Hi, I have a Naim CDX2 which has HDCD decoding. I haven't found any HDCD's at my local stores, but I recently bought 311's Greatest Hits '93-'03. Interestingly enough, it says nothing about HDCD anywhere in the liner notes, but I was pleasantly surprised when I popped it into the cdp and HDCD flashed in the display! I don't know what kind of music you listen to, but if you like rock, I highly recommend this disc. Being a greatest hits disc, some tracks are poorly recorded while others are quite good. :-)
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I wrote down a few of the HDCD titles from Fish Records, searched them out at the local cd store and found one match. There is no HDCD logo on the disc or cover but took a chance and bought the cd the artist is Cheryl Wheeler -Different Stripe, popped it in the player and the HD light came on-Great Disc!
HDCD doesn’t appear to be well advertised although the sound difference is quite noticeable. Thanks for the other title suggestions I'll check them out.
Google HDCD and check out HDCD Katalogen for an extensive list of HDCD encoded music. But let me recommend one of my favorite discs. "A Nod to Bob" which is a compilation of Bob Dylan songs by artists I had never heard of. The cd is on Red House Records (you can check their web site) and is fantastic from start to finish. Very well recorded also. You can also check the archives here for an extensive list from other Agon members.
I have a couple of Parasound CDP-2000 Ultra CD players (1998-99 vintage) that have HDCD decoding. As noted, the small audiophile label Reference Recordings, based in San Francisco, and all of whose recordings are engineered by the excellent "Professor" Keith O. Johnson, has presented most or all of their material in HDCD since 1992. If you don't know them, their catalog is mostly classical and jazz; many worthwhile titles, and their sound is usually superb. I'm looking right now at one of their CD's, "Testament: American Music for Male Chorus and Band," that reads on the label "The World's First HDCD, High Definition Compatible dDigital Recording." It was recorded 6/1992. (And Reference Recordings is supposed to be making a comeback from the dead, namely the bankruptcy of Dorian, and returning to life shortly, according to another recent thread here, so hopefully their catalog will become available again soon.)
I also have three wonderful (and great-sounding) bluegrass CD's from the same label, Acoustic Disc, all of which are HDCD. These are, in order of release, "Old and In the Way: That High Lonesome Sound" (ACD-19, released 1996), "Old and In the Way: Breakdown" (ACD-28, released 1997), and "Old and In the Gray" (ACD-51, released 2002). I assume there are a number of other titles in HDCD from this label.
as always: the forum archives will yield a number of posts regarding HDCD suggestions that others have enjoyed, so definitely do yourself an archive search...
There used to be a complete listing of all available HDCD's athdcd.com however it now redirects to a microsoft webpage apparently containing hdcd promotional references. I didn't pursue the site in depth; hopefully the listing is still somewhere in there?
HDCD is a very clever way of getting 20 bit program resolution out of a 16 bit recording media (CD). Before true, 24 bit, high resolution media became practical HDCD made sense. Today it is the world's best audio buggy whip.
The basic concepts of HDCD remain applicable to all kinds of digital recording, and will probably resurface in context of both audio and video on DVDs or sucessor media. That is what Microsoft has in mind.
I have some HDCD discs, and some sound very good. However, I am not sure that this is not just the result of good mastering, as I have other regular CD that also sound very good. One HDCD disc, a Judy Collins collection, is inferior to a regular disc of mostly the same material.
Head-fi.org members have been compiling a list of HDCDs in this thread for about a year and a half. It has grown into a substantial list and contains a number of "stealth" HDCD CDs that are not so marked.