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post #91 of 135 Old 01-01-2014, 02:26 PM
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back from the dead ....
quality varies as has been said...
probably cheaper than the sacd and certainly easier to find these days
only place for dinosaur rock
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post #92 of 135 Old 01-03-2014, 01:02 PM
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I've ripped some of my favorite cds to (with Media Monkey) flac and I've also downloaded a couple of HD Tracks' albums. The HD Tracks albums, The Stones' "Between The Buttons" and Fleetwood Mac's "Tango In The Night" sounded significantly better than any of the cds I've ripped. I'm guessing that your mileage will vary. Don't forget that the recording quality of the older albums varies quite a bit and you just can't make a silk purse out of a pig ear.

"Tango In The Night" sounded so much better though, it must have been (at least) remixed. I haven't been able to find much information on the history of these older recordings. I'm think that a lot of the original cds from the 80s and 90s were mixed very poorly so anything remixed or remastered in the past 10 years is going to sound better than a cd that's 15+ years old.
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post #93 of 135 Old 01-10-2014, 12:43 PM
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Skipping issues with Tea for the Tillerman, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Glad Rag Doll

Has anybody purchased these albums and if so do you have any issues.

Below is the email I sent to HDtracks. Initially, kind of got the brush off, as obviously someone did not think to read my issues right thru. After a second reply, they resent the 3 albums . i deleted the original and proceeded to download again. No issues with the 2nd download. But the issues are still there. Affecting different tracks slightly. The sound itself is great and compares to the other hi-def records I own, however, there is definite skips type of issues. The same skips occur at the same spot no matter how many times i play them. The Diana Krall is the worst by far with issues on most tracks. These are my first purchases with the upgraded HD-Downloader.

Music is on a Mac supported WD drive. The only thing on the mini is OSX Mt Lion and Amarra Hi-Fi (on SSD). Hard wired with cat6 for internet.

HDtracks response to my third inquiry after the second install was to contact Amarra. I would think that if it was an Amarra issue, it would affect my other albums. Why only these 3? and not the sampler that was picked up at the same time with the same hook up etc. All my other ripped music at 44.1, 48, 96 an 192 plays fine.

Any suggestions are most welcome, as I'm totally frustrated.
Thank you.

"Hello,
I purchased the attached as well as the 2013 Sampler. On initial download it failed, but I succeeded the following day.
Now that the holidays are over, I got to actually sit down and listen. The sampler comes out perfect with no issues. On this order however I have quite a few hiccups. Part of the music goes missing for a partial second. It almost sounds like a skip. This is repeatable every time I played it.
This happens on the following albums:

Tea For the Tillerman
#4 Sad Lisa - an additional note at the end of the song
#9 On the road to find out - 3:40 to 3:50 - skips + extra note at end
# 10 Father & Son -there is voice saying "welcome" near the end that does not belong in this song
#11 - when song 10 was complete, it did not move to 11. If 11 was selected, than it would play.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
#1 Funeral for a friend - and additional note at the end
# 5 - Song has no title - 1:07 sounds like Diana Krall voice for a split second
#11 - plays fine, but a loud beep sound at the end

Diana Krall - Glad Rag Doll
ONLY songs # 12, 14 & 15 play without any issues.
There are considerable skips especially on the first half of the album. With multiple issues within the same song.

I have double checked my equipment and went back and played every high def song I have to make sure there are no universal issues. Your 2013 Sampler, Audiogon 2012 Sampler, Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac and War which I purchased from you previously all work perfectly.

Any ideas on what's going on or how I can fix this will be greatly appreciated. "
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post #94 of 135 Old 01-11-2014, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubegem View Post

Skipping issues with Tea for the Tillerman, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Glad Rag Doll

Has anybody purchased these albums and if so do you have any issues.

"

I have both goodbye yellow brick road and tea for the tillerman and have NO problems with either
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post #95 of 135 Old 01-13-2014, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wrat View Post

I have both goodbye yellow brick road and tea for the tillerman and have NO problems with either

Tea For the Tillermam; no issues....
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post #96 of 135 Old 01-18-2014, 04:50 PM
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If I really really care about hi-fi, I will spend a paycheck and get a nice turntable and put some of my records on.

I just came across Mastered For iTunes Black Sabbath albums that are supposed to sound better than the currently-available CD's. Wonder if those masters will go on HDTracks at all.

A crappy master is going to sound crappy regardless of format.




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Originally Posted by hdcase View Post

I've ripped some of my favorite cds to (with Media Monkey) flac and I've also downloaded a couple of HD Tracks' albums. The HD Tracks albums, The Stones' "Between The Buttons" and Fleetwood Mac's "Tango In The Night" sounded significantly better than any of the cds I've ripped. I'm guessing that your mileage will vary. Don't forget that the recording quality of the older albums varies quite a bit and you just can't make a silk purse out of a pig ear.

