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What musical style do you think benefits most from hi-res?


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My library is a good mix of rock (broadly defined), jazz and classical. But most of the new music I buy is classical, with some jazz. I see a lot of posts on hi-res versions of rock -- The Clash, Yes, Skynard. I've assumed (without giving it much thought) that classical music would benefit the most from hi-res -- with a great range of instruments/vocals offering more timbre/harmonics to hear and with, generally, more of an emphasis on "beauty" of the music itself. Jazz because of the pure sound of the acoustic instruments (I generally listen to bebop/hard bop).

 

I didn't think that buying a punk album (if London Calling could really be considered punk), heavy metal or even something like Beggars Banquet or Born to Run would benefit much from hi-res. Am I wrong? I really don't want to start replacing to much of my rock library, but if if albums like the Stones great run, Tommy, etc., really benefit from hi-res, it could be worth the investment.

 

Similarly, is hi-res a strong benefit for solo instrumental work?

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Very much a mixed bag, I think, even for very similar styles. For instance, Beatles Love in 24/96 is great, Harrison's All Things Must Pass in 24/96 is just OK.

 

More specifically on what you asked about, for London Calling I like the original vinyl. Tommy in 24/96 from DVD-A was a waste, while DSD from the Japanese SHM-SACD to me equals the original vinyl. (Same with Steely Dan's Gaucho, by the way.)

 

I like the HDTracks Stones stuff (though it's pre Loudness Wars, so you have to turn it up), and I have heard from others that the SHM-SACDs are good too.

 

For Springsteen, I like the 24/44.1 High Hopes, but haven't compared it to the CD yet. It's way compressed, as is the vast majority of his stuff.

 

Speaking of compression: IMHO, fans of Nirvana's Nevermind should look for used copies of the early CDs. Later CDs and HDTracks hi res are badly compressed. Many folks don't remember, but most of Cobain's songs from that album made heavy use of big dynamic contrasts between verse and chorus. I think the compression makes it boring.

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 -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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For me the biggest benefits of hi-res are: giving more of a sense of the location of the instruments and the size/ambience of the perfroming venue. Also, sounds like drum hits, cymbal decay, other percussion sounds, and string plucking sound more natural and full. Detail and leading/trailing edges seem to sound more natural in hi-res.

 

So saying that, it seems to be most beneficial for well recorded classical and jazz, especially when in a hall or club. More or less live. Not so beneficial for electronic/synthesized stuff. But I do have rock albums where the drums, cymbals, and guitar strings are definitely improved on the hi-res. So yes, it is a mixed bag.

 

For instance I think the ABKCO Stones albums and London Calling sound much better in hi-res than my albums or original CDs. Ditto The Who in 24/192 from e-Onkyo.

 

But the ABKCO Stones DSD is also available downsampled to hi-res PCM (HDT and others) and also in a Redbook remaster - all from the same DSD digital transcriptions/remasters done by Bob Ludwig. The DSD is very slightly better than the hi-res, and the hi-res slightly better than the CD. But all are very good, and you have to pay attention to tell them apart. So good mastering of the original is probably what is most important.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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My library is a good mix of rock (broadly defined), jazz and classical. But most of the new music I buy is classical, with some jazz.

 

To me, jazz and folk benefit most from high-res most, and orchestral classical music least. Pop-rock and chamber music fall in between.

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For me the biggest benefits of hi-res are: giving more of a sense of the location of the instruments and the size/ambience of the perfroming venue. Also, sounds like drum hits, cymbal decay, other percussion sounds, and string plucking sound more natural and full. Detail and leading/trailing edges seem to sound more natural in hi-res.

 

So saying that, it seems to be most beneficial for well recorded classical and jazz, especially when in a hall or club. More or less live. Not so beneficial for electronic/synthesized stuff. But I do have rock albums where the drums, cymbals, and guitar strings are definitely improved on the hi-res. So yes, it is a mixed bag.

 

For instance I think the ABKCO Stones albums and London Calling sound much better in hi-res than my albums or original CDs. Ditto The Who in 24/192 from e-Onkyo.

 

But the ABKCO Stones DSD is also available downsampled to hi-res PCM (HDT and others) and also in a Redbook remaster - all from the same DSD digital transcriptions/remasters done by Bob Ludwig. The DSD is very slightly better than the hi-res, and the hi-res slightly better than the CD. But all are very good, and you have to pay attention to tell them apart. So good mastering of the original is probably what is most important.

 

Oh, mastering. Yes, this is one of piece of the chain. Recording and venue are important, but at the end mastering is the most important thing. It is quite easy to find CD's which sound amazing, like high resolution. Of course, time to time it's vice versa, high resolution sounds bad, because it isn't true high res.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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For instance I think the ABKCO Stones albums and London Calling sound much better in hi-res than my albums or original CDs.

 

I found London Calling in hi res, where the producer acknowledged compression and peak limiting as artistic decisions (though not made at the behest of the band, but the producer did indicate they liked it when they heard it), had a different sound than the vinyl, with vocals and some of the gentler guitar licks further into the background, and drums, bass, louder guitar stuff pushed up. Overall I personally like the vinyl a fair amount better, but I'm a big fan of Joe Strummer's vocals, so that stands to reason.

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 -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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