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SHM-CD Format: Hype or Hope?, Metallica's New Album
Axon
post May 21 2009, 03:00
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A couple of incredibly bizarre threads over at sh.tv has uncovered hard evidence (some contributed by yours truly) that some SHM-CDs contain more clipping than their normal CD counterparts. On a LZ SHM-CD specifically:

QUOTE (me)
Quite simply, the only difference between the SHM CD and the Marino master, as indicated by these samples, is an extra 0.6db of gain, and additional brickwall clipping.


There are also diverse examples provided of the SHM-CD digital content being exactly the same (or suspected to be the same from track peaks) as the normal CD counterparts. Even then, several individuals are adamant that SHM-CDs sound better than their normal counterparts (even with the ones with increasing clipping). There has been absolutely no evidence found of any SHM-CD having a higher quality digital master than its normal CD counterpart.

The manufacturing technology has not been shown to give no benefit under normal CD playback conditions. But if all you're going to do is rip it to your computer, there's provably no benefit to SHM-CD.
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WonderSlug
post May 21 2009, 05:04
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I'd rather they spend time on better manufacturing techniques that yield real results.

For example, a better plastic that doesn't scratch as easily, or better substrates that won't separate or tilt (warped disc) after a period of time.
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ShowsOn
post May 21 2009, 05:28
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I gave up on that thread around page 40.


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krabapple
post May 21 2009, 17:25
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QUOTE (Axon @ May 20 2009, 22:00) *
A couple of incredibly bizarre threads over at sh.tv has uncovered hard evidence (some contributed by yours truly) that some SHM-CDs contain more clipping than their normal CD counterparts. On a LZ SHM-CD specifically:Quite simply, the only difference between the SHM CD and the Marino master, as indicated by these samples, is an extra 0.6db of gain, and additional brickwall clipping.



You mean, the supposed virtues of the format are offset by the actual mastering? Shocking. wink.gif

QUOTE
There are also diverse examples provided of the SHM-CD digital content being exactly the same (or suspected to be the same from track peaks) as the normal CD counterparts. Even then, several individuals are adamant that SHM-CDs sound better than their normal counterparts (even with the ones with increasing clipping). There has been absolutely no evidence found of any SHM-CD having a higher quality digital master than its normal CD counterpart.


Several individuals on Hoffman's forum are clueless jackasses as regards audio.

This post has been edited by krabapple: May 21 2009, 17:26
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ShowsOn
post May 21 2009, 17:45
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QUOTE (krabapple @ May 22 2009, 01:25) *
Several individuals on Hoffman's forum are clueless jackasses as regards audio.

The scary one was the mastering 'engineer' Barry Diament's contributions to the thread where he refused to accept that when the WAV comparator in Exact Audio Copy says two WAVs are identical, that that would mean they are exactly the same mastering. He kept on saying the only way to be sure is to null the files after ensuring that the first samples line up.

I guess it proves that you don't need a degree in audio engineering to be a mastering 'engineer'.


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Seeking_Lossless
post May 21 2009, 17:46
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Even on vinyl also that album still clip. It's impossible to get amazing sound of Death Magnetic in any format as the original master tape/or whatever also has been brickwalled to death.
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krabapple
post May 21 2009, 18:14
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QUOTE (ShowsOn @ May 21 2009, 12:45) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ May 22 2009, 01:25) *
Several individuals on Hoffman's forum are clueless jackasses as regards audio.

The scary one was the mastering 'engineer' Barry Diament's contributions to the thread where he refused to accept that when the WAV comparator in Exact Audio Copy says two WAVs are identical, that that would mean they are exactly the same mastering. He kept on saying the only way to be sure is to null the files after ensuring that the first samples line up.

I guess it proves that you don't need a degree in audio engineering to be a mastering 'engineer'.



IME Diament's a fountain of dubious 'information' and audiophoolery. And in the end he will *always* retreat to 'I hear it, and that's all that matters'.


And they worship him on SH.tv.


Btw, Diament makes available a 24/96 vs 16/44 comparison , that HA might be interested in . Hosted here:


http://www.soundkeeperrecordings.com/format.htm
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WonderSlug
post May 21 2009, 18:50
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QUOTE (ShowsOn @ May 21 2009, 09:45) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ May 22 2009, 01:25) *
Several individuals on Hoffman's forum are clueless jackasses as regards audio.

