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Crosby, Stills & Nash - HDTracks

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Just purchased and will soon download from HDTracks. Thought I would be the guinea pig on this one. Listening to the samples on the website just isn't enough to satisfy my curiosity on this release. The only thing I have to compare this to is the So Far compilation in redbook format.

 

If the samples on the website are any indication, then this will be substantially louder and have a punchier bass. No clue why I am buying this as I really don't like that...

 

Will be posting screenshots of analysis within the hour.

 

Gary


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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foobar2000 1.1.8 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.0

log date: 2012-10-10 19:44:14

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analyzed: Crosby, Stills & Nash / Crosby, Stills & Nash

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

DR Peak RMS Duration Track

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR8 -0.18 dB -10.47 dB 7:23 01-Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Remastered)

DR8 -0.16 dB -9.91 dB 2:38 02-Marrakesh Express (Remastered)

DR10 -0.20 dB -13.70 dB 4:39 03-Guinevere (Remastered)

DR11 -0.20 dB -12.73 dB 2:45 04-You Don't Have To Cry (Remastered)

DR9 -0.20 dB -10.35 dB 2:58 05-Pre-Road Downs (Remastered)

DR7 -0.14 dB -9.48 dB 5:28 06-Wooden Ships (Remastered)

DR10 -0.20 dB -15.64 dB 2:38 07-Lady Of The Island (Remastered)

DR10 -0.20 dB -12.88 dB 2:41 08-Helplessly Hoping (Remastered)

DR6 -0.14 dB -7.53 dB 4:19 09-Long Time Gone (Remastered)

DR7 -0.18 dB -9.32 dB 5:06 10-49 Bye-Byes (Remastered)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Number of tracks: 10

Official DR value: DR9

 

Samplerate: 96000 Hz

Channels: 2

Bits per sample: 24

Bitrate: 2999 kbps

Codec: FLAC


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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Plots on Guinevere and Wooden Ships

 

Guinevere_s.png

Guinevere_p.png

window-6-Wooden Ships Remastered-001.png

woodenships_p.png

Guinevere_w.png

window-6-Wooden Ships Remastered-000.png


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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Long Time Gone

 

LongTimeGone_s.png

LongTimeGone_p.png

LongTimeGone.png


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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Couldn't resist. Am downloading it now. The first 3 tracks sound good. But are much louder. For comparison, here is the DR of the previous standard Redbook remaster:

 

Again, this is Redbook, not the hi-res.

 

 

foobar2000 1.1.7 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.0

log date: 2012-10-11 05:14:49

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analyzed: Crosby, Stills & Nash / Crosby, Stills & Nash [Expanded Edition]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

DR Peak RMS Duration Track

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR10 -0.03 dB -12.98 dB 7:24 01-Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

DR12 -0.56 dB -15.75 dB 2:39 02-Marrakesh Express

DR11 -2.87 dB -18.02 dB 4:39 03-Guinnevere

DR12 -1.34 dB -14.56 dB 2:45 04-You Don't Have to Cry

DR10 -0.28 dB -12.37 dB 2:57 05-Pre-Road Downs

DR9 0.00 dB -12.30 dB 5:28 06-Wooden Ships

DR11 -1.39 dB -19.23 dB 2:38 07-Lady of the Island

DR11 -0.67 dB -14.31 dB 2:41 08-Helplessly Hoping

DR10 0.00 dB -11.95 dB 4:18 09-Long Time Gone

DR9 -0.40 dB -11.81 dB 5:12 10-49 Bye-Byes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Number of tracks: 10

Official DR value: DR10

 

Samplerate: 44100 Hz

Channels: 2

Bits per sample: 16

Bitrate: 803 kbps

Codec: FLAC

================================================================================

 

As you can see, some songs on the hi-res only slightly compressed compared to this, others pretty heavy compression added.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Really like the sound of Guinevere, You Don't Have to Cry, Pre-Road Downs. Had higher hopes for Judy Blue Eyes, Wooden Ships and Helplessly Hoping. The clarity and vocals are there, but more in your face, as the bass is. It's fatiguing on some songs. And I'd love to have 4db back on Long Time Gone. I hope this was an "accident", that this is the wrong version or something, DR 6? I need to track down the Steve Hoffman Audio Fidelity Gold CD now and compare.

 

Listening to the album again on headphones as I write this. I am not writing it off by any means, but it is a mixed bag.

 

 

Gary


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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I need to track down the Steve Hoffman Audio Fidelity Gold CD now and compare.

 

Listening to the album again on headphones as I write this. I am not writing it off by any means, but it is a mixed bag.

