HDCD Surprise! and a Question

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Mellotronix, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,837
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains!
    HDCD was a bit of an odd format. The process required the master to be HDCD encoded, and the audio to be HDCD decoded, upon playback. As mentioned, the Pacific Microsonics chipsets were the best, but they typically only appeared in expensive, high end gear. I had a Parasound DAC that could decode a HDCD disc, and while it didn't use the Pacific Microsonics DAC's, it still sounded very good.

    Also, concerning 'false positives'. A master needed HDCD encoding, but the PQ Subcode (the Table Of Contents / TOC of the CD) also had an area set aside for HDCD. There was an ON/OFF 'Flag' that needed to be set to ON, if HDCD encoding was present. I'd often receive master tapes, with no encoding, but the TOC HDCD Flag had been set to ON. So, on playback, the CD player would activate the HDCD display, and try and decode the audio, but there would be no audible benefits.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,017
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    The Hejira HDCD sounded great with decoding. It remained my reference tillthe HD version got released.

    I have a (copy) of a Garth Brooks thats stamped HDCD but it does not have any of the headers. I don't know if it was manufacturing defect or what. 5 different copies behaved the same.
     
  3. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,689
    Location:
    VA near DC
    What is "the HD" version? I have BluRay PureAudio of a couple Albums (Quadrophenia and Beck's Sea Changes, for instance)
    that are both gorgeous - but they are BluRay
     
  4. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,619
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    Thanks for reminding me, I just downloaded the HDCD plugin for Foobar... you do have to paste some code in to actually display HDCD though.
     
  5. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,017
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    192khz 24bit from HDTracks.

    BluRay audio? Heard of them....never invested in one. I never saw that going anywhere.
     
  6. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,689
    Location:
    VA near DC
    Ah, thanks for the info - so its purchased/downloaded HD tracks ...

    About the PureAudio discs, well, since I already had the Oppo BluRay player - all it cost was the discs ...
    Quadrophenia: [Blu-ray PureAudio] $19 shipped.
    Sea Change [Blu-ray PureAudio] also $19 shipped ...
    Since I like both albums and Sea Change in SACD or any hiRes format was unobtainium, it was a fine price. And I do like having a physical disc of my media.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,017
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    Yeah...I remember when both "Pure Audio Blu-Ray" and "High Fidelity Pure Audio" which were different initiatives for a Blu-Ray audio format by two different labels were coming out. The main concern was yet another failure for a disc format that was hindered by being a different and slightly incompatible standard like DVD-Audio was to DVD-Video....but apparently both work on standard Blu-Ray players and are (I'm guessing) just uncompressed PCM audio containing literally just audio. I almost bought one a time or two do see how hard the audio would be to "liberate" from the disc.....but I never actually heard much about it. I still don't know where the format stands...I'm pretty sure I could go on Amazon or something and get some for about $20/each to give it a try...but most of the stuff released on those has wound up on HDTracks/AcousticSounds. The thing that got me was most of the Pure Audio releases I saw on the initial list were just 96/24, though 192/24 was supported. Maybe I should look in to if they're still releasing stuff on it or if it's gone the way of audiophile niche like SACD has.

    But that's basically all Blu-Ray audio is....just HD PCM audio formatted for Blu-Ray. I could probably make them if I knew the specifics of how the disc was formatted.

    Physical media is nice; but I learned a very long time ago it has the downfall of being physical...so damage and theft have been the two downfalls with me for it. So if it's a physical disc I back it up...and if it's downloaded it goes in to the collection...which gets backed up in 3 places.

    Even the SACDs.

    Seriously.
     
  8. ARJohn

    ARJohn Super Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Gatineau ,Canada
    I have the same Dac and also had the same Marantz changer and it did not pass the HDCD for some reason but the Adcom is fussy , I have had a few other players that it would not even lock on to all ? But I love the sound of that Adcom .
     
    red 111 likes this.
  9. ARJohn

    ARJohn Super Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Gatineau ,Canada
    I picked up a Marantz CD6006 last night thinking it might be a one box solution , switching back and forth to the Marantz dac vs the Adcom I prefer the Adcom dac , but the Marantz throws a wider sound stage where the Adcom sounds more of a narrow soundstage , but vocals are better using the Adcom dac and lound passages get sort of cd-sish sounding on the Marantz's internal dac . Will have to let it play more and see what happens .
     
  10. lightcapture

    lightcapture Active Member

    Messages:
    420
    Mellotonix,
    Sorry for being late to your post. I likewise have a Yamaha universal player, namely the BD-S677. I had it for a short while in a home theater and only watched 4 movies with it and a handful of CDs. Home Theater was not my interest so I sold all but the player. I now have the analogue outputs hooked up to a 2-channel integrated amp and recently notice the HDCD icon flashing with one of my few HDCDs The sound quality was much better than regular CDs so I'm confident the analogue outputs carry the decoded HDCDs. Now I'm on the hunt for used HDCDs and SACDs. I don't know which model you have but the BD-S677 with its 192khz/32bit DAC is an outstanding music player for CD, HDCD and SACDs. I think the sound is so very good that I'm interested in the new BD-A1060 universal player w/ balanced outputs, of which my integrated amp has. I will patiently wait until I sell my current player sells on CL. Either way the 677 sounds so good I could easily live with it.
    Mike
     
  11. EyeGee

    EyeGee Big Ears

    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Northern California
    I picked up an Assemblage DAC which decodes HDCD and immediately set about acquiring HDCDs. They're usually mixed in with other titles at large used CD stores (like Amoeba, if you're in Cali). I found the sound on most HDCDs quite vivid. Unfortunately there's a paucity of titles, but I was pleased to find some OK jazz titles, including "Blues in Orbit" by Duke which is half HD. The Art Ensemble releases on Atlantic sound great in HD ("Fanfare for the Warriors"). I wasn't able to find many HD jazz vocal releases.

    The HD is a little more apparent on certain rock releases, especially Roxy Music's catalog, not so much for Joni Mitchell's catalog (altho I will say Jaco Pastorius in HD is a lot of fun). I haven't heard the Neil Young releases.

    I was really impressed by the HDCD version of Springsteen's 4 CD set "Tracks". Haven't heard the Petty box set.

    I do have a multibit DAC now, but I'll have to swap my transport so I can get one that would accommodate both toslink and coaxial and then switch between the DACs when I want to hear HDCD. The multibit is superior, IMHO, for redbook CDs (non HD) to the Assemblage, probably because the Assemblage is 20+ years old.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    987
    What Assemblage DAC is that? Based on what I can find Assemblage 1, 2, 3 DACs were using Burr Brown Multi-Bit DAC modules 1702/1704, so if your Assemblage is one of those it is a true multibit DAC. In fact those Burr Brown MB DAC chips being 20-24 bit resolution are vastly superior to what's in the Modi Multibit (16 bits on paper, probably more like 14 in real life). The "superiority" likely comes from the Modi's immunity to jitter as it has an internal DSP buffer and its DAC chip is clocked from a stable internal oscillator vs. the clock embedded in the jittery SPDIF signal for the Assemblage. Throw in a decent SPDIF jitter killer/reclocker between your transport and the Assemblage (e.g. iFi SPDIF iPurifier, there are others too) and use quality coax digital interconnects, and you may find it sounds better than the Modi.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018

Share This Page