The scary one was the mastering 'engineer' Barry Diament's contributions to the thread where he refused to accept that when the WAV comparator in Exact Audio Copy says two WAVs are identical, that that would mean they are exactly the same mastering. He kept on saying the only way to be sure is to null the files after ensuring that the first samples line up.

I guess it proves that you don't need a degree in audio engineering to be a mastering 'engineer'.


Well, if he won't accept what EAC is telling him, maybe he'll accept what Windows tells him.

Compare the two WAV files by using Windows' "comp" command line executable.

Open up a Command Prompt and use:

comp first.wav second.wav



If comp returns a "Files Compare OK" then that means first.wav and second.wav are byte-for-byte exact duplicates.
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ShowsOn
post May 22 2009, 14:08
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QUOTE (krabapple @ May 22 2009, 03:14) *
IME Diament's a fountain of dubious 'information' and audiophoolery. And in the end he will *always* retreat to 'I hear it, and that's all that matters'.

Yeah, he is one of those people that argues that CDs made from exactly the same digital master can sound different simply because they were made in different pressing facilities, even if the discs contain identical data. This usually cues a pointless 'discussions' about jitter.

I can't imagine discussing SHM-CD with someone who believes identical bits can produce varying sound (in a properly functioning player) will prove particularly fruitful.

I haven't used EAC for a long time (I Use dBpowerAMP ripper), but doesn't it have a setting to delete silent samples at the start of files to ensure that the files will line up perfectly when compared?

i.e. an otherwise identical mastering may include slightly different indexing that appears as digital silence just before the track starts?

This post has been edited by ShowsOn: May 22 2009, 14:10


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dev
post May 22 2009, 16:01
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The propaganda; only thing i can think of, they propably put better mastered tracks to have illusion that there is superior quality thanks to CD, or they don`t even do that, and it`s normal master on better quality CD, maby it can last longer but 1 bit is a 1 bit!.
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hlloyge
post May 23 2009, 08:57
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QUOTE (WonderSlug @ May 21 2009, 19:50) *
If comp returns a "Files Compare OK" then that means first.wav and second.wav are byte-for-byte exact duplicates.


They are on different sectors. Have you ever considered that?
I am battling with few audiophiles about basic scientific concepts, but to no avail - I've been told that I've walked into "the land of unknown" rolleyes.gif .
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Nick.C
post May 23 2009, 09:32
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More like the "land of the unknowing" - I mean, an identical pair of bitstreams is just that, is it not?

This post has been edited by Nick.C: May 23 2009, 09:36


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uzernaam
post Oct 17 2010, 10:56
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QUOTE (Tahnru @ Aug 2 2008, 00:23) *
... My ones will be more singular, my zeros will be truly nothing.


Haha, somehow that phrase strikes me as really funny.

Yes, I have a very hard time believing that bits can be interpreted by the electronics as anything other than zero or one.
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jimmy69
post Oct 17 2010, 12:28
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Holy moly! The couple of comments about more scratch resistant CDs gave me the best idea. Zagg invisible shield for CDs. Sounds awesome no. Oh and about the difference in sound quality. Why all the discussion? Digital is digital, a bit is a bit end of discussion
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Squeller
post Oct 24 2012, 19:15
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Well, there's an Article in Stereo magazine (german language). http://www.stereo.de/index.php?id=613

They first searched for bit identical CDs (normal vs. shm cd) to avoid comparing different mastering. Well, that's good on the one hand, but on the other IMO they proved that they must sound identical. But in the listening test they heard clear differences, not surprisingly the SHM CD sounds better (english speakers, no need to translate. Some bullshit bingo attributes you already know from listening tests):

QUOTE
in den oberen Lagen entspannter, weniger glasig, beschwingter, gelöster und dreidimensionaler. Die Normal-CD wirkt dagegen wie eingeschnürt: kompakter und belegter.

That is beyond my logical thinking.

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rod
post Nov 10 2013, 21:25
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Hi, is true, bits are bits, but we need bits in the wright time. A music teacher said sometime that:
" The correct note in the incorrect time is the incorrect note", is that clear?

For to represent a point in a wave form we need two coordinates ed X e Y
Y is our famous BIT and x is the timebase, the exact time in that we need that bit
In the timebase ocurrs a series of infernal mistakes, jitter, read errors imperfections of
the material, the form of the recorded hole in the metal layer, etc

Yes bits are bits but this is not enough, is necesary to consider the above for improve digital audio,
probably SHM-CD did it.

