I agree entirely with Orpheus10 on the sound quality of HD computer audio, albeit from a different perspective. See my previous post on this subject:
BTW; I have no commercial association with HD Tracks, I just like their products.
I think you are approaching this all wrong. System matching is far more important than just buying a bunch of highly rated components. You can't listen to any one component. The only way you can evaluate a piece of gear is to listen to it as part of a system. You need to consider that when you are reading reviews. A reviewer may rate a component as an A piece, but he can only do this in the context of his own system. You may listen to the same component in your system, and come to the conclusion that its a C component. I know that makes component selection more difficult, but thats just the way it goes.
You can, however, get around all this. I would recommend that you stop reading reviews. You don't need them. It may sound like a weird suggestion, but it works. You'll get much better sound if you go through the process of building a system by yourself, without any help from outside sources. Thats how you really learn audio.
In my opinion it depends a lot on the catalog number (mix) and pressing. I have some Black Sabbath UK Vertigo first pressings, self titled, and Master of Reality and the presentation of the soundstage and where Ozzy's voice is is different than the remasters. The emphasis on guitar versus voice is completely different. I believe a proper comparison, you would need to ensure that the record and the digital file was generated from the Same master tape, ensuring the same mix. If I didnt have the Vertigo labels with the original mix, I would not have known how different the digital files and re masters sound.
Dear Orpheus10: My comparison was not exactly HD down load but I made a comparison between digital through a CD player and LP with the same tittle recording and by coincidence one of the titles I used was the Santana Abraxas, the LP is a half-speed mastered by CBS master recordings. You can read something here:
here an additional experiences on the same subject:
I'm an analog lover but not a close-mind one that can't " see " the today digital superiority, superiority gained/achieved for very good reasons
Regards and enjoy the music,
No doubt, if you have the right equipment, analog can be better than digital, but at what price? That's something you can't get around, and no amount of mixing and matching is going to change that.
I'll share my experience with regards to HD audio. Some months back I got to listen to a very high end system. ARC 40th Anniversary Ref, Ref 610, CD8, Ref DAC and an Oracle turntable outputted to the big Maggies. It was a magical night. (Let me just say as a side note that this system sounded fantastic and very musical, in fact, I think the Oracle had a bit better PRAT than my Sota; but I was still able to come home and enjoy my humble system.) I got to hear some CD's, some records and some HD music files. Analog on this system sounded very musical and enjoyable. Then we played some "select" HD files. I say select because my buddy said there is a lot of variation in sound quality even among HD files. To me, the HD music was as good as analog but without any background noise. The soundstage was just as large and holographic as analog. Then we we played some CDs the music and soundstage just seemed flat in comparison; and this was on the ARC CD8! I'm sold on the HD files route but I am bewildered with all of the choices that must be made and not having a way to audition various systems leaves me out in the cold. I want to go HD, just that I am waiting and trying to sort out the best path.
I grew up with Santana and Sabbath and I loved their music, well not Sabbath, but you get the idea. I'm sure many of you will disagree, but I just don't think that using these records to prove the superiority of a particular medium is really valid. Most of those older rock records had the sh*t compressed out of them and were generally produced as cheaply as possible. I'm absolutely not defending vinyl here - I play more CDs than records myself and they can be excellent. I just think that before a pronouncement is made, a wider cross section should be used. Try James Taylor JT, which was exquisitely recorded, even back in the early 70s, or god forbid, some acoustic music like a Mozart string quartet. Again, please - I am not criticizing anyone's taste in music. If anything, IMO, the music of the late 60's and early 70's was the absolute pinnacle of rock, much as the 68-70 American muscle cars were the high point of American auto making. The 70 GTO was stunning! Enjoy what you like.
When such places as high end emporiums were available, I went to these places like someone who was on a mission, my mission was to verify, or nullify Stereophile's rating system. For me, I verified Stereophile's rating system.
I'm going to give you examples of Stereophile ratings that are old and recognizable analog audio: Class "A" turntable VPI TNT MK V $6000., and that was one of the cheaper TT's.
Tonearms Class "A": Tri-Planar Mk VI $3250.; Rega RB 900, $995.
