High-Bit CD s JVC XRCD worth if...

...you're already employing an upsampler??

OK- here's the deal. I use a CD player (Sim Audio Eclipse) with external BNC digital out to a DCS Purcell upsampler, then back in to BNC 'in' on the Eclipse to its' 24/96 DACs- fantastic upgrade- I'm a true believer in upsampling for standard 16/44 CD's.

Question: Do you feel its worth it to invest in higher resolution/bit-rate CD's if already upsamping to 24/96 anyways?? For example, the JVC XRCD's are excellent (I'm a jazzhead), and they are 20-bit. Now, all of my older Blue Note stuff is standard 16/44, but, when through the Purcell playing at 24/96, even better (I find the Blue Note label to be excellent original recordings anyway). There does not seem to be much difference b/w the XRCD with either method, which leads me to believe the upsampling is doing its job very well.

I guess the ultimate test would be to acquire the identical CD on reg. recording (i.e. the Riverside recording of 'Sunday at the Village Vanguard' w Bill Evans vs the JVC XRCD of same title (which I have) and compare the upsampled original copy playing at 24/96 with the High-res 20-bit XRCD version, and see if their is a major difference. If the XRCD version IS better, than obviously there is more to the sonic benefits of the XRCD than just the bit-rate/word-length issue- perhaps 'other' aspects of the remastering process are also integral to the increased res.

Any comments on this? Has anyone compared the JVC XRCD's versus upsampled versions of the same disc in its' 'original' recording format? I am about to consider a major purchase of JVC XRCD's, but they are very $$, and wondering if neccesary since already upsampling the orig. versions. Thanks!

I figgure,for the price of one xrcd;you won't need someone else's opinion. Me?.....The curiosity would get the better of me;I'd find out first hand. For "Hell Freezes Over",I have dvd,cd & ld.Each have their own merit.
A JVC XRCD still contains 16/44.1 data. The XRCD process is a noise shaping algorithm that attempts to increase apparent resolution of the 16/44.1 datastream derived from higher reolution studio masters.

Thus I'd expect the XRCD to sound different than the standard version of the CD when upsampled.

As Avguygeorge mentioned, it's a cheap experiment, and I'd have trouble resisting if I had the hardware. Let us know how the experiment turns out!
thanks guys- perhaps I will do the experiment and let you know!
Guys: Sorry, I have nothing to add, but wanted to say that I have the same question since I plan to add an upsampler and use current CD player as a transport. I also long for the wonderful collection of Bill Evans XRCDs, but if the overall sound is result is very, very close to the standard CD with upsampling, what a savings, especially considering the upsampling gear is justified for the rest of my CD collection anyway. Moral of story, like Mcguidry implores, PLEASE let us know how it turns out!! Sorry Sutts for making you the guinea pig. Next experiment should be on one of us.
I'm looking forward to the results as well. Gee, ask a question and become the one who has to answer it. I've been considering an upsampler, so this would be very interesting. It would also be curious to know the jitter on compared CDs. That's pretty difficult unless you have a Genesis time lens that reads the jitter counts (so I'm told--I don't own one). My guess is higher jitter CDs would have more improvement--the upsampling most likely works as a jitter correction engine as well.
I just want to emphasize the point already made that any superiority of XRCDs is not due to there being more bits on the CD, they are of course red book standard like all other CDs. The bits issue is that it is a good idea during mixing and mastering to be working at a higher level than red book because the process will reduce resolution - ie. if you worked at red book level then the outcome would fail to achieve the maximimum resolution that red book is capable of. XRCD is by no means the only one to use higher bit rates during mastering, but the result is a better chance of high resolution. Furthermore, there is much more to the XRCD process than mastering at higher bit rates. The process of upsampling cannot increase resolution in the bit stream and so there is no redundancy between the two processes. That is, if XRCD mastering improves resolution before upsampling then it will have done so after upsampling. If the perceived difference is reduced following upsampling then this is more likely to be due to jitter differences between XRCD and standard discs - ie. the upsampler narrows the gap between them.
What XRCD comes down to is just a really, really well-mastered CD. A comparison of an XRCD and a standard CD of the same recording, therefore, is nothing more (or less) than a comparison of two different masterings. It won't tell you anything about bitrates and other technologies, snake-oil or not.
Just so all of you know, JVC decided to suspend all XRCD production include OEMs (FIM) since the process to too expensive and SACD and DVD-A is eroding its market quickly. I personally have a hard justifing a redbook CD for $26.
I just bought a Tom Coster cd yesterday that was mastered with the K2 process and it sounds incredible. It's too bad that they are suspending production of these cd's. I'd like to hear some more of them to see if they all sound as good.
It is my understanding that, in addition to higher-quality mastering, that precised attention is also paid to the actual manufacture of the XRCD's. I'm very sad to hear that production of the XRCD's is suspended. :-( I own about a half-dozen, and they sound wonderful.
Nobody has mentioned the "Error rate" of the process yet either. Maybe this has something to do with the higher resolution also.