Complete Smiths in 24/96 at HDTracks

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steve ®

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Post 14-Jun-2013 07:22

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I see HDTracks are now offering the complete Smiths in 24/96 HiRes for $65.
I think HDTracks is only available to people in the US ... although I think there are ways of getting around that.
I'm not totally convinced that 24/96 is noticeably different from 16/44. I assume these will have been made from the same masters ... but maybe not.
Hopefully someone will do an analysis of the files to see. ComputerAudiophile do a lot of those.
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f13-audiophile-downloads/smiths-complete-16366/
Still for $65, seems worth a punt?
Except its not complete ... in that its just the 4 actual albums, and none of the compilations. Hmmmmm
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DavidA

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Post 14-Jun-2013 13:50 (after 6 hours)

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Interesting. what.cd has all the Arkwright/Marr remasters in 24/96, but they were taken from vinyl. As you say, perhaps these were taken from the masters themselves.
$65 is cheap. I'll do it when I get a moment.
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steve ®

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Post 14-Jun-2013 15:01 (after 1 hour 10 minutes)

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I've got them now. They are listing Strangeways as from the 2011 remaster, but nothing for the others.
I haven't got the best software for analyzing them, but at a quick look at the waveforms and listening, the Strangeway files look identical, but the others don't.
Hard to really see in just the waveforms, but there do seem to be very slight differences in level.
I imagine there will be more info up on computer audiophile before long with more detailed analysis.
I'll have a good listen tomorrow through the HiFi. But as I said ... I'm really not sure that anyone can hear a difference between 24/96 and 16/44 from the same master. I'm really only getting them from some irrational completist urge.
Would be disappointing if they had used inferior masters for the first 3 albums.
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waterisnat

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Post 14-Jun-2013 16:41 (after 1 hour 39 minutes)

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What irks me about HD tracks is that in some cases they do tell you they had access to the actual master tapes and have done a proper audiophile remaster (e.g. with the Velvet Underground), whereas in others they don't tell you anything and you end up with hi-res files that are actually bloated 16/44 files that don't cover the full audio range they promise. To add injury to insult, you also risk of getting files that suffer from brickwalling (cases in point being the Talking Heads and R.E.M. files they offer; in all fairness, one notable exception to this is their offering of the latest remaster of R.E.M.'s 1988 album, Green).
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steve ®

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Post 14-Jun-2013 17:01 (after 20 minutes)

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That seems to be a general problem with HiRes files.
There are scientific facts that show that there is nothing significant to be gained by upping the resolution beyond 16/48. there are some theories as to why 24/96 might give some improvement (but not beyond that). But there have been no studies that show that anyone can actually hear the difference between 24/96 and 16/44 ... none at all.
HiRes has been jumped on by some companies to make money. As sampling theory seems to be completely misunderstood by most audiophiles, they have been able to charge premiums for higher resolution files claiming they are 'better'.
HDTracks are guilty of this, as you say. You can never be sure where their masters came from. They charge more for 24/96 than a normal CD, and much more for 24/192 (which is just pointless).
The one redeeming feature of hires files, is that sometimes they do actually remaster the audio properly.
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waterisnat

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Post 15-Jun-2013 08:32 (after 15 hours)

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I find that a similar situation is the case with the plethora of vinyl reissues. Sure there are gems to be found in the multitude of 180g releases, but in a number of cases you can just smell from a mile away that the licensing company has simply transferred a digital master onto a slab of vinyl, in which case I wonder what the point is (apart from the fact that you get a nice looking artefact).
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fab eberhard

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Post 16-Jun-2013 18:02 (after 1 day 9 hours)

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i suffer from moments of "irrational completist urge" disorder (lol @ steve) but i have finally learned to be honest with myself about my hearing so... for me i know i don't hear those differences. i suffer more from "how many formats or releases are necessary?" syndrome. $65 seems crazy.
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