Polarity Think piece: A Speculation Regarding Perception of Detail

Warning: Please observe extreme caution after reading the White Paper/the Speculation paper don’t play your audio system at low volume, drive an automobile or operate heavy machinery because the papers are going to be submitted to the FDA as a non-addictive treatment for insomnia.  But you should feel free to read them when you’re having difficulty falling asleep.  I won’t accept responsibility for any untoward consequences if you should choose to ignore this warning, so if you do, you agree that you understand and assume and accept any and all known and unknown risks of so doing.

30 Years of Digital and the 92% Solution

Updated November 9, 2016 by The Polarity Project

ABSTRACT

Whether live or reproduced music consists of a series of compressions and rarefaction of air that are the sound waves we hear.  Reproduced music is in absolute polarity when its compressions and rarefactions are in sync with the compressions and rarefactions of the original performance.  Much of music’s sound waves consists of compressions and rarefactions that are asymmetrical.  Scientific research has determined that below approximately 5 kHz most people hear compressions differently than rarefactions which means that for most listeners music that’s played inverted sounds different from when played non-inverted (in absolute polarity).  All tracks on approximately 92% of compact discs (CDs) play in inverted polarity on approximately 92% of compact disc players (CD players or servers that they’ve been ripped to) which means polarity mistakes aren’t random.  The converse of that is that approximately only 8% of CD players play all tracks on approximately 92% of CDs in non-inverted polarity (absolute polarity).  

I suggest it’s a reasonable inference that the audio industry’s polarity determinations of digital components are inconsistent, because they may depend on who’s making the measurementsThe deleterious effects of inverted polarity to sonics and musicality are the same whether it’s due to inverting components or inverted media.  Although the polarity of components may be reported in reviews, the polarity of the media used in the reviews is never mentioned even though media polarity is variable and the exact same tracks are sometimes recorded in opposite relative polarity on different CD labels.  Thus it seems that reviews of components are more about the musicality of hearing media in absolute polarity than the fidelity of components!  

Playing music in inverted polarity rather than in absolute polarity (aka absolute phase) makes the sound brighter, harsher, more congested, less 3-dimensional sounding, and in general less musically and emotionally involving.  It also makes the evaluation of the fidelity and musicality of media and components more difficult, and could be one of the main reasons that analog media, which is mostly in polarity, is judged by many music-loving audiophiles to be musically superior to digital media. How to play most if not all digital media in absolute polarity is explained.  Summing up in music-lover terms, 100% of listeners whose systems play CDs in absolute polarity when the polarity of the CDs are the same as the polarity of the CD player (the system’s net analog polarity is non-inverting) are hearing their CDs play inverted approximately 92% of the time and therefore aren’t able to enjoy the maximum potential emotional involvement with the music they love.  Due to the on going nature of the research, you may check for the date of the latest revision to this monograph about polarity.  High-Res discs and downloads aren’t exempt from polarity problems, but because I haven’t  tested a sufficiently large sample, I don’t know what percentage are inverted.

A Speculation Regarding Perception of Detail


I’ve observed that if an audio system sounds good, no single component of that system can be all that bad nor can the polarity of the recording be played inverted from the live performance.  I have come to this conclusion because I haven’t been able to compensate for a bad component without causing some egregious sonic and musical tradeoffs.  On the other hand, if a system really sounds awful it may only be a single component or the inverted polarity of the recording that’s causing the problem.  For example, simple as it may seem, a single component could degrade the sound if its power cord is plugged into the wall outlet in less than the best sounding orientation.  I believe that a really good sounding audio system is the result of a number of necessary but not necessarily sufficient conditions being met, such as its speakers being phase coherent and time-aligned to mention just two conditions.  Tweaks may also play an indispensable roll in great sounding systems.  I define a “tweak” as something used to improve the sound of an audio system but something that’s not necessary for the system to perform its basic playback function, e.g., a Zobel network connected across a speaker’s tweet’s terminals.  By my way of thinking there are two basic kinds of tweaks with some falling into a gray area in between.  First, there are those tweaks that are system and playback venue dependent such as component damping and isolation.  And secondly, there are those I call “fundamental tweaks”, such optical impedance matching (anti-reflective) treatments or vibration dampers for laser-read media because they seem to work with virtually all laser-read media and their playback components.  The “gray area tweaks” are those such as power conditioners whose sonic and musical trade offs may depend upon the quality of the electricity at any given moment and may also affect some components differently than others, i.e. in principle power conditioners would  be universal tweaks because everything we’re hearing out of our audio systems is the audio information (signal) modulating the DC of its amplifier’s supply power that’s been converted into sound.

A great sounding system is the result of its creator’s choice of components and musical judgment.  The only true basis for their judgment is an understanding of music and a memory of unamplified acoustic instruments and voices in a reasonable acoustic venue and heard from an aesthetically correct distance.  However, that standard of comparison doesn’t apply to the virtual stereo images that you may read about in Ruminations on Imaging, “Absolute Polarity”, and Beyond High Fidelity at http://www.audiogeorge.com/ruminations-on-absolute-fidelity-stereo-imaging-and-beyond-high-fidelity/.

I believe that every choice one makes in the design of an audio system involves tradeoffs, and the only question is which tradeoffs each of us finds acceptable.  Around fifteen years ago, when I first became interested in the audibility and importance of absolute polarity, the speaker system that I’d created some ten years earlier and used for all my serious testing and musical enjoyment had second-order 12 dB Linkwitz-Riley crossovers.  Despite its many advantages it also had one major disadvantage; it wasn’t phase coherent.  Without phase coherence it was impossible for me to discern polarity or to hear music purely in or out of absolute polarity because that crossover requires some of its drivers to always play in opposite relative polarities to each other.  As a result that speaker system was inconsistent with the single absolute polarity of live music.  I listened to each separate driver connected first in one polarity and then the other. It wasn’t all that easy in the beginning to hear the differences, especially with my sealed back electrostatic tweeters.  But since they crossed over at a relatively low 1.6 kHz I eventually decided that they, as well as all the other drivers, sounded better connected in absolute polarity.  And next, with all the drivers playing in absolute polarity, I determined that I greatly preferred hearing music in absolute polarity.  And from that day to this, I only find music played in absolute polarity to be truly emotionally satisfying and believe that the single most important sonic and musical aspect of a properly connected audio system is its ability to reproduce the polarity of live music.

