This is the successor to the original Hi-Fi News Test LP. The original tracks have been re-cut with a frequency sweep track added and the Pink Noise tracks extended. The new 17-track version is an even finer pressing than the original.
Here's the information on the first version:
This British audio publication pressed this straightforward LP of analog setup tests and signals with the average audiophile in mind. Tests include channel balance, phasing, bias setting, pink noise, tracking ability, cartridge/arm lateral resonance test and cartridge alignment. Includes cartridge alignment tool.
The package includes detailed notes, a set-up 'Bible' courtesy of John Crabbe, locked grooves between tests, pristine virgin vinyl pressings and - best of all - audible and visible cues rather than a need for test gear. Side one contains nine tracks for L/R channel identification, phase, channel balance (-20dB pink noise L+R), the same again for the left channel only and the right channel only and four different tracks for setting bias, increasing in 2dB steps. All these tests require are your ears, but the instructions will guide you through every step.
Side Two features seven tracks which cover tracking ability, cartridge/arm resonance and cartridge alignment. Tracking ability is assessed through three sections, all using a 300Hz signal (L+R, +15dB). The three tracks are positioned as the first, middle and last tracks so you can gauge performance across the whole arc of travel. (Or line of travel, if you're the lucky owner of a tangential arm...) The two cartridge/arm resonance tests consist of test sweeps with pilot tones, and you'll actually see the arm misbehaving if there's any horrible mismatch in your set-up. The cartridge alignment test allows you to adjust the azimuth for minimum output, through a 300Hz vertical L-R signal at +6dB. Lastly, there's a track to show residual noise, consisting of unmodulated grooves. And this one will prove to be a real party trick if you use an idler-drive deck and none of your friends are willing to believe it's a quiet runner...