Yes, I only discovered them a few weeks ago. I have 10 so far and 1 Blu-spec. Love them
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What I found though a Google search is that the SHM CDs only differ from regular CDs in their enhanced transparency polycarbonate on the read side of the CD.
They may sound better than regular CDs, but how much more can "enhanced transparency polycarbonate" cost than the plastic used in standard CDs to warrant their $28 cost?
In other words, it seems to me like a marketing twist to sell more back catalog product without a significant materials outlay.
$28 per SHM CD?
I think I'll buy more $10 SACDs...
not to hijack the thread, but where are you guys getting $10 SACDs
Primarily from Amazon used marketplace sellers, although new SACDs are available for $10.
For example, if you search Amazon.com for "A Love Supreme SACD", the results will show a few new available for around $10.
Amazon.com is a good resource for me.
I've been bought many 'new' SACDS starting at @ $13 through the vendors at Amazon. (click on the "More buying choices" link next to the Amazon listed price.) Even with shipping added ($2.99) you're getting an SACD for about half price of the SHM.. If you go with used I've seen them at the $10 or less as Tvad stated.
They are extremely expensive because the dollar is being beaten to death by the yen, especially in the last six months.
It's an ugly situation for those wanting to purchase Japanese goods or for those wanting to visit Japan.
It's a nice situation for Japanese who want to buy American goods or who want to visit the USA.
I'm compelled to mention that over a decade ago I was told by a lab and manufacturer that the choice of materials used in their production runs(right down to the specific suppliers of aluminum and plastic) did have great effect on the final product. dvd, cd, etc. It maybe a little late to the rescue, but I've started to buy my favorites yet again....and yes AJA is pretty awesome.
Any theories as to how an enhanced transparency polycarbonate can make for better sound? Could it be anything other than fewer errors or less jitter?
Seems to me that, if these things really do sound better just because, somehow, the transport is able to read them better, we should be able to realize the same sonic benefits for music files that we download directly to hard drives. In other words, the distribution of digital music on CDs is compromising the sound. If I'm correct (a big "if"), it's perhaps the most powerful audiophile argument for computer audio.
I don't think anyone thought shm-cd's were remastered. since sacd is tanking(not because they're not better, but because the hardware isn't selling), the emphasis on manufacturing(which has been known to have an effect positive or negative on cd or dvd quality) is now an option for those with redbook players. I just received some japanese van morrison and rolling stones shm cd's from japan and they play as fine as my original lp pressings. since the compact disc was originally intended for mass consumption, it has always been limited by the cost of manufacturing(about 50 cents today). using more expensive materials(neary tripling the cost) does improve the sound. as far as remastering goes, improvements are still on a title by title basis. todays vinyl revival is still(in many cases)relying on masters that are a decade or more old, and many of the sources are digital. Here too, the manufacturing makes a lot of difference. In order for sacd to be commercially viable(given the production expense), it has to sell well over a threshold thats just not there today for most titles other than the biggest sellers. think of blue spec and shm as 'plan b'. tiny runs for those who covet cd collections, and want the final word for the format quality wise, and the tiny LP replica covers that some have are cool as well.. sort of a 'festivus for the rest of us'
I don't think anyone thought shm-cd's were remastered. since sacd is tanking(not because they're not good, but because the hardware isn't selling), the emphasis on manufacturing(which has been known to have an effect positive or negative on cd or dvd quality) is now an option for those with redbook players. I just received some japanese van morrison and rolling stones cd's from japan and they play as fine as my original lp pressings. since the compact disc was originally intended for mass consumption, it has always been limited by the cost of manufacturing(about 50 cents). using more expensive materials does improve the sound. as far as remastering, improvements on still on a title by title basis. todays vinyl revival is still(in many cases)relying on masters that are a decade or more old, and many of the sources are digital. Here too, the manufacturing makes a lot of difference. In order for sacd to be commercially viable(given the production expense), it has to sell well over a threshold thats just not there today for most titles. think of blue spec and shm as 'plan b'. tiny runs for those who covet their cd collections, and want the final word for the format quality wise. sort of a 'festivus for the rest of us'
