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High Definition Releases - Reviews

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

  1. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    I'm listening to my 192/24 download of Neil Young's greatest hits now via a Sony HAP-Z1ES. It has very impressive sound quality and is one of the best I've ever heard.

    I had this is the two-disc album edition before. One was a Redbook disk and the better one was straight DVD - not DVD-Audio. DVD is 96/24 at best while DVD-A can go 196/24 in stereo.

    Hence my new version is even better than the DVD version in theory. Now, sonic memory is a weak argument, and my current system is substantially different than the one I used with the earlier disc-based version, but this 196/24 sounds almost flawless.

    Neil Young, in spite of what one thinks of his politics, is an excellent and creative musician and is known for being a stickler for delivering sound quality.

    This one was well worth the $27 from HDTracks.
     
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  2. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Damn! You're right. I just checked out my "Super Saturated DVD-stereo" of Neil Young's Greatest Hits. LPCM 96/24. I must admit it sounds better than the Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere LP, though. (My copy of Decade is straight red book.)
    However, according to Wikipedia LPCM 96/24 can be up to 6,144 kbit/s and I think DVD-A tops out at around 4,600 kbit/s. Is data transfer rate the ultimate indicator of resolution? A bit over my head. Any way, that's the format the stickler chose and I'm sure he could have done a DVD-A. He also chose DVD-V for Greendale, for what it's worth. Pun intended.
     
  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Subscriber

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    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    I'm a bit rusty on all of this (I don't worry about it anymore), but all we really need to worry about is the sampling rate and bit rate. The data transfer rate was useful more for MP3 files and compressed files (as an indicator of sound quality, based on how much the data was compressed), but I don't find it directly relevant to lossless digital where we know the sample and bit rates. Pretty sure lossless is a constant bit rate.

    However, the data transfer rate does come into play with DVD-Audio format. Some DVD-Audio titles use Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) since the data rate of six channels (aka 5.1 channels) at 24 bits/96kHz was too much for the format. MLP's lossless compression allowed all of that data to fit within the format. I forget the limit, but two-channel 24/96 (and I believe 24/192 as well) did not need MLP, whereas surround programs usually did. The MLP also helped pack all of those programs onto a DVD-Audio disc--stereo, surround, occasionally video content.

    Hope that helps. If I can find a source of where I read this before, I'll toss a link in here.
     
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  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Actually, as bad as Wikipedia is as a source, this paragraph gives some particulars:
     
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  5. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Very illuminating. And as you reminded me yet once again with your statement "I don't worry about it anymore" all I need to do is listen. If I enjoy the music, that's all that matters and that usually depends more on how the original was recorded than how it is stored.

    BTW, I finally got around to getting I Robot on SACD. Now I know why so many have cited it in this and other threads. Very enjoyable!
     
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  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Essentially, the media player and DAC handle everything, and I just get to listen to music. :)

    Anyway...

    One HDTracks download I have been playing quite a bit is the Eiji Oue/Minnesota Symphony recording of a few of Stravinsky's works--Firebird Suite, Song of the Nightingale, The Rite of Spring. I almost want to call this a demo disc, as to my ears, the bass and treble are exaggerated, the dynamics a bit overdone, etc. (I think I was told this is what happens when a symphony is close-mic'ed.) I have other classical works which IMHO sound a lot more natural, more like actually sitting out in the audience. (If one had to put it into perspective, this is almost like being on the podium; others put you a few rows back in the hall.) I expected better from Reference Recordings. Thankfully this is a 24-bit/88.2kHz download--I can imagine that overly bright brass sounding like a sawtooth waveform on a regular CD.

    Oue's renditions of some of his selections can be a bit different (I have even heard the word "controversial" used by others, regarding some of his performances). His version of the Firebird Suite has an ending with a tempo that is way faster than I have ever heard it; in my head, I am always saying to myself at that point, "....aaand, we're off to the races!" It's not bad, though...just different. The Rite of Spring is one I really enjoy, though. He gives that one quite a workout.
     

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