Cartridges: Class "A" Lyra Helikon $1995.; van den Hul Colibri $6000.
These different classes are not just some arbitrary designations given by reviewers, but different levels of sonic quality. It's the sound of Class "A" as compared to the sound of Class "B". Of course we all know a cartridge does not generate a sound alone, it's the improvement of the sound of the music after installation of that cartridge in your system. As audiophiles, we are required to learn system compatibility, but that will not replace component quality, and you can not get class "A" sound with Class "B" components, although you can consider whatever sound you're listening to Class "A".
A class "C" Rega TT can be upgraded to yield Class "B" sound with modifications, and there are other components that can be modified to yield a higher sonic quality, but to get into the vaunted realm of Class "A" sonics will require a trip to the bottom of one's pockets, especially since every single solitary component in the chain must be at that same sonic level.
I believe these HD Downloads are generating the equivalent of Class "A" analog. If one already has a Class "A" analog rig, there is certainly no reason to get excited about HD Downloads, but on the other hand, I believe they're economical for those of us who don't.
Enjoy the music.
Dear Orpheus10: ++++ " If one already has a Class "A" analog rig, there is certainly no reason to get excited about HD Downloads,.... " ++++++
I have not experiences with HD Downloads in my system ( I will try to have it asip. ) but if is similar to the quality performance level of a well recorded DVDA played in a decent today DAC ( 32/192. ) then IMHO I can tell you that even those A system persons could be existed when they understand what they are hearing through digital and what is happening through analog, not before.
Regrads and enjoy the music,
There is no doubt that High Rez digital can sound very good. And there is no denying the convenience and noise floor are superior to very good analog. I would say that if one is starting out and has a very small music library, than an argument can certainly be made for skipping analog and going with High Rez files for both sonic and price reasons.
However, if one is older and has a large collection of records that are not available on a high rez digital format, then the argument can shift in favor or analog. There is also how the medium tends to be used. I put on a record and listen to it for 20 minutes. I've seen people with an iPad listen to high rez who only play one song while they are searching the screen for the next cut. It can be a very different experience.
I think most will agree that both can sound good.
Regarding Stereophile ratings: The best systems I have heard tend to be ones that have very well matched components and are very well set up in good rooms. They have little to do with Class A ratings and everything to do with the people who put the systems together.
Raulirgras, and Chayro; there are more variables in this game than you can shake a stick at. There are current CD's, not old music on new CD's; but new music recently recorded that is better than my HD Downloads of old music. You have to take all variables into consideration as you come to them.
Enjoy the music.
It appears that your mind was made before you even listened.
As soon as the music began, it became apparent the HD Download was superior; there was a "jet black" background. This is something I had never heard before. I'm fully aware of the fact that's an "oxymoron". "How can you hear what you don't hear, and you have never heard before". Only an audiophile can understand that, consequently, I won't try to explain it. After only two cuts, I gave the HD Download an "A+" rating.
I thought you were more pragmatic than to loosely proclaim HD's superiority after a a few minutes of listening. Considering the subjectivety of "superior sound" and the vagaries of what constitutes "class A" and "Class B" it just seems out of character for you.
So, after 2 cuts you give HD download and A plus, have you reached the summit?
IMHO, once music enters the digital domain something is lost, the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. It looses something intangible and I haven't found a way to bring it back (dac are a compromise to equate digits to art, it will never replace the analog (art)
HD downloads come with a completely different set of compromises compared to analog, but they are there. If our reference is live music the jet black background is another form of distortion and that is only the begining.
HD allows us to perform a lot of tricks with music and in my mind takes us further from the summit.
Dear Zenblaster: I do not posted what you posted. I understand was a " finger " mistake to took my name.
Regards and enjoy the music,
My apology Raul, I couldn't believe what I was reading, it was not your usual method.
Never mind, I knew was a " finger " error.
I've had very good experiences with HD Tracks hi-rez downloads. I don't believe Stereophile ratings and like many have already stated, its more important to match the components to get the sound quality you're seeking rather than buying the highest rated Stereophile rated components.
