i am never an early adopter of new technology. so when chinese audiophile label hugo's boss (pun intended) eik-yew goh announced his breakthru LPCD technology in 2005, i adopted a wait-n-see atttude. feedback on his LPCDs has been mixed - some like it, some don't. now goh has gone a step further to remaster all those classic cantopop albums of yesteryear and make them into greatest hits compilations. some are selling extremely well, like titles from faye wong and alan tam. still, it didn't entice me to buy it until i see this cd - kit chan's greatest hits - on the shelf.

business strategy wise, goh is spot-on. a lot of audiophiles don't want to listen to typical boring audiophile albums. they want to listen to their fave pop albums which, more often than not, are not well recorded. so by making these albums more audiophile sounding, more people will buy more CDs of their fave singers. just like us here in this blog, we encourage more people to buy more pop albums - the "real-world" music - rather than forcing themselves to listen to artificial (and often musically bankrupt) audiophile albums.

in short, LPCD is a proprietary remastering technology invented by goh that is supposed to make CDs to sound closer to LPs. so my sole evaluation criteria for this review is how, for want of a better word, analogue, does it sound.

you may not know who kit chan (chen jie yi) is. kit, who is now retired, has a voice that can scale great heights. her high notes are a joy to listen to. suffice to say that she is one of the best singers that has emerged from tiny dot (s'pore) in the past 2 decades, other than mavis hsu (hsu mei qing), tanya chua (cai qian ya) and of course, the reigning diva stefanie sun (sun yanzi). it is amazing such a small country can produce so many superstar singers. his compilation is quite definitive for it spans the entire career of kit, including her glorious success in hong kong, where she co-starred alongside jacky cheung in the musical snow.wolf.lake.

now, the recording. to call this cd sounding like LP is over-stating the case. it does not sound like LP. but goh is clever is in giving more body to the highs, more meat to the mids to make it sound thicker (hence more analogue), more air/ambience and remove all the harshness of typical pop recordings. the end result is a smooth and pleasant sound that is totally enjoyable. i would give it a B+ in my sonic checklist.

i salute eik-yew goh in pushing the music and hifi industry forward with his LPCD tehcnology.

8 comments:

Sam Elliot said...

How would You rate The LPCD compare to The followings;
1.HDCD[using HDCD decorder]
2.XRCD
3.K2
Robert Harley feels allCD should be play[to use Malaysian term]i.e.decorded using HDCD,but not many Manufucterer offers HDCD decording{except naim,Cary and a few selected few who believes in cd.

herbert said...

Yeah , agree with sam .
HDCD using good Quality decorder sound very undigital.If you use Reference Recording titles it does give a very "analogue: sound

Tommy said...

I feel a lot of the so call digital glare comes from poorly design CD players .
Try listening to Spectral, Wadia ,EMM labs and to a certain extent Naim,you wonder what the fuss about digitalvs analogue is all about.I own an EMM labs cd combo and spend a more humble amounts on amp and speakers and feel the price of good digital players are fully realized.

Anonymous said...

Hi;
What would be interesting is to compare the LPCD pressing vs redbook CD pressing of the recording from the original mastertape....

Hick said...

are you one of those that believe that the source is the most important part of the hi=fi chain,Tommy?
I certainly canT understand peple who spend outrageous amt on turntables and buy the cheapest cd players and then complaint abt poor cd quality..
Agreed with your recommendations and would like to add dcs,Simaudio and chord to your impressive list.Meridian?Well cant trust somebody who use dvd -ROm as their transport...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi sam,

i guess each technology has its merits but i am partial to k2 because i have one chinese audiophile album which is superbly recorded using k2 tech.

LPCD has to/will evolve. what hugo has done is to make old pop recordings more palatable to fussy pots audiophiles.

tommy, what i meant by "harshness" is not digital glare (as today's CDPs have overcome that problem long ago). a lot of older pop recordings on CDs have leading edges which are "splashy" and unpleasant sounding. i believe your EMM are great stuff!

oh btw, LPCD is cut on CDR! i am puzzed why is this so. maybe of the LP cutting mechanism employed. i don't really know.

incidentally, local dealer centre circle has given up dealership for simaudio citing increased price and competition with their pass labs.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi sam,

i guess each technology has its merits but i am partial to k2 because i have one chinese audiophile album which is superbly recorded using k2 tech.

LPCD has to/will evolve. what hugo has done is to make old pop recordings more palatable to fussy pots audiophiles.

tommy, what i meant by "harshness" is not digital glare (as today's CDPs have overcome that problem long ago). a lot of older pop recordings on CDs have leading edges which are "splashy" and unpleasant sounding. i believe your EMM are great stuff!

oh btw, LPCD is cut on CDR! i am puzzed why is this so. maybe of the LP cutting mechanism employed. i don't really know.

incidentally, local dealer centre circle has given up dealership for simaudio citing increased price and competition with their pass labs.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi sam,

i guess each technology has its merits but i am partial to k2 because i have one chinese audiophile album which is superbly recorded using k2 tech.

LPCD has to/will evolve. what hugo has done is to make old pop recordings more palatable to fussy pots audiophiles.

tommy, what i meant by "harshness" is not digital glare (as today's CDPs have overcome that problem long ago). a lot of older pop recordings on CDs have leading edges which are "splashy" and unpleasant sounding. i believe your EMM are great stuff!

oh btw, LPCD is cut on CDR! i am puzzed why is this so. maybe of the LP cutting mechanism employed. i don't really know.

incidentally, local dealer centre circle has given up dealership for simaudio citing increased price and competition with their pass labs.