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Thread: CD format ?

  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Question CD format ?

    Can some one explain to me the differences in these CD formats and put them in order of quality?

    XRCD, K2, Gold CD, HDCD vs STD CD. Can all these formats be played on a regular CD player and get the benefits of the enhanced recording.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Can some one explain to me the differences in these CD formats and put them in order of quality?

    XRCD, K2, Gold CD, HDCD vs STD CD. Can all these formats be played on a regular CD player and get the benefits of the enhanced recording.

    Thanks!
    Larry

    I know XRCD and HDCD can be played on a standard player but to hear the benefits of HDCD you would need an HDCD player. Gold cd is just the type of cd. Std cd I am thinking is the standard cd which has a silver or aluminum looking base instead of the gold.
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  3. #3
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    XRCD & K2 can be played on any CDP. HDCD has to have the decoder built into the CDP to hear the effect. It's been a while since I visited this subject and I have forgotten exactly how the mastering of all of these are done. The only thing I know of Gold CD are the ones pressed by Mobile Fidelity and they actually use gold as the reflective rather than the typical aluminum or whatever is used. Gold CD's can be played on any player, the elements of the discs are just different.
    Last edited by Mr Peabody; 03-15-2008 at 07:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    It seems that XRCD and K2 are recorded at higher resolutions.

    K2 cd's are 24 bit and have a bandwith of 100kHz and an average error block of 10 which is 22x's better than a std CD.

    XRCD's are also extended resolution, hence-XRCD.

    Both these formats cost more and from what i could find on the net, they are supposed to sound slighty to much better than std CD's, but you will pay a premiun of up to $30 or more for a CD.

    check out www.musicdirect.com click on CD's

    http://audiobasics.com/acatalog/freq...questions.html
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  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here's another site that explains XRCD and K2 as well as where you can buy them.

    http://www.elusivedisc.com/xrcdinfo.asp
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  6. #6
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge, XRCD is a factory processing format that includes the use of a master clock to link all the production processes and a higher word size right up to the point where the data is actually recorded to a master CD.

    At this time the factory file format is converted back to 16 bit 44.1KHz and the disk becomes playable on any Redbook machine. No special circuits or processing is involved because it is now a standard format. XRCD was designed to eliminate factory mastering problems.

    HDCD will play on any machine, but those that have the optional HDCD decoder will produce an audibly cleaner signal (on good recordings), I think HDCD shifts the bit values up and down for loud or soft passages so on a "normal" palyer the result is a small amount of compression (6dB? Far smaller than the typically over processed pop music compression).
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  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    From the XRCD24 recordings that I've been able to listen to online, they sound much better than other recordings. Now I dont know if its just because of the quality of the mp3 or not.

    Here's a site that you can purchase XRCD24 from, its mostly classical and jazz

    www.eastwindimport.com/default.asp

    you have to scroll down to find the XRCD's
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  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Same old same old

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    From the XRCD24 recordings that I've been able to listen to online, they sound much better than other recordings. Now I dont know if its just because of the quality of the mp3 or not.

    Here's a site that you can purchase XRCD24 from, its mostly classical and jazz

    www.eastwindimport.com/default.asp

    you have to scroll down to find the XRCD's
    95% of the sound quality of any recording came from the recording process, not the distribution medium, (at least, any medium better than 192kbps).

    As others have said, all CDs formats have 16 bit, 44.1 kHz resolution. That includes HDCD which users "tricks" to encode a bit more dynamic range that you can only extract if you have a CDP with a decoder.

    Sure, maybe an XRCD sournds better than a typical CD, but the XRCD is a completely standard CD as it enters your CDP. For that matter, SACD might sound better than a standard CD but most of the difference, despite >3x the theoretical bit rate, is coming from more careful recording practice, not the higher rez.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the clarification, on HDCD, I wasn't clear, I should havve said you need the decoder to reap the benefit of HDCD. I have a few of these and they do play on any CD player. I still see HDCD playback mentioned in feature lists occasionally but it's rare any more. In the few discs I have the difference must be subtle because I can't tell any difference between a playback with or without the decoder. Of course, an accurate comparison would be impossible since you'd need two identical players, one with and one with out the decoder.

    Musicdirect used to stock a decent selection of XRCD from JVC and I think they were only about $20.00. I'm not sure if they've gone up.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. If the XRCD24 CD's are not any better than std cd's then I probably wont be buying them for $20-30 a cd.
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  11. #11
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Since a significant contributor to the sound of an individual CD is studio and processing details, they tend to sound better, but I doubt it's worth double the price per CD.
    Herman;

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  12. #12
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

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  13. #13
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I have to say this about XRCD24. I heard some disc's at a friends house and compared some std CD's to the same recordings in XRCD24 and some of the XRCD's sounded better and some others sounded about the same.
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    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
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