Crystal Disc US$1600 was played with Genesis Speaker

microstrip

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I have had the exact opposite experience (and we did the test blind). The transport used was the top of the line ($70K) dCS as well as the rest of the dCS stack. The server was connected to the dCS DAC. EVERY time, we would pick the server as the better sounding source (there were two of us who participated in this test). I did the same test on a lower end system with a lower end DAC and got identical results. The server we used was the Sound Science Music Vault.

YMMV.

Something interesting in a tired thread. Can you give us more details on this experience? The server was connected directly to the DAC or to the upsampler? I have to say that I am not interested by the ranking but in the sound difference between the two configurations.
 

Bruce B

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I have had the exact opposite experience (and we did the test blind). The transport used was the top of the line ($70K) dCS as well as the rest of the dCS stack. The server was connected to the dCS DAC. EVERY time, we would pick the server as the better sounding source (there were two of us who participated in this test). I did the same test on a lower end system with a lower end DAC and got identical results. The server we used was the Sound Science Music Vault.

YMMV.

I've always had the same experience as well. Mastering for FIM and others, the source files would always sound better than the discs. Winston sat through 3 grueling days of sessions burning discs at different speeds, different materials (Gold, Aluminum, Green) using the Playback Designs MPS-5. Every single time the source sounded better.
 

still-one

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Or is it a question of Practicality (ease) over Sound Quality, Jim? ;)

Bob
I spend so much time listening to music that Practicality is import. More important than any infinitesimal improvement I will achieve in SQ. For the most part everything I play sounds very good. I am more concerned about the content than I am in the delivery method.
 

NorthStar

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back to whatever else you were doing.......before you considered that redbook just might be the magic potion.

it's not. regardless of how it's delivered.

I was listening (and still am) to Classical music, on the r.a.d.i.o. (analog FM stereo). :b
 

NorthStar

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+1.. agree with Mike. Get the source files and don't think any more about it. You can put the files on anything you want.... SSD, Green Tune, SD, DVD or anything. The plant starts with the source files anyway.

I've always had the same experience as well. Mastering for FIM and others, the source files would always sound better than the discs. Winston sat through 3 grueling days of sessions burning discs at different speeds, different materials (Gold, Aluminum, Green) using the Playback Designs MPS-5. Every single time the source sounded better.

Bob
I spend so much time listening to music that Practicality is import. More important than any infinitesimal improvement I will achieve in SQ. For the most part everything I play sounds very good. I am more concerned about the content than I am in the delivery method.

What I'm mostly interested in this thread here, is the medium's material (Crystal Disc), and the way it is fabricated.
If the sound quality is superior to standard CD, SACD, or whatever else, including LP and R2R tape and original hi-res audio files from your PC or Mac's hard drive, I want to know.
The music recording process (upsampling, XRCD, HQCD, HDCD, DSD, XDSD, SXCD, etc.) is of the greatest interest to me.
And anyone coming with some' new I want to hear from him in what he has to say, and ask some questions too.

Andy has some' new to say here; I want to listen to him, and I want to hear from Mike too, and Bruce on what they have to say too.
I am learning some more (trying to) here right now, and that is only one of the reasons why I'm here.
 
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HedgeHog

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Mar 12, 2012
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Dumb question...so this Crystal disc is really just an improved process? Would that imply doing Crystal Disc production to SACD/DVD-A/BD-A/etc. would improve sound for those formats as well?
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
What I'm mostly interested in this thread here, is the medium's material (Crystal Disc), and the way it is fabricated.
If the sound quality is superior to standard CD, SACD, or whatever else, including LP and R2R tape and original hi-res audio files from your PC or Mac's hard drive, I want to know.
The music recording process (upsampling, XRCD, HQCD, HDCD, DSD, XDSD, SXCD, etc.) is of the greatest interest to me.
And anyone coming with some' new I want to hear from him in what he has to say, and ask some questions too.

Andy has some' new to say here; I want to listen to him, and I want to hear from Mike too, and Bruce on what they have to say too.
I am learning some more (trying to) here right now, and that is only one of the reasons why I'm here.

well other than the OP here in this thread I haven't heard anyone gushing about this new redbook format and for me I am still wanting Andy or other users to tell me if this Crystal Disk bests any of the other formats. I'm with MikeL and BruceB here.
 

microstrip

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I've always had the same experience as well. Mastering for FIM and others, the source files would always sound better than the discs. Winston sat through 3 grueling days of sessions burning discs at different speeds, different materials (Gold, Aluminum, Green) using the Playback Designs MPS-5. Every single time the source sounded better.

Bruce,
Is the data recovered from the disks a bit perfect copy of the source file? Is it possible that the result could be different if another player/DAC was used?
 

NorthStar

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well other than the OP here in this thread I haven't heard anyone gushing about this new redbook format and for me I am still wanting Andy or other users to tell me if this Crystal Disk bests any of the other formats. I'm with MikeL and BruceB here.

Did I say something/anything that would make someone think the contrary? ...Or differently?
 