That said, I have a Bricasti M1 USB (the latest version with the improved digital section power supply as of March 2013) that is rated A+ in Stereophile. I also have a fully upgraded Linn LP12 with the Radikal PS, Keel subchassis, Eko SE arm and Akiva MC cartridge. The analog setup cost more than double the cost of Bricasti DAC. The configuration of my LP12 is rated class A and my phono stage, Zesto Andros PS1 is also rated class A.
When I compare an LP to the same HD download, I have always preferred the LP. I've only compared 3-4 albums but each time I preferred the LP. I do like the HD downloads a lot though and I have about 25 24/192 or 24/96 albums. I agree the HD downloads sound great but I still like my LP a smidgen better.
All digital formats are read by whatever player the same way. It is a step sampling of the information that is being read, an average of the information. You are not going to hear everything that is recorded. Digital will always be missing something. With vinyl, all of the information is in that groove. You are not missing anything. The needle doesn't take an average of the information that is in the groove and then use some mathematical curve to determine the playback of the music. It plays all the information. You are not missing anything!
Zenblaster, "In my comparison evaluation, I used Santana "Abraxas" as the test LP. Since I've worn out 5 copies of this album, to say I'm familiar with it is an understatement. "Singing Winds And Crying Beasts" is the first cut, it has "tinkly" sounding chimes that test definition on all equipment. After listening to a new LP, I gave it an "A" rating. This meant the HD Download would have to be some kind of fantastic to top the LP."
After wearing out so many LP's, it only took two cuts to tell me something was different, and of course I listen to it all the time now. What ever your intangibles are, I have yet to discover them.
Enjoy the music.
I like and agree with a lot of what you are saying, but not everything.
"As audiophiles, we are required to learn system compatibility, but that will not replace component quality, and you can not get class "A" sound with Class "B" components, although you can consider whatever sound you're listening to Class "A"."
"but to get into the vaunted realm of Class "A" sonics will require a trip to the bottom of one's pockets, especially since every single solitary component in the chain must be at that same sonic level."
I understand what you are talking about, and that may be the case in some situations, but not always. I've found that in many cases, using B rated or lower components, can yield class A sound. You do say this, and that the reason is good system matching. I agree. My argument is that I think Stereophile just gets it wrong sometimes. Why do they? I really don't know. It could be any number of reasons.
I've had several pieces over the years that were B and C components. Doing my best to get everything sounding as best I could, I compared these components with A rated components. Of course this is all subjective, but in many cases I was able to get A sound out of lesser rated components. Not only that, they often cost far less than their A competition.
The only 2 issues I have with all of this is: 1. Stereophile sometimes miss-rates components. (Definitely not your fault in any way. I only bring it up to suggest not following the ratings too closely. They make mistakes just like any one else.)
2. This is where we may disagree. When you say that you can take a B or C component an do a really good job matching the system so that the overall sound is A, I believe that makes an A rated component. Why wouldn't it? You are absolutely correct in that system matching is the key to everything. I just don't see how you can separate the 2 ideas (system matching and rating). If you can get A sound from a B component using careful matching and setup methods, why wouldn't you rate the component A?
I hope I did a good job explaining my point. If I'm not clear on anything, just post and I'll try to explain it a little better.
Dear Benjie: +++++ " With vinyl, all of the information is in that groove. You are not missing anything. " +++++
well that's IMHO is only in theory. Please analize the LP playback proccess and let us know if " you are not missing anything ".
Nothing is perfect and analog is not and those imperfections preclude that you can hear what's in the recorded grooves. Think about.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Zd542, if for a moment we can just drop "Stereophile" out of this equation, and designate a particular level of "sonic" quality as class "A", all will become clear. This is something I've only heard at high end emporiums. Once was with all top of the line ARC electronics, and top of the line Thiel speakers, plus room treatment. The sound was visible in the air, you could point to many different spaces where sound emanated from. That was Class "A" sound, and any way you can get it sounds good to me. Class "B" or "B+" is very, very good, if someone thinks it's Class "A", who am I to argue. I have "holographic" sound in my listening "spot", I won't say "room", but from where I sit there's "holographic sound", the speakers are nonexistent. I assume most hardworking audiophile's have the same thing.
