What's better 24K DCC, MFSL Disks or SACD's

I’m always looking for new music and some of these 24K ReMastered Disks come up from DCC and MFSL. Has anyone heard them and do they sound as good as an SACD or just different or snake oil.

I’ve got 4 different discs of “We Get Requests” by Oscar Peterson.
First - UltraHD 32-bit mastering CD . Very good sound for a CD.
Second - SACD better sounding with better resolution than the Ultra HD CD.
Third - Single side Japanese SACD . Even better than the regular SACD with even clearer presentation.
Fourth - 45 rpm vinyl . Blows them all away with more full body richness.
I don’t care what they claim they did to the CD. The SACD I found is always better, that’s if you have the right SACD player like the DMP.
Edit; I forgot I have one more copy. The DSD 64 file on the server, which sounds even better than the single layer SACD, but still cannot touch the 45rpm vinyl.

Whichever one has the best (or your preferred) mastering. IMHO, format considerations are more gear-dependent but do not trump mastering. If you have a great SACD player, then stick with SACD unless the mastering is not to your liking. I have a DSjr so I will try to find a DSD version before a PCM one.

2 Likes

DCCs and MFSLs are far from snake oil. Most are outstanding, particularly the Steve Hoffman DCCs. That said, SACDs are hard to beat in my opinion. Thankfully MFSL has a good selection in SACD format and Hoffman has done some SACDs through Audio Fidelity. Check them out :sunglasses:

2 Likes

I’ve heard several SACDs that are at best uninspiring and at worst are just plain bad. I think a perfect example is MoFi’s limited, numbered run of the Doobies’ “Stampede.” I had high hopes for that one, and it fell flat on its face. I don’t have the original LP to compare it to any longer, but my decidedly non high-end digital transfer of that LP is much better - more clarity and detail, greater dynamics and much better bass.

I have no idea if SACD runs can go bad, like with a worn stamper on an LP run. A problem like that makes no logical sense in a digital production chain as far as I can see, but there are lots of things in this hobby that seem to defy common sense, so it’s hard for me to say. But if that kind of issue can happen on SACDs, you sure wouldn’t think it would occur on a limited production run.

Optical discs are molded, rather than stamped.

Yes, my point. I wasn’t suggesting they were actually stamped, but simply wondering if some part of the manufacturing process was subject to wear like stampers are, or to some other production problem I don’t claim to understand. All I know for sure is that particular disc was a huge miss on sound quality. It even sounds bad played on a DMP through BHK preamp and amp and output to a pair of Maggie 20.7s.

The molds used for injection molding last much, much longer than LP stampers as the hot polycarbonate flows into the mold, rather than the physical scrunching of a warm biscuit of vinyl. I am certain what you hear was not the result of mold wear.

1 Like

I have The Fantasy World of Bernard Herrmann in 24Kt by Mobile Fidelity and it sounds better the CD version I have had for years. The gold is more of a gimmick as it is just a reflective surface. Its all about the mastering process, which they take great pains to do in the re-mastering process by getting their hands on the master tapes. I also replaced my Billy Joel Greatest Hits Vol.1 and 2. The original from CBS (Sony) sounds flat and brittle, but MF version is near perfection.

If you really have a favorite album and can get it through MF, I would suggest it is worth it. YMMV.

You can’t rely on any them being better sounding than another source. There are plenty of CDs that the original release sounds as good or better than any other release. It’s all about the which release has the best mastering. I have found that searching the stevehoffman.tv forum gives you the best shot at finding the best mastering without having to buy them all yourself.

1 Like

But, take another album, results may be different. It all depends on who did the mastering, and how. I find that DSD and vinyls are usually the winners, with vinyl sometimes being #1, and sometimes SACD. But, a superbly mastered Redbook CD will run circles around poorly mastered vinyl and SACD.

1 Like

You’re right, there are exceptions, but generally how I listed is the case. I do have a Jazz at the Pawnshop SACD that is way better sounding than my vinyl which sounds kind of dull and lifeless. But I do not find there are that many exceptions.

I agreed the dcc Miles Davis remasters are the best digital i have heard :kissing_heart:

2 Likes

These days, almost everything is compressed all to hell in the silver disc world. Oddly enough, it is so ordinary that vinyl sounds less compressed. (because usually it is)
It makes zero sense that they miss-use the technology the way that they do.

My experience has been an SACD release doesn’t guarantee a better, more dynamic recording. Often it is not different than the ordinary CD. Sometimes it is quite a bit better, but releasing something on SACD is no guarantee of better sound. I hope your experience is better than mine.

3 Likes

I agreed
:blush:
Ps. maybe they should remasters all again in dsd 128

I find that audio quality can vary per disk from awfull to WOW. A higher price is not a guarantee of higher SQ. I spent a lot on better equipment but are still regulary disappointed with the SQ. Then I question the gear/the placement/the room and just to check I revert to some known CD’s that give me instant SQ. This stops me from looking for other gear… So be aware that mediocre sound may have to do with mediocre CD quality.

3 Likes

It really depends on a several of factors. First and foremost is the quality of the mastering used. The quality of the analog master tapes used to create the mastering is important as well. Are they the original tapes or second or third generation? What is the condition of the tapes?

The bottom line is that fact that are DCC or MFSL or SHM does not matter. They all have both poor and excellent CDs and SACDs.

I have found the best thing to do is to research any release you are interested in on the stevehoffman.tv forum. Unless it is really obscure, you can usually find opinions on the quality of any DCC, MFSL, and SHM release plus the original label releases as well.

1 Like