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post #121 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
x2. Exactly describes my impression from the recent Led Zeppelin's Mothership (and it's not the worst!).
I haven't heard it and hope I don't. I have the original I - Physical Graffiti CDs. I think they were mastered by Barry Diament, but I couldn't swear by that. They need to be turned up a bit, but sound great. I haven't cared much for any of the remasters, not even the ones supervised by Page.

But unfortunately I do have the Ultimate Who boxed set, and worse yet, Bruce Springsteen's "Magic." The sad part there is Magic has terrific songs on it and there is no old cd to hunt down to provide relief. It is what it is and it is almost un-listenable. The producer of that record should never be given an important project again.

I really dislike loud, harsh, glaring music. I love my cds and play them back on SS equipment without feeling the need to seek out additional warmth. But I have paid close attention and I know when to reach for the volume knob, the treble knob, or both. And sometimes, I just know that it should be played through phones in any kind of resolving system. YMMV, but Magic, as one example, is a disc I save for the car.

Tim
post #122 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Most SACDs are hybrids. You can play them on a regular CD player. The DSD hybrid SACD I compared sounded exactly the same on the redbook layer as on the CD layer. Why buy two machines?

See ya
Steve
Steve, just wanted to make it clear, I am not dismissing your opinion. Your opinion is counted in my head along with many others, from this forum and from reviews elsewhere. Considering you've listened to 8,000+ CDs (no sarcasm intended), your opinion weighs more than some others'. Still, many, many more people have reported difference playing Stereo SACD layer vs Redbook layer of the same disc. And that includes some evidently experienced ears, too... Your voice is outnumbered by far in that tally inside my head.
Look, I have no reasonable way to try SACD player for myself before I buy it. And that's fine. My bet is, since the vast majority of people hear the difference (for whatever reason!), I'll hear it too. So the dog shouldn't get his hopes too high

"Why buy two machines?" - agreed here! Sure, I wouldn't be buying an extra $900 player if I had any source other than iPod right now. Marantz SA8001 plays CDs, has very good DAC and whatever there is downstream is reportedly also very good. Plus, it's got an unusually good HP out, people say. Sounds like a great starter source to me. I don't think I could've done any better pricewise with a cheap transport and a decent DAC - and I would still need to add an amp to listen. Did I say SA8001 also plays SACDs?..

One other piece that attracts me, being clearly something special on a budget , is Rega Apollo - even though it is Redbook only. Too bad it is now $1,175, and I don't want to pay for our beaten down dollar any more than I do already every day...
post #123 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
I haven't heard it and hope I don't. I have the original I - Physical Graffiti CDs. I think they were mastered by Barry Diament, but I couldn't swear by that. They need to be turned up a bit, but sound great. I haven't cared much for any of the remasters, not even the ones supervised by Page.

... YMMV, but Magic, as one example, is a disc I save for the car.

Tim
I'd say "especially the ones supervised by Page"... Plant & Krauss recent CD has "normal" sound. And funny, but it is in the car where Mothership ended up. Good for driving.

Well, we do have reviews on Amazon.com where many people will complain if a given CD is "loud".
post #124 of 255
To Mike - mmm, I'm not sure about what you say that "more people report sacd to be better than cd". Just google "sacd vs cd sound quality" and you'll find many interesting reports argueing that there's no difference. But besides, the point is not if statistically people can't tell it, the point is whether you can tell it! Also, from this thread, I think we've arrived to the conclusion that there are no audible differences between an ipod and a cd as source, so you may not even need a new cd player! I'd go to a hi fi shop and compare your ipod with hi end cd players, and see whether you find any difference before you buy anything. Also google "ipod playing lossless vs cd player". This same discussion is running in multiple forums and my conclusion from them is that people can't tell them apart, and even then, it isn't money well spent. Better start with the speakers. I'm sure there are very good ones for the price of the Marantz sa 8002 sacd player.
post #125 of 255
To mike - Hi Mike. I found you posted you live in Washington DC suburbs. There are no real hi fi stores there? I live in Cambridge, England, and we've got many stores here, and all very well stocked. But maybe not so much for headphones, since I think there are less popular than speakers. But they certainly have a full range of cd players, amplifiers, etc.
post #126 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
I don't know what xrcd, xrcd2 or k2hd (speed, perhaps?) are, but I think BigShot was talking about the quality of the mastering from a human craftsmanship perspective.

