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MFSL Gold Ultra Disk CD's

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Anonymous
June 6, 2005 4:02:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Back in the day before remasters were available or HDCD or 20 bit etc.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Compact Disk Ultra Disks in Gold were
SONICALLY SUPERIOR I am sure

SO here is my question.

While having a gold CD is cool and I do own a few

and supposedly they last longer and play better even when hot vs. aluminum

IS A MFSL GOLD CD sonically supperior to a 20 bit remaster STRICTLY
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

I understand we are talking different engineers etc. BUT

all things being equal I am thinking that if I can get a 20 bit HDCD
remaster for $15 that a MFSL for $30 isn't worth it anymore

OR IS IT ???????????

More about : mfsl gold ultra disk

Anonymous
June 6, 2005 4:02:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

NGS wrote:
> Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Compact Disk Ultra Disks in Gold were
> SONICALLY SUPERIOR I am sure
> While having a gold CD is cool and I do own a few
> and supposedly they last longer and play better even when hot vs. aluminum

This is simply a false claim.

> IS A MFSL GOLD CD sonically supperior to a 20 bit remaster STRICTLY
> TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
>
> I understand we are talking different engineers etc. BUT
> all things being equal I am thinking that if I can get a 20 bit HDCD
> remaster for $15 that a MFSL for $30 isn't worth it anymore
> OR IS IT ???????????

If I owned a bunch of MFSL GOLD CD's, they would be worth more to
me, because I'd be able to sell them to you for significantly more
than they are intrinsically worth: I'd make more money on them.

But the use of gold as the reflecting layer IF, as you say,
EVERYTHING ELSE IS THE SAME has NO technical or sonic advantages
whatsoever. IF there was an issue of reflectivity at the wavelength
of interest (780 nm), as one of the claims made, the reflectivity
of aluminum (at 96.5%) is superior to that of gold (92.6), albeit
do a degree that is irrelevant to CD playback.


fact, superior to gold.
Anonymous
June 6, 2005 9:18:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <Ss_oe.8407$hg.2542@fe12.lga>, NGS <NGS@telrizon.com> wrote:

>Back in the day before remasters were available or HDCD or 20 bit etc.
>
>Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Compact Disk Ultra Disks in Gold were
>SONICALLY SUPERIOR I am sure

The MFSL ultradiscs *were* remasters, in every case I know about.

That is, they were derived from the best-then-available analog master
tape, and were converted to digital form using MFSL's custom-build or
custom-modified analog-to-digital converters.

They did not use the digital-master data from the mass-market editions
of the CDs.

>SO here is my question.
>
>While having a gold CD is cool and I do own a few
>
>and supposedly they last longer and play better even when hot vs. aluminum
>
>IS A MFSL GOLD CD sonically supperior to a 20 bit remaster STRICTLY
>TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

That depends on the specific recording, and on the quality and
condition of the analog master tape, at least as much as it does on
the MFSL or "20-bit remaster" question.

>all things being equal I am thinking that if I can get a 20 bit HDCD
>remaster for $15 that a MFSL for $30 isn't worth it anymore
>
>OR IS IT ???????????

It may be.

There are several issues here. For one thing, *no* Red Book audio CD
can actually store a full 20 bits of linear PCM audio signal. The
format is intrinsically limited to 16 bits of data per sample.

There are several ways of getting more *apparent* dynamic range out of
the CD format. All of them involve one or another form of tradeoff.

One method is to use noise-shaping techniques. The original analog
data is converted to digital at a wider bit-width (20 bits or more).
It is then mathematically reduced down to 20 bits, a process which
necessarily created a certain amount of quantization noise. By using
DSP techniques, it is possible to shape the frequency spectrum of this
quantization noise so that most of it falls into the higher treble
frequencies, where the human ear is not very sensitive. The net
effect is that a noise-shaped CD signal can have an effective
resolution of 18-20 bits at frequencies in the midrange (where the
human ear is relatively sensitive), at the cost of having a lower
effective resolution (higher noise floor, poorer dynamic range) in the
treble where the increase in noise will not be heard.

As I understand it, the Sony "Super Bit Mapping" and JVC XRCD
mastering systems use this approach.

I'm not sure whether Mobile Fidelity used aggressive noise-shaping on
its original gold discs, or whether they used a fairly flat-spectrum
dither. My recollection is that Mobile Fidelity focused quite hard on
getting the *analog* stages of the conversion to be as clean as
possible... careful handling of the best-available master tape,
customized tape-playback electronics, and so forth.