When you enjoy your music playing on your system, what difference does Class make?
Enjoy the music.
Whoever dies with the best sounding stereo wins...
i have 5 terabytes of hirez digital and enjoy it daily. i mostly listen to dsd files, but also lots of hirez PCM. i'm listening to it now. i agree that it sounds very very good, and sometimes great. it does have a consistently low noise floor and is clean sounding and noise free.
i have what likely would be considered top level vinyl in my system, as well as maybe B+ too. i've had plenty of B range vinyl in my system recently enough to have a feel for it and how it compares to hirez.
you can make a case for hirez competeing directly with B level vinyl, but it's not a case that works for me. there is a level of musically significant information in vinyl which is simply missing with hirez digital. there is dynamics and articulation in the bass which is not there in high rez. the areas where hirez does have some advantages are not musically significant to me (such as lack of ticks and slight noise). i'll take the deeper musical message of vinyl any day if we are stating preferences.
it's not important that we prefer hirez to vinyl; it's only important that we like it and enjoy it.
i listen to hirez digital mostly for convenience sake or when that is the only form for that particular music. when i'm reading, web-surfing, or too lazy/not in the mood to do vinyl. which for me is about 30%-40% of the time. so it's an important part of my musical menu.
hirez digital sounds great, and it does offer benefits. it is just fine and needs no apologies.
As a user of both hi Res downloads and what would be considered an A rated analog set up, my opinion is that all the absolutes have completely broken down. One can longer say that one format is superior, only that one particular pressing or digital transfer of a specific recording may be better than another. If a digital transfer (or LP) was done from a true mixed master, while the other format was done from an EQ or protection master, then the better source/mastering will probably win. There are plenty of HD downloads and SACD that don't have anything above 22khz when the file is checked on a spectrum analysis. There are plenty of hi res digital cuts that are spectacular.
I will preface this all by saying that digital playback is cheaper than analog, as there is no getting around the physics required to make a first class analog rig.
Then there is also the intangible part of the listening experience. Even though a digital file may have better audiophile characteristics when broken down categorically, there is a certain listen ability and enjoyment when listening to LP's on a top rig. MY point is the digital file can sound better on the audio check marks, but the right LP can create an experience that goes beyond the sporting aspect of hearing instruments portrayed accurately.
Case in point is how good music can sound on a car stereo. My theory is that since itS running off a battery the lack of AC grunge allows it to penetrate the hearing system. I heard the same effect With the battery operated Veloce gear at two different shows.
Would anyone say that the ordinary car stereo is amazing audio wise, no but there is A rightness that makes it enjoyable.
Another factor some people have spoken of is that the LP's precondition the signal for better compatibility with speakers. I can't say I completely understand it, but it is something spoken of. perhaps a more limited dynamic range is helping?
One last thing from the recording world that may shed some insight. All the very top rock recording sessions, the ones done digitally, all have the drums recorded to 24 tracks analog, and that is mixed down to a few digital stems which is taken into the the Protools sessions. Modern recording wisdom says that the dynamics of drums are better recorded analog, then digitized.
I can not recommend HD Downloads for anyone who is not a computer "Geek", or doesn't know one. Something went wrong with my HD Downloads, and I was about to go crazy, when I decided to call my "Geek". He said the computer had to be reset. I have no idea why that only affected the HD Downloads. My "Geek" doesn't talk much, I still don't know what was wrong, but he fixed it. If you're not a "Geek", and can't call one, stay away from HD Downloads.
In regard to what I've downloaded, I'm still going "Ga Ga" over the results. That intangible quality that evokes an emotional response to music, is called "soul" by some, and "geist" or spirit by others. It's the life force in the music. I've heard CD's that were totally stripped of that quality, even though they were of the same music. These HD Downloads are 100% intact, and are no different than Class "A" analog. Since my mind will not accept digital amplification, I can understand your inability to accept HD Downloads. Maybe our problems are the same, I've never heard a digital amp, have you heard HD Downloads?
