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View Full Version : GOLD Compact Disks???



hejiraent
12-04-2004, 08:05 PM
I know these have been around forever, but I never thought about them. Whats the deal with them? Is there any benefit to buying a gold plated disc when I already own the regular old silver colored one??

I am asking because I found a Jennifer Warnes "Famous Blue Raincoat" on MFSL 24K gold disc for $24.99.

wallstreet
12-04-2004, 09:34 PM
I've got some gold plated cd's I'll sell ya for $5 each. Unless gold can somehow differentiate a 1 and a 0 better than silver, I would highly recommend saving your gold.

hejiraent
12-04-2004, 09:45 PM
I did a search on this forum, it is a Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab(MFSL) 1/2 speed mastered 24K gold disc. Like everything else on this forum the format has its supporters and detractors. I put a bid on it and will get back with my opinion if I win.

Shizelbs
12-04-2004, 10:04 PM
I'm with wallstreet. A gold one is still a one. A silver zero is still a zero. Thats the school of thought I am sticking to until someone can explain it otherwise.

anonymouse
12-04-2004, 10:25 PM
If a 1 is a 1 and a 0 is a 0, then will somebody tell me why some folks on here pay insane amounts for glass optical cables vs. the cheapie ones? Its digital with error correctio built into the protocol, so any cable that gets the signal through should work right?

Shizelbs
12-04-2004, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by anonymouse
If a 1 is a 1 and a 0 is a 0, then will somebody tell me why some folks on here pay insane amounts for glass optical cables vs. the cheapie ones?

I wonder the same thing.

F1nut
12-05-2004, 12:00 AM
Not all 1's and 0's are equal.

Mobile Fidelity, DCC, Sony Mastersound and a few other smaller labels issued these "Gold Disc's" which, for the most part, are considerably better than the redbook (sliver) versions. They are limited edition remasters from the original tapes and are treated with other magic touches like having the process run through tube gear. The gold disc is a smoother, pit free surface with better reflection properties, so the laser reads the 1's and 0's more accurately resulting in greater detail and resolution.

As for opitcal cables, those are not created equal either. One of my brothers works in fiber optics and he could explain it much better than I, but I trust in his knowledge since he's got a PhD. in the stuff.

danger boy
12-05-2004, 12:18 AM
the Mobile Fidelity Ultra II gold discs sound great. They no longer produce them... you will hear more detail and dynamics over a typical redbood CD.

yes more expensive. but so worth it.

danger boy
12-05-2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by Shizelbs
I'm with wallstreet. A gold one is still a one. A silver zero is still a zero. Thats the school of thought I am sticking to until someone can explain it otherwise.

explaining it does nothing for your ears.. you have to listen to a MFSL gold disc with music you are familiar with .. and you will hear a difference.

F1nut
12-05-2004, 12:34 AM
Good news Al, the MoFi gold disc's are back.....

http://www.mofi.com/pc/viewCat_P.asp?idCategory=7

danger boy
12-05-2004, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by F1nut
Good news Al, the MoFi gold disc's are back.....

http://www.mofi.com/pc/viewCat_P.asp?idCategory=7

Whatchu talkin' bout Willis?

:p

Shizelbs
12-05-2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by F1nut
Not all 1's and 0's are equal.

They are limited edition remasters from the original tapes and are treated with other magic touches like having the process run through tube gear.

Does that not mean then that its a whole different set of 1s and 0s?

danger boy
12-05-2004, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Shizelbs
Does that not mean then that its a whole different set of 1s and 0s?


ummm think of it this way... you have your MP3's.. it's 1's and 0's. then you have CD's.. which are 1's and 0's. which do you think will sound better?

Or

Yes you can hear music from a cheap ass set of speakers.. but won't your music sound better if they were coming from a nice carefully crafted pair of LSi's? which would you rather listen to Led Zepplin on?


taken from the MFSL website:

Overview

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would compliment the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today.

In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards

F1nut
12-05-2004, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by Shizelbs
Does that not mean then that its a whole different set of 1s and 0s?

Bingo

Dennis Gardner
12-05-2004, 05:45 AM
If all 1s and 0s were equal, why would there be a need to have error correction?

wallstreet
12-05-2004, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Dennis Gardner
If all 1s and 0s were equal, why would there be a need to have error correction?

Because you can.

wallstreet
12-05-2004, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by danger boy
ummm think of it this way... you have your MP3's.. it's 1's and 0's. then you have CD's.. which are 1's and 0's. which do you think will sound better?