 

 

Gary

 

the Gold CD is for sale on Amazon


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Thanks firedog!

 

I had the editor window open for a long time, and didn't see your post.

 

Actually freaked me out, I assumed your DR numbers were what I posted, and I was questioning my sanity. Time to go to bed, guess I am tired!


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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I couldn't resist one more post.

 

In the HDTrack release info, Stanely Johnson closes with "Please turn down the lights, sit back and enjoy these albums all over again!"

 

Perhaps that is how this album should be listened to. Now I just need to kick the wife and kids out of the house so I can do that.


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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Great info guys...

 

Based on what has been reported here, I think I will stick with my Hoffman mastered CD version from Audio Fidelity. That disc has an overall DR value of 11.

 

I'm still curious to see some data and/or hear the impressions of others here on the 192/24 Daylight Again download. However, after being burned last week with the latest round of compressed R.E.M. 192/24 downloads, I'm not in much of a mood to give HDTracks any more of my hard earned $$$...

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Have listened to this several times now. Don't like it. Find the sound fatiguing. Must be b/c of the volume compression.

 

I asked HDTracks to give me credit toward a different album as I thought the sound was subpar. I'll let you know what happens. This is the first hi-res download from them I really thought wasn't worth the money.

 

Guess I'll try the Steve Hoffman gold CD. It got great reviews.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I will do the same firedog, and will make sure to explain to HDTracks what I didn't like. Hoping that it can be pushed back up the chain to whoever is making these decisions to apply heavy handed compression.


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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I will do the same firedog, and will make sure to explain to HDTracks what I didn't like. Hoping that it can be pushed back up the chain to whoever is making these decisions to apply heavy handed compression.

 

In another recent thread concerning the new R.E.M. downloads, I mentioned expressing my concerns to HDTracks regarding the excessive compression employed on the new releases. The HDTracks customer support folks did nothing for me, unfortunately. They went as far to say they had been receiving positive comments, and that I was the first person to complain. If that observation is even remotely true, it seems to imply that their customer base, at some level, has become brainwashed with the "Mastered For iTunes" philosophy.

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I will do the same firedog, and will make sure to explain to HDTracks what I didn't like. Hoping that it can be pushed back up the chain to whoever is making these decisions to apply heavy handed compression.

 

I would be fairly certain it is the label's remastering, rather than HDTracks bothering to apply its own compression. That would be an additional expense to HDTracks for no good reason, i.e., if any user base can be counted on to have issues with compression, it is HDTracks'. The labels, on the other hand, seem to be making a practice of reissuing louder compressed versions of back catalog recordings. This is very evident on R.E.M. CD reissues that came out before the latest HDTracks downloads - the CDs have virtually identical (bad) dynamic range numbers to the downloads, in contrast to much better numbers for the original CD and/or LP releases.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> router -> 2 Cisco switches connected by optical Ethernet -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I would be fairly certain it is the label's remastering, rather than HDTracks bothering to apply its own compression. ...

 

I completely agree Jud. I just wonder who it is that is making the decision to compress. Particularly in the instance of the CS&N release, when the compression levels vary so much across the songs.


Roon Rock running on a Gen 7 i5, Akasa Plao X7 fanless case. Schiit Lyr 2, Schiit Bifrost upgraded with Uber Analog and USB Gen 2, Grado RS1s, ADAM A3x Nearfield Monitors.

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Have listened to this several times now. Don't like it. Find the sound fatiguing. Must be b/c of the volume compression.

 

I asked HDTracks to give me credit toward a different album as I thought the sound was subpar. I'll let you know what happens. This is the first hi-res download from them I really thought wasn't worth the money.

 

Guess I'll try the Steve Hoffman gold CD. It got great reviews.

 

I actually like the download a bit better. I don't like the compression, but tolerate it better on the 24 bit material. The Hoffman is okay, but is still only 16 bit. I don't know that I like it that much better than the original CD.

 

Maybe, I am just not hardcore enough any longer.

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And this is from the fairly recent Audio Fidelity Gold CD remaster by Steve Hoffman

 

Analyzed folder: /Volumes/Music Library/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Crosby, Stills & Nash/Crosby, Stills & Nash

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR Peak RMS Filename

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

DR12 -0.57 dB -14.82 dB 01 Suite_ Judy Blue Eyes.aif

DR12 -2.26 dB -16.48 dB 02 Marrakesh Express.aif

DR12 -2.93 dB -18.41 dB 03 Guinevere.aif

DR12 -2.52 dB -15.87 dB 04 You Don't Have To Cry.aif

DR11 -2.00 dB -14.25 dB 05 Pre-Road Downs.aif

DR10 -0.88 dB -14.12 dB 06 Wooden Ships.aif

DR12 -5.76 dB -22.10 dB 07 Lady Of The Island.aif

DR11 -3.22 dB -17.29 dB 08 Helplessly Hoping.aif

DR11 -1.85 dB -15.53 dB 09 Long Time Gone.aif

DR10 -0.69 dB -13.23 dB 10 49 Bye-Byes.aif

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Number of files: 10

Official DR value: DR11

 

 

==============================================================================================


"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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I actually like the download a bit better. I don't like the compression, but tolerate it better on the 24 bit material. The Hoffman is okay, but is still only 16 bit. I don't know that I like it that much better than the original CD.

