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  »  New  K2HD -yet, another CD format with ‘master tape’ paranoi..  K2HD -yet, another CD format with ‘master tape’ paranoi...  Didital Things  Forum     0  14427  07-09-2008
  »  New  The UnipheyeMusic and Studio Master Reference.....  DSD converted to PCM really has poor objective performa...  Didital Things  Forum     5  33392  02-19-2009
  »  New  A CD off tune? The Big CD Conspiracy theory?..  Low cost re-issues...  Didital Things  Forum     9  59523  08-25-2009
01-20-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 6396
Reply to: 6396
Japanese Super High Material CD

Crushing some Japanese CD shops I came across an interesting new thing: the SHM-CD format. As I understand the SHM-CD is JVC development based on a manufacturing process of LCD displays. SHM-CD uses polycarbonate plastic that improves characteristic of disc’s surface, which presumably improves audio quality.  Allegedly the SHM-CDs are readable at regular CD player.

I never dealt with it or heard the SHM-CD but it looks like Universal re-release some of Crème de la Crème of their catalog in SHM-CD formats. All further explanations that I have seen are in Japanese. Japanese folks, please can you shade more light about SHM-CD?

Did anybody actually heard the thing and can testify about the sound quality of the thing compare to regular CD? I would be specifically interesting with people who use CEC TL-0 transport.

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=UCCG-9710

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 6398
Reply to: 6396
Translation of what they say
There isn't much in Japanese page either.  I checked some other sites including Universal's own, but all what they say are;

Material Characteristics
-Uses a different polycarbonate plastic which has improved transparency and superior optical characteristics.
-Superior fraction characteristics especially toward the circumference direction.  Higher flow acharacter and higher transfer character makes it ideal as disc material.

Sound Character
-More transparent and less distorted sound compared to conventional CD
-The improved resolution realizes better balance
-The insufficient low end volume of conventional CD is dissolved

Above is the direct translation of what they say, so don't ask me what they mean!

I couldn't find any reaction from people who heard it.

Universal Japan and N-and-F also made glass CD (sorry, both links are in Japanese).  Universal's Karajan is priced 200,000 yen (almost $2000) and N-and-F CDs are priced 98700 yen (nearly $1000).

http://www.universal-music.co.jp/classics/ims/imcg9001/
http://www.n-and-f.com/jdoc/JHardGlass.pdf

About 10 years ago, Pony Canyon released Arton CD.  Arton is a kind of plastic which supposed to have a superior optical characteristics than the polycarbonate used in conventional CD and they claimed almost exactly the same thing Universal claims for their SHM-CD.  I must have one Arton CD (Dvorak) somewhere. 

Yoshi
01-26-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 6445
Reply to: 6396
SHM-CD: does anyhow speaks Netherlandian?

The  ‘NL’ domain looks like a Netherlandian  and article presumably tell about the SHM-CD… So, does anyone speaks Dutch?  Any volunteers to tell what it is all about?

http://www.hifi.nl/artikel/1921/SHM-CD:_geluidsdrager.html

Rgs, the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-31-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Maarten
Posts 4
Joined on 01-31-2008

Post #: 4
Post ID: 6506
Reply to: 6445
Dutch
Yes, I do speak Dutch. I even AM Dutch. It is a review of SHM-CD's. Not really any new information, but the guy did listen to a few SHM-CD's and the same recording on normal material. He claims it makes a big difference. Easy to hear and much better than the normal CD's.

Maarten
01-31-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 6507
Reply to: 6506
Re-mastering vs. Re-pressing
Thank you, Maarten. Might I ask you a question? From what you understood from the article: the “same recording” that they compare they were the same mastering or they were different mastering? The reason why I ask because the regular CDs were released might be 20-10-5 years ago. There is huge different between the CD pressing even of the same mastering. I know many CD that were released in 1990s that sounded OK and then were re-pressed in 2000s and sound horrible. Some of the newest CDs were not juts re-pressed but re-mastered. Some of the re-mastered CDs were very bad and some of them are much better then it was done in 80s-90s. Some Japanese are known for making mostly very good re-mastering and they general have better CD pressing then western competitors. So, my question was (to whoever knows) is the SHM-CD is just a new pressing (on better of different material) or it is a pressing of the newly re-mastered recordings?


