• The Computer Audiophile
    The Computer Audiophile

    Two More Complimentary 24/176.4 HRx Downloads Courtesy of Reference Recordings

    HRxTM.jpgOnce again CA supporter and industry leader Reference Recordings has supplied two complimentary high resolution audio tracks for Computer Audiophile readers. The first two HRx tracks offered by RR in 2009 have been downloaded and enjoyed by thousands and thousands of readers. The next two tracks are from RR classics <i>Thinking About Bix</i> and <i>Reveries</i>. The tracks are offered in stunning HRx 24/176.4 quality. As many readers know HRx is a trade name owned by Reference Recordings. It means so much more than simply high resolution 24 bit / 176.4 kHz audio. HRx material is an exact copy of the digital master files directly from Reference Recordings or an analog to digital transfer using the highest quality process in the industry. There is no upsampling from a lower sample rate. The HRx logo should give audiophiles piece of mind that what you see is what you get.

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    Thanks to Reference Recordings for providing these complimentary downloads. Readers who would like to purchase the complete albums can follow this link to <a href="http://www.referencerecordings.com/HRxORDER.asp">Reference Recordings</a>

     

     

     

    <img src="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2010/0623/HRx_116_Cover_s.jpg" style="padding: 5pt 10pt 7pt 5pt;" align="left"> 

    HR-116

    Dick Hyman

    Thinking About Bix

     

    Windows Users Right-click the links and select Save As.

    Mac OS X Users Control-click the links and select the Save option.

     

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-07%20Taint%20So-a.aif" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Taint_So.aif'])">Taint So AIF</a>

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-07%20Taint%20So-a.flac" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Taint_So.flac'])">Taint So FLAC</a>

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-07%20Taint%20So-a.wav" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Taint_So.wav'])">Taint So WAV</a>

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    <img src="http://images.computeraudiophile.com/graphics/2010/0623/HRx-99_COVER_s.jpg" style="padding: 5pt 10pt 7pt 5pt;" align="left"> 

    HR-99

    Reveries

    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 the Save option.

     

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-01%20Gymnopedie%20No.%201-a.aif" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Gymnopedie.aif'])">Gymnopedie No. 1 AIF</a>

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-01%20Gymnopedie%20No.%201-a.flac" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Gymnopedie.flac'])">Gymnopedie No. 1 FLAC</a>

    <a href="http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2010/0623/1-01%20Gymnopedie%20No.%201-a.wav" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','downloads','/rr/Gymnopedie.wav'])">Gymnopedie No. 1 WAV</a>

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    <ul>

    <i>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.</i>

    </ul>

     

     

     

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    I have a QB-9 running off a Mac Mini with Amarra mini and iTunes. This system maxes at 24/96 but wonder what would happen with these downloads. It would be nice to have them for a future time when I will be able to play them at full resolution. For now, could I download them in native resolution and both store them for future enjoyment at 24/176 as well as downsample them (pardon the heresy) for playing today at 24/96?<br />

    Thanks!

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    <p>rtrautner: <i>"..For now, could I download them in native resolution and both store them for future enjoyment at 24/176 as well as downsample them (pardon the heresy) for playing today at 24/96?.."</i></p><br />

    <br />

    <p>I've been thinking of trying down sampling as my DAC tops out at 96KHz too, but wouldn't it best to downsample to 24/88 though? Is XLD the best tool to use for downsampling on a Mac?<p>

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    For quad rate material based on CD sampling rate, (24/176.4), an integer based down conversion to 24/88.2 would be your best bet, though you can find tools that will do non-integer downconversion. <br />

    <br />

    There's a lot of discussion and debate on the audibility of SRC, especially to non-integer related sampling rates. Also, the "goodness" of the conversion and what constitutes audible or inaudible artifacts is not readily agreed on. <br />

    <br />

    I use an inexpensive program (but not dirt cheap) for conversion that uses licensed iZotrope code, and provides pretty much impeccable conversion, for a measly $75, which grants you two installs. It also includes MBIT dithering, so if you want to do some interesting experiments and convert at 24/176.4 recording to very high quality CD resolution and compare on different converters and systems, that is possible.<br />

    <br />

    It's dangerous to generalize on what sampling rate benefits work best with which converter; many DACs convert all incoming to a fixed higher or not so higher sampling rate, with various rationales and approaches. (Benchamrk DAC's usually convert everything to 110 kHz, due to limiations of the aliasing filters in the BB chips running at higher sample rates- can't calculate as much). But the data in the incoming signal should have some impact, but the performance and overall mastering quality probably dominate.

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    Hi Guys - I wouldn't downsample these tracks. Rather I would go to HDtracks and spend a couple dollars to purchase the 24/96 or 24/88.2 versions in addition to downloading these 24/176.4 files for later use. The ones on HDtracks were carefully converted by Reference Recordings Engineer Keith Johnson.

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    A waste of time downloading these files. CD's are better for some reason I don't understand. Such a disappointment in sound quality.<br />

    <br />

    <br />

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    Hi BP - I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not just trolling since this is your first post here on CA. Can you provide a little more information about the system you are using to play back the files? Operating system, playback application, DAC etc...?<br />

    <br />

    Since you're the first person I've ever heard say the CDs sound better than the master files from the RR I am surprised. When you say better do you mean more accurate or just that the CDs are more to your liking?