Audio systems must at the very least satisfy the following three requirements to be suitable for rendering polarity judgments.  1.  The playback polarity of the source is heard in the same polarity as the original recorded source.  2.  The system is phase coherent and preferably minimum phase.  In the analog domain the only classic crossover networks that permit a speaker to preserve the phase-polarity of the input signal are 6 dB first-order Butterworth.  If you’re not sure about your speaker system, you may use single driver headphones or a single drive speaker if its frequency extremes are sufficiently extended.  3.  The system’s frequency response deviates no more than +/- 3 dB from flat between 50 and 8 kHz which is an example of an application of the rule of 400 as defined in the first edition of the Audio Cyclopedia.

The gist of my speculation regarding the perception of detail and polarity is as follows: When one watches film, video or computer monitors the pictures are not seen as a series of separate still images and thank goodness! It’s because the frames change or refresh fast enough, typically 24, 30 or 60 plus times per second respectively.  The actual flash rate may be up to 120 frames per second, depending upon the medium, which causes our eye-brain’s persistence of vision to merge one still frame of a picture into the next.

Similarly, in audio, active noise-canceling headphones illustrate the ear-brain’s persistence of hearing with regard to high frequencies.  The way that active noise-canceling headphones work is by picking up ambient noise with built-in microphones and then generating a signal that’s exactly out of phase to the ambient noise that, at least in principle, should cancel it completely.  The specifications of active noise-canceling headphones indicate that they cancel bass frequencies much more effectively than high frequencies.  And perhaps that’s true to some extent, but much of the reduction in their apparent effectiveness at higher frequencies may be the result of our ear-brain’s persistence of hearing that merges the rapidly alternating relative phase of high frequencies into one sound that has no apparent phase/polarity.  Thus two tweeters playing high frequencies out of relative phase aren’t heard as canceling each other.  Perhaps, this phenomena could be considered a corollary of the Fletcher-Munson effect whose curves describe the reduction of our ear’s sensitivity at both frequency extremes.  Well, wouldn’t it be great if noise-canceling headphones canceled the high frequencies as well as the bass frequencies? I’d surely like that and I bet you would too.  So from Shakespeare – Julius Caesar, Cassius speaking, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars [equipment], but in ourselves…”

In my experience it’s exceptionally difficult if not impossible to determine solely by ear the phase of a tweeter’s electrical connection because the phase of the high frequency signal reverses too rapidly for our ear-brain to get a fix on it.  In other words, when the highpass frequency of a tweeter is raised it eventually becomes so high that it exceeds our ear-brain’s ability to distinguish the phase of its electrical connection, and its rapid phase reversals merges both phases into a single sonic impression that’s without a discernible phase*.  For example, when two tweeters are playing a 10 kHz signal, if your head is a mere 3/10ths inch (a quarter wavelength) closer to one tweeter than the other, the signal from one tweeter arrives at your ears 180 degrees out of phase with the signal from the other tweeter.  Although theoretically they should cancel each other perfectly, I believe most listeners will still hear the 10 kHz signal at full volume.

Before I state the conclusion of my theory you need to know something about the use of test equipment to determine polarity.  The measurements of spectral content, frequency balance, dynamic range, distortion made on components playing music are the same regardless of the polarity of its playback.  Were it otherwise, I wouldn’t have written this think piece about how music played out of absolute polarity affects our perception of detail.  According to “The Wood Effect” many listeners can detect the polarity of asymmetrical musical signals even though test equipment and computer programs can’t.  Only sound with compressions that differ from its rarefactions (asymmetrical) has audible polarity, because changing the polarity of identical (symmetrical) compressions and rarefactions doesn’t really change anything, so there’s nothing different to hear in the same way that’s there’s nothing different to see in the mirror image of a symmetrical object.  Therefore it shouldn’t seem so contrary to common sense, scientific analysis or the least bit mysterious that measurements frequently don’t correlate well with subjective listening tests.  But on the other hand, perhaps some measurements will be more relevant to the way we hear when equipment is played in absolute polarity!  And as long as I’m speculating, I think that eventually neural computing may be able to discern the polarity of music and its software might be similar to voice print recognition software.  Now it follows, although the cutoff threshold may vary among individual listeners, as the sound’s frequency increases, above some point all listeners will perceive the music’s high frequencies as equally loud regardless of their actual polarity.  But when music is heard out of absolute polarity, the midrange, bass, and even the high frequencies below some frequency, all tend to sound somewhat recessed, rather dry, and bleached out.  Thus psycho-acoustically against a background of a sucked out and a papery dry sounding midrange, and a sucked out dry and overly taut sounding bass that’s lacking in harmonic richness, the high frequencies are heard in bas-relief and sound a bit harsh, which also makes the bass and mid-range seem more detailed with faster transients, although they are not.  And that can make the bass sound as if its attacks are quicker because what’s heard as the leading edge of its transients are really the sound of its harmonics which are actually reproduced by the mid-range and tweeter not the woofer.  The result gives the impression of a greatly degraded stereo image that’s rather two-dimensional with a soundstage that’s vaguely focused and somewhat confused.  That also contributes to the false impression that one is hearing more of the performance venue’s space because there seems to be more reverberation when the mid-range is less prominent.  But those effects are really only psychoacoustic artifacts of the music being played out of absolute polarity and not how acoustic instruments and voices sound live!  The most general statement I can make about how music sounds inverted is that it tends to sound concave and hollowed out instead of more convex, full bodied, and harmonically fleshed out when it’s heard in polarity.  Inverted polarity will tend to reduce the music’s pace, and rhythm or timing which makes the performance rather boring and lifeless.  But if a system has a flabby lower midbass/bass/recessed high frequencies, some listeners might prefer the sound of inverted music in spite that it's compromising sonic tradeoffs in an attempt to make fundamentally poor sounding system listenable.  There’s another common mistaken idea that for a woofer to have a good attack and transient response it has to be quick, but if it was really quick it would be a tweeter.  The attack that one attributes to a woofer is really in the leading edge of the bass transients which are really harmonics that are reproduced by the midrange/tweeter.  What a woofer really needs is to be well controlled by its amplifier so that it doesn’t over shoot or have overhang.

Here are some other examples of how the psychoacoustics of audio affects our perceptions, which sometimes seems counter intuitive, but nevertheless may resonate with some listeners.  I believe when you add a subwoofer to a system it doesn’t necessarily sound as if you’ve added more bass, but more often than not, it sounds as if the highs have been reduced.  Similarly, add a super tweeter to a system and it may sound as if there’s less bass not more highs.  And if you turn off the bass/mid-bass altogether or reduce your mid-range, the sound seems more detailed when it’s not.

