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HDCD ripping and replay


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Is it possible to rip and replay a HDCD in "full" rather than simply as 16/44 RBCD? And preferably play via JRiver, HQP etc rather than a dedicated player?

 

...And would it be worth the effort?

 

Thanks

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There has been a lot of discussion on this with no satisfactory (IMHO) resolution. The short answer is that from a practical standpoint playback of HDCD rips are not possible. Microsoft owns the license and no player that I am aware of includes HDCD decoding. If you use a PC, I believe that either dBPoweramp or EAC will allow you to decode & incorporate the HDCD "content" as part of the rip.

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The short answer is that from a practical standpoint playback of HDCD rips are not possible.

 

Sorry this should read: The short answer is that from a practical standpoint playback of HDCD-encoded rips is not possible with decoding.

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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My advise:

 

Rip your HDCDs as regular CDs. For the very few that have peak extension implemented decode them as a set of separate 24/44.1 files, but still keep the original around in case you get a DAC that does HDCD some day.

 

For the ones you decode, tag the album name with [HDCD Decoded] or something.

 

You can use cuetools to tell you what HDCD features are actually implemented on a HDCD.

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I recently acquired a used EAD DSP-7000 Series III DAC, and confirmed it can detect and play HDCDs ripped as standard 16/44.1 redbook using dBpoweramp. This DAC has a "digital flywheel" board with Pacific Microsonics HDCD decoder chip, and a HDCD indicator lights up upon detection of an incoming HDCD stream.

 

The DSP-7000 Series III is on a small list of DACs that do HDCD decoding in HW.

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what other recordings are in HDCD?

the only one's i know of and have are Grateful Dead recordings(many, it was their HiRez format of choice at one time) or those done by Jerry with his own band and done as 'dwag' music/acoustic music with grissam etal

i also have the first 3 HDCD recordings of LITTON DALLAS,TESTAMENT by turtle creek chorale and DICK HYMAN plays DUKE ELLINGTON- i also had at one time a cd player/changer that decoded HDCD i think it was a HARMON KARDON

where i can find more

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I have a Widespread Panic HDCD. A list of all the HDCDs used to be on the Web... Google should help.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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Is it possible to rip and replay a HDCD in "full" rather than simply as 16/44 RBCD? And preferably play via JRiver, HQP etc rather than a dedicated player?

 

...And would it be worth the effort?

Your current rip of the CD, assuming it was done with XLD or one of the other tools on Windows, is good enough to decode HDCD. You can use dbPowerAmp's tool, and it will render a 24bit/44.1KHz file. HDCD is supposed to have an effective bit depth of 20bit.

 

I have read elsewhere that the decoding done by hdcd.exe is not "complete", ie a hardware decoder would extract more information that what this code extracts. I have no idea if this is true.

 

In my opinion, the best part about HDCD is that if the producer has bothered to encode with it, it means that they have been careful in the production as a whole - something which frankly isn't common these days. I expect that -on average- an HDCD encoded CD will sound better than a regular CD even if not decoded. I would expect MQA to be similar.

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I found this list: HDCD list

 

and

 

Search Results - MusicBrainz

 

chris

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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My advise:

 

Rip your HDCDs as regular CDs. For the very few that have peak extension implemented decode them as a set of separate 24/44.1 files, but still keep the original around in case you get a DAC that does HDCD some day.

 

For the ones you decode, tag the album name with [HDCD Decoded] or something.

 

You can use cuetools to tell you what HDCD features are actually implemented on a HDCD.

 

Thanks for all the replies, but from the above for example I'm not clear as to how I would "decode them as a set of separate 24/44.1 files"

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Your current rip of the CD, assuming it was done with XLD or one of the other tools on Windows, is good enough to decode HDCD. You can use dbPowerAmp's tool, and it will render a 24bit/44.1KHz file. HDCD is supposed to have an effective bit depth of 20bit.

 

I have read elsewhere that the decoding done by hdcd.exe is not "complete", ie a hardware decoder would extract more information that what this code extracts. I have no idea if this is true.

 

In my opinion, the best part about HDCD is that if the producer has bothered to encode with it, it means that they have been careful in the production as a whole - something which frankly isn't common these days. I expect that -on average- an HDCD encoded CD will sound better than a regular CD even if not decoded. I would expect MQA to be similar.

 

Thanks, I have quite a few HDCDs from Reference Recordings and Linn. Funnily enough (shades of the current MQA debate) when researching on the web, I can across a suggestion that HDCDs would sound worse than vanilla RBCD on a non-decoding player. I have to say that the RR HDCDs in particular sound fantastic to me on my non- HDCD hardware.

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Thanks for all the replies, but from the above for example I'm not clear as to how I would "decode them as a set of separate 24/44.1 files"

 

Are you using a Mac or PC? What ripping software do you use?

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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Thanks, I have quite a few HDCDs from Reference Recordings and Linn. Funnily enough (shades of the current MQA debate) when researching on the web, I can across a suggestion that HDCDs would sound worse than vanilla RBCD on a non-decoding player. I have to say that the RR HDCDs in particular sound fantastic to me on my non- HDCD hardware.

 

My RR and Linn rips still sound very good even without HDCD decoding. However, these recordings are the only rips where the decoded CD sounds better than the undecoded playback via computer, i.e., I find that rips of CD's sound better via computer than played as CD. There is definitely more background noise from the undecoded rips. Personally, I think the whole HDCD thing was completely unnecessary. My RR recordings that were made pre-HDCD sound wonderful.

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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Are you using a Mac or PC? What ripping software do you use?

 

Mainly EAC on PC, although lately I've tended to just use the inbuilt ripping option on my BDP (part of MPD I guess?) Also have used Ruby Ripper on Linux.

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Thanks, I have quite a few HDCDs from Reference Recordings and Linn. Funnily enough (shades of the current MQA debate) when researching on the web, I can across a suggestion that HDCDs would sound worse than vanilla RBCD on a non-decoding player. I have to say that the RR HDCDs in particular sound fantastic to me on my non- HDCD hardware.

Sections using peak extension should sound compressed without a decoder. If this is only applied for brief periods at a time, you may not immediately notice much difference.

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Sections using peak extension should sound compressed without a decoder..

 

Yes, definitely agree.

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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Thanks for all the replies, but from the above for example I'm not clear as to how I would "decode them as a set of separate 24/44.1 files"

 

dbpoweramp on windows is a great option.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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