Or

Yes you can hear music from a cheap ass set of speakers.. but won't your music sound better if they were coming from a nice carefully crafted pair of LSi's? which would you rather listen to Led Zepplin on?

Not exactly an accurate comparison unless your stating that the original source master is different. Are you meaning the MFSL discs have a higher sampling rate like the SACD?



taken from the MFSL website:

Overview

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would compliment the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today.

In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards
Almost sounds like a monster cable commercial. Granted on the analog side (LP's and such) MFSL has done some great work. I'm not seeing any value here on plain old cd's.

hejiraent
12-05-2004, 10:11 AM
The 1's and 0's issue not withstanding.....

I have read that a standard issue CD is generally a copy of a copy of the master tape. IF that is true, I would want the FIRST copy made from the master tape. This is what they say you get when you buy a MFSL disc.
Now, we have all copied cassettes, or video tapes or CD's...What do you want to keep after you have finished copying? The copy you just made or the original that made the copy? For me I want the original because the quality is better.

That alone would be enough for me to try out a MFSL disc. I still need to hear one. If I don't hear a difference I am not spending more money on the format.

michael_w
12-05-2004, 10:38 AM
Are these kind of like HDCD's? Because I went to a garage sale and bought like 120 cds for a buck and it had a few forign language HDCD's in it. Just curious.

hejiraent
12-05-2004, 10:51 AM
Micheal.

The one I am looking to buy is currently in Hong Kong. But all writing appears to be in English. Look for "Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab" (MFSL) on your discs. These are what I am talking about in this thread.

If you find a Jennifer Warnes "Famous Blue Raincoat" disc with MFSL on it, I will give you $20.00 for it.

michael_w
12-05-2004, 11:13 AM
No sorry these are just foreign hdcd's.... I was just curious if hdcd's were similar to mfsl discs.

Shizelbs
12-05-2004, 12:12 PM
Okay, I get the argument that you can have two totally different sets of 1s and 0s (remaster/MP3) to get a different sound compared to the other set of 1s and 0s. While they produce a similar end result (the same song), its a totally different script. What I still don't get is how any difference in the physical media or transport, as long as the 1s and 0s are picked up and are exactly the same, make one bit of difference.

dorokusai
12-05-2004, 12:55 PM
Nothing said here will enlighten the skeptical, just buy one.

danger boy
12-05-2004, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by hejiraent
The 1's and 0's issue not withstanding.....

I have read that a standard issue CD is generally a copy of a copy of the master tape. IF that is true, I would want the FIRST copy made from the master tape. This is what they say you get when you buy a MFSL disc.
Now, we have all copied cassettes, or video tapes or CD's...What do you want to keep after you have finished copying? The copy you just made or the original that made the copy? For me I want the original because the quality is better.

That alone would be enough for me to try out a MFSL disc. I still need to hear one. If I don't hear a difference I am not spending more money on the format.

there you go.. now people are beginning to understand it's not all about 1's and 0's.. it's about the copy processs.. dubs if you willl off the original master tapes.

danger boy
12-05-2004, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Shizelbs
Okay, I get the argument that you can have two totally different sets of 1s and 0s (remaster/MP3) to get a different sound compared to the other set of 1s and 0s. While they produce a similar end result (the same song), its a totally different script. What I still don't get is how any difference in the physical media or transport, as long as the 1s and 0s are picked up and are exactly the same, make one bit of difference.

i guess. for MFSL gold discs.. it's the quality of those 1's and 0's... higher quality than your standard Redbook 1's ad 0's.

HBombToo
12-05-2004, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Shizelbs
What I still don't get is how any difference in the physical media or transport, as long as the 1s and 0s are picked up and are exactly the same, make one bit of difference.

Slight variances over the arc where the 1's and 0's are etched or the wow and flutter of the transport can change your script. Electrons, motors, connections and casing are all improtant while spinning a disc for etching or for reading.

as for the gold I'll have to mull that over for a few years. ;)

HBomb

Dennis Gardner
12-05-2004, 06:15 PM
From my understanding of how the discs are read, it is similar to resloution of a digital camera. The disc is read at a rate fast enough to get a saturated reading from the disc of the info and is held in processing long enough to add correction to the info if needed. If a solid enough reading is taken the first passes then little or no correction is needed ( no info was corrupted) to give a accurate signal and the best possible sound is heard.

