Is HDCD dead?

I'm looking at players on this site and hardly none of them seem to encode "HDCD".Is this used in some of the newer players yet?In the past the cd's that had the HDCD label on them all sounded better than regular redbook cd's.Why are'nt more players using this technology.Does anyone have a list of players that use HDCD encoding?
The Denon DVD 29xx, 39xx, and 59xx models all have HDCD decoding capability. I also have a Harman-Kardon DVD50 that has this. You need to check each mfgr's. spec sheets to determine if a unit has HDCD. I would not purchase a unit that doesn't have it, I really like the sound of my HDCD discs.

Is anyone still recording in HDCD? This technology is a good dozen years old and I wonder if it is still being employed or if updates/improvements have been made that are still compatible with older HDCD chips.
In my experience I have seen very few mfg's produce players capable of decoding HDCD at the same time very few labels producing disc encoded with HDCD or at least advertising that they do. So perhaps this answers the question.

Maybe it's because Microsoft bought Pacific Microsonics and now owns HDCD.
The new Raysonic CD-128 has HDCD decoding. Sounds very good too.
Of cource, Reference Recordings still encodes HDCD. I prefer HDCD, but it may be the level boost that is required by the licensing agreement.

It seems that HDCD has run it course.
Don't need it, don't want it, don't look for it, frankly it has no significance for me, and yes, I have tried it on a resolving system...
I want it and don't have it on my current player, the EMC-1UP SE.

I have hundreds of HDCD discs and since the Grateful Dead uses it for all releases, it makes sense for me to have it. My next player must have it.

The supposed next generation universal player from Electrocompaniet will have HDCD which makes me happy.
Naim players do HDCD...
no but alot of the DEAD are on HDCD.....Cary = HDCD
The 15 or so that I have all sound better than standard rb
on any of the non HDCD players that I have had. To me they are similar to a remastered rb.
I think all cd will go the way of cassette; eventually.
Shanling supports HDCD and I do prefer it to "normal" redbook or upsampled digital music.
Funny, I went to look at a Naim player and loved what it was doing on HDCDs, but the Electrocompaniet was better on other discs due to upsampling.

I've got the Cary on the short list as well.

And I'll second the comments about how well the HDCD discs sound, even on players that don't decode the full process.
A/B any of the red book grateful dead cd's(and mo fi) to the HDCD and see what happens.The HDCD's blows them out of the water.Thats if your player has HDCD.I could not beleive the difference in these recordings.I'm 100% sold on HDCD.It's to bad not more people can hear the difference.I'm using an ancient Sonic Frontiers cd-1 with old technology and this player still holds it's own against Some of players made today.
Generally I love the HDCD playback on my Cary 303/300. It can be a little edgy with some material, but where it is edgy it appears to be due to the mastering of the disc rather than the Cary. Of course, running it through the tube output takes that edginess right off on the few discs that don't sound better in HDCD.
My former PS Audio DAC had HDCD decoding, which sounded good on all 5 of my cd's with HDCD. My new Northstar Design DAC doesn't have HDCD decoding and sounds way better with the 495 cd's that are not HDCD decoded. So....
I'm not to sure on other disc with HDCD.But what ever they did on those Grateful Dead Remasters are nothing short of a miracle.Listen to the disc "Reconing",the track China doll is so holographic its scared me.Garcia voice is suspended about 6 feet above my speakers and on the redbook cd his voice is about eye level.Is this in the remastering or is it from hdcd??
Spaz...It's the mix. An extra 4 bits of resolution would (perhaps) have other benefits. HDCD is/was a very clever idea to live with the 16 bit CD. The extra 8 bits of DVDA or SACD are even better, and come with higher sampling rate, and that's why HDCD is dead. (Except that the technology may live on for video, which is why Microsoft bought it).
As stated above there are some new releases and remasters still being released in HDCD. I have Arcam players and they decode HDCD. I like the HDCD playback more, but don't detect a quantum leap in playback, just cleaner, or maybe more focused.

Like the others, I am able to compare the Dead remasters in HDCD to the original CD release, and the original vinyl. All different in many musical respects.

I am glad I have it, but, I don't know that I would go out of my way to have an HDCD decoding player vs. having a quality player. If I go to upgrade away from the Arcam, I would be looking for the best regular (Redbook) playback I could afford. 98% of my CD's are not HDCD.

Spaz, Garcia hovering 6 feet above? You sure that's not the mushrooms you just ate? :>)

Jim S.
Spaz, unless you are taking into account the level boost mandated by the HDCD license, you're not really doing a valid technology comparison. I don't recall the exact number, but I believe it's greater than 1dB which is clearly audible. So in a simple A/B comparison, the HDCD player will always sound different, which is likely to be perceived as better.
I think it important to remember, that one can cut back the volume on HDCDs to comparable CD levels, that having HDCD capability doesn't have to compromise regular CD playback, that HDCDs are still being manufactured and (this is of course speculative) that for quite some time into the future the number of HDCDs choices will probably out number SACD and DVD audio choices combined.
Play your HDCD discs on a PC with Windows Media Player (the newer versions do decode HDCD - if you press the pause button while playing a disc, a small HDCD logo will display at the bottom - and doesn't that tell you that Microsoft owns it now).
This site is available in English and has list of current HDCD players and recordings. I prefer HDCD by far over regular red book CD. Most of the Rhino catalog Grateful Dead remasters are HDCD, Neil Young records HDCD and many others.
By the way,the mushrooms are good very good.Jerry is now 8 feet above my speakers ..WOOOOOOW man so trippy
The only thing i tried to state is hdcd makes a differnce.And more players should have it ..
I agree.
yes. wait till you hear SACD of great player like Marantz SA11
I stumbled on to an Atlantic Records 50th anniversary HDCD CD.

