• Complimentary 24/176.4 HRx Downloads Courtesy of Reference Recordings

    I've long been touting the terrific quality of Reference Recordings' HRx releases. The HRx 24/176.4 albums provide some of my go-to material when evaluating audio components and insuring audio software is capable of true high resolution playback and is configured correctly. Computer Audiophile readers who've had the opportunity to listen to HRx albums have unanimously agreed that it's some of the best sounding material available today. One thing that should not be overlooked is the meaning of HRx. HRx is a trade name owned by Reference Recordings. HRx means so much more than simply a high resolution sample rate. HRx material is an exact copy of the digital master files directly from Reference Recordings. There is no upsampling from a lower sample rate. Think of HRx as a complete production process that in the end provides consumers exact copies of the master files. Reference Recordings is refreshingly transparent when talking about its production process and how the HRx files are created. This, when listening to an HRx track listeners are guaranteed they are hearing the real deal, true high resolution. Thanks to Reference Recordings Computer Audiophile is now offering two complimentary HRx downloads. Read more for the download links.

     

     

    A very big thank you to Reference Recordings for providing these complimentary downloads. Readers who would like to purchase the complete album can follow this link to Reference Recordings

     

     
    HR-119
    Joel Fan
    West of the Sun

    Windows Users Right-click the links and select Save As.
    Mac OS X Users Control-click the links and select Download Link File.
     
    Gottschalk AIF
    Gottschalk FLAC
    Gottschalk WAV


     

     

     

     
     
    HR-71
    Exotic Dances from the Opera
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Eiji Oue, conductor

    Windows Users Right-click the links and select Save As.
    Mac OS X Users Control-click the links and select Download Link File.
     
    Tchaikovsky AIF
    Tchaikovsky FLAC
    Tchaikovsky WAV


     

     

     

     

    All music in this article Copyright 1996, 2009 Reference Recordings. All Rights Reserved. Any unauthorized broadcasting, public performance, copying, re-distribution, or re-recording will constitute an infringement of copyright. Permission granted to original person downloading file for personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited.

     