Music played out of phase coherence or out of absolute polarity may cause some listeners to wrongly attribute the low fidelity unpleasant sound to solid state devices or the digital process in general.  This causes some listeners to prefer what they think is the more tuneful, full bodied, and rounded sound that they associate with tube equipment or vinyl records which they believe sounds more like a live performance, when in point of fact, all they really need to hear is music played in absolute polarity.  High-fidelity equipment, tube or solid state, shouldn’t impose a sonic character of its own on the musical signal; its only tasks are to amplify the signal without distortion and control the speakers! How much tweaking and component swapping in our systems are only musically misinformed attempts to correct for music played out of absolute polarity that in Absolute Reality are bound to fail the test of high-fidelity?  Does this suggest that the conclusions of some prior listening tests should be reevaluated and repeated with music that we know for sure is played in absolute polarity?  I definitely think so, and that should include recordings as well, but each of you may answer that question for yourselves.

The Louis Objective Test of the Audibility of Relative Polarity

Someone, other than the test subject, compiles a 72-minute test CD-R or CD of 90 second (or other suitable number of trials and lengths of time) music tracks as follows: The first track will be a one-minute excerpt from a CD, record or tape recording of a two microphone stereo recording selected for its musical value but without regard to its actual polarity.  The second track will be the same one-minute excerpt of music as the first track (or even different one-minute excerpt from the same track just in case there’s some artifact of the method of inversion that might contaminate the test results), but it will be recorded in the same polarity as the first time the track was recorded or in the opposite relative polarity to the first time the track was recorded as determined by the toss of a coin, heads the same and tails in the opposite polarity (a random number generator could be substituted for the coin tossing).  The same procedure is followed for tracks 3 and 4 with different music and repeated again until 36 pairs of identical music tracks have been recorded to the CD for a total of 72-minutes.  The person making the disc memorializes the polarity of each of the even numbered tracks relative to its odd numbered counterpart, and thus he has created a test CD for The Louis Objective Test of the Audibility of Relative Polarity.  The playback system should use single driver headphones or at least a speaker system with consistent polarity, i.e.,  all drivers move in the same relative phase to each other.  The actual polarity of any track or the playback system doesn’t affect the validity of the test because it’s only a test of the audibility of relative polarity not absolute polarity.  A test of a person’s ability to discern the actual polarity isn’t necessary if they can’t pass the relative polarity test.  The test subject only decides whether the first and second track of each pair of tracks of the same music is in the same or opposite relative polarity.  If the test subject also states a preference for which one of a pair of tracks for the pairs they think are in different relative polarity, then when the polarity of the tracks and playback system is known, the test also determines the test subject’s ability to discern absolute polarity.  Test subjects who discern absolute polarity by definition also pass the relative polarity tests.  To make the test protocol even more rigorous,the polarity of the first sample would be randomly chosen, and the second one minute music test could be from a different part of the same musical track to preclude a visual analysis of the relative polarity of the sections of two sections of music’s waveforms relative polarity on an oscilloscope or making a relative phase/polarity comparison by playing the same channel of the two test tracks simultaneously on two CD players one on one the left channel and one on the right channel in order to determine if they are in the same or opposite relative phase/polarity.

The standard way to scientifically compare component A against component B is by double blind ABX testing.  In order to make ABX testing a bit easier I’ve added non-X that allows the test subject to hear non-X but only knowing that it’s non-X.  When the purpose of the test is to find whether component A or B is preferred, I have a more direct protocol.  Component A and component B are played alternately double blind first one and then the other as many times as needed to state a preference.  Then the sequence is repeated with the order of A and B chosen at random for the next set of alternating comparisons.  The protocol is repeated until the results are statistically significant.  This single test will determine directly both the test subject’s ability to distinguish A from B as well as preference.

Given the relatively high proportion of audiophile CD labels that are polarity inverted (please see “The Polarity List” at http://www.audiogeorge.com/the-polarity-list/) including those labels with non inverted vinyl record counterparts, one might speculate that a major reason for the preference of many music-loving audiophiles and musical artists for the presentation and musicality of vinyl records is that they’re comparing them to inverted CDs.  And it also seems to me that some hi-res internet downloads are inverted.

*After I wrote the think piece I came across an article in the October 1999 Sound stage at http://www.soundstage.com titled Audio Signal Polarity – A Look Behind the Curtain by Doug Blackburn that’s chock full of good polarity information and references a book that Mike VansEvers found titled An Introduction to the Physiology of Hearing (James O.  Pickles, Academic Press, sixth printing 1999). Mr. Pickles was in the Department of Physiology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England. Mr. Pickles states that below 5kHz we hear only one polarity at a time but above 5kHz we hear both polarities and that would seem to corroborate my empirical observations that I discuss in this think piece.

History and Afterword

I’ll never know if I would have realized the importance of correct polarity if it hadn’t been for Clark Johnsen and his seminal book The Wood Effect. Reading it changed everything for me because I never gave a thought to polarity before, although I always made sure the left and right channels of my speaker system were in phase with each other.  Until I heard the effects of polarity on my own speaker system I was totally unaware of the importance of absolute polarity to the fidelity, musicality, and the degree of emotional connection I could make with music by hearing sound in absolute polarity as it exists in nature.  I’ll always be grateful to Clark Johnsen for bringing the problem of polarity to my attention.  After listening to the effects of polarity on each driver of my 3-way electronically crossed over speaker system with its second order Linkwist-Riley crossover*, I decided that each driver sounded better when connected in polarity. Since then I always connect all the drivers in my speaker systems in polarity.

In The Wood Effect Clark states he first learned about the audibility of the polarity of asymmetrical sound from discoveries made by Charles Wood at the Defense Research Laboratory in 1957.  The timbre of all non-electronic sound is asymmetrical.  Only electrical sound sources have the possibility of generating sound waves that are sufficiently symmetrical as to not have an audible polarity.

Many astute music-loving audiophiles such as the late Lars Fredell and Doug Blackburn, to name a couple, also wrote about the importance of correct polarity.  Lars Fredell published a list of his polarity designations of 90 CD labels along with his impressions of the sound of inverted versus non-inverted polarity.  Doug Blackburn, in a paper that I reference above, discussed the technical difficulties of setting up an audio system so that the method of switching its polarity doesn’t itself contribute to any changes that might be mistaken for a difference in the sound of inverted and non inverted polarity.  Contrary to Doug Blackburn’s assertions, based on my thousands of hours of empirical experience to discerning polarity, I’m convinced that once a listener has learned to discriminate polarity any sonic differences, which Doug Blackburn attributes to non electrically neutral polarity inversion switching, are at most tertiary and would never confuse an experienced discriminator of polarity.

More About the Audible Effects of Polarity

I’ll elaborate further on acoustic polarity, but first I think this analogy might be illustrative for some readers.  You write a doctoral dissertation on a computer and save it to a CD-R that you take to Office Depot and have them print copies to be hard bound for your committee.  Office Depot does the printing and sends the copies to a bookbindery for binding and forwarding to your committee.  When you appear in front of the committee to defend your dissertation you and they see white text on black pages.  And although neither the text nor meaning of your dissertation has changed, now it’s surely a lot more difficult to read than if the text had been printed in the traditional black on white pages.

