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Discussion: Chopin: Polonaises - Pollini

Posts: 18
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Post by zeus August 6, 2003 (1 of 18)
I just posted this feedback on DG's web site at:

http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/

See DG Community->Public Topics->Your CD Reviews

"Glad to have it, but ... I would have preferred that DG went directly to DSD, instead of using PCM for intermediate remastering. I suspect the unnatural ring on the piano notes that I clearly hear wouldn't be there if they'd done so. Sony has managed to do a great job with some of their back-catalogue so why can't DG? Anyway, it's a wonderful disc and I didn't already have this performance in my collection. Since I paid much the same as a CD I haven't really lost out."

I listened in stereo only. Fair comment?

Post by Khorn August 6, 2003 (2 of 18)
"Glad to have it, but ... I would have preferred that DG went directly to DSD, instead of using PCM for intermediate remastering. I suspect the unnatural ring on the piano notes that I clearly hear wouldn't be there if they'd done so.
Now you have me really interested in getting this disc. I've heard nothing but good reviews of it and,the fact that you hear a piano ringing that you attribute to an audible PCM artifact has piqued my curiosity to hear this myself. So from what I understand this thing is from analogue to PCM to DSD? Is there a way of hearing the original analogue in any form?

Have you heard this type of thing from PCM before? I have heard some fantastic stuff that was produced natively with PCM and have never noticed any particular TYPE of sound from it. I have found that in most cases it's how the mastering engineer "hears & translates" what he is mastering than a specific technology used that ulitmately results in the "sonic imprint" of the finished product.

Anyway I'm looking forward to getting this disc and have been for a while.

Post by zeus August 6, 2003 (3 of 18)
Khorn said:

Have you heard this type of thing from PCM before?

Yes, most every CD with piano on it! I do have Pollini's recording of the Etudes still on LP so I'll have to dust off my TT and compare the piano tone. The thing that struck me from the very first about SACD was how natural and rounded piano was. Anyway, the disc is worth having for the performance alone. And I gather from theaudiohiffle's review that the multichannel mix is good ... though whether I ever get to hear it is another matter!

Post by Khorn August 6, 2003 (4 of 18)
zeus said:

Yes, most every CD with piano on it! I do have Pollini's recording of the Etudes still on LP so I'll have to dust off my TT and compare the piano tone. The thing that struck me from the very first about SACD was how natural and rounded piano was. Anyway, the disc is worth having for the performance alone. And I gather from theaudiohiffle's review that the multichannel mix is good ... though whether I ever get to hear it is another matter!

The "natural" aspect of SACD is the essence of what the format is all about. This is what separates SACD from everything else (other than tape) and what attracted me most about the format. I tend to describe it as a "relaxed" sound when comparing to previous formats. I am surprised that most people don't notice this as the primary attribute of SACD. IMHO It accounts for a good portion of the "musicality" I keep talking about.

Post by pann August 7, 2003 (5 of 18)
Khorn said:

I am surprised that most people don't notice this as the primary attribute of SACD. IMHO It accounts for a good portion of the "musicality" I keep talking about.

Yes. I envisioned that the red book CDs were stuffed in a suffocating can. When SACD came along, it acted like a can opener. It liberated the music from the can. Now that I can enjoy the music in its full glory again! What a joy.

Post by Khorn August 8, 2003 (6 of 18)
pann said:

Yes. I envisioned that the red book CDs were stuffed in a suffocating can. When SACD came along, it acted like a can opener. It liberated the music from the can. Now that I can enjoy the music in its full glory again! What a joy.

Great new slogan for SACD......"LIBERATE THE MUSIC"

Post by tailspn August 8, 2003 (7 of 18)
zeus said:

I just posted this feedback on DG's web site at:

http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/

I donít know about ringing, or the PCM origin causing what you hear, but I would entirely agree with you about it sounding tinny. IMO, quite unrealistic, and certainly no acoustic fidelity match for the Pentatone Maria Kooama Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Now thereís a believable Steinway!

This SACD sounds to me recorded at some distance, with the resultant lack of warmth and body to the instrument. Almost like they used the same microphone alignment that they use for large orchestral recordings. DGís orchestral recordings, have the same perspective, and sound somewhat better. But still too distant for my taste.

I'd say your review was very fair.

Tom

Post by pann August 8, 2003 (8 of 18)
tailspn said:

I donít know about ringing, or the PCM origin causing what you hear, but I would entirely agree with you about it sounding tinny. IMO, quite unrealistic, and certainly no acoustic fidelity match for the Pentatone Maria Kooama Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Now thereís a believable Steinway!

This SACD sounds to me recorded at some distance, with the resultant lack of warmth and body to the instrument. -----------------------

I tends to agree with you. I couldn't hear the ringing neither.
It not only sounded tinny, it sounded tiny also. Did he use a Steinway? It sounded like he was playing on an antiquated lousy cheap piano. Talk about Steinway, you may want to try Sageman's Chopin on Lyrinx; just few chords into the music, I was convinced it was a Steinway. Lo and behold, the line notes proved that I was right.

Post by tailspn August 8, 2003 (9 of 18)
pann said:

Did he used a Steinway?

Iím fortunate to work for a symphony orchestra, and I can say that Steinway has at least 98% of the business. While they own several Baldwinís, Iíve never seen one played on stage by a visiting soloist. They have three house concert grand Steinways, and soloists either use one of those, select one from the local Steinway dealer, or travel with their own. Most really major artists have their own Steinway; they just prefer one pianoís keyboard movement.

Tom

Post by Khorn August 8, 2003 (10 of 18)
Now everybody is saying it sounds FAR AWAY & 'TINNY'????....Oh Great!!!

Well, is it worth getting this disc or not?? It seems to be getting worse by the minute!

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