• The Rolling Stones Now Available From HDtracks at 24/88.2 and 24/176.4

    HDtracks recently teased its customers with an email suggesting it would soon make history. This email was similar to Apple's history making teaser before offering The Beatles' music in very low resolution. Many audiophiles yawned and moved on after The Beatles announcement. Today HDtracks announced it's offering The Rolling Stones at 24/88.2 kHz and 24/176.4 kHz. This announcement is certainly no yawner for computer audiophiles who've been eagerly awaiting quality mainstream music downloads for years. The Rolling Stones material available exclusively at HDtracks originates from the, "same [ABKCO] masters as the SACDs" said HDtracks co-founder David Chesky. In fact Bob Ludwig mastered the DSD files for the HDtracks downloads. History making or not this is a huge announcement and major step toward dragging the high end audi industry into the next phase of high quality playback.



     

    Available Now



    The Rolling Stones
    24 bit / 88.2 kHz (Price: $19.98)link
    24 bit / 176.4 kHz (Price $29.98)link
    The UK version of the Rolling Stones first album, recorded in mono and available in high resolution digital for the first time ever.


     


    The Rolling Stones No. 2
    24 bit / 88.2 kHz (Price: $19.98)link
    24 bit / 176.4 kHz (Price $29.98)link
    The first time release of this classic mono recording in a high resolution digital format, including three legendary releases from the band's 1964 Chess Studios sessions in Chicago:


    • "Down The Road Apiece"

    • "I Can't Be Satisfied"

    • "Time Is On My Side"



     


    12 x 5
    24 bit / 88.2 kHz (Price: $19.98)link
    24 bit / 176.4 kHz (Price $29.98)link
    A first time hi-definition release of this mixed mono and stereo recording, featuring six true stereo tracks from The Stones' June 1964 Chess Studios session in Chicago including the unedited version of "2120 South Michigan Avenue".


    • "Around And Around"

    • "Confessin' The Blues"

    • "Empty Heart"

    • "It's All Over Now"

    • "2120 South Michigan Avenue"

    • "If You Need Me"



     


    Big Hits
    24 bit / 88.2 kHz (Price: $19.98)link
    24 bit / 176.4 kHz (Price $29.98)link
    Covers 1964 to early 1966. Three early recordings in true stereo. The first two are from their June and November 1964 Chess Studios sessions, respectively.


    • "It's All Over Now"

    • "Time Is On My Side"

    • "Heart Of Stone"

    • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

    • "The Last Time"

    • "As Tears Go By"

    • "19th Nervous Breakdown"

    • "Get Off Of My Cloud"



     


    Through The Past Darkly
    24 bit / 88.2 kHz (Price: $19.98)link
    24 bit / 176.4 kHz (Price $29.98)link
    Covers mid 1966 to 1969. Mono single versions of "Mother's Little Helper" and "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?"


    • "Paint It Black"

    • -"Mother's Little Helper"
    • "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?"

    • "Ruby Tuesday"

    • "Jumpin' Jack Flash"

    • "Honky Tonk Women"



     





     

    The Remastering of the Rolling Stones

    "Many years of research went into locating the original mono and stereo analog tapes that would be used in ABKCO's Rolling Stones Remastered Series. That research revealed a treasure trove of first generation tapes - true stereo masters from The Stones' 1964 Chess Studios sessions including the unedited version of "2120 South Michigan Avenue," Beggar's Banquet at its correct speed and Let It Bleed with splicing that indicates that the original intention was to leave little spacing between each cut.

    For the analog to digital transfers, vintage reel-to-reel tape machines were utilized - a modified Ampex 351 with original tube electronics (full track mono and two track stereo) and an Ampex ATR-102 modified with Aria Discrete Class-A Electronics (full track mono and two track stereo). A Sonoma DSD digital audio workstation was the chosen high resolution format and Meitner Design ADC8 and DAC8 MKlV converters were used for the conversion process. Cables used were the cryogenically frozen type supplied to us by Gus Skinas of Super Audio Center. Gus also provided much guidance to Jody Klein, Steve Rosenthal and myself for our first time use of DSD technology. For this HD Tracks release, the Bob Ludwig mastered DSD files were converted to both 176.4kHz and 88.2kHz high resolution PCM with Weiss Saracon conversion software."

