20 bit cd recordings

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  • 02-21-2004, 03:47 PM
    weez82
    20 bit cd recordings
    Can someone give me some info on this? I bought a few 20 bit cds and would like some info on them. Any links or info you can give would be great. Thank you.
  • 02-21-2004, 05:27 PM
    Mash
    The significance of 20 bits?
    20 bits are supposed to give you better definition and clarity. I suspect the difference is subtle at best.

    I bought Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" (Columbia, CK 64935) at Sam's last fall for $9 or so. My motivation was that this recording was described as "a 20-bit remastering using a Presto all-tube three-track and the music is in the correct key!" [The jacket notes pointed out that previous Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" recordings were in the wrong key, i.e. a speed error.]

    I really do like it, and I am not sure how much the 20-bit format really contributes. But it sounds great on my Musical Fidelity CD, the JVC DVD, and the Hitachi 192/24 CD/DVD.

    Personally, I would suggest selecting the music, venue, and artist(s) and not worry about the 20-bit part.
  • 02-21-2004, 09:43 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by weez82
    Can someone give me some info on this? I bought a few 20 bit cds and would like some info on them. Any links or info you can give would be great. Thank you.


    CD redbook is 16 bit, period, end of story. While they may master in 20 bit depth the CD has 16 bits on it. Or it would not be compatible with many players.
  • 02-22-2004, 06:19 AM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    CD redbook is 16 bit, period, end of story. While they may master in 20 bit depth the CD has 16 bits on it. Or it would not be compatible with many players.

    this is, of course, true - the extra bits are truncated in order to work with CDP's. And yet, the 20 bit recordings tend to sound better than their "regular" counterparts. I don't think this is as much bias on my part or as a result of extra bits as it is simply a better mastering job. But whatever the reason, they do sound better so I've found them to be good buys, particularly since they don't cost any more than 16 bit discs.
  • 02-22-2004, 07:44 AM
    markw
    I think you've nailed it.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DMK
    ... I don't think this is as much bias on my part or as a result of extra bits as it is simply a better mastering job. But whatever the reason, they do sound better...

    It's neigh on impossible to attribute a different/better sound to a new fangled recording process (20 bit, SACD, DVD-Audio, etc...) when these "new, improved" releases also include a libreal reintertation of the original mix/mastering. A little eq can go a long way.

    When Sony was doing their original dog and pony show to show how great SACD wasas opposed to the old fashioned redbook stuff, they went to theit vaults and used, I think, Miles Davis and others. Everyone was wowed by the improved sound. Only later did it come out that, along with the new format, they also tweaked the eq as well. So much for an apple to apple comparison.

    FWIW, I do like my Columbia/Legacy 20 bit reissues. But, then again, I don't have the original vinyl to compare them to either.