     
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Poo - We think alike. I'm tracking each format download to see what is most popular. I also use a distributed content network that places copies of my files on servers around the globe so where ever you are you download the closest copy to your location. All seamless to the readers of course :~)
    1. DSD_mastering's Avatar
      DSD_mastering -
      I was impressed as well. Only took us about 33 seconds.<br />
      <br />
      <br />
      Regards,<br />
      Bruce
    1. vortecjr's Avatar
      vortecjr -
      you most have the internet on tap! I'm still waiting....hehehe. I can't wait to here these! I have you guys noticed that volume of the RR material is lower then other material???
    1. Poo's Avatar
      Poo -
      No not really lower volume in my experience as much as dynamic, the way I wish all recordings were more or less. The quiet sections are quiet, the louder passages loud. Pretty much the antithesis of the majority of releases lately... <br />
      <br />
      Fingers crossed others follow the lead, because as much as higher resolution seems to make a positive difference to the quality of the music here, it's arguably the least important aspect of the release (nice as it is). The quality of the recording itself and the fact that (to my ears without having checked) there seems to be bugger all if any compression of the audio is far more significant to me!<br />
      <br />
      Excuse the rant, I tried to keep it short... Just keep telling myself that the more music lovers cry out for a death to the loudness mentality, the more chance there is that we might see the day. To be frank, most of the RR releases are not to my tastes musically, but I find myself drawn to them because it's refreshing to hear music just pour out; minus the butchering. It just sounds infinitely better.
    1. rmva's Avatar
      rmva -
      Thanks,<br />
      <br />
      Last night I grabbed Joel Fan @ AIFF... kinda bummed me out that I didn't know him yet (LOL).<br />
      <br />
      Ruud.
    1. tosehee's Avatar
      tosehee -
      If my transport (Mac Pro in this case) cannot do 176.4HRx, then how bad is the down sampling?<br />
      <br />
      Also, I see some songs that are like 24/88.1 which mine do not support. Does it cost some upsampling/downsampling glitches/noises? How do you guys deal w/ these?
    1. educator's Avatar
      educator -
      i tried playing one of these downloads with foobar2000 using asio to my emu 0404 usb and the program crashed! After I downsampled to 96khz, the file played fine.
    1. vortecjr's Avatar
      vortecjr -
      This is just a guess and I assume you are using the analog out of the emu 0404 as the digital is limited to 96khz. I have in unrelated issues downloaded a 30 trial copy of Sony's Soundforge and resaved the problem file as itself (in this case a 24/176.4 wav) in another directory. As far as I can tell it does not change the data, but for some reason beyond me some players like the new version better. Something to try..... <br />
      <br />
      Jesus R.<br />
      President<br />
      www.sonore.us
    1. educator's Avatar
      educator -
      I use the digital out. I wanted to point out that trying to output 176.4 via ASIO caused foobar to crash rather than just give an error message which is a bug in the program. As I send in my first post, when I downsample the track to 96, the track plays w/o any problems.
    1. CharlyD's Avatar
      CharlyD -
      For the fabulous recordings! Just when I thought there weren't any more veils to be lifted between me and the music! It's amazing how much more impact the music can deliver when the dynamics haven't been stepped on. I also love how each instrument is clearly articulated rather than the homogenized wall of sound offered by most recordings on louder passages.<br />
      <br />
      I have to comment though that I consider $45/album to be a bit steep. The content delivery network used for the free demos demonstrated that these recordings can be downloaded with a very acceptable speed, and I doubt the service fees are that significant.<br />
      <br />
      Educator - I'm also using a E-MU 0404 USB but with JRiver Jukebox and it plays this content flawlessly. Have you tried the analog out of the 0404 instead of downsampling to suit your DAC?<br />
      <br />
    1. tosehee's Avatar
      tosehee -
      i also agree on the rather steep price for the download that does not have a physical media. To make it more widespread, i think the price needs to come down a lot. A bit more than CD quality download is what I'd expect to see. Not twice or three the price.<br />
      <br />
      Just my $0.02
    1. chrille's Avatar
      chrille -
      Thank you Chris,<br />
      Very good initative although a bit later than I had hoped .<br />
      But better late than never.<br />
      <br />
      If these had come while some posters here were getting stuck in babble mode! <br />
      I think we could have settled the "score " a bit earlier!<br />
      <br />
      And without having to read through so much absolute nonsense from some!<br />
      <br />
      Now we have, for all and sundry, access to true HI REZ masterfiles of real acoustic music! <br />
      You know the kind I referred to as the one and only true Reference! <br />
      What a coincidence they also happen to come from a label by the same name!<br />
      <br />
      Thanks a lot chrille
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Guys - Right now the HRx material is only available vie physical media, a DVD-R disc.<br />
      <br />
      I'm not speaking for Reference Recordings here, but I do know the cost to release music of music such high quality is significantly more than most music. The equipment that RR uses to record and master the performance and the hours RR puts into each album is not cheap. RR does not bring a laptop with Pro Tools in a backpack when traveling to record a Symphony :~)
    1. Andrew S.'s Avatar
      Andrew S. -
      Very fast downloads given the size: excellent.<br />
      I would love for their albums to be available for download at a smaller price. 4gb isn't a problem these days.
    1. tosehee's Avatar
      tosehee -
      Definitely. Which is why I am fine with the modest increase over the standard versions. The question is how much is this 'modest' increase is okay for generals. <br />
      <br />
      We aren't falling into the general category in the first place, but I'd love to be in the commons when it comes to pricing. At least, I hope..
    1. tranz's Avatar
      tranz -
      Thank you!<br />
      <br />
      Another link where I have been able to download high resolution free sample songs are from 2L productions in Norway. They have Grammy Nominated high-res blu-rays and purchasable downloads.<br />
      <br />
      http://www.2l.no/<br />
      <br />
      And these samples help, as I did just buy the Joel Fan from RR and the Nordic Sound blue-ray from 2L to rip on to the server.<br />
      <br />
      Cheers.<br />
    1. tmfidelis's Avatar
      tmfidelis -
      Hey Chris:<br />
      <br />
      Perhaps you can post a couple of pictures illustrating the had built class a mic preamps, AD/DAs, and mics. RR uses.<br />
      <br />
      Regards,<br />
      <br />
      Tim Marutani<br />
      Emeryville, CA
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Good idea Tim.<br />
      <br />
      Here are some photos of the recording that was done by RR's Keith O. Johnson at the Computer Audiophile Symposium at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The instruments were piano and drums. As you can see a lot goes into even a "simplistic" looking recording involving only piano and drums. Imagine the equipment RR ships off to Kansas City to record the KC Symphony and the time it takes to setup and perfect everything at a large venue. <br />
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      <center> <a href="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010922.jpg"><img src="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010922_15.jpg" alt="CA Symposium Photo 3"></a> </center><center>click to enlarge</center><br />
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      <center> <a href="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010930.jpg"><img src="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010930_15.jpg" alt="CA Symposium Photo 4"></a> </center><center>click to enlarge</center><br />
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      <center> <a href="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010964.jpg"><img src="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2009/0817/L1010964_15.jpg" alt="CA Symposium Photo 5"></a> </center><center>click to enlarge</center><br />
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    1. mtan002's Avatar
      mtan002 -
      I bought the Exotic Dance DVD some months ago. But I am not impressed with the sound. I think it's my rig. I played the music with both Foobar and MediaMonkey and output to an ASUS Xonar STX which then feed directly to my Audiolab 8000 C/P or via a Music Fidelity V-DAC. In all cases, the sound is kind of subdued, no stage and no dynamics. I am more ipressed with Kent Poon's Audiophile Jazz Prologue III playing thru the same rig.<br />
      <br />
      Buffled!
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi mtan002 - Your Xonar STX is almost certainly doing some sample rate conversion and changing the audio stream so it's no longer bit perfect. I have two ASUS cards here that do this no matter what is done via software configuration. I am working with ASUS on this at the moment.