You are here

Log in or register to post comments
AeWingnut
AeWingnut's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 18 2007 - 6:45pm
SHM-CD (Super High Material CD)

I just wanted to give a heads up on the SHM-CDs I have purchased. So far I have only received 2 of the 3. The Led Zeppelin SHM-CD versions of ZoSo and Physical Graffiti. The CDs come in a nice Mini-LP that gets all the detail of the original.

but...

I was hoping for better sonics. I probably should have chosen better titles. These sound pretty bad. (or I should say, no different) I guess my system isn't good enough to notice the laser could read the 1s and 0s easier.

My copy of Pat Metheney & Lyle Mays "As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls" just quit playing. I decided to replace it with SHM-CD hoping that the new plastic won't fail like the first copy I owned.

Right now I am thinking SHM stands for Sucker HAD Money

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: SHM-CD (Super High Material CD)

I bet the differences are subtle, but given that CD-R copies of a pressed CD can sound better it is possible for these to sound better as well.

I've never even seen one of these new critters. Thanks for the report.

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: SHM-CD (Super High Material CD)

In a similar vein, I bought the new "Code" version of Mellencamp's Life, Death, Love and Freedom. It's a standard playing audio DVD (NOT DVD-Audio) that promises to be "virtually indistinguishable from the original master tapes" according to producer T-Bone Burnett, whom I admire and respect.

It comes packaged with a standard cd all for $10 from Amazon. Unfortunately, the sonics are a real mixed bag and not every song is rendered in any fidelity close to the original master tapes unless those tapes are mediocre. Then maybe so. Very disappointing- "Code" was hyped as a breakthrough and this debut doesn't bode well for the medium.

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: (Super High Material CD)

I bought a copy of 10CC's The Origional Soundtrack in SHM-CD and thought I heard more detail and clarity and a more analogue sound in the vocals, enough to go purchase Dire Staits by Dire Straits. The Dire Straits SHM-CD didn't sound anywhere as much as an improvement, but musically its a different kettle of fish.

But the 100CC SHM-CD certainly sounded sublime.

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: (Super High Material CD)

I ha ve never even heard of the formats so this is interesting. Do these toys play on normal CD players? The only high end formats that I have ever heard that seemed to matter on my gear are HDCD. My brief foray into SACD ended when I found I had so little liking for the actual music offered in the format (5 years ago)

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: (Super High Material CD)

Yes, the SHM-CDs play on all CD players, its the material the CDs are made of that is different. A quote from the site that sells them in Japan.

"The high quality SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing, SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc, allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players."

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: (Super High Material CD)

Is this the same discussion as recycled vinyl vs pure virgin vinyl? Hmmm! Until JA gets his hands and test equipment on some of these I remain a skeptic.

I do not recall hearing that cd created data errors are the problem with the format in the first place. It seemed that discussion went the way of sample rate and jitter error.

AeWingnut
AeWingnut's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 18 2007 - 6:45pm
Re: (Super High Material CD)

it's the jitter

I think the problem I am having right now is the recording

garbage in garbage out

scottgardner
scottgardner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 11 2008 - 11:35pm
Re: SHM-CD (Super High Material CD)

It seems to me that this format may help to make CD less prone to 'errors' over time but I can't see why the format could help otherwise. My understanding is that the read from the disk is error corrected, buffered and re-clocked. This suggests, to me anyway, that if the bits are read correctly that is all there is to it.

Does anyone remember the green marker trick?

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: SHM-CD (Super High Material CD)

Yep, I'm scratching my head over this as well. I do remember when CDs first came out there were seemingly random skips on apparently pristine discs. But this was probably due to the equipment rather than the plastic. Then there was that rot thing that affected some cds. But these haven't been problems in over 15 years at least.

If there are noticeable differences, I'd wonder if it had anything to do with the engineering/mastering rather than the plastic - like the theory that some vinyl and SACDs sound better, at least in part, due to more careful production rather than the superiority of the media.

