DCC Archive I'll probably get slammed for this question but.....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave, Nov 8, 2001.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢ Thread Starter

    Location:
    B.C.
    In closing guys,
    All I can say is that another member Ben has also done the comparative of the two and has also heard the same differences that Gary and I have and we don't know Ben personally. So if opportunity presents itself check it out, if your system is as revealing as the three of ours seems to be you to will hear the difference as your ears don't lie.
    As to why it happened? Who cares . The fact is and always will be that a)it did happen and b)the UD1 will always be better as confirmed by a lot more people than just us three on the board. Nuff said
     
  2. Paul C.

    Paul C. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Well, this is all very interesting, but I don't think we've got to the bottom of it. We need the expert input of someone who knows what happens in all stages of CD transfer and production.

    So if we assume that the UD1s and the UD2s were produced from the same digital master - which makes sense - something must have been done differently in the pressing plants. I doubt that the sound differences you speak ofit could just be solely attributed to different hardware used in the plants. There mus be another step where the difference could have been introduced.

    An intriguing similar case concerns the recent Blue Note RVG series - some of you may have found that there were differences between the US domestic and Japanese versions of some RVG titles. In some cases the differences were dramatic (eg. Hancock's Empyrean Isles, where the US version in early pressings had horrible digital distortion on one track, whereas the Japanese version was fine). Now this could be a case of different digital masters being prepared for the different markets - I don't know. But i do remember someone on the Blue Note board saying that there was a stage in the production where the pressing plant would take the digital master, and could bump up the gain depending on what was required, before actual production. I don't know if I got that quite right, but it was my recollection of an attempt to explain why the same digital master could sound quite different on different pressings. Clearly, we need expert advice here - can you help Steve?
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢ Thread Starter

    Location:
    B.C.
    Paul,
    Funny you should talk about Blue Notes adding gain to the pressing as that appears to be what has been done to the UD2s as opposed to the UD1s as well as the sound stage isn't as wide and sounds a little muddy. Hhhmmmm... :rolleyes:
     
  4. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    Toronto
    Didn't someone say somewhere (on this board) that the manufacturer could add a bit of EQ to a pressing if needed?

    Or could MFSL EQ'd it a bit before producing the UD2's? For better sales.. :rolleyes: ?

    Dave, we never listened for an EQ difference, did we? It was not Real Apparent, at least. Or do you recall if there was a difference?
     
  5. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    I really think they took either the DAT or the gold CD themselves and put it through another mastering chain, totally changing the color of the sound. Some of the UD2's (that WERE UD1's) aren't as noticeable. Remember, some of the MFSLs were goldlike, like U2's "War" while you might have a large room argue about how "Layla" sounds in general.
     
  6. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    Perhaps it's not a huge problem at the new plant that led to a significant difference in sound. The audiophile press has stated for years that different cables between a CD transport and the DA converter have audible differences. That's the exact same CD sounding different, and we're discussing 2 different CD's manufactured in different places. I've read that CD's pressed from glass masters that were cut at 2X speed, didn't sound as good as those pressed from a glass master cut in real time. If the waveforms of the UD1 and UD2 are exactly the same (Sckott?) then some other difference may exist. LINN claims to have made the ultimate CD player (and for 20,000 clams it had better be) that has no jitter, or at least too little to measure. Perhaps on one of those, UD1's and 2's sound exactly the same? Hmmmmmmmmmm. It's a pricey way to make that UD2 Dark Side come alive, but . . .
     
  7. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    I really just think they used a different audio chain and somewhere, where they re-introduced the sound for re-duplication mastering, something strange happened.

    You CAN duplicate an audio disc correctly, completely clone the wav-forms without jitter. But that's now, and I think MFSL had other ideas and reasons, be it hastiness or political. Sometimes, the label can dictate what sound they prefer, like Steve said about how Kevin was steered to cut for MCA Heavy Vinyl like he did.

    Still, there's nothing ever going to be like the Stan Ricker Lps. It's history repeating itself with those slight differences in the UD2's. It's why I can't duplicate my mom's red sauce.

    I don't have duplicate MFSLs to make comparisons. Once you take the MFSL Cds to analogue, that's the first steps to manipulating and coloruing the sound anyway. The cat is out of the bag. They should have imaged the UD1's, if they could. From what I'm hearing from all of you, that's not what was done. Sounds like real-time D->A->D reduping. I can't say from experience, but that's my fair guess.
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Would this help?

    Let's pretend that the CD masters were cut from the master tape and sent to Japan for etching and pressing.

