My first batch of Bluray Audio discs


Well-known member
Coming back by car and ferry from the UK last week, we decided to take a little detour via the FNAC in Lille to buy some Bluray Audio discs. We bought the following titles:

Supertramp - Breakfast in America

Nina Simone - I put a spell on you

Ferenc Fricsay conducting Dvořak, Smetana and Liszt

Carlos Kleiber and the Wiener Philharmoniker with Beethoven's 5th and 7th Symphonies

Oscar Peterson - Night Train

I don't have other versions of these discs available for comparisons but to our ears the discs sound nice, warm and smooth. No complaints about the sound quality.

Since we only have a stereo setup so it didn't upset me in the least that there are no surround tracks. The sound quality of all discs is excellent. But it's a bit disappointing that our Sony BDP S590 downsamples everything to 24/48 and there's no point running the signal through my DACMagic. I can only use the stereo outputs of the BDP, just like SACD.

The discs were EUR 20 each and come with a voucher with a download code for 320 mbps mp3's and FLAC CD quality. I downloaded the FLAC's and transcoded them to ALAC so I could add them to my iTunes library. The Oscar Peterson disc even had bonus tracks in the download, which weren't mentioned anywhere and it is a bit puzzling that they aren't on the disc itself, considering the storage space on Bluray disc.

I have a few observations about this 'new' format.

- It's really annoying that the Bluray player doesn't support 24/96 through digital or optical out and only through HDMI. This makes it a worthless format for people with quality DACs. Or buy a very expensive universal disc spinner.

- Yet another size of box!

- No downloads in ALAC (Apple Lossless). Really stupid because Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound gives you a choice between FLAC and ALAC. But at least Universal recommends XLD (for the Mac) for transcoding.

- Playing through both our Bluray players is flawless and the TV screen doesn't need to be on.

- I don't understand who the format is for, even though they seem to be selling quite well in France. These stereo only discs are not suitable for showcasing surround sound. How many stereo fans have a bluray player in their setup? The only reason for this format over SACD I can think of is that there are many more Bluray pressing plants than SACD pressing plants.

-The downloads are not available in hirez quality, which seems a bit strange.

- The marketing is interesting. There is hardly any techno babble in the documentation. But there is also not any mention about the remastering. Only the downloads gave a bit more information about the dates of the mastering, but I don't know if original mastertapes were used. Interestingly, there is a tiny bit of tape noise on the discs, which suggest that not a lot of filtering and equalisation has been done and surely must be a good thing. The whole concept of Bluray Audio makes me wonder what Universal is trying to achieve after abondoning SACD. But I suppose any attempt to bring great sounding discs to the market should be applauded.

- Considering the storage space of Bluray discs, putting just one album on a disc seems a bit stupid.

- The artwork is better than in a jewel casy, simply because there is more room for print.

For our setup at home this is an easy to use and great sounding format. I'm not sure it's for everyone, but I don't think you can fault the sound quality. I don't think it adds anything to what SACD (or DVD Audio) aready could produce.


The mastering dates (according to the downloads) are:

2006 for Nina Simone, 2007 for the Dvorak/Smetana/Listzt, 2007 for Oscar Peterson, 2010 for Supertramp and 2012 for Kleiber's Beethoven.


Well-known member
Oct 16, 2008
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How does the sound of the BD audio compare to the FLAC/ALAC downloads? Got the perfect chance to test many a theory, although the downsampling to 24/48 by the BDP is annoying.


New member
Jul 25, 2011
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I have the bdp s370 which outputs at 24/192 according to the specs. My Blu-Ray discs have arrived. They are not stereo only as they also output DTS for surround sound systems.

Also, the Naxos discs, which are all recent, weren't from remastered because the originals were HD masters. The older stuff would certainly be remastered, so differences in sound quality could simply be a product of that. I'll give the Stones disc a whirl later as I have some of the same stuff on CD.


Well-known member
In my ears they sound slightly warmer and a bit more detailed (especially the classical discs) than the ALAC CD quality tracks, played through the DACMagic.

I don't think the DAC of the Sony BDP-S590 is a slouch. :)


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