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TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti Blu-ray

United States
Blu-ray + SACD 2L | 2008 | 69 min | Not rated | Aug 26, 2008

TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti (Blu-ray)
Large:


Audio
Music: LPCM 5.1 (192kHz, 24-bit)
Music: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (192kHz, 24-bit)
Music: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Music: Dolby Digital 5.1
Music: LPCM 2.0 (192kHz, 24-bit)
(more)

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 SACD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $34.99, Price history
Amazon: $31.72 (Save 9%)
New from: $22.42 (Save 36%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.1
4
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 2.5 of 52.5
Audio 5.0 of 55.0
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Music100%
Other11%
15%
popularity
64
collections
0
fans




TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti

 (2008)


Selections:

Benjamin Britten: Simple Symphony
Grazyna Bacewicz: Concerto for String Orchestra
Terje Bjørklund: Carmina
Béla Bartók: Divertimento for Strings

For more about TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti and the TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti Blu-ray release, see TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.



TrondheimSolistene: Divertimenti Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

From the first note of track one, Britten's Boisterous Bourree of his Simple Symphony, it is apparent that 2L has totally mastered the art of microphone placement and the audio engineering of massed strings. The label's founder, Morten Lindberg, graduated from a recording academy having already been credited with 45 recordings, including an award-winning performance of Grieg's work in 1994. One key to the success of his recording engineers is that all have a deep affinity for classical music and all play instruments themselves. Their ears are developed, their attention to detail is excellent and 2L succeeds where many recording engineers fail. 2L credits Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) as the tool behind the project: "a professioal audio format that brings 'analogue' qualities in 32-bit floating point at 352.8 kHz." The technology delivers an unprecedented 11.2896 Mbit/s per channel (that's four times the data rate of DSD--the technology behind SACD). According to 2L, this leaves headroom for editing and balancing before quantizing to DSD for SACD or PCM for Blu-ray.

So how do the various BD codecs compare to each other and to SACD? First I listened to the 24- bit/192 kHz 5.1 PCM track. I was quickly seduced by the heft of the strings, and palpability of individual instruments. Nowhere was this more impressive than in Bartók's composition, featuring dramatic shifts of volume, tone and tempi. The midrange liquidity was good, perhaps a touch too sweet and not analytic enough for my taste, but that is the result of the recording venue. I tend to like my recordings a touch drier. But this is a minor quibble. The stringed voicings used by Bart�k in fleshing out his melodic and harmonic ideas are disarming in the gorgeous resonances audible in the mix. The other compositions included were also rewarded careful listening. It didn't hurt to have recently upgraded my amp to VAC's Phi Beta 110i, and my center speaker to the B&W HTM1D, which is a perfect match with the 802Ds.

From the lossless PCM, I slid the SACD into my SCD-1 (Sony's flagship SACD player) and opted to hear the two-channel SACD layer. Although the multichannel mix was very tasteful and conservative in anchoring the audio up front, I was amazed at how the soundstage appeared more shrunken, narrow and shallow in two channel, despite the SACD 2.8 MHz performance. While I hardly noticed the ambient sounds of the multichannel mix, they clearly had a subconscious effect on my perception of the soundstage. In comparison to the multichannel PCM, the strings in two-channel SACD sounded muddied, and when a soloist played, the spotlighting was altered significantly. I soon found myself abandoning the two-channel mix, placing the SACD in the PS3 and accessing the multichannel content. Again I was rewarded with a fullness, heft and clarity that was previously missing.

Though I expected the multichannel SACD content to sound the best of all, it actually performed no better than the lossless PCM content. Perhaps that's because the DSD is converted to PCM and output via HDMI, thereby eliminating any practical advantages of SACD's 2.8 MHz sampling. The Dolby TrueHD track was defined, but I noticed it gave up a modicum of tonal realism compared to the PCM track. Overall there was a slightly different character to the massed strings and less extension on the highs, but it was an almost imperceptible difference. I know the theory that TrueHD is the same as PCM, but I did hear a difference. There was an even greater difference with the DTS-HD MA track. It seemed to be mastered at a slightly higher volume and the treble sounded a touch bloated and rolled off compared to the extended highs of the PCM. On the caboose, of course, was the CD layer included on the SACD. Not horrible, but I cannot understand listening to this content when 24/192 PCM is included. Maybe in the car?



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