Seems you have satisfied yourself based on a sample of one. Par for the course in audiophiledom, I guess. Too bad, some very fine recordings are to be found on XRCD. Why the blanket criticism of JVC?
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Keis, As you pointed out, factors other than format technicalities also influence the quality of the end product. I find there are good as well as not so desireable end products for each of the formats I tried: CD, SACD, and XRCD24. For an ear opening experience try some of the FIM XRCD24s. I have not tried any DVD-As. Enjoy, John
Keis, try Choi Kam "Chance"
never mind it is singing in mandarin, the female vocal and the recordings are incredible. she is a well known Taiwanese Audiophile singer.
But I do agreed with you that some only some xrcd are not performing as they suppose to. IMHO
Yes, I've heard/owned some XRCDs that have been wonderful, and I've got about 8 fantastic SACDs ... and perhaps 20-25 SACDs that I wish I had never purchased ... no discernible improvement over RedBks, though they cost much more. No way to know in advance, but I read music reviews carefully and then ... hold my breath as I order.
I think that there is a huge aggravation factor when you compare the JVC XRCD24 versions of the RCA Living Series with the new SACD versions of the same series. It may or may not be how they sound ... but it is how they are priced ... $30 vs $13. I would wait until the NYC Stereophile Show each May to purchase the JVC XRCD's for $20 to $25 each, thinking that I had gotten a bargain and along comes RCA with their across the board, excellent sounding $13 discs that Tower usually sells for $10.
A similar experience was had with the Creedence Clearwater Revival SACD's ($25 a pop) versus the 20 bit remastered Redbook versions ($14 a pop). Yeah sure, there are some minor (and I mean minor) sound differences, but not worth double the price.
I may be becoming too dramatic about all this, but it as though the person seeking to obtain that last bit of performance expects to pay the full freight and companies realize and exploit this. Some of the discussions at the SACD forum at Audio Asylum focus on what was the original source for a particular SACD release and just what did the recording label do/not do to transform the redbook release to a SACD release. Same types of discussions for the XRCD's. Eye-opening to say the least.
The JVC XRCD family of releases are pretty much OK, it is their pricing that I always viewed as orbitant. These releases have been with us since at least 1990 ... you would think that the start-up costs have been paid for a hundred times over and their prices should come down a bit.
There are special quality recordings available because of XRCD. Like everything there may be an occasional dud. However, I seek out recordings on XRCD for their superior Redbook capability. None of the XRCD's I own are duds. Do not sell JVC XRCD short. It't the best I've experienced although Columbia/Sony is putting out exceptional recordings now too (Miles Davis/ My Funny Valentine as example) I just purchased a multi player that has SACD but do not have any SACD's yet (I may never have them) I purchased it to get it modded for Redbook.
PPBs reply is what I expected. ANd probably deserve. I own about 2500 red book CDs. About 10 xrcds and about 15 sacds. Of the xrcds and sacds about 90 percent are made from old recordings I already owned the LP versions. In all instances where I knew the LP, the SACD sounded better then the xrcd but my first post was the only one I had exactly the same performance/recording session. I would not call the other xrcds dudds but I do think they are not worth the $30 asked for. I also made my own cds off of records and except for more pops I think my A to D version just as good and it cost $.25. Just my opinion. I guess if JVC didn't hype their "incredible" A to D process so much I wouldn't feal this strongly.