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Which CD format is the best sounding in normal laptop / pc Bluray drive ?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I have Bluray drive in my laptop and PC, so I wonder what is the best CD format for me to get the clearest and the highest Sound Quality that can be played on my PC so that I can listen it with my IEM through headphone amp ?

 

 
  1. Blu-Spec CD
  2. DSD-CD (Sony)
  3. Extended Resolution Compact Disc
  4. K2 High Definition (JVC)
  5. Super Bit Mapping
  6. XRCD (JVC)
  7. HDCD (Pacific Microsonics/Microsoft)
  8. SHM CD
 
I'm confused when I'm trying to select the music in Amazon.com as one title got many different format and of course pricing.
any help to re-arrange the order of that list above from the best quality to the worst quality would be great too.
 
Thanks.
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

I wonder what is the best CD format for me to get the clearest and the highest Sound Quality that can be played on my PC so that I can listen it with my IEM through headphone amp ?

 
  1. Blu-Spec CD
  2. DSD-CD (Sony)
  3. Extended Resolution Compact Disc
  4. K2 High Definition (JVC)
  5. Super Bit Mapping
  6. XRCD (JVC)
  7. HDCD (Pacific Microsonics/Microsoft)
  8. SHM CD

Whichever version has the best mastering. Digital format plays a minuscule role in sound quality compared to the quality of the master. A well mastered song will sound better as a 128 kbps mp3 file than the same song will sound mastered poorly (e.g., decreased dynamic range, clipping, etc.), but played directly from an SACD or similar high-def audio medium.

A standard CD has plenty of bit-depth to provide more dynamic range than can be practically utilized in real world conditions. Sometimes albums are mastered differently for different release formats. When this is the case, the best master will provide the best sound quality. If the mastering is the same between formats, there is no practical advantage, with respect to sound quality, to choosing one lossless format over another.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post


Whichever version has the best mastering. Digital format plays a minuscule role in sound quality compared to the quality of the master. A well mastered song will sound better as a 128 kbps mp3 file than the same song will sound mastered poorly (e.g., decreased dynamic range, clipping, etc.), but played directly from an SACD or similar high-def audio medium.
A standard CD has plenty of bit-depth to provide more dynamic range than can be practically utilized in real world conditions. Sometimes albums are mastered differently for different release formats. When this is the case, the best master will provide the best sound quality. If the mastering is the same between formats, there is no practical advantage, with respect to sound quality, to choosing one lossless format over another.

Jay,

 

Thanks for the clarification so in this case the "mastering source" is the thing to consider or to pay attention to ?

16 / 24 / 32 track tape

 

I wonder if the CD-bit is also making any difference,

20 bit CD

24 bit HD CD

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Thanks for the clarification so in this case the "mastering source" is the thing to consider or to pay attention to ?
16 / 24 / 32 track tape

I wonder if the CD-bit is also making any difference,
20 bit CD
24 bit HD CD
It's not so much the "mastering source" medium as the "mastering process." For example, LPs are often mastered differently (and superiorly) than CDs. LP mastering might provide superior dynamic range, for instance. Consequently, despite the fact that LPs and turntables are woefully inferior to CDs and CD players in terms of the sound quality of the medium, it's not uncommon for a song from an LP to sound better than the same track on CD.

The full bit depth of a standard CD is virtually never fully utilized. Extra bit depth adds nothing to the sound quality.
post #5 of 11

You can't judge by the numbers. A plain old MP3 can sound fantastic if the recording itself is good. Don't worry about formats. Focus on the music.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post

It's not so much the "mastering source" medium as the "mastering process." For example, LPs are often mastered differently (and superiorly) than CDs. LP mastering might provide superior dynamic range, for instance. Consequently, despite the fact that LPs and turntables are woefully inferior to CDs and CD players in terms of the sound quality of the medium, it's not uncommon for a song from an LP to sound better than the same track on CD.
The full bit depth of a standard CD is virtually never fully utilized. Extra bit depth adds nothing to the sound quality.

Do you mean the bit depth as in 20 bit, 24 bit HDCD, SACD, SHM CD is not really make much of a different ? Somehow I feel that it is just a marketing gimmicks, unless the mastering done by the sound engineer or the studio is truly almost perfect.

 

because I'm confused to which records should I buy that can give the best SQ when listening with my IEM.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

[Do you mean the bit depth as in 20 bit, 24 bit HDCD, SACD, SHM CD is not really make much of a different ?

Correct. If an album is mastered with a dynamic range that doesn't take full advantage of the 96 dB dynamic range potential of 16 bit audio, greater bit depth won't offer any benefit.
Quote:
I'm confused to which records should I buy that can give the best SQ when listening with my IEM.

One thing I learned as an audiophile (before I began recovering from that dreadful disease) is that if a difference between two CDs/speaker models/compression types/etc. requires an A-B comparison to identify, that difference isn't big enough to worry about; it won't affect your listening enjoyment.

That said, some mastering is truly awful. Google is your friend. Often others have done the research to identify the best master of a particular album that has been mastered multiple times. Example
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post


Correct. If an album is mastered with a dynamic range that doesn't take full advantage of the 96 dB dynamic range potential of 16 bit audio, greater bit depth won't offer any benefit.
One thing I learned as an audiophile (before I began recovering from that dreadful disease) is that if a difference between two CDs/speaker models/compression types/etc. requires an A-B comparison to identify, that difference isn't big enough to worry about; it won't affect your listening enjoyment.
That said, some mastering is truly awful. Google is your friend. Often others have done the research to identify the best master of a particular album that has been mastered multiple times. Example

Cool, thank you for the explanation mate !

 

I was looking around for the famous Hotel California from Amazon, but then there are multiple CD version that of course cost more than the "normal" red book CD audio.

http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Freezes-Over-Eagles/dp/B000000OU0/ref=sr_1_1

 

Normally I listen to 320 KBps MP3 while on the go with my iPhone or FLAC in my laptop, I suppose the subtle difference is hardly noticeable with just Westone 4 IEM combined with Fiio E11 amp.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Cool, thank you for the explanation mate !

 

I was looking around for the famous Hotel California from Amazon, but then there are multiple CD version that of course cost more than the "normal" red book CD audio.

You want the DCC remaster.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hotel-California-Gold-Disc-CD-by-Eagles-CD-Sep-1992-DCC-Compact-Classics-/271100279908?pt=Music_CDs&hash=item3f1ed5fc64

 

If it's not worth the money to you, just buy the regular CD. It isn't bad.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Hotel-California-Eagles/dp/B000002GVO/


Edited by bigshot - 11/28/12 at 10:44pm
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Wow that's quite expensive ?

 

so what is so special about the DCC compact classic ? are they made using the real gold plate with thicker audio cd disc?

post #11 of 11
It's the best mastering, and it's out of print.
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