Genre: Test Disc
Label: Sheffield Lab


My Disc: The Sheffield A2TB Test Disc CD

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Test Disc CD!

86 tracks for critical evaluation of audio components, listening environments, and YOUR critical listening ability!

Contains six complete music selections in addition to 80 technical tracks!

How do you measure up? Whether you are an audiophile or a bench tech, "My Disc" will prove to be your most valued disc - indispensable for critical system design and performance evaluation. PLUS, this disc contains tracks specifically designed to evaluate your personal critical listening ability... take the "My Disc" Challenge! Technical tracks are supplied by A2TB's Richard Clark, widely recognized for his technical expertise in acoustics, and component/system design. In addition to the specialized test tracks, "My Disc" also contains six complete music selections from the award-winning Sheffield Lab catalog, chosen to cover a broad spectrum of musical styles.

For more than 25 years, Sheffield Lab has been selected by many of the most respected names in the audio industry to create custom projects using the award-winning "Sheffield Sound". Since their pioneer direct disc recordings in 1968, audiophiles the world over have relied on Sheffield to provide the authentic musical source that is the first component of a true high-fidelity system.

Here are a few highlights of what is on this amazing test disc:

TRACK 1. "Stranger In My Bed" UP FRONT - THE POWER OF SEVEN (10033-2-F)
You should be able to define many different levels of percussion intermingled with the keyboard work. Note the cowbells just behind and below the lead vocal at all times. Listen to the back-up vocals as the sing "I got trouble..." at 1:12: can you pick at all 6 vocals? Remember, all these vocals and different instruments were recorded in real time - your system should deliver some pretty intense SPL readings, so listen carefully!

The 1975 original direct disc LP version of this project sold more than a quarter of a million copies before exhausting the masters, and is widely credited with starting the entire audiophile recording industry. During the opening 30 seconds, notice how well you can distinguish the individual voices of the two keyboards. Then notice the vertical lift in the entire sound stage as the horns come in over the keys. Can you hear the tambourine (panned far left) from :29 to :42? See if your system does a good job of properly staging the trumpets (predominantly in the left channel, eg 1:13), with the "fat" lower sound of the trombone on the right (reference the trombone solo at 1:29).

TRACK 3. "Dance of the Knights" from Profofiev's Romeo & Juilet THE LEINSDORF SESSIONS, VOL. 1. LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC, ERICH LEINSDORF CONDUCTING. (10043-2-G)
Recorded on the legendary MGM Sound Stage One. You should be able to recreate the orchestra sitting in a semi-circle around you: the concert grand in the upper left corner of the stage, the violins and cellos in front followed by the wood-winds further up towards the back of the stage and on a higher elevation and in the very back rows, the trombones and percussion (including the massive timpani drums). Notice in the first 20 seconds how the sound "seesaws" front to back between the violins and cellos. Beginning at 8:27, in the upper left corner of the stage, notice the sharpness of the tight drum rolls, punctuated by the raspy horns and strings.

Notice the presence of the vibes even with the busy and intricate piano work. Listen in the transition between notes at 1:07, as sax legend Phil Woods bites down and changes the sound of the note. At the end of the track, Woods steps back and swings around, points the horn upstage and center to guide the band out.

Here's what Sheffield chairman and mastering engineer, Doug Sax, had to say about this track: "Sheffield's own pre-amps and line level mics really shine through. Notice the clarity of the piano, the natural but extended cymbals, the clarity and warmth of the vocals. Notice the astonishing percussion presence, without artifact, a combination of Coles ribbon mics into a GML transformer-less pre-amp. I am extremely proud of the sound we achieved on this project".

This was actually a bones track on the CD version: During rehearsals for the original direct disc recording sessions, the dynamics of Jim Keltner's kick drum were so extreme that the groove excursions from the cutting lathe became too wide to fit on the album side. The song had to be eliminated! What you hear on this track is an actual rehearsal take, with the band beginning to block out parts and solos. When the guitar comes in at :57 with fairly equal force in both channels, you should really get a tremendous sense of stereo separation and "liveness" around the instruments. At 1:33 the horn comes in on the right channel; if you are listening in your car, the horn player sounds like he is sitting right about on op of your glovebox. Notice the somewhat crude-sounding fade at the end of the cut: When recording in 1973, they mixed with fader knobs the size of your steering wheel!