Did the mastering engineer take the time to find the best (hopefully the original analog masters, not copies) tapes to master from to digital? Did he/she use noise reduction and, if so, how severely and to what effect? Did he digitally compress the master to maximize the loudness of presentation, squeezing out all of the dynamic range in the process?

These are the real issues, and loud compressed masters with the trebles and sometimes the bass boosted are what is hard to listen to over time and makes cds sound harsh. Well mastered cds do lack the unique color of vinyl, but there is no need for them to be hard or bright or etched. This is done to them. Deliberately. And the ultimate irony is now, when digital audio technology has reached the point at which it should be able to exceed analog, loud, compressed, bright masters seem to be all the rage among pop/rock record producers who seem to be in a competition to determine who can make the loudest, brightest, most obnoxious record. Ever notice that digital sounds better on jazz and classical? It is being done right.

What's even more ironic, is that "Digital re-masters" sold to us as improvements on the simple transfers of the 80s and 90s from analog tape to CD are, more often than not, anything but improvements. They could be. They should be. But they're not. Sometimes they even sound good at first, just as a slightly louder or brighter presentation is almost always heard as better initially. But they wear on you after awhile.

That grating, harsh glare that bothers you so? It's not your cd, it is your record company. They are doing it to you on purpose. Next time you consider going to the record store to pick upt that $70 digitally re-mastered box set, don't. Go to the used CD store and find the old cds from the 80s and 90s. Your ears will thank you for it. So will your wallet. Here they're running about 50 cents on the dollar.

Tim
No, xrcd, xrcd2 and k2hd is a new mastering technique from JVC wich is superieur to any other mastering technique and makes sure you get every last drop of the bits out of the original mastering! They are as good as sacd and superieur to any standard cd!

"Unlike HDCD, SBM, UV22 or countless others, XRCD is not a mastering process alone. Rather, starting with the master analog feed, JVC creates a 20-bit digital master using their K2 super coding process, which, according to JVC, has extremely low intrinsic jitter. Then, instead of saving to the industry standard U-matic 1630 tape, the 20-bit master is transferred to a Sony PCM-9000, where is it stored on a magneto-optical disk. That disk is then sent to Yokohama where the real magic of the XRCD process takes place. There, a special down-conversion feature of the K2 process is used to create the 16-bit master. This process, according to JVC, keeps 20-bit resolution without the use of noise shaping. The 16-bit master is then EFM encoded. Finally, the EFM’ed data undergoes a final "reshape" immediately before going to the cutting laser. This step purportedly eliminates all time-based jitter. All these processes take place in a controlled, clean-room environment using SPIF-2 data pathways for all connections and with regulated and isolated AC power. This level of attention to the mastering and cutting chains is what sets XRCD apart from other ultra-fi techniques.

So how does the process sound? In a word, better. These XRCDs have a lower noise floor, deeper and wider staging, a cleaner and yet more explosive top end, tighter bass and a bit more textural resolution than the original issues. And this is in comparison to discs that just two or three years earlier were sonic references. In all, this makes the XRCD versions of these albums the ones to get."

k2hd is the newest incarnation and uses 24/196 mastering. At the end, you'll end up with a much better sounding cd!
xrcd or k2hd cd's i have compared to the same cd's are in every espect superieur to the cd.
K2hd especially goes deepr then any ordinairy cd; the bass is so tight and deep. I made 1x speed kodak gold copy of the original k2hd cd and i found out that the middle and top segment sounded the same but the deep bass was not equalled on the copy!



But i also agree that the mastering of the sound engeneer is also very, very important.
I agree that most older cd's are much, much better then the ear bursting new recordings. They use a technique that is called hot pressing. it sounds distorted and bloated. especially on good gear you can hear the unbalance of the cd.