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    Thank you for responding to my comments on Hi-Rez audio files.<br />

    <br />

    I am running iTunes in Windows 7. I have Quicktime Player set to 24/192 and have tried setting it to 24/96 with AIF files. My system consists of a HP laptop computer connected via USB to my Benchmark HDR DAC. The DAC is connected by balanced cable direct to my McIntosh MC-275 and Rogers Monitor II speakers. I also have a set of Denon AH-D7000 headphones in my system.<br />

    <br />

    The HRx files running through iTunes is clear but lacking in fullness and tone. Very sterile is the best explanation I can give you in listening to the two files I have downloaded. Perhaps I have missed setting up my system for 24/176.4 files.<br />

    <br />

    Your comments will certainly be appreciated.<br />

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    Hi BP - Thanks for the info. I completely understand why you said what you said in the first post. There are a couple things working against you when trying to play these files. <br />

    <br />

    1. HRx is 24/176.4 and your settings have been 24/192 or 24/96<br />

    2. The Benchmark HDR is a great piece but maxes out at 24/96 via USB<br />

    <br />

    There is a lot of down/up sampling going on during playback in your situation and this is responsible for the less than stellar sound. There is really no way to experience the HRx files in their full resolution with your current setup.<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    P.S. Great amp by the way. I have the 275 as well.

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    Hi Chris,<br />

    <br />

    My HP laptop computer has both USB and fire-wire outputs. Would the firewire connection enable me to send 24/192 output to my Benchmark HDR and if so will I require a converter of some kind to make this happen?<br />

    <br />

    Bill

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    You may want to keep in mind that Benchmark DAC's normally sample rate convert everything internally to 110 kHz, regardless of the incoming rate- this is because this is the highest sample frequency that the BB DACs used by Benchmark have enough compute power for good anti-aliasing performance. Still, the SRC in the Benchmark is much better than that in Windows. <br />

    <br />

    Agree with Chris that the Hiface would be a better interim solution- it's not SOTA, but it's very good for the price, and very reasonably priced (I own a BNC output one, which I'm modifying for low noise regulation to the clock supply). <br />

    <br />

    A lot of my collection is 24/176.4, but most of that is down converted from DSD (SACD). The benefits are certainly there in the program, if well mastered, but taking full advantage of this type of material may require some upgrades. The lowest cost DAC I've heard that does justice to this material is a PS Audio PWD (owned by a friend in Denver). I get very good results with a Metric Halo LIO-8 and Berkeley Alpha DAC+Antelope DA. Still, you can well enjoy this kind of material even with a more budget solution ($399) like a TC Konnekt Impact Twin, a budget Pro Firewire DAC I use for speaker measurement.

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    The hiFace outperforms the built in Benchmark USB here, and does hi rez. If you like your Benchmark, I think it would be a logical step for redbook too.

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    Bushpilot said: "A waste of Time downloading these files. CDs are better for some reason I don´t understand. Such a disappointment in sound quality."<br />

    <br />

    I have both this and the earlier downloads and a very good Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances from Reference Recordings on my harddrive as 2/176.4 files that way I have played them via a the Minerva in their native resolution and by setting my Mac Audio midi setting at 24/88.2 and play via Pure Music version 1.45 and the handy little DACport connected to a high quality Headphone amp or my tube amp and studio monitors.<br />

    <br />

    They all sound SOTA via the Minerva and also very very good via the DACport combo downsampled.<br />

    <br />

    Both the Rachmaninov and the Gymnodpedie are absolutely stunning in their realism!<br />

    No CD even gets close on my system to this kind of analogue sweetness smothness, warmth and stunning DYNAMIC RANGE!<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    <br />

    Anyone who says it is waste of time to download these samples simply hasn't got a clue what live Acoustic music sounds like!!<br />

    <br />

    These are by all standards even downsampled straight via my DACport SOTA recordings as far as resolution and realism is concerned!<br />

    <br />

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    <br />

    If you don't like it there is either something very wrong with your system or you absolutely lack any proper reference as to what real live classical music sounds like! <br />

    <br />

    The fact is ,it simply doesn't get much better than this!<br />

    <br />

    This is about as close to the real live sound of an orchestra as you can expect to get with todays' technology!<br />

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    What you are implying is that you don't like to get too close to the real thing!<br />

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    Check your system or go to a real LIVE CONCERT!!<br />

    That may give you a new Reference!<br />

    <br />

    Reference Recordings already has that they know what live music sounds like! <br />

    <br />

    And that is why their recordings are so GOOD!

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    Hold up Chrille - There is no need to accost BP here. If you read the complete discussion you'll see we are all discussing how to help him get better sound from these recordings and you'll see that his existing system is not reproducing the files in their native resolution.<br />

    <br />

    Please be more respectful and inviting of good knowledge sharing rather than suggesting he hasn't got a clue about live acoustic music. CA is a laid back site. No matter what the initial post is about there is always a way to get to the heart of the matter without resorting to personal attacks. In this case the heart of the matter is his playback system that will play redbook CD better than 24/176.4. Thus, his opinion is completely justified, not that justification is needed around here, and correct that these files don't sound good on his system.

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    Thanks Chris for your suggestion. I guess a converter is a necessary step for me to get files over 24/96. How much better is 24/172.4 over 24/96?<br />

    <br />

    I must say that the 24/96 files I have downloaded are great. Also,I enjoy both Redbook CD's and FM radio in my system and even online radio. Music doesn't always have to be the ultimate in resolution or bandwidth to be enjoyed IMHO.<br />

    <br />

    Bill

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    Hi Bill - You hit the nail on the head. Music doesn't have to be the utimate in resolution to be enjoyed. I'll take a great AM radio station over a Scottish Nose Whistling album that is the