"Certified Audiophile Recordings"?

Hi Folks,

I usually post in Loudspeakers, where I've seen this subject before, but it looked like this would be a good place to ask my question...

Are there any sources for "certified audiophile" recordings? (Am I remembering the term correctly?) I'm wondering how I can find them so purchasing music isn't so much of a hit-and-miss game. With all that so many of us put into our sound systems I know there are a lot of people who insist on this supposedly highest level of recording quality.

So how do you find these - are there any exclusive online vendors, etc? Or are individual recordings simply labelled that way, and you have to search for them among all the other stuff?

Thanks a lot!
 
I'm a little unclear as to what constitutes an "audiophile" recording, but if you're looking for really excellent cd quality then you should look at the products that Winston Ma produces. He's gotten so many awards for his cd's that I wouldn't attempt to list them, you can see that for yourself at his website.

The URL is: www.fimpression.com

I own a number of these and can honestly say that the quality is first class, coming from an absolute Audiophile of legendary proportions. He's graciously consented to be one of our judges in the last two speaker contests (The Puget Sound!) that the PNWAS has held.

If you want to know what he uses as a reference system for his work, you can check out the Athens site or Positive Feedback (issues 1 & 3).

HTH's
TerryO
 
CLC asked:

While we're on the subject - anybody have CD vs. SACD experience? Audible differences? Would you recommend the investment (budget allowing) in an SACD player, and are there brands/models you might suggest?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, if you want to know, SACD is better than redbook cd from a technical standpoint, although it still depends on the mixdown, etc., to determine if it ends up sounding better. I've heard some superb SACD's and there are some real dogs out there as well. However, DVD-A (DAD) is also very good and the word from insiders is that SACD is the next Dodo bird, soon to be extinct.

At this time I would content myself with a good DVD player, which can be rather inexpensive, I picked up my Toshiba 3950 for about $55 USD and it's pretty good on all formats except SACD. When, or if, SACD expires then the playing field will be a little clearer. It may be that the Blue Laser DVD (or other super secret R&D stuff) will come on strong, leaving the other formats obsolete, so at this time I'm not inclined toward investing any real money until it has settled down a bit and it can be discerned what the future holds.

FYI: good analog LP's are still the format to beat, but that will be changing "very" soon (maybe with the fabled 24/192 or the 24/192(x2) formats). I'm afraid the curse is true, we do indeed live in interesting times.

I'm not sure if this is what you wanted, but I hate to see anyone put down healthy money on a dying format.
Best Regards,
TerryO
 
"I'm not sure if this is what you wanted, but I hate to see anyone put down healthy money on a dying format."

Yes indeed this is what I wanted to know - not only would I be investing in the player but the SACDs themselves. I'm quite content to wait for the "next big thing" to come out, AND to wait to see how "durable" it will be.

Thanks!
 
Would you recommend the investment (budget allowing) in an SACD player, and are there brands/models you might suggest?

There are a number of universal disc players (CD, SACD,DVD-A, DVD, DTS-CD, 24/96 CD) that are very reasonably priced. Samsung and Denon come to mind. Sony would br good too except by policy the refuse to make onr that plays DVD-A. Except for nicer cosmetics and one's perceived status as an audiophile have have beeb unable to discern any advantage the pricey units have over the mass market variety frtom Good Guys, Circuit City, etc.

That said I have been unable to convince my self that two channel SACD have any advantages over CD -- except that hey have been the motivation (or excuse) to re-master some olderbpieces that needed it but which were blocked by economic considerations. Examples are some Miles Davis recordinf, much of the Rolling Stones. In some cases they were re-released in remastered format as hybrids (both a CD and SACD track). It's hard to do a really good AB comparrison without more elaborate equipment, but if there is a difference it is one that is very hard to hear. The original source is a limitation as well.

