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VDS
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I used to play softball with the Buffalo Philharmonic, I guess I was their ringer. I was lucky enough to get tickets every weekend  and could sit wherever I wanted. Kleinhans music hall has great  acoustics. Always sat dead center about 15 rows from the stage. Just an amazing experience. Funny tale, threw  a riser from third hit the first basemen on the forehead. He sat down it sounded like I hit a pumpkin.  Great place to listen to music and there are some good recordings from this venue. Its just a huge horn....

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On 7/16/2021 at 2:04 PM, Chris A said:

 

I note with some dismay that the record company that he worked for (Delos) apparently hired some real yo-yo's for mastering guys (that, or the senior management were of very questionable decision making expertise).  Once I demaster one of his albums, I can't believe how good the finished tracks really are.  I'm talking about perhaps a dozen albums of his that I've demastered and found some real gold.

 

Chris

 

What Chris really means is he used tone control in a way that is repeatable for the recording and himself.

 

There is no such thing as "demastering" without access to the original recording masters. And even then, that is what is called "remastered" (not always a good thing).

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On 7/17/2021 at 5:15 AM, Bubo said:

Orchestras & Symphonies & Operatic singing were a solution to a problem

 

No electricity, no electronics and no amplifiers

 

Well designed theaters and amphitheaters help, but still limited

 

My observation is individually micd instruments produce the best recordings

 

Would be interesting to either have live with no electronics or

 

Reduce the Performance to one amplified instrument of each kind producing a much clearer sound, also eliminating all of the group synchronization problems.

 

A real feat of composing, conducting and performance would be to divide the orchestra evenly, and have them play inverse to each other, exactly.

 

I think a lot of people believe that when they go to hear an orchestra in a concert hall (for instance), and see some kind of speakers/sound system installed  that the facility is using the sound system to reinforce the live sound of the performers. However, this is usually not the case. The "PA" system is usually only used for announcements.

 

There are exceptions of course. For many years I had to do my recordings of the Glen Ellyn - Wheaton Chorale live-in-concert. Most of the members are not "professionals". Consequently in live performance vocal soloists are not strong enough to belt it out above the chorale and orchestra so they need a mic and some reinforcement. Fortunately as the years past the musical director finally got my drift as to how this was affecting the quality of the recording and we started recording at rehearsals prior to concert, and that eliminated the annoyance of my mics picking up sound from the PA.

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On 7/16/2021 at 5:31 PM, VDS said:

Yes, diffuse, maybe due to where I’m at in my short audiophile life I still like that up close sound. 

 


Ive heard about a lot of people listening to blue Ray discs, even audio only.  Can you listen to 5.1 mode with 2 channel set up, or only a surround system?

 

I've been recording chorale and orchestral music live-in-concert for 30+ years. I have to disagree with a close up sound for this kind of music. You have to use multiple microphones all at different distances/locations and there's really no way to control the sound from one group/area of instruments bleeding to another without experiencing a lot of phase interference between the microphones. The phase interference causes all kinds of stridency problems, as well as messing with the low-end response. Mixing all those extra fill-in mics with the main stereo pickup mics becomes a nightmare IMO. And it also tends to destroy any semblance of "space" - the sound of the hall - the sense of space and place. And of course once you do that, the recording cannot possibly "take you there".

 

So yes, your preference for "up close sound" is likely due to your short audiophile life. The close mic/multi-mic techniques tend to work better for studio recordings like pop and rock which are typically more of a cut and paste, assembly-like process, not a recording of a "live performance".

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On 7/17/2021 at 4:42 AM, wetowne said:

Yes in some cases, not all.  Some of the minimally-miked three-channel recordings using 35 mm film recorders as was done in the late fifties and early sixties by labels like Everest and Mercury sound fantastic. 