SACD hardware isn't selling? Today almost every player has SACD playback, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Esoteric, Luxman, Mark Levinson, Yamaha, Sony, Playback designs, McIntosh etc. all are SACD/CD players, IMHO SACDs are not so popular because only audiophiles know why DSD is better than 16/44k CD and audiophiles are a niche
Personally I'm not buying red book CDs any more, maybe occasionally used CDs from ebay if they are extremely cheap but not new CDs, I hope that RBCD format will finally die this year as many people predict... and we finally get the high resolution music, whether it'll be SACD or Blu Ray Audio, or hi-rez downloads, but RBCDs? No, thank you even if they have super clear plastic they are still 16/44kHz, even if their pits and lands are burned with laboratory precision they are still 16bit redbook CDs. So what I can listen to 0,03% more bits or 1% more bits due to blu-spec CD when I have 400% more bits (information) on SACD or FLAC 24bit/96kHz recording
RBCD is not going to die this year or any time soon -- it will be a long and slow decline. And SACD is not going to become more popular. The best and only real hope for audiophiles is hi-rez downloads, which not only get you higher sampling rates and word lengths than RBCD, but which overcome any and all of the manufacturing shortcomings of mass-produced physical media.
I don't think ALL people will switch to virtual downloads, personally I prefer physical product (with cover, booklet)to downloaded file
BTW CD sales dropped 20% in 2008, so it's definitely not a slow decline, I hope RBCD will die this year, eventually next, and we finally move to high resolution music
even universal players that cover everything including sacd are selling in such small numbers compared to the original cd boom(or todays i-pod boom) that music companies(big and small)are tightning there belts in regard to mastering and production expenses. since the additional money for an shm manufacturing improvement does not have to be amortized over a number thats not reachable to make it affordable, its a no brainer. no one's questioning the superior sound of sacd, or for that matter dvda. as we already know, the history of satisfying audiophiles(reel to reel,quadraphonic lps, mini discs, digital tape, and others) doesn't stay for long, when the hardware doesn't catch on with the masses. even the growth of vinyl(is at best)a boutique business for now. generally 'new' formats only catch on when 'older' formats are killed off. the problem today... no one wants to risk killing off 'anything' that would send consumers away from physical product for good. the slowing of sales for 'everything' may not lead to eventual death, but the widespread hobby of 'listening to', and 'collecting' music, is under seige. making a redbook cd that sounds better isn't being done to get back consumers who have already abandoned buying music. its being done to further compliment the improvements on the mastering side that were already there(and paid for), for an audience with an affection for an existing media type. I would suggest that people try a few, before kicking them to the curb. if redbooks do however die(I am optimitic they'll live in a smaller universe), they'll be taking 'all' the formats with 'em when they go....not a happy thought. Even though I'm a vinyl junkie too, I like what I here .
Does anyone know what the licensing and manufacturing story is on SHM-CD? On the one I have, the only SHM indication I could find anywhere on the CD or packaging is a very faint, embossed SHM on the jewel case. What are they making these 'from" and where does the art work come from? Is the artist getting paid? Compare this to XRCD, for example. It all seem a little, ah, suspicious.
they are from the major labels and yes the artists get paid. its only a manufacturring process which helps the laser to better read(fewer errors) the information. it is more expensive to manufacture, and (for now) limited 'runs' are in the 2 to 3k range. nothing else is different, and it plays in any cd player.
i own about 10 of the shm cds and have been extremely happy with all of them.they are,to this point, better then previous copies of the same discs by other production runs.the 'boston' disc i recently purchased is superb..much better then the sacd of the same disc.the rubinstein 'chopin concerto' and the rubinstein 'tchaikovsky-rachmaninoff concertos' are both superb.the chopin is the equal to the sacd of the same performance i have by the same pianist. are they pricey..?...relatively yes, but to alot of us ...worth it.regardless of what some pedantic members of this and other forums think, some cds are, on a system that can do them justice,superbly musically enjoyable and better then sacds on cheap systems that do not allow the full sonic capability of the discs to emerge.
