What Hirez Discs Have You Purchased Recently?

Phil A

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Paul.S said:
Random question for you folks who are download experts: Can I play 192/24 AIFF files using iTunes?

Also, I'd appreciate anyone who can comment or point me to a tutorial on how/whether I can burn 96 or 124 tracks I download to a disc I can play on my Oppo BDP-93. Can I just use the disc burning functionality natively available on my MacBook to burn a data disc?
According to this yes - http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/159456/can-itunes-now-play-hd-music-files-in-high-definition
 

Phil A

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I've never used ALAC as I do all my stuff to FLAC and the iPod Classic is in the car and I have mostly 320bps MP3s that I did for another file player and I've since done some CDs in ALAC. I only use the iPod on decent drives and 4,400+ tracks lasts quite a while.


I just got Patricia Barber's 'A Distortion of Love' and Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'In Step' on SACD and burnt the DSD files. I'm busy backing up the files so all I got a chance to listen to was a few cuts of 'A Distortion of Love' from the CD layer on the iPod. Sounded good.
 

Paul.S

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Phil A said:
Yes, I got my answer (I think by e-mailing HD Tracks), but thank you very much. Since I still prefer packaged media, it's becoming frustrating to go to that site. I'm starting to see more and more content available high rez on there that's not on an HD media disc (yet?). The latest visit to the site reveals that Don Henley's Building the Perfect Beast is available. Still have my MFSL Ultradisc but it's not high rez.


Something of a conundrum here for me. It should get better with time, but I'm still a little annoyed about some of the new technical hoops I need to jump through to access this HD content from online (as recently as right now, I'm having an issue with the HD Tracks Download Manager not launching properly on my MacBook). But I'm starting to see a lot of titles at that site I'd like to have. I also continue to be vexed by the lack of provenance information at that site: Where is all this content coming from? Beast is on Geffen, a UMG label; I'm seeing a lot of Rush there, too, and part of their catalog is on Mercury, another UMG label. UMG is supporting BD Audio. Does this mean that some/many/any of these titles now showing up on HD Tracks might get a "physical" release "soon"?


I'm already annoyed by the movie equivalent of this issue (I just watched Jodie Foster's Nell: there's no BD so I did the movie in HD from Amazon Instant since I'm Prime; but I still flipped a copy of the DVD that Netflix doesn't rent to listen to both the Michael Apted and (excellent) Jodie Foster commentary tracks). But I've reached a point wherein I'm trying to concentrate more on what Netflix continues to have on DVD and BD instead of the seemingly growing number of titles getting moved to the "Saved" graveyard at the bottoms of my queues. So I'm trying to adopt the same attitude about music: concentrate on what IS available on HD disc as opposed to what is not and is just downloadable. But it's getting more frustrating. Dudamel and the Bolivars have a new Wagner album that is download only. Even Deutsche Grammophon (another UMG label) isn't always doing HD packaged media for releases from the hottest conductor in the world right now. Grrr.
 

Phil A

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Paul.S said:
Random question for you folks who are download experts: Can I play 192/24 AIFF files using iTunes? Reason I ask is that I'm finally getting around to wanting to download the high rez Jurassic Park score and some Rush albums from HD Tracks. Although I understand FLAC is the best quality, according to informaiton at the site FLAC is not compatible with iTunes. I'd prefer to keep things as simple as possible and not deal with converting FLAC files to AIFF. So I just want to make sure I chose 96/24 if iTunes doesn't play 192?


Also, I'd appreciate anyone who can comment or point me to a tutorial on how/whether I can burn 96 or 124 tracks I download to a disc I can play on my Oppo BDP-93. Can I just use the disc burning functionality natively available on my MacBook to burn a data disc?
Here is some better info on iTunes - http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/alac-not-always-lossless-converting-in-itunes.340753/


and HDTracks has some info too - http://www.hdtracks.com/digital-store

http://www.hdtracks.com/faq#2


There's also this (which has a free and paid versions) - http://samplerateconverter.com/


I don't have a need for anything higher than CD quality (unless I sell the iPod Classic but would lose the car compatibility) as the Classic will just do 16/44.1 (it will truncate 24/44.1 to 16 bit).


I have an Oppo BDP-93 in the bedroom system which feeds the outdoor speakers but have all FLAC on it and recently bought a cheap ($79.86 at Sam's Club - I think until Feb 1) Android tablet so I could use the Oppo Media Control App for Android and change tracks and see the music connected to the hard drive connected to the Oppo (have the tablet connected to my network as is the Oppo).
 

