Bach: Cello Suites - Janos Starker

Bach: Cello Suites - Janos Starker

Stereo Sound  SSHRS-011/014 (2 discs)

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Instrumental

Bach: Cello Suites

Janos Starker (cello)

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Comments (6)

Comment by zyzzxz - January 6, 2019 (1 of 6)

Hi, I have looked all over the internet but have not found the answer. Anyone know is there any difference in sound quality between this Japanese SACD vs the Mercury SACD? This Japanese version consist of 2 discs only for SACD (and additional 2 disc for CD) which seem to imply that it is better perhaps compared to Mercury? (The Mercury SACD had all 3 channel, DSD stereo and CD on 2 discs)

Comment by Tony Reif - January 7, 2019 (2 of 6)

Some people claim that single-layer SACDs could sound better than hybrids because it's theoretically easier for the SACD player laser to read the former. I think this would be difficult to determine empirically because there are always going to be other variables when comparing a single layer and hybrid of the same performance - they are never issued by the same label at the same time, so the tape source and playback and the mastering could be different. I see that Stereo Sound says little about their master except they "digitized the original · analog · master tapes' sound almost without processing." I have the Mercury release; it was done by Emil Berliner Studios with the advice of original Mercury staff Wilma Cozart Fine and Bob Everentz, and they used specially modified tape heads to transfer the 3-channel masters (Stereo Sound doesn't mention this or how they created their 2-channel master if they didn't just use Mercury's.). I would trust that Mercury got the sound the way they wanted it; the only significant improvement I can think of in a new transfer might be newer DSD a/d converters. Having 3 channel and stereo SACD programs on the hybrid discs would not likely affect the sound - after all, most m/ch SACDs have been hybrids as well, there's plenty of room on a hybrid disc for both. Btw I see that this release is sold out at Stereo Sound, so good luck finding a copy at a reasonable price.

Comment by zyzzxz - January 8, 2019 (3 of 6)

Thanks Tony. This is very helpful. I too couldn’t understand the rationale for Stereo Sound having separate discs for SACD and CD. Like you said there should be ample room for both on the same disc. The other thing which is not clear is whether this Stereo Sound SACD also have 3-channel master or just the 2-channel master?

Comment by Hui Zhu - August 16, 2019 (4 of 6)

This is what I found from one of the Japanese audio magazine, via Google Translate :)

"Sound quality to be worried about, according to Starch Bach, according to the manual, this mastering is not using Mercury's original 3-channel analog master, but to send it to Mercury's parent company Philips in June 1968 It is said that the analog tape mixed down to 2 channels is used.

On the other hand, the original Mercury SACD was converted to DSD from the original master of 3 channels at Emile Berliner Studio in Berlin, and both the original 3 channel and the conversion to 2 channels were recorded.

Comparing these two SACDs, the original Mercury SACD is a powerful sound with a strong presence, and the reality is perfect. On the other hand, this SACD is light and responsive. I don't have a light impression, but I have a good outlook and a refreshing sensation, so it's really comfortable and I can clearly hear the subtlety of the expression on the performance. It was."

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Comment by sancho santos - December 5, 2019 (5 of 6)

This disc is mutch better than the Mercury edition. Like all the others Stereo Sound SACDs................

Comment by breydon_music - December 14, 2019 (6 of 6)

Yes indeed! In fact, all of the Stereo Sound Mercury SACD's run rings around the old issues in terms of sound quality. There has been some surprise expressed in these pages that this should be so, but really that puzzles me. Wilma Cozart Fine's involvement in the original transfers has often been cited, but in fact (as the booklets in the discs are quite open about) she was involved only in the transfer of the preceding RBCD series; although she "advised" on the SACD issues, the SACD/DSD remasters were done by others. Nearly 15 years have passed since then with attendent improvements in the technology used at every stage. The new transfers were done by Classic Sound, and I'd bet that both they and the Stereo Sound team in Japan took much more care on these than was done within Universal for the original issues. Of course the end result, particularly when transport and revenue charges are added on, is expensive. However, if any of these are favourite performances, and if 2-channel sound is not an obstacle, there is no need to hesitate.


2xSACD + 2xCD