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Cedille Records - exceptional sound quality


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Hello,

I just want to say, that I've bought two Cedille Records classical releases, which are Wendy Warner "Haydn & Myslivecek: Cello Concertos" in 24-bit and Rachel Barton Pine "Brahms & Joachim Violin Concertos" in CD quality and what I must say the sonics of these recordings as well as performance quality is exceptional to my ears! Highly recommended. Don't know if you think the same about this record label, but it seems they really care what they're doing.

 

And I am not connected to them in any way.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Cedille is a not for profit record company. I also own the Haydn cello concertos with Wendy Warner. I find it very illuminating that a 24/96 download was $12 while the CD would have cost $16. I never understood why we are paying such a premium for Hi-res downloads when there is no physical media and no need to convert the studio master to 16/44.

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

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Cedille is a not for profit record company. I also own the Haydn cello concertos with Wendy Warner. I find it very illuminating that a 24/96 download was $12 while the CD would have cost $16. I never understood why we are paying such a premium for Hi-res downloads when there is no physical media and no need to convert the studio master to 16/44.

 

Hello,

Since you've pretty good audio gear (can see it in the signature) how do you rate the sonic quality of Cedille Records in your opinion?

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Hello,

Since you've pretty good audio gear (can see it in the signature) how do you rate the sonic quality of Cedille Records in your opinion?

 

I only have one Cedille recording (Haydn Cello Concertos, Wendy Warner) so I cannot speak in general terms. I think that SQ is pretty good overall on this record, but I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed. As with all recordings, in my opinion, the SQ is dominated by the engineering and not so much whether it is Redbook or Hi-res. I personally find the recording to be a bit too closely miked, more space between the performers and the microphones would have been better. I also get a sense that the Haydn Concerto #2 does not sound as good as #1 or the Mysilvecek piece. This recording (as the CD) got a 10/10 rating from Classics Today while Gramophone rather trashed it. I find it interesting that these two reviews are so polarized. Good recording, good performance but nothing special SQ-wise, but certainly an enjoyable record.

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

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I only have one Cedille recording (Haydn Cello Concertos, Wendy Warner) so I cannot speak in general terms. I think that SQ is pretty good overall on this record, but I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed. As with all recordings, in my opinion, the SQ is dominated by the engineering and not so much whether it is Redbook or Hi-res. I personally find the recording to be a bit too closely miked, more space between the performers and the microphones would have been better. I also get a sense that the Haydn Concerto #2 does not sound as good as #1 or the Mysilvecek piece. This recording (as the CD) got a 10/10 rating from Classics Today while Gramophone rather trashed it. I find it interesting that these two reviews are so polarized. Good recording, good performance but nothing special SQ-wise, but certainly an enjoyable record.

 

Thanks a lot. BTW, can you recommend something, not Cedille, which in opposite have exceptional sonic quality on your equipment?

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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I never understood why we are paying such a premium for Hi-res downloads when there is no physical media and no need to convert the studio master to 16/44.

 

To recoup the approximate 70,000 Euro investment necessary to create the front and back office components of a new stand-alone download site, pay the fees for a server service, and pay the minimum 2 fulltime persons required to prepare the files, service the customer complaints of not knowing how to manage a download on their individual computer, and sign-up new labels product. Stamping a CD/SACD is cheap by comparison, especially at the volumes an independent download site is doing. ITunes and other high volume lo-rez sites? A different case and business model altogether.

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If I had to generalize, I'd say that Cedille's producers tend to prefer a dryer sound. Bis and Chandos tend to have a "wetter" sound, with Bis generally warmer. But they both use many different engineers, so one can't always generalize too much. Even better to my ears is CPO. They consistently produce orchestra recordings with an ideal balance of warmth, spaciousness, and clarity.

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To recoup the approximate 70,000 Euro investment necessary to create the front and back office components of a new stand-alone download site, pay the fees for a server service, and pay the minimum 2 fulltime persons required to prepare the files, service the customer complaints of not knowing how to manage a download on their individual computer, and sign-up new labels product. Stamping a CD/SACD is cheap by comparison, especially at the volumes an independent download site is doing. ITunes and other high volume lo-rez sites? A different case and business model altogether.

 

But surely Cedille Records is subject to all of the same expenses as anyone else in that respect. Additionally, they are making the recordings and contracting musicians, engineers etc, and not just selling someone else's downloads.

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

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If I had to generalize, I'd say that Cedille's producers tend to prefer a dryer sound. Bis and Chandos tend to have a "wetter" sound, with Bis generally warmer. But they both use many different engineers, so one can't always generalize too much. Even better to my ears is CPO. They consistently produce orchestra recordings with an ideal balance of warmth, spaciousness, and clarity.

