22 Demo Albums that Actually Rock
Put the sleepy jazz and classical music away -- it's time to test your audio system on all kinds of rock for you to hear in a new way.
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July 02, 2009 by EH Staff

Almost everyone that’s visited a dealer in search of an audio system has experienced the boring audiophile music that’s used to highlight a system.

Without stereotyping their musical preferences for equipment demos too much, that dedicated group of traditional audiophiles usually choose from classical and jazz, to vocal wares from artists like Diana Krall, Patricia Barber and Peggy Lee, to test high-performance systems.

The problem with these choices however is that young people—Gen X and Gen Y— generally prefer the more energetic rock music genre. For those interested in skipping that cure for insomnia, we’ve compiled a list of albums that’s sure to inject some fun and excitement into any demo system experience.

Gen X and Y’ers looking for their own music content to play during a system demo have almost always struggled to find recordings that filled their emotional and quality requirements to play in these demo sessions and their high-performance A/V systems.

We’ve tried to break down the rock genre into several categories—hard rock, classic rock and jam band—to provide rock fans with some suggested albums that can be used to audition and demonstrate the capabilities of a modern home theater, multiroom audio or stereo system.

Lots of stuff will be familiar to you, which is part of the point. Some of our picks are absolute classics (yes, the classic in ‘classic rock’), but maybe you’ve never really “listened critically” to on a high-end system, while others are perhaps familiar but with a hidden gem signature track.

These albums’ availability range from CDs, LPs, digital downloads, DVD-Audio discs and SACDs, and in many cases several of those formats so you can even compare the finely resolved details each format offers.

Click here to view the album covers, overview and signature demo tracks. What are your favorite rock tracks that also showcase sonic greatness?

ElectronicHouse.com editors Robert Archer and Arlen Schweiger contributed to this report.

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