Your needs may vary, but when I travel to shows, reviewers’ homes, or when I get down to a serious review chez nous, I use the following audiophile tools/resources. They are always close to hand when the serious listening begins. Other than a good wife, a good room, good ears and some serious system synergy, I use these to calibrate, judge, measure, and ultimately to help in the review process. My tools include gear for both digital and analogue.
Many of the CDs/LPs we use around here during reviews you can find in our The A List. Additionally, the Penguin CD Guide and Jonathan Valin’s The RCA Bible are always sitting on the coffee table, and the Purist Audio Design System Enhancer Ultimate CD for break in is indispensable for impatient reviewers (in case you didn’t notice, I snuck in a further three important tools/resources). I’d be interested to read what YOU use. I’d love to find out your secret weapons in the hunt for Audiophilia. Please add your comments below the list.
In no particular order, my Top Ten are:
1. Radio Shack Sound Pressure Level Meter
2. Stereophile Test CD No. 3
3. Burmester CD Sampler
4. Shure SFG-2 Stylus Tracking Force Gauge
5. Cardas Sweep Record
6. DIY vinyl cleaning solution
7. Cardas Contact Conditioner
8. The Disc Doctor’s Stylus Cleaner
9. Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner
10. Hi Fi News Analogue Test LP