 

I think that this is a good assessment. I will have to look for some CPO recordings. The problem with looking for the best sounding recordings is that you cannot separate the performance from the recording (assuming that you like the music to begin with). Great SQ alone will not provide long term listening enjoyment of a so-so performance. On the other hand, a gripping performance will make the SQ a bit less important. I have wasted too much money on "audiophile" recordings of mediocre performances that did not stand the test of time.

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

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Thanks a lot. BTW, can you recommend something, not Cedille, which in opposite have exceptional sonic quality on your equipment?

 

This is such a difficult question. There are so many factors that determine how we feel about a particular recording. My opinion about a recording will also change from time to time. I have listed six recordings below that I currently feel represent excellent sonics as well as a varied selection of music. The Sibelius Symphonies 2 & 5 is a 24/96 download from eClassical, the others are ripped CDs. I hope that this is useful. This is just my opinion and does not represent any kind of definitive statement about these particular recordings.

Ravel.jpg

BIS1986 booklet.jpg

TonePoems.jpg

Rach.jpg

RonNelson.jpg

Jongen.jpg

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

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But surely Cedille Records is subject to all of the same expenses as anyone else in that respect. Additionally, they are making the recordings and contracting musicians, engineers etc, and not just selling someone else's downloads.

 

Could be, but I don't see a big DONATE button on other download sites, or having a major contributors list:

 

Cedille Records

 

As a non profit, supporting local Chicago musicians through their recording efforts, their financial basis is not comparable to a BIS, or Channel Classics, who's recording and operational expenses are in another league compared to Cedille.

 

But, I don't want to disparage Cedille in any way. I'm simply remarking on your not understanding "why we are paying such a premium for Hi-res downloads when there is no physical media...", when you paint with such a wide brush. The reason(s) I stated are part of the why.

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If I had to generalize, I'd say that Cedille's producers tend to prefer a dryer sound. Bis and Chandos tend to have a "wetter" sound, with Bis generally warmer. But they both use many different engineers, so one can't always generalize too much. Even better to my ears is CPO. They consistently produce orchestra recordings with an ideal balance of warmth, spaciousness, and clarity.

 

Is CPO already provides 24/96 high resolution downloads somewhere? What recording do you particularly recommend to pick up as standing out from this record label? I will check it against Cedille.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Even better to my ears is CPO. They consistently produce orchestra recordings with an ideal balance of warmth, spaciousness, and clarity.

 

May I chime in on CPO: I have been very impressed recently by the remarkable sound quality of their Pachelbel solo-organ box (5 SACDs).

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Is CPO already provides 24/96 high resolution downloads somewhere?

I haven't seen any myself, but I bought a lot of SACDs from them.

What recording do you particularly recommend to pick up as standing out from this record label? I will check it against Cedille.

In terms of sound quality: the Pachelbel box I mentioned above.

 

In terms of musical quality and overall interest: Charles-Marie Widor, Symphony for Organ and Orchestra No. 3.

0761203767823_600.jpg

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I haven't seen any myself, but I bought a lot of SACDs from them.

 

In terms of sound quality: the Pachelbel box I mentioned above.

 

In terms of musical quality and overall interest: Charles-Marie Widor, Symphony for Organ and Orchestra No. 3.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]11566[/ATTACH]

 

Thank you, I will check it out. Would be nice to compare apple to apple, so any 24/96 CPO recordings worth to mention?

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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any 24/96 CPO recordings worth to mention?

 

The same performers also have a great recording of Widor's Sinfonia Sacra, op 81.

 

I've never seen hi-res downloads from CPO, so I suspect CPO makes all their recordings at 44.1 KHz.

 

eClassical sells CPO downloads, so you can buy individual tracks instead of an entire album.

 

Felix Weingartner was a composer in addition to a conductor. His string quartet 2 on CPO is excellent.

 

Many critics praise Korstick's Liszt on CPO, but his Années Pelerinage doesn't do much for me.

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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The same performers also have a great recording of Widor's Sinfonia Sacra, op 81.

 

I've never seen hi-res downloads from CPO, so I suspect CPO makes all their recordings at 44.1 KHz.

 

eClassical sells CPO downloads, so you can buy individual tracks instead of an entire album.

 

Felix Weingartner was a composer in addition to a conductor. His string quartet 2 on CPO is excellent.

 

Many critics praise Korstick's Liszt on CPO, but his Années Pelerinage doesn't do much for me.

 

OK, thanks a lot.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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I like Cedille's sound, but I'm only concerned with clarity and tonal balance and am indifferent to the spatial effects that most audiophiles obsess over.

