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The Hi Rez Big bang

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I don't want to hijack the thread on the symposium, but i am interested in earlinarizona's comments about the superiority of hi-rez recordings. i have no reason to doubt what he says. The problem is there is little music in hi-rez that interests me, and I wonder when there will be.


The red book CD was introduced in 1983, and 400 million CDs were sold in 1988. It was a clean sweep. Audiophiles howled, but vinyl disappeared. It was called the big bang of digital music. I still like vinyl and have 2000 lps, but the CD was the better way to deliver music. The CD was a hit because most people didn't have the high-end equipment that made vinyl sound so good. The CD was a huge improvement.


This probably isn't going to happen with high-rez recordings. The problem now is that there are very few customers. It takes very good, expensive equipment to hear the advantage.


I was out friday night with a bunch of 30 somethings in NYC--all of them serious music lovers, including an audio professional--and none of them were interested in high-end audio. In their busy lives, they listen to Ipods on the subway. Whose going to buy enough 24/174 files to make the format commercially viable?


I am sure all of this will work out, and the music will be available, but for the time-being, the music that keeps me interested in audio is being sold on red book CDs. Many of the CDs I buy are made in runs of 5000 or less. Take a listen to Fred Anderson at the Velvet Lounge, v.III.


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172/24 or higher resolution files make up oh... less than .1 percent of my music library, a mere fraction, yet I'm sitting here ruling out DACs that cannot process 192/24? Why? I guess it's a bit of future-proofing or chicken vs. egg syndrome.


I would like to see more HDMI interfaces on DACs even though it's a very jittery interface. This is still bleeding edge territory, even though computer audio has been around for quite a long time. Only recently has the software and drivers have matured the path to hi-rez. All the audio companies could not afford the software and platform development tools to develop the necessary software to work with their DACS, except in the pro-audio world where DAWs sell and make money.


Hopefully this convergence of software and hardware will promote hi-rez music. I think it'll be a long road before we have mainstream hi-rez downloads. For me who's stuck in the 80's music, an era I call horrific digital mastering and processing, vinyl is my hi-rez source for now.


Maybe Blu-Ray will help pave a small inroad, but not until the economy improves and the music companies start releasing music that people actually want to listen to in hi-res. The Neil Young Archives is a start.




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There is much here I do not know. What is the resolution of those tapes? What music does Universal Studios hold? What is known about the state of other archives?


It turned out to be profitable to put a great deal of the pre-digital archive out on CDs. People bought a cd player, receiver, and a pair of speakers for $600-$800. Red book offered more resolution than these systems could use. The CD made a good way to distribute music and a manageable consumer item.


Now people pay $200-$300 for an Ipod. Most of them do not--it seems--give another $100-$200 for better phones. MP3 is all of the resolution they need. There isn't going to be much demand for audiophile quality.


What is at stake here is a disagreement over musical information. I can get enough resolution to make an Ipod usable for music by using Apple lossless and $200 Etymotic phones, but I am listening for something that most people are not.


I would guess that rather than HDMI jacks on DACs what we should hope for is much higher-rez Ipods. Of course, it has been foolish to underestimate the consumer power of technology, but I see no reason to expect much music that I want to hear will be put out in high-rez any time soon.


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Abstraction, Redbook cd is surely dead. One of the way out is Blue Ray. Nevertheless High Res Music is surely here to stay, may not be a substantial part of the masses - same as Vinyl today, but still commercially viable. It is ironic that today most of the vinyl is cut from DAW. So why not have the DAW output straight onto our system...? Also the whole world does not need to buy this to make this sustainable, they are expensive and profitable as it is ($35-40USD). Yes our most favorite music may not available in this format.




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This is good conversation!


