Never before heard in my audiophile experience is the
absolute energy level created in the lower treble and midrange, without even
a hint of harshness, forwardness, or masking. Once again, the Telarc
Sampler, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Quando Corpus Morietur. Simply put, this is
the most beautifully rendered recording of a mass symphony choir, with
voices, I've heard. In terms of the recording's venue, the hall, the voices come
across natural as one could possibly ask. Nothing in my experience comes
This was from Stereo Times which reviews the SACD version. Is it possible
Telarc messed up the CD version?
Another possibility is midrange compression/distortion from your speakers
(actually quite common but not something speaker manufacturers mention
much or like to admit) - what are you using to play this back? Symphonic
choral stuff can be hard on a speaker.
Do you have the track and the time. If you want I'll check it out. This is a
famous recording (just before Shaw died) and I don't mind adding it to my
I do not know this particular recording. . . but as I am a total Dvorak fan, I'd like to follow this thread. . . hence apologies for my perfectly uninformative post. Guido
The problem is not my system, which plays the Telarc Brahms Requiem and Dvorak Requiem and numerous other big choral pieces without distortion at nice high levels (104+db peaks on my Radio Shack meter). I have not heard any other format for this recording. I have the cd (DSD masters, according to the label).
I find Telarc cd's among the most consistently realistic of all classical labels. This one is an exception only in that it is distorted at the climaxes.
Anyone else familiar with this cd?
Do you have a track and a time where it distorts ? It is very time consuming to spend an hour listening to a CD trying to guess where the distorted part is.
104 db SPL at the listening position is actually quite high for the majority of speakers to be able to play without significant distortion. Soundstage (who make measurements in Canada's National Research Labs anechoic chamber) refuse to even test speakers above 100 db SPL, they claim most speakers will suffer damage at this level!
The distortion occurs first at the very first big climax at about 3or 4 minutes into the first section. Ditto the next big blowout a couple of minutes later. If you get through the first movement without distortion, you have a better copy than mine.
My speakers are quite comfortable at 104db. This is a peak averaged reading, of course, and covers all frequencies from roughly 50hz-10khz. I have Shahinian Hawks and one of the many amazing things about them is how loud they can play without distortion or change in character.
Your power amps could be clipping. Have you tried listening close up with the volume set low, or through headphones at low volume? That would help you eliminate the power amps and speakers. Less likely but possible are that your CD player is overloading the preamp on peaks. What else is in your system?
That's what I was going to suggest...listening to the same passage at a low volume to rule out amp distortion.
Thank you all for your suggestions.
I really need to hear from people who have actually heard this cd (Telarc 2CD-80506-- Dvorak: Stabat Mater). I do not have this problem with other Telarcs of equal quality and dynamics. It is the fact that I acquired a second copy and found that it, too, displays the same flaws at the same places that made me think of a defective cd in the first place.
I have listened at low levels and the distortion is still present.
I am using an Audible Illusions Modulus 3a. I am feeding it with a Jolida 1000a player which has a low-normal output and is extremely unlikely to be overloading that preamp. I am driving Shahinian Hawks with a Plinius SA100III.
It is THIS cd, in two different pressings, about which I am curious.
I appreciate all comments, nevertheless.
By the way, Shadorne, 100db in an anechoic chamber is not at all the same thing as 100db in a regular listening environment.
And yes, 104db is a healthy volume. But you will hear greater db levels than that in the first few rows of a concert hall with a large orchestra banging out, say, Mahler's Sixth.
I really need to hear from people who have actually heard this cd (Telarc 2CD-80506-- Dvorak: Stabat Mater).
I have ordered this exact CD. If you can wait one week I'll let you know if I get the same issues.
I think I have erred. Though I had listened to this cd at reduced volume, I never really listened at VERY low levels-- until now. I think what I am hearing IS, after all, clipping. I took the time to listen to a few other choral recordings and found, in every case, that high enough volume caused the very distortion I have been hearing. You'd think (or, at least, I would have thought) that after 50 years of playing with reproduced sound, I would have been smart enough not to jump to a false conclusion that I had a faulty disc.
In any case, this is a fine recording (though the piece is somewhat uneven--like the Requiem) with some exquisite moments of glorious music, solid performance, and superior sound. You will not be disappointed that you got the cd.
Shadorne, Some of the peaks that challenge my amp and can cause severe distortion occur in the first cut on CD1 at 6:30, 7:45, 15:00, and 16:20. The timings are plus/minus.
I haven't received the disc yet but I'll check these even though it seems you have found the problem.
I have listened to it and I suspect this is IMD distortion either on the recording or in your inner ear most obvious when you play too loud (harsh sound). So this is probably not your amp or your speakers. I don't have equipment to make measurements but I am familiar with how IMD sounds. I would not be worried.