David_B_K

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Not Hi-res audio per se, but I picked this up last month:


Brahms ~ The Four Symphonies, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden


This is a Blu-ray set with DTS Master Audio in 5.0, so it does contain hi-res audio along with hi-res visuals. There is nothing revelatory in these performances, but Christian Thielemann continues to offer up fine "retro" performances of the German classics. The set also includes a bonus feature called "Discovering Brahms", in which Thielemann shares his thoughts on the music (I have not watched this yet).


Symphonies 1 & 3 were shot on tour in Japan. The orchestra plays in a vast cavernous arena. Symphonies 2 & 4 are performed in the Dresden Opera House, which offers better visuals. Anyone who like Thielemann's Beethoven set with the VPO (I did) should also enjoy the Brahms set. I hope he does a Schumann symphony cycle next with the Dresdeners.
 

Russell G

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Just a note on the RUSH albums, I'd hold off buying to many at this point. FLY BY NIGHT just got a release in 192/24bit, and the rest are going to be coming out in a similar fashion over the next 12 months. These new ones are suppsoed to be direct from analog mixes, a non-"bricked" like the previous masters. So you might want to hold off on buying the older 96/24bit files. Not all the Rush is going to bluray audio, I think only three albums will. I'd have to find the original post.


It's causing quite a stir on the PONO boards. Part of the kickstarted was the "Pono Promise", which was any any album purchased that later appeared on the site in a higher resolution would be a free upgrade. According to a user, the new FLY BY NIGHT will not be part of that promise due to a different label being behind the upgrade, based on a service ticket he opened. As posted above by Paul, regardless of the lable being mercury or Island, or whatever, they're owned by UMG. So it's sounding like shenanigans, but the actual upgrade process hasn't launched yet so there is time for them to correct this decision.
 

Paul.S

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Re Rush


Thanks, Russell. Yes, my understanding is that it is not all of the Mercury discography from Rush that is getting a BD-A release. Rather it is just the three albums from the Sector box sets that were on DVD-A there will now be released a la carte on BD.
 

Paul.S

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David_B_K:


Thanks for the comments about the Thielemann Brahms BDs. One of these years I'll get to those after I get to the Thielemann Beethoven cycle.
 

David_B_K

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Paul, I also bought the CD set of the Brahms symphonies as well so I could listen in my truck, rip to iTunes, etc. Two overtures are also included (Academic Festival and Tragic). The CD set also comes with a DVD which includes both Brahms piano concertos and the violin concerto. These are mastered in DTS 5.1, so they are sort of hi-res as well.


The piano concertos feature the great Maurizio Pollini. I had not heard much about him for years because I do not listen to a lot of keyboard works, so I didn't even know Pollini was still alive. He turned 70 around the time the first concerto was recorded. He is now gray-haired and looking a tad frail, but he brings intense concentration to his playing, and both concerto performances are great.


Even more impressive is the violin concerto, performed by the lovely Lisa Batiashvilli. It's one of the best performances I've heard of the work. Too bad they didn't include these works as an extra Blu-ray disc on the Blu-ray set, but it's still a very fine DVD.
 

David_B_K

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Paul.S said:
Also, I'd appreciate anyone who can comment or point me to a tutorial on how/whether I can burn 96 or 124 tracks I download to a disc I can play on my Oppo BDP-93. Can I just use the disc burning functionality natively available on my MacBook to burn a data disc?
I downloaded some hi-res music file albums for the first time over the weekend from HD Tracks after hearing about them at the Sinatra forum. In 2013 and 2014, MFSL was issuing SACDs of several of Sinatra's Capitol albums. they had announced 8 albums, but only managed to release 6 after Capitol was merged with UMG. The two that didn't get pressed were In the Wee Small Hours and Come Fly With Me. Both are now available as hi-res downloads. I wanted to be able to burn these to a disc so as to play them on my Oppo BDP-95.


The solution for me was CIRLINCA HD-AUDIO SOLO ULTRA. Basically, this program burns 192/24 AIFF files to a DVD-A format, which plays on my Oppo. I burned a couple of discs with this and it worked great. It does not have the world's greatest GUI, but I figured it out. The program costs about $65, but you can use the trial version for 30 days and burn 5 DVDs with it.


As to the tracks themselves, they sound great. Are they sourced from the files Mofi would have used to make the SACDs? I don't know. I'd like to think so. In the Wee Small Hours has been released several times through the years on LP or CD with too much reverb. This version sounds like the original version with little or no reverb. Frank sounds like he's in the room.


