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Reviews: MA on SA

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Reviews: 2

Review by DSD February 26, 2006 (6 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is the world’s first 3 hour SACD.

“This is no ordinary record, by any stretch of the imagination. Unlike other Hybrid SACD, the music on the CD layer does not correspond to that of the DSD layer! … since it is possible to put 109 minutes of stereo DSD on an SACD , as well as … 74 minutes on a redbook CD. I went crazy and decided to make this the first 3 hour disc by programming different material for the DSD and CD layers! Of course this is only makes sense because it is a sampler."”- Edited quote from the SACD by Todd Garfinkle.

This is an eclectic mix of music all well recorded, there is Jazz, early music on original instruments, solo and chamber classical music, world music and music that does not fit any pigeon hole. The recordings are all from high-resolution 24 Bit PCM masters see titles below for sampling frequency. They were recorded in True stereo using two only omni directional microphones and Crystal Cable microphone and interconnect cable. At $25.00 for three hours of music of this quality it is a true bargain! Currently it is only available in the US from the manufacturer.

http://www.marecordings.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=108

In Europe it is availabe from amazon.de.

CD layer is not bad for a CD and has more ambiance than most CDs. I find most CDs very uncomfortable to endure however the CD layer on MA on SA causes no pain it just is not engaging the way SACDs, DVD-Audios and LPs are. As far as CDs go this is among the best sounding.

For example string instruments on the CD layer I hear close to accurate tone, that is not threadbare or strident as other CDs. However on the DSD layer you hear the bow hitting the string, the resin flying as well as a more realist portrayal of the tone and the space surrounding the instruments. Bass has presence and more importantly warmth on the CD layer. As the music is different I was unable to compare the same music, this is a genral overall impression.

I shall be revisiting the SACD layer frequently, though I have no urge to hear the CD layer again, so for me it is still an amazing bargain for the 1 hour and 48 minutes of high resolution 2 channel music on the SACD layer.

Another quote from Todd Garfinkle of MA: “I should perhaps convey however, what I feel has "happened" to the newly remastered music on the SACD layer of this disc. As far as my aging ears can tell, the music is expressed more delicately, with increased transparency and finesse. The low end is still there, while the presentation is more elegant. There are little things which I noticed for the first time upon listening to this SACD” To read the whole article or purchase the SACD go to:

http://www.marecordings.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=108

The original sampling rates on the DSD layer tracks are as follows:

Track 1) M070A/Gitana, from "llama" by Silvia Perez Cruz & Ravid Goldschmidt: 88.2 kHz

Track 2) M071A/Improvisation on a Love Song, from "A Night in Budapest" by Kalman Olah and Friends: 88.2 kHz

Track 3) M071A/Improvisation on a Love Song, from "A Night in Budapest" by Kalman Olah and Friends: 88.2 kHz

Track 4) M062A/Taquito Militar, from "La Segunda" by Sera Una Noche: 176.4 kHz

Track 5) M069A/Prelude - Allemande - Sarabande, from Suite en La mineur, by Marin Marais, performed by Andrea De Carlo: 176.4 kHz

Track 6) M068A/Variaciones sobre el "Carnaval de Venecia" de Niccolo Paganini by F. Tarrega, performed by Gzegorz Krawiez: 96 kHz

Track 7) M049A/Passos, from "Almas" by Joao Paolo: 96 kHz

Track 8) M044A/Ajde da li znaes pametis Milice, from "Krushevo" by Vlatko Stefanovski & Miroslav Tadic: 96 kHz

Track 9) M052A/Malena, from "Sera una Noche" by Sera Una Noche: 96 kHz

Track 10) M045A/Certeza, from "O Exilio" by Joao Paolo: 96 kHz

Track 11) M046A/Meu Amor deu um Lenco, from "Senhora da Lapa" by Maria Ana Bobone: 96 kHz

Track 12) M026A/Murakkaz Ah Ya Muddasin, from "The Splendour of Al Andalus" by Calamus: 96 kHz

