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CD vs Hi-Res Download Comparison suggestions


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I'm looking for some Tracks/Albums that I can easily demonstrate the difference between CD and High-Res Download, and showcase the High-Res benefits. Ultimately, I'll get the CD then rip the track in native res to do the comparison from the same server, but I'm looking to highlight the benefits a high-res track over just a disc sonic-wise.

 

Just looking for opinions from other listeners as to what they've experienced is being really good and obvious.

 

I'm NOT currently interested in using DSD for this comparison, and best genres for me are Jazz & Classical, but I'm not opposed to other genres if they're a great comparison.

Audio Artisans

Saving the World from Inferior Audio

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Chandos Walton Symphony 1 / Violin Concerto Edward Gardner conducting BBC Symphony Orchestra.

 

I purchased this back in October and ripped the SACD to get the redbook version. Then I downloaded the 24bit version from Qobuz. The difference is in the timbre and soundscape and it is not subtle. This convinced me and it becomes even more apparent with DSD recordings.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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Hugh Masekela Hope Album. From Acoustic Sounds you can

 

- download a DSD 64 recording made from the analog master

- download PCM formats

- buy a 45 rpm 180 gram vinyl on 2 discs with reduced playing diameter and reduced tracking error

 

do use HQ Player or Foobar + SACD to upsample everything to DSD 128 or DSD 256 to give each format it's best chance to compete

 

do use an electrically quiet computer and optimized OS to give the low res formats (which need the most help) less of a burden from electrical noise generated from extra computation

 

In my recent experience, the SQ gap between the digital formats gets less as you throw computational horsepower at the Redbook, and take extraordinary measures to reduce the computer generated electrical noise to a minimum.

 

good news for Redbook collections, but when ever a properly made DSD 64 is available, go for it

 

all of the digital formats are way ahead of the vinyl

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]om

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I'm looking for some Tracks/Albums that I can easily demonstrate the difference between CD and High-Res Download, and showcase the High-Res benefits.

 

Mark Waldrep (aka Dr. AIX) has posted some comparison files on his FTP site.

 

"They are all 96 kHz/24-bit PCM stereo files (so that they can be played simultaneously and be randomly selected) but the quality of audio ranges from the original source, to CD spec, and finally 256 kbps MP3."

 

Here's the full blog posting where he talks about it: Can Consumers Tell? | Real HD-Audio

 

You can request access to the downloads here.

 

Regards

 

CAPS v3 Topanga / JRiver MC21 | iFi iUSB Power | Woo Audio WDS-1 DAC

Odyssey Khartago Extreme | Magnepan 1.7s

 

 

 


Dedicated 20A circuit; Hubbell HBL5362I Receptacles; Shunyata Venom Defender Power Conditioner; Shunyata Venom Power Cables; Belkin Gold USB Cable; Kimber Hero WBT Interconnects; Anti-Cable Speaker Cables

 

 

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Hugh Masekela Hope Album. From Acoustic Sounds you can

 

- download a DSD 64 recording made from the analog master

- download PCM formats

- buy a 45 rpm 180 gram vinyl on 2 discs with reduced playing diameter and reduced tracking error

 

 

That's a good one to use for comparison purposes. Good dynamics and you can compare PCM, Vinyl LP, DSD-64 and SACD versions.

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I'm looking for some Tracks/Albums that I can easily demonstrate the difference between CD and High-Res Download, and showcase the High-Res benefits. Ultimately, I'll get the CD then rip the track in native res to do the comparison from the same server, but I'm looking to highlight the benefits a high-res track over just a disc sonic-wise.

 

Just looking for opinions from other listeners as to what they've experienced is being really good and obvious.

 

I'm NOT currently interested in using DSD for this comparison, and best genres for me are Jazz & Classical, but I'm not opposed to other genres if they're a great comparison.

 

Direct comparing CD and HiRes impossible due:

 

1. Hi-Res may be converted from CD or vice versa (recording studios make single master, in single resolution);

 

2. Different program-apparatus circuits for different resolutions.

 

For case 1 we compare systems "file + audio converters".

 

For case 2 we compare systems "file + software+hardware".

 

Some hardware can have optimal ("best sounding", may be it non-oversampled) sample rates. When you use these sample rates you can get some sound improvement. There are possible the difference between CD and High-Res download.

 

When checked quality (added noise and distortions) of sample rate conversion, for some types of measurements perform conversion input CD-Res to HiRes and this HiRes to output CD-Res.

 

Compared only input and output CD-resolution files.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
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Qobuz isn't available to me, as I'm in the US, so I'm going to try the Hugh Maskala album, as it does generally meet the criteria, however, the only available download from Acoustic sounds is the DSD, so it will be a comparison between the rip of the redbook layer of the SACD and the DSD file.

 

I'm still interested in what other people have found to be amazing comparisons, so chime in! I can always use more great music!

Audio Artisans

Saving the World from Inferior Audio

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Qobuz isn't available to me, as I'm in the US, so I'm going to try the Hugh Maskala album, as it does generally meet the criteria, however, the only available download from Acoustic sounds is the DSD, so it will be a comparison between the rip of the redbook layer of the SACD and the DSD file.

 

I'm still interested in what other people have found to be amazing comparisons, so chime in! I can always use more great music!

 

You might try the Emily Palen Violin recording at Grace Cathedral in DSD vs. SACD. It had Stereophile talking about DSD Downloads a couple of years ago from Valence and Blue Coast. It's also available as a WAV file.

 

Cookie Marenco dems DSD | Stereophile.com

Glass: Live at Grace Cathedral | Emily Palen | Valence Records

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I'm looking for some Tracks/Albums that I can easily demonstrate the difference between CD and High-Res Download, and showcase the High-Res benefits. Ultimately, I'll get the CD then rip the track in native res to do the comparison from the same server, but I'm looking to highlight the benefits a high-res track over just a disc sonic-wise.

