Puget Sound Studios' Hi-Rez Achievement
Even if equipment is as excellent as it was in the Eficion/Stillpoints room, no system can sound better than its source material. On that score, I doubt any room save Cookie Marenco's Blue Coast Studios set-up, which was recording acoustic musicians live to DSD, could top Bruce A. Brown's hi-rez files. Bruce's Puget Sound Studios not only does all the mastering for Winston Ma's First Impressions Music (FIM), but also supplies all the 96/24 hi-res tracks for the Chesky Bros' HDTracks site.
Bruce had brought along a Pyramix DSD/DXD workstation, and a Digit Audio Denmark converter capable of 32-bit/352.8kHz operation. He was also especially enthused about the forthcoming FIM Super Sounds, USB cards with 24/176.4 files. To my mind, this seems like an immensely practical, compact alternative to Reference Recordings' 24/176.4 HRx master DVD-Rs. I can't wait to audition one.
For now, I'm glowing at thoughts of playing the FIM 99.9999% silver DXD CD Bruce gave me of Ella and Louis (LIM DXD 045). This is Puget Sound Studios' mastering of the famous recording in which Fitzgerald and Armstrong are backed by Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Buddy Rich. Wow.