Audio News for April 11, 2007

by | Apr 11, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

RCA Begins Mahler SACD Series – RCA Red Seal – part of Sony/BMG – has released its first SACD in some time aside from the Living Stereo reissue series. It is another complete series of all the Mahler Symphonies on hybrid SACD, recorded live.  David Zinman conducts the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra in the series. The first release has already been praised in Europe and is now in stores in the U.S.  It is the Symphony No. 1, including the Blumine movement – which with programming can be selected to be heard either as the work’s original second movement, or skipped. The next SACD release in the RCA series will be the Symphony No. 2, scheduled for next month.

F.I.M. and JVC Debut New XRCD Technology
– Many readers will probably be familiar with JVC’s enhancement of the original xrcd disc format introducing 24-bit processing: xrcd24. Now a new super-mastering format has been developed, called K2 HD. This hi-def technology takes in 192KHz data at a bandwidth of up to 100KHz. Marked improvements in harmonics, presence and dynamics are realized.  The first three K2 HD xrcds will be issued by First Impression Music in 60 days, and all future xrcd releases will use the new format. By the way, JVC’s own label xrcds are once again available via Elusive Disc distributors. We expect to return to reviewing them at Audiophile Audition soon as well.

Improved DSD Technology Now In Use – DSD is the audio standard recording format used in the production of SACDs, but it requires special editing gear such as Sony’s Sonoma workstation. Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) was developed so that the hi-res masters could be edited on PCM editing equipment. In the process the professional audio format, which has a PCM-like 32-bit floating point, samples at four times the sampling frequency of DSD and eight times the frequency of Red Book CDs. The data rate is 11.2896 Mbit/s. DXD provides the ultimate in analog audio qualities and leaves extra headroom for editing and balancing before the signals are quantized to DSD for final production of the SACD. DXD is used in the Pyramix DSD workstation, which is currently used by several SACD labels, including 2L, Caro Mitis and PentaTone.

Orrin Keepnews Collection Bows – Concord Records has begun a new series of jazz reissues devoted to artists who recorded for either of the two record labels which the noted producer had a hand in originally founding – Riverside and Milestone. These are musicians whom Keepnews feels either have been slighted historically or have not received their due in spite of having recorded some remarkable sessions. The first installment features recordings from the mid-1950s by West Montgomery, Kenny Dorham and Thelonious Monk, plus a Joe Henderson album released on stereo LP by Milestone in 1969.
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