 

Just looking for opinions from other listeners as to what they've experienced is being really good and obvious.

 

I'm NOT currently interested in using DSD for this comparison, and best genres for me are Jazz & Classical, but I'm not opposed to other genres if they're a great comparison.

 

Hi AudioArtisans,

 

If you are interested, please visit the Soundkeeper Recordings Format Comparison page.

There are samples from each of the recordings, at each of the resolutions.

 

Enjoy!

 

Best regards,

Barry

Soundkeeper Recordings

The Soundkeeper | Audio, Music, Recording, Playback

Barry Diament Audio

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and this one; Mp3, 16/44 and 24/96.

 

 

CompareFormats200Shadowv5.png

 

Sound Liaison Music Shop

 

They do give out a warning;

When you compare the files start with the lowest resolution: D (MP3 320 kbps) and move on up through example C and B ending with A.

 

Be careful: If you start with A, and move down through B and C ending with D, your mind will remember the ''Blueprint'' of the higher resolution file, making it difficult to hear the difference even when finally listening to the MP3 file. Don't be frustrated if you can't hear a difference at first. Hearing is as individual as taste but hearing is also something which can be acquired, like the taste of good wine.

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You might try the Emily Palen Violin recording at Grace Cathedral in DSD vs. SACD. It had Stereophile talking about DSD Downloads a couple of years ago from Valence and Blue Coast. It's also available as a WAV file.

 

Cookie Marenco dems DSD | Stereophile.com

Glass: Live at Grace Cathedral | Emily Palen | Valence Records

 

To AudioArtisans...

As several people may have already mentioned... knowing the source of the recording through the entire process to final deliverable consumer download is important. I would trust only those recordings that you can verify the source along the way... such as our Blue Coast Records recordings and Barry Diament's recordings. I wouldn't trust a recording on a major label unless you talk to the engineer.

 

There's a lot of riff raff that can happen without the label or artist's consent. When comparing an original recording that has been made into a CD or high resolution audio download just about anything can happen and does.

 

As Brian Moura mentioned, we use Emily Palen's recording to do comparison tests, not so much for the music but because we had our hands in the process from recording to mix to mastering to authoring for SACD and authoring for all downloads. We deliver the files from our servers. We can verify that all downloads came from one source, which is good information to know.

 

Also, solo violin or small chamber pieces are clear giveaways when you listen to the 'decay' of the room tone, especially when using a natural hall like Grace Cathedral.

 

Make sure to consider slight variations in volume levels and compensate. Sometimes people mistake increase volume with better sound.

 

If anyone reading this would like a free download of one song from Emily Palen's Live at Grace Cathedral, please write to [email protected] and in the subject put --

 

Emily Palen free song download CA3312015

 

In the body of the note, name the song and formats from this album you would like to have.

Let us know your results after comparing.

 

Here's the MicroStore for the album

Glass: Live at Grace Cathedral | Emily Palen | Valence Records

 

We use "Light in the Fracture"... play 30 seconds, go to the other format... listen for the wideness, the highs/lows and decay of room. Headphone may help at first.

 

I'll alert the crew that this offer for a free song download is good until March 31, 2015

 

Enjoy comparison testing!

Cookie Marenco

Blue Coast Music

Cookie Marenco[br]founder and producer[br]Blue Coast Records[br]http://www.bluecoastrecords.com/

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One thing to mention....

 

As a manufacturer we spend a lot of time reviewing test discs for replication. There is quite a bit of difference between manufacturing plants even when using the same plant.

 

For instance, the first test discs we received from the Sony SACD plant had one small glitch but sounded fantastic. We had to reject the test and try again. We kept the Test 1 discs for future reference.

 

The second SACD test discs sounded like crap when compared to the rejected Test 1 discs and were also rejected. Test 3 discs were closer to test 1 and so we approved.

 

I know that most labels never pay for the test discs. It's expensive. We no longer pay for test discs, but we listen to a 100 or so before shipping. While the SACD is convenient and sounds great, we believe the DSD downloads sound superior.

 

There might be one other plant manufacturing SACD, but as far as I'm aware, most people are using Sony DADC to have discs manufactured. As much as I would like to believe Sony DADC is capable of producing the same SACD manufactured each time, I have to doubt that because of my experience. I believe it's unrealistic to expect that from them.

 

Also, the same DSD download is one digital generation closer to the mastering and we haven't heard differences in the downloaded masters from the same files.

 

The same can be said of manufacturing CDs.. only worse. Interesting to note... The CD layer on the Sony SACDs sound very very good when compared to the same disc manufactured from typical/respected replicators only making CDs.

 

Every manufacturing will have a slightly different sound. It's not alot but it's there. We now label our batches so that we can compare manufacturers and time of manufacturing to better understand these differences since we can't listen to 5000 discs being manufactured. We rely on customer's response to keep our manufacturers in check.

 

Sony manufacturing has been reliable, FYI, once test discs are accepted.

 

Such is the life of a label owner. :)

 

Cookie Marenco

Blue Coast Music

Cookie Marenco[br]founder and producer[br]Blue Coast Records[br]http://www.bluecoastrecords.com/

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The same can be said of manufacturing CDs.. only worse. Interesting to note... The CD layer on the Sony SACDs sound very very good when compared to the same disc manufactured from typical/respected replicators only making CDs.

 

Cookie, you compare binary audio data of SACD's CD layer vs. CD? Or only by hearing?

 

I suppose, must be difference in binary. Or different software+hardware ways of playback SACD's CD layer and CD.

 

Best regards,

Yuri Korzunov

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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+1 to tranz. And the generous offer!

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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