I'll try to address some questions you have. My Download of the MJQ reflects that groups recording quality. While Santana was recorded earlier, it's a much better recording in regard to sonics. That's a variable you will have to determine on a case by case basis. In each case, there is no deviation from the LP. If there was a flaw in the original LP, it will be worse on the Download.
When you're in a high end emporium and hear the difference between Class "A" and Class "B", you will notice that it's a little better, however when you hear the price difference of the components, unless you're rich, you will be quite content to live with Class "B". Class "B" is not inferior as much as it is cheaper. Class "B" is very very good. Whatever you have, if you think it's Class "A", that works for me.
Enjoy the music.
Smatsui, as an "audiophile" it's understood that you have to do your homework in regard to putting a system together. Forget about "Stereophile" altogether, and you still have to have a very expensive analog system to get sound better than a HD Download. Since only the most special LP's will be downloaded, I will continue to enjoy my analog rig very much, but I have no illusions in regard to HD sounding better than "My" rig.
Enjoy the music.
I think it is easy to get caught up into the x format or source is the best, especially after the time, effort, and money that can be expended to be somewhat satisfied in the final results. I have been enjoying vinyl for about 50 years and have an excellent rig with great table/arm cartridge synergy, but maybe 10% of the pressings I have sound really good. First pressings seem to have a higher percentage of falling into this category. Audiophile remasters seem to be consistently mediocre. I have high res files that sound great and some that are mediocre, even redbook cds that are very good. 15 ips reel to reel masters are consistently the best if you can find them and have the cash to lay out. Even live events are very inconsistent. Hall acoustics, right seat, have good tech rehearsals been performed for the venue, Is the guy on the board setup backstage and asleep at the wheel, (pretty common for rock performances). The point for me is to build the versatility and synergy into my system to take advantage of the gem recordings available, in whatever format they may be. I don't find the format to be the determining factor in my ultimate enjoyment of the music, with the possible exception of a good reel to reel recording. I want to be able to take advantage of all of it.
Petepappp, I have a 2 track Technics reel to reel, and everything that's recorded sounds better on playback. The sound stage is bigger with more depth and definition. Most people don't believe that. Now the problem is no tape available.
While the qualities of recordings vary from one to the other, these down loads vary with the record, and they are "always" better than whatever particular record they were downloaded from. The last HD Download had "nuance" on a record I hadn't heard since 60.
Enjoy the music.
After upgrading some of my old vinyl treasures to what for me was the ultimate, I'm quite satisfied. There just isn't enough new music to go overboard on HD Downloads, and I'm contented with my analog rig.
Let me tell you about something that really made my day. When "Blue Funk", by Ray Charles and Milt Jackson was a 45 on jukeboxes in the early 60's, I heard "nuances" that I hadn't heard since. The 33 1/3 LP didn't quite capture those nuances. Lucky for me HD Downloads had that LP, and although it wasn't 45, it captured those very same "nuances" that I've been in search of for so long.
I just put "Upojenie", by Pat Metheney and Maria Jopek into the CD player. It was recorded in 2008, and it's better than any CD or record that I've got. This CD casts a wide 3D sound stage that breathes, the performers are in the room. The only difference between it and the Downloads is the "jet black background". Digital is not standing still.
The music is reminiscent of "Off Ramp" by Pat, but much more advanced. Anna Maria Jopek, the vocalist, is absolutely fantastic. Although the sonics are as good as it gets, I don't see anything special on the CD. There are so many options that I'm in a music lovers paradise.
Enjoy the music.
Orpheus10, I agree that digital is evolving nicely and some of the HD formats are capable of excellent sound reproduction. My point is, for now anyway, there are always other factors involved that effect sound reproduction, such as: experience, skill or personal preferences of the person who makes the recording, person who does the mix down, variations in quality of source, whether its a copy of something pre-recorded or a live event, quality of equipment, microphones, proper mic placement, venue acoustics, etc., and these things are audible in the final product. Digital, in general to me, can be very good at detail but even the high def formats still seem to lack some qualities that analog seems to be better at. I think the different formats just sound different, however subtly, and have their inherent strengths and weaknesses. Under the right circumstances, with a good recording and associated equpiment, they are all capable of excellent music reproduction. Put simply, I have never heard any format digital recording that sounds 100% like analog, because its not. Not necessarily a bad thing to me.