Many who’ve read my think piece have asked me to elaborate about some of the sonic attributes and impacts of the two polarities on musicality beyond just the perception of increased detail.  But first it’s important to point out that the difficulty of discerning polarity varies from one recording to the next because of the variations of recording techniques and the acoustics of the recording venue that may vary from multi-miked studio mixes (note microphone placement and reflected sound only results in phase differences at or between microphones but not their polarity) to live outdoor coincident single stereo microphone recordings in real-time and every possible venue in between.  Consequently, some of the attributes of polarity described below may not apply equally well to all recordings.  I believe that practice makes perfect when it comes to polarity discrimination… more practice more perfection.  I’ve found the better the playback system the more clearly it reproduces polarity differences.  Thus changes to your system that make polarity distinctions easier to hear probably mean you’ve made real improvements to your system’s fidelity and musicality.  And while I’m speculating, perhaps someday neural computing might be used to objectively discern the polarity of music with software that’s similar to voice print recognition software.  I think it would be interesting to compare MRI/FMRI/EEG scans/blood flow/electrical brain activity of people listening to the same samples of music in both polarities in order to see if there are any observable differences between listening to in polarity music and inverted polarity music.  And while were testing for polarity we might considering doing the same for people with good relative/perfect pitch discrimination.

The most important aspect of polarity is its effect on instrumental and vocal timbre, because when one knows the sound of unamplified instruments and voices they can use that as an infallible way to discern polarity even for those who are deaf in one ear.  That’s also true for monophonic recordings with no real depth but which still give the impression of depth for listeners with normal hearing as well as those with only one good ear.  If one doesn’t have the imprint of unamplified music in their head and heart, I don’t feel they really understand what better high fidelity means.  Listeners who know acoustic timbre well can almost always determine polarity in 5 to 15 seconds without comparing both polarities even on systems of first impression such as those at the Consumer Electronic Show.  There’s one explanation that’s frequently given by would-be experts of how absolute polarity sounds compared to inverted polarity  that completely misses the mark.  They ask one to compare the sound of saying a word like “punch” as one normally might on an exhale to saying the same word “punch” while trying to inhale.  Try it for yourself, and it will be immediately obvious that if that was the sonic difference between music played in absolute polarity compared to music played in inverted polarity, there wouldn’t be any argument about which playback polarity of music was correct.

A good system gives strong spatial cues with live recordings and a listener can learn to reliably judge polarity from just the sound of applause.  Good audio systems usually have a much greater soundstage depth, better delineation of instruments and voices with a more holographic presentation when live recordings are played in polarity rather than inverted polarity.  After both polarities of a live recording are heard on a great system the polarity that recovers the most spatial information is an almost infallible indicator of which polarity is correct.  But trying to use the soundstage depth as a reliable cue on first listening to a great audio system may be difficult because better audio systems give a greater impression of the depth and holographic imaging effects even when they’re playing in inverted polarity.  Higher fidelity audio systems will also give pace and rhythm cues that may be almost as reliable for polarity determination as its spatial cues.  Of course, the increased dynamics, better inter-transient silence, higher emotional intensity, generally smoother, and more natural flow of the music of in polarity versus inverted polarity music is also more apparent on better systems when they are playing in polarity versus playing in inverted polarity.  Some listeners say that playing music inverted diminishes its emotional impact like a “phoned in” performance, and that inverted playback is to in polarity playback, as a dress rehearsal is to the actual performance.

In sum, music heard in polarity will be less fatiguing and allow music-lovers to enjoy a closer emotional connection with music than when its polarity is inverted.  For what this all means, read 30 Years of Digital and the 92% Solution athttp://www.audiogeorge.com/30-years-of-digital-and-the-92-solution/.

*Second order Linkwitz-Riley crossover (LR-2) Second order Linkwitz-Riley crossovers (LR2) have a 12 dB/octave (40 dB/decade) slope.  They can be realized by cascading two one-pole filters, or using a Sallen Key filter topology with a Q0 value of 0.5.  There’s a 180° phase difference between the lowpass and highpass output of the filter, which can be corrected by inverting one signal.  In loudspeakers this is usually done by reversing the polarity of one driver if the crossover is passive.  For active crossovers inversion is usually done using a unity gain inverting op-amp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linkwitz-Riley_filter).

How to Play Most if not all Digital Media in Absolute Polarity

Updated Dated April 13, 2015 by The Polarity Project

You may use the list of some compact discs (CDs) below to set an audio system’s polarity to playback most compact discs in absolute polarity.  As stated above, if you know the polarity of any track on compact disc, all its other tracks will be in the same relative polarity except for possible compact discs that are compilations of tracks from more than one label or possibly test discs.

In my experience the major labels are more likely to have CDs of both polarities but they tend to be predominantly one polarity and the list includes some of the CDs that are not in a label’s usual polarity. When the relative polarity of all the tracks on a label’s CD sampler is the same, it’s usually indicative of the label’s polarity for all its discs, because the sampler is probably representative of many of the label’s offerings. It may appear that the polarity of some labels CDs is random, e.g., Verve is an example of an umbrella label that has sub-labels that may have different relative polarities but each sub-label’s CDs are usually the same relative polarity. Therefore, each sub-label is listed as if it’s a totally separate label. If the CD isn’t silver (aluminum), e.g., gold it will be noted.

I’ve heard other labels with reissued CDs that have the left and right channels reversed relative to the vinyl record.  Some stereo microphone and multi-microphone feed CD reissues have one or more feeds remixed into different channels.  I’ve never heard a reissued CD even on a different label than the original CD that has its polarity different from the original CD.

The polarity designations are as stated only if the majority of CD manufactures are making CDs in correct polarity (N), but if the opposite is true, then the polarity designations should be reversed (R) but the relative polarities of the listings won’t change.  Until it's known whether it’s the CDs that are being made inverted or the CD players that are being made inverted as described in 30 Years of Digital and the 92% Solution, we won’t know what the actual polarity of the media is but only that an N designated CD will play in polarity on approximately 92% of CD players and an R designated CD will inverted on approximately 92% of CD players.  You may read about how the 92% figure was determined at 30 Years of Digital and the 92% Solution.  You may determine if a CD player is one of the 92% that plays most CDs inverted, by playing CDs to hear which polarity which the vast majority playback in.  That assumes that you know that the rest the playback chain doesn’t invert polarity, but even you don’t know the net polarity of the rest of the system, at  least you’ll know how to play most CDs in absolute polarity.

Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” (W/S) recordings are a special case because at both live and recorded performances Phil Spector wanted the lead vocalists and instrumentalists to be in absolute polarity (N), spotlighted in bas relief against a 2-dimensional wall of sound he created by having everything else heard in inverted polarity (R).

I’ve discerned the polarity of thousands of CDs but don’t think it’s useful to list them all. I can only determine the polarity of CDs by listening. I tried to list specific CDs and CD labels that are of particular interest to music-loving audiophiles. Because as the Perfect Polarity Pundit in reality I’m not always perfect, the list is subject to revision, so please feel free to suggest corrections and additions.

I listen to CDs on a player with a volume control and remote control digital domain polarity switch connected directly to a non-inverting power amplifier over a minimum phase speaker system of my own design. I discern polarity by deciding which polarity sounds more like live music. For SACDs, DVDs, internet downloads, and vinyl records I add a preamplifier with a remote control polarity switch. And for vinyl records I use a linear tracking turntable with a strain gauge cartridge.  It also seems to me that some internet hi-res downloads are inverted.

For information on the sonic effects of polarity you may read A Speculation on Perception of Detail by clicking on the link: Polarity Think piece: A Speculation Regarding Perception of Detail.  Given the relatively high proportion of audiophile CD labels that are polarity inverted including those labels with non inverted vinyl record counterparts, one might speculate that a major reason for the preference that many music-loving audiophiles for the presentation and musicality of vinyl records is that they’re comparing them to inverted CDs.

Anyone who’s interested in a free listening session sharing some of their favorite music/my favorite music/using my CD player’s remote control polarity switch to hear polarity differences for themselves, please email:gslouis@gslouis.com or call 888-588-9542 toll free 7-days a week from 9AM to 11:45PM Pacific time and I’ll do my best to accommodate you. And you may email corrections or additions for “The List” to gslouis@gslouis.com.

Because approximately 92% of compact discs (CDs) play inverted on approximately 92% of compact disc players (CDPs) one can set the polarity of a playback system to be correct approximately 92% of the time.  There are several ways a system can playback in absolute polarity 100% of the time.  A digital domain polarity switch of a CDPs or DACs or CD transport are the highest fidelity ways to toggle the playback polarity of digital media.  The least convenient way to change a system’s polarity is probably is to reverse the hot and ground connections of all of a system’s speaker wires, either at the amplifier end of the wires or speaker end, but not both, because that would reverse the change of changing the wires’ connection at one end only.  I recommend you try both ways to find out which if either sounds best.  Changing a system’s playback polarity with a polarity switch on a preamplifier or on an integrated amplifier, or on an amplifier in the analog domain will also have the same basic effect.  If a component has a balanced XLR output, there are adaptors that will reverse polarity and if the rest of the system following the XLR output isn’t balanced there are also XLR to single ended adaptors that opens up the possibility of switching polarity to more systems. Whichever way polarity is changed, it’s way, way, way better fidelity wise and musically than inverted polarity playback. So far at least, the only way to discern polarity of music is by listening, but it’s really true that little bit of practice with media of known polarity makes perfect.

Absolute polarity playback is better musically than inverted polarity playback in just about every aspect.  But more specifically, absolute polarity playback relative to inverted polarity playback sounds, more purposeful, more rounded and convex rather than more hollowed out and concave, sounds fuller with more body, more organic/analog sounding, is less wooden/papery, less dry/more liquid, isn’t overly brittle, reedy, less hard/ragged/splashy/bright or overly detailed sounding, has more accurate timbre, is less congested, is more delineated/focused/holographic, has greater dynamics with better pace and rhythm, more virtual soundstage depth, and much better recovery of the ambience of the recording venue that facilitates the ability to suspend one’s belief that they aren’t experiencing a live performance.  The better the recording, regardless of the microphone technique, from mono, to stereo, or multi-microphones, the easier it will be to discern polarity.  The only exceptions are the Phil Spector “Wall-of-Sound” and “Reverse-Wall of Sound” recordings with artistic choices intentionally included mixed polarity, which allows listener’s to choose playback in the polarities intended or the opposite.  The higher fidelity a playback system is in all respects, especially the flatter its phase response and group delay, the easier it will be to discern polarity over that system.

The benefits to be gained by playing a CD in polarity to improve a system’s fidelity and musicality largely depends upon whether the system satisfies the criteria described below.  If the playback system doesn’t meet the criteria described below, it’s probably not worth taking the polarity of the system or media into account and you should probably ignore the entire issue of playback polarity altogether.  But if you’ve read this far and also read my monograph, Polarity Think Piece:  A Speculation Regarding Perception of Detail, you may feel that listening to music in absolute polarity in order to make the closest possible emotional connection to the music is important enough to make sure that your playback system meets the criteria set described below.

Regardless of which polarity the music is being played in, there are some necessary but not sufficient conditions that speakers or headphones must meet before changing polarity makes sense.  All headphone or speakers drivers must have their drivers move in the same direction for an electrical signal of a given polarity whose frequency is in the speaker’s passband which is just another way of saying that the speakers and headphones are at least minimally phase-coherent[polarity consistent (PC).  Single driver headphones and speakers are at least polarity consistent because there aren’t any other drivers for them to be out of phase with.  Systems with multiple drivers may be PC consistent if their crossovers are first order (6db/octave) or forth-order (24db/octave) crossovers or (n times 24 db/octave) that have all their drivers connected in the same electrical polarity.  But second-order, (12 db/octave) crossovers require that drivers in contiguous frequency ranges be connected in opposite electrical polarity and are therefore not PC.  The electrical polarity connection of drivers of other crossovers slopes in the analog (Gaussian domain) may or may not be PC depending upon the particular implementation.  And digital crossovers with or without DSP can be designed to be PC.  If a system’s speakers or headphones aren’t PC, the effect of absolute polarity or polarity switching changes is arbitrarily determined and inconsistent with the polarity of live music and recorded media because changing polarity 180 degrees only changes which drivers are in and out of polarity and which frequencies are in or out of polarity.  And of course there’s no correlation between non-PC polarity and the polarity of recorded or live music.  If I had non-PC headphones or speakers, I’d replace them in order to hear the benefits for fidelity and musicality of playback in absolute polarity.

You may use the  list of some compact discs (CDs) below to set an audio system’s polarity to playback most compact discs in absolute polarity.  As stated above, if you know the polarity of any track on compact disc, all its other tracks will be in the same relative polarity except for possible compact discs that are compilations of tracks from more than one label or possibly test discs.

