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post #121 of 148 Old 12-07-2015, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post
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/

- Rich
I don't either. I aim for getting the best mastering job I can. Usually I get that with the audiophile CDs and SACDs.
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post #122 of 148 Old 12-08-2015, 07:21 PM
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I've found a lot of the high resolution stuff to sound like crap. I often listen to stuff streaming on Deezer or Rhapsody that's sounds absolutely amazing. It's the mastering that is key IMO, not the resolution.
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post #123 of 148 Old 12-08-2015, 10:54 PM
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I've found a lot of the high resolution stuff to sound like crap. I often listen to stuff streaming on Deezer or Rhapsody that's sounds absolutely amazing. It's the mastering that is key IMO, not the resolution.
+1,000,000 (if i could vote a million times)
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post #124 of 148 Old 12-09-2015, 06:53 PM
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You held it together remarkably well.





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

I know it's off topic, but CruelInventions, your commentary on his post just slayed me.

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post #125 of 148 Old 12-09-2015, 07:17 PM
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post #126 of 148 Old 12-18-2015, 07:34 PM
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Any Star Wars fans here want to try out the new Force Awakens soundtrack on HDTracks for us? http://www.hdtracks.com/star-wars-th...ndtrack-274441

Comes in 96/24 and 192/24. It would be interesting to see (graphs?) how the 96/24 compares to the regular cd version.

I also have a question - there was an album I was interested in getting in HD (London Grammar - If You Wait) - but the only "HD" version is 44.1/24-bit... is 24 bit going to even provide a better sound when the samplerate is still 44.1?


Forgive my ignorance :P

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post #127 of 148 Old 12-19-2015, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rdeyoung View Post
Any Star Wars fans here want to try out the new Force Awakens soundtrack on HDTracks for us? http://www.hdtracks.com/star-wars-th...ndtrack-274441

Comes in 96/24 and 192/24. It would be interesting to see (graphs?) how the 96/24 compares to the regular cd version.

I also have a question - there was an album I was interested in getting in HD (London Grammar - If You Wait) - but the only "HD" version is 44.1/24-bit... is 24 bit going to even provide a better sound when the samplerate is still 44.1?

Forgive my ignorance :P
I find the inclusion of 192 and 96 at different price-points confusing:

If the 192 is the source resolution, then the 96 is down-sampled.
If the 96 is the source resolution, then the 192 is up-sampled.

If HDTracks is not upsampling, the "native" resolution, then on this track $2 pays for bandwidth and storage.
Still that seems high.
IMO, all formats should be the same price.

- Rich

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post #128 of 148 Old 12-29-2015, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rdeyoung View Post
I also have a question - there was an album I was interested in getting in HD (London Grammar - If You Wait) - but the only "HD" version is 44.1/24-bit... is 24 bit going to even provide a better sound when the samplerate is still 44.1?
In theory yes, because of the greater sample depth. At the very least there's the possibility of better sound.
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post #129 of 148 Old 02-04-2016, 10:49 AM
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Why is no one talking about how the music was RECORDED?

Matters not how large the word depth or sampling rate if the studio was horrible acoustically, if the microphones were junk or poorly placed, if the engineer had no idea how to double mic a snare or a kick, if the boob setting microphones for the acoustic guitar had only one near the sound hole, or pointed it just a bit off.

And this is to say nothing of the quality of the preamps into which the microphones were plugged. Or the quality of the sound board. Or the quality of the compressor/limiters, the attack and sustain settings, the quality of the EQ and it's settings... And for goodness sake, what about the vocal mic? Is it a POS or a top-shelf Neumann? What kind of pop filter was used in front of it, or was one used at all? Did the singer know to pull her face away a bit on a hard-hit note and thereby necessitate less compression? Tell me the names of the gear used and I can give you an idea if at least the equipment had the capability to make a great recording.

Diana Krall sounds so dang good on her studio recordings because (this is obvious to me though i have no direct knowledge) the people involved had great equipment and used it well. Listen carefully and you can hear her piano bench creak under her derriere on some recordings. I can hear the saliva in her mouth because the mic was so good, sensitive, and close (and likely used with no pop filter).

This all takes place BEFORE any mastering and bit depth business...

I'm trying to get my head around all this high-def music format stuff, and I'm disappointed that there is so little discussion of the recording process. It starts there...
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post #130 of 148 Old 02-04-2016, 12:17 PM
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I’ve bought a lot of high-resolution classical recordings that were mastered brilliantly. As for the more popular stuff, the ZZ Top, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Donna Summer, Rush (2015 masters done by Sean Magee), Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock high-resolution offerings were mastered marvelously as well.