If a reflection or fragmentation of the signal causes the data to jumble in the process then a correction is appied by getting more data on the next pass of the disc. This is why multiple lasers are used at different angles to read the data and maintain the integrity. Hence you are not really hearing the date realtime, but delayed. If alot of processing or correction is needed to get the timing right from wow and flutter, surface abrasions, etc. this is noted as a difference in sound from the original. First generation players just skipped alot, newer players just process alot to keep the info intact.

Sampling and holding the signal to get it right for longer periods of time, can cause the signal to degrade if the info isn't saturated enough to give highest resolution and must be released for timing sake without full info. Just like a picture, you can tell what it is, it just isn't quite as sharp as it should be.


Corrections to the source are some of what causes sound differences. A better disc source needs less correction.

If my understanding is wrong, please correct me,

DG

hejiraent
12-05-2004, 07:58 PM
DG,

Thanks! It would have taken me a month to research and digest what you just explained so effortlessly.

Danny Tse
12-05-2004, 08:27 PM
Gold CDs, in general, sound better than their aluminum counterparts because of the mastering. Simply put, there are more effort put into the mastering to extract better sound from the source tape. The manufacturers of these gold CDs are targeting an audience that knows the difference and are willing to pay to get that extra resolution. On top of that, gold CDs are genarally limited production....some titles, like DCC's Elvis 24 Karat Hits, are individually numbered. Yes, it does blow the regular RCA/BMG Elvis CDs into the weeds. :D

While the benefits of gold CDs can be heard on any CD player, HDCD-encoded CDs require a CD or DVD player having HDCD-decoding capabilities. Without the HDCD decoding capability, these disc are still compatible with any CD/DVD player.....you just won't hear the HDCD process in action. HDCD.com (http://www.hdcd.com/music_catalog/music.asp?action=AtoZ) has a somewhat complete listing of recordings made with HDCD. However, there are many titles that are encoded with HDCD, but they are not identified with the HDCD logo on either the disc or the packaging. There's an ongoing list (http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=67082) at head-fi.org that identifies these unmarked HDCD titles, plus titles that are not listed at the HDCD.com site.

As for HDCD's from Hong Kong, be careful of counterfeit CDs. Of all the "majors" in Hong Kong, only HK Sony, HK Warner, and HK EMI support HDCD. HK Universal doesn't support HDCD. Pirates are smart enough to counterfeit the HDCD logo and apply it to every CD title they steal. One has to do some research before knowing which titles are legit and which are not.

danger boy
12-05-2004, 09:15 PM
Danny,

thanks for your input.. that's my understanding too... just said it much better than i ever could.

While there isn't to me anyways.. a HUGE difference in sound quality of a MFSL gold disc over it's regular Redbook counterpart.. there is enough there for me to want to purchase "select" gold discs... that I want to extract every ounce of sound quality out of.

example: Supertramps - Breakfast in America. or Pink Floyd's - The Wall. etc.

Anyone who is happy with the quality of their CD's is probably not going to be interested in paying twice the price for a gold cd. Everyone has their level of satisfaction when it comes to music.
;)

audiobliss
12-07-2004, 06:19 PM
wow, this is all very interesting; I will hafta keep my eyes open for them. Can you get 'em at BB? CC? FYE?

Thanks!!

Danny Tse
12-07-2004, 07:12 PM
For gold CDs, you will not be able to find any at your local Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.... Tower Records, maybe. It used to be that gold CDs from DCC or WEA (Warner Music Group) can be found at retailers like Best Buy....I purchased my Elvis 24 Karat Hits gold CD there for $35.00 (the cashier thinks I am nuts :eek: ).

HDCDs, oh yes, you can find those anywhere. The problem is knowing which CDs are encoded with HDCD since a good number of titles are unmarked on the packaging. Many of the Beach Boys "2-fer" CDs are encoded and marked, as are the remastered Van Halen (David Lee Roth era) CDs, Sultans of Swing (the best of) from Dire Straits, the Dixie Chicks CDs, Brian Wilson's just released "Smile", the remastered CD of Dave Brubeck's classic "Time Out" (this title is unmarked), the "16 Greatest Hits of......" series of CDs (from artists like Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, etc....) from Sony, etc..... Check the list at HDCD.com and the head-fi.org list for title availability.

danger boy
12-07-2004, 08:07 PM
most of the MFSL (mobile fidelity sound labs) gold CD's can usually only be found used.. used CD stores.. and auctions like ebay.. etc.

audiobliss
12-07-2004, 08:39 PM
bummer.....I'll keep my eyes open...