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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect easily accessible 96kHz 24bit audio choices on region free Blu-ray disc, 1 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Rolling Stones: GRRR! [Blu-Ray Audio] (Blu-ray Audio)
I am very impressed with the ease of use and high quality performance of this "Blu-ray Audio" of The Rolling Stones 50 track 50th anniversary 2 track stereo compilation "Grrr!". Over 3 hours of non stop musical history. The single screen menu could not be more simple and easy to navigate. Each track number is listed in a grid which can be navigated using the remote cursor (though it's very hard to see the highlight change from white to pale blue), the current track number is separately clearly displayed, and which of the 3 high definition audio choices is currently in use is highlighted by flashing between white and pale blue. Audio format choices are PCM, DTS HD Master or Dolby True HD - all are in 96kHz 24bit stereo - that is "2.0" (no subwoofer signal).

I compared each of the three audio formats and with my Sony amp set to "2 channel" mode (using only the left and right front speakers) and I could not tell them apart - they all sound magnificent. I am using a toslink audio connection to my pre-HDMI amp - and if I put it into "AFD" mode, the Dolby True HD and PCM signals will allow the subwoofer to work as well (which is good because my 6.5inch 2-way Tannoy 605's need a little help on the bottom end), but the DTS signal allows only the left and right speakers. So my first listen to the whole disc today was using the PCM signal with the amp in AFD mode (and benefiting from the subwoofer's added bass).

The disc works just as easily in my ASUS laptop's HP Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive - and when using PowerDVD you can see a readout of the amount of data being processed. The PCM track is a constant 4,608kps, the DTS HD Master varying around 3,500kps and the Dolby True HD varying around 3,000 (which is still more than twice the data rate of the CD format).

It's a little surprising that there's no information on or in the packaging to explain the benefits of this wonderfully effective new high definition audio format. An online search using keywords "pure audio grrr stevehoffman" will offer you a forum thread in which contributors discuss the source of these particular edits, the reason why it's not on sale in the USA, and the fact that this disc is not the same Blu-ray Audio format developed by "pureaudio-bluray" even though the front packaging includes the words "High Fidelity Blu-ray Disc Pure Audio" and the onscreen menu lists the audio format choices under the heading "Pure Audio".

Still, this Blu-ray Audio disc is certainly as easy to use as a CD (easier in fact since it has its own onscreen menu), it sounds vastly superior to CD, and it is playable all around the world and on every Blu-ray player (no upgrades are required). If this happens to be the format which will be the standard for Blu-ray Audio, then the future of high definition audio is looking rosy. I'll still need to keep my Yamaha DVD player which is capable of playing back my 40 or so DVD-Audio and SACD discs.

BTW: in regard to musical content on "Grrr!" - I reckon it's well worth the price for even 30 of the tracks (especially their golden era of the late 60's / early 70's).
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Mar 2013, 00:35:26 GMT
Please, can you confirm if this version sold by Amazon UK is really "Region Free"?
Thank you very much!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013, 00:47:40 GMT
John Frame says:
Because I have imported some Region A locked Blu-ray discs from the USA to Australia I have two blu-ray players - one set to Region A (USA) and the other set to Region B (Australia, UK etc) and the Rolling Stones Grrr! Blu-ray audio disc plays perfectly on both. There is no mention of regions at all on the Blu-ray or its cover.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013, 12:41:48 GMT
Thanks for your attention!

