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I've got a copy of the Bill Evans trio - "Waltzing for Debby" a good jazz recording. It's sounds real good but the mix yields drum and bass out of one channel, piano out of the other, either the way they were situated on stage, but more likely because it's an older recording. I believe it was issued around 2000.
HDCD (high definition compatible digital) is a process developed by Pacific Microsonics. It has been around for a while and involves CDs and CDPs. It's possible that a K2 cd could be HDCD encoded.
K2 HD is a separate and relatively newer process developed by JVC. I believe it is related to XRCD, XRCD2 and XRCD24 technology. The K2 HD CDs have only recently hit the market. I'm trying to determine their sound quality.
I admit the similarity of the monikers is a bit confusing.
Hi Rja, the K2 HD is a Victor Entertainment-developed mastering process that produces master discs for use by pressing plants around the world. XRCD is an in-house disc mastering and manufacturing process, the mastering technique of which is not related to that of the K2 HD.
The following excerpt is written by Mr. Winston Ma of First Impression Music, taken directly from the review on the FIM K2 HD disc, "This is K2 HD Sound!":
"K2 HD is an entirely new mastering system developed by the K2 team for Victor Entertainment, a separate JVC company from JVC Mastering Center in Yokohama, which produces the XRCD. Though both are a part of the larger JVC Company of Japan, Victor Entertainment and JVC Mastering Center operate independently of each other.
In a nutshell, XRCD/XRCD24 is a product which is mastered by a special processor system and the glass master is cut by special XRCD laser cutter in the XRCD production line. On the other hand, K2 HD Mastering is primarily a superb and very special mastering technology. What it produces is first and foremost a K2 HD master disc (WAV file). It is not a product.
The K2 HD master disc can be used to produce K2 HD mastered CDs by any pressing plant anywhere, provided the quality is assured.
In summary, K2 HD is not XRCD/XRCD24. It is K2 HD mastered discs."
Hope this helps.
Hi Rja, just got a Press Release from FIM:
"the second K2 HD album will be Flamenco LIM K2 HD 022 which will be available in the third week of October, 2007."
Since FIM is the first label to release K2 HD discs in the U.S., I'd recommend interested Audiogoners to go to the FIM site and sign up for future Newsletters.
I purchased the FIM K2HD sampler and also a Japanese K2HD import of Paul Butterfield's Better Days, a wonderful record I have enjoyed on vinyl since its release. I'm not yet ready to render a verdict on these discs, but wish I had not bought the FIM sampler. There are a couple of excerpts from the Reference Recordings catalog, but most of the rest of the sampler is pretty dreadful musically. Typical of FIM as far as I am concerned, but it really just reflects their musical tastes, which are not mine.
Drubin, give it a few more spins. There are the Keith Johnson's recordings of the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dance No. 1 and the War Dance from Respighi's Queen of Sheba Suite, both are popular audiophile demonstration tracks.
Then there is Ansermet and L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande's reading of the Tchaikovsky Swan Lake excerpt from a 1959 DECCA, a vintage treasure cherished by many, not to mention other quintessential classical tracks, such as the best-sounding Vivaldi Four Season I've heard, a Carmen excerpt and a Pachelbel Canon in D.
Although I am not a huge Jazz fan, I do find track 3, Lift Alone, a most captivating performance of a Chinese erhu in a Jazz backdrop, while the use of erh and guzheng in track 6, Lift Your Veil, displays a rather unusal but strangely expressive use of the Chinese instruments. But listen to track 9, Blue Dream, don't you just find the seemingly highly-improvised sax just amazingly contemplative and yet musically tasteful?
There are also two vocal cuts, as in Heart of Glass, a very melodic piece sung in perfect British English by an incomparably jazzy Korean Nah Youn Sun in Denmark, and Kinderpiele, an equally enchanting piece (if not more so) of a female vocalization accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. This piece, though sung in German, is nevertheless incredibly communicative.
My favorite track, for the time being, is the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto ensemble's Autumn In Seattle for the exceptional sound quality, although my favorite FIM disc is still the Vivaldi Four Seasons. Perhaps because I've never heard Jazz in such clarity and musicality that the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto cut has taken priority over a classical track in my listening.
FIM packs the disc so that fans of different genres can enjoy the disc; but I've found it more conducive to just play tracks of the same genre in listening sessions. While I'm sure some audiophiles enjoy listening to the disc in the order of FIM's arrangement, I found it rather disconcerting; but that's the nature of a sampler disc.
I've ordered the K2 HD Emerson, Lake and Palmer Greatest Hits (even though I'm not that wild about them) and John Coltranes Winners Circle from Japan just to check them out.
There currently is a very slim selection of the K2 HD CDs available.
Sounds like a very promising technology that improves CD sound quality, especially in the ambiance of upper registers although I'll reserve opinion until I actually hear them.
rja - sounds like a good idea to wait for judgement - here is the link of a review of the process
another promise of mecca - which im sure will all rave about for 6 months until we realize we can still enjoy music being played without this process be implemented.
i own the k2 hd sampler. i compared the sampler to 4 "originals", including the symphonic dances, carmen suite xcpts, 4 seasons and the pachelbel. as preference for sound is subjective i decided to allow 3 of my audio buddies to sit with me as i did the a/b tests. the k2 hd was preferred for the pachelbel, but not for the other three selections.
as has been the case before, the superiority of one recording technique is disc dependent.
the issues of tonality and dimensionality are the factors that were used to compare the k2 hd sampler to the "originals". i found in 3 out of 4 cases that the "originals" presented a less digital and more full-bodied sound. in the 4th case, the pachelbel, the k2 hd was more dimensional and had more body.