    - Teri Landi, Archivist and Engineer, ABKCO Music & Records"

     


     

    Coming Spring/Summer 2011


    Out Of Our Heads | December's Children | Aftermath (US) | Let It Bleed | Out Of Our Heads (UK) | Aftermath (UK) | Between The Buttons (UK) | Beggar's Banquet | The 60's UK EPs - The Rolling Stones/Five By Five/Got Live | Singles Collection | Between The Buttons (US) | Flowers | Their Satanic Majesties Request | Metamorphosis | Got Live If You Want It! | Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! | Big Hits (UK) | Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits, Vol 2) (UK) | Hot Rocks | More Hot Rocks | The Rolling Stones (US) | The Rolling Stones Now


     


    The Rolling Stones downloads are now available at HDtracks

     




     

     
    Comments 117 Comments
    1. bachrocks's Avatar
      bachrocks -
      Wow, this is BIG!<br />
      <br />
      I've never been a die-hard Rolling Stones fan like I have for Zeppelin, but I definitely like a lot of their music. And now, it just tickles me to death that one of the legends - dare I say old-timers - whose music and magic arose in an all analog world, is now paving the way into the digital future of great music.<br />
      <br />
      BRAVO!
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      It's cool to see CNN pick this up as well.<br />
      <br />
      http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/02/28/rolling.stones/
    1. firedog's Avatar
      firedog -
      Are they really just good transcriptions of the original analogue? <br />
      <br />
      Or are they volume edited, overly equalized, and volume compressed like the "Exile on Main Street" remaster from last year that I find unlistenable (literally)?
    1. Richard Dale's Avatar
      Richard Dale -
      It is great news that more mainstream music is being made available in high resolution. But as far as I know you still have to either be an American resident, or pretend to be one if you want to purchase music from HD Tracks. I've no intention of wanting to do anything remotely dishonest, and so I can't actually buy anything from HD Tracks.<br />
      <br />
      Similarly, I've bought some music from Qobuz, but find that I can only buy certain albums from where I live in Spain. Particularly annoying was not being able to buy the salsa albums, when here I am living in a spanish speaking country with lots of salsa fans.<br />
      <br />
      I assume this is some problem with the record labels, rather than a local taxes billing problem. But it is certainly a pain in the arse as far as I'm concerned, and I really hope they get their act together. I wish the the record labels spent as much time sorting out how to sell high quality music, as they do suing 'music pirates' for copying largely worthless low res MP3 files.
    1. Al Jones's Avatar
      Al Jones -
      <br />
      I have the complete ABKCO Stones and Sam Cooke on SACD, as well as all the Chesky titles that I like, but I can't transfer them to my server.<br />
      <br />
      I won't pay $30 (again) just for that convenience for sound quality that is not significantly better than what I already have.<br />
      <br />
      I guess this is the penalty for being an early adopter.<br />
      <br />
      Al J.
    1. ted_b's Avatar
      ted_b -
      just a different method (downloads) instead of the SACD's that have been out for six years. I own most of them, and yes they are good. Granted, we couldn't, up until now, rip or access the hirez via computer...but it's still just an SACD re-do. No new material, no new catalog. Oh well, I will likely re-buy Beggars and LIB anyway.
    1. Eric2's Avatar
      Eric2 -
      This is great news. Hopefully this will pave the way for further artists to do the same.<br />
      <br />
      But I do find it a rip-off they charge an extra $10 for the 176.4 kHz versions. Although it’s probably the one I will reluctantly buy!
    1. zerung's Avatar
      zerung -
      Richard,<br />
      HDTracks is music without border. At leaast if you use Paypal. Which I what I do (Non US resident).<br />
      Cheers<br />
      Z
    1. realhifi's Avatar
      realhifi -
      That's the big news? As has already been commented, these have been available in a higher resolution for some time now.<br />
      Now someone offering something like the whole Deutsche Grammophon catalogue available in 24/96 would be big news, but this? Come on guys. Besides, the Stones should be played on big old efficient horn speakers or in cars on distorted in door speakers not some fancy hifi! To me this is seriously missing the mark.<br />
      <br />
    1. agentsmith's Avatar
