does import cds sound better

when shopping for cds I see a huge increase in price on import labels..never purchased or heard one..though I hear and like improvement in sacd and hdcd formats...are they wort the price?
some of them do. i like german and uk ones over us. depending on their collectability value they may or maynot worth the money spent as per perhaps domestic cds.
i didn't like quality of bmg or columbia house domestic cds at all. they were far inferior to original and import releases.
Strange question. If you read the small print on the CDs that you now own, you will see that many of them are produced in foreign countries.
They are bling.
Anything which costs more, and is rarer is ipso facto better to some people.
But no, just because it is an iport does not make it better.
Some stuff is better from other places.. The Japanese usually have better LPs because they try harder to make them perfect. Ditto the Germans.
Then from Mexico not so much... Ditto Taiwan.
Don't know if import Redbook from the EU sounds better, but often there are some extra tracks added. In the case of Rock/Pop CDs they are still going to suffer from high compression (the Loudness Wars). The EU or British Rock releases I've purchased were over-compressed just like US releases, but some artists like Trent Rezner are producing lower compressed, more dynamic recordings.

CDs pressed in Japan are much higher quality than the US. Plus, the Japanese offer SHM-CD (Super High Material CD), which I'm told is vastly superior to SACD, but at 3X the price.
Classical Redbook from the EU always sounds better due to the high standards of those record labels.
I think the answer is "sometimes".
The SHM discs ARE superior to SACD, vastly superior? I guess it depends on how you view it but it is certainly not difficult to hear the improvement, more relaxed, greater separation, better soundstage and overall it sounds more natural. They are quite expensive and if there is a disc that you love using this technology it may or may not be worth it to you. Figure 45.00 and up.
shm imported disc is $84 3X the price of a dire straits cd much can you can you improve on an original recording,.I find remastered sacd recordings are not worth it
You might want to listen, if you get the opportunity to hear first hand yourself. The SMH ARE clearly better, hands down, very obvious, but the real question is whether or not ONE is willing to pay the price.
I have many, many SHM CDs and have never paid anywhere near $84 for one. Just ordered a Platinum SHM CD (Aja) just to check it out and that was even less than $45.
Does anybody know the process the Japanese are using to make a SHM CD? By that I mean are they using original masters from the record labels; I know the CD itself is made of a different material, but how is the remastering being done?

There are a few Agon members who are buying them and have even made recommendations to me.(and they're all under $45)

I've also found that every SHM-CD sounds better than the CD's, and even the HDCD's in my library.

Unless you're buying an out-of-print SHM-CD, you should only be paying at the most $30.00 for one.

I'm not sure SHM process involves remastering. The mastering version is something you need to pay attention to when purchasing SHMs. If you don't like the version I don't think SHM is going to help.
thanks Rja.
I'm also wondering if the SHM process improves the sound of early digital CDs, some of which are bright and thin sounding. I'm asking because there are many SHMCD's of 1980s recordings available and they are priced under $30.

Many are on the DG label, for example...
SHM is not a process, it is a material which IMO slightly enhances the clarity of the top end. It has nothing to do with mastering or remastering. If you think a title currently sounds anemic I don't think SHM could help, possibly doing just the opposite. I personally would steer clear of early CDs in this format but you should experiment and check a few out for yourself. My opinion is purely hypothetical. Who knows, they may sound OK.
Thanks very much for the explanation, Rja. I just assumed they would do some EQ or cleaning up the tracks. I guess the reason for the debate over this format is due to the fact that many doubt a new material will make a difference. I will listen for myself.
(and Aja is an excellent reference recording).
Super High Material should probably be Super High Transparency Material inasmuch as the clear layer is a special polycarbonate formulation with higher (optical) transparency than the standard stuff.
Not countries, but labels. There are a handful of labels producing consistently high quality recordings and music. Both are important, for example, I like Naim recordings, but much of the music is, well a bit tedious:

MA recordings
Reference Recordings
Are my current favourites for CD/XRCD. Of these Stocfisch would be number 1