Hong Kong based Top Music International has released a system break-in disc for Super Audio CD player and system owners. Entitled Break In: One Step Ahead To Top Performance!, the disc features 8 tracks that are designed to break in your components, speakers and system.
As with earlier Top Music International SACD releases, this one is underwritten by an audio company. In this case it is American Acoustic Development (AAD) which uses the Break In disc booklet to tell you about the Break In album but also to promote their line of AAD speakers for the home audio, professional recording and car audio market in 20 countries – both under the AAD name and under other speaker brand names via OEM agreements.
The Need For An SACD Break In Disc
In the album’s liner notes, Top Music makes the case for the disc. They ask “Are you feeling tired of those audiophile test CDs? Can you stand an ancient strings trio for longer than 5 minutes, despite their incredible recording? Are you searching for an SACD which can seriously break in your Hi-Fi System?
Well, just put this into your SACD player, press PLAY and turn the volume knob clockwise. If your Hi-Fi system sleeps every day, playing this disc will awaken it again & put it into severe survival mode. Since it is mainly synthetic music it should be nonsense to search for soundstage and musicality. What characterizes this album is: explosive dynamics, transient response and bass range articulation, speed and extension. It is one of the best things around to test your Hi-Fi components, from amplifiers to loudspeakers: your amplification system will be busy trying to deliver sufficient current to keep track of the explosive dynamics while your speakers will do the best they can to give you an idea of a thunderous bass range.
Speaking of the album’s “explosive dynamics”, the liner notes also contain a warning notice, similar to the ones found on the early Telarc Sound Effects discs. This one says “Warning: Especially if you have a low-powered amp and tiny loudspeaker (and woofers) pay attention to the volume level: amp clipping and broken woofers are a possibility. You’ve been warned! (We’ll leave it to you to decide how loud to play this SACD as you use it to break in your SACD player, system and components.)
An SACD Only Break In Disc
Unlike previous break in discs that were issued in CD disc form, this one is a Super Audio CD. It comes in a hard cover album case similar to some of the early Sony Music Japan SACD releases.
To emphasize its use on SACD players, the disc itself is a Single Layer Stereo Super Audio CD which is playable only on SACD players. This is noted on the cover of the album with a new “Pure SACD Series: Exclusively for SACD Players” logo. An interesting comment since Break In is Top Music’s 22nd SACD release and the only one that is a Single Layer Stereo SACD (playable only on SACD players) rather than a Hybrid Layer Stereo SACD (playable on both SACD and CD players). (We’ll watch for more of the “Pure SACD Series” titles from Top Music in the months ahead).
1. Anasazi Stardance
2. Moonrise at Bell Rock
3. Vortex Ceremony
4. Plelades Rising
5. Desert Night Riders
6. Keepers of the Tradition
7. Sacred Lands
8. Twilight Between Two Worlds
The Original Album and SACD Credits
If you’re wondering where the music on the Break In disc comes from, it’s an album from the by the Ancient Brotherhood entitled “Where The Earth Touches The Stars” on the Astro Music label.
It features A. Brent Chase on Native American flutes and Gerald Jay Markoe on Percussion and Synthesizers. Astro Music says “This music evokes the magic and mystery of stars on a clear night in the desert. Recorded in Sedona, Arizona’s vortex energy field. Native American flutist A. Brent Chase plays with celestial musician Gerald Jay Markoe to create music grounded in the earth yet connected to the stars. Rhythmic, meditative music with soft drumming rhythms perfect for yoga, massage, Tai Chi, bodywork and relaxation.”
Break In was remastered for SACD by Povee Chan on the SADIE DSD-8 Series 5 DSD Mastering Workstation. His mastering setup included AAD HMM-8 speakers (which are shown on the album cover) and the Isoclean Power Conditioning System. The Single Layer Stereo SACD was made by Sony DADC on their SACD production line in Japan.
As with earlier Top Music releases (see linked stories below), the new Break In SACD is available in music stores throughout Hong Kong. It is also available in the U.S. through several web sites that carry SACD and Audiophile albums including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc and Audiophile Resource.