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-31-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Maarten
Posts 4
Joined on 01-31-2008

Post #: 6
Post ID: 6508
Reply to: 6507
Remastered
The reviewer doesn't know. He only mentioned that both CD claim 'original-image bit-processing', but he doesn't know what that means. He cannot read the booklets of the SHM-CD's, as they are in Japanese! I agree that it could be a remastered version.

I wouldn't mind trying it out myself. I am a reviewer for TNT Audio. I have emailed Universal Japan, but didn't get a reply. If you would know a way of getting two identical masters, in SHM and ordinary CD I would be very interested.

Maarten
02-01-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 6515
Reply to: 6507
Impressions from Japanese blog

I found many reports on SHM-CD sound on Japanese blog sites.  Most of them comment very favorably on SHM-CD, clear, better resolution, livelier, etc.  Some mentions different balance compared to the CD version, many comments SHM-CD sound louder than CD.  Almost all of them are comparison reports on Rock/Jazz releases.  One guy reports the comparison between SHM-CD and CD version of Klieber's Beethoven 5th and says what they did is just to increase the volume level so that it feels like you hear more details, but because of that, the orchestral tutti became to suffer from compression.

On HMV site, they mention which years' remastering are used in SHM-CD but only on Rock albums.  According to that record, SHM-CD are not newly remastered but previously remastered version just pressed with the new plastic material.

Yoshi 

02-01-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 6518
Reply to: 6515
The electricians might kill any good intentions.

 yoshi wrote:
One guy reports the comparison between SHM-CD and CD version of Klieber's Beethoven 5th and says what they did is just to increase the volume level so that it feels like you hear more details, but because of that, the orchestral tutti became to suffer from compression.

Thanks, Yoshi, it was very predictable, I really hate when they do it. As I also say any technology in the hands of barbarian produce a barbarian result and the problems with audio are in 99% are the problems with people not with the machineries.  So, if the SHM-CD is a more superior media then we still have no ways to found it out the truth as some Moron in studio with his diploma and electrician, taste of Neanderthal and brain of pterodactyl decided to do “mastering” for the SHM-CD release. Their idiotic desire for stressing loudness is well know:

http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=5267#5267

In the end we might do not know if the SHM-CD has any true advancement. I have to admit that some CD toys  coming from Japan are very good (The NESPA Optical Finalizer was very good tool, I keep unit it) but who can say anything about technology if there is a moronic proxy-mind of an idiot sound-electrician between good intentions of designers and us, the listeners

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-01-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Maarten
Posts 4
Joined on 01-31-2008

Post #: 9
Post ID: 6520
Reply to: 6518
Test planned
I have ordered two SHM-CD's of recordings I already own. They should arrive in a week or so. I will compare them, and I will also rip both the normal CD's and the SHM ones, to see if they are identical at the bit level. If necessary I'll also do a double blind test to see if there's a real difference in sound. I'll probably write a review about this on TNT Audio.

Maarten
02-01-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 6523
Reply to: 6520
The SHM-CD vs. CD: how objective it might be?

 Maarten wrote:
I will compare them, and I will also rip both the normal CD's and the SHM ones, to see if they are identical at the bit level.

Maarten,

I am afraid that bit level comparing would be absolutely worthless exercise, similar to the blind testing what I generally do not support. If you look for “more objective then objective” assessment of the SHM then you might try to run 3D spectrum view and loudness distribution from the SHM and from the regular CD, presumably that they uses the same masters (that we have no evidence).

If you read my sites then you know that I am against the “reviewing” as a concept, anyhow here is for you a food for thoughts…  The new SHM disks are different type of plastic and there is a very high possibility that you specific CD transport would have favoritism toward the SHM or to CD.  My CD transport (TL0) does have reference to one material does over other and this preference is different than with other transports I had tried. 