If you are limiting yourself to two channels I'm not sure spending a lot to get an expendive SACD player is worth it except that there are some remasters available only on SACD. I think most new SACD recordings are nearly always on CD as well. Speaking of remastering, there are a small number of re-mastered recordings from Classic Records that are issued on 24/96 "DAD" which required DVD capability -- this is another reason for a universal player.
 

vdi_nenna

Member
Paid Member
2000-10-10 7:27 pm
PA, USA
16 vs 24

16 vs 24 bit

I recently purchased the Naim CD5x. I asked to audition a 24 bit capable CDP. The shop owner said, "Why, because someone told you too?" I said, "yes, pretty much...and from what I read". He said in Europe they tested 14-bit versus 16-bit players years ago and the well executed 14-bit killed the mediocre 16-bit players.

I was told to look at the Music Hall Maverick because it can play 24-bit and upsample. The shop owner said the MHM couldn't touch the Naim's lowest priced players- all 16-bit. He was right.

Ask yourself- why does a decent record player sound better than expensive cdps? I believe, when you get right down to it, record players are less complex in what they do. Cdps are getting too complex.

Funny thing happened when I brought home the CD5x. My dog was sleeping on my lap while I was listening. During vocal only tracks or vocal only parts of songs, he would sit up face the speakers and lay back down and listen. It fooled him, but I was convinced.

My 2 bits.

Vince
 
scott wurcer said:
Really??? Sham 69 on their list. I HAVE to hear the audiophile version of 'Borstal Breakout'.

I actually have 12'' UK pressing of Borstal Breakout. When I was listening to it recently, I couldn't believe that vinyl can sound so much better than CD ;)
 

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Re: 16 vs 24

vdi_nenna said:
16 vs 24 bit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Snip~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ask yourself- why does a decent record player sound better than expensive cdps? I believe, when you get right down to it, record players are less complex in what they do. Cdps are getting too complex.

Funny thing happened when I brought home the CD5x. My dog was sleeping on my lap while I was listening. During vocal only tracks or vocal only parts of songs, he would sit up face the speakers and lay back down and listen. It fooled him, but I was convinced.

My 2 bits.

Vince


Peter Daniel said:


I actually have 12'' UK pressing of Borstal Breakout. When I was listening to it recently, I couldn't believe that vinyl can sound so much better than CD ;)

As I stated back in '05 (see above) vinyl is still the format to beat. That was a generic statement, that unfortunately left out another format, namely Reel to Reel Master Tapes which are somewhat rare and expensive, but still probably the best. The recent advent of the Tape Project will be probably define the new mark to aim for.

However, FIM's Winton Ma has just released several CD's that incorporate JVC's new K2 mastering technology and they surpass good SACD's soundwise and as an added bonus they utilize the Redbook standard, so they can be played on any standard player. Are they better than good vinyl? I don't think so, but the gap has been narrowed quite a bit.

Best Regards,
TerryO
 
Re: 16 vs 24

vdi_nenna said:
16 vs 24 bit


I don't know why we haven't heard more about this:

http://theaudiocritic.com/blog/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=41&blogId=1

I'm not referring to the Audio Critic, but to the Meyer-Moran paper. I saw a brief mention of it in a UK audio magazine, and they basically wrote it off. I don't see much mention of it here on DIYaudio either. I've only had a tiny bit of exposure to 16 vs 24 bits, and never could tell the difference - CD versus vinly, though, there was no comparison.

I wish I had a subscription to JAES, I'd love to hear some professional dialog on it. From a scientific study point of view, it looks pretty well done.
 
Peter Daniel said:


I do have the new FIM K2 HD sampler, and while it sounds better than XRCD, I don't feel like it's better than good quality SACD played on a good system.

Peter,

I certainly wouldn't dispute what you hear. However, when Winston Ma gave his demo of the K2 discs, he played the same recording on XRCD24, SACD and K2. As you are probably aware, FIM has in it's catalog several selections that are issued using different formats.
The members of the Pacific Northwest Audio Society that attended the demo felt the K2 was audibly better and not by a small margin (with a 100% consensus!). We have what I feel is a pretty good system, however your system may very well be better.;)

Best Regards,
TerryO