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Blu-ray Audio Club Sampler - Over 120 7.1 DTS-HD Blu-ray Audio Music Titles for Low Cost Yearly Subscription (Included)

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Blu-ray Audio, April 8, 2012
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Editorial Reviews


Acoustic Reality Experience

This music-only Blu-ray discs delivers 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio if and when connections are made with 1.3 and/or 1.4 HDMI cables. If connected with optical cables it will only deliver 5.1 or 6.1 standard DTS quality sound. For the purpose of this review I only used high-speed 1.3 cables connecting the Blu-ray player and the 7.2 AV receiver. I should mention that the present receiver is one of Onkyo s new generation of THX-certified products built around high quality Burr-Brown DACs. The DTS-HD MA encoding of this recording as connected with 1.3 HDMI cables produces a variable bit rate (VBR), bit-for-bit (lossless) stream that includes 7.1 channels with sample rates of 96 kHz. Just as well the DTS-HD MA-encoded files also contain a backward-compatible DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (and 6.1) core with a bit rate of 1509 kbps. However, this review concerns itself only with 7.1 DTS-HD MA channels reproduction. The unique acoustic reality experience that his recording affords to my ears as to the musical phrasing and playing of these two very complex scorings, the orchestral presence, instrumental sections separation, high and low dynamics and instrumental solos are far superior to anything I have heard on so-called true surround recordings. We are placed at the same location that the conductor assumes in the podium, we are not part of the audience - we hear what the conductor hears. Orchestral sound is very close and all around, especially the sound coming out of the two side-surround speakers. In my mind the use of these side speakers totally redefines surround sound; this is a new experience and something to behold. --Audiophile Audition Review

Alexander Jero Symphonic series

Modern recording techniques have come alarmingly far in just a few short years. I've had the pleasure of having several commercial recordings released, and my earliest days in the recording studio were spent amid the flutter of reel to reel tapes. Later, exciting 'improvements' like audio Betamax (yep, you read that right) and then digital media like ADATs came into play. Over the past couple of decades-plus, we've seen the advent of hard drive recording systems, with the ubiquitous use of bells and whistles like ProTools, which can make even amateurs (are you listening, Ashlee Simpson?) sound at least passable, what with pitch correction, WAV editing and the like. Casual listeners to modern day product might be quite surprised to see how a recording is assembled, and assembled is, for better or worse, the correct term. Even back in the days of analog recordings, it wasn't unusual for rhythm tracks to be laid down first, often with 'scratch'; vocals, and then for the vocalist to come in to take their final version at a later date. While editing was certainly a more involved procedure back in the day, tape editors became so facile with their 'archaic' medium that even syllables could be fairly seamlessly fixed for a final product. (Anyone wanting a good laugh should listen to John Barry's commentary on You Only Live Twice, where he details the editing lengths they had to go to get a final take of Nancy Sinatra's vocal on the title tune). However, as often as pop, rock and even Broadway cast recordings were 'assembled' in the halcyon days of the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, even after the advent of hard drive recording, you could count on one genre to preserve at least a semblance of the 'live' ensemble experience, and that was of course classical music. Not anymore. Choral composers like Eric Whitacre have pioneered the idea of a 'virtual choir' where people separated by continents are able to 'join together' to sing via such media as YouTube. And now we are introduced to an 'assembled' orchestra under the 'virtual baton' of Alexander Jero. Jero has been a pioneer in audio Blu-ray and has released several outstanding discs where he's licensed previously recorded material and repurposed for hi-def audio in often rather striking surround versions. Jero is recording a glut of classical warhorses anew, hiring college students to come into his private studio to work under his own baton. However, these are not live ensemble recordings in the traditional sense. Jero brings sections in separately, and records them, often utilizing previous recordings as reference material. He then assembles the final product in the mixing room. It's an unusual approach for a genre as hopefully organic as classical music, and listeners' reactions may be colored by the knowledge that high tech wizardry has at least helped to craft the architecture of any given performance. --Jeffry Kauffman (

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