Another method is to use some form of dynamic-range compression and
expansion. This is what HDCD does. The higher-resolution (20-bit, I
think) digital audio data is fed into a sophisticated dynamic-range
compression algorithm, and some coding information which tells the CD
player how to perform the corresponding dynamic-range expansion is
"hidden" in the dithering signal in the least significant couple of
bits.

HDCD is intended to deliver its full (> 16 bit) dynamic range when
played back in a CD player that includes an HDCD decoder. If played
back in a non-HDCD CD player, the dynamic-range expansion doesn't
occur... you end up hearing the compressed signal. As a result, the
HDCD disc can end up having slightly _less_ than full 16-bit
resolution and dynamic range on such players... that's its particular
tradeoff.

Whether this is noticeable depends on the quality of the original
signal, on how aggressively the mastering engineer chose to use the
HDCD features, and probably on ten other factors as well.

So - either of these approaches can result in really
excellent-sounding CDs, if the engineer knows his stuff and if the
master tape is good (and in the case of older recordings, the analog
master tape is often the limiting factor).

I tend to avoid (or, at least, to not favor) HDCD discs, as I have a
somewhat uneasy feeling about dynamic-range compression. The dynamic
range capability of a well-mastered linear-PCM CD is sufficiently high
that I'm far from convinced that any sort of compander is at all
necessary.

--
Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO
Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
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Anonymous
June 7, 2005 10:16:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 12:02:49 -0400, NGS <NGS@telrizon.com> wrote:

>Back in the day before remasters were available or HDCD or 20 bit etc.

Back in the day when MFSL was alive, they made remasterd versions on
vinyl, and then on CD.

>Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Compact Disk Ultra Disks in Gold were
>SONICALLY SUPERIOR I am sure

What makes you think that?

>SO here is my question.
>
>While having a gold CD is cool and I do own a few
>
>and supposedly they last longer and play better even when hot vs. aluminum

Who told you that? There's zero evidence for it being true, especially
given that I have dozens of of '1st edition' CDs from 1983 which are
still in perfect condition. As for they 'play better even when hot',
this is simply hilarious! :-)

>IS A MFSL GOLD CD sonically supperior to a 20 bit remaster STRICTLY
>TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

No. There was an argument that because the gold layer is thinner than
an equivalent aluminium disc, the pits and lands were better defined,
but the eye pattern and BLER rate never supported this theory, and
perhaps more revealingly, gold had a very short commercial life
despite the obvious marketing appeal. Most folks would agree that the
very best technical quality available on 'Red Book' CD comes from the
JVC XRCD range, which looked at using gold, but decided there was no
advantage and stuck with aluminium.

>I understand we are talking different engineers etc. BUT
>
>all things being equal

Which, of course, they're not..............

> I am thinking that if I can get a 20 bit HDCD
>remaster for $15 that a MFSL for $30 isn't worth it anymore
>
>OR IS IT ???????????

Depends if the remastering was superior, and that will always be a
matter of taste. It also depends whether you think HDCD is of any
value.

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 8:45:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

NGS wrote:
>
> and supposedly they last longer and play better even when hot vs. aluminum
>

Why are your CD's hot?. I have never had a CD be "hot" when it has
come out of the player. What are you doing to them?
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 11:49:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Ah! Good point. I must admit I was assuming Home audio. :-)
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 12:53:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Shiner wrote:
> NGS wrote:
>>
>> and supposedly they last longer and play better even when
hot vs.
>> aluminum
>>
>
> Why are your CD's hot?. I have never had a CD be "hot"
when it has
> come out of the player. What are you doing to them?

Putting CDs in a car audio CD player is IME a pretty
reliable means for them to be hot when they come out of the
player. Something about 4 15wpc bridged amps in a fairly
small and well-insulated place, with extra credit for
proximity to the heater and/or heating ducts.
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 1:12:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Arny Krueger wrote:
> Shiner wrote:
>
>>NGS wrote:
>>
>>>and supposedly they last longer and play better even when
>
> hot vs.
>
>>>aluminum
>>>
>>
>>Why are your CD's hot?. I have never had a CD be "hot"
>
> when it has
>
>>come out of the player. What are you doing to them?
>
>
> Putting CDs in a car audio CD player is IME a pretty
> reliable means for them to be hot when they come out of the
> player. Something about 4 15wpc bridged amps in a fairly
> small and well-insulated place, with extra credit for
> proximity to the heater and/or heating ducts.
>
>
OK, that's it. Only Gold CDs in my car!;)
Come to think of it, what better place to enjoys 20 bits of dynamic
range than in your car, lol


CD
!