Posted on 8 Mar 2013, 23:01:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Mar 2013, 23:05:13 GMT
Just a "heads up" - you can't get the full resolution of Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio through a toslink cable. There's just way too much information. You either have to connect to your receiver via HDMI (1.1 or higher), or using analog cables (just like the old SACD & DVD-Audio formats). It sounds like you've got some nice gear, and if you make these re-connections, you will probably notice a substantial sonic improvement on these 2 HD settings. I sold high-end A/V gear during the time(s) when these Hi-Res (and multi-channel too) formats were being released and became quite the enthusiast myself. Learned from many a mistaken assumption, I did. I hope this will be of some help to you.
BTW, were you able to set the regions on your blu-ray players yourself, or did you have it done professionally? I have 3 (soon to be 4) players & would love to have multi-region options.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2013, 10:59:33 GMT
John Frame says:
Thank you for the supportive and very helpful suggestions on getting the best out of my sound system. I will follow your suggestion and also make a stereo analogue connection between each of my Blu-ray players and the Sony receiver/amp (it has several available stereo analogue inputs). The "multi channel" analogue inputs of my Sony STR-DE697 are connected to my Yamaha DVD-S1800 for playing DVD-Audio and SACD discs with full detail. I knew that the toslink cable wasn't capable of delivering uncompressed multichannel audio, but I was assuming that it was dealing properly with the 96k 24bit two channel stereo signal - because when I choose the DTS HD Master option for the "Grrr!" Blu-ray, the amp displays a flag identifying that the input is a DTS 96k 24bit signal.

My two Blu-ray players were bought off the shelf at a major retailer in Australia, and they're inexpensive (each cost about $150 - a third of what I paid for the Yamaha). The Pioneer BDP-140 3D Blu-ray was already modified by Pioneer in Australia to be region free for DVD (Pioneer do this for all their DVD players in Australia), but it is permanently region locked to "B". However while the Toshiba BDX3100 3D Blu-ray was also already region free for DVD, and was initially locked to Region B, it also came with a card giving simple instructions for switching it to be locked to Region A or C (there's no limit to how many times you change the setting, but there's not an "all regions" option). The Pioneer works well in general for both video and audio, but it does occasionally slightly malfunction, which is annoying but not enough to justify replacing it. The Toshiba has always worked perfectly and is very quick to start up. Neither of these models has a multichannel analogue output (just stereo analogue plus either toslink or RCA outputs for digital). My brother says his friend bought a different Toshiba model, and that it did not have the option to change the region setting. It's all rather annoying that even within each manufacturer there are such variations.

Wishing you the best of luck in getting your system to work exactly to your liking.

- John

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013, 02:04:11 BST
Last edited by the author on 5 Apr 2013, 02:06:03 BST
Bricktop says:
@ the Digital Dinosaur - that's incorrect, optical is perfectly capable of transmitting 24/96 PCM stereo which is what is on this disc.
You would need analogue cables or HDMI 1.1 if you were trying to transmit multi-channel 24/96 in a lossless or uncompressed format (Toslink can transmit lossy dts 24/96).

There would be no noticeable improvement going from Toslink to HDMI for this disc. You should select the 24/96 PCM track for going over optical. You can't send dts-ma signals, it will read the lossy core, but you can either choose PCM or select dts-ma and have your player convert to PCM.

As an aside I recently picked up the Orei BDP-M2 which can be set for either voltage and can play both PAL and NTSC DVD's from any region when set to REGION 0 and allows manual adjustment of the Blu-ray region which takes 5 seconds, it's dead easy, and will play 3D discs and discs encoded at either 1080i50 or 1080i60 converting to either 1080i50 or 1080i60 depending on what "SYSTEM" you have set. (ie - if you're set to PAL it will convert 1080i60 > 1080i50)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2013, 09:03:52 BST
Last edited by the author on 13 Apr 2013, 09:04:39 BST
John Frame says:
Thanks Burketop for this information. I think any claim I had to "golden ears" was blown away last December in Sydney when my ear drums were shredded by Devo and Simple Minds from what seemed like ideal 2nd row seats - but which were located just 3 metres away from a stack of PA bass bins. I only realised something was seriously wrong when leaving the venue. After 12 hours the pain and distortion had eased away, but I doubt if I've got off scott-free (everything sounds slightly muffled). I'm still giving my ears the possibility of appreciating what quality there is in the movies I'm watching.
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