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D. Fagen "Nightfly" DSD?


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While I love the 24/48 PCM of Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly", does anyone think it will ever come out in the form of a DSD download someday?

 

Depends on when, or if, Warner Music, licenses its catalog for DSD Downloads. Since Universal and Sony Music have done so, one would think that Warners will do the same down the road.

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It was a digital recording, so not sure the point of a DSD version?

 

You are correct, it was a digital recording (non DSD), a very good one at that, in 1981 no less, a DSD version of it was released by Warner Japan in 2011.

 

To the point above, not sure if a DSD version would be materially different in quality.

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You are correct, it was a digital recording (non DSD), a very good one at that, in 1981 no less, a DSD version of it was released by Warner Japan in 2011.

 

Do you mean the Warner SACD?

 

SACD necessarily means DSD conversion - including when the recording was in PCM -, but when a download is released, it wouldn't make sense to convert a PCM source into DSD.

Claude

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Do you mean the Warner SACD?

 

SACD necessarily means DSD conversion - including when the recording was in PCM -, but when a download is released, it wouldn't make sense to convert a PCM source into DSD.

 

Yes, I was referring to the Warner SACD. And I guess I should have been more clear, as the recording was made back in 1981, and as it was recorded digitally, there are no analog tapes by which to make a conversion to DSD, and as it was recorded in PCM, to your point, it would not make sense to convert to DSD (though as we know, this does happen).

 

Barr

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I have all things Donald Fagen (and the Dan, too). I personally like the DVD-A better than the SACD, but the differences are minimal enough to be up to the DAC and its sweetspot. Yes, the recording was PCM, so one would think the earlier DVD-A would blow away the SACD, but not really. They are very close.

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I have a couple of digital formats of this recording, including the SHM-SACD (going from memory here, i think it's SHM). They both sound fantastic.

 

I also have a killer LP pressing of this title, it's funny how good the analog pressing of a digital recording can sound. Same with Brothers In Arms...

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I am not a technical guy, but I bet someone here knows the answer to this for certain. I think a full digital recording (DDD) cannot be hires because the DDD process somehow limits the recording to PCM 44.1/16. I might be wrong about this (but do know for sure that, even if I am correct, I do not understand it), but I definitely recall hearing some experts (e.g., guys from Positive Feedback) on a panel saying that if something was marked DDD, true hires, or at least true DSD hires, was impossible. Maybe it was if the recording was recorded DDD at 44.1/16??

- Mark

 

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I also have a killer LP pressing of this title, it's funny how good the analog pressing of a digital recording can sound. Same with Brothers In Arms...

 

Yes, it's not always about the theoretically optimal solution.

 

A german LP pressing of "The Nightfly" is my favourite version. I originally bought it for the large cover alone, for $2, thinking the LP would be in bad condition, but it was mint and sounding warmer than the CD and DVD-A.

 

Early digital recordings often tend to sound a bit thin and sterile, and the LP mastering compensates that.

Claude

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Nightfly was actually recorded on a 16bit 50khz multitrack. Yes that isn't a typo, 50khz, on one of the first digital recorders. I believe for the DVD-A release the 16bit 50kHz material was mixed in a 24bit 48khz workspace and mastered. A SACD would just be a transcode of the 24bit 48khz files, as is common with the recent Japanese Warner SACDs.

 

So the 24bit 48khz version is probably the best we are ever going to get. Enjoy it!

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