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: (Super High Material CD)

I know it's easy to 'hear' something that isn't there, but the price for the CD was pretty reasonable. I got it delivered to my mailbox in a week from Japan, a Japanese pressing in a SHM-CD format, for US$32.

So I looked at it as an inexpensive chance at replacing a worn album I already had and was going to replace anyway. (The cd was worn as it had been played in my cars slot loader and handled) And an opportunity to see if SHM-CDs's had anything to offer me.

Suffice to say, I am awaiting the release of more SHD-CDs that are more in the 10CC style of musically intricate.

But at US$32-35 delivered, it isn't an expensive outlay to try one albulm.

SHM-CDs

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: (Super High Material CD)

Colin - I hope it didn't sound as if I was criticizing anyone for buying these (not that you accused me of such, I just want to make sure). I sure wasn't, and I appreciate you sharing your experience.

scottgardner
scottgardner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 11 2008 - 11:35pm
Re: (Super High Material CD)

Same here. Just throwing my thoughts into the mix.

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: (Super High Material CD)


Quote:
Colin - I hope it didn't sound as if I was criticizing anyone for buying these (not that you accused me of such, I just want to make sure). I sure wasn't, and I appreciate you sharing your experience.

No! Not at all. I am highly skeptical all most products that claim to be an improvement over the norm. I actually bought the 10CC album without even realising it was SHM-CD. I was disappointed with the CD version I had of it, it didn't sound anywhere as good as my old LP version did in my memory. And I saw on eBay the 10CC Japanese pressing going for about US$24. So I took a punt. And loved it. At the time I ordered it, I had no idea it was SHM-CD.

But I heard the car engine on "Une Nuit A Paris" ( ist track on "The Origional Soundtrack" ) with such clarity, I hadn't even remembered hearing before even on LP. I was blown away.

So I ordered Dire Straits to check if the quality was consistant. I was disappointed to a degree that the Dire Straits CD didn't quite sound as improved as the 10CC one.

But perhaps the CD's sound better to my ears because they are:-

1. Limited Edition Pressings. (More care is taken as they are limited editions only?
2.Made in Japan. ( I have noticed some kind of fetish for LPs and Cds made in Japan on the interent)
3. The material in the SHM-CDs is supieror?

As I said, at around US$30 for a SHM-CD, its worth a punt if you have a worn CD thats a favourite and you are going to replace it anyway, and you feel like treating yourself to a Japanese limited presssing, that may or may not be made of a superior material.

I do seem to remember an aweful lot of CDP manufacturers claiming superior results from better CD drive mechanisms( and charge a lot of cash for it) that supposingly 'read' a CD better, so maybe a better CD makes it easier for a CDP to read it?

yiddishlion
yiddishlion's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: Apr 17 2021 - 9:07am
Playback

It's the quality of your CD player. I know this article is old, but I can say with absolute certainty that when I upgraded to a CD/DVD player that would process 3D blue ray movies as well as SACD'S the whole world of sound changed in a massive way!

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 41 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
SHM-CDs, like other forms of

SHM-CDs, like other forms of CDs and other media, are subject to overly aggressive dynamic range compression during mastering. It’s all part of the Loudness Wars phenomenon that’s been plaguing audiophiles for twenty years. Transparency of the clear layer is an issue but it’s not the only issue, assuming that is the advantage of SHM-CDs. Obviously internal and external vibration affect the sound as well as our old friend stray scattered laser light.

SACD and Blu-ray Discs are higher density formats and employ different lasers than the humble CD. It’s a little like comparing apples and tomatoes sound wise. So a Blu-ray player that can play CDs and SACDs would require three different “color” lasers.

jeromelang
jeromelang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 5 2020 - 9:21pm
source lineage matters

The Shizouka plant most probably don't receive original studio masters for transfer to optical discs

  • X