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

If you liked the SHM SACD, you’ll like the SHM SACD that Esoteric released (ESOTERIC ESSO-90178) even more.

It is the clearest one of the bunch.

The AP SACD is no slouch - it is very musical and swinging but you are right - the others are clearer.

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Using PST, the Japanese SACD sounded great. I have some K2HD CDs from Japan sounded as good as SACD and may be even better.

Then it is in the mastering. The K2HD probably has better mastering. As far as resolution goes, SACDs have higher resolution than CDs.

I’ve ordered these Japanese reissues in SACD format directly from a Japanese seller. High Fidelity publication reviewed Sinatra’s Sinatra positively.


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Could you please give the reference of your different discs ?

Only the first CD issue (if I remember well) was done from the stereo master.

All the following editions were not made from masters untill Analog Production issue it (guess it was in 2012) not from the stereo master which was in too bad condition but from the 3 tracks master (listening to the SACD on an audio/video, one can hear the three tracks).
My opinion is only about numeric reissues.

There is no general rule (unfortunately) as all depends upon:

  • one’s tastes. That’s why many Blue Notes CDs were reissued either “RVG” (others were also rematered by Rudy Van Gelder) or remastered by other engineers
  • the engineer doing the remastering (when available, the most faithfull is the plangent system).

With the same remastering done from the same master, I like much better the SHM SACD (one side) so only japanese and expensive reissues.

It’s only about mastering, forget format.
Steve Hoffman rules for Rock/Pop, is sometimes too soft in transients and top end energy for Jazz but has great influence when consulting others. His masterings are not the most revealing but he achieves magic and warm tone everywhere.

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I don’t agree : with the same mastering, a 24/192 will sound better than a 16/44.1.

It is not mastering but REMASTERING, most of the time different from what the musicians heard.

For an audiophile, Steve Hoffman will be great, for a melomane the plangent system is much more faithfull.

What Steve Hoffman did to “we get requests” is a disaster, very far from the original recording (I heard the master tapes over 40 years ago).

I meant also remastering…and yes for sure the same on higher resolution is better.

And it’s also correct that Hoffman didn’t shine on some jazz releases as I said. Sometimeslittle too muted or little too thick, undefined bass or less transparent. But e.g. his Fantasy 45RPM LP reissues with Kevin Gray are among the very best and even if different, mostly overall still beat the same latest reissues done by others. There’s rarely a reissue engineer doing good on all releases. Ryan K Smith may be one currently, but he also doesn’t have the history of most others yet.

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I hate to say so but I can only agree 100% :wink:

I can recommended this half dozen SHM-SACD’s from my collection without reservation. First class performances, terrific sound. I don’t know if they’re all still available though. SHM-SACD’s have a limited lifespan.








I have a limited number of SHM SACDs mainly copies of my favorite AP versions. Every one of those SHM version has superior clarity to the AP version. It’s their price I mainly have a issue with, to be buying a little better version than the music I already have. I don’t need to replace all my SACDs with SHMs, most of the SACDs, the sound is very good already. I may still get more SHMs of music I don’t have because I know the SQ will be as good as it gets.

How did the master tapes sound and did you like the SHM SACD’s?

They are clearer, more spacious and faster sounding than the AP. I liked the AP for the fullness.

You have to get two vinyl releases to have the best versions of all public formats:

The Audio Source Half Speed cutting on JVC vinyl

The FIM double box release I-III

I agree that the AP 45 is probably the best of all formats, although depending on the bass impact or not you need in your chain, there are at least alternatives. The AP is somewhere in the middle there, but as far as I remember has the most information and ambiance.

I have:
Esoteric SACD

Speakers Corner vinyl
Super Analogue vinyl
Pure Audiophile vinyl
Limited Audiophile Release (Bellaphon) vinyl
AP 45RPM vinyl

I really shouldn’t put vinyl in the mix because it is a different playback system and depend on how good that playback system is. I prefer my vinyl while others with a better digital system might not.
For me, the vinyl AP 45 is the best sounding and on the digital side, the SHM SACD. Since all my upgrades on the digital side (Sunlight, transformer mod, cables, etc.) the sound has gotten incredibly fuller, higher resolution, and more powerful in the bass. Now the gap between the two formats has really narrowed for me.

Thanks for reminding me of the First Impression Music K2HD remaster. I forgot I had one.

I dug it out. It comes second for me, just after the Esoteric SHM SACD. I preferred it to the SHM SACD. In fact, on further listening, I also preferred the AP SACD to the SHM SACD which while being clearer, was lacking in bass solidity.

I enjoyed listening to all versions of this album, as I always have. I wouldn’t say any of them were bad.

That’s it for this exercise as far as I am concerned. Back to being about the music.

Are the AP SACD remastered by the same engineer than the SHM SACD ?

SHM SACD is better because the SHM is the best material in the world.

Esoteric is a brand, as is Universal. And Universal should be much better than Esoteric as Universal are new DSD transfers from the master tape while Esoteric were from old 24/96 PCM transfers. BUT AS THEY ARE NOT MADE BUY THE SAME ENGINEERS, ESOTERIC CAN BE BETTER. That’s why I think the most faithfull remasterings are the plangent ones.

I like better AP 45 by quite a margin, but I’d bought only AP 33 because with AP 45, one has to sit up and down every 10 minutes. This prevents me from concentring on music

Then if the ultimate sound quality is not the most important thing, you should stick with playing files from a server. You don’t have to get up at all and concentrate entirely on the music. Playing files from my Esoteric transport has gotten so good lately that I have forgotten about my turntable. It even overshadows my DMP as far as audio performance goes.

Maybe my server setup isn’t so optimised. I still prefer playing discs. I find the musical flow to be better even though there is less detail than streaming high res.

I agree with you on the accessibilty of server streaming. but I also find I tend to flip tracks more often because it is easy to do so rather than just enjoying the music.