1. Millemissen says:

    Sadly nowadays almost anything put into a 24/96 (and more) container qualifies for being high-res audio.
    Hardly anyone asks the question of provenance – how these files were made, how was the recording etc done?

  2. Hi MM,

    Of course, I agree. There is no difference in the quality of a 44.1/16 distribution of a recording of Caruso and a 96/24 version of the same thing – assuming that all other steps were the same (basically, meaning “with the same mastering”). The original recording and mastering have far more to do with the final quality than the number of samples per second or the number of bits per sample.

    Personally, I’d rather listen to a 32 kHz/12bit distribution of a good recording than a 192/24 version of a bad one… (“Casablanca” is a much better movie than “Freddy Got Fingered“, despite that the latter has colour…)

    Then again, there are labels (I’m thinking of Linn Records and Pentatone, specifically, but only because they’re personal favourites of mine…) where the original recording is good, it is (or at least probably is…) in high-res…

    Like many other things, the issue of high-res recordings should be framed with a giant BUYER BEWARE sign, since, as the old English proverb says, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”


  3. Hi Geoff & MM,
    I totally agree that the better the recording, mixing, mastering, the better the sound wil be.
    However there are things to consider.
    There are many mainstream labels that produce records according to the loudness wars.
    On the other hand, there are plenty of high quality labels that produce good, noise-free and dynamic records.
    Now, most of these high quality labels master records at a reasonable volume but others sometimes seem to master at a (for me anyway) way to high volume.
    Although these high quality-high volume records are noise-free and dynamic and thus have totally nothing to do with the loudness war i still think they are mastered to loud.
    Since every stereo has a volume control and since the listener sets it according to his or her preferences, this makes it totally strange and unnecessary in my opinion to master that loud.
    What also has to be considered is the distribution channel.
    Nowadays most high-res music is sold by online music stores like iTunes, HDtracks or Rhapsody just to randomly name a few.
    Not every site where you can buy and download music distributes the same music in the same quality.
    Sometimes the same 24-bit files from the same label can sound very different in quality when comparing between the different online music stores.
    Maybe this is because they use different converters or software or maybe the managers care more about money than the music i don’t know.
    Whatever the case, this is very confusing for the average music listener who has to find out by trial and error where to get the best music files.
    So all in all, just like you said, BUYER BEWARE.

    kind regards

  4. Millemissen says:

    The big question is – given that the ‘product’ right from the start really is true 24/96(192) – what* would we benefit from it?
    Most of our reproducing gear at home won’t even support, what might be in a 24/96(192) endproduct.
    Imo – it is much more important than the delievery container, that the recording/mixing/mastering engineers know how to do a ‘good’ recording (and that they do it!).
    If that is the case, a 16/44.1(88) file for playback at home will be more than satisfying on most equipment.

    * Maybe the processing of the files in a modern DSP-based playback chain would benefit from it???

  5. Millemissen says:

    Thanks for the links :-)
    David Moulton worked with Manny LaCarrubba at Sausalito Audio LLC to create the original acoustic lens technology.

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