Because approximately 92% of compact discs (CDs) play inverted on approximately 92% of compact disc players (CDPs) one can set the polarity of a playback system to be correct approximately 92% of the time.  There are several ways a system can playback in absolute polarity 100% of the time.  A digital domain polarity switch of a CDPs or DACs or CD transport are the highest fidelity ways to toggle the playback polarity of digital media.  The least convenient way to change a system’s polarity is probably is to reverse the hot and ground connections of all of a system’s speaker wires, either at the amplifier end of the wires or speaker end  (but not both, because that would reverse the change of changing the wires’ connection at one end only) as necessary to correct inverted playback.  Changing a system’s playback polarity with a polarity switch on a preamplifier or on an integrated amplifier, or on an amplifier in the analog domain will also have the same basic effect.  If a component has a balanced XLR output, there are adaptors that will reverse polarity and if the rest of the system following the XLR output isn’t balanced there are also XLR to single ended adaptors that opens up the possibility of switching polarity to more systems. Whichever way polarity is changed, it’s way, way, way better fidelity wise and musically than inverted polarity playback.

So far at least, the only way to discern polarity of music is by listening, but it’s really true that little bit of practice with media of known polarity makes perfect.  Absolute polarity playback is better musically than inverted polarity playback in just about every aspect.  But more specifically, absolute polarity playback relative to inverted polarity playback sounds more rounded and convex rather than more hollowed out and concave, sounds fuller, has more body,  isn’t overly brittle, reedy, bright or detailed sounding, has more accurate timbre, is less congested, is more delineated/focused/holographic, has greater dynamics with better pace and rhythm, more virtual soundstage depth, and much better recovery of the ambience of the recording venue that facilitates the ability to suspend one’s belief that they aren’t experiencing a live performance.  The better the recording, regardless of the microphone technique, from mono, to stereo, or multi-microphones, the easier it will be to discern polarity.  The only exceptions are the Phil Spector “Wall-of-Sound” and “Reverse-Wall of Sound” recordings with artistic choices intentionally included mixed polarity, which allows listener’s to choose playback in the polarities intended or the opposite.  The higher fidelity a playback system is in all respects, especially the flatter its phase response and group delay, the easier it will be to discern polarity over that system.

The benefits to be gained by playing a CD in polarity to improve a system’s fidelity and musicality largely depends upon whether the system satisfies the criteria described below.  If the playback system doesn’t meet the criteria described below, it’s probably not worth taking the polarity of the system or media into account and you should probably ignore the entire issue of playback polarity altogether.  But if you’ve read this far and also read my monograph, Polarity Think Piece: A Speculation Regarding Perception of Detail, you may feel that listening to music in absolute polarity in order to make the closest possible emotional connection to the music is important enough to make sure that your playback system meets the criteria set described below.

Regardless of which polarity the music is being played in, there are some necessary but not sufficient conditions that speakers or headphones must meet before changing polarity makes sense.  All headphone or speakers drivers must have their drivers move in the same direction for an electrical signal of a given polarity whose frequency is in the speaker’s passband which is just another way of saying that the speakers and headphones are at least minimally phase-coherent [polarity consistent PC)].  Single driver headphones and speakers are at least polarity consistent because there aren’t any other drivers for them to be out of phase with.  Systems with multiple drivers may be PC consistent if their crossovers are first order (6db/octave) or forth-order (24db/octave) crossovers or (n times 24 db/octave) that have all their drivers connected in the same electrical polarity.  But second-order, (12 db/octave) crossovers require that drivers in contiguous frequency ranges be connected in opposite electrical polarity and are therefore not PC.  The electrical polarity connection of drivers of other crossovers slopes in the analog (Gaussian domain) may or may not be PC depending upon the particular implementation.  And digital crossovers with or without DSP can be designed to be PC.  If a system’s speakers or headphones aren’t PC, the effect of absolute polarity or polarity switching changes is arbitrarily determined and inconsistent with the polarity of live music and recorded media because changing polarity 180 degrees only changes which drivers are in and out of polarity and which frequencies are in or out of polarity.  And of course there’s no correlation between non-PC polarity and the polarity of recorded or live music.  If I had non-PC headphones or speakers, I’d replace them in order to hear the benefits for fidelity and musicality of playback in absolute polarity.

Revised March 10, 2015

The Polarity List

When a CD is made in normal (absolute) polarity (N), a non-inverting playback system will play the CD such that its compressions and rarefactions are in sync with the live performance.  When a CD plays inverted, the compressions and rarefactions of a non-inverting playback system will be exactly out of sync with the live performance.

N = Normal Polarity for approximately 92% of CD players, R = Reversed Polarity for approximately 92% of CD players, BP = Both Polarity CDs, W/S = Wall of Sound, S/W = Reversed polarity Wall of Sound, MT = Tracks with different relative polarity, i.e., some and some R tracks, MP = Mixed polarity on one or more tracks. MN = Mostly Normal Polarity, MR = Mostly Inverted Polarity.  Usually reissue labels such as Mobile Fidelity don’t change the polarity of the original CDs so their polarities are dependent upon the polarity of the label of the original compact discs.  I only list the polarity of the CD layer on Hybrid SACDs, but I expect the SACD layer’s polarity is the same as its CD layer.  A “The” at the beginning of a label name will be omitted for the purpose of alphabetizing but shown in parenthesis after the label name, e.g., (The).  To save verbiage and for clarity, hereafter I’ll refer to approximately 92% of CD players or DACs that play all tracks on approximately 92% of CDs in inverted polarity as an N-player or N-DAC, and the approximately 8% of CD players or DACs that play all tracks on approximately 92% of CDs in polarity (absolute polarity) as an R-player or R-DAC, in order for the CD player polarity designations to agree with the CD polarity designations.  Because the actual polarity (as apposed to relative polarity) of analog components such as speakers, headphones, and electronic components with analog inputs can be determined their actual polarity will be designated as for non-inverting and R for inverting, i.e., the same plus underscoring.

