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Steve, what are your thoughts on HDCD? (Asked in reference to upcoming gold CDs.)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KeithH, Nov 4, 2004.

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  1. OcdMan

    OcdMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    :confused:

    David, I think you probably like certain HDCDs because many are mastered just fine. :thumbsup:

    What do 15" Tannoys have to do with this?

    :confused:
     
  2. OcdMan

    OcdMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    There is nothing wrong with owning and enjoying HDCD encoded discs.

    Heck, I even enjoy some CDs that have been - *gasp* - peak limited! :eek: :)

    I think that instead of fretting over whether or not something is HDCD encoded, fret over the fact that the mastering engineer probably used ProTools and digital EQ. ;)
     
  3. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    An interesting thread, and I'm very glad you contributed an expert opinion, Steve. I know you don't want to start any fights or get anyone's knickers in a twist, but I always want to benefit from your experience, whether or not I agree with you about everything.

    FWIW, folks, Steve's not alone in his opinion. Several years ago there was some kind of digital shootout over at Sound and Vision involving people I respect, David Ranada for one. I think some mastering engineers might have been involved too. I can't remember the exact context, but the consensus was that while Pacific Microsonics made some of the best A/D-D/A converters on the market, the HDCD encode/decode process did in fact color the sound. IIRC, Ranada just plain didn't like the sound, and said so (an unusually candid statement for that magazine, although they do take a stand more often than some folks give them credit for).

    The article concluded that the converters couldn't be beat, but the encode/decode HDCD process was better left alone.

    I have several HDCD discs, but no standalone decoder. When I want to hear HDCD decoded, I have to use my computer and Windows Media Player (built-in from v.9 on). It's hard to do an A/B comparison--I haven't found a way to switch the decoding on and off. Maybe I can figure something out....
     
  4. I second-that-motion!

    Here's a second-that-motion. Also, the highs sound compressed and spitty. Hardly fits my definition of transparent, opaque and mechanical is more like it.
     
  5. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    People, videophiles even, already say that!;-)
    I just bought Once Upon a Time in Mexico, for the second time (SB). And I'm no where near the fan of this movie (although Selma's GREAT) as I am Desperado.

    Some people will pay for 2% improvement & some will laugh.
    I still have no opinion on the HDCD discs. I would have to compare a CD with the same mastering on HDCD and I have yet to do so. As previously stated, redbook has be reviewed time & time again, too sound 'better' on an HDCD equipped player.
     
  6. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    Hi Thom,
    What titles are you speaking of?
    Thanks.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funkytown
    I don't think comparing HDCD to Superbit is valid. For one thing, Superbit isn't a format, and it doesn't require a special decoder with special back-end processing. It's simply a disc with a higher video bitrate, and this is accomplished by leaving excessive 'bonus' material and soundtracks off of the disc.

    Secondly, Superbit, for at least some movies, does increase picture detail. Screen grabs have proven this, and measuring this is objective, not subjective. You might need a 100" screen and a keen eye to tell the difference in realtime, but it is there.
     
  8. Beagle

    Beagle Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    On all HDCD titles??

    I think the power of suggestion is alive and well in this thread..
     
  9. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi,

    Here's a second that motion. I listened to a couple of Acoustic Disc HDCD titles and i didn't hear spitty & compressed highs.

    Take care,
    Jeffrey
     
  10. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    I was not comparing HDCD too Superbit. I was comparing audiophiles, too videophiles. Just using the two formats, for examples for both groups.
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    It took you almost a month to reply? Heh.

    I'm reconsidering using HDCD on the AF Gold CD's. We did a little tweaking and I'm getting great results....
     
  12. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    Cool, maybe HDCD can be good when used effectively then. I kind of toned down my love for it when it seemed the majority of people on here didn't like it. :o I still find I like the way many HDCD encoded CDs sound so I'm glad that maybe I don't have to hide my feelings. :winkgrin:
     
  13. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    What kind of HDCD player do you have?
     
  14. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi SH,

    Thanks for keeping an open mind and reconsidering. I saw Jerry Garcia play live hundreds of times in all types of settings using some of the best touring equipment ever made and feel confident i know his true sound. Properly calibrated HDCD comes real close to reproducing that sound.

    Take care,
    Jeffrey
     
  15. RnR

    RnR Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    Take a gander at the Rotel RCD-1072 -- of course I'm biased, as I've got one!

    The '1072 is a standard Red Book player with HDCD support.
     
  16. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    As someone who just bought a Denon 3910 this weekend partly due to the quality of it's HDCD decoder, I say GO BABY! If they can't be SACD, at least make 'em HDCD!:D
     
  17. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    Any issues with playback on non-HDCD machines?
     
  18. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Location:
    Houston
    Steve,
    Please just give us the standard gold CDs if you can't use SACD.

    Thanks,
    Joe L.
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Issues solved. That was the clincher. Neutral playback on regular machines. We got it.
     
  20. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    GREAT!!! Now, will the Faces CD be HDCD (LPs will be mailed tomorrow night)?
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Yes it will. Thanks for the LP, Larry.
     
  22. vanmeterannie

    vanmeterannie Forum Resident

    Denny Purcell described regular CD to me as looking into the room while HDCD was being in the room.
     
  23. Damián

    Damián Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Spain now
    I'd be interested in doing this test as well (I've got exactly one HDCD title, Hendrix's Ultimate Experience). But both my soundcards are 16-bit. So that'd mean WMP would have to downsample the 'virtual' 20-bits down to 16 again for output, right?
     
  24. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    You have only 1 HDCD, and it's the rarest one? I'm jealous. I have dozens, but NO JIMI! :D
     
  25. PMC7027

    PMC7027 Forum Hall Of Fame


    I have the Jimi disc, and I really enoy it. Send me a PM and we'll "talk" about it.

    I'm really pleased to hear that the AF Gold Faces CD will be HDCD encoded.
     
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