Thursday, January 8, 2009
A BLU-SPEC DISCOVERY
I'm trying to form an opinion on the new Blu-Spec format. Discovery is the first ELO CD to undergo this treatment with Out of the Blue to follow later this month.
I really want to learn what constitutes the "best sound" possible. But then the argument over analog's warmness over digital's clarity ensues and I'm not sure what to think. I tend to prefer digital's clarity especially if we're talking remastered CDs.
So here we are with Discovery. I tried side by side comparisons two ways: 1) over the stereo speakers using a Blu Ray player coax connection vs. the CD player analog connection and 2) over the iPod using uncompressed AIFF files.
On the loudpeakers, the original remastered CD sounded louder and a bit harsher (but OK) compared to the Blu-spec. The high end seems reined in a bit on Blu Spec and one can assume when that happens you can hear the finer details in between.
On the iPod, the only major difference I can detect (using Little Town Flirt as an example) was a fuller bottom. Again, the highest parts are solidly there but more controlled. It all didn't seem that much more "stable" but in the end, I would give the Blu-spec a slight edge.
I suspect since it's the same master used for both discs, the difference won't be that much for most people. As much as I'd like to spend thousands of dollars in upscale audio equipment, I can't. But I'd still be eager to learn what makes something sound great. How can you tell if you have a good ear and how can you train it to be better?
So, long story short: the more picky you are about the sound of the music you listen to, the more a Blu-spec CD may a fit for you. Otherwise, the remastered CD will suit the non-picky just fine.