This track contains a recording of three people describing their location within the sound stage. If your system can not fulfill the descriptions defined by the voices, then your system is NOT reproducing a correct stereo image.

This track contains the same information as track 25 except that all three people are talking simultaneously. Just as if three people were talking at once, our system should not mix them together. You should be able to clearly identify each individual in his or her location. You should be able to understand each individual and concentrate on what each individual is saying while mentally tuning out the other two announcers. This is a particularly difficult test for a sound system, but is very revealing. If you are unsure as to how well you system handles this track, try comparing it to the real thing. Have three talking friends stand across the front of your listening room and repeat this test for yourself.

Intended as a track for demonstrating the concept of dBs. While many audiophiles know what a dB is and may discuss dBs all the time, very few of them have access to precision stepped attenuators and have virtually no perception of a dB. Once dB is a tenth of a Bell. One dB is normally considered to be the smallest amount of level change that can be easily detected by the average listener. This track demonstrates level changes in 1 dB steps. Pink noise is raised in one dB steps every three seconds. Notice that the actual change in each step is very small, yet the overall level can be easily perceived to increase.

This track contains the musical note A (440 Hz). This could be used as a reference to tune instruments or even check the accuracy of your CD player's speed to a tuning fork if you suspect a speed problem. If you have confidence in your player, you can check your tuning fork, or you can user your CD player to tune your instruments. You can also compare two players. Yes, problems can occur - even with digital!

This track contains the full dynamics of the original recording and is intended to be a musical reference track for the following track. Besides a listening comparison of dynamic compression this track along with the following track can be used to check the accuracy of peak meters. Notice the highest reading displayed by your meters when playing this track. Then without changing the volume level, compare the reading to the reading measured on the next track. The difference between the two is the inability of the meters to respond fast enough to very short duration musical transients.

This track is part of a dynamic evaluation and it is recorded with exactly the same peak levels as the preceding track. However, it has been compressed dynamically. The process of dynamic compression is very common in modern recordings and is done to make the recording appear to be louder - at the expense of dynamic range. If this track sounds better than the preceding track, your system may lack the power and dynamic capability to fully reproduce the transients of the best audiophile recordings.

The last 2 recordings were made on Pit Row during the 1994 time trails at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (how's that for a big sound stage?) and are excerpts from an entire afternoon of recording.

You are standing between Roger Penske's pits and the main straightaway. Emerson Fittipaldi's crew is behind you and to your left, and Jacques Villeneuve's crew is adjusting the air pressure in his tires behind you and to your right. As a car passes in front of you on the straightaway at over 220 mph, Emerson starts his car and drives away.

At the start of this track you experience a short walk down pit row. The race track is to your right and the pits are on your left. The position of the announcer appears to move because you are walking between speakers spaced about 50 feet apart. We were trying to find one of the new Mercedes engines to record its sound and you hear Don on your left say "Here's the one we want." We are trying to keep from getting run over as cars are everywhere. We are then warned of a car coming into the pits. You can hear the car of Villeneuve drive up and stop less than six feet behind you, just before the air jack raises it off the ground.

The Sheffield Lab My Disc contains a useful tone as a reference level when interfacing A-to-D or D-to-A convertors, a quick check for acoustical response. A great use for this track is in systems designed to cover large areas such as sound reinforcement systems, PA systems, etc., Right and Left Channel identification, polarity tracks and pulses and much, much more!

Sheffield's legendary engineering team designs and produces their own recording equipment from the cables up, to deliver the highest possible sonic quality available. The Sheffield Lab name on this product guarantees you an unparalleled experience of musical excitement from recorded music. You'll not only hear the Sheffield difference, you'll FEEL it!


