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squarebab

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About squarebab

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  1. "Unmastered". Love that term! That should be the standard word for describing an unsullied or properly mastered recording.
  2. I wasn't convinced at first, and I cancelled half way through the free trial period. But a couple of weeks ago I wanted to hear a recording from an old artist that was new to me, and I didn't like the sound of the Google Play stream so I gave Tidal another try. I think their mobile apps for Android and IOS are very well done (as to which I think is better, I'll give the nod to Android), but I hated their PC app. I found using Tidal in the Chrome browser much better and I deleted the Tidal stand alone software from my PC. Tidal definitely has a superior sound and usability than Spotify, MOG/Beats/iTunes streaming, which makes it perfect for mobile headphone wearing. I still prefer my Hi-Res files for PC listening, but Tidal makes it much cheaper for me to discover high quality recordings on the fly. I listen to and buy music much more often than I watch and pay for television and movies, so twenty dollars a month is not an extravagant expense for me.
  3. I downloaded both Born To Run and Nebraska. When I first heard Nebraska at 16 years of age it surprised me that Bruce's storytelling lyrics could capture my imagination with his sparse folk arrangements even more so than with his conquer-the-world rock bonafides. Nebraska is still my one of favorites after all these years and the excellent 24/192 HDtrack release does it justice. Born To Run is special to me for two reasons: First, I believe the song Thunder Road is one of the greatest American rock songs ever written. It encapsulates the American impulse to keep moving, with the belief that a better life can be had by starting over somewhere new. Second, I think Roy Bittan's twilight piano sparkles throughout the album and makes it unforgettable, from his melodic summer dance at the beginning of Thunder Road to his operatic staccato at the end of Jungleland. It's a shame the remaster from HDtracks doesn't improve on the sub-par original recording. It is a more detailed version, but with barely more than half the dynamic range and a less balanced sound stage than my 1990 CD, I'll stick with the CD.
  4. I prefer 24bit/96-192kHz WAV files with zero dynamic compression of the master files. I often find myself lamenting the purchase of a hi-res title after discovering the original CD release sounds better. Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" is one example: the hi-res remaster version sounds very good, but it can't match the sound-stage balance of the original 16bit/44kHz release. So please stay away from remastered "for cheap headphones while listening in noisy environment" recordings. And please, please, please do not use the dynamically compressed versions of new releases. Use the uncompressed master, instead. I know they exist, it's what they use for vinyl. I buy very few new recordings because of dynamic compression: have you heard what they did to the Black Keys' "Brothers"? It's atrocious. Flac is OK, but it sounds muddled compared to WAV. The higher the bitrate the greater the detail and the higher the sampling rate the better instrument separation. I know I can't hear above 20kHz, but what I can hear is how the frequencies above 20kHz affect the frequencies below 20kHz. Provenance is a word used a lot around here, so if you list it for each recording you will make many new friends. Maybe you could list the average Dynamic Range (DR) of each listing, too. I know I am asking a lot, but you asked first, and if you follow my recommendations you can proclaim in your adverts: NO DYNAMIC COMPRESSION FOR THE BEST SOUND!
  5. Not all CDs are created equal. Most music released from the early nineties and later, especially "remasters", are sonically inferior to earlier recordings. Dynamic compression and all that. I try to find the earliest CD version of a recording to purchase. Discogs is an excellent place to start. They list all versions of a recording (vinyl, tape and CD) with specific catalog numbers and dates. They also link to vendors who have those specific versions for sale. Ebay is another source for older used CDs, but most sellers do not list the relevant info necessary to know what version you are buying. GEMM is another resource for used CDs, but like Ebay it is difficult to know what year each release is.
  6. I purchased the original Deepblue from Amazon based on Computer Audiophile's rave review last year. I might have kept it, but the bluetooth playback was sketchy; it intermittently dropped the stream. But before returning the Deepblue, I purchased Cambridge Audio's Minx 200. Again from Amazon. Love their customer service! I compared them side by side and the Minx 200 won hands down based only on the audio quality, from either bluetooth or Airplay streaming (which the Deepblue doesn't have). The reliable streaming and Airplay connectivity were definitely pluses. It would be interesting to see a comparison review of the Deepblue 2.0 and the Minx 200 by Computer Audiophile.
  7. As far as 24-192 tracks go, it sounds very good to stunning. Excellent detail in all the recordings. The high resolution reveals the good and the bad in the recordings, but it is mostly good. Especially Heartbeat City: John "Mutt" Lange's effort produced one of the slickest pieces of pop ever put to tape. But, despite the perfection of Heartbeat City, I still consider their first two albums as their best works, and their hi-res versions do them justice. I wish they had found a way to include the excellent Tonight She Comes from their Greatest Hits album. I'm sure they'll release that sometime later. Twenty-seven years after its release I still haven't listened to Door to Door. I probably never will, but now that I own it might accidentally find its way into my listening queue.
  8. I impulsively pulled the trigger on the HDtracks box set tonight. Here is the Moving In Stereo waveform and spectrogram. The DR for this song is 12.
  9. I have finally heard (after waiting a month after downloading) Sound Chaser. My God! What an amazing recording! I can't remember hearing this track with such evocative emotion. I am truly stunned at its brilliance. Kudos to Rhino Atlantic and HDtracks.
  10. Purple Rain from HD tracks 24/192 download.
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