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Maarten
Posts 4
Joined on 01-31-2008

Post #: 11
Post ID: 6619
Reply to: 6523
Bit level comparison

Sorry, but I was planning to do the bit level comparison to check if the same masters have been used. I'm only accepting that the material makes a difference if the bits are the same!

Maarten

02-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 6622
Reply to: 6619
The value of the bit level comparison?
Maarten, you feel that bit level comparison would verify the identical sources material? I do not argue it – I just do not know if it would be accurate. If we have (and I verified it many times) a CD copy that at bit level identical with the original but that sound differently then the originals CD then would it be a prove that bit level comparison is not indicative tool in term of sound? If so, then would it be possible (purely hypothetical) to have different masters with different sound that would produce the identical bit levels? Once again, I do not know the answer but something suggests me that it is a little more complex then juts “it is”.

Rgs, Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
DSH


Moscow, Russia
Posts 11
Joined on 06-18-2008

Post #: 13
Post ID: 7602
Reply to: 6396
Some more discussion on SHM-CD
Looks like they really record them louder
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/archive/index.php/t-138470.html
I've purchased one disc today to test. Will advise tomorrow


Nothing ever goes as planned
06-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 7604
Reply to: 7602
It was not SHM-CD foramt but the people who produced the disk.

I got one SHM-CD disk a few months back, right after I post the initial article, and I hate it.  The SHM-CD technology might be worthy but unfortunately from that specific SHM-CD disk that I have purchased (Kubelik’s Dvorak) was absolutely imposable to extend any credit to SHM-CD. It appeared to me that the Kubelik’s Dvorak was not just the SHM-CD version of the CD version but a completely new re-mastering. This new re-mastering turned out to be just horrible. I have listen an couple minutes of the fist movement and I never had any inters to head the rest of that CD. So, I do not know if I need to attribute the bad sound SHM-CD technology or to the bad re-mastering. Me, being me, attribute the crappy sound of the CD to the idiots-people who made that CD. If it was done by idiots then it is irrelevant what technology they used as in the end any technology in hands of barbarian would eventually produce barbarian results.

Rgs, The caT

PS: BTW, generally at my site I encourage people do not refer to what “others say” but expires own observations on the subjects.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
DSH


Moscow, Russia
Posts 11
Joined on 06-18-2008

Post #: 15
Post ID: 7605
Reply to: 7604
You'll never know

whether this is due to remastering or the technology itself. Same story is about MFSL or XRCD releases for example. I am not able to listen to some XRCDs as it is painful in ears, but I like MFSL CDs as they sound comfortably. However, I feel that there is some colorations in MFSL releases added during mastering process.
Nobody will tell us the truth. That is why I mostly focus on the result of the whole process, i.e. how much the format acceptable to my ears.


Nothing ever goes as planned
06-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
DSH


Moscow, Russia
Posts 11
Joined on 06-18-2008

Post #: 16
Post ID: 7606
Reply to: 7604
OK
 Romy the Cat wrote:
BTW, generally at my site I encourage people do not refer to what “others say” but expires own observations on the subjects.

OK-OK, I'm the beginner here. Will try to follow Smile


Nothing ever goes as planned
06-20-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
DSH


Moscow, Russia
Posts 11
Joined on 06-18-2008

Post #: 17
Post ID: 7611
Reply to: 7605
Well, I din't like it
I listened to the disc and it sounded harsh and mechanically. I beleive this is not due to the technology being used but this is a mastering problem like the most of japanese CDs, no matter how-much-bit-mastering technique applied.


Nothing ever goes as planned
Page 1 of 1 (17 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  K2HD -yet, another CD format with ‘master tape’ paranoi..  K2HD -yet, another CD format with ‘master tape’ paranoi...  Didital Things  Forum     0  14427  07-09-2008
  »  New  The UnipheyeMusic and Studio Master Reference.....  DSD converted to PCM really has poor objective performa...  Didital Things  Forum     5  33392  02-19-2009
  »  New  A CD off tune? The Big CD Conspiracy theory?..  Low cost re-issues...  Didital Things  Forum     9  59523  08-25-2009
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