The Tacet Thread (Reviews/Latest News & Releases/General Discussion)

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fredblue

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blue.monk

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Hi folks. I’d welcome some opinions on the titles below from those who own them. Also, I notice that many Tacet titles are available in multiple formats (Blu-ray, DVD-A and/or SACD). Beyond personal preference have you found any advantage in one format over another regarding content? Thanks in advance!

Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos
Maurice Ravel: La Valse, Ma mere l'Oye, Tzigane, Bolero, Pavane
Beethoven Symphonies No. 7 & 8 - Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Auryn Series 16: Brahms String Quartets
 

dr. simple

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I'm not a classical music aficionado, but I own several Tacet surround discs, including the DVDA of Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos and the SACD of Beethoven's 7th & 8th Symphonies. I won't comment on the performance of these pieces because I'm not an expert, but I will say that I enjoy them both very much. An expert might say, "They took that passage too quickly...", but I'm not that guy.

As far as surround presentation of classical music goes, if you want something beyond the "instruments in the front, ambience in the back" aesthetic of most classical surround recordings, you simply cannot go wrong with Tacet recordings. That being said, you won't get the level of "discreteness" that you get from, for example, the L.A.G.Q.; these are ensemble recordings, so there is ALWAYS bleed from other channels. So you can shove your face in front of the right rear speaker, for example, and hear a lot of what's going on in the front speakers, but when that trumpet comes in it's gonna blow your head off. It is a lot like - well, pretty much exactly like, I would imagine - standing in the middle of the room when the recordings were made.

After seeing blue.monk's request for opinions, I revisited the two aforementioned discs before writing this post. Specifically, I listened to the 2nd Brandenburg concerto and Beethoven's 7th symphony. If I am critical, regarding the 2nd Brandenburg, I will say that at times the piccolo trumpets in the right rear are a little harsh, and the oboes in the left rear are a little harsh. That being said, as a surround fan, sometimes something overwhelming in the rears is better than something underwhelming (i.e., ambience).

All that being said, nothing describes these discs better, in my opinion, than the first two pages of liner notes, which I've posted below:
Brandenburg.jpg
Beeethoven_7-8.jpg

Personally, I like the fact that Tacet uses the six Brandenburg concertos as demos of different surround arrangements. This alone is a pretty cool feature!

Let me finish by saying that I don't have a preference for DVDA, vs. SACD, vs. Bluray. If I had to choose, I'd choose Bluray because it appears to have a more promising future. The fact that I have the DVDA of the Brandenburg concertos and the SACD of Beethoven's 7th & 8th has more to do with the deal I found on eBay rather than a preference for one format over another.

Okay, one more thing: I'm not a wealthy person by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't have expensive gear, but these discs make my listening room sound like I'm the richest man alive. :)
 

blue.monk

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Thanks very much for the detailed reply & liner notes, dr. simple! I'm very intrigued by their novel approach to classical recording/mixing and will definitely pick up a few discs.
 

dr. simple

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Thanks very much for the detailed reply & liner notes, dr. simple! I'm very intrigued by their novel approach to classical recording/mixing and will definitely pick up a few discs.
I may be wrong, but I think if you pick one up, the first thing you'll think is, "How am I going to afford all the others I want?" Enjoy!
 

blue.monk

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I just listened to my first Tacet title (Maurice Ravel: La Valse, Ma mere l'Oye, Tzigane, Bolero, Pavane) and am quite impressed. The surround presentation is wonderful and musically very well designed - never gimmicky or distracting. Fidelity and performances are also stellar.

More titles on order!
 

Lute

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I just got TACET's piano version Mussourgsky's Pictures & Ravel's Miroirs performed by Markus Schirmer. Another outstanding release from TACET.

And...
Beethoven Symphonies No. 7 & 8 - Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Auryn Series 16: Brahms String Quartets

are both highly recommended as well!
 

blue.monk

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OK, now on to the Bach Brandenburgs. Delightful stuff but I discovered a channel assignment flaw. The 1st Concerto is staged in "normal" positioning with ambient rears (see liner notes in dr. simple's post above). However, for the blu-ray, right front and right rear are reversed so I'm getting orchestra in back and ambience in front on that side. 2nd Concerto's channels are correct (I've not listened to the others yet).

Doc - would you mind checking the 1st Concerto on your DVD-A to see if the flaw exists on that format as well?

Also, interestingly, this disc is (thus far) in quad, which seems to be a fine choice given the material.
 

dr. simple

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Doc - would you mind checking the 1st Concerto on your DVD-A to see if the flaw exists on that format as well?

Also, interestingly, this disc is (thus far) in quad, which seems to be a fine choice given the material.
I just listened, and for the 1st Concerto the channel assignments are as shown in the booklet, with ambience in the rears. That being said, there's quite a LOT of ambience, which is pretty sweet. In the second movement it was sometimes hard to tell where some certain instruments were coming from. For a moment I thought I could turn it down so it didn't fill the room as much, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that!

I had forgotten that it was quad.