 

Here's a video with some background on that process.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDzLQmUeky8&ab_channel=ANA[DIA]LOG

 

 

I enjoyed his YouTube presentation, but cringed whenever he said 35mm TAPE.  As far as I know, such a thing never existed.  It was 35mm full coat magnetic FILM, as he finally says a few times.  And, being film, I believe it was approx 6 times as thick as tape, thus the lower print through he talks about.  The potential magnetic surface was 24 mm (a little less than one inch) wide, but fairly wide spacing was included between and around the 3 tracks. They could afford it!  

 

As many of us know, Cinerama used a separate 35 mm magnetic film (even in the theater) for sound starting with This Is Cinerama in 1952, carrying SEVEN separate tracks, each 3.43mm wide (including spacing) just a bit wider than 1/2 track tape (including spacing).  The system was developed by Hazard E. Reeves of Reeves Soundcraft, makers of recording tape, and recorders of jazz, and other music, as well as later 70mm soundtracks, which often used 35mm mag film in the studio, for 6 track recordings, moving at > 22 i.p.s. For 70mm in the theater the 6 mag sound stripes were on the two edges of the film, and also crammed between the sprocket holes and the image, totaling 9.06mm, not the 5mm usually reported by people who can subtract 65mm (camera film) from 70mm (projector film for these processes) quite well, and get 5mm, but don't know that the image is reduced just a bit to allow for the 9.06mm magnetic coating -- 1.51mm each track.  The first two "modern" 70mm presentations, Oklahoma! and Around the World in 80 Days were presented in 70mm Todd-AO in "double system" with separate 35mm mag film carrying the 6 soundtracks in a few theaters.  A picture of the soundtrack-less, truly 65 mm picture film that would have been run in double system is in Arthur Knight's The Liveliest Art, facing page 76 in my paperback copy.  Knight calls it a 70m frame, but in this special case, it is 65mm due to no soundtracks, and hasn't been "printed in" to a 48.5mm image width to make room for them.   I believe I saw them that way as a school kid, because they sounded terrific, and as dynamic as all get out.  Those experiences made me an audiophile.  Neither vinyls sound good at all, and 80 Days, obviously dubbed to ordinary tape for transfer to vinyl, has miles of easily audible print through, should you ever need an example.  The Canadian expanded version CD manages to avoid this, but still doesn't capture the incredible fidelity.  The DVD of 80 Days and the Blu-ray of Oklahoma! come much closer.  Crank 'em up!

 

The Mercury, Everest, and Command 35mm albums vary considerably.  The best of the bunch (that I've heard) is the Mercury sampler/demo seen here:Mercury Living Presence Stereo Comp F:35 MM MAGNETIC FILM Demonstration vinyl record@VDS, you say, "dynamic range is the quality I love, the immediacy, the physicality."  Me too!   If you can play vinyl, play the Rachmaninoff that opens this disk, loudly, and you will be as happy as a clam!  Unfortunately, I can't find it on CD or SACD.  I believe the original recording was done in 1962.

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OP:  I’m late in joining.   (I haven’t had much time for forum activity in recent months due to being occupied with projects.)

 

I’ll offer a short answer, and a long-winded one.

 

Short Answer

 

I’ll offer two quick examples that come to mind that are excellent state-of-the-art recordings of music that has significant dynamic range.  (Perhaps I should say they are “near” state-of-the-art because they are Blu-ray vs. Ultra HD Blu-ray.)

 

If you want to experience what a modern recording can deliver for large-scale orchestral music that has significant dynamic range, then play this Blu-ray of Mahler Symphony 2 on a high-quality surround-sound system equipped with large front, center, and right speakers, and large subwoofers.  (And, of course, an HDTV to see the concert.)

 

71y52lm72LL._SX342_.jpg

 

The following Blu-ray disc includes 2008 performances by Valery Gergiev, featuring the Mariinsky Orchestra and Ballet, in the Ballets Russes’ production of:

  • The Firebird
  • The Rite of Spring

 

51LJ+mBeOKL._SX385_.jpg

 

This Blu-ray features excellent quality 1080 high-definition video, and DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio (plus, of course, a hi-res stereo track). 

