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Format Quality Comparison ?


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XRCD, MFSL, and DCC are all just redbook, meaning regular CDs. Redbook is a fine format, so really it depends on the mastering/recording.

SACD and DVD-A offer higher resolution, but not necessarily better sound, because if the mastering sucks, the sounds sucks, regardless of format. SACD is generally preferable for two channel listeners because there will always be a stereo mix on the disc.

Vinyl is king of sound, but any number of factors can make it suck, including not just the mastering but also the pressing. A poor pressing can leave a record prone to noise or excessive ticks and pops. Records are also prone to warpage if stored improperly.

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Also, we should get our terminology straight: a "format" is the form the audio arrives in, i.e. SACD, DVD-A, redbook, vinyl, etc. What you have listed in your thread title is actually record companies/mastering teams. XRCD and K2HD can blab all they want about super sound (and yes it quite often is super) and special technology, but its all just fancy mastering on a plain jane 16/44 redbook.

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Also, we should get our terminology straight: a "format" is the form the audio arrives in, i.e. SACD, DVD-A, redbook, vinyl, etc. What you have listed in your thread title is actually record companies/mastering teams. XRCD and K2HD can blab all they want about super sound (and yes it quite often is super) and special technology, but its all just fancy mastering on a plain jane 16/44 redbook.

K2HD does sound pretty fucking incredible to my lowly ears though.

Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances on Reference Recordings "HDCD" :o I need a cigarette when I'm done listening to that CD.

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Was sure whether to post here on on music forum but...6 of 1, etc.

So what's the dif in SQ and overall value between the Gold cds (mofi, dcc) and xrcd? Just heard about xrcd in ad from exclusive disc. Some interesting stuff there so I was wondering.

Most XRCD's are extremely bright so be careful!

Anything released by DCC will be demo material. Most of the stuff released by MFSL will also be demo material although some MFSL titles used the wrong tapes when doing the transfers. The recent MFSL releases have been awesome!

XRCD's can be tricky. Some, like Bill Evan's - Live At The Village Vanguard are flat transfers from the master tapes and sound great. However, most of the XRCD releases are BRIGHT. WAY too bright for my tastes. On the other hand, some people like their music to "sparkle". In general, I recommend people stay away from these "audiophile" releases.

Now, if your into collecting you can look into getting what are called "Target" CD's. No, they aren't sold at the retail Target stores but rather are called Target CD's due to the cross-hair artwork the CD's have. Most were made in Europe and almost all of them feature flat transfers of the master tapes and sound great.

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K2HD does sound pretty fucking incredible to my lowly ears though.

Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances on Reference Recordings "HDCD" :o I need a cigarette when I'm done listening to that CD.

That's just one example of K2 mastering. The Emerson, Lake and Palmer K2 remasters sound god awful.

Most XRCD's are extremely bright so be careful!

!!!

This is exactly the problem with the EL&P K2 CDs. I haven't heard the K2 24 bit jazz remasters, but people at SH say they're bright as well.

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Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances on Reference Recordings "HDCD" :o I need a cigarette when I'm done listening to that CD.

The people over at Reference Recordings actually know what they are doing though. Just my 2 cents.

LFF, have you heard many of the K2HD CDs? If so, what is your opinion. I only own "Symphonic Dances" as stated above, but I think I will be buying more.

I have and they are also way too bright for my tastes.

i have 2 dozen or so XRCDs, and none of them are over bright to my ears. most of them, in fact, sound really, really good. the best things about the XRCDs, to me, isn't necessarily detail and soundstaging (the MFSLs win on detail, and the DCCs win on soundstage and imaging), but instead huge dynamics.

I didn't say all them sucked. Just most of them. The Bill Evans Village Vanguard XRCD is awesome.

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  • 1 month later...

Oh dear, the Swan Lake and Flamenco K2HD discs are god-awful. Listening to the Flamenco K2HD is like shoving a drill into your ears. It's so aggressive and bright I find it unbearable. On the other hand, the K2HD sampler and Cantate Domino are brilliant. The quality of the mastering and of the original tape being mastered makes a bigger difference than the format it is released on.

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