Come Fly With Me is the mono version. For those who have not heard it, the mono version is IMO the superior mix. At the time of the recording, mono was still the preferred format for most people. The stereo version was practically an afterthought. Both versions were recorded simultaneously. A multi-mike setup was used for the mono version, and three mikes were used for the stereo version which fed to a different booth console; so, on the mono version, you hear instruments that are lost in the stereo version. Sinatra's voice is also more up front than on the stereo version.


I will probably go ahead and buy the Cirlinca software. HD Tracks has now released Come Dance With Me! in hi-res as well. They also released Songs For Young Lovers, but it does not include the Swing Easy! album that usually accompanies it (these two albums were originally 10" mini-LPs which are usually combined as one 12" LP or CD), and $25 is a bit much for 8 songs.
 

Mike Frezon

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Wow. There's a whole lot of great info for me, David, in that last post: on the burning process...and the new HD Sinatra tracks!


Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

David_B_K

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Mike, keep in mind that the resultant disc burned with the Cirlinca is a DVD-Audio, and not a standard DVD. they will only play on a player capable of playing DVD-A discs. You can also add more than one album to the DVD if it holds more; and you can export the files to a Blu-ray to hold even more.


The software also will upconvert standard CD files to 96/24, but I have not tried this yet. You can also add pictures and video to the tracks. The instructions were rather vague as to how to do this. I merely added an album cover thumbnail to my discs.
 

Phil A

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I just got (have not listened yet) "The Chicago Transit Authority" SACD on MoFi (I've burnt the DSD file but waiting to burn several other discs before I copy it to the music server for listening), "The Best of the Guess Who" on SACD came last night and I'm waiting for "Greig: Complete Symphonic Works. Vol. 3" on SACD which is supposed to come later today. Had a brief listen of Beck's "Morning Phase" (24-96) I got on HD Tracks a couple of weeks back.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Been ages since I checked over here, but can someone explain to me why the heck they didn't release the new Led Zeppelin remasters in SACD? :huh:
 

Phil A

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ManW_TheUncool said:
Been ages since I checked over here, but can someone explain to me why the heck they didn't release the new Led Zeppelin remasters in SACD? :huh:
 

Mike Frezon

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Phil: Any thoughts yet on the SACD of The Chicago Transit Authority?


I've pre-ordered the SACD of the OST of The Sound of Music. It had an original release date of April 6...but has now, apparently, been pushed back to December 21. :(


I'm not into opera at all...but found a used SACD of a woman singing arias (I honestly can't tell you anything about it right now as I'm at work). Can't identify the woman or the music as they don't mean much to me. But I thought I'd check it out at a decent price anyway. Try to edumacate myself, as it were. I can see myself channeling my inner Andy Dufresne! :biggrin: "I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were signin' about. Truth is, I don't want to know."


 

Phil A

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Mike Frezon said:
Phil: Any thoughts yet on the SACD of The Chicago Transit Authority?
Mike the sound quality is excellent. I burned the DSD file and listened to the album entirely on one secondary system (pic below - Odyssey Audio Candela preamp, Bryston 3BST amp, Ohm Microwalsh Talls, Rel Strata III sub, Teac DSD DAC, Hollis Audio Labs MS-3 Music Server) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I've listened to about half on the main system too. I wasn't expecting an album pushing about 47 years to sound this good. Have not had as much time to listen as I'd like as I've been in process of swapping a couple of pieces in systems - had a 55 inch TV on a shelf (between two 40 inch tall towers) on top of Salamander Synergy furniture with the center channel on the shelf below it. TV was just up to high to my liking so I bought a wider shelf and swapped the 55 inch TV with the 50 inch TV in the upstairs bonus/guest room and will use one of the other shelves to build a stand for the center channel. I only sit about 7.5 feet tops and perhaps a hair less from that TV anyway. Hopefully over the next week I'll get that system back in order and be able to listen to more stuff.


Back-up system1 reduced size.jpg
 

Phil A

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For those into classical, I really enjoyed the portion of the Grieg DSD file I listened to from the disc. I may have posted it before (humor me - I'm up there and getting to that age and I look in the mirror each morning and meet a new friend) but there is a website where you can get a compilation of free DSD downloads (for those that have a DAC and player that can play them) and they have a new track about once a week available for download. All one has to do is sign up for their newsletter. The tracks can be stereo, multi-channel, regular DSD, double DSD or DXD. The site is https://justlisten.nativedsd.com/


I listened to one of the DXDs (352.8kHz) on the above system the other day and wow. They give you those different formats so you can see what sounds best on your DAC. My main system DAC will do regular DSD and 192kHz but it upsamples everything to double DSD.
 

Mike Frezon

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Here's that opera SACD I picked up in an attempt to broaden my musical horizons. Any thoughts?





Online reviews seem mostly favorable...
 

Phil A

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