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rick57 13th February 2007 11:47 AM

Best CD formats for standard CD players
Apart from redbook CDs, how much better are the other formats for extracting the best sound from a conventional CDP?
eg Sony's Super Bit Mapping (basically dithering/ noise shaping?)/ 24 karat gold-plated CDs (format?)/ XRCD/ other? or further afield, oversampling in the processing?

Pardon my ignorance, I've not looked into this to date. There as so many of aspects of my system that I want to improve, and I tend to focus most on speakers & amps. Now that I'm finally starting to get my #ss into gear with a high resolution sensitive system with ribbon tweeters, very low distortion bass drivers, active speakers, good amps, before a milestone birthday clocks by, I'd like to have the best 'sensibly available' quality in some CDs too.

I'm soon to switch to lossless PC based audio, and have a refined CDP (not SOTA, but re-clocked, HDCD capable, good DACs, fwiw adjustable dither, etc), so wouldn't consider buying eg a SACD player for the limited titles available.
But I am interested in trying 'better' formats for such perennial chestnuts of music zealots such as Pink Floyd & Led Zeppelin.


Graeme Hancock 13th February 2007 11:14 PM


There's probably 10 pages full in answering your questions, but there's no need to look past your last paragraph for a starting point. ie the recordings of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

I have the remastered versions of DSM, the Wall, Led Zep's 11, 111 and IV. The Floyd material is excellent, the Zep not so.

IMHO and on my system, the Zep reproduction is simply dull. It should be stunning, but has little colour, richness and depth.

Whilst I stand to be corrected, I believe this is an issue with the original recording and no substandard original can be improved by digital remastering. There are plenty of stories too, on places like 6moons, which criticise the pressings and suggest they also contribute to the diminished quality.

In a nutshell, no formatting type or HDCD or upsampling or anything else short of magic will make up for the shortfalls of less than good original recording.


rick57 14th February 2007 12:55 AM


Though I’ve only done very limited comparisons, I believe the German “mini-LP”s sounded better than the remasters (and btw so do IMO the Quiex vinyl pressings).

Do you have the normal remastered Floyd releases, or a special Super Bit Mapping/ XRCD/ other?


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