  1. 9winds – Harkins Golis Turetzky  R
  2. ACCURATE – Jimmy Weinstein Group – Nostalgia  R
  3. ACOUSTIC MUSIC RESOURCE Solid Air Records  R
  4. Acoustic Zebra* – Beatle Jazz – A Bite Of The Apple  R
  5. Adcom CD players – GCD-575  R
  6. Adcom GCD 600, and GCD 700  N
  7. AirCraft Records – Round Sounds Vol. II  R
  8. Aiwa Noise Canceling HP-CN6 headphones – noise canceling turned off or on  N
  9. Allegretto Sampler Series – Manuel Barreco (etc.) – Spotlight on Guitar  R
  10. Aloi Records a Division of Linn Products - Carol Kidd "All My Tomorrows"  R
  11. AMBRUS DISCS& TAPES – Amadus – It’s Just Beginning  R
  12. American Recordings  R
  13. Amherst Records, Inc. - Live Jazz- Nancy Kelly  N
  14. Analogue Productions  R
  15. Analogue Productions – FI The Magazine of Music & Sound  R
  16. Antiles  R
  17. Archiv Produktion  R
  18. Ariola – Greenhouse Effect  Plan B  R
  19. ASTREE AUVIDIS  R
  20. ATCO RECORDS – Bobby Darin – This is Darin  R
  21. ATLANTIC JAZZ – Cyrus Chestnut – The Dark Before the Dawn – R
  22. AudioQuest – Robert Lucas – Layaway  R
  23. Audiostas ummy-Head-Recording (binaural)  R
  24. BEAST RETRO  Concert Friday the 13th Cook County Jail  R
  25. Behringer A500 amplifier single ended RCA input is invrting  Ri it's balanced XLR input is non-inverting  N
  26. Big Cat Records – Mary Coughlan – After the Fall  R
  27. BIS  
  28. BLACK LION – Cliff Jackson – Carolina Shout  R
  29. Blix Street Records  R
  30. Blue Note  N
  31. BLUE NOTE Music from EMI* – Patricia Barber – Live A Forthight in France  R
  32. BRC-JAM – Todd Coolman Trio – Tomorrows  R
  33. BROWNSTONE RECORDINGS – HARRY SKOLER – Conversations  In The Languate Of Jazz  R
  34. Burmester – Art for the Ear – Volume II & III  R
  35. Café RECORDS –Moro – Pieces of And A collection of Romantic Music for Cuitar  R
  36. CAMELEON/BEACHWOOD RECORDS – Laurence Juber – Solo Flight R
  37. Capri Records Ltd, NU – Drifting Timelessly  R
  38. Cascavelle – Duo De Harpes  R
  39. CBS  Records (Associated) Hubert Laws: The Rite of Spring  – R
  40. Cedille Records  R
  41. CEMA SPECIAL PRODUCTS – 10 BEST SERIES – Peggy Lee – Fever & Other Hits  R
  42. Chesky  R
  43. Clarity Recordings  R
  44. Collectables – Grassella Oliphant Quartette – The Grass Roots  R
  45. Columbia – Miles Davis – Kind of Blue  R
  46. COLUMBIA/DMZ/LEGACY – T Bone Burnett –Twenty Twenty The Essential T Bone Burnett (2 discs)  R
  47. Columiba  BP
  48. Concord Jazz  BP
  49. Concord Jazz Collectable Series  BP
  50. Curb RCA  R
  51. Delos  R
  52. Dennesen Phase Restoration Device PDR  R
  53. DENON – tact JAZZ SERIES – Toshiko Aniyoshi Quintet – Toshiko at Top of the Gate  N
  54. DENON PCM DIGITAL RECORDING – Beethoven symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op 36  R
  55. Departure  R
  56. Deutsche Gramophone  R
  57. DISCOVERY – Hal Schaefer – Solo Duo Trio  R
  58. Dmp Digital Music Productions, Inc.
  59. Dorian  R
  60. EAST WIND JASRAC – The L.A. Four – Going Home – R
  61. ECM – Ralph Towner – Works  R
  62. ECM NEW SERIES –Gyorgy Kurtag – Jatekok  R
  63. ECM Records GmbH  R
  64. Elektra - Nanci Griffith  NElektra - Nanci Griffith  N
  65. EMI Angel DIGITAL – Arron Copland  R
  66. EMI Classics  R
  67. Enja – Tete Montoliu – Songs for Love  R
  68. Epic –Poco- The Very Best of Poco  R
  69. Everest  R
  70. Excelsior JAZZ GOLD – Jazz Is  R
  71. Fantasy ORIGINAL Jazz CLASSICS – The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album  R
  72. Favored Nations ACOUSTIC – Tommy Emmanuel  R
  73. FIM K2 HD Mastering 100 KHz and 24-Bit Resolution! R
  74. Geffen  N
  75. Geffen -  Eagels – Hell Freezes Over  N
  76. Gema – Bowers & Willkins Audiophile Recordings For The Road  R
  77. GLOBAL PACIFIC RECORDS – David Friesen – Glossarium  A & M Records  R
  78. Gmp AMERICAN MUSIC HALL (THE) – The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets  R
  79. GRAMAVISION – R
  80. Grove
  81. Grp DIGITAL MASTER – PASTI AUSTIN – LIVE  R
  82. GSPJAZ Recordings  R
  83. Hallmark Music – Acoustic Evening  R
  84. HARMONIA MUNDI – 30TH ANNIVERSAIRE  R
  85. HI FI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW – HFB/NR TEST DISC II  R
  86. IMP CLASSICS – Marcelo Kayath -Guitar Classics from Spain  R
  87. Impulse!  N
  88. Inak MUSIC COMPANY – Dice of Dixieland Sideways  R
  89. INNERTUBE – The Surf Kings –Coming Up for Air  R
  90. INTUITION Records, Inc.  R
  91. JAZZ  HERITAGE            – CARMEN MCRAE: CARMEN SINGS MONK  R
  92. Jazz Focus  N 
  93. Justice Records Strike a Deep Chord Blue Gutars For the Homeless  N tracks 2-9, 1  R
  94. Justice Records Strike a Deep Chord Blue Guitars For the Homeless N tracks 2-9, 1  NJustice Records 93 and 94 above have the opposite relative polarity but have the same matrix numbers and catalog numbers which is something I'm trying to understand.
  95. JVC 20bit K2 SUPERCODING  Ernie Watts – The Long Road Home  R
  96. JVCJ-CD  R
  97. JVCxrcd  BP
  98. KnitClassics – KnitClassics Sampler  R
  99. KOCH SCHWANN – Bohmen & Mahren  R
  100. LASERLIGHT DIGITAL  R
  101. LIMELIGHT (JASRAC) – The Oscar Peterson Trio – Canadian Suite  R
  102. LINN RECORDS IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE hit label – Sstephane Grappelli –Martin Taylor – Reunion  R
  103. London  N
  104. M*A  R
  105. M*A Recordings – Bruce Stark, piano – Dream song  R
  106. MAD-KAT Records – Kitty Margolis – Live at The Jazz Workshop  R
  107. Mapleshade  N
  108. Mark Levinson – Red Rose Music-– Volume one  R
  109. Maxell Studio Series headphones  R
  110. MCA GRP – Rob Wasserman (etc.) – Trios  R
  111. MCA Zebra* – David Grisman Acousticity  R
  112. Mercury  Living Presence  R
  113. Mercury  R
