HQCD (High Quality CD) is a new CD formulation developed by Toshiba EMI as an answer to the JVC/Universal's SHM-CD. Similarly to the SHM-CD, the HQCD uses the same higher quality polycarbonate material developed for LCD panels, which offers better pressing quality and greater transparency. In addition, the HQCD uses a specially formulated amalgam -- which offers better reflectivity than alumunum -- in its reflective layer.
The combined effects are more precise, more faithful reproduction of the glass master in the pressing stage and reduced reading errors in playback. Toshiba EMI claims that these improvements lead to higher perceived sound pressure levels, a better frequency balance, higher resolution and wider and deeper soundstage.
The Toshiba EMI group and other labels have begun releasing their catalogs on HQCD, and as we have experienced with the SHM-CD, we can clearly hear the difference! Look for more HQCD releases in these pages in the near future.