One of the reasons i stick to k2hd or xrcd's only.
post #127 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
To mike - Hi Mike. I found you posted you live in Washington DC suburbs. There are no real hi fi stores there? I live in Cambridge, England, and we've got many stores here, and all very well stocked. But maybe not so much for headphones, since I think there are less popular than speakers. But they certainly have a full range of cd players, amplifiers, etc.
Hi, have you been to our area?.. People are often surprised, it is more rural than they imagine. Never mind it's the nation's capital. No heavy industry - deliberately, I understand. I actually like it this way...
Yes, there are some "hi fi" stores, one even 5 minutes from my home, but these days they specialize in Home Theater and related stuff, car audio... What they sell is expensive, and I'll probably get that nice TV some place else, when the time comes. The only SACD-capable machine they had was a Denon universal player. I did ask the guys there where one would go to listen to some higher end phones, and they said Guitar Center (a nationwide chain) would be the only place. Went there - yes indeed, many more phones than any other place I've been to, but still, Sennheiser ends on HD 280, AKG on K240, Beyers on DT 770, and the demo unit of the last one is broken... And yes, I did comb through the phone book, and search on the web.
I'm sure it is different around places like NYC.

I'll admit, for SACD player, for "my" Marantz in particular, I didn't actually search as hard. I know it is not carried by the big electronics chains on the mall, nor by the two 'hi fi" shops I know locally. I know it is available at Crutchfield, whose brick&mortar store is 3-4 hour drive away. However, unlike the situation with the headphones, where I was considering Senn HD600, AKG K701, and Beyers DT 880, all approximately in the same range, here I don't see many alternatives. As I mentioned, I am intrigued also by Rega Apollo, but the price went up here recently, and it must be under 1,000
Thanks for your concern.
post #128 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourmaline View Post
K2hd especially goes deepr then any ordinairy cd; the bass is so tight and deep. I made 1x speed kodak gold copy of the original k2hd cd and i found out that the middle and top segment sounded the same but the deep bass was not equalled on the copy!
This does not seem rational. How can a presumably bit-perfect copy of a 16 bit CD sound different from the original, it isnt like HDCD which cheats with 4 embedded extra bits is it ?. I am sorry but if the final CD is in 16 bit format I do not see how the copy could be different. What is not being copied ?

Can you tell me the CDs you used and I will buy a copy of one and run some tests myself. I am genuinely intrigued by this. Alternatively if you could post some short (to keep within fair use) wav files from the original and copy that would be useful.

Cheers
post #129 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
Hi, have you been to our area?.. People are often surprised, it is more rural than they imagine. Never mind it's the nation's capital. No heavy industry - deliberately, I understand. I actually like it this way...
Yes, there are some "hi fi" stores, one even 5 minutes from my home, but these days they specialize in Home Theater and related stuff, car audio... What they sell is expensive, and I'll probably get that nice TV some place else, when the time comes. The only SACD-capable machine they had was a Denon universal player. I did ask the guys there where one would go to listen to some higher end phones, and they said Guitar Center (a nationwide chain) would be the only place. Went there - yes indeed, many more phones than any other place I've been to, but still, Sennheiser ends on HD 280, AKG on K240, Beyers on DT 770, and the demo unit of the last one is broken... And yes, I did comb through the phone book, and search on the web.
I'm sure it is different around places like NYC.

I'll admit, for SACD player, for "my" Marantz in particular, I didn't actually search as hard. I know it is not carried by the big electronics chains on the mall, nor by the two 'hi fi" shops I know locally. I know it is available at Crutchfield, whose brick&mortar store is 3-4 hour drive away. However, unlike the situation with the headphones, where I was considering Senn HD600, AKG K701, and Beyers DT 880, all approximately in the same range, here I don't see many alternatives. As I mentioned, I am intrigued also by Rega Apollo, but the price went up here recently, and it must be under 1,000
Thanks for your concern.
Rega apollo is one of the best players in it's pricerange.
post #130 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
This does not seem rational. How can a presumably bit-perfect copy of a 16 bit CD sound different from the original, it isnt like HDCD which cheats with 4 embedded extra bits is it ?. I am sorry but if the final CD is in 16 bit format I do not see how the copy could be different. What is not being copied ?