It's too bad they made a mistake like that when authoring the bluray. In my experience, I have found them to be of the highest standards, but I guess everyone makes mistakes.

Thanks for asking me to do this, because now my room is filled with glorious baroque music. Just great!!!
 

blue.monk

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I just listened, and for the 1st Concerto the channel assignments are as shown in the booklet, with ambience in the rears.
Ah, thanks for that. I'll swap out the blu-ray for the DVD and let Tacet know about the flaw.

Thanks for asking me to do this, because now my room is filled with glorious baroque music. Just great!!!
Indeed! :)
 

blue.monk

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I’ve now picked up seven of these discs and find them excellent overall with strong performances, mixes and fidelity. Here are some thoughts on the titles I’ve spent the most time with to this point, including some minor quibbles.

Bach Brandenburg Concertos: I posted earlier that the blu-ray had a channel assignment flaw. I swapped it out for the DVD and, as Dr. Simple confirmed, it is correct. (I sent a note to Tacet on the issue but did not receive a reply.) Like many of the titles it has a nifty autoplay feature. No screen menu required. Each of the six concertos has different instrumentation and therefore six different surround configurations. Apart from the first one they all work brilliantly with clear and effective separation - beautifully immersive. The odd man out is the first concerto which employs an ‘in-the-hall’ ambient rears approach. This is fine except that the effect is somewhat heavy handed to my tastes and can be a bit distracting. Also it sounds like they’ve opted for period horns for this concerto which have rather wonky intonation (equal temperament wise).

Beethoven String Quartets Vol 2: Wonderful!! These contain the three Razumovski and ‘Harp’ quartets. Each instrument has its own channel and the effect is gorgeous and intimate. The Auryn Quartet do a superb job with the material. At 2 hours 20 minutes this disc is already a bargain but also included is the entire program repeated in ’Moving Surround’. I applaud the effort but these mixes don’t work for me. It’s fine when the effects are subtle but it becomes far too distracting when too aggressive. For instance, they may place all four instruments in the center channel for a dramatic chord then disperse them for the subsequent phrase. The problem with this is the ambient instrument decay is abruptly cut off as the instruments are panned. It sounds artificial and takes me out of the music. So I am more than happy sticking with the ‘Real Surround’ versions. I’ve already ordered 2 more in the series.

Beethoven Symphonies nos. 3 through 8 (three separate discs): These are nicely immersive as well but perhaps not quite as successful as the mixes for the smaller ensembles. I’ve no issue with the instrument placement but they’ve decided to include plenty of the ‘hall’ on these discs. This is certainly a valid choice but often the elements seem too distant (particularly the woodwinds) and lost are some of the subtleties of the various instruments’ articulation. I would have preferred a ‘dryer’ approach as found on some of my favorite recordings of these works. Performances are very good although I prefer a brighter tempo on a few of the scherzi and finale movements. My personal niggles aside, it’s a treat having these works in true surround and would definitely recommend them.

Lastly I’ll say that I often think how lucky we are to be able to revisit these and other great classical works again and again with the push of a button. Whereas an individual in the 19th century would, at best, be able to attend only a handful of performances in their lifetime. Remarkable times we live in.
 

Franklin

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Thanks particularly for the info about the Brandenburgs and the issue with the BD.
 

Grendel13G

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Hi everyone,

It looks like Tacet has finally released Beethoven's 9th Symphony in surround! :bounce

You can get the 9th Symphony alone on SACD (link to Tacet), or all the Beethoven symphonies on a 3-disc Blu Ray set (link to Tacet).

After May 16, 2016, JPC also has the SACD (here) and the Blu Ray set (here). For those of us in the States, I assume these will make their way to Amazon eventually, right? Any other recommendations for getting these in the U.S. without throwing money away on shipping/currency conversion?

Cheers! :brew
 

privateuniverse

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Ooooh....that sounds intriguing. I only have one Tacet disc so far (Bach's Brandenburg Concertos) but I really enjoy it. I may have to splurge on this, although it's starting to become a very expensive year!
 

oxenholme

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Great. No. 9 SACD pre-ordered from JPC. Soon it will be wending its way to join the other eight.
 

Lute

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Outstanding news!

Thanks so much for the heads up! I've been waiting for this one.
 

4-earredwonder

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Outstanding news!

Thanks so much for the heads up! I've been waiting for this one.
If I can get a reasonable price on the TACET 3 BD~A set of the Beethoven Symphonies I will definitely get that one. AFAIK, they were all recorded PCM so it would dispense with the DSD conversion to SACD. And the few TACET BD~As I do have in my collection sound EXQUISITE!
 

wolfram

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I just ordered my copy of the 9th and should have it in a couple of days. Man, I've been waiting years for this moment. The 9th is my favourite piece of music ever and I can't wait to finally hear it in REAL surround. :banana:

I might have my family give me the Blu-ray set for my birthday. I would have them all twice then (since I have all the SACDs), but I would like to be able to rip it to my NAS and stream it to my Oppo.
 
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