  • Test Disc CD
  • Audiophile Reference Series


  1. Stranger In My Bed - Power of Seven
  2. Dish Rag - Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker
  3. Dance of the Knights - Sergei Prokofiev
  4. Dirty Blue - Adam Makowicz with Phil Woods
  5. Wishing Well - Michael Ruff
  6. Dock of the Bay - Lincoln Mayorga & Distinguished Colleagues
  7. 1 Khz Sinewave at -20 dBFS
  8. 1 Khz Sinewave At 0 dBFS
  9. 20 Hz One Octave Warble
  10. 62 Hz One Octave Warble
  11. 125 Hz One Octave Warble
  12. 250 Hz One Octave Warble
  13. 500 Hz One Octave Warble
  14. 2.5 Khz One Octave Warble
  15. 5 Khz One Octave Warble
  16. 10 Khz One Octave Warble
  17. 15 Khz One Octave Warble
  18. 19 Khz One Octave Warble
  19. Person Counting from 1 to 25
  20. Right Channel Identification
  21. Left Channel Identification
  22. Relative Polarity Between Left & Right Channels
  23. Polarity Pulses
  24. 1 Khz Sinewave with Bottom Half Clipped
  25. 3 People Describing Position On Sound Stage in Stereo
  26. Stage description
  27. Specially processed music selection for evaluating accuracy and focus of the lateral sound stage
  1. Liearity Test
  1. Recording of Digital Black or 0 Bits
  2. High Frequency Low Level Alternating Between 0000 & Ffff
  3. Correlated Pink Noise 20 Hz to 20 Khz
  4. Uncorrelated Pink Noise 20 Hz to 20 Khz
  5. Pink Noise Raised in 1 Db Steps every 3 Seconds
  6. Pink Noise Raised in 4 steps in 3 Db increments
  7. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 25 - 31.45 - 40 Hz
  8. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 50 - 63 - 80 Hz
  9. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 100 - 125 - 160 Hz
  10. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 200 - 250 - 315 Hz
  11. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 400 - 500 - 630 Hz
  12. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 800 Hz - 1k - 1.2 Khz
  13. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 1.6 - 2k - 2.5 Khz
  14. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 3.15k - 4k - 5 Khz
  15. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 6.3k - 8k - 10 Khz
  16. 1-3 Octave Pink Noise at 12.5k - 16k - 20 Khz
  17. 20 Hz to 20 Khz Continuous Warble
  18. 100 Hz to 20 Hz Warble for Subwoofer Evaluation
  19. Individual Frequencies from 10 Hz to 99 Hz
  20. Flat Low Distortion Sweep from 20 - 200 Hz
  21. Flat Low Distortion Sweep from 200 Hz - 2 Khz
  22. Flat Low Distortion Sweep from 2 - 20 Khz
  23. Contains the Musical Note A (440 Hz)
  24. 100 Hz Tone Burst with Duty Cycle of 25%
  25. Same as 64 Except at 1 Khz
  26. Same as 64 Except at 10 Khz
  27. 100 Hz Square Wave
  28. Same as 67 except at 1 Khz
  29. Full Dynamics of the Original Recording
  30. Compressed Version of 69 With Same Peak Level
  31. Tone with 0.03% Distortion
  32. Same as 71, except with 0.1% Distortion
  33. Same as 71, except with 0.3 % Distortion
  34. Same as 71, except with 1% Distortion
  35. Same as 71, except with 3% Distortion
  36. Same as 71, except with 10% Distortion
  37. Music With Distortion of About 0.03%
  38. Same as 77, except with 0.1% Distortion
  39. Same as 77, except with 0.3% Distortion
  40. Same as 77, except with 1% Distortion
  41. Same as 77, except with 3% Distortion
  42. Same as 77, except with 10% Distortion
  43. Musical Selection with No Added Delay
  44. Same as 83 with 7 MS of Group Delay Below 100 Hz
  45. Standing Between Penske's Pits and Main Straighaway
  46. Short Walk Down Pit Row of Race Car

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