The good news is this can save you money. Careful, precise position of the loudspeakers using a well-known set of recordings as ‘test discs’ (and no, Shelby Lynne is not the only disc used, but serves as good introduction to this subject) can bring out the best in any system. It also applies to more than just Shelby Lynne recordings; the relatively simplistic drum-kit-and-Fender-Rhodes introduction allows the listener to focus on the key elements of lower-mid and bass interaction, and that interaction applies to anything from Mahler to Motorhead. The bad news is the frequency you may need to do this; systemic changes can sometimes necessitate small changes to the positioning of the speakers for their optimum performance. And, it’s easy to get carried away with this; if you are thinking of the loudspeakers position in terms of millimetres, there are bigger fish to fry.
There’s one last potential bit of bad news, if you happen to like Shelby Lynne. Do this a few times and it strips any significant musical enjoyment factor from the track. This is no great shakes if the only reason to own a Shelby Lynne album is to use it for evaluation or installation purposes, but if you plan to kick back and listen to the album for pleasure, it may rob you of some of that pleasure.
The crucial part is to take from this is you can use this track (or indeed, any specific track) in one of three ways; to tune, to evaluate, and to showcase. What you can’t do with this or any track is use it for all three. It’s very difficult to use a track to set-up and tune a system, and to evaluate its performance, because you have used it to help create that performance. This seems to be an either/or issue, although it’s perfectly possible to use a track in one setting to evaluate one kind of product and to use it to set-up a system in another.
Now, here’s the interactive part. First, feel free to share your own personal set-up discs and tips here. But perhaps as importantly, is this something that’s worth forming into a series of recordings used, and why they are useful?