Following the SHM-CD
by JVC/Universal and HQCD
by Toshiba EMI, Sony has joined the competition for the next-generation, higher-quality CD formulation with its Blu-spec CD
. Sony applies new technologies and materials developed for Blu-ray Discs to improve the sound of the Red Book CD.
More specifically, it uses the Blue Laser Diode Cutting technology, which utilizes optimized optical fibers and blue laser to improve the quality of laser beam used to cut the CD master. The new technology allows for a more precise cutting at the micro-level. The second factor is the new high-polymer polycarbonate material which enables a very precise transfer of bits from the stamper to the CD.
In 2012, Sony introduced an improved version of Blu-spec CD called Blu-spec CD2 (BSCD2). In addition to the basic features of the original Blu-spec CD, it incorporates all of the technologies developed by Sony to press Blu-ray discs; namely a special cutting method called Phase Transition Mastering, the use of silicone wafer instead of glass as the master disc, a change of the recording layer from photo resist to metal oxide resist, the use of super-high precision cutting machines, and stampers made directly from the master disc.
The cumulative effects of these innovations are reductions in reading errors and jitter, which translates to human ears as more open, vivid, and realistic sound that is closer to the quality of master tapes. With Blu-spec CD2, Sony claims that the amount of jitter is 50% lower than the regular CD. And, as with SHM-CD and HQCD, Blu-spec CD is 100% compatible with normal CD players.