So, I indulged on music buys this weekend. I bought the 1999 CD remaster of "Sports" by Huey Lewis (terrific album), Bob James "in Hi-Fi" (SACD), and Queen's "The Game" (DVD-A). I also re-wired my speakers with 12Ga Monster Wire. Anyway, I began playing my new albums. I was happy with the results, and the new cable made the system a lot more girlfriend-friendly. But something was missing. The usual "goosebumps" were conspicuosly absent. I took a couple of different recordings from my shelf. Alan Parsons' "Tales of Mistery and Imagination" (his debut album with Eric Woolfson), and Queen's "News of the World". But I grabbed them from a special shelf in my collection: the "Ultradisc" shelf. One spin of each disc reminded me why people are now paying $200 or more for these discs. They simply can't be replaced by anything else. SACD might sound great when done correctly; DVD-A might do the same thing. But I know of no other company (except, perhaps, DCC Compact Classics) that could always, and I mean always deliver the most stunning fidelity possible from any given recording. As I was listening to "News of the World", the guitars came alive, the drums were snappy, fast and perfectly detailed, and Freddie Mercury's voice was so incredibly rendered, I could not believe it was all coming from a simple CD. Alan Parsons' work was, to put it simply, completely transparent. Now, with the impending advent (?) of high resolution audio, I find that, more often than not, I end up buying discs that simply don't live up to their claims (I didn't care for Cyndi Lauper's SACD album, for example), or are inferior to their CD counterparts (The Police "Outlandos d' amour" & "Regatta de Blanc"). Back when Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs was in business, I had an excellent alternative. I know they are now back in business (or at least have heard news about it), but I'm not really sure they are the same company, or that they can get the rights to the music they used to. I hope so... because they, in my book, never did anything wrong when it came to remastering.