    Now, let's say that a Beta copy was made back home for a lower quality back up.

    Now, let's pretend that the Japanese pressing plant closed down and all the stuff was trashed.

    So, what is left? Beta copies in which to make new CD masters from, for the new American plant.

    And they lived unhappily ever after. :eek:
     
  9. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    That's a very sad story...

    Todd
     
  10. Paul C.

    Paul C. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Sckott - if they really did do something in the way of D->A->D conversion, that would have to be regarded as (from an audiophile's point of view) morally reprehensible and unforgivable. Why degrade the signal that way?

    It would be interesting to know the answer. Re jitter - don't the XRCDs have the claim to fame of having minimal jitter compared to other releases? I don't fully understand what that means, but people have reported noticeable differences between XRCDs (which use 20-bit K2) and regular K2 remasters. These differences I think have been attributed to the greater care involved in the manufacturing process - again, I'm not sure what that means, nor whether jitter is a factor there.

    In that regard, it would be interesting to compare the same XRCD titles as pressed in Japan and the US - I believe there are titles in that series that have been released in both Japan and the US (I think I am correct in assuming that XRCDs are now made in the US).
     
  11. Paul C.

    Paul C. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Steve - just read your hypothetical explanation. Being the most succinct and elegant reason to explain the differences, it's probably the truth.
     
  12. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    Steve, humor me: why would you need a lower quality backup of a digital master? Couldn't you have a bit-perfect copy back in the States?
     
  13. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    I'll pick some up here, however useless it might be:

    "Sckott - if they really did do something (snip) morally reprehensible and unforgivable. Why degrade the signal that way?"

    Like Steve said, that's what devices they were up against, really. MFSL also had it's afterlife several times and micromanagement changed a lot too, affecting product in minor and drastic ways. Yeah, it's audiophile treason, but when the bottom line is hot, they put that out to make the boat float, I'm sure. If you really wanna get into it, reissues don't always get better. Concider it a reissue, silently, poorly.

    " I'm not sure what that means, nor whether jitter is a factor there."

    Jitter is plainly concidered to be where a digital waveform has data missing or "nonsense" reverted back, usually at playback, and DAC is left to make assumptions fast and sensible as possible. It happens when you dupe a CD with an "OK" CD rom there too. You may not notice it, even with bat-hearing. JVC's claim to fame even earlier was thier CDs, at manufacturing, were rock solid. I agree. MFSL used JVC for 80% of their UD2s in MFSLs second coming. What they might mean, is the XRCDs may have been CRC'd (checked) to find their production master was 100% perfect to mastering. Still, it's not a hard feat nowadadays.

    "people have reported noticeable differences between XRCDs (which use 20-bit K2) and regular K2 remasters."

    Actually, they ARE totally different animals, but somewhat similar in ways. Interestingly, a lot of the K2 Cds, mainly the Kinks JPN discs were made by JVC, but that wasn't the rule.

    The American JVC manufactured discs and the JPN ones use the same standards and plant equipment to large extents. MCA used JVC quite a lot too. A JVC disc manuf. disc is spotted when you look at the matrix of the CD, and the catalog number is heavy, and carries numeric-code hyroglifs that look like blocks with pieces missing out of them. That is the equiv. of a UPC code used at the plant level. JVC does great work on both sides of the lake, IMO.
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Maybe they didn't realize it was a lower quality copy, it might have been fine for a cassette version. And maybe they didn't realize that their precious CD master would be thrown in a Dumpster outside of Kobe.
     
  15. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Anyone who wants to know about jitter should read this:
    http://www.digido.com/jitteressay.html

    As for the UD1 vs UD2 - if they didn't have the master, why not just use a CD as the master?
     
  16. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    I thought the UD2 for Nirvana "Nevermind" sounded pretty good--I haven't played it in quite a few months, but it always sounded good to me. However, I'm not a MASTER in the field of audio, so I typically bow to the wisdom on display at this forum. I do remember that I loved the way my vinyl used to sound before I sold most of them. I cried a couple of times after selling them, but I think I'll live--it's been a year. I think they sounded better than almost all cd's I have purchased, but what I REALLY like is the sound of these old reel tapes of music from the past. Those reels, which I listened to at the home of a friend of my grandmothers, sounds better than anything else I've heard. From what I hear, SACD, and maybe even DVD-A is supposed to sound pretty damn good. I'd like to know what you think, Steve? You certainly have some experience with them by now.
     
  17. Paul C.

    Paul C. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks Sckott for your comments. And thanks Luke for the reference to the article on jitter. - fascintaing stuff.
     
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