 

If you want to experience the full dynamic impact of The Rite of Spring, listen to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround-sound audio track, employing a surround-sound hi-fi system that features large speakers and subwoofers.  (I listened on a system with a 15” powered subwoofer, plus a 16” powered sub, and front (L&R), center, and rear speakers that each have two 10” woofers - i.e., a total of eight 10” woofers plus two relatively large subwoofers.  I say “relatively large” because some subwoofer aficionados would describe a 16” subwoofer as “mid-size”.)   The timpani and bass drum that my hi-fi system delivered from this recording were articulate, had natural timber, and – at times – were EXPLOSIVE. 

 

I think that it’s interesting that in this performance of The Rite of Spring, the dancers sometimes clapped their hands, stomped their feet, and pounded the floor – which apparently is true to the original performance.   (Based on what I understand from the included documentary.)

 

The Rite of Spring isn’t quite my cup of tea, but I’m glad to have this modern audio/video recording of the music and ballet. 

 

I very much enjoyed The Firebird – including the costumes, dancing, and music.   Ekaterina Kondaurova looks beautiful dancing the role of the firebird.  (IMO.)  The high-definition video delivers a stunning visual presentation of the dancers, costumes, and scenery.

 

 

Long Answer

 

I hope that members will pardon the fact that I’ve hurriedly cobbled together content from some of my previous posts.  (I’m afraid that I don’t have much time today to edit for conciseness.) 

  

I enjoy classical music and opera, which (in my city) are performed live in a world-class purpose-built symphony hall (and opera house) where music is performed with no use of a sound reinforcement system, and there are no electronically produced sounds.   (In other words, the music involves 100% natural sound produced by orchestral instruments.)  

 

My benchmark for the sound quality from my hi-fi systems is classical music performed live in its intended venue.    Before coronavirus caused all concerts to be canceled, I attended more than 30 classical concerts each year, including season tickets to the symphony, and opera, plus several chamber concerts.  Recognizing some variance in instruments and halls, I have a pretty good idea (technical term) for how orchestral instruments (e.g., violin, clarinet, trumpet, timpani, etc.) sound.

 

My goal for the sound quality of recorded classical music played via my home hi-fi systems is to create the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house where classical music was performed live, and for inevitable deviations to sound pleasant vs. unpleasant – to my ears.   

 

One of my priorities is for the timbre of the orchestra instruments to sound natural.  And I want my hi-fi systems to achieve dynamic range that approaches the live concert experience.    

 

Classical music lovers know that large-scale orchestral music can have significant dynamic range.  I often cite Mahler Symphony 2 as an example.  That's why I recommended the Blu-ray recording above.

 

Certainly, recorded music can be enjoyed with less than state-of-the-art recordings and hi-fi systems.   Classical music lovers sometimes must decide which is more important:  performance quality, or audio quality of a recording.  I’m not a music scholar, and I’m not hyper-critical of a performance.  Very often I enjoy modern performances of classical music.   However, I have no tolerance for poor audio quality.  I therefore choose modern performances (i.e., last dozen years or so) of classical music that were recorded in hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz PCM), and delivered in a hi-res format.   

 

My preferences for recording technologies:

  1. My favorite is modern performances/recordings (last dozen years or so) that were captured and mastered in hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHZ) multi-channel, and delivered on a Blu-ray audio/video disc featuring DTS-HD MA 5.0 (or 5.1) surround-sound.   (A few Ultra HD Blu-ray opera recordings are starting to become available.)  
  2. My second choice in formats are SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray that feature surround-sound.  (No video.)
  3. My third choice are 24bit/96kHz or 24bit/192kHz FLAC stereo downloads (e.g., HDTracks).

In all cases provenance of the recording is critical – i.e., modern recordings that were captured and mastered as hi-res.   (In a few cases high quality analog master tapes have been digitized at hi-res with fairly good results - e.g., some RCA Living Stereo, and Mercury Living Presence.  However, IME these vintage recordings pale in comparison to modern state-of-the-art hi-res multi-channel recordings.)