 

I think the Shostakovich quartets 10, 11 & 12 in 24/96 by the Pacifica Qt is a superb performance and recording.

 

I also like the Schumann violin sonatas by Jennifer Koh and Reiko Uchida (nothing like Mitsuko), but it is only 16/44. Kremer & Argerich are higher voltage, but Koh/Uchida are more subtle. (Except for one movement, I forget which, in which Uchida is quite bland compared to Argerich.)

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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I have a few Cedille albums also, and I find their sound quality to be very good. A hair short of the ultimate in transparency, but they have good dynamics and are musically engaging.

 

But the examples given in this thread illustrates the difficulty in establishing a common reference for what good sound is. Take the abovementioned Sibelius 2 & 5 on BIS—it has decent SQ in my opinion, but not more. BIS are indeed highly variable in SQ. For excellent SQ and great music on BIS according to me, try these two:

 

4446447-origpic-37c3de.jpg

Only redbook, but I agree w Axiom05 that engineering matters more than whether it’s redbook og hires.

 

 

4679043-origpic-20c11c.jpg

24 bit, 44.1 kHz

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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Is CPO already provides 24/96 high resolution downloads somewhere?

What recording do you particularly recommend to pick up as standing out from this record label? I will check it against Cedille.

 

I don't think they provide anything greater than 16/44 for download. I don't see any hi-rez CPO on qobuz, for example. They do produce some SACDs. Everything I have for playback is 16/44 rips.

 

I'll have to think about a general recommendation; CPO tends to specialize in obscure music. The one that impressed me most recently was the Weingartner Symphony 6 (available as a Hybrid SACD), which is very nice, if somewhat derivative music. I'd also recommend their recordings of the more modernist symphony cycles of Saygun and Sallinen.

 

For Bis, some favorites are the Guarnieri symphony series and the Santoro symphonies disc. Wonderful, colorful music.

 

For something more state of the art in recording technology, check out the Danish Da Capo label. Some of their more recent recordings are made in DXD resolution and are available as 24/192 downloads. Check eClassical or qobuz. I have a couple of their recent Holmboe albums in 24/192, but Holmboe is a somewhat acquired taste. However, one of my favorites on this label is an older recording available in 24/96 (I only have the RBCD):

 

61iluuPbj1L._SX300_.jpg

 

 

Benzin | Knudage Riisager par Owain Arwel Hughes*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

This is delightful neo-classical ballet music that should be widely appealing.

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But the examples given in this thread illustrates the difficulty in establishing a common reference for what good sound is. Take the abovementioned Sibelius 2 & 5 on BIS—it has decent SQ in my opinion, but not more.

 

This reminds me of some other Bis recordings in Minneapolis: the Beethoven symphonies set. I think these are the most sonically beautiful Beethoven symphony recordings I've ever heard on disc.

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This reminds me of some other Bis recordings in Minneapolis: the Beethoven symphonies set. I think these are the most sonically beautiful Beethoven symphony recordings I've ever heard on disc.

 

Hmmm, it may be system dependent--I'm not to wild about their SQ either ... Would be interesting to hear what you think about the albums I listed. If you don't feel like downloading the albums in toto, maybe you could try to download one track from each?

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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For something more state of the art in recording technology, check out the Danish Da Capo label. Some of their more recent recordings are made in DXD resolution and are available as 24/192 downloads. Check eClassical or qobuz. I have a couple of their recent Holmboe albums in 24/192, but Holmboe is a somewhat acquired taste.

 

Holmboe's Chamber Symphonies 1 and 3 strike me as more approachable than his symphonies for full orchestra. You can buy individual tracks from eClassical or the entire album. eClassical does not specify the sample rate, but the 24-bit download is 192 KHz.

eClassical - Holmboe: Chamber Symphonies

 

Holmboe's Concerto for Recorder, Celesta, Vibraphone, Strings has very interesting sonorities. A Redbook recording from BIS:

eClassical - Holmboe - Concertos for Recorder and Flute

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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Hmmm, it may be system dependent--I'm not to wild about their SQ either

 

Not too helpful if we can't describe what we like or dislike. If I have the time, I'll try to write down a few thoughts on, say, the 7th.

 

My system is: Squeezbox Touch USB -> Aurilac Vega DAC -> BAT 3iX pre-amp -> Rogue M-180 monoblocks -> Vandersteen Quatros.

 

... Would be interesting to hear what you think about the albums I listed. If you don't feel like downloading the albums in toto, maybe you could try to download one track from each?

 

Any tracks in particular?

 

I do have some other Martin Fröst recordings, the earlier Mozart Concerto and the Brahms chamber disc.

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