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Objective Analysis and Review of High-Res Music

amirm

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#1
High resolution files are becoming increasingly common. The convenience to buy something and have it delivered in a few minutes is great. As is the ability to reach closer to the "master."

In this thread, I thought we perform reviews of various high-resolution digital music downloads. My hope is that we find evidence on both sides. That is, music that lives up to the title of "high-res" and those that don't. I know I have examples of both in my library.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, my goal is to actually produce short videos. I don't know what I am getting myself into work wise :), but that is what I am going to try to do. Meanwhile other forms of analysis is welcome from membership.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #2
Adding on, if you do these reviews, even though it is against the title of the thread, do note if the fidelity to your ears is good or not.
 

Phelonious Ponk

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#3
Amir, I know you can differentiate hi-res from RB files. Have you ever isolated the difference and identified its source?

Tim
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #4
Amir, I know you can differentiate hi-res from RB files. Have you ever isolated the difference and identified its source?

Tim
I have only done that in a few tests people put in front of me. I have not attempted to reproduce it elsewhere. Nor have I done any analysis.

I can tell you something I have done. Years ago after realizing I can't hear above 17 KHz or so, I attempted to remove everything above that frequency. I was very surprised to hear that the sound changed. The current theory behind such things is that the ear sees audios samples one at a time and that the time domain effects of the filter become audible that way.

Any conversion of high-res music to CD requires reduction of bit depth and reducing of the sample rate. My view on that is that this change may very well be inaudible. I just don't want to take any chances on that. Give me the original and let me play it. That way I don't have to worry about whether you dithered it, noise shaped it, or resampled it properly. We all have the hardware to play high-res music. A bit of storage to keep them online is nothing compared to the cost of the music itself.

The hope with this thread though is to make sure when we pay extra for the high-res, we get something extra even if it is only objectively proven. And conversely, praise the companies that do give us their true masters with more music content above CD's limits.

BTW, my definition of high-res here is anything > CD. If it is higher than 16 bits and/or 44.1 KHz, it is high-res. That is how high-res music distributors are charging us: the more bits the higher the cost. So let's evaluate what is there in that increment above the CD.
 

Phelonious Ponk

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#5
Fair enough. In a similar spirit, while I'm not sure I could consistently differentiate between RB and 320kbps, I ripped my CD library lossless.
 

krabapple

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#6
High resolution files are becoming increasingly common. The convenience to buy something and have it delivered in a few minutes is great. As is the ability to reach closer to the "master."

In this thread, I thought we perform reviews of various high-resolution digital music downloads. My hope is that we find evidence on both sides. That is, music that lives up to the title of "high-res" and those that don't. I know I have examples of both in my library.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, my goal is to actually produce short videos. I don't know what I am getting myself into work wise :), but that is what I am going to try to do. Meanwhile other forms of analysis is welcome from membership.

You might want to carefully define 'high-res', so that participants can report whether and how a particular recording meets the definition.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#7
You might want to carefully define 'high-res', so that participants can report whether and how a particular recording meets the definition.
I thought that was defined adequately by some industry group or other as a digital master from analog (live or recorded) that exceeded RBCD's 44k sampling and 16 bit depth. It should also include digital remasters from previous hi rez digital masters. So, even a 44k/24 native recording would be considered hi rez. As would 48k/16. But, those are not common and are marginally hi rez. DSD (64 or better) of course, qualifies, as do the commonly available 96/24 or better.

I think in light of the discussion here, something "uprezzed" to higher sampling and/0r bit depth from an RBCD standard or below digital master should be considered a sham, not a hi rez recording.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #9
It has been, I've always assumed anything above redbook was "high'r rez" by definition.
That's my definition too.
 

krabapple

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#10
What if it's recorded in 'hi rez' but the dynamic range is compressed? What if the source has a lot of noise?

People need to understand the meaning of the word 'resolution'.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #13
'Anything' meaning what? Includes a 16/44 master converted to and presented at 24/96?
No, that is a different issue. I am talking about if the native master was at higher than 16/44, it is high resolution in my book. For example, 16/48 is high res.
 

TBone

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#14
That's my definition too.
Funny tho; recently ripping/researching T.Petty, at HDTrx, read this ...

The Hi-Res (24bit 96K) remastering of the Tom Petty catalog reveals a level of detail that was only previously heard by a select group of musicians, producers and engineers in the studio. It’s as close to the sound of original stereo master as you can get. We’re very happy with the way it came out, and believe it’s an important way to preserve the legacy of this great body of work.

If hearing the highest possible sound quality is important to you, then this is where you’ll get it.

The remastering was done in the fall of 2014 by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. (Brian Gardner did Highway Companion.) I supervised it and Tom approved it. Great care was taken to find the highest quality masters and transfer them with minimal EQ and little or no dynamic range compression. We went with whatever tape sounded the best –mostly the original first-generation masters but in a few cases, second-generation “EQ copies”*.

To allow for full dynamic range, and to let the music “breathe” the Hi-Res versions have about 6-8db less digital level than a typical “loud” peak-limited CD or mp3. To enjoy these albums to their fullest extent, play them back though a good system and turn up the volume.

With this increased level of detail and sonic impact, we hope you'll enjoy rediscovering these great albums as much as we did!

—Ryan Ulyate, April 2014


breathe ... like good wine, if breathe is hi-rez criteria, the orig.(MCA6253) Full Moon Fever CD qualifies ...
upload_2016-6-26_15-35-28.png


BTW, this orig.CD has equal / slightly better DR values, and breathes the same.

No matter ... HDTracks will never allow the poor ole CD to escape its 16/44 noose; even suggesting that compression/limiting are part & parcel of the redbook format, therefore all CDs suffer accordingly, so just lump 'em with lossy MP3 by association ...

(big sigh)
 
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