Can you tell me the CDs you used and I will buy a copy of one and run some tests myself. I am genuinely intrigued by this. Alternatively if you could post some short (to keep within fair use) wav files from the original and copy that would be useful.

Cheers
materials used?
i cannot explain myself, since i used an expensive plextor drive, used only 1 x burning and yet the deep tight bass is not matched in the copy!

The original is k2hd cd! I also compared to a normal cd and the k2hd cd is far superieur to the normal cd, also again in the bottom department.

The copy and the original k2hd sound different!the original k2hd cd sounds best.

My system is very resolving and picks up any difference in material. It is quite obvious both the original and copy don't sound the same!

Also a couple of people said that a good copy burned on 1 x speed could be better then the original, not so in my case and i used gold discs.

I think that even if you use different brand discs, you could get slightly different sound.

As usual, alot of things don't make any sense but it really sounds different on my system. Common sense tells you one thing, but my ears tell a different story!
post #131 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
The only SACD-capable machine they had was a Denon universal player.
And have you given that sacd player a try? If sacd is relly that good, that sacd player should already show the difference in sound quality when reading the sacd stereo layer or the cd layer of a hybrid disk. Certainly worth trying.
post #132 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
To Mike - mmm, I'm not sure about what you say that "more people report sacd to be better than cd". Just google "sacd vs cd sound quality" and you'll find many interesting reports argueing that there's no difference. But besides, the point is not if statistically people can't tell it, the point is whether you can tell it! Also, from this thread, I think we've arrived to the conclusion that there are no audible differences between an ipod and a cd as source, so you may not even need a new cd player! I'd go to a hi fi shop and compare your ipod with hi end cd players, and see whether you find any difference before you buy anything. Also google "ipod playing lossless vs cd player". This same discussion is running in multiple forums and my conclusion from them is that people can't tell them apart, and even then, it isn't money well spent. Better start with the speakers. I'm sure there are very good ones for the price of the Marantz sa 8002 sacd player.
Hi again I believe I said it more like "people report that Stereo SACD layer sounds better than the Redbook layer of the same disc", no?.. Where I got this - reviews on Amazon.com, on sa-cd.net, in Stereophile magazine. I realize that some people will hear it, some won't. I just don't think all who report difference are fools or snobs.
I do agree 100%, all that maters is whether I'll be able to tell the difference/enjoy the extra benefit. Well, I know I can tell an mp3/AAC or Ogg Vorbis from lossless even at high bit rate, I did a few blind tests early on. I also almost always tell Ogg Vorbis from others, it is somehow (pleasantly) colored. And that's on cheap speakers and phones. Again, no guarantee of course, but I feel my chance of benefiting from higher quality sound is as good as anyone's. I couldn't tolerate much recorded violin or trumpet ever, until I got my K701s...

"I think we've arrived to the conclusion that there are no audible differences between an ipod and a cd as source, so you may not even need a new cd player!" - Hmm, I don't think it was quite that.
If there was any consensus in this discussion, it was that the actual CD-reading drive itself hardly makes any difference. So, if you are only planning to use your CD player as a transport, using its digital out, then you only need a cheap CDP, or perhaps don't need one at all, if you will use your computer as a source and get a DAC. Note that I am not saying "computer or iPod" - because there is no digital out in iPod, and you are stuck with whatever analog processing iPod has inside. It is not bad, but many people feel it (the analog part) limits iPod as a hi-fi source. Check out Redwineaudio's website. Yes, I know, they want to sell us their stuff, but are their customers and reviewers all just fools and snobs?..
Marantz SA8001 has a DAC apparently better than that in iPod, and better analog circuitry downstream. So I expect it will play the same Redbook tracks better than lossless on iPod. It also has an unusually nice HP amp built in - remember I was saying I don't have any CD player yet (except for that apparently broken Panasonic, which sounds worse than iPod, even through $60 headphones)? and no amplifier yet? (poor me...) So yes, just as I was telling Steve above, I sure wouldn't pay those $900 if I already had a good source, of course not.