 

I understand that some people prefer to ignore the visual component of music.  For example, some people prefer to listen to an audio-only recording of opera (perhaps because they are primarily aficionados of operatic singing).    OTOH, others (including me) feel that the acting and scenery are an important part of an opera’s storytelling, and therefore prefer a Blu-ray audio/video recording.   Blu-ray offers another significant benefit for opera:  displaying the libretto (in one of several languages) on the HDTV screen. 

 

IMO the visual component of ballet is even more important.   However, some people just listen to the ballet’s music.   

 

IMO, Blu-ray’s high-resolution video is also very enjoyable for classical orchestral concerts - i.e., seeing the conductor, musicians, and venue.   Blu-ray has enabled me to see many symphony halls and opera houses around the world that I otherwise would have never seen.  And some of the conductors and musicians are enjoyable to watch.

 

Hi-fi sound reproduction is not limited to 2-channel audio-only recordings.  There are countless modern multi-channel recordings, and IMO/IME these can far surpass the enjoyment delivered by 2 channel play-back.  IME, one of the benefits of Blu-ray DTS-HD 5.1 is the potentially greater dynamic range compared with stereo.

 

IME/IMO, the biggest advance in recorded music in recent years has been the availability of hi-res recordings of modern performances (last dozen years or so) of classical music, opera, and ballet delivered on Blu-ray audio/video discs featuring DTS-HD MA multi-channel audio, and high-definition video.   Ultra HD Blu-ray recordings are slowly becoming available.  When I connect my Oppo UDP-205 to vintage tube amps to drive high-end Klipsch speakers in a surround-sound configuration (including subwoofers), this configuration delivers a near-symphony-concert-hall experience.   For classical music, Blu-ray audio/video, Ultra HD Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, SACD, and hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz, or DSD) downloads are indispensable.  

 

IME/IMO, multichannel is FAR superior to stereo for classical music.   And, hi-res audio is superior to Redbook CD.  

 

In my basement system (average size room), I have no problems with dynamics or deep bass, for any music.   Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II.  A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7.   Subwoofers:  SVS SB16-Ultra, Klipsch R-115SW.  Source:  Oppo UDP-205 universal player, playing hi-res recordings of large-scale classical music.  (The Oppo provides the bass management function, meaning that the power-hungry bass is off-loaded from the main amp and speakers.)   I have multiple tube amps in this system.   If I use, for example, a Scott 296 to drive the left and right channels, and a Fisher KX-200 (or Scott 272) to drive the center and (single) rear channel, there is dynamic range and frequency range approaching a live concert in a symphony hall.   (These tube amps each produce approximately 30 - 40 wpc.  If I want more muscle, I’ll use my LK150 which produces about 58wpc.)   No problems with dynamics, or deep bass, for any genre of music.  (For big-band music or folk music, my 8wpc single-ended pentode amp is adequate)

 

I’ve converted 4 of my 5 hi-fi systems to multi-channel, because IMO – when playing modern classical recordings – the experience is far superior to listening to stereo.

 

There are countless modern (last dozen years or so) recordings of classical compositions that were recorded and mastered in modern “hi-res” formats, and delivered on Blu-ray or SACD.   IME, you can’t make a silk purse from a SOW’s ear.  Garbage-in / garbage-out.  Provenance of a recording is extremely important.  Delivering a vintage recording in a “hi-res” wrapper doesn’t magically improve its quality.   If you pour 5 gallons of milk into a 55-gallon drum, it’s still 5 gallons.   (Recorded music can be enjoyed with less than state-of-the-art recordings and hi-fi systems.   With that said, my point is that historic performances are limited to technology available at the time of the recording.)

 

I’ll post just a few examples of modern recordings here.    I you’d like I can post more recommendations in later posts, or you may wish to join this discussion on talkclassical.com:  https://www.talkclassical.com/54011-blu-ray-videos-classical.html

 

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Danish NSO

 

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9

Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

 

41+EYqMSRUL.jpg

 

(I own 3 other Blu-ray audio/video box sets of modern performances of all Beethoven symphonies.)

 

Jean Sibelius: Complete Symphonies

 

71Xp1l2S4oL._SX522_.jpg

 

"Tchaikovsky, The Complete Symphonies".