Tonywinsc, I don't know what you're waiting for? After your wait you'll still be faced with the same options and decisions. With HD you can have Class "A" audio through your computer. This is the same as if you had Class "A" analog gear. That's why I said those who have Class "A" analog gear may not be impressed. In regard to the variations in records, that's not going to change. The HD is going to vary with the record it's copied from.
Enjoy the music.
Peterayer, your situation is identical to mine. I'm going through my collection and replacing old (scratched) records with HD Downloads. Your use of records and mine might even be the same, this is not a case of this or that, but both.
Enjoy the music.
I'm waiting because have heard only one HD DAC source. I haven't had the time to research more or find another store to hear other units for comparison. It also gets a bit bewildering figuring out the best way to get from the computer to the preamp. e.g. USB, jitter reduction boxes, firewire, BNC, etc.
Tonywinc, unlike analog, a cheap USB cable works just fine. A Music Streamer Dac works just fine. You don't have to be rich in order to get into digital, although there is a lot to learn. Fortunately, I know a "geek". This old dog can't, or wont learn new tricks. Your way is the best way, which ever way that is.
Enjoy the music.
Orpheus 10, I don't think our situations are identical. I don't listen to digital. For me it is not a case of this or that. It is only a case of that, ie. analog LPs.
Tonywinsc, I am currently using an Audioquest Dragonfly, which is an USB thumb drive. The thumb drive bypasses my laptop's internal music processor to its ESS Sabre DAC. The thumb drive has a female mini jack in the back. Plug the thumb drive into usb port on my laptop, plug a mini to RCA cable into the back of the drive and plug RCAs into preamp. The Dragonfly is $249. With the cable I've got less than $400 in the rig and get very good performance. I also plug my headphones directly into the thumb drive with a mini adaptor. I have no connection to Audioquest, just a solution that works well for me you might want to check out.
Dear Orpheus10/friends: I'm a rockie on digital and my ignorance level to high.
I would like to know which the difference in quality performance and why between the HD Down Load alternative against a DVDA disc ( native 24/192 recording. ) played in a normal/universal CD player that came with 32/192 DACs?
Regards and enjoy the music,
Digital can sound totally natural. Digital seems to sound cleaner and clearer than my Analog. I have a feeling of awe sometimes at how great the sound is, at times, with Digital. Still, many of my Analog albums can give me the chills when I play the pressings at realistic levels. I dont get chills with Digital. That could be just my own bias, but that is what happens.
If I restrict myself to analog recordings only, there is a whole slew of new music I'll be missing out on. There just aren't that many artists putting out new analog recordings. I also find the variety interesting mixing up tape, vinyl and digital in a listening session. It will be interesting to see if Digital source recordings catch on. Going to be tough with current pricing and availability.
As everyone knows, there is no more bias on any forum than on the "analog" forum, which is why I posted digital here. Even with all the bias, those who tried HD Downloads have given them a positive response.
Cartridges have personalities which transcend to the music. DigitaL has no personality, it's totally neutral.
Raul, when you get to the highest echelon of the "high end", you've gone beyond anything, and everything technical that I know of. We've gone into the realm of "pure music", therefore only explanations that relate to music can suffice.
I stated on one of my posts that I heard "nuance" on a Download, that I had been in search of since the early 60's. The CD didn't even come close, my LP was sadly lacking but at least it hinted at this "nuance" I was in search of. Here is something almost no one knows; those "jukeboxes" we fed quarters in the 60's, were "high end", and 45's gave the ultimate results, that's why we couldn't stop feeding them quarters. That's where I heard this nuance I had been in search of, and since rediscovered it on a Download.
After I completed electronics school ages ago, and SS ruled, we debated "audiophiles" who didn't even know ohms law. They gave musical explanations, while we gave "technical" explanations. There was no way their antiquated tube amplifiers could be better than our up to date SS amplifiers, all you had to do was compare the specs of our SS amps to their antiquated tube amps.
