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HDtracks - bumps or drawn from masters?

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I have a question that I'm certain the forum members must have an answer to. Have scoured the HDtracks site, and haven't found it there.


First of all: I really enjoy what HDtracks is setting out to do, I just want to be certain that I'm getting the quality I'm expecting. I have bought from their High-res store, and have the following query.


For the rereleases of well known albums, in various categories, are they bumping up Redbook versions to higher sample rates, or are we getting 24/88.2 and 24/96 pulls from the masters?


Naturally, I'm eager to get higher resolution versions drawn from the masters, but there's nothing on their site that states that this is the case.


Anyone know? For certain?




Don\'t sample, listen!

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I do know that there are a number of true high-res files at HDtracks - recent productions, and some by companies that make it their living to supply new recordings in high-res.

But I have been wondering about the high-resolution versions of well known recordings, as I haven't been able to find any information as to how these have "ended up" in their higher resolutions.


If it's a straight bump, with a little tweaking to add some brightness, then I'm not interested, mildly put.

Thanks for the update on Reference Recordings!


But maybe someone knows as to the files supplied by HDtracks?


Don\'t sample, listen!

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Hi Ted - Incorrect! The RR digital masters that are 176.4 were converted to 96k using two Pacific Microsonics Model 2 ADC/DACs. They converted the 176.4 files to analog then the analog to digital at 96k. This method is arguably the best and is how they do all their 88.2 or 96k material that began as 176.4.


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(on Frank's UltraHighEnd Forum) said that RR told people the 96K were downsampled since HDTracks had no 88.2k capability, but since they are not a perfect integer match they would sound worse than the 88.2K ones. This supposedly came right from Marcia Martin, RR VP. ??


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When you say "downsampled from the DSD material," do you mean you take tracks from SACD for each recording, or do you get higher resolution pulls from the studio masters, in DSD?


I would like to suggest that HDtracks describe the transfer process on the high-res downloads page. Would be "similar" to how one goes about assessing vinyl, in a sense.


Thanks for taking the time, Bruce.





Don\'t sample, listen!

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Mostly we retrieve the DSD information from the SACD's. The only higher resolution that I know of are the PCM rates above 24/96.


We have also transferred tape from labels at 24/352.8, but these files would be way too large for download or even put on DVD. You would only get 1-2 tracks on a DVD.


I can assure you it's nothing to worry about. It's all about the music, right?







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I was the one who spoke to Marcia Martin at the Symposium and then posted to the ultrahighend forum. I was trying to get answers to two different questions. First, I wanted to know about the 176/24 versions of Arnold Overtures and Exotic Dances, both of which were recorded in analogue and digital. I subscribe to the Tape Project, and both were part of series one, and came (as all Tape Project tapes) from original analogue masters. Marcia confirmed that both the Arnold and Exotic Dances were converted to 176/24 from the analogue masters and not upconverted from the digital masters as some had rumored. The second question was why were there some HD tracks of RR hirez at 88 and some at 96. I had purchased some of the HD Tracks of RR release of The Tempest album to compare with the 176/24 version. Incidentally all of the RR hirez on HD Tracks were also released as 176/24 by RR. 3 of the 9 HRx titles from RR were released as 88 (Arnold Overtures, Joel Fan and Lincolnshire Posey). All the rest were issued as 96/24 by HD tracks according to their website. Marcia told me that originally HD Tracks did not have a capability to do 88 so asked RR to provide 96/24 for their titles. Marcia said HD Tracks was told that the sonics of 96 would not be as good as 88, since it was not an integral multiple for 176. She did not tell me the procedure of doing 96 from the original digital files. Since all of the 96/24 releases on RR were from 176/24 originals, except Exotic Dances, it seems to me that if the conversion of all the 176/24 files was first to analogue and then back to digital, then 96 would not sound worse than 88, since both would be coming from analogue. If they stayed in the digital domain, then I can see that 96 could be worse than 88. It may be that only Exotic Dances and Arnold Overtures were digitized from the analogue master tapes since they never existed in 176/24 digital. So there may be some analogue to digital conversion for HD tracks as was done for the RR HRx files of those two titles. My understanding is that the other titles which were all mastered in 176/24 did not have original analogue masters made parallel to the digitals. I certainly don't mind being corrected if I misunderstood Marcia. Larry




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