61jmWGKBD0L._SY445_.jpg

 

 

Brahms symphonies by Paavo Järvi conducting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

 

91pUqAYvLKL._SX342_.jpg

 

Schumann Symphonies

 

51Qnrm9bKEL._SX342_.jpg

 

The latest concert series on Blu-ray that I’m enjoying:   Bruckner Symphonies 1-9.   Christian Thielemann conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2012 – 2019 performances at several different venues.

 

61nMkxUYQBL._SX342_.jpg


I have this Blu-ray box set of Mahler symphonies on order:  

 

71RQZ7xug6L._SX342_.jpg

 

I own two different Blu-ray recordings of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem.   My favorite is Franz Welser-Möst leading the Cleveland Orchestra in a 2016 performance at the Stiftsbasilika St. Florian in Austria.    IMO this is an excellent example of what Blu-ray can offer – i.e., outstanding audio and video quality.   Beautiful venue.  I loved the performance.

 

61Ew8qR0xLL._SX385_.jpg

 

I also have several other Blu-ray audio/video box sets of symphonies. 

 

Plus several other classical concerts on Blu-ray. 

 

Plus numerous modern opera and ballet audio/video recordings on Blu-ray.  (And a few in Ultra HD Blu-ray.)

 

(Plus, many classical recordings on SACD.)

 

After experiencing modern audio/video concert videos featuring high-def video, and hi-res audio featuring surround-sound, I greatly prefer this to listening to CDs (or streaming).

 

As I mentioned earlier, you may wish to join this discussion on talkclassical.com:  https://www.talkclassical.com/54011-blu-ray-videos-classical.html

 

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On 7/16/2021 at 10:17 AM, Chris A said:

...

 

Yuja Wang is also very easy on the eyes, and is spectacular on the Prokofiev #1 concerto--and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is composed of section-leading musicians from across the EU, led by Claudio Abbado--who is a superb interpreter of Mahler and late Romantic era symphonies and concertos. 

 

...

 

I’m also a fan of Yuga Wang, and I own the Blu-ray you’ve referenced.

 

For those who aren’t familiar with Yuga, I’ll share 2 YouTube videos that I think showcase her talent: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVpnr8dI_50

 

 

 

 

 

I love Yuga Wang’s performance of Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1, particularly the Andante.  The following DVD has excellent audio quality (Dolby Digital 5.1 | DTS 5.1).   When played on my Oppo UDP-205, the video quality of this DVD looks almost as good as Blu-ray.

 

51-EH9j3EeL._SX425_.jpg

 

I’m also a fan of Khatia Buniatishvili.  (I’ve seen Khatia perform live.)

 

I enjoy this Blu-ray disc of Khatia performing:

  • Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1

71HEch5R7rL._SX385_.jpg

 

I particularly enjoyed the Liszt.  Excellent audio quality (Dolby Digital 5.1 | Dolby Atmos compatible Dolby True HD 7.1) and HD video. 

 

Here's one of my favorite YouTube clips of Khatia (unfortunately not available on Blu-ray): 

 

o

Here’s Khatia and her sister Gvantsa performing together: 

 

 

Here’s Khatia and Yuga performing together: 

 

 

 

 

Full disclosure, I’m “kinda sweet on” Khatia.  

 

And, I’m “kinda sweet on” Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča, Nadine Sierra, and several other beautiful ladies of classical music.  

 

All good reasons for Blu-ray’s high-definition video, IMO.

 

Anna.jpg

Elina_Garanca.jpg

Nadine_Sierra.jpg

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Thanks for the recommendations!  I’m currently only steaming from IDAGIO, but having difficulty finding some titles, perhaps I need a blue ray player? Any recommendations from anyone for a player?

thanks, Ted

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I'm fairly certain that this is the complete collection of the Mozart Piano Concertos, recorded in the late-60's and early-70's, of which I own only two discs: featuring Concerto #'s 21, 22, 23, and 27.  The sonics and sublime performances - at least, on the pressings I own - are some of the finest sounding classical music in my library.  A dialed-in, accurate system will bring you to the venue, and Barenboim's playing is emotive, immersive, and sublime.

