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View topic - I love Mobile fidelity what about you?

I love Mobile fidelity what about you?

This forum addresses questions on installation, configuration and troubleshooting you might encounter with your Sony MD/CD/SACD.

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by dontsleep33 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:03 am

Ultradisc II 24 KT. Gold CD

When I see that I have come to learn that it will probably be the best sounding version available!
I have a few ranging from Santana,The cream to Guns n' roses,Bob Marley etc...Simply awsome!
What are your thoughts about these fantastic cd's?
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by David_S » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:21 am

The Who - Quadrophenia  UDCD 2-550
I bought it new a number of years ago after much hesitation becauce it was a bit pricey.  It sounds beautiful, along with my other Mobile Fidelity CDs.

Your thread made me check out their web site, they also have some SACDs.  I might order 1 to check out what they sound like.
TA- N77ES, E77ES, E80ES, E9000ES
STR- GX10ES, DA4ES, DA5700ES
DVP- NS999ES
HAP-S1, MDS-JA20ES, ST-S730ES
RM- AX4000, AX1400
APM-55W, APM-33W
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by dontsleep33 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:07 pm

I bet the Sacd's sound great too!
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by bradster56 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Try Japanese SHM-CD format..blows away MF...No Quadrophenia in that format but the standard Japanese re-master is best!
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by jeromelang » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:22 pm


On 2010-07-14 16:15, bradster56 wrote:
Try Japanese SHM-CD format..blows away MF...No Quadrophenia in that format but the standard Japanese re-master is best!


there is a certain methodology required when comparing different cd pressings on optical disc players. the problem is - the different methods that you can use to cue up a track to player can give you vastly different sound.... !
It is a bit complicated to explain the background to it all, and i just want to quickly highlight what you can expect to hear.
simply, each time you shut down your player, it triggers a command voltage to clear out its residual playback memory in its microprocessor (call "ram" here for short).  then, using a combination of hand actions, one can get the player to read the data off the disc with minimum jitter.

if you are playing (a confirmed) 1st print CD, and using this method of cueing, you will be rewarded with unprecedented qualities like these:

- imaging has more defined outlines.
- there is a palpable solidity to the centre-fill image that leaps out from the woodwork.
- can perceive a full figure body with the centre-fill vocal image
- top-end is airy and well extended.
- clear separation between the reverbs from the main vocals and instruments (thus NOT altering the timbre of voices and instruments)
- there is an effortless ease to the musical flow

2 years ago, one of my audio buddies working in Sony HQ japan, invited me to his house for a listening session. it was in one of those quaint little suburbs in Tokyo, which one has to change trains a couple of times to get there. i wouldn't been able to find it on my own. well, rather excitedly, he wanted to share with me the sonic merits of the SHM CDs (from universal). one of the many universal SHM discs he played was the keith jarrett's koln concert (originally recorded in analogue under the ECM label). we compared it against an earlier german pressing disc he bought while he was stationed in germany many years ago, as part of the speaker design team that created the critically acclaimed SS-176.

we did this listening test on his second system, consisting of a pair of SS-176 driven by an Digital-Drive AVD-C70ES (omg, this is an excellent amplifier!). i let him use the conventional methods first (just hit the play button on the remote). and our first impression was - the shm disc sounded fuller-bodied, compared to the earlier german pressing, which was more distanced. both discs have constricted soundstaging - the height barely reached the SS-176 speakers' tweater position, and imaging was upfront, forward of the speaker baffles. the piano tone on both discs sounded clangy and very dry, and as i didn't know it any better then, since it was my frst exposure to keith jarrett, i would have said that he was playing an electonic keyboard. either that, the piano might have been so closely mic'ed, that there was no chance for the artificially added reverberations to blossom naturally.

i noticed that this german disc have the aluminium silver area covered very close to the spindle hole area (unlike most discs nowadays you see which has a wider band of clear plastic area around the spindle hole). from my experience buying 1st print west germany made CDs on ebay, i instinctively knew that it wasn't a first print, since the spindle hole area wasn't entirely covered in silver. there is still a 2mm gap of clear plastic around the spindle area. nevertheless i suggested that my friend sit back and let me do the cueing up (using my preferred procedure)for the rematch.

the result - the SHM disc remained constricted in soundstaging and upfront, and the piano still sound clangy. but the german disc then sounded totally transformed. instead of sounding "distanced", we heard the piano performance receeding further back into the soundstage, very distinct from the huge swathes of reverberation that created the feeling that this performance was recorded in a very large space, the height of which we could make out to be close to the ceiling of the listening room, the width extended beyond the boundary of the 3 walls that cocooned around the speaker system. but what is startling is that we then heard distinctively, the fundamental (basic)notes being hammered, then followed by myriad harmonics of the resonating strings interacting and modulating against each other, and then bloosoming into a magical sonic cushion of sound in a large cavenous hall, as 3 separate and distinct entities. as we tried each discs again back and forth (using what i coined the "jerome procedure"), it became very clear that the shm disc sounded hard and lifeless. loud climaxes sounded constricted, while fundamental notes, the harmonics and subsequent reverberation don't quite "separate" as they should. this is something the SHM CD has failed to do and something my host didn't realise until he heard an earlier CD pressing, albiet a 2nd pressing, but made and released by the original german label compared against it.