Recording quality is obviously most important, but that is out of an engineer's control for these reissues.
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post #131 of 148 Old 02-04-2016, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
I find the inclusion of 192 and 96 at different price-points confusing:

If the 192 is the source resolution, then the 96 is down-sampled.
If the 96 is the source resolution, then the 192 is up-sampled.

If HDTracks is not upsampling, the "native" resolution, then on this track $2 pays for bandwidth and storage.
Still that seems high.
IMO, all formats should be the same price.

- Rich
Agreed, not to mention the fact that a large portion of the tracks comes from analog masters, that can't even reach CD "resolution", so using larger buckets are completely useless and superfluous for these sources, and not worth any premium price IMO. I can only imagine if they converted them to DSD they would charge even more, like some other vendors do, but lots of suckers would pay nonetheless.

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post #132 of 148 Old 02-04-2016, 06:37 PM
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Agreed, not to mention the fact that a large portion of the tracks comes from analog masters, that can't even reach CD "resolution", so using larger buckets are completely useless and superfluous for these sources, and not worth any premium price IMO. I can only imagine if they converted them to DSD they would charge even more, like some other vendors do, but lots of suckers would pay nonetheless.
Eh, you'd be fairly shocked what one can accomplish on a quality reel-to-reel, using good tape stock, and running a high IPS....assuming the upstream stuff is in order, as others have stated.

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post #133 of 148 Old 02-04-2016, 08:27 PM
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Eh, you'd be fairly shocked what one can accomplish on a quality reel-to-reel, using good tape stock, and running a high IPS....assuming the upstream stuff is in order, as others have stated.
No I wouldn't be shocked at all, the tape itself can be easily quantified in digital terms and no sorcery can change that, at best they would be around 15 bit resolution. Since I have lots DVD-A that was mastered from analog I know how well they can sound, which in some cases excellent indeed, but at the end of the day they are not true HI Rez.

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post #134 of 148 Old 02-05-2016, 04:45 AM
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Somehow, I think the industry is missing the point.

Adele 25 has a DR rating of 5 and is a case when the mastering is atrocious:

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/li...adele&album=25

The CD has a DR rating of 5 and the vinyl is 11.
I suppose the best option is to find a rip from a LP.

The CD sounds every bit as bad as it looks in Audition.

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post #135 of 148 Old 02-05-2016, 06:02 PM
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I doubt my ability to hear anything better than CD quality. But I have still started using HD tracks and another site or two rather than iTunes where possible. Simply because iTunes doesn't even give full CD quality. So I'd be happy if they just give clean copies of what's on the CD.
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post #136 of 148 Old 02-10-2016, 01:18 PM
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Somehow, I think the industry is missing the point.

Adele 25 has a DR rating of 5 and is a case when the mastering is atrocious:

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/li...adele&album=25

The CD has a DR rating of 5 and the vinyl is 11.
I suppose the best option is to find a rip from a LP.

The CD sounds every bit as bad as it looks in Audition.

- Rich
The previous album was not much better either. Typical pop fare.
Here is Dream Theater: The Astonishing with 0 difference between the "high res" and the CD releases.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/li...he+Astonishing
One of the flattest sounding album I've heard recently, a disaster really. Don't waste your money on the HD Track or Pono versions.
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post #137 of 148 Old 02-10-2016, 04:54 PM
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The previous album was not much better either. Typical pop fare.
Here is Dream Theater: The Astonishing with 0 difference between the "high res" and the CD releases.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/li...he+Astonishing
One of the flattest sounding album I've heard recently, a disaster really. Don't waste your money on the HD Track or Pono versions.
Damn. No power cable is fancy enough to fix that mess. Putting the HDtracks download in a folder titled "Audiophile" might help. Perhaps not, since such folders cannot be sold (or can they?).

With my juvenile-level joke out of the way, I must say that it's a shame that so many modern recordings sound so flat. The sound is so difficult to enjoy that I cannot appreciate the artistry of the music itself.

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post #138 of 148 Old 02-11-2016, 12:38 AM
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Damn. No power cable is fancy enough to fix that mess. Putting the HDtracks download in a folder titled "Audiophile" might help. Perhaps not, since such folders cannot be sold (or can they?).

With my juvenile-level joke out of the way, I must say that it's a shame that so many modern recordings sound so flat. The sound is so difficult to enjoy that I cannot appreciate the artistry of the music itself.
I can still appreciate the artistry as long as the music is good, but in the case of above mentioned The Astonishing, no amount of dynamics would resurrect that dead turkey. YMMV.

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post #139 of 148 Old 02-14-2016, 10:11 AM
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What's the point in paying for sound you can't even hear? All they need to do is master CD and digital downloads from places like Google Play, iTunes and Amazon, correctly and faithful to the original recording.
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post #140 of 148 Old 02-14-2016, 11:05 AM
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What's the point in paying for sound you can't even hear? All they need to do is master CD and digital downloads from places like Google Play, iTunes and Amazon, correctly and faithful to the original recording.
That would be great! Unfortunately, the Loudness War continues.