I also agree speakers are important, and indeed I saw recently a review of those really impressive looking JBLs for under $600/pair, and there are indeed some nice 2.1 sets in the same range. Speakers are indeed on my list, but they are low on that list for now. I've got a family, and it's awkward to play music loud. When I'm home, they are usually home too (not complaining!)
Besides, for the same money I feel I'll get better sound improving my headphone setup. Some speakers, maybe, later...
I did upgrade the sound in my car, 3 years ago. Amplifier and 4 speakers replaced. Cost almost $800, huge difference compared to the original crap there, but not even close to what I heard through my K701s. Anyway, since I drive 25-40 minutes each way every day, that about does it for me, for loud listening.

I promise I'll write here my impressions once I've got that Marantz and an amp. That may take a while (till Holidays, or maybe my birthday in October , but we'll have to wait until then, because both iPod and Marantz will have to be connected to the same amp.
post #133 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
"I think we've arrived to the conclusion that there are no audible differences between an ipod and a cd as source, so you may not even need a new cd player!" - Hmm, I don't think it was quite that.
If there was any consensus in this discussion, it was that the actual CD-reading drive itself hardly makes any difference. So, if you are only planning to use your CD player as a transport, using its digital out, then you only need a cheap CDP, or perhaps don't need one at all, if you will use your computer as a source and get a DAC. Note that I am not saying "computer or iPod" - because there is no digital out in iPod, and you are stuck with whatever analog processing iPod has inside. It is not bad, but many people feel it (the analog part) limits iPod as a hi-fi source. Check out Redwineaudio's website. Yes, I know, they want to sell us their stuff, but are their customers and reviewers all just fools and snobs?..
Well, then I we'll have to re-evaluate what we've been saying in this thread. I think the conclusion was that people can't ABX an ipod from a "good" cd player (and by this I mean cd players from hi fi companies, even their cheapest ones).

But anyway, I've just done another experiment and I think it's worth sharing it.

I've compared two releases of the Beatles song Help, the one in the Beatles 1 cd, and the one in the Love cd. The point of this comparison is trying to see whether a track from an album that has been masterised for sacd is better than the track released in cd. In this case, the Love album has been released in DVD audio. Sorry I don't have a hybrid sacd album. I've ordered Dark Side of the Moon and I'll post the results when it arrives.

Well, what I wanted to share is that I did an ABX test of the two songs using the Foobar2000 program, and its ABX comparison plugin, and using normalized volumes. I used my laptop as source directly connected to my Sennheiser HD465 headphones. I could tell both tracks apart with 100% success in an experiment consisting of 10 tests (hence the probability that I was guessing was 0.1%). I could have done the experiment for longer but I think I would never fail to tell the tracks apart. I was mainly using the difference in way the bass sounds. The bass in the Love album track sounds simply louder.

Well, the point of sharing these results is that I'd like people to share their results about ABX experiments like this. For example, Mike, when you say you can tell formats apart ("I can tell an mp3/AAC or Ogg Vorbis from lossless even at high bit rate") it would be interesting if you could share results of ABX experiments.

Finally, let me also say that I'm not saying that the Love album track sounds better than the Beatles 1 track. I think I prefer the Love album one, but this is a really subjective opinion, and I'm not even sure about it anyway. However, I think that anyone who says that they prefer one formay/source/component/etc over another should be able to ABX them with a high success percentage for their claims to have some justification.
post #134 of 255
"First Blu-ray record, Divertimenti, released"

Also, guys, look at this, http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/fir...leased-330051/.

Check out all the formats that blu ray album comes in! It's getting crazy!

Now we should add to the discussion the comparison blu ray vs sacd vs cd vs apple lossless vs etc etc... LOL!!!
post #135 of 255
One most not forgot - or rather, factor in - the systems on which testing is done between songs/formats/albums/etc. When listening via Sennheiser HD595's through an entry level headphone, you may not get very far. Listen on a Stax Omega II system or an AKG K1000 and the differences may be frightfully clear.
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