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HDCD : Anyone else who's been a victim?


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Not too sure if anyone of you guys/gals ahd this experience. Bought 2 HDCD from a music shop near orchard rd.

But when played on a reasonably good system.I found these made in s'pore hdcds to be of poor quality.

And to think that i've paid $29.90 for each of these. My advice is ....dun waste your money on these poor

quality recording that sounds ok on the retailer's system.Only to return home and find these sounding bright

on your own hi-fi set.

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These HDCD albums front cover are generally white in colour.Some of the titles incl

The best of john denver, george michael "song from the last century" and some other singers incl

norah jones, collins ray(it's collins something ).

Anyway i tried these albums (some bought by me and some by my fren) on my frens system.

 

Sony cd player (sorry i can't remeber the model) with Sonic Frontier's DAC

Rega planet 2000

Audio Analogue Pucini SE

ProAc Tablette 50 signature

 

Anyway ....some of the title have good songs ....... but if anyone of you guys buy it to listen to your hi-fi set.

Then I'd advise to to abandon that idea. It's gonna sound bright and in yer face ...and when the high pitch

comes...you get a headache like i did.

 

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These HDCD albums front cover are generally white in colour.Some of the titles incl

The best of john denver, george michael "song from the last century" and some other singers incl

norah jones, collins ray(it's collins something ).

Anyway i tried these albums (some bought by me and some by my fren) on my frens system.

 

Sony cd player (sorry i can't remeber the model) with Sonic Frontier's DAC

Rega planet 2000

Audio Analogue Pucini SE

ProAc Tablette 50 signature

 

Anyway ....some of the title have good songs ....... but if anyone of you guys buy it to listen to your hi-fi set.

Then I'd advise to to abandon that idea. It's gonna sound bright and in yer face ...and when the high pitch

comes...you get a headache like i did.

 

 

 

 

I saw those cds tat u mentioned at a certain shop in great world city...cos was wudnering why is there a sudden inflow of HDCD version of all those artists,,all priced at abt 29.90. are they pressed locally ?....there is even some of those love ballards compilation tat comes in HDCD format...marketing ploy ?. anyway till date the only HDCD tat I have is the Bee Gees 2 disc greatest hits ,,nothing special to me when playing on a normal cd player (nakamichi) and on the shinco 8700ps...

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Guest jonlee

alamak...I also bought Norah Jones and Josh Groban HDCDs, but yet to listen to them in my own setup.

 

did not see the "made in singapore" small prints......~!@#$%

 

must go back and listen to them tonite.

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  • 1 month later...

I heard a HDCD decoded cd on my system for the FIRST time today. I have only a 16-bit cdp, but read in the forums that WinXP windows media player (wmp) supports HDCD decoding. So I hooked up my soundcard output to my hifi and played some HDCD cds.

 

I consider my Naim setup to have great bandwidth. However, when playing HDCD encoded cds on my cdp, it sounds constricted, muted and rolled off compared to normal cds. Using the wmp to play the HDCDs, the dynamic range, soundstage and bandwidth is restored. And I am only playing it on a computer cd-rom using software HDCD decoding!!!

 

My conclusion is that HDCD format was created as a cheap and easy way to increase the dynamic range on HDCD lower end hifi setups. Read somewhere that the 16th bit on HDCD cds is used to stored the additional information pertaining to HDCD.

 

So playback of HDCD encoded disks on HDCD player = 20 bits. Playback on normal cdp = 15 bits only. So the playback of HDCD cds on any reasonably good audiophile system will sound very contricted and muted without the decoding, compared to the normal cd version on the same system.

 

My layman explanation. If there's any mistake in my explanation, any technie person, pls feel free to correct me.

 

My next dilemma ... should I get another cheap HDCD player to decode my HDCD cds (invest too much in present player, can't change), stay with my XP software decoding, or find a dvd player that does SACD and HDCD? Decisions .. decisions ...

 

 

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that's strange. I thought that HDCD should sound as good on a normal CD player, though it would take a HDCD player to extract the most from it. There's an official microsoft website if you want to know more. It's http://www.hdcd.com/about/index.htm.

 

What converted me to HDCD was an A/B comparison of the Simon & Gurfunkel's Greatest Hits at the CD shop in Great World city. Through the Sony SACD player using headphones, the HDCD version had much better sound seperation than the normal version.

 

However, I haven't listened to those CDs that's mentioned in this thread so it could be these recordings, rather than a problem with the format itself.

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The white paper said HDCD cds SHOULD sound better than normal cds even on a normal cdp. But from my own personal experience, it is not so. All my HDCD cds sound somewhat muted compared to normal cds on my cdp. That depends on the bandwidth of your source and overall system, I guess.

 

Thats was also why I said HDCD was a way of "creating" more fidelity on cheaper systems. A cd player that can reveal the similar detail on a normal cd compared to a HDCD encoded cd playing on HDCD cdp would cost much much more ... I think

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I believe whatever formats it is, it boils down to the recordings.

 

I think most pop CDs (not all) that's recorded in 24bit are too bright & ear-piercing eg: ABBA The Definitive Collection which is 24bit digitally remastered & sounded very, very noisy. Cannot tahan.

 

I've the Bee Gees, Their Greatest Hits The Record which is a HDCD & this CD sounded so much better than the normal CD (BTW, I used a 24bit CDP).

 

I also have Patricia Barber's Cafe Blue in normal version. Later, I bought the HDCD version after listening & A/B between the 2 versions. Gave the normal version to a friend. IMO, the HDCD version have more details, bigger soundstage, deeper bass & it's played in a normal CDP only, not HDCD player.

 

Whether it's 16bit, 20bit, 24bit, Gold pressing, HDCD, it all depends but for audiophiles' recording it should be good if not great.

 

 

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Face it, lots of this exclusive 24K gold recordings at certain shops are just marketing gimmicks, you think every small store got the same recording studio and engineers like Chesky, DMP, Stereophile..just color it gold and sell at higher price.

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Actually, I think the problem could be my cdp. It's a mighty old Naim CDi which is a 16-bit cdp. It plays any normal 16-bit cd EXTREMELY well. Sounds like crap when playing new cd formats such as HDCD cds, DSD cds, etc, compared to the newer cdp with 24-bit DAC. Gonna check out with AbsoluteSound ...

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Better reflectivity means brighter? Sonically or optically?

 

I personally find the recording to be THE MOST important factor, not HDCD/Gold Disc gimmicks. Garbage in, garbage out.

 

The sound engineer maybe prefer higher treble could have dubbed the ablum with the EQ biased towards treble.

 

Those 70s & early 80s music surely got sound "enhancement" during the re-mastering process. Usually the "enhancement" boost the treble, coz those time recording was done in analog form and tended to less fidelity recording treble. So, to compensate for this, re-mastering is done with some treble boost to "even" out the low amplitude treble.

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  • 12 years later...

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