"Tango In The Night" sounded so much better though, it must have been (at least) remixed. I haven't been able to find much information on the history of these older recordings. I'm think that a lot of the original cds from the 80s and 90s were mixed very poorly so anything remixed or remastered in the past 10 years is going to sound better than a cd that's 15+ years old.


Placebo effect is not to be underestimated. Plus you have to wonder if what you're hearing is all coming from the same master.
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post #97 of 135 Old 01-18-2014, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post


A crappy master is going to sound crappy regardless of format

This statement times a million. It can't be overstated. I'd take a well mastered album on CD than a poorly mastered (or from a low generation master tape that I suspect those SHM-SACD's are mastered from) album on HD Tracks, or SACD, any day of the week.
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post #98 of 135 Old 01-18-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hdcase View Post

I'm think that a lot of the original cds from the 80s and 90s were mixed very poorly

I would say it's a case-by-case basis whether an album was remixed for cd to begin with. Not every one has been.
Quote:
so anything remixed or remastered in the past 10 years is going to sound better than a cd that's 15+ years old.

What evidence do you have of this? Are you also aware of the (sad) recent trend of the overuse of compression on music?
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post #99 of 135 Old 01-18-2014, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
so anything remixed or remastered in the past 10 years is going to sound better than a cd that's 15+ years old.




I would have to VERY much disagree with you. In fact, I'm finding a lot of remasters done in the last ten years that sound worse than a remaster done before that, or the original release.

Then again, hey, whatever. All that should matter is you get enjoyment out of your music. There's the whole "holier than thou" crowd out there who can't get enjoyment out of anything but vinyl too.
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post #100 of 135 Old 05-09-2014, 07:46 AM
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Myself I don't buy from HD tracks because for some reason the quality just isn't there..I have a well above average 5.1 system and I can always tell when a song is playing that was from HD tracks because the volume takes a 30% drop and I'm always have to up the volume for there songs plus another reason they don't deal with surround sound and that's a big deal for me. people say there is hardly a difference between 2.0 and 5.1 maybe if your listening from a cheap system just try going to a stereo shop and sample some above average 5.1 and you'll see for yourself......back to the subject HD Tracks blows
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post #101 of 135 Old 05-09-2014, 02:56 PM
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I have some HDTracks albums that I like, some are only OK.
J River 19 can run DR ratings. I have found that when the DR ratings are the same between the CD and HDTracks version, the sounds was essentially the same.

It would be nice if HDTracks posted DR ratings. That takes minutes.
I wont go near Concord Music since they sell many downloads with prices that increase with the bit-rate. I doubt they are from a different masters.
This is the definition of a rip-off.

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post #102 of 135 Old 05-10-2014, 05:01 AM
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Well, HDTracks should allow user reviews so that people don't get burned. I realize it's not HDTracks supplying the downloads, but HDTracks should stand behind the product they're selling.
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post #103 of 135 Old 05-10-2014, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post

Well, HDTracks should allow user reviews so that people don't get burned. I realize it's not HDTracks supplying the downloads, but HDTracks should stand behind the product they're selling.

Totally agree. I've been told (by a recording engineer who supplies product/downloads to HDTracks) that while they verify submissions were sourced at the advertised bit rate (e.g. simple analysis reveals it was not something up-converted), the result is still only as good as the actual mastering process (as had been said many times before). Also, while the same release may have two different bit rates available (e.g. 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz), that doesn't necessarily mean they were from the same master, which makes something like a review even more important.
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post #104 of 135 Old 05-10-2014, 09:39 AM
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"Croz" by David Crosby was my first HD Tracks purchase. I use JRiver on my PC connected to an Oppo 105, it sounds incredible. CTA by Chicago was next, pretty good but not in the same league. They should let you ple 30 seconds of tracks to check sq before you purchase.

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post #105 of 135 Old 05-10-2014, 11:48 AM
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But I think that they are starting to clean up their game. This favorite of mine was original recorded in 176/ 24 and that is also the highest bit rate they a selling not 192/24.



http://www.hdtracks.com/there-s-a-time?format=AIFF
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post #106 of 135 Old 05-15-2014, 08:27 PM
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I will only go there if they are selling a better or different mastering that I want. Otherwise I don't see any benefit to it over buying it on a record or a CD.
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post #107 of 135 Old 05-15-2014, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post

I will only go there if they are selling a better or different mastering that I want. Otherwise I don't see any benefit to it over buying it on a record or a CD.

That makes sense. I buy the CD in most cases and rip it which is cheaper.

How can you know if HDTracks has a different master?

