my standard of a good audiophile cd is very simple - it must be musical and not too audiophile sounding. which means it must not sound boring, too clean, too anti-septic, too sterile and the same applies to the singer and her singing as well. my perfect audiophile cd is one which is able to cross-over to pop and appeal to those genuine music lovers who don't give two hoods about audiophile recording. if it can achieve that then it is a good audiophile album.

very few know that actress-singer chiu hock-e (赵学而, bondy) can sing; even fewer know that she sings darn well. bondy is 36 and at this age, she knows she can't do pop anymore. and she knows for her first audiophile album, she can't do original compositions. just for your info, bondy has a modest hifi system which is made up of epos speakers and arcam electronics.

this is a special project funded by bondy herself and she is very critical in the kind of music that she wants to do in her first audiophile album. her producer, tommy ho, sees the opportunity in audiophile music business and they have got some of the best musicians and recording/mastering engineers in the biz to be involved in this project.

this is not your ordinary audiophile cd in the following aspects: (1) it is not boring and sterile sounding (2) it has plenty of pop sensibility (3) the arrangement is generally good (4) the recording is superb (5) the singer and musicians are good (6) the songs are well chosen

audiophiles believe the quality of replicated CD will make a difference in sound quality. the production team is also beware of it. this album is made in UK by docdata. the cost for each replicate disc is enough to create triple amount of CD in HK. the mastering guru, kent poon provided a super low BLER CD-MASTER. the industry standard BLER (block error rate) is C1 220. this album has a C1 rating of just 0.8 on the CD-Master. if you read from other places, the FIM Ultimate CD is within BLER C1 5.

my fave song in the cd - alex toh's [杜德伟] "be your love" (a hit in the early 90s) has been rearranged into a cool and breezy bossa number that is totally engaging. we may want to produce this song for 2v1g! bondy also covers songs by leon lai, danny chan, jacky cheung and chi-lam. most of the songs have a jazzy, chill-out feel, which hock-e carries with conviction.

hock-e's voice is not the powerful kind but her diction, pitching and phrasing are solid. she is not the technical kind of singer and yet she can sound immensely musical.

what's so precious about this album is that it crosses well between pop and audiophile, just like the kind of albums that musictoxin aims to produce. i have passed a copy of the cd to my jz8 singer, lydia, for reference and she likes it too.

this is the kind of album that the more you listen the more you like it. my personal fave audiophile album of 2008.

you can read about the mastering engineer, kent poon's account of the mastering process here.



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7 comments:

built62 said...

ML,
where is this cd available? thanks.

Lil' KC 小雞雞 said...

Cannot agree with the mixing, too much echo added to the vocal.

I bought the CD the moment I saw its cover on the mag, hahahaha...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

built,
i got it from victoria atria. it is the only copy and was selling for RM75.

kc,
since i don't have my system to play it, i gauged it from my car stereo only and it is good. maybe you could be right.

Ken said...

ML,

IMO, car audio system cannot convey the true sound of the cd. There are quite a few pop cds that sound great in my car but crap in my hifi system.

YMMV

built62 said...

ken,
i dun quite get you... on one hand you said your car system sounded "better" than your hifi system and on the other hand you are in opinion that car system cannot convey the true sound of the cd. btw, what do mean by "true sound of the cd"?

also, what is ymmv? thanks.

happy 2009.

Anonymous said...

ymmv = your mileage may vary

Ken said...

Hi Built,

What I am trying to say is that car systems does not have enough high resolution to gauge how good a cd sound. That is why some cds which sound great in a car may sound poor in a good hifi system.

YMMV is an acronym for Your Mileage May Vary which means your opinion may differ from mine.

Hope this answer your queries.