Track 13) M025A/Noche Maravillosa, from "Salterio" by Begona Olavide: 96 kHz

Track 14) M043A/Terra Da Esperanca Perdida, from "Sete Ondas" by Mauro Refosco: 96 kHz

Track 15) M058A/Vitamin C, from "Old School" by Peter Epstein: 96 kHz

Track 16) M029A/Jovano Jovanke, from "Old Country" by Miroslav Tadic & Howard Levy: 96 kHz

Track 17) M057A/Esquina, from "Esquina" by Joao Paolo & Peter Epstein: 96 kHz

Track 18) M047A/Solace from "Solus" by Peter Epstein: 96 kHz

Track 19) Chopin's Berceuse, performed by Gabriella Kafer at Belvarosi Szent Mihaly Templom, Budapest: 88.2 kHz (no release date for this recording)

The music on the CD layer:

Track 1) M054A Bach: Prelude and Partita in E minor performed by Eduardo Eguez

Track 2) M063A Voglio de vita uscir from “Bueros Aires Madrigal” by La Chimera

Track 3) M061A Green Waist Dance Music from “Voice of the Papa” by Jiang Ting

Track 4) M060A Balanceanca Sofie Vicovcanca from “Departe de Casa” by Formatia Valea Mare

Track 5) M064A Visee: Allemande grave from Suite in F played by Eduardo Eguez

Track 6) M039A Bobone: Leve Breve Suave from “Luz Destino”

Track 7) M042A La Manana de San Juan from “Mudejar”

Track 8) M048A Victimare Paschali Laudes from “Sous Les, Le Serpent….”

Track 9) M027A Calcinatio Auri from “Still Light”

Track 10) M041A In Your Voice from “Staring at the Sun”

Track 11) M055A Forro En Curuipe from “Music Journal”

Track 12) M065A Trio Inprovison from “Contrast + Parallels” by the Kalman Olah Trio

Track 13) M053A Bach: Prelude in E flat Major from “Lute Music of J.S. Bach Vol. 1” performed by Eduardo Eguez

This has been an informational and general impression review and it that it is one my longest reviews ever. I do want to say the music from thess 32 full unedited selections is superb but I will leave to others to review the wonderful music on this SACD, which has my highest recommendation.

Happy listening,
Teresa

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Review by Julien November 11, 2007 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Good Lord.

Not only is Ma on Sa a selection of highly enjoyable, wonderfully played fantastic music; not only does Ma on Sa feature some of the best natural sounding recordings on the Planet Earth; I have to say this sampler is truly addictive.

I have many samplers.
This is the first sampler where I find most music selections to be interesting (some are fascinating).
This is the first sampler I've heard for which the overall recording quality is so real and natural that it is absolutely out of this world.
This is the first sampler on which all tracks are performed by absolutely first class musicians. These are fantastic artists. No more great recordings of dull artists playing boring music just to show Bob and the girls how great the bass of my system is. Whoever is in charge at Ma Recordings is someone for whom I have the highest esteem.

These are all PCM recordings, from 24/88.2 to 24/176.4; however none of the pure DSD I've heard sounds better. This might be a proof that the so-called harshness we all experience with many PCM recordings might not be inherent to PCM itself. I think the informations they provide with this recording might well be the reason why (cabling etc). Check their website link in the excellent review by Teresa (DSD).

Actually my system has become so neutral in terms of sound coloration that the difference between recordings is absolutely huge. Some recordings will make me think that I should change something in it. And with the best recordings such as this one, I'll sit there and smile for hours! No matter how loud I play it I don't feel any fatigue at all (this has become quite rare these days).

What more can I say? Thank you Ma Recordings for proving to me that a sampler can be that wonderful. This is as good as stereo gets.

Please release more SACDs! This is the only way to do Ma recordings justice, no matter how good your CDs are there is so much more acoustic information on SACD.
And by the way, could you try the next one with pure DSD?

P.S.: the person "in charge" I was refering to seems to be Todd Garfinkle, an amazing musician who has lived in Los Angeles, Israel (six years in a Kibboutz) and Japan. I haven't heard him play, but through these music and artists selections, I consider him as one of the great musicians of this world.

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