But until the industry stops targeting the mixing of album masters to sound best on phone, car, computer speakers, and cheap earbuds, we have hi-rez files to listen to.
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post #141 of 148 Old 02-14-2016, 12:03 PM
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That would be great! Unfortunately, the Loudness War continues.

But until the industry stops targeting the mixing of album masters to sound best on phone, car, computer speakers, and cheap earbuds, we have hi-rez files to listen to.
A lot of times those high-resolution files are the exact same master from which the MP3, M4A and others are sourced. Therefore you gain nothing once again. You're paying for sound you cannot hear.
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post #142 of 148 Old 02-14-2016, 12:22 PM
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A lot of times those high-resolution files are the exact same master from which the MP3, M4A and others are sourced. Therefore you gain nothing once again. You're paying for sound you cannot hear.
Sometimes, yes (the latest Dream Theater release). Other times, great care has been taken to the hi-rez versions (the latest Tom Petty re-masters).

This is the point of these threads - sharing info on what's worth the extra money for the higher resolution files, and what would be better served with a lossless CD rip or other alternative.
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post #143 of 148 Old 02-16-2016, 07:05 PM
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A lot of times those high-resolution files are the exact same master from which the MP3, M4A and others are sourced. Therefore you gain nothing once again. You're paying for sound you cannot hear.
Yup, more often than not at least as far as popular music goes. Jazz, and Classical have a much better track record in this regard.But more importantly if the recording itself wasn't done in "HI RES"[capturing, recording, mixing] there is no reason to pay for "upsampling", which has zero benefit.

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post #144 of 148 Old 02-17-2016, 08:40 AM
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I have had my hearing tested and I can't hear frequencies past ~18khz. I'm 29 years old. I'm not sure if that is normal deterioration for my age or if I have had some abnormal hearing loss. Therefore, "HD audio" at 24/88, 24/96, 24/192, etc, etc, is useless to me. You're paying for sound you can't hear. I am still going to stick to buying CDs as they usually offer the best potential sound at the best price; but again, it all goes back into how it is mastered. You can have a really crap sounding CD and a really great sounding low-bitrate MP3 if the mastering is done the right way. Those high-res files make more sense for mastering where you want to keep the source pure as possible, rather than for playback.
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post #145 of 148 Old 02-18-2016, 08:23 AM
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I have had my hearing tested and I can't hear frequencies past ~18khz. I'm 29 years old. I'm not sure if that is normal deterioration for my age or if I have had some abnormal hearing loss. Therefore, "HD audio" at 24/88, 24/96, 24/192, etc, etc, is useless to me. You're paying for sound you can't hear. I am still going to stick to buying CDs as they usually offer the best potential sound at the best price; but again, it all goes back into how it is mastered. You can have a really crap sounding CD and a really great sounding low-bitrate MP3 if the mastering is done the right way. Those high-res files make more sense for mastering where you want to keep the source pure as possible, rather than for playback.
Agreed.

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post #146 of 148 Old 02-19-2016, 06:55 AM
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This has been a very interesting read as I have recently downloaded some 24/96 tracks
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post #147 of 148 Old 01-13-2017, 10:45 AM
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I'm fairly new to the HD Audio download game but I find them to be superior to my CD versions when compared. Some are pretty dang close but most are more dynamic and more detail. In addition they are easier to listen too...More dynamic range. The CDs seem hot and overcooked to my ears. The Bass is a tad more heavy tho on the CD.

I have the Sony HAP-1ZES & it has an excellent built in DAC. Sounds phenominal with 192/24 and DSD.

To put it this way I have about 2 TB of High Rez music and all of them are superior to the 44/16 versions I had.
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post #148 of 148 Old 02-16-2018, 08:02 AM
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^IMO this is an "it depends" kind of thing.

As noted on this thread, it all starts in the recording studio. Without a quality master, there won't be quality anywhere else. With a quality master in hand, it turns into an issue of making that content available. CD, SACD, DVD Audio, LP, or various digital downloads can all work well... with a good master.

Sometimes what shows up in one media channel differs from what shows up in other channels. For example, after getting a less than ideal digital download from HDTracks, that motivated me to compare a half dozen different digital downloads (all at least 96/24) to their CD equivalent. Sometimes the digital content sounded best, sometimes the CD won. It was never predictable.

There's no question that digital downloads can sound extraordinary, but simply being in a digital format is no assurance of quality. As far as I can tell, that will always depend on the quality of the original master and the production values used in making media available to consumers.
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