"Probably as long as dumb posts like yours are permitted. "
what was so dumb about my posts? that I said due to super clear plastic (SHAM-CD) your cd player will be able to read 0,03% more bits or 1% more bits, and on high resolution recording (SACD of FLAC 24/96) you have 400% more bits (musical information), or that SHM-CD and blu-spec CD are not newly remastered cds, they are same mass market remasters already available on the market?
these are just facts.
...bottum line...if your system...which includes everything from the wall to the speakers..was good enough..most cds would not only be listenable ..but very enjoyable...but yours isn't...i will assure you that cds..played on my system..sound worlds better then the same ones played on yours...'these are the facts'...whether you care to admit them or not...what your ears are telling you is that your system isn't that good...
bottom line is $500 SACD player sounds better than $500 CD player, $1000 SACD player sounds better than $1000 CD player, $1500 SACD player sounds better than $1500 CD player, $2000 SACD player sounds better than $2000 CD player... and high resolution recordings sound better than low resolution compact disc
and like I said, due to super clear plastic on your compact disc, your player will be able to read maybe 0,03% more bits or 1% more bits, or even 0% more bits (assuming you have a good cd player that never had any problems with reading CDs).
...' and high resolution recordings sound better then low resolution compact discs'.....no argument there...my point is that your system is not good enough for your ears to be able to appreciate what is inherent on most cds...' assum ing you have a good cd player that never had any problems with reading cds'..i will assure you that my meitner cdsa-se is fully capable of extracting every nuance of information from any cd and rendering the sound very listenable and enjoyable...probably more so then your sacd player is able to do for sacds...
Calloway, if you want better sounding recordings, SHM-CD won't do it for you as your cd player is 'fully capable of extracting every nuance of information from any cd' whether 16bits are pressed on normal plastic or super clear plastic your player will read them correctly, thus SHM-CD won't bring any improvement at all, maybe some users with cheapest $99 DVD players will benefit from super clear plastic, other than that sham-cd is useless, if you want better sounding recordings you have to look somewhere else...good luck
There is something to clearer/cleaner plastic, IMO.
I asked a friend who was very happy with the results of Shine-Ola to burn me a couple of CDs, and to treat one of each pair with Shine-Ola and not treat the other. He labelled them only "A" and "B", and he did not tell me which was treated and which was not. In both cases, I easily identified the treated CD, which sounded superior...larger image, clearer details, etc.
I can't explain how it works, but the effects were superior, evident and repeatable.
So, I can easily imagine that a super-clear polycarbonate CD layer could yield positive results.
I'm just not willing to pay for it.
one of my favorite pop long players ever is 'odessey and oracle' by the zombies. I have no fewer than 4 vinyl incarnations(including a mint us copy on date records, and 5(count 'em)copies on cd, domestic and import. the shm release is the best of the bunch to my ears. is the shm disc for everyone who loves the zombies? maybe....is it for anyone else? probably not. here's what i know for sure...it, along with many thousands of other great recordings are never gonna see an sacd release. the reason is one of economics, plain and simple. heck, most recordings may be available today in their last physical incarnation(s) ever. in order for sacd to work in the marketplace, you have to reach the kinds of sales levels(per title)that were common a decade ago. it costs a fortune to 'properly' remaster and manufacture sacd compared to cd. most artists and labels haven't even come to terms on what to do next, if anything. like i've said in previous posts, only a couple thousand of a title are being made(like the mini lp cd), and they aren't for everyone. they do sound great, and as a lifelong vinyl junkie(another imperfect media)i can actually say i'm impressed....heck, i bought a houseful of cd's, even when i wasn't impressed. i'm sure sacd would be superior,but since most recordings won't make their way to sacd(or an a,b comparison(even advocates know this) the argument will soon be filed alongside beta vs vhs.
Yep... couldn't hear any difference between the SHM CD and the 93 remaster of Led Zep IV.
I wasn't expecting a CD to DVD-A/SACD experience but I was expecting something. I guess if all you got is the same old 16bits with 44100 sampling and the same old remaster you just ain't gonna hear any difference.