I no longer bother with technical explanations to explain anything musical, because as an "audiophile", that's all that's relevant. I've been listening to these HD Downloads since posting this thread, and they only get better. They deliver that intangible aspect of the music which the artist intended to deliver. These intangible aspects involve us emotionally and give great satisfaction, they are why we spend so much on this equipment, and these "intangible" aspects are the absolute bottom line, they're what it's all about.
Enjoy the music.
Raul, I can't find any difference in reference to your specific question. HD Downloads are direct from master tapes, which could explain the high quality, but technically I don't see any difference between the two since both are 24/192.
Dear Orpheus/friends: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1368882354&openflup&35&4#35
I'm asking because my latest experiences listening to DVDAs trhough latest DACs/CD player technology is nothing short of astonish, even the LP alternative and beats it in many ways.
As I said I'm ignorant on the whole digital subject if one of you can help that will be appreciated.
Thank's in advance.
regards and enjoy the music,
Raul, a funny thing just happened; although you stated you were ignorant on this whole digital subject, you've summed up everything I've discovered after making comparisons for all my waking hours, for the last 10 days; digital is better than records by a hair because of the silent background.
No record or HD Download can be better than the master tape. A recently recorded CD will sound better than music recorded a long time ago on record because of the equipment used to make the master tape. Love it or hate it, that's the way it is. No HD Download of old music, will be better than a recently recorded CD, because of the equipment used to make the master tape. "Analogers" are always comparing music on record that was made a long time ago, to something on CD that was recently recorded, and saying it's better; that's what I call "Psycho-acoustic" hearing, if it's on a record, it's always better.
Enjoy the music.
Most modern recordings are not done to master tape but recorded digitally. Digital recordings are manipulated by the mastering engineer, compressed, expanded, reverb added, certain frequencies manipulated,to try to produce something that is pleasing to the ear, (whose ear?). This doesn't take into account all the equipment, placement, a myriad of other things that are involved in recording and have an effect on the final outcome. The idea that a digital recording is somehow an uncolored picture of a musical event is just false. There are recently done analog recordings that are fantastic and yes way better than their redbook cd counterparts. I have high def digital files that are just not that good. Just because a recording and final product is analog doesn't make it all that either. Personal preference plays a huge role in what we find pleasing. Direct streaming digital 5.6 mhz format recordings are different than PCM 24/96 recordings, but does that mean they are inherently better, I don't think so, its not that simple. I choose to listen to all the formats I can to find the gem recordings that are pleasing to me.
Dear Petepappp: ++++++ " I choose to listen to all the formats I can to find the gem recordings " +++++
I'm with you, if we are music lovers " more " than " simple " audiophiles then IMHO we have to listen the different alternatives we have on hand been analog or digital and not only to find out the " gem recordings " but because there are great music ( if not its quality recording. ) that was recorded only in one specific format.
Today I can attest that we can enjoy, as an audiophile person, analog or digital format. The advacement on digital technology today permit to enjoy it in full way as analog.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I agree Rauliruegas, especially since Itunes is now the biggest marketer of music and high definition is not their focus. I enjoy a great recording but if I limit myself to them, there is a whole lot of music I will miss out on.
I paid for a 44.1 KHZ/16 bit Download before I noticed what it was, and discovered that it's no better than a CD. "Buyer Beware", don't waste your money on a download that's no better than a CD.
44.1 is the standard sample rate for a CD. The sample rate defines the frequency range of a digital recording, also the amount of time between samples. The bit resolution defines the dynamic range of the sound, therefore you want 24 bits for a Download, as opposed to the CD standard 16 bit.
When comparing a 24 bit file with a 16 bit file you will get smoother high frequencies and more depth to the sound stage. Personally, I want it all, wider frequency range and wider dynamic range; that means 88 KHZ/ 24 Bit or nothing.
Enjoy the music.
"...that means 88 KHZ/24 Bit or nothing." Or analog.
Peterayer, analog will never be out of the equation; especially for those of us who value a deep sound stage, wide frequency and dynamic ranges, as well as high definition.
Enjoy the music.
Analog is like 1 billion kHz/1 billion Bit.