 

Maybe, I am just not hardcore enough any longer.

 

Kind of paradoxical to tolerate dynamic compression better in a format that is supposed to make far greater dynamic range available (the 16 or 24 denote dynamic range capability, 44.1 or 96 or 192 denote sample rate in kHz). Looked at another way, I'm not sure what role greater *potential* dynamic range of a format would play if so little is actually used that there is far more than enough room for it in 16 bits.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> router -> 2 Cisco switches connected by optical Ethernet -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Kind of paradoxical to tolerate dynamic compression better in a format that is supposed to make far greater dynamic range available (the 16 or 24 denote dynamic range capability, 44.1 or 96 or 192 denote sample rate in kHz). Looked at another way, I'm not sure what role greater *potential* dynamic range of a format would play if so little is actually used that there is far more than enough room for it in 16 bits.

Yes but the potential cannot be reached or even approached in any format if the mastering choices have limited that ability.


"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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Kind of paradoxical to tolerate dynamic compression better in a format that is supposed to make far greater dynamic range available (the 16 or 24 denote dynamic range capability, 44.1 or 96 or 192 denote sample rate in kHz). Looked at another way, I'm not sure what role greater *potential* dynamic range of a format would play if so little is actually used that there is far more than enough room for it in 16 bits.

 

Par for the course though. They can't be bothered to utilize the DR of CD, so why bother starting now.

 

The annoying parts are just a bit more annoying in 16 bits, than 24 for me.

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I was also intrigued about the compression... Got this download from Qobuz... There are 3 different versions, but I choose the one where the duration time of Guinnevere is 4:42 instead of 4:37...

 

foobar2000 1.1.11 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1

log date: 2012-10-11 21:08:40

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analyzed: ? / ?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

DR Peak RMS Duration Track

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR10 0.00 dB -12.76 dB 7:25 ?-01 Suite Judy Blue Eyes

DR11 -0.20 dB -14.69 dB 2:39 ?-02 Marrakesh Express

DR12 -0.40 dB -16.37 dB 4:42 ?-03 Guinnevere

DR12 -0.67 dB -14.76 dB 2:45 ?-04 You Don't Have To Cry

DR10 -0.20 dB -12.26 dB 3:01 ?-05 Pre-Road Downs

DR10 -0.40 dB -12.84 dB 5:30 ?-06 Wooden Ships

DR12 -1.11 dB -18.95 dB 2:39 ?-07 Lady Of The Island

DR11 -0.40 dB -13.79 dB 2:42 ?-08 Helplessly Hoping

DR11 -0.20 dB -13.05 dB 4:17 ?-09 Long Time Gone

DR11 -0.19 dB -12.95 dB 5:16 ?-10 49 Bye-Byes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Number of tracks: 10

Official DR value: DR11

 

Samplerate: 44100 Hz

Channels: 2

Bits per sample: 16

Bitrate: 1411 kbps

Codec: PCM

================================================================================


Alain

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HD Tracks wouldn't give me a credit for the download, they did offer me a discount coupon for my next purchase. Not really valuable, as they send me a discount coupon once or twice a month anyway.

 

I mentioned my concerns about the sound of the album. They specifically answered that they are simply distributing the files as provided by the recording company, and that they don't alter them in any way. I also told them I'd be more hesitant to buy product from them in the future, as they don't stand behind their product in terms of customer satisfaction. The customer service rep said he would pass on my comments about the album and their policies to the higher ups.

 

As far as volume compression, David Chesky stated in an interview for Audio Stream that the amount of volume compression is an artistic decision, and he sees no reason for them to be involved in that decision at all - in fact, he said they absolutely wouldn't be involved in it for music made by other artists. I'd respect that point of view, except that it is a bit simplistic: for the vast majority of these remasters, the record company is making the "artistic" decision and not the artist. So it's a purely commercial decision, and not an artistic one.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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On the other hand firedog ... if you bought a CD would you really expect a refund from the store because you didn't like it?

 

Eloise


Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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