Definitive XRCD vs 24bit/96Khz Review of Erick Friedman Violin Show Piece
I have the XRCD version and I think its one of those most well mastered/recorded CDs I have. It's got the XRCD2, and the 20bitk2 processing.
I downloaded the 24/96 tape transfer version from HighDefTapeTransfers
WOW what a difference 24/96 tape transfer makes; the high def tape transfer made the XRCD version sounds like mp3!!!
Soundstage is greatly improved in the 24/96 version. The soundstage instead of stopping at a imaginary 'brick wall', now extends far far far beyond. All the instrument seems to have the real reverberation, and air around them (like in a real concert hall!!).
The sound of the high quality tape transfer just sounds more relaxed, more analog, much more smooth. Erick's violin took on a new life. Not just 'hi-hi' sounding in the XRCD version (a little grainy I might add), but 'real life' sounding. Smooth yet real, detailed without feeling edgy. The whole performance took on an ease I have only experienced with real instruments.
One noticeable area the XRCD substantially differs from the tape transfer is a mid-bass hump that's present in the XRCD version and not in the tape transfer version.
I think this is the best example of high def vs CD (in this case XRCD). If there is this much difference between a 24/96 tape transfer and XRCD (presumably much better mastered than regular CD), I am 1000% sold on the 24/96 format. THERE IS NO CONTEST.
I used SD TP to cue up both versions of the same track and just compared them back to back to back to back, the difference is obvious and amazing.
Update: I cued up the XRCD in the Rega Saturn and A/B against 24/96 playing back from TP. No surprise there, the TP with 24/96 tape transfer made Saturn sounds like a cheap machine. The difference is much great than the difference between the Linn CD12 and Saturn (yes I compared them with the same XRCD (my default stereo shop demo CD
. yes I would also say TP with 24/96 would put Linn CD12 playing XRCD to shame too.