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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Opera > Ballet > Concert > McIntosh Demonstration Reference Disc (Intermusic SA-CD/Super Audio Compact Disc Hybrid/Top Music International)

McIntosh Demonstration Reference Disc (Intermusic SA-CD/Super Audio Compact Disc Hybrid/Top Music International)


Sound/DSD 2.0 Stereo: B     PCM 2.0 Stereo: B-     Music: B



PLEASE NOTE: This Super Audio Compact Disc is only available from our friends at Top Music International, has a Compact Disc layer that will play on virtually all CD players and can be ordered at the link below.



There is no doubt that McIntosh electronics are some of the best built, best performing components in the business and have been since their launch in 1949.  We use them for most of our Blu-ray reviews and some of our other format coverage, so there is no doubt they are top rate.  So when they put their name on a demonstration SA-CD, we were interested.  Made in 2004, this Hybrid Stereo Super Audio Compact Disc plays on all SA-CD and CD Players and was made in Japan by Sony to be a high watermark guide to audio performance.


The audiophile-level SA-CD is only a two-channel affair, but uses choice recordings from the Delos Records library.  The songs include:


1)     Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite - Infernal Dance

2)     Starker Plays Kodaly: Duo for Violin and Cello, Op.7 - Allegro serioso, non troppo (Recorded in Japan 1978)

3)     Dvorak: Symphony No.9 in E Minor, Op.95, From the "New World" - Allegro con fuoco

4)     Bizet - Shchedrin: The Carmen Ballet - iv. Changing of the Guard

5)     Voice of Angels: Vos Flores Rosarum - (excerpt)

6)     AARON COPLAND: Billy the kid (suite from the ballet) - Gun Battle

7)     Vivaldi: Four Seasons - concerto in E major, RV 269 "Spring" I. Allegro

8)     Piazzolla: Libertango (Tangos arranged for saxophone and orchestra)

9)     MACAL conducts MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition - X. La Grande

Porte de Kiew - The Great Gate of Kiev

   10)  Beethoven: Adagio Cantabile from Sonata Op. 13 (Pathetique)

   11)  Music of Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 - Marche au Supplice (March to the Scaffold): Allegretto non troppo

   12)  MACAL conducts GLIERE: The Red Poppy, Ballet Suite, Op.70 - Chinese Dance

   13)  Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op. 48, II. Walzer

   14)  Shostakovich: Symphony No.10 in E Minor, Opus 93 - II. Allegro

   15)  AARON COPLAND: The Red Pony - Happy Ending



That makes for a diverse set of recordings and not all are from the last few years, showing the intent to have a clean analog-like sound from the choices offered.  The DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 2.0 sound is pretty impressive throughout, but I would have liked a 5.1 option in this case.  Still, as it stands, this does allow the listener to test the various two-channel paths McIntosh components offer and it is worth listening to overall.  The PCM 2.0 Stereo CD tracks are not bad, but they cannot compete against the higher resolution of the DSD signal, though they are not bad demos if you are forced to turn to them.


A paper foldout with brief notes and the top McIntosh models of the time (all still excellent to this day and very much worth owning) are also included.



To find out more about ordering, start with this link, then go to the ORDER icon at the top of the page on the right-hand side under the logo:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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