbered by any form of processing.
ny rags Track 2
Title: Rag No. 18
Album: The New York Rags
Artist: David Chesky
Genre: Jazz
Written by: David Chesky
Published by: Chesky Productions (ASCAP)Chesky’s spirited piano rags should be crystal clear and precise, a transparent window back to the sound at the session. The nine-foot grand piano’s dynamics are unrestrained, so try to play this track at a realistic level, if you dare!
cc-coletti-bring-it-on-home-cover-01a.indd Track 3
Title: You Shook Me
Album: Bring It on Home: CC Coletti Sings the American Roots of Zeppelin
Artist: CC Coletti
Genre: Folk
Written by: Willie Dixon & J. B. LenoirCC Coletti breathes new life into Led Zeppelin’s tune, originally written by Willie Dixon, and this recording should transport you directly to the recording venue. You’ll hear her vocal, electric guitar, bass, harmonica, and drums’ sound. You are there.
wycliffe Track 4
Title: St. Louis Blues
Album: Dreams of New Orleans
Artist: Wycliffe Gordon
Genre: Jazz
Composed by: W. C. Handy
Published by: Coup de Cone Music, Inc. in 1996Gordon’s arrangement of this classic will provide a thorough workout for your system. Turn up the volume on this one, and listen to the band roar! The banjo and tuba leads swirling around Gordon’s trombone and Jon Erik-Kelso’s trumpet are terrific tests of your system’s low-level resolution.
explorations Track 5
Title: Stank
Album: Explorations in Space and Time
Artist: Jamey Haddad/Mark Sherman/Lenny White
Genre: JazzChances are you’ve never heard uncompressed drums, but here you’ll be treated to three master percussionists going to town. Turn up the volume, but go slowly, we don’t want to blow up your speakers or headphones!
dr Track 6
Title: Dancing Flute and Drum
Album: Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show
Artist: Dr. Chesky
Genre: Miscellaneous/Test Disc
Composed by: David Chesky
Published by: Chesky Productions (ASCAP)Dr. Chesky plays a frame drum and Anne Drummond is on flute, and they trade off as they listen to their sounds coming back to them in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City. You should have a good sense of the space—the church is 284 feet long, 121 feet wide, and 114 feet high in the towers! The reverberation you hear is what they heard—it wasn’t added in post production mixing.
dr Track 7
Title: Mozart Ave verum
Album: Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show
Artist: Choir of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament
Genre: Miscellaneous/Test Disc
Composed by: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThe Choir and mighty organ were also recorded in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. There’s something about the way the choir’s voices are suspended in the air that is truly magical. The sound is highly transparent and pure. The organ’s lowest notes may test the bass stamina of your speakers or headphones.
dr Track 8
Title: Edgar the Barber
Album: Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show
Artist: David Chesky
Genre: Miscellaneous/Test Disc
Composed by: David CheskyProfessor Edward Choueiri gives you a binaural “haircut,”and over headphones Edward’s snipping scissors should encircle your head. This binaural recording can produce a remarkably holographic effect.

Chesky High Resolution Recordings

john hammond Track 9
Title: Get Behind the Mule
Album: Rough & Tough
Artist: John Hammond
Genre: Blues/Acoustic Blues
Written by: Tom WaitsJohn Hammond throws his body and soul into this Tom Waits tune. He stomps his feet, wails on his guitar, blows his harp, and sings like his life hangs in the balance. There’s total commitment to the blues, and this recording leaves nothing to your imagination. He’s all there.
jen chapin Track 10
Title: You Haven’t Done Nothin’
Album: Revisions
Artist: Jen Chapin
Genre: Jazz/Vocal
Written by: Stevie WonderMs. Chapin’s intimate interpretations of classic Stevie Wonder songs make for a fascinating journey. The jazzy interplay of the trio with Chapin’s vocals, Chris Cheek’s saxophones and Stephan Crump’s stand up bass, together cut to the funky heart of the matter. The three players’ sounds should take on a truly holographic presence between your two speakers.
coryell organ trio Track 11
Title: Full Moon over Istanbul
Album: Impressions
Artist: The Larry Coryell Organ Trio
Genre: Jazz/Bop
Composed by: Paul WerticoListen to the exquisite textures of Paul Wertico’s high-speed brushes flying over his drum kit, the silky glide of Sam Yahel’s Hammond B-3 organ, and guitarist extraordinaire Coryell’s gentle fretwork. The atmosphere is so quiet, but the pulsing groove should get your feet tapping.
raven1 Track 12
Title: You Got Me
Album: The Raven
Artist: Rebecca Pidgeon
Genre: Jazz/Vocal
Written by: Rebecca PidgeonPidgeon and her tight little band get down to business. Listen closely to this live in the studio gem, and feel the connection, the spark of creating fully realized music in the moment. The players all know there will be no fixing it in the mix, overdubs, compression, or any form of studio trickery, just their music, as they played it. And that makes all the difference.
hancock island Track 13
Title: Cantaloupe Island
Album: Hancock Island
Artist: Lenny White/Buster Williams/George Colligan/Steve Wilson
Genre: Jazz/Mainstream
Composed by: Herbie HancockHere’s what happens when you have George Colligan on Fender Rhodes piano, Lenny White on drums, and Steve Wilson on saxophone mixing it up on a suite of tunes. These veterans all dig deep, but check out White’s drums in particular, they way they ignite and propel Herbie Hancock’s jazz standard. Play this one nice and loud, you should feel Cantaloupe Island in your bones!
black coffee Track 14
Title: Alright, OK, You Win
Album: Black Coffee
Artist: Louise Rogers
Genre: Jazz
Written by: Sid Wyche & Mayme WattsJazz singer Louise Rogers swings mightily here, she says she was inspired by the way Peggy Lee did the tune on her 1962 Bewitching Lee! album. She’s right of course, and she’s clearly having a ball inhabiting the tune. Ms. Rogers and her band should sound fully three-dimensional and present, they are all being “heard” by just one Soundfield microphone!
jazz side of the moon Track 15
Title: Breathe
Album: Jazz Side of the Moon: The Music of Pink Floyd
Artist: Seamus Blake/Ari Hoenig/Mike Moreno/Sam Yahel
Genre: Jazz/Contemporary
Written by: David Gilmour & Richard Wright (music) and Roger Waters (lyrics)The drum “heartbeat,” soulful Hammond B-5 organ and sax, and jazzy guitar set the scene, and then the tempo picks up. It’s an auspicious exploration of the ultimate ’Floyd album, reworked as an improvised jazz suite. Listen to this one in the dark, and let your mind float downstream.

Audiogon Wake Up Your Ears Coverage