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  1. #1
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
    Washington State

    Cowboy Junkies Trnity Sessions: APO SACD VS Classic Records Gold CD

    I've been wanting to compare my Classic Records cd with the APO SACD. I had to wait to do an accurate comparison until my hi end cd rig got repaired & warmed up. I just did a comparison of the 1st 4 songs.

    I went into this with a bias; the original was recorded direct to a dat machine at either 44/16 (or as rumor has it) at 48/16 (which would explain much of what I heard; though on the other hand if it was at 48 it would have made more sonic engineering sense to go dvd-a as ideally you always want the sampling rate numbers to evenly divide into each other to minimize quantization errors. I.E. the cd sampling rate of 44 divides evenly into SACD's 88 & 172 & dvd/dat's 48 divides into dvd-a's 96 & 192).

    In reading, APO's justification for this upsampled release was a claim that the digital clocks on most early dats sucked, causing lots of jitter. I'll translate to English in a moment.

    So I compared the SACD on my Oppo 95 to the Classic Records CD on my Esoteric->PS Audio. My bias was to expect little difference; or perhaps for the very nice cd to sound better than the SACD.

    As it turns out, APO was likely spot on re: the digital clocking errors. The SACD had significantly more definition (especially on reverb & echo from the church, which was the big deal about this album in audiophile circles when it came out). The album was recorded direct to dat (so no remix possible) with 1 stereo mic.

    In addition to the definition (another thing I heard was way more of the church background noise on the Acapella first song; which ironically another audiophile forum complained about! ); Margo's voice is smoother & more upfront (could be some eq here also on the upfront part); & the bass guitar's presence & especially definition is greatly improved.

    Now to explain in English: From everything I've read since the 90's, the biggest negative effects of timing jitter is a quieter, less present & less melodic bass, less definition all around & (though not in this case) that upper mid range screech that I hate so dearly. Keeping that in mind explains what I heard with my ears (the volume subjectively appeared to be identical & I haven't run DR #'s), though it wasn't what I expected.

    My 2 take aways:

    1. Based on APO's reclocking claim as the justification for this release what I heard seems to validate their claim & pretty much everything I've read about timing jitter.

    2. I still say the cd sounds excellent; but this SACD is a significant step up; & again I wouldn't have believed that if I hadn't heard it.

    One other thing that was actually slanted in the cd's favor: the Esoteric->PS Audio sounds MUCH better on cd then the Oppo; the Oppo's DA convertor is not as good as the PS Audio's; but the higher sampling rate is why I prefer hi-res; hi-res on the Oppo does sound better than cd on my other player. Again, that's part of why I was quite surprised by what I heard; despite the upsampling; the original source was 16 bit.

    Conclusion: if you like this album & have a good enough SACD player to really hear the difference I suggest upgrading to the SACD; however if you have inexpensive electronics you likely won't hear much difference.
    Last edited by moomoomoomoo; 03-04-2017 at 01:25 AM.
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1


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