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HD MUSIC DOWNLOADS
The entire catalog of AIX Records, including the 5.1 surround mixes, is available for downloading. You can choose to download files from this site or visit our partner site iTrax.com to access our HD digital files.
REVIEWS
hometheaterspot
First Ever 5 Star Review!
The Jim DeJulio Jazz Quintet (DVD-Audio)

AIX Records
Currently Available
Surround Audio Review by Jacob Griesbach

Quicktake:
This is an excellent disc containing a diverse selection of jazz tunes played by capable, professional musicians. Being originally recorded in high-resolution, the album provides an unprecedented, realistic sound that can only be bettered by actually witnessing the performance in person. This album was a true delight to listen to.

Disc Contents:
8 songs / 58:58 (minutes:seconds) encoded via 4 different formats

DVD-Audio Side:
Group Soundtrack Audio
1 1 96 kHz / 24 bit, MLP compressed, 5.1 channel surround PCM "audience" mix

DVD-Video Side:
Track Soundtrack Audio
1-8 1 Dolby Digital 5.1 surround "audience" mix*
1-8 2 DTS 5.1 surround "stage" mix*
11 1 96 kHz / 24 bit stereo PCM
Extras: Session video, biographies, photo gallery, system setup and check info, technical format details, "How to use this disc", and weblinks
(* Denotes lossy compression formats)

Parental Warnings
This album is appropriate for all ages.

Musical Performance:
This album provides big name quality and sound without the big names. One should not be considered about the talent provided by the quintet though, as each musician brings talented, virtuosic performances as well as several impressive solos to the album. The quintet features Jim DeJulio on bass, Pete Christlieb on tenor sax, Conte Condoli on trumpet, Pamela York on piano, and Joe LaBarbera on drums. They provide a truly masterful listening experience with both upbeat and mellow song selections.

Technical Audio Quality:
This disc is actually two-sided. The DVD-Audio side may only be played DVD-Audio mode and allows playback of multi-channel lossless audio. The opposite side contains the DVD-Video mode that contains lossy multi-channel and lossless stereo soundtracks for owners without DVD-Audio capabilities.

Recorded and mastered by Mark Waldrep of AIX Records, Mark holds to his high standard of providing the highest quality audio possible. The album is recorded digitally at 96 kHz / 24 bits and maintains this quality throughout the mastering process to provide the listener with an accurate, clear, and natural sound reproduction. Recorded at 96 kHz provides 48 kHz of bandwidth to recreate the natural supersonic frequencies providing extra clarity over standard CD audio. Using 24 bits per sample provides a whopping 144 dB of dynamic range for distortionless reproduction and extra clarity for subtle nuances. A multi-channel audio connoisseur could not ask for more.

The album provides two distinct 5.1 surround mixes in addition to the stereo mix. First, the album provides an "audience" mix that recreates the experience listeners would have if they were sitting in the best seats in the house. This mix can only be described as absolutely amazing. Turning off the lights and closing your eyes is just like sitting in the audience while enjoying the comfort of your home and not having to fight the big guy next to you for the armrest. The soundstage completely opens in front of the listener while being immersed in the hall reverberation. With proper speaker placement and calibrated levels and time-delays, the instruments project from locations other than the speakers themselves. Furthermore, no effects are added to the recorded audio streams. Thus, the delivered audio is exactly what one would experience naturally.

The second "stage" mix provides the listener with the experience of sitting in the middle of the band. While I enjoyed the "audience" mix more, the "stage" mix provides a more aggressive mix as the instruments surround the listener and emanate from all directions. The spatial location of the instruments also changes depending on which instrument is featured for a given song. For example, track 2: But Beautiful features Pete Christlieb on tenor sax for a stunning ballad from the center channel, but on other tracks Pete may live in one of the left or right surround channels. Unfortunately, the "stage" mix is only available via the DTS format on the DVD-Video side.

Both the Dolby Digital and DTS performances provide very good lossy representations of the recorded audio. While I couldn’t find any obvious problems, I felt that the lossy formats lost some of the clarity provided by the lossless high frequencies. I also didn’t quite get that feeling of actually being in the audience with the DD mix, as it somehow sounded more recorded than the lossless version. However, both lossy formats provide excellent mixes for owners who lack DVD-Audio capability.

The disc provides many additional features in the form of session photos and biographies. The musician’s biographies clearly illustrate the history and talent of each performer. The album also provides text stills on how the album was recorded, current format technologies, a system check and setup guide, and a guide on how to navigate the disc.

Lastly, two video angles are provided during Dolby Digital and DTS playback. The first video angle matches that of the DVD-Audio side, being a text screen with the song title. However, the second angle provides a session video of the entire album. The session video is well made giving the listener a more live performance and realization of the entire recording session.

Summary
The Jim DeJulio Jazz Quintet provides a wonderful listening experience with a diverse set of jazz songs. Technically the album is impeccable, being recorded and maintained at 96 kHz / 24 bits throughout the mastering process. Two distinct mixes are provided, an "audience" mix and a "stage" mix, although only one is available with lossless, high-resolution, multi-channel audio. The disc also provides a live video recording of the entire recording session. This disc is highly recommended and would make for an excellent demo disc.

Overall Rating:
Five Stars (best rating is 5 stars/paws)

Images and Song Titles copyright AIX Records

Jake
Surround Audio Reviewer

Kenwood Sovereign VR5900
KEF Q-series Fronts / Paradigm center&surround speakers
Paradigm PDR10 subwoofer
Sony 36XBR800
Panasonic CP72
KLH DAV5022
Outlaw ICBM-1
RCA DirecTV


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EXPERTS AGREE

  • "I worry about sound quality and old ways of the industry. Up-sampled CDs, play-everything consumer machines and lawyers killed the DVDA. Many titles in vaults have sonic losses from compression and sampling that can’t be recovered. Yet, surely, there will be re-issues even though high resolution will not improve them. Some reviewers use analyzers to spot these marketed imposters."

    Keith O. Johnson, Chief Engineer and Technical Director, Reference Recordings

  • "It's good to know there are still some labels left dedicated to making high quality surround recordings. I applaud you for educating people about what is and isn't HD (analog tape/vinyl being an example that isn't HD)."

    Dr. Sean E. Olive / Director of Acoustic Research/Corporate R&D.


AN ENCOURAGING CUSTOMER COMMENT
"AIX is like the Bentley of audiophile labels. "

Brian Healy - Customer.
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