Crystal Disc US$1600 was played with Genesis Speaker

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Yeah, don't keep us hanging.
 

andymodern

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Aug 19, 2013
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Hopes for the best and be safe! Have been reading about it and it looks like a dangerous storm!

Thanks Myles, Gary, Jack!

The Super storm is approaching us slowly and is expected to reach us either this midnight or tomorrow dawn!

All the airlines already announced there will be no more flights after 5pm today!

The only bridge connecting our island to the city will be closed in any minute as the wind gets stronger!

Well, i guess i am earning an extra free day or 2 to play with my kids at home! My kids like strong storm after all!

Andy
 

Bruce B

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Apr 26, 2010
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Finally back at the studio. I too want to thank MikeL for being such a gracious host. All of the attendees were great sports. I know these listening sessions can be very taxing at times and Hell most times.

I conducted my own listening sessions over the past week and made my conclusions before I went over to Mike’s place. I did some preliminary analysis of the discs to make sure they were all the same RMS volume and compared each to see if they were in fact, the same exact file, which they were.

I received what I thought were the original files from Andy. These were the DSD64fs files that Mike had picked up on Thursday. Found out today when reading the liner notes that the recordings had actually been done at DSD128fs, so a conversion had happened somewhere. Maybe later I can get the original DSD128fs files.

I had 2 formulations of blank CD-R’s here at the studio that I used. One was a Gold Archive CD-R by MAM-A that I use for most of my masters. The others were Green Tune blanks that I felt gives the best “sound”.
I ripped the Crystal Disc and did a remaster that I though bettered the disc. I also did a remaster of the DSD files. I took all of these over to Mike’s place to do the session.

There were 5 of us there, MikeL, Audioarcher, Jazzdoc, Gary K. and me. I also brought over my Playback Designs MPS-5, hoping to be able to play 2 discs and switch between the 2 players. We found out early on that there would have been too many variables since we were using different interconnects and Mike’s player was sitting on the Herzan platform.

So I played the DJ and sorted the discs in the following order.

1. River of Sorrow – AQ disc
2. My DSD remaster on Green Tune disc
3. River of Sorrow – Crystal disc
4. My Crystal disc remaster on Green Tune disc
5. River of Sorrow – Regular CD
6. My DSD remaster on MAM-A disc
7. My Crystal disc remaster on MAM-A disc

I also had the LP that Andy had sent as well as the DSD64fs files that Mike had on his server, played back through the PBD MPS-5’s DAC section.

The cuts that were played were tracks 5, 7, 9 and 11. The first thing I did was play track 5 of all the discs in the order above. A consensus was made that Disc 1 would be our baseline and we would compare each to it. Playing through all the discs, we felt Disc 1, 3 and 4 were the best sounding of all the discs.

No one could see which disc I was placing in the player and we kept the playing time short, approx. 2min.
One thing I did notice was that the DSD64fs files were approx. 1-2dB lower than the discs, though 2 people chose that as the best sounding.

Just out of the Redbook CD’s, there was 1 person that thought Disc 3 and 4 were tied for the best. Two people though thought that Disc 4 was more pleasurable to listen to over a long period of time and the other 2 people thought Disc 1 was better over a long period of time, but then chose Disc 4 on another track that was played.

Attendee’s, please correct me if I had any lapse of memory.

When Mike played the LP, we all forgot about digital and just ate cake!! Thank-you Gary! ;)

Thank-you so much Andy for providing all the materials for our afternoon listening session! Be safe my friend.... we'll be thinking of you!

I know Jazzdoc took a few photos and I took some video, so hopefully we can get it up soon.
 

NorthStar

Member
Feb 8, 2011
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Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Soooo, when you started eating the cake, and played the "analog" LP; da was the best?! :b

Bruce, your own Crystal disc remastered on Green Tune CD-R disc; very impressive! :cool:
 

andymodern

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Aug 19, 2013
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…………
So I played the DJ and sorted the discs in the following order.

1. River of Sorrow – AQ disc
2. My DSD remaster on Green Tune disc
3. River of Sorrow – Crystal disc
4. My Crystal disc remaster on Green Tune disc
5. River of Sorrow – Regular CD
6. My DSD remaster on MAM-A disc
7. My Crystal disc remaster on MAM-A disc

I also had the LP that Andy had sent as well as the DSD64fs files that Mike had on his server, played back through the PBD MPS-5’s DAC section.

The cuts that were played were tracks 5, 7, 9 and 11. The first thing I did was play track 5 of all the discs in the order above. A consensus was made that Disc 1 would be our baseline and we would compare each to it. Playing through all the discs, we felt Disc 1, 3 and 4 were the best sounding of all the discs.

Thanks Bruce for arranging the listening sessions and going through all the extra works and preparation on my and Todd 's recording !

Thanks all participants too !

I will certainly take your resulting report as serious reference for my future recording and CD publishing projects!

Also i sincerely appreciate that AQCD was chosen to be the reference CD and to be one of the best sounding CD. Actually i am one of the few persons initiating the development of AQCD in Hong Kong. So I would say i am one of the inventors. Anyway, thank you very much !



Thank-you so much Andy for providing all the materials for our afternoon listening session! Be safe my friend.... we'll be thinking of you!

I know Jazzdoc took a few photos and I took some video, so hopefully we can get it up soon.

My family is staying in concrete building, so we should be safe. And I am now having fun with my kids and look forward to watching the photos & videos!

Andy
 
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jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
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Once again, thank you to Mike L for his gracious hospitality and to Bruce B for purchasing and preparing everything. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful audiophiles in the Seattle area. What I will remember most from the day was the camaraderie.

IMG_0098.JPG

I think Bruce's summary was spot on...

IMG_0097.JPG
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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Hi

Thanks for the head-up Bruce . The question that is left unanswered is; Is it worth the $1600 expense. Seems to me Differences weren't that great. I'll reformulate it with my own wording: Does the Crystal disc represent an advance in Sound Reproduction or simply a different flavor?
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
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Calgary, AB
I'd be interested in hearing Frantz' question answered as well. Glad you guys had such a fine afternoon and that the cameradie of it was a big part!
 

microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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It is great to read from your session. It seems you had a great time and WBF members must thank the organizers and participants for reporting the event in this forum.

However I think that the introduction of the very successful Bruce remasters in the session has shifted the appreciation of the Crystal Disc to a secondary plan, and it will be very difficult to get any faithful information about the real performance of the Crystal Disc from these sessions.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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i'd say that only using one recording to compare formats, and that was a recording of an instrument most of us had never heard live, or rarely in other recordings, makes it a challenge to draw any ultimate truth. and that instrument had a tendency to be a bit strident too.

if we had a demo disc of 10 different recordings of instruments, vocals, and maybe large scale classical I think that would be easier. but that is not what we had.

that said......

for me, of the CD discs, #3 was the overall best for this session, followed closely by #4, on this system, and this recording, on this day. it was the most listenable and relaxing to listen to....the least digital sounding. however; I suspect that #1 would be what I would prefer on a broad spectrum of music as it was more vivid and lively but a bit too in your face on this recording. this is just a guess about how this exercise might project for me.

the dsd files from my server were quite a bit better than any of the CD's to my ears. more detail, much better imaging and depth, and more real sounding. also very relaxed.

and then the vinyl, while it had it's issues, was on a whole different level of involvement. everything came alive on a whole different scale. you could pick out areas where the dsd or even the CD's had more of this or that, but you did not care.

it was a fun session with my friends and I appreciate the effort Bruce went to investigate this issue and being DJ. i'm glad we could do it.

the Playback Designs MPS-5 has the current release 25 of the software; it was sitting on a Symposium Svelt Shelf, which was sitting on Wave Kinetics A10-U8 footers on top of my darTZeel NHB-18NS preamp, which was on top of another layer of A10 U8 footers which were sitting on the Herzan TS-150 sitting on the Adona rack. the server is upstairs in my loft connected with USB to the MPS-5. the MPS-5 is connected to the dart pre with Evolution Acoustics BNC cables thru the 'zeel' 50 ohm interface.

from my listening tests the Herzan provides considerable advantages to the discs verses the server dac compared to prior to the Herzan. both are better with the Herzan, the discs more so.
 
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FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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i'd say that only using one recording to compare formats, and that was a recording of an instrument most of us had never heard live, or rarely in other recordings, makes it a challenge to draw any ultimate truth. and that instrument had a tendency to be a bit strident too.

if we had a demo disc of 10 different recordings of instruments, vocals, and maybe large scale classical I think that would be easier. but that is not what we had.

that said......

for me, of the CD discs, #3 was the overall best for this session, followed closely by #4, on this system, and this recording. it was the most listenable and relaxing to listen to....the least digital sounding. however; I suspect that #1 would be what I would prefer on a broad spectrum of music as it was more vivid and lively but a bit too in your face on this recording. this is just a guess about how this exercise might project for me.

the dsd files from my server were quite a bit better than any of the CD's to my ears. more detail, much better imaging and depth, and more real sounding. also very relaxed.

and then the vinyl, while it had it's issues, was on a whole different level of involvement. everything came alive on a whole different scale. you could pick out areas where the dsd or even the CD's had more of this or that, but you did not care.

it was a fun session with my friends and I appreciate the effort Bruce went to investigate this issue and being DJ. i'm glad we could do it.

Mike

I appreciate your perspective and caveats. It still doesn;t answer the question. are these Crystal thing worth the downright brutal price? Are these better than what you would get from any other sources?

Also the notion of "real" is difficult to pinpoint as you so cleraly stated from an instrument that is unknown to you... It could be that what you find "relaxing" is not the intention fothe music or instrument or recording ... You clearly articulated that in your post but I wanted to undeline it ..

The question remains unanswered so far: Are these worth $1600 ? .. ?
 

Groucho

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Mike Lavigne

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Mike

I appreciate your perspective and caveats. It still doesn;t answer the question. are these Crystal thing worth the downright brutal price? Are these better than what you would get from any other sources?

Also the notion of "real" is difficult to pinpoint as you so cleraly stated from an instrument that is unknown to you... It could be that what you find "relaxing" is not the intention fothe music or instrument or recording ... You clearly articulated that in your post but I wanted to undeline it ..

The question remains unanswered so far: Are these worth $1600 ? .. ?

based on my personal experience and format listening choices the glass disc does not present a rational cost-benefit relationship. I liked what it did, and what the copy of it that Bruce made did......on this recording. but the dsd files were better even on this recording.

so no, it's not worth $1600 to me personally.

however; we are not the target of this product. the Asian market is focused on CD and a physical disc fixation. and owning the best, newest, 'special' thing. and I see that in that particular situation the glass disc does deliver on a high quality performance. if my world was CD only, and I just had to have the best, then this product seems to deliver. so I do see it's place in that particular 'fish bowl'.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I'm a bit slow this morning. What was the difference between #1 and #3. Number 3 is the original crystal disc but not sure what AQ disk was
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I saw that Mike but what was the AQ disc used as #1? Did it also come from Andy

Audioquest??
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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I'm a bit slow this morning. What was the difference between #1 and #3. Number 3 is the original crystal disc but not sure what AQ disk was

#1 was the AQ disc.

#3 was the Crystal disc, and #4 was the direct copy Bruce made of the Crystal disc.

i do not know specifically where Bruce got the AQ disc.
 

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