      agentsmith -
      Yawn X 2<br />
      <br />
      Besides, arguably, does the world need coarse music in hires?
    1. labjr's Avatar
      labjr -
      Says they used Sonoma DSD digital audio workstation and Meitner Design ADC8 and DAC8 MKlV converters. Is this state of the art equipment?<br />
      <br />
      Why didn't they transfer directly from analog to PCM?<br />
      <br />
      Seems like a typical record company tactic of reselling old transfers converted to another format.<br />
      <br />
      Maybe they should be called "reconversions".<br />
      <br />
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Wow tough crowd this morning. Is the glass half full for anyone out there :~)
    1. Richard Dale's Avatar
      Richard Dale -
      <p><b>zerung: </b><i>"HDTracks is music without border. At leaast if you use Paypal. Which I what I do (Non US resident)."</i></p><br />
      <br />
      <p>If you look at the <a href="https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=terms_condition">HDtracks Terms and Conditions</a> it says the following:</p><br />
      <br />
      <p><pre><code>11. Territory. The Digital Store is currently available only in the continental United States, and is not available in any other location. You agree not to use or attempt to use the Digital Store from outside of the available territory, and that HD may use technologies to verify your compliance.</code></pre></p><br />
      <br />
      <p>So you can ignore this, but it seems pretty easy for HD Tracks to find out your location from your IP address if they wanted to. I wonder what would happen if something went wrong and you wanted a refund or any other sort of support, after they found out your real location.</p><br />
      <br />
      <p>I just don't see what the problem is with selling high resolution downloads outside the USA. It shouldn't be my problem, it should be the record company's problem, and they seem pretty incapable of dealing with the need to change their business models.</p>
    1. ted_b's Avatar
      ted_b -
      <em>Says they used Sonoma DSD digital audio workstation and Meitner Design ADC8 and DAC8 MKlV converters. Is this state of the art equipment?</em><br />
      <br />
      <em>Why didn't they transfer directly from analog to PCM?</em><br />
      <br />
      These are the classic ABKCO SACD's from 2005, the DSD files converted with Weiss Saracon software. <br />
      <br />
      Chris, I'm happy that the SACD catalog is being converted to downloads, but this is not "history"! Bruce and others have been converting existing SACD's for some time now.
    1. firedog's Avatar
      firedog -
      You can use Paypal - legal and it works.<br />
      <br />
      Apparently the problem is different royalty rules and rates in different countries. <br />
      <br />
      My guess is that using PayPal qualifies as a US purchase b/c technically/legally that makes the transaction actually take place in the US.
    1. labjr's Avatar
      labjr -
      <i><br />
      "Wow tough crowd this morning. Is the glass half full for anyone out there :~)"<br />
      </i><br />
      <br />
      If they're gonna release material that's supposedly audiophile quality, then it do it right. They should know by now that audiophiles are gonna pick up on this stuff. <br />
      <br />
      If small companies like Audio Fidelity, MFSL and Classic Records etc. can manage to retransfer everything they release then why aren't the large record companies doing it?
    1. JeffH's Avatar
      JeffH -
      Any thoughts on why they released these as 24/88.2 and 24/176.4 instead of 24/96 and 24/192? Seems like 24/96 and 24/192 rates are supported on more DACs than 24/88.2 and 24/176.4.
    1. labjr's Avatar
      labjr -
      <i><br />
      "Any thoughts on why they released these as 24/88.2 and 24/176.4 instead of 24/96 and 24/192? Seems like 24/96 and 24/192 rates are supported on more DACs than 24/88.2 and 24/176.4."<br />
      </i><br />
      <br />
      How dare you question their decisions. Just buy it.<br />
      <br />
      Seriously, I guess DSD is 64 times CD sampling rate and they can do an integer conversion.
    1. ted_b's Avatar
      ted_b -
      very well, there is no reason to go there. As Labjr states, DSD64 (SACD's format) is a multiple of 88.2k and 176.4k. The conversion is inherently cleaner.
    1. blueixus's Avatar
      blueixus -
      Yes, it has been out on SACD for an age, but I have not got around to sorting my SACDs yet so this is fantastic news.<br />
      <br />
      Now all I have to do is sell those SACDs and accept the money some folk are prepared to pay for them, so very happy days.