Steely Dan – Do It Again To test detail
Steely Dan’s debut album became hard hi-fi currency almost immediately upon its November 1972 release – and its cachet wasn’t harmed at all by a quadrophonic mix released alongside the stereo version. In the intervening decades, the band has become a byword for grown-up, painstaking and refined sound. Which makes them a perfect candidate for showcasing your system’s strengths, no matter what they are.
Competition at the top end
Here, though, we’re concerned with treble – and the first minute of the first song on that first album is enough to separate the high-frequency masters from the mere workmen. Congas, ride cymbal, electric piano and guiro all compete for space in more-or-less the same section of the frequency range, and all produce entirely different sounds and textures. A quick burst of electric guitar and finger-cymbal further muddies the waters – and the vocal hasn’t even started yet. If your system can differentiate these rival sounds effectively, the high-gloss Steely Dan sound is all the more welcoming.
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