This is a comparison of two different recordings in two different media of the same piece of music. I just finished listening to XRCD and SACD versions of Dvorak's New World: Reiner/Chicago and Szell/Cleveland. Both recordings are 50's vintage, but the similarity ends there. The SACD is technically the superior medium in every respect: image, spatiality and projection of 3D, soundstage, smoothness of high strings and loud passages, inner clarity, high frequency detail, air around instruments, timbral accuracy. However, there is a warmth, a fullness in the XRCD recording which the RCA engineers captured that the Sony guys couldn't touch. The Sony sounds clinical, while the RCA is musical, even though the XRCD upper strings are slightly harsh. SACD presents what is on the recording better than XRCD, but the original RCA recording is clearly superior. Also, the Chicago Symphony makes a convincing argument that it was, at that time, the finest assembly of musicians on the planet, and maybe of all time. Everything about their performance, phrasing, intonation, ensemble, is breathtakingly beautiful and balanced. Not only that, but Reiner is by far a better conductor than Szell. He points the rhythms and leads the orchestra at perfect speeds in every phrase of every movement. I have had probably twenty recordings of this work, going back thirty years, and this is simply the best in every respect. The XRCD version is much better than the regular CD, worth every penny, but if they ever issue the Reiner recording on SACD, it will probably drive me over the edge.