CES 2009: Pioneer's high-end division demonstrates new Blu-ray-based audiophile format

7 Jan 2009

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Pioneer's Technical Audio Devices subsidiary is partnering with recording legends Doug Sax and Bill Shnee  to demonstrate a new high-resolution recording format, Modern High Fidelity, at the CES 2009 show.

Developed by Sax and Schnee in response to what the pair sees as a decline in recording quality over the past three decades, Modern High Fidelity uses Schnee's custom, minimal signal path analog mixing console with tube microphones, preamps, and 192kHz/24-bit converters. The resulting recordings are then mastered to Blu-ray Disc for playback.

The demonstrations will include tracks recorded and mixed live to two-channel high-resolution digital, with playback through complimentary 24-bit/192kHz conversion and Technical Audio Devices' Compact Reference monitor speakers.

The recordings were made at Schnee Studio in Los Angeles, with mastering by Sax, the two having a partnership which goes all the way back to their Direct-to-Disc LPs for Sax's Sheffield Lab label in the 1970s.

The new format "aims to restore the dynamic sound quality that is reminiscent of their direct-to-disc recordings but can now be mastered in high resolution digital for replay from Blu-ray Disc. In the near future, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy live recordings with an astonishing quality not previously available."

Schnee says that "While the industry has made a steady shift toward compressed audio, we believe that home audiences deserve a richer listening experience and there is a tremendous opportunity with emerging high definition technology to develop a medium that can successfully maintain the integrity of an original recording.

"We look forward to fusing our visions with Pioneer to develop this format for Blu-ray, and giving a taste of what is to come at CES.”


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Nigs, it's not 192kBs, it's 192kHz, different ballgame entirely.

Why 192KBS? Any good download site offers 192/240/or higher. 192 is the lowest level - and I can certainly hear a difference between 192 Vs 240 downloads...

Yes, another format - but if Sony/other record labels come on board...it will be "the Format" in years to come.

More interesting is the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall - where they are investing in Internet Broadcasting to provide HiFi via Broadband. http://dch.berliner-philharmoniker.de/#/en/tour/

You're in a merry mood today, Mr Manic...

Another disc audio disc format destined for the dustbin?? I think so.

Although I have major issues with the user interface Linn's vision with their DS systems are spot-on. You can browse your hi-res music, who wants to load another disc?

And now that Intel/Adobe want to contaminate Blu-ray players with their complete garbage, it will make it hard and expensive to make an audiophile Blu-ray player with all that extraneous disease.

Good luck, see you in the grave alongside DVD-A.

If this is going to be of any interest to potential buyers, AndrewH13 then yes it must be playable on current machines.

No information about downloads, TP - but that's hardly the point of the demonstration being staged.

At last. and how about Flac or Apple Lossless downloads of same?

Compatible with today's Bluray player standard I wonder?