  114. MHS Musical Herritage Society  N
  115. Milestone –The Kenny Drew, Jr. Trio – Winter Flower  R
  116. MOBILE FIDELITY MFSL (Polydor original  R) – Eric Clapton Slowhand  R
  117. MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING ULTRA DISC UHR GAIN 2 –(hybrid SACD) Patricia Baber – Café Blue  R
  118. MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB ULTRA DISC II (original Verve – R) – Getz/Gilberto  R
  119. MOBILE FIDELITY ULTRA DISC II SAMPLER – (multiple original CDs)  MP
  120. Mode 26 (Records)  R
  121. MOTOWN – Diana Ross – Lady Sings the Blues  R
  122. MSFL Original Master Recording – Jim Hall – Concierto  R
  123. Music from BMI*- BLUE NOTE – Patricia Barber – Live a Fortnight in France  R
  124. MuSick – Evan foster – Instrumentals  R
  125. N Coded Music  N
  126. Naim – Charlie Haden & John Taylor  R
  127. Nakamichi Bridiging Adaptor BA-100  N
  128. Narada  R
  129. Narada Collection Series  R
  130. Nature Recordings  R
  131. NAXOS  R
  132. NEC CD-730, CD-830D CD players  N
  133. NEW WORLD RECORDS  R
  134. Nimbus Records  English Stsring Orchestra – Mendelssohn Complete String symphonies  R
  135. Nonesuch  R
  136. Nonesuch – Mandy Patnkin – Oscar & Steve  R
  137. NOVUS (BMG RCA) – Marcus Roberts – The Truth s Spoken Here   R
  138. Oppo BDP-95 CD, DVD, SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray player  R
  139. Opus 3  R
  140. Opus 3 – Depth of Image Test Record 1  R
  141. Pablo  N
  142. Philips  R
  143. Philips digital Classics – Pepe romero – Noches de Espana  R
  144. PIERRE VERANY – Mamba Percussions  R
  145. POINT GEMA – Pasha – Christmas Music -  Christmas Carols  R
  146. Polydor – Dick Annegarn  R\
  147. Premonition Records – Patricia Barber – Café Blue (CD)  R
  148. Private Music- Leo Kottke – Regards From Chuck Pink  R
  149. Proprius  R
  150. Proprius – Jazz at the Pawnshop  R
  151. Proprius – Contate Domino  R
  152. PS Audio – DAC Link III  R
  153. PS Audio – PerfectWave DAC  N
  154. R ACCORD  Duke Ellington –  PLUS TIME 2 Great Concerts  R
  155. RCA RED SEAL – Charles Munch BSO – Debussy – La Mer  R
  156. RCA BEIM/GEMA Made in the EU Elvis Presley - Such a Night  N
  157. RCA BEIM/GEMA Made in the EU Elvis Presley - Such a Night  R 156 and 157 are in the opposite relative polarity, but their catalog and matrix numbers which I'm trying to understand.
  158. RCAVictor  R
  159. RCAVictor, The Chieftains – Tears of Stone  R
  160. RealTime Records – Real Hot Jazz  R
  161. Rearward/Schema  N
  162. Red House Records  R
  163. Reference Records  R
  164. Reprise  N
  165. Reprise – Joni Mitchell – Blue  N
  166. Rhino  R
  167. River North Records  N
  168. Rounder  R
  169. SANSTONE MUSIC – MEL TORME – THE LONDON SESSIONS  R
  170. Sheffield Labs  R
  171. SHILOH RECORDS – Greg Harris – Acoustic II  R
  172. SIRE – Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense  R
  173. Slow Baby Records – Barbara Higbie – I susrrender  R
  174. Solid Air  R
  175. Solid Air Records – Grove Masters  R
  176. Sony  R
  177. Sony -  CD player CD CDP-990  R
  178. Sony – Miles Davis – Kind of Blue  R
  179. Sony PlayStation 1 composite audio output  N
  180. Sony PlayStation 1 RCA Jacks  R
  181. SPECIAL MUSIC COMPANY (THE) – Ragtime Piano Favorites  R
  182. SteepleChase  R
  183. Stereophile R
  184. STUNT RECORDS –Marie Bergman – Fruit  R
  185. Telarc  N
  186. Telarc Digital  N
  187. Telarc Jazz  N           
  188. Telard jazz – Sam Pilafian & Frank vignola – Travlin Light  N
  189. THE Jazz Alliance – The L.A. Jazz Choir – From All Sides  R
  190. The World Ryko 360 AU 20 – Mickey Hart – Planet Drum  R
  191. The World Ryko 360 AU 20 (gold)  R
  192. Three Blind Mice  N
  193. Tomorrow International – Nathan Davis – I’m A Fool to Want You  R
  194. Transatlantic Records Ltd. – Pentangle Swee Child – This Compilation  R
  195. Triloka Records Living Proof Series – Richie Beirach – George Coleman – Convergence  N
  196. UAE MCPS – Memphis Slim  R
  197. UNIVERSAL MUSIC Special Markets – STARBUCKS COFFEE – Repertoire  R
  198. Usher  R
  199. Vanguard  R
  200. VANGUARD – Pete Seeger – Live At Newport  R
  201. Varse Sarabande  R
  202. Verve  R and mostly  N
  203. Verve Digital – Ahirley Horn – You Won’t Forget Me  R
  204. VOX ALLEGRETTO –The All Star Percussion Ensemble  R
  205. VSOP CONNOISSEUR COLLECTION – Hugh Masekela – Stimela  R
  206. WARNER BROS. – Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – Flight of The Cosmic Hippo  R
  207. Warner Bros. – Bela fleck & The Flecktones – Live Art (2 discs)  R
  208. WARNER BROS. Records, Inc (Phonogram Ltd.) – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold  R
  209. Water Lily Acoustics – Strunz & Farah – Misterio  R
  210. WCJ Warner Classic Jazz –The Puccini Experience  R
  211. WIENERWORLD RECORDS – The Music of Red Shoe Diaries  R
  212. Wilson Audio (Wilson Audiophile Definitive Recording) – James Welch Organist – Concert And Recital  R
  213. WIN What’s in a Name Recodings – Louis Scherr etc. – Warm Valley  R
  214. Windham Hill  R
  215. Windham Hill Collection (A)  R
  216. Zebra Acoustic* - Beatle Jazz – A Bite Of The Apple  R
  217. Zebra MCA* – David Grisman Acousticity  R

 Disclaimer:  The ideas expressed on this website are the opinions of the author and therefore their value and truth should be determined by the readers for themselves.

Perfect Polarity Pundit™ Chief Polarity Buster of the Polarity Police™

George S. Louis, Esq, CEO, Digital Systems & Solutions, President San Diego Audio Society (SDAS), Phone: 619-401-9876, 888-588-9542 toll free, Email:  AudioGeorge@Audio George.com, Website:  http://www.audiogeorge.com

Copyright © 2014 George S. Louis