I was using my mac mini USB to optical out to the optical inputs of my Denon DVD-5000 using it as a DAC. I can control the output of iTunes volume to the 5000, and since the Denon can encode or has a chip to encode HDCD CD's I noticed there was a switch going on in the player.

As soon as I reached a high enough volume or near full volume, the HDCD mode switched on, indicated on the front panel by a red little light and bam, almost two fold quality, I couldnt believe it!

I thought it was my 5000 going bad or something, but I was floored how I much the quality increased. There was instantly more presence to the music, it was an exprience. And it works, the decoding with a lossless rip of the CD too.

Now, I'm looking for a few favs on HDCD. ITs not dead in Asia I see.
Just rec'd Wayne Wallace's (Trombone-playing/Master arranger/educator/longtime member of West Coast Latin Jazz scene dating back to Azteca and continuing to work with John Santos for decades!)2 latest recordings; 'Devotion' and 'The Reckless Search For Beauty'. Intelligent, smokin', superbly recorded Latin Jazz AND....surprise! Recorded in HDCD!
Modernaire wrote - "As soon as I reached a high enough volume or near full volume, the HDCD mode switched on, indicated on the front panel by a red little light and bam, almost two fold quality, I couldnt believe it!"

Is it possible that what you are hearing is primarily due to the +6dB volume difference that HDCD has over the redbook format?

If you can set up your rig such that you can toggle between the CD layer and HDCD, you might hear that this volume difference is dramatic. It would be interesting to hear from you after you compare the two formats again but this time try and equalize the volume levels.

my NAD plays hdcd but are there units that can also play the dual layer and sacd formats as well? the dual layer requires 2 lasers i believe and hdcd requires only 1. i want an inexpesive unit that will play all types at full benefit. fwiw, the xrcd24 format is the sweetest thing i have ever heard and plays on any cdp.
I'm the proud owner of an Arcam FMJ CD23T, an HDCD player that continues to be my main CD player BUT....I also own the Oppo DV-981HD. This giant killer plays DVD-Audio, SACD, and HDCD. Has HDMI output for your video plus up to 480P output. The thing is even compatable with Kodak Picture CD. 5.1 Surround and stereo outputs. The sweetest thing about this amazing player is the price which was around $250!! The Oppo DV 970 is an even cheaper model that doesn't have the HDMI (video) capabilities if your only into the audio (although it does play DVD). There's been plenty of press on the Oppo units, almost universally positive and you certainly can't beat the price! Sold direct only thru
I used to own the FMJ CD23T. I know its unfair, but can you compare its sonics to the Oppo? I'm thinking about buying an Oppo. Thanks, Jeff
Chazro, does this player have the output to connect to a DAC as well. you have given me an extremely helpful piece of information. thanks!
Was it ever really alive? Ha, well it had a small burst here and there, it is a good format and many CD's do benefit if they are available, is it absolute? No.. Some other Redbook remasters and even originals can be excellent just the same.
I must be honest, I don't own any SACD or DVD-A discs! I got into the machine for the video and when I saw the ridiculous price I figured why not go for the whole enchilada? Here's a link to some reviews by users (10 pages!!);, hope it helps!
I hate the Greatful Dead on any format!
Hey! Just got back from my used CD shop where I picked up the Ricky Skaggs/Bruce Hornsby record (killer bluegrass!) and the new Neil Young 'Live in '71'(outstanding record!). Both are HDCD's! AND they only cost $7.99!! whoo-hoo!!!
I just ordered the Oppo DV 970 to replace my great
Cayin CDT-17A as an inbetween player. Should have it
mid next week. Cannot believe
it only cost $149 We'll see what happens.
Mar00 - Each to his/her own.
The same bullet that went through Govenor John Conolly and hit JFK was found lodged in an HDCD player.
I feel current Reference recordings extremely favorably against DVD-A and SACD when played on a good quality HDCD capable player on my Spectral/MIT system. Microsoft seems to have made decisions leading to a successful, prosperous company. I'm sure they had well thought out reasons to acquire HDCD. Probably large in scale since they seem to do everything 'big'. They bought HDCD knowing DVD-A & SACD were imminent. Thoughts? Pete
I think it's a question of marketing. NOW would be the time for a HDCD marketing blitz. New titles being released all the time, sonic quality comparable to the 'other' formats, but at regular CD prices. It's a no-brainer!
Psacanli...Microsoft wanted the technology to apply to video, or, perhaps, to prevent someone else from doing it.
You forget that SACD and DVDA are about multichannel. HDCD can't do that.
Eldartford, I was unaware Microsoft bought HDCD for Video-but, after all HDCD = high definition compatible digital-perhaps you have a point. I thought it was for CD; any others in the know?
CD has a dynamic range of 96 db.

The noise floor in quiet environments is around 30 db spl.

If you listen at more than 96 + 30 = 126 db SPL then you might benefit from HDCD over a regular CD (both recorded with a large dynamic range)

Few, if any recordings exploit the full dynamic range on existing CD's (see CD Loudness Wars on Wikipedia).

As a playback system the CD standard is already good enough.

Most high end audiophile speakers limit the consumer to about 70 db dynamic range anyway.

Studios benefit from the flexibility of more dynamic range but it is unnecessary for most playback systems.
Perfectionist, are you sure about the Naim's playing HDCD's? I have their entry level CD5i and have seen nothing to indicate it has this capability.

While I've had a CD5i and CD5x in my system, and now have a CDX2, I may have misspoke. In reading on Naims' site, it looks like HDCD doesn't start till you get into the X2.
My apologie's.
The genius of HDCD will last as long as music is played via a non live medium-cd, gorecord(good old record), tape, gkw(god knows what)