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Blu-spec CD is a specification for an improved version of a conventional Audio CD, introduced by Sony Music Entertainment. Instead of a traditional infra-red laser, a blue laser is used for recording the pits on the CD master that is needed for disc replication. The blue laser creates more precise pits, causing less distortion in the optical read-out process and supposedly resulting in higher-quality audio. . However, and despite marketing claims, there is no published proof or evidence that this technology actually leads to any improvement in the final audio reproduced, since CIRC, the built-in redundancy and error correction system that is part of the CD standard, already takes care of occasional misread bits.
A Blu-spec CD can be played on all CD players and does not require a blue laser to be read. It is not a Blu-ray Disc.
The Blu-spec CD approach competes with other variants of the CD format, even though the improvements promised by them target different stages of the production process:
* DSD-CD (Sony)
* SHM-CD (Universal Music)
* XRCD (JVC)
* HQCD (Memory-Tech)
* HDCD (Pacific Microsonics/Microsoft)
I've had the TrondheimSolistene "Divertimenti" for a couple of weeks now.
This music comes in a half dozen formats on two discs: CD, stereo/multichannel SACD, stereo/multichannel Blu-Ray (Dolby True HD, DTS-Master, Dolby Digital, et al.
The music, of course, sounds wonderful but is hard to gauge because the entire program (Benjamin Britten, Grazyna Bacewicz, Terje Bjorklund and Bela Bartok) consists of strings only.
NO tympani, brass or woodwinds.
The package took two months to acquire from Amazon.
I bought it when it first came out directly from the maker, I think it's E2? They sent it to me in less than five days. The openess of the uncompressed tracks (Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA) is amazing, far better than even the SACD version, I like to use it as a demo disc as it comes with all formats so it's very easy to show the differences between them.
Kennyt: The record company is "2L" -regards.
Just received and listened to my first Blu-Spec CD today, Carole King/Tapestry. Sounded excellent!
I'm expecting more this week and if they arrive I'll try to post a report.
One of the Blu-Specs I'm expecting is Santana/Abraxas. I'll be comparing it to the recent Mofi gold release which IMO is superb.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you can't compare DSD with PCM on 2L release as 2L doesn't use 1-bit recorders (DSD128 or DSD64) so you can't present the full potential and advantages of Direct Stream Digital over Pulse Code Modulation http://www.korg.com/mr/Future_Proof_Recording_Explained.pdf
PS as to blu-spec CD, I personally think that blu-spec SACD would be much better idea
sorry, my reply was to Kennyt..
The disc was in the other room, I went from memory, which was wrong!
I ran the Blu-ray via HDMI to my pre/pro and my Teac Esoteric DV-50s playing the SACD version via 5.1 analog IC's for the comparison.
I hadn't yet gone to the amazon link, man many of those (albums) are poorly recorded. I love the Clash London Calling, but I am not paying $35 for it on Blu-ray, Friday Night in SF is a great live show, but again, not the ultimate in recording quality.
I hate to think it but if this is what we are going to see this will fail just as SACD and DVD-A did......... Guess I'll have another dead format pile of discs around for those naive in audio to ask "What are these??" about.....
ok, but I wasn't talking about your playback equipment, but 2L recording equipment - they don't record in DSD128 or DSD64 so we really can't compare what these two formats are capable of, you can check how true SACD - pure DSD recording sounds checking for example some of the Chandos recordings or PentaTone which record in pure DSD, I especially recommend J.S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (Julia Fischer).
PCM can't touch DSD.http://www.pentatonemusic.com/index1.htm
Audioholik, I see what you are saying now.
Wait til Jan 13th and they will be cheaper by other sellers Kenny.
I still don't see anything worth buying in another high res format! This is the reason the other prior HR formats failed. SOFTWARE. They need to release ALL new media and everything back catalog that sells at all in any new format to make it take off and the idiots of the RIAA are just too idiotic to do this. Scarily they would make HUGHE sums of $$ selling media that is already paid for but they still refuse.....
I see a few albums I never bought because of the lack of a quality CD format. These could be good enough. I'll give one or two a try.
There's an interesting article in the January 09' TAS by Robert Harley. He writes about the Reference Recordings HRx format, which are basically WAV files on DVD of the master recording which are sampled at 176.4Hz with 24 bit resolution. Of course you need a special card and DAC. He makes a few good points about the high rez formats which I'll try to paraphrase (but do check out the article if this stuff interests you as it's certainly worth reading). He makes three points:
1st High Rez formats do not in any way guarantee good sound - rather those specifications are "an opportunity for good sound". "A well-designed 44.1hz/16bit system will outperform a poorly conceived and executed high-resolution system".
2nd He points out the the systems that resolve 16 and 24 bit material are far more demanding in terms of clocking accuracy, power supply purity and every other subsystem.
3rd Many components advertised as high resolution are not delivering what they claim and are marketing gimmicks (he cites a 24-bit DAC chip delivering only 20 bits of information while the remaining unused 4-bits are cynically referred to as "marketing bits".
Finally he points out that a high-res datastream does no good if the signal has previously been subjected to a standard resolution A/D conversion. Once converted to 44.1./16 it is irreparably compromised. This, he says, will become more of an issue as high-rez downloads become more common.
He also points out, at one point, the obvious; that a poorly recorded performance will not be helped by higher resolution.
Anyway, a good read. The DAC he was using to review the HDx is also reviewed by Harley in the next pages. It is a Berkley Audio Design Alpha DAC capable of decoding sampling rates between 32-192khz and up to 24-bit. He claims it's the best outboard DAC he's heard.
Blu-spec CDs are 44.1/16 CDs recently released by Sony in a limited number of titles. As far as I know they are not hi-res.
Any mention of a price on the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC?
I'll check out the article.
Rja - for the record, I wasn't implying Blu-spec were hi-rez, but the thread seemed to have moved that direction hence the input. I think the price on the DAC was around $4-5K - I'll have to check and get back to you.
I posted that only because this thread seemed to be going in another direction from the original post.
So far, seems I'm the only one who's posted that actually owns one of these. I'm anxiously awaiting delivery of a Blu-spec version of "Kind of Blue" (no pun intended) 8^). It's somewhere between Tokyo and Minneapolis.
Listened to the Blu-spec "Abraxas" last night. Sounds excellent although I'm not sure I prefer it over the recently released Mofi version. Although I could be happy with either one, if I had to pick one, I'd probably go with the Mofi by a very slight margin.
Still have Dylan "Highway 61 Revisited", Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" and "'Round About Midnight" to check out.
I noticed "Blood On the Tracks" is already sold out and it hasn't even been released yet (1/21/09). Abraxas and Tapestry released 12/24/08 are already OOP. Crazy! They sound good but not THAT good!