Excuse my english

Rod. from Chile
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db1989
post Nov 10 2013, 21:53
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Do you have any evidence that jitter in typical CD players is audibly relevant and that SHM-CD can fix this supposed problem? Otherwise, your post will be no more useful than all the many previous ones where people talked about the supposed perils of jitter but never substantiated any of it.
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lvqcl
post Nov 10 2013, 22:06
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It's simply not possible to read CD sample by sample: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc_...o#Data_encoding

So the whole idea that "we need rigth bit in right time" is meaningless.
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extrabigmehdi
post Nov 10 2013, 22:26
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This thread has been resurrected, so I'd take the opportunity to say that SHM-CD versions have usually more loudness compression (i.e for the "mastering") , so I'd avoid them as much as possible.
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db1989
post Nov 10 2013, 23:04
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Which is nothing inherent to the format, just bad mastering decisions as usual.

If no one can provide any technical basis and evidence that ShakingMyHead-CD offers any benefit over normal CDs, this thread can recede into the archives whence it came.
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unfinished.hide
post Nov 11 2013, 13:20
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A couple of years ago I came across a SHM-CD, Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet, which according to its obi was a "reissue of the 1999 remaster as SHM-CD". So I took my copy of the original 1999 remaster and ripped them both to see if I could ABX those superior audio differences claimed by JVC. To my surprise AccurateRip results for both rips were actually identical track by track, except for the offset as two different pressings are expected to differ. Obviously after that I didn't waste my time trying to ABX two bit-identical files as I wouldn't expect to find any difference, let alone an 'audible improvement'.

The very same thing happened with an HQCD (similar technology developed by Toshiba) with a reissue in 2009 on this format of an originally released album in 2005 from a Japanese artist. The label didn't even touch the master in the slightest, so same AccurateRip results, different offsets again.

Since then, and even considering the limited amount of testing I've been able to perform and the simple tools used, my fear is that those newer formats which claim to improve the CD retaining compatibility with CD players are actually snake oil at their best. I mean, if they are only a reissue, then they do improve nothing, but do not make the sound worse either; a completely transparent format. However, as already ponted out before, if they are used to feature a new remaster for the occasion, I would be pretty reluctant to consider them even good.

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knutinh
post Nov 11 2013, 14:41
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QUOTE (lvqcl @ Nov 10 2013, 22:06) *
It's simply not possible to read CD sample by sample: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc_...o#Data_encoding

So the whole idea that "we need rigth bit in right time" is meaningless.

The CD is still a physical format, and there must be some control mechanism wrgt how fast the CD spins, some local clock oscillator, the physical signal on CD and the digital/analog signal pushed out of the CD player. This control mechanism might be implemented with variable degrees of decoupling, stabilisation, delay, cost etc in mind. Intuitively, it sounds like an engineering problem that can be "solved", this does not mean that all solvable engineering problems are solved in practice...

It will be very hard to prove that two CDs that decode into the same PCM bytes using EAC cannot sound/measure different in some other circumstance. I guess that certain "error correction" methods may make this more likely (by messing with the built-in robustness of the CD medium). The diverse implementations of CD players (and records) makes it daunting to try to "prove" that "a bit is a bit".

Happily, the burden of proof cannot possibly be on the sceptic in this case. He who claims that two CD pressings sounds different to him, even though the information bytes are identical, should provide proof in the form of simple ABX tests, some sensible measurement, or accept being seen as something similar to homeopaths and other "believers". Being a believer does not make your conclusions wrong, btw, only the method that got you there (and thus, your conclusions cannot be trusted).

-k

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rod
post Nov 11 2013, 17:03
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If anyone want to know more about jitter may read the essay:

"Everything you always wanted to know about jitter but were afraid
to ask" by Bob Katz


Saludos

Rod
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greynol
post Nov 11 2013, 17:41
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Rather than more hit-and-run posting, maybe you can explain in your own words how a disc is going to influence the timing of a CD player's DAC or the upstream decoder and demodulator before that, assuming you're concerned about the player's digital out.

Do you even have the faintest idea how data is organized on a compact disc?

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krabapple
post Nov 11 2013, 21:07
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Bob Katz has an unfortunate habit of citing 'blind tests' whose salient details he's never published.

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