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post #108 of 135 Old 05-16-2014, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB

That makes sense. I buy the CD in most cases and rip it which is cheaper.

How can you know if HDTracks has a different master?

- Rich
A quick Google search will usually turn up a thread on Steve Hoffman forums or Computer Audiophile going into more depth on the quality. Typically the 'best' version of an album is going to be one of the audiophile remasters like Mobile Fidelity, Audio Fidelity, DCC, Analogue Productions, SHM (not an audiophile label but typically is mastered well) or Sony Mastersound. I'd rather pay the same price that a 24-bit download costs and get the audiophile disc instead.

Last edited by hogger129; 05-06-2015 at 10:58 AM.
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post #109 of 135 Old 05-06-2015, 08:47 AM
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Just bought some of the Tom Petty remasters. These are bonafide 24/96 resampling from the original tapes. Big thumbs up for "Full Moon Fever". Its much more unhyped and natural sounding than my 1993 Gretest Hits CD (unfortunately you have to buy full albums ie no Greatest Hits package)


New Paul Simon remasters have a similar treatment, but aside from a few fabulous hits, its a little too sleepy for me, so I'm not excited enough to buy full albums.


Note that they promote this information like its a special case. So I remain skeptical until I hear otherwise.

Runnin Down a Dream!

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post #110 of 135 Old 05-06-2015, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff_free69 View Post
Just bought some of the Tom Petty remasters. These are bonafide 24/96 resampling from the original tapes. Big thumbs up for "Full Moon Fever". Its much more unhyped and natural sounding than my 1993 Gretest Hits CD (unfortunately you have to buy full albums ie no Greatest Hits package)


New Paul Simon remasters have a similar treatment, but aside from a few fabulous hits, its a little too sleepy for me, so I'm not excited enough to buy full albums.


Note that they promote this information like its a special case. So I remain skeptical until I hear otherwise.

Runnin Down a Dream!
Are you sure? I have that 1993 Greatest Hits disc and a few others from around that time and they sound pretty good to my ears.
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post #111 of 135 Old 06-18-2015, 10:56 AM
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Are you sure? I have that 1993 Greatest Hits disc and a few others from around that time and they sound pretty good to my ears.
Quite sure, since I did A-B testing in a dedicated listening room. I was fine with the CD (though I hadn't listened to it much this millennium), but in direct comparison it was not as good, imho.


OTOH - Talking Heads / Remain in Light was a bit of a disappointment. The hi-res version sounded very processed. In this case I also compared it to the original vinyl. When it was later released on CD, that was horribly thin, weak and worthless. I was hoping the hi res would be more like the vinyl, minus the snap crackle and pops. It was very modern and punchy, which some may like, but just not authentic. So not bad , but not nirvana.

Interesting note - at least one of the mixes was actually different from the vinyl.
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post #112 of 135 Old 06-18-2015, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watsy1958 View Post
Myself I don't buy from HD tracks because for some reason the quality just isn't there..I have a well above average 5.1 system and I can always tell when a song is playing that was from HD tracks because the volume takes a 30% drop and I'm always have to up the volume for there songs plus another reason they don't deal with surround sound and that's a big deal for me. people say there is hardly a difference between 2.0 and 5.1 maybe if your listening from a cheap system just try going to a stereo shop and sample some above average 5.1 and you'll see for yourself......back to the subject HD Tracks blows
There are two things you may not be aware of.

1) Many CD and 'hi-def' remixes of old material have been made unnaturally loud, in order to compete with the way CDs and standard-quality music downloads have been mastered to play unnaturally loud (the infamous "Loudness Wars"). Just because one version is louder than another, doesn't make the louder version better.

2) Quality is not the same as quantity. There are surround mixes of music albums that sound absolutely unnatural and weird, with the drums behind you, voices in your head (or in your lap), other instruments up front, to one side, wherever. I much prefer the approximation of 'concert hall' perspective really good stereo can give you. The band (or orchestra) is up there on the stage in front of you, while you're in the audience listening. That's a very natural thing. Just because one mix has five channels and a separate bass frequency feed, doesn't mean it's necessarily better than a two channel (stereo) mix.

The better sounding (lower distortion, better balanced, clearer, more 'musical' sounding) mix should win, even if it's 'only' stereo and it's not as loud as the other one.

