Michael Fremer is reviewing the Musical Fidelity Titan power amp (1000W, $30,000) in current issue of Stereophile. He says Antony Michaelson (Musical Fidelity boss) brought along a CD (TPRCD1 from Tone-Pearls Records (http://www.tonepearls.com)). He also describes how it was made and how it sounds played on the dCS Scarlatti stack and says it's as fine a piano recording as he's heard on CD.
Has anybody heard the CD? Is it really so fine?
Haven't heard the CD, but judging from the website, it sounds like the label is about a hop, a skip and a jump from Machina Dynamica/PWB/etc. Proceed with caution.
EDIT: Just to sharpen this point a bit, observe the page (http://www.tonepearls.com/tone-pearls.html) titled "What are Tone-Pearls?", and note
- the complete lack of actual explanation of what Tone-Pearls actually are
- the remarkable amount of apologia explaining the competence of the author on scientific matters, which would be generally unnecessary if the Tone-Pearls were, well, explained in terms of scientific matters, as opposed to in terms of woo
- the reliance on these Tone-Pearls on all of the label's records (thus the name of the label)
There's a free download of one track:
Bit of a joke really - SNR (peak music : background noise) is only about 50dB.
Or, in plain English, the hiss is audible!
They've cut the start and end of the track very tight to try to hide this, but the music is quite dynamic and at a reasonable listening level you can still hear the hiss during the quiet passages.
You can get away with this out-of-date analogue recording method for pop and some Jazz - but for solo piano, it's deficiencies are painfully clear to hear. In fact, I think people were doing better 40 years ago!
Describing this as "as fine a piano recording as I've heard on CD" is a really bad joke.