High Definition Releases - Reviews

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Bigerik, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Now that high resolution downloads are becoming available, I thought it might be good to have a place where we could keep reviews of new releases or purchases. I know that some high resolution releases, even as good as 192/24 don't sound any better than regular redbook,whereas the ones done well sound amazing. Any interest in an ongoing thread on good or bad quality HD releases?
     
  2. ashok

    ashok AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Lexington, MA
    I am definitely interested. I have purchased a couple of 24 bit/96kHz releases, and would be happy to review them once I get my system up to speed.
     
  3. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Excellent!

    The good 96/24 recordings I have heard have been easily as good as the best vinyl. But I have also heard that some are as compressed and horrible sounding as the worst redbook.
     
  4. ashok

    ashok AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Lexington, MA
    It turns out I have more than two 24/96 releases:
    • Mozart Violin Concertos, Marianne Thorsen with Trondheim Solistene
    • The Union, Elton John & Leon Russell
    • Gaucho, Steely Dan
    • Bellezza Crudel - Vivaldi, Tone Wik & Barokkanerne
    • Blackbird - Fredrik Fors (Clarinet) & Sveinung Bjelland (Piano); assorted compositions
    • Blue Bossa - Ana Caram
    • Assorted works of Verdi, Puccini, Leoncavallo, etc. - Galina Gorchakova and the Russian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (24 bit/88.2kHz)

    I am not a big fan of classical music, but those Mozart violin concertos do sound nice.

    These recordings all sounded good to me. I do not have the standard resolution recordings to actually compare them, except for one track from the Marianne Thorsen album.

    For this one track, I do have 16/48, 24/96 and 24/192 versions. On the playback equipment I had then, I could not discern any differences between the versions, but the digital front-end was not very well optimized. I was using an old desktop PC (from 2003), with an Asus sound card, whose optical output was connected to an external DAC. Both the ASUS and my DAC are capable of up to 24/192, and I was hoping to be able to pick up on differences between the sampling rates and bit depths, but could not.

    I am planning to change my digital set up this year, and will try again.

    HD tracks had some issues where the 24/96 files were created from material originally recorded in 24/44.1 or 24/48. I think they addressed the issues by offering other downloads. Perhaps some of those sounded quite compressed. In any case, I suppose mastering has a lot to do with the final audio quality, irrespective of bit depth / sampling frequency.

    I am really curious about the DSD DACs now coming out on the market. Hopefully, one will be part of my digital system upgrade this year.
     
  5. audiodon

    audiodon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,790
    Location:
    Arlington, MA
    I've made it a point to have CD versions or vinyl versions of many of the high-rez discs I got years ago. This includes DVD-As and SACDs of at least half a dozen titles.

    Also, I'm interested in trying out HD tracks since I just got a Dragonfly, so I'd contribute to this kind of thread or subforum.
     
  6. shelby1420

    shelby1420 Enjoying the music..... Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    St. Catharines, ON-Canada
    Love the idea Erik!!!
     
  7. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Since neither mod has said it shouldn't be done, I should make a sticky out of it. :)

    Since one of the mods is actually an admin, I might be taking my career in my hands, so if you guys don't see me around anymore, you'll know what happened.

    David? John? Thoughts?
     
  8. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Prog-tastic!

    Messages:
    6,300
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    I have a couple.

    Yes-Fragile 24/96
    Its as good as the CD album I have for overall sound. It is a bit brighter and not as full sounding as my CD. Compared to the standard vinyl I have, I have to say its not as good. The vinyl is not as bright and the low end is much better, Howe's guitar is much better on vinyl. I find myself squinting a bit during the 24/96 version on his parts. This is a Rhino issue and they usually do a good job, notably on my remastered Genesis vinyl, so I was a bit disappointed but again this is digital.
    I don't play it at all....vinyl is the preferred media on this one.

    Rush-Moving Pictures 24/96
    Better, but to me it is much too clean sounding, glassy. The lows are nice and tight, Neil Peart's drumming is probably the highlight of the hi-rez version, very detailed and airy...You do hear everything on his kit.
    But what I do prefer is the recent DVD-A disc I have from the remastered box set, which is 24/96 also. Weird but that source is amazing sounding! The 24/96 download is again a bit better than the remastered CD version, but not by much at all.
    In all cases, it bests the vinyl version.

    Rush-Clockwork Angels 24/96
    Don't like at all, but this is the fault of the mixing. It is a brickwalled mastering, too loud and not musical at all. The CD version is better, but not by much.....By far the vinyl version is much more musical and not as compressed and loud.

    One main reason I don't have more is the unavailability in hi-rez for what I listen to, other issue is logistics in my system. My laptop is not anywhere near my system so its a PITA to move and connect it to the DAC11. The solution would be a wireless player like a CA NP30 player or StreamMagic but those kind of players are too expensive for my listening habits.

    I would like to read more comments on what people have.
     
    DaverJ likes this.
  9. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Thank you very much. This is exactly what I had in mind. I really appreciate you taking the time to write that up.
     
  10. JimmyNeutron

    JimmyNeutron Super Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Great idea!!! I have several HD Tracks releases that i can review as well.

    Jimmy
     
  11. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    I do get them. Admittedly not often, but it does happen. :)

    I look forward to your reviews, Jimmy!
     
  12. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill I've got a hanging filament. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,864
    Location:
    Maine
    Excellent idea BE. I have the Linn Music 24 Days of Christmas free FLAC downloads to listen to. I'll post impressions.
     
  13. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Prog-tastic!

    Messages:
    6,300
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    No problem.....music reviews are easier, its why we buy the damned gear in the first place!!

    JimmyN should have a bunch...I believe he is a hi-rez guru :D
     
  14. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,606
    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    Suggest a format for writing the reviews. IE:

    Thread title should contain the title and source. For Example "Crosby Stills and Nash - CSN, HD Tracks", or "Artist - Title, SACD. Suggest a separate thread for each title reviewed.

    The review might contain the bit rate, and if known whether or not the tracks are brick walled. It might be nice to know the reviewer's upstream gear.

    Finally, these reviews might be better contained in a sub - forum of the Music forum on AK.

    Thoughts?
     
  15. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    I totally agree with everything except the sub forum. Sub forums are usually great places for things to get lost. I think this is the right spot right now, since the guys looking at the technology are also the ones looking for the music. Once it really takes off, we can find a right spot for it. Might even make for its own forum in the future should it become wildly successful. Just getting a but ahead of myself with the last bit. :)
     
  16. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Listening to a 24/96 version of Linda Ronstadts What's New. Sounding very nice so far.
     
  17. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Ella and Louis - 24/96. Playing through Fidelia, which sucks. Lit up the 96 light on my Sim Moon 100D.

    This is one of my all time favorite albums. Probably listened to it about 1000 times on the Speakers Corner vinyl. The High Rez version sounds very different. As clean as the record, but quieter. My feeling is that it is closer to the master tape. Very very nice to listen to.
     
  18. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,289
    Location:
    I've Been Everywhere
    Just giving this a bump.
     
  19. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    14,756
    Location:
    NJ/PA border
    The question is Erik: will you be listening to many files now that you have the Denon disc player?
     
  20. Billfort

    Billfort Addicted Member

    Messages:
    8,612
    Location:
    Newmarket, ON, Canada
    Well, he didn't say they have to be streamed HD and that Denon does play those old SACDs. :)

    I'll have to lend Erik some of my SACD stash to get some more reviews in here - I know buying HD downloads is near impossible in Canada for some bizarre reason.
     

Share This Page