I have done some upsampling 16/44.1 to 24/88.2 and 24/176.4 of red book cds ripped to wav. I had my wife pick the version and did blind tests. I could tell 44.1 from the 88.2 and 176.4. Harder from 88.2 to 176.4, but you can tell and to me they sound sound better. I understand its not pure.... and I was looking only for smoother cleaner sound and not sound stage. You would need to due more test. My point is that ripping and upsampling may be an option for you and you dont really have to spend much to try it. Assuming you have something like the emu 0404 for only 200 bucks and you download sony soundforge for test ripping and upsampling. This way you get to find out if its worh it for you to look deeper into the hobby.

Finally, I should add that you dont have to even upsample. I leave most of my collection 16/44.1, but ripped to wav. I am however still fumbling with the idea of needing 24/192 vs 24/96. Lets see what I due!!


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all music will come from downloads soon?


I still pick up vinyl at used shops, but I can think exactly one lp that I have bought in the last five or more years that was a new recording.


I still buy a lot of CDs, and I expect I will for a long time to come. A lot of the music ever recorded and distributed can be found on CD.


What I would like is for the entire archive to be available on line at the highest resolution that is useful. Unfortunately many of the recordings in the archive are awful (much of the Charlie Parker discography, for example), and hi-rez will only make it obvious how bad they are.


New recordings should be available on line at various resolution levels.


The technology is all there, of course. But for financial reasons--including significantly little demand for very hi-rez recordings--and for legal reasons, this is going to be a long time coming.


My hobby is listening to music; not a-b'ing audio set ups.



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I have a simple setup with me hdx to my processor. I can tell you its not great, but I have listened to more music on it then any othe time in my life. Its so simple click click and play. Now I have listen to two turn tables in the last month and I was blown away. Last time I heard a turntable was as a young boy messing with my moms gear....hehehe. Its awesome, but at the end of the day its something different and a different mind set. I could see owning both one day....


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What is the purpose of your OP? That you don't believe in the future of HiRez is clear. It is also clear that you feel the resolution of Cd is sufficient for your needs. I assume you have at least listened to some HiRez files on an audiophile system before deciding that Redbook was all you needed. If you haven't listened to HiRez files...do you want us to convince you to do so? Do you expect us to convince you that the future of HiRez is bright and full of the recordings of popular artists? The members here feel the sound of the hi Resolution recordings are superb and hope they will become more readily available. They are willing to invest in that hope. But the reality is that in the here and now many of us feel that the limited amount of artists playing on the limited number of albums is far better than anything Redbook has ever offered. I just got Divertimenti by Trondheim Solistene on the 2L label and its difficult to stop listening to the 24/96 recording. Its that incredible. Personally, I am not here to prophesize about the future or evangelize to other people. I'm not here to convince you to spend money on a $15,000 setup. The sound of the music speaks for itself.





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For me, audio gear is like a junkie's spike. It's a delivery system.


You say: " I just got Divertimenti by Trondheim Solistene on the 2L label and its difficult to stop listening to the 24/96 recording." I am not interested in listening to recordings; I listen to music. I buy expensive audio equipment so I can hear the music better. I have never heard the recording you mention, but from the 2L description of it, I don't think I am missing much. (And I know enough about the tradition of concert music to say that with some confidence.)


I do have a $15k setup. Or more, actually. I would need a new DAC to deal with hi-rez, and, in part, thinking about buying one is behind my question. I would be happy to invest in music, but at present there is very little music recorded in hi-rez that I want to hear. What are your expectations? When can one expect all new recordings to become available in a hi-rez format? Are there master tapes of part of the archive that will sound much better in hi-rez? When and how might they become available?


There is a similar situation with books. There is no reason at this point to publish paper books. Google books is working toward one solution.. With Spindle, Amazon is working toward another. Someone might say, "I just bought a crappy novel from amazon, but I can't stop reading it because the electronic paper pages look so great." The issue is how do we move the archive of the culture to digital media. The IStore and its largely unsuccessful competitors are, as far as I know, about the only answer we have with respect to music. That is, the trend I see it seems to be toward lower, not higher rez, and that is a problem.


I am considering buying a new DAC, and a serious discussion of what one might expect over the next few years is relevant. For example, should I not consider a Wavelength Crimson because it is limited to 24/96?




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