Gould's Goldbergs on Audiophile Glass CD for $1,500!

Some of our readers may be familiar with the unique parallel universe known as the audiophile subculture.

It is a world in which dedicated music lovers spend seemingly endless amounts of money to hear their favourite recordings played back with more lifelike sound reproduction using everything from tube amplifiers and esoteric loudspeakers to exotic cables and magic fluids. Whether the claimed improvements in sound quality have any scientific basis and really reflect sound reproduction closer to the original source material than is possible with conventional equipment is a source of endless and heated debate. But for the true audiophile there is no skepticism; the answer is objectively clear - it sounds better to them.

Well-established in the world of audiophile is the practice of re-issuing classic recordings to unlock the hidden sonic depths of the master recording. These efforts have included high-end vinyl LP re-releases, special "treatments" to be applied to CD's, and the use of unusual materials for the discs themselves (such as gold foil in lieu of aluminum for the polycarbonate-encased layer of the CD on which the microscopic "pits" corresponding to the 1's and 0's of the digital recording), all in pursuit of the Holy Grail of the ultimate sound.

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Several years ago, a Japanese firm announced a new process for manufacturing compact discs on a layer of glass, claiming significant audio benefits, albeit at a substantial price. The glass CD's are claimed to enable the laser of a CD player to read the 1's and 0's with greater precision than is possible with a conventional CD.

It was just a matter of time before some of the most beloved and celebrated recordings of all time were reissued in this format.

Stereosound, a leading producer of audiophile products in Japan, has issued a limited edition glass CD version of Glenn Gould's fabled 1981 re-recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations under a license from Sony Classical, using the original 16-bit, 44.1 KHz PCM digital master. The disc is offered in a lavish package at a price of ¥ 140,400 (approximately $1,500 Cdn). We've always known that Gould's Bach is a unique and precious musical experience, but this release shows just how valuable this performance really is to many of the pianist's fans and admirers!


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