JAPAN: The world's most expensive CD process, and the world's priciest CD packaging

In best Arkwright from Open All Hours tones, I have to say "It's been a funny old day...".

This morning the news media was all abuzz with a survey saying Britain's favourite 'hi-fi' would leave you change from £20, the assumptions behind which had me clapping metaphorical hand to forehead in disbelief; this afternoon I learn about audiophile CDs selling for over £1000 a pop.

Crystaldisc Rodrigo

Just to make sure you get the point that your new disc has just cost you over a grand, the Victor/CrystalDisc titles come in a very superior jewel case – right-hinged, of course, just like Japanese books.

It comes complete with a plaque on which will be engraved a serial number, showing where your disc sits in the very limited production run – and it looks like there's space, if required, for the owner's name.

Seems like just the thing no well-heeled Japanese audiophile would want to be without – even if, thanks to the craftsman manufacturing process, you'll have to order your disc in advance and have it made for you. You're unlikely to find these on sale in your local Tokyo Tawarekodo.

On the subject of very expensive Japanese CDs, a compilation disc entitled Woman has recently gone on sale in the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo's Nihonbashi – imagine a Japanese Selfridges, Oxford Street, and you'll have the general idea – for a cool Y10m, or around £68,000.

It's so expensive because the jewel-case is made of platinum, and further lives up to its name by being studded with getting on for two carats of diamonds.

Or if you prefer you can have the disc in its standard packaging, and save yourself Y9,998,000!

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.