They aren't called "CD's", they're called DVD video spec discs, for audio ("DAD", etc.). You would need a DVD transport (or player) that can output a 24/96 bitstream (not all of them can), and you'd need a DAC that is 24 bit, 96 kHz. You REALLY MUST read TCGTHA first, though. YOU'RE BETTER OFF GETTING A GOOD CD PLAYER NOW, and get into the new software formats later...unless you don't own any CD's at all now, and only own 24/96 discs...which I'd bet is not the case.
I own ML 30.6 but only have ML 37. It is my understanding that ML is currently working on reference transport that sends 24/96. Thank you for correcting my terminology regarding CD vs. DAD. I did not know 24/96 is audio DVD. Its somewhat clearer now, although I find all the different formats confusing. Who or what is TCGTHA?
What about HDCD is it a noticeable improvement in the CD format?--Or more just smoke and mirrors?
Don't feel bad about being confused as you say, there's always a lot of others just waiting for someone else to ask the question do they don't have to. I suggest for a good starter that you pull up the Web site below and click on the review & interview articles posted there from a Stereophile Magazine issue covering these very questions. At the very least you will gain a considerable amount of highly informative information from one of the most competent and reliable sources in the Hi-End Industry. www.museelectronics.com/download.html
The question as I see it might be regarding CDs that say recorded or remastered using 24/96. These are CDs and not DVDs ....right? So, is the 24/96 format that is being used, for example, by RCA in their HP releases decodable by anything at all including a DVD player? In answer to Ferrari, I find HDCD to be incredible. Although it is pretty much a "dead" format, it is still wonderful to hear. There are some great recordings on the classical side by a label called "Reference Recordings". This could possibly be the same path that SACD might take.
HDCD is a propietary system for recording more than 16/44 onto a regular CD. HDCD discs can be played back on an ordinary player and the effect is a bit like analog compression. Played back on an HDCD compatible player, the effect on well produced CDs (like Ref classicals) is startling. However, many HDCD encoded discs (like lots of the Rock stuff, e.g. Mirror Ball?) sound so processed anyway that the HDCD process almost seems irrelevant.
Answering JTINN's question regarding whether 24/96 "CDs" that have been recorded using 24/96 format are decodable in 24/96 using anything, including DVD player, it is my understanding that these are still CDs and not DADs and cannot be decoded at all regardless of digital processor used.
"The Complete Guide to Highend Audio". Of course there are CD's that were made from downsampled 24 bit, 96, or 192 kHz digital recordings. For example, Reference Recordings' recent titles. I saw the question with regard to FORMAT. All the current 24/96 format discs use the DVD Video specification (which allowed for a two channel, 24/96 linear PCM encoded disc, like the Classic Records and Chesky ones). This spec was finalized like 4 years ago. The DVD- "AUDIO" specification discs are yet to be on the market, and promise surround sound (linear discrete, or data compressed), and possibly 24/192 linear PCM two channel formats. THERE'S NO RUSH TO BUY INTO ALL OF THIS YET, PEOPLE. Whichever format wins market share will be around for the next 30 years, or so, unless something "non-disc" related beats these in the next 5 or 10 years...Which could happen, it seems to me. Especially since there won't be a large catalog of titles available in SACD, or DVD Audio formats, for more than 5 years from now (at this rate). GET INTO VINYL, GUYS. IT'S EXTREMELY FUN, SOUNDS EXTREMELY GOOD, AND IS NO MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A GOOD DIGITAL FRONT END. The only people who shouldn't be into vinyl are the people that want to read the newspaper, or cook, WHILE they listen, AND NEVER LISTEN IN A "LINEAR" FASHION...IN THE SWEET SPOT; i.e., they want to use CD changers, that decide at random what they are going to be hearing "throughout" their house, etc. I KNOW ALL OF YOU GUYS ARE REAL AUDIOPHILES, SO WHAT EXCUSE DO YOU HAVE? Come, join the good side of the Force, before the Empire sweeps it away with one swift stroke...heh heh.
With respect to Carl's comment regarding vinyl, I have heard from many audiophiles about the superior sound quality of vinyl. While I almost believe it, the problem I have is that I primarily listen to recently released classical music recordings, which do not appear to be available on records. Some of the these recordings only sell at most 2000 copies worldwide. Klemperer or Toscanni is not a problem. Could ypu further clarify your statement that "CD's that were made from downsampled 24 bit, 96, or 192 kHz digital recordings." I will get my hands on a copy of "The Complete Guide to Highend Audio." If I buy a sony 24 bit cd do I still hear 16 bit when I play it?
The CD format is still only a 16 bit/44.1 kHz sampling frequency, format. That said, it is always tough to get the very most out of the format. Certainly, the better the resolution of the master tape, the better the resolution of the CD, its own format-limited resolution notwithstanding. DACS that take an upsampled CD's audio (from a "digital to digital" sample rate converter), and convert this digital audio to analog at 24 bits/192 kHz, are THE CURRENT STATE OF THE ART in CD playback. And in my own opinion, if you only listen to recently recorded classical music, you're missing out on the very best classical recordings of all time! These are from the Golden Age of two channel, before all the multi-miked mixing that is prevalent nowadays. ALL of Classic Records' reissues from Mercury Living Presence, and RCA Living Stereo, are HIGHEND RECORDINGS THAT PROVIDE THE MOST EXTREME MUSICAL FULFILLMENT YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. And the 45 rpm 12 inch versions are even better still. The original 3 channel recordings are downmixed to two channel, and are the very best clasical recordings available, from a "hi preformance audio re-creation's" perspective. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy CD's as well, but am certainly glad I'm not missing out on all these great new vinyl reissues! AS FOR SACD AND DAD, many of these recordings are taken from older analog master tapes, so they don't sound much different than their vinyl reissue counterparts. There are almost no recordings that make full use of the higher resolution formats, and almost no DACS or analog circuits that could take full advantage of these. Boulder has a new DAC/preamp that intrigues me very much, but I've not heard it in person. It claims 144dB of dynamic range.
I listen to baroque and early music which until the middle part of this decade was not performed in the manner for which it was composed. The problem with older classical recordings is that the conducters would always take a sweepingly large and romantic approach which was not always appropriate and true to the music, regardless of whether the composer would have approved. Thank you Carl for your last response as I believe I understand it now. I am going to investigate purchasing the "digital to digital" sample rate converter you mentioned. Perhaps, this could be another topic of discussion.
Well, if you're going to be that agnostic about the Golden Age recordings, I doubt there's much in this hobby for you. Good luck getting what you need out of it, though, really.
Carl, thanks for all the information you've provided on this thread as well as many others. However, it is not really for you to speculate on whether this hobby is for me or not. Please be more tolerant of other people's opinions that differ from your own.
It's not for me to speculate. OK, just couldn't stand to hear somebody knock the best music ever, because they say they know better. Seemed kind of disrespectful to the great conductors of that bygone era, who I bet would say that it isn't for you to make glib sweeping judgements about their work.
Carl, perhaps you would benefit from re-reading my initial response. Nothing I wrote implied any disrespect for "great conducters of that bygone era." As a matter of fact, I probably own some of these recordings. The only point I was trying to make to "open minds" was that baroque and early music was not performed very well,if at all, by mid-century conducters. I have much to learn about equipment, but please don't be so condescending with respect to classical music, an area I have some familiarity with.
Yes, sir! OK, sir. Baroque and early music. Got it. Your welcome for whatever help such a closed minded guy could give. I've been called worse. I prefer Stravinsky, Dvorak, Bartok, Prokofiev, Tchaicovsky, etc.