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.
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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!
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.