 


https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Concertos-1-27/dp/B00000C2KO/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=barenboim+mozart+complete&qid=1627869189&sr=8-3

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2 hours ago, chuckears said:


I'm fairly certain that this is the complete collection of the Mozart Piano Concertos, recorded in the late-60's and early-70's, of which I own only two discs: featuring Concerto #'s 21, 22, 23, and 27.  The sonics and sublime performances - at least, on the pressings I own - are some of the finest sounding classical music in my library.  A dialed-in, accurate system will bring you to the venue, and Barenboim's playing is emotive, immersive, and sublime.

 


https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Concertos-1-27/dp/B00000C2KO/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=barenboim+mozart+complete&qid=1627869189&sr=8-3

I own another food box in the series, with Jeffrey Tates. The recordings were done on the 1980s.

 

PSX_20210802_065118.jpg

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14 hours ago, VDS said:

Thanks for the recommendations!  I’m currently only steaming from IDAGIO, but having difficulty finding some titles, perhaps I need a blue ray player? Any recommendations from anyone for a player?

thanks, Ted

 

Thanks for making me aware of IDAGIO.   Do their classical videos feature hi-res surround-sound?

 

Are you interested in a Blu-ray player that supports multi-channel (i.e., 5.1), or 2-channel (i.e., stereo) only?

 

Will you be using an amp with an HMDI input (e.g., AVR), or an amp with traditional RCA line-level analog inputs?

 

Budget?

 

FWIW, I recommend getting a "universal player" that will play:

 

•    CD, 
•    DVD, 
•    DVD-Audio, 
•    SACD, 
•    Blu-ray, 
•    Pure Audio Blu-ray, 
•    Ultra HD Blu-ray, and 
•    Hi-res downloads (e.g., 24bit/192kHz FLAC, and DSD).
 

Following are some quick thoughts.

 

If your amp supports an HDMI input, then consider the Sony UBP-X800M2.  It’s cheap, and supports almost every format    However, the UBP-X800M2 does not provide analog audio outputs (i.e., it’s HDMI only).

 

If you are adamant that you only want 2-channel analog audio outputs from a disc player, but want the flexibility to support most modern digital audio and video formats, then consider the Sony UBP-X1100ES.   Or, to save a few bucks, consider the earlier Sony UBP-X1000ES.


For a multi-channel “universal player” with analog audio outputs, consider a used Oppo player:

 

•    Oppo UDP-205  (I own 2 of these.)
•    Oppo BDP-105  (I own 1 of these.)
•    Oppo BDP-95  (I own 1 of these.)
 

There is a relatively new product on the market, but I have no experience with it:  https://www.reavon.com/reavon-ubr-x200

 

 

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18 hours ago, MeloManiac said:

Thank you for these excellent references. I've bookmarked your post and I'm planning on building a small collection of blu-rays. Great post!!!! 

 

You're welcome.

 

If you like Beethoven, a great way to get started is the box set that I referenced above.  It's a great value.

 

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Danish NSO

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9
  • Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
  • Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
  • Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

 

I have 3 other Blu-ray box sets of Beethoven symphonies.   If you're interested I can provide some information about them.

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5 hours ago, robert_kc said:

 

Thanks for making me aware of IDAGIO.   Do their classical videos feature hi-res surround-sound?

 

Are you interested in a Blu-ray player that supports multi-channel (i.e., 5.1), or 2-channel (i.e., stereo) only?

 

Will you be using an amp with an HMDI input (e.g., AVR), or an amp with traditional RCA line-level analog inputs?

 

Budget?

 

FWIW, I recommend getting a "universal player" that will play:

 

•    CD, 
•    DVD, 
•    DVD-Audio, 
•    SACD, 
•    Blu-ray, 
•    Pure Audio Blu-ray, 
•    Ultra HD Blu-ray, and 
•    Hi-res downloads (e.g., 24bit/192kHz FLAC, and DSD).
 

