Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
"Kind of Blue"
Japan original SACD Hybrid release of Miles Davis's legendary album featuring digital remastering (remastering same as that used in the popular 2006 cardboard sleeve version). SACD layer also includes 5.1ch surround version of the recording.
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Review by Mark Werlin - December 31, 2021
Sixty years after its release, "Kind of Blue" can be streamed instantaneously, anywhere with an Internet connection, in good fidelity. Yet jazz-loving audiophiles continue to acquire the album in each new iteration, eternally hopeful that THIS will be the best version, the one that justifies the high cost of our audio systems and the inordinate amount of time we spend reading (and writing) reviews and discussions.
For some collectors, the present SACD, Sony Japan (SMEJ) SICP-10083, will be THE version to own.
It was mastered a few dB louder than the US Sony SACD and the MoFi SACD. File conversion (DSF-DXD-DSF) with gain reduction facilitated an A/B comparison. The Sony Japan SACD is clearly better mastered than the original US Sony release; Bill Evans' piano on the US SACD sounds thin by comparison. Switching between the Sony Japan and MoFi SACDs reveals substantial differences in sonic signature: Paul Chambers' bass is firmer and Jimmy Cobbs' cymbals are brighter. The timings are also a little different from the other versions.
The differences in timings and sound quality suggest that Belden and Wilder's 1997 remixed master analogue tape was sourced by Sony Japan engineers, perhaps with EQ sweetening, to create a new DSD transfer for this SACD issue.
My personal preference among the three Kind of Blue SACDs in my collection remains the MoFi release, but the Sony Japan disc offers a more vivid sonic presentation. And unlike the MoFi disc, which is stereo-only, the Japan Sony disc contains an MCH program described on the label as "Multi-5.1 ch".
Is it in fact 5.1, 5.0, or 3.0? MCH listeners, please add your comments.
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