and that's abc records, headed by simon tsui.

the major players in chinese audiophile music recording include rain forest (now without lily chen, their trump card, who has signed to a mainstream label), perfect, hugo, rock in (hk), musiclab (hk), musicnet (hk) and a few whose names i can't remember, but among all these players, abc records is my fave label. in case you haven't read my previous posts, one of my best chinese audiophile recording comes from abc records - a-ming, the chain-smoking chinaman with the husky voice. the vocals are so well recorded that one would swear that he could taste a-ming's nicotine-tainted voice from afar! abc's teresa teng remastered series (pictured above) are also a perpetual best-sellers in the market.

canada-based tsui is a man of refined tastes. apart from investing in cutting-edge technology, he also believes in the "western" ways of doing things. for starters, he engages an english graphic designer for all his cd cover design work for he believes cover design is a major attraction for an album and in this respect, the westerners are more superior than his own chinese people.

tsui most recent collaboration with mark levinson opens his eyes to the genius that is mark levinson. tsui openly acknowledges that mark is a remarkable recording engineer.

in advancing the audiophile recording technology further, tsui's latest breakthru is what he calls the "HD-mastering CD". as a audiophile music producer myself, i know too well the loss between the master tape and the final commercial cd. my 2v1g master tape is easily 20-30% better sounding than the commercial cd!

the path between the master and final commercial cd involves too many variable - from the glass sampler to the disc replication process to the material of the disc is made of, all these carry a certain amount of fidelity loss.

tsui collaborates with germany's golden ear studio for this project. it has taken him two years to reach commercial viability. you can read all about it here.

one thing of interest here, tsui admits that "for audiophile recordings, chinese repertoire has a bigger market internationally". i fully concur with his observation!


Anonymous said...

best of the best.

Anonymous said...

ABC remastered terasa album better than XRCD version.

xyx records said...

I have to disagree with you on this. I was "tricked" to buy some of these Mark Levinson mastered Chinese CDs. I have the abc records' Teresa Teng 25th Anniversary labeled with Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) Vinyl Series 180gm Made In Germany that come with a CD version as well.

I feel cheated with the audiophile labeling of this LP and CD. The sound is colored and compressed. I have compared to the original LP and CD of the respective tracks either from Polydor HK or Taurus label and it's like day and nite. This ressue LP and CD by abc records sucks!!! Both these LP and CD are collecting dust!

My suspicion is remaster is done not using the orignal master from Polydor HK and Taurus?

No where in abc records mentioned the source, whether is original or otherwise? The website talks about HD-Mastering CD only, to me is useless - Garbage In Garbage Out.

For eg, Track 3 Side A of the album, Moon Represent My Heart, the RM80 (from Amcorp Mall) Teresa Polydor HK orignal LP version eat the abc version like biscuit:)

Track 3) Side B, "I care for you", compared to the original Taurus LP version, its like summer and winter:)

Go listen and compare, you sure get what I mean.

Listening is believing:)

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi xyx,

you have a point there.

immediately after i wrote this post, i checked with an industry figure on the credibility of abc records. apparently, they have a few "misadventures" (to put it lightly), namely their XRCD releases and the licensing of teresa teng issue. as you know, only life records (malaysia) and polydor hk have got the masters so their source is totally unknown. i vaguely remember they got themselves into hot soup (ie. legal lawsuits) because of this.

but it happens that those abc cds that i bought like a-ming and shirley do boast of fabulous recordings.

i guess they are not consistent. but you can deny that tsui is one savvy businessman.

Anonymous said...

I just got a copy of the HD series sampler, the CD package even includes a std(non HD) version of the same CD for comparison.

Everyone I've AB-ed to without the knowledge of which is which prefered the HD version.