--
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post #113 of 135 Old 11-29-2015, 11:29 AM
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I just do not see the point in paying $18-25 for an album at a resolution where nobody can hear the difference to the CD which costs half the price most times. High-resolution PCM and DSD formats are necessary for mastering, not listening.
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post #114 of 135 Old 12-04-2015, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit1 View Post
I also wanted to buy a track from HDTracks and they told me they only offer full album purchase, which is a joke<br>
I wanted to try certain tracks from albums that I was familiar with<br><br>
has anyone bought a single song from there lately?
I agree. I almost never find a single track that I want.
We've been through this before.
They were selling single songs for 99 cents.
Now they're back to trying to sell albums.
(See definition of insanity)
PS- the only single that I found was
Madeleine Peyroux Weary Blue.
Which really worked out well for her.
I ended up buying more of her music.
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post #115 of 135 Old 12-04-2015, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
I just do not see the point in paying $18-25 for an album at a resolution where nobody can hear the difference to the CD which costs half the price most times. High-resolution PCM and DSD formats are necessary for mastering, not listening.

I buy from HDTracks
  • It is roughly the same price (so I don't have to rip)
  • I am impatient (it happens )
  • It is a better master.
Unfortunately, there is no data on provenance or any other clues to the quality of the recording.


User reviews and Dynamic Range (DR) ratings would be nice.
Less compression is audible but does not appear to part of the HD Audio pitch.


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post #116 of 135 Old 12-04-2015, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
I buy from HDTracks
  • It is roughly the same price (so I don't have to rip)
  • I am impatient (it happens )
  • It is a better master.
Unfortunately, there is no data on provenance or any other clues to the quality of the recording.


User reviews and Dynamic Range (DR) ratings would be nice.
Less compression is audible but does not appear to part of the HD Audio pitch.


- Rich
-Which HDtracks downloads are cheaper than the CD?
-Which HDtracks downloads came from a better master?
-DR is not always an indicator of good sound quality.
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post #117 of 135 Old 12-04-2015, 02:05 PM
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I think your questions are rhetorical, but I'll attempt to answer anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
-Which HDtracks downloads are cheaper than the CD?
I wrote, "roughly the same price".
I have bought 44.1/24 versions from HDTracks few a dollars more.
HDTracks is not a bargain hunter's paradise

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
-Which HDtracks downloads came from a better master?
That is my point. When the provenence is unkown, the question cannot be answered.
Thus, the suggestion for user reviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
-
-DR is not always an indicator of good sound quality.
In my experience, it correlates.
I can tell you that DR ranges of 4 generally s@ck.

For example, Adele 25 has songs I like that were destroyed recording engineer/mixer.
Many are rated DR 4 or 5 are shown by the J River analizer to be at 100% for most of the time.
This which means digital clipping is likely and it sounds like it too.
There is not a sample rate, bit depth, or format that will every make this source sound good.

- Rich
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post #118 of 135 Old 12-04-2015, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
I think your questions are rhetorical, but I'll attempt to answer anyway.



I wrote, "roughly the same price".
I have bought 44.1/24 versions from HDTracks few a dollars more.
HDTracks is not a bargain hunter's paradise



That is my point. When the provenence is unkown, the question cannot be answered.
Thus, the suggestion for user reviews.



In my experience, it correlates.
I can tell you that DR ranges of 4 generally s@ck.

For example, Adele 25 has songs I like that were destroyed recording engineer/mixer.
Many are rated DR 4 or 5 are shown by the J River analizer to be at 100% for most of the time.
This which means digital clipping is likely and it sounds like it too.
There is not a sample rate, bit depth, or format that will every make this source sound good.

- Rich
I like Adele but the only albums I listened to were 19 and 21, whatever the one is with "Set Fire To The Rain." I'm more of a classic rock/blues guy personally. But which CD's are roughly the same price as HDtracks? Maybe if you're talking about the 24/192 downloads that cost $25 per album compared to the audiophile hybrid SACD in which case I'd choose the hybrid SACD every time because mastering is always better. Sorry if I'm rambling, I've consumed a lot of alcohol tonithgt.
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post #119 of 135 Old 12-05-2015, 05:26 AM
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Sorry if I'm rambling, I've consumed a lot of alcohol
You held it together remarkably well.



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tonithgt.
Oh wait. Well you almost made it to the end!

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post #120 of 135 Old 12-05-2015, 12:46 PM
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I like Adele but the only albums I listened to were 19 and 21, whatever the one is with "Set Fire To The Rain." I'm more of a classic rock/blues guy personally. But which CD's are roughly the same price as HDtracks? Maybe if you're talking about the 24/192 downloads that cost $25 per album compared to the audiophile hybrid SACD in which case I'd choose the hybrid SACD every time because mastering is always better. Sorry if I'm rambling, I've consumed a lot of alcohol tonithgt.
I don't make a buying decision based HD versus CD or SACD for inherent quality.
There are many SACD's where the DR metrics are far superior and they sound much better.

I don't think that has anything to do with the recording format.
The DR Database is a good source where you can find differences in compression and at least use it as a data point where a different master is in play.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/

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