i also tried playing the german disc again using conventional the cueing method. when i did that, the piano started to sound clangy again, the soundstage collasped, and the individual notes and reverberation no longer sound as separate entities. cueing the disc to play in this way made the german disc sound closer to the shm CD. but otoh, the sonics of the shm cd didn't changed very much regardless of whatever cueing methods were used. in another word, whatever is causing the same german disc to sound so different just by using 2 different types of track cueing methods has produced some sort of sonic artifacts which had already has been encoded into the shm CD. and this is the sort of sonic artifacts/differences that i have noticed when i made duplicates of CDs or when I ripped wav files from CDs.

now jump to march this year, i went back for a rematch. this time, armed with the first pressing, german made CD that i managed to find on ebay. this original first pressing have the spindle hole area covered entirely in silver. the disc track listing also differs from the 2nd pressing and shm CD in that it contains only 3 tracks. the last track, which is available on the other 2 later CD discs, and also available on the 2-disc gatefold LP, had been omited from this first pressing CD disc. we compared all 3 CD disc, again using the jerome procedure. needless to say, the sense of the separation is even more vivid on this first pressing disc. however, the piano, while still sounding deep into the cavenous, reverberant stage, now has more focus, more palpable weightage, surrounded by a rich tapestries of sound moulded by the interplay of the resonating strings using the pedals and holding down the keys. for the whole of 25 minutes as we sat fixated, listening to the first track of this first pressing disc, a profound and transcendant drama unfolds as we hear the grandeur and sweep of jarrett's playing in his prime.

i've since compared many universal shm cds to their west german made 1st print counterparts. i also checked a few of japanese verve's SACD releases, most notably, "california dreaming" by wes mongotmory and "ella and louis" against the west german made, silver rim CDs. the result has been constantly the same. the japanese universal discs sound very poor (in the same way as described above) against the original germany 1st print CDs that were largely straight transfers from the analogue mastertapes. in the last 2 years the prices of german made discs on ebay has gone up several orders of magnitude. i hope this post doesn't cause them to jump up any further....!

if you happen to visit an audio show in the USA somewhere in the near future, and happen to pop in into the kimber kable room, look for my host, the soft-spoken, skinny japanese gentleman who would there to demo some handcrafted speakers from hokkaido, ask him about this lil' matchup of the keith jarrett koln concert discs. chances are he might play you this german 1st print cd. i gave it to him as a parting gift.


-----------------
Main System: Sources Sony SCD-1, Michell Gyro SE, SME V, Lyra Skala. Amplifiers Pass Lab Aleph Ono, Pass X2.5, Pass X350. Speakers Sony SS-M9ED. Cables Straightwire Crescendo interconnects, double run speaker cables.



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by dontsleep33 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:45 pm

I cannot comment on SHM but I have so many MSFL recordings now I almost feel cheated if I don't get to listen to their version now.
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by JAFant » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:19 pm

I love the MFSL CDs as well. I own about two dozen titles now!
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by jehill » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:30 am

jeromelang - As you can see from my signature, I am an AVD-C70ES user.  Your comment on it caught my attention.  Am I correct in assuming that a separated CD transport that includes manual cueing capability was used in your listening tests?  May manual cueing be accomplished using the built-in SACD player?  If so, what are the steps?

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by jeromelang » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:48 am


On 2011-03-18 08:30, jehill wrote:
jeromelang - As you can see from my signature, I am an AVD-C70ES user.  Your comment on it caught my attention.  Am I correct in assuming that a separated CD transport that includes manual cueing capability was used in your listening tests?  May manual cueing be accomplished using the built-in SACD player?  If so, what are the steps?




hi jehill

we used the onboard sacd/cd disc drive on the AVD-C70ES.
no separate cd transport was used.  
this is indeed an excellent player/amplifier combi.
the english origin sony ss-176 speakers is a good match, doing many things right, especially the all-important time-integration between the tweeter and woofer drivers output.
it actually exceeds my ss-m9ed it comes to projecting a realistic and coherent sound image of a piano playing, suspended in real space.
what a shame it wasn't made available to usa consumers...

i'll share with you the steps involved in cueing tracks on the sacd/cd player later...

but first, i'm sure you'll and others will like to know - my japanese host and his family are all safe and sound in tokyo.


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by jehill » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:24 am


On 2011-03-20 06:48, jeromelang wrote:
i'll share with you the steps involved in cueing tracks on the sacd/cd player later...

but first, i'm sure you'll and others will like to know - my japanese host and his family are all safe and sound in tokyo.
We certainly are happy to hear that!  That definitely should be first priorty.

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