Following are some quick thoughts.

 

If your amp supports an HDMI input, then consider the Sony UBP-X800M2.  It’s cheap, and supports almost every format    However, the UBP-X800M2 does not provide analog audio outputs (i.e., it’s HDMI only).

 

If you are adamant that you only want 2-channel analog audio outputs from a disc player, but want the flexibility to support most modern digital audio and video formats, then consider the Sony UBP-X1100ES.   Or, to save a few bucks, consider the earlier Sony UBP-X1000ES.


For a multi-channel “universal player” with analog audio outputs, consider a used Oppo player:

 

•    Oppo UDP-205  (I own 2 of these.)
•    Oppo BDP-105  (I own 1 of these.)
•    Oppo BDP-95  (I own 1 of these.)
 

There is a relatively new product on the market, but I have no experience with it:  https://www.reavon.com/reavon-ubr-x200

 

 

IDAGIO is FLAC 16b 44.1kHz. Primephonic is FLAC 24b 92kHz, but my Bluesound streamer doesn’t support it.

 

Im strictly 2 ch stereo, no home theater.

i could plug Blu-ray player into my DAC, MHDT Orchid, (USB, Toslink) or into preamp inputs, (rca)
 

I have a great DAC, so I feel like bypassing the Blu-ray players Dac would yield better results. 

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1 hour ago, VDS said:

IDAGIO is FLAC 16b 44.1kHz. Primephonic is FLAC 24b 92kHz, but my Bluesound streamer doesn’t support it.

 

Im strictly 2 ch stereo, no home theater.

i could plug Blu-ray player into my DAC, MHDT Orchid, (USB, Toslink) or into preamp inputs, (rca)
 

I have a great DAC, so I feel like bypassing the Blu-ray players Dac would yield better results. 

 

I suggest that you investigate whether the Blu-ray player's Toslink interface has the bandwidth to output all hi-res audio formats without down-sampling to a lower resolution.

 

With an outboard DAC, would you be able to play the SACD layer of a hybrid SACD, or the CD layer?  Can all hi-res Blu-ray audio formats be supported via an outboard DAC that is connected via Toslink?

 

I'm not a technical expert.  With that said, my understanding is that the best options are an HDMI interface to a DAC (or AVR), or DACs that are internal to the universal player.

 

Perhaps someone who is more knowledgeable can explain this.

 

 

 

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On 7/31/2021 at 6:32 PM, artto said:

... without access to the original recording masters.

 

And that would be what you get on your CD.

 

In more detail, any EQing and compression technigues done on individual track of a multitrack recording, once mixed to 2 track, are toast as far as trying to undo the damage. One could, though, make some changes to undo damage on radical EQ and multiband compression on those 2 track recordings.

 

Good engineers won't have extreme EQ changes on instruments. The proper techniques would be microphone placement changes. Or different microphones. There is art as well as science behind recording something well.

 

I've only hear one of the albums Chris has worked on, and that is Joni Mitchell's 'Blue'. I have always thought it was superb, although a little tiring. Chris' reworking/demastering/remastering, has made is a delight.

 

Although his techniques could be looked upon as seeing the problem as a nail so he always uses a hammer, I think there could be some merit to what he is getting at.

 

That's my take...

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Lot's of Classical recordings are mic'd minimally so a lot depends on the venue and the Composer.

For dynamics you might try these...just off the top of my head.

Aaron Copland

Nielsen

Sibelius

Ravel

Stravinsky

Shostakovitch

Mussorgsky

Gershwin

Wagner

Mahler

Vivaldi

Rimsky Korsakov

 

You can't go wrong with labels like DG,London,EMI,Decca,RCA,Columbia,Phillips,Erato

And of course the Conductors

 

Bernstein

Karajan

Ozawa

Ormandy

Solti

Dudamel

Boulez

and many other great ones

 

 

 

 

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Just about anything recorded on Telarc by The Atlanta Symphony and Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw is worth listening to.

Highlights are Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Verdi's Requiem.

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