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Bruce B

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Bruce,
Is the data recovered from the disks a bit perfect copy of the source file? Is it possible that the result could be different if another player/DAC was used?

Yes, there was a checksum file and they null to infinity

2 different playback systems were used.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
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If an enthusiast will pay $1,600 for a CD he thinks sounds better, why should we rain on his parade? I have friends who think I am mad for paying more than $200 for a pair of loudspeakers.

The files will null to infinity, and when ripped to a music server they will sound identical, but not all music servers sound the same, and not all of them sound good. There are still music lovers who use a CD player, and this Crystal Disc may sound best of all the materials that the CD is made of. (If a subjectivist is reading this, please read "preferred" for "best".)

I wrote my first paper on re-recording CDs to make them sound better in 2002. There have been thousands of downloads of various versions of that paper since, and the paper is still being downloaded occasionally. Here is a copy of the latest: http://genesisloudspeakers.com/whitepaper/Black_CD_Paper_Ultimate.pdf

When I showed Winston that I could make a copy of his JVC-pressed K2HD sampler sound better in 2007, he was astounded. After that, we went through many, many sessions listening to different blanks, different burners, even different designs of power supply for the burner. They all sounded different. When ripped, they all null. The data is the same. BLER makes a difference, but not the difference we expect because CD technology auto-corrects (up to an extent). Unfortunately, that's the only thing we figured we could measure, so he uses it for marketing.

Yamaha postulated that the difference came from jitter encoded on the disc due to the pits on the burned CD having scorched edges. They developed a CD burner with Audio Master Mode Recording that expands the sizes of the pits (still within the Redbook tolerance) in order to reduce this jitter. This technology was later licensed by Plextor when Yamaha stopped making that particular burner. I do think that CDs burned with AMMR turned on sounds better than CDs burned with AMMR turned off.

However, if the jitter is encoded on the disc, then they should all sound the same on the players that buffer and/or re-clock the data. This turned out not to be. When Esoteric launched the P-01/D-01/GR08 at CES, it was in my room. Theoretically, with this combination, the original pressed CD and the re-burned CD should not sound any different. Unfortunately, they did. When I demo'ed it to the Japanese engineers, they could not understand how it can be and took my copy and the original back to Japan. I never heard from them.

That was when I wrote my Music Server recipe, because I just stopped burning CDs and played the files directly. However, like the CD re-burning recipe, there will always the cynics who say that it can never sound better. Some will even take the recipe, burn a CD or build a music server and say that it doesn't sound better. Invariably, when I quiz them, they will have skipped steps. So, they didn't exactly follow the recipe. If short-cuts are taken, it will sound like short-cuts are taken.

When I played my music server in Hong Kong, a couple of people came up to tell me that that was the best they've ever heard a music server sound. To me, that's a clue that not many audiophiles in Hong Kong builds music servers.

I have no doubt that the Crystal Disc will sound different from an ordinary pressed version of the same CD. If the engineers at Memory Tech went through the same rigorous process that Winston went through, I have no doubt that they think it will sound better.

If it is ripped to a music server, I have no doubt that it will sound identical to the original source file if the two files null. However, if the Crystal Disc is ripped to two differently designed music server, I also have no doubt that the two music servers MAY also sound different.
 

NorthStar

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Gary, I have no problem whatsoever with all you just said above.
I did several recordings (copies of my best CDs), and they sound better than my originals (my own copies).
And I bet that they are going to last much longer too. ...Many commercial CDs are simply pure junk! ...With holes in them that you can see through, and glue that is spread like hell, with waves, and thin like paper, and with edges like a chain-saw's teeth. ...Or an old rusty hand-saw!

And I was using a Yamaha CD-R/RW recording machine; with a special feature to add dynamics for mobile playing (car). ...Only used it once that's all.
It was a great CD recorder (S1000), and I still have it but it needs a new transport playback/recording mechanism. ...Good quality parts used inside, and 24/96 ADCs and DACs.
It has everything to record in the analog and digital domain, with all the connectors necessary (Optical, Coaxial, Analog RCA jacks), and you can do it automatically (bit for bit) or manually (level preference), with accurate VU meters (digital scale type). ...Headphone jack too with its own volume level control (analog).

Why is that that my CD-R and CD-RW copies were sounding better than the original CDs (JVC XRCD and all)?
Because I was using only the best CD-R and CD-RW blank discs: Maxell Professional Music only, with three layers and more/better protective coating for both recording and playback (much much better quality than most standard CDs, even the Gold ones).
The pits were deeper, more protected, and simply better overall; from the blank discs after being burned by the Yamaha's recording laser lens.
So you end up with a better quality product; CD recording with better pits that are easier to read from any CD playback device machine, and less error correction to resolve. ...Pure and simple.

Anyway, $1,600 (or $2,000 USD) for a single CD ain't no small peanuts, and I just want to know.
 
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Bruce B

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Explain to me how the raw digital data stored on a $1600 disc is any different than the raw data stored on a $10 disc. One could argue that the $1600 disc somehow allows a transport to extract this data from a player with lower error rates, but an error corrected copy of this data on a harddrive is bit for bit the same information. Reading the discs with a memory player there should also be absolutely zero difference between what the player loads into memory.

Gary, I have no problem whatsoever with all yuou just said above.
I did several recordings (copies of my best CDs), and they sound better than my originals (my own copies).
And I bet that they are going to last much longer too. ...Many commercial CDs are simply pure junk! ...With holes in them that you can see through, and glue that is spread like hell, with waves, and thin like paper, and with edges like a chain-saw's teeth. ...Or an old rusty hand-saw!

And I was using a Yamaha CD-R/RW recording machine; with a special feature to add dynamics for mobile playing (car). ...Only used it once that's all.
It was a great CD recorder (S1000), and I still have it but it needs a new transport playback/recording mechanism. ...Good quality parts used inside, and 24/96 ADCs and DACs.
It has everything to record in the analog and digital domain, with all the connectors necessary (Optical, Coaxial, Analog RCA jacks), and you can do it automatically (bit for bit) or manually (level preference), with accurate VU meters (digital scale type). ...Headphone jack too with its own volume level control (analog).

Why is that that my CD-R and CD-RW copies were sounding better than the original CDs (JVC XRCD and all)?
Because I was using only the best CD-R and CD-RW blank discs: Maxell Professional Music only, with three layers and more/better protective coating for both recording and playback (much much better quality than most standard CDs, even the Gold ones).
The pits were deeper, more protected, and simply better overall; from the blank discs after being burned by the Yamaha's recording laser lens.
So you end up with a better quality product; CD recording with better pits that are easier to read from any CD playback device machine, and less error correction to resolve. ...Pure and simple.

Anyway, $1,600 (or $2,000 USD) for a single CD ain't no small peanuts, and I just want to know.

Because burned CD's will always sound better than commercial stamped discs!
 

NorthStar

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But those 'burned CDs'; they come from somewhere, and from different places, and various states (recording stages), and of various qualities, and different materials, and different coating and plating and protection, and different factories, and different countries, and mixed and mastered and re-mastered and re-re-mastered from different recording engineers, and on and on and on...
...Burned using different recording machines, of more or less better quality, and from different sources.

Only ten 1967 Ferrari convertible sports cars (specific model) were made, and one this morning sold for twenty-seven and a half million dollars USD!

What is it exactly that makes this Crystal Disc so unique, and so superior to the rest of the best? ...Is it real, or surreal?
 
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Bruce B

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Explain to me how the raw digital data stored on a $1600 disc is any different than the raw data stored on a $10 disc. One could argue that the $1600 disc somehow allows a transport to extract this data from a player with lower error rates, but an error corrected copy of this data on a harddrive is bit for bit the same information. Reading the discs with a memory player there should also be absolutely zero difference between what the player loads into memory.

But those 'burned CDs'; they come from somewhere, and from different places, and various states (recording stages), and of various qualities, and different materials, and different coating and plating and protection, and different factories, and different countries, and mixed and mastered and re-mastered and re-re-mastered from different recording engineers, and on and on and on...

Only ten 1967 Ferrari convertible sports cars (specific model) were made, and one this morning sold for twenty-seven and a half million dollars USD!

What is it exactly that makes this Crystal Disc so unique, and so superior to the rest of the best? ...Is it real, or surreal?

The only Commercial label that offers burned CD's that I know of is FIM (Ultra HD).
The Crystal CD "may" give you a better sound, but it is totally system dependent.
 

NorthStar

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The only Commercial label that offers burned CD's that I know of is FIM (Ultra HD).
The Crystal CD "may" give you a better sound, but it is totally system dependent.

And what about my own 'bit-for-bit' (Standard Red Book 16/44) burned CDs (MAX BOB) on better CD blank discs; are they a good deal, to me?
...And to whoever had the chance to listen to them at my 'mansion'?

Bruce, FIM CDs sell for roughly between $40 and $100 per unit (disc) right? ...Depending.
That's still a much lower price than a $1,000-2000 Crystal single Disc. ...And how much better sound quality do you get from it?
Gary knows perhaps. ...Or maybe Andy.
 

andymodern

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Aug 19, 2013
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None of ripped wav files (ripped in my computer system) sound as good as the original CD.

All are digital transfer. Theoretically they all should sound the same, but i tell you it is not true! Why? Someone told it was all about digital jitter from the computer clock!

I have to clarify what i said here. Ripped files i tried was ripped with the popular software EAC and the burning software come with Plextor at a about 4x - 8x speed. They are not as good as the original CD. I think this is most of the people are doing.

But if you have hi-end gear with proper cable setup to rip/play the CD, it means different story!
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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I was a non-believer of Gary's ripping regimen until a friend (local Harbeth, Vitus, Accuphase, YG dealer) compared my 1x rips and his "No Short Cuts" Gary rips. Mine sounded like crap.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
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All are digital transfer. Theoretically they all should sound the same, but i tell you it is not true! Why? Someone told it was all about digital jitter from the computer clock!

This has nothing to do with the rip itself, but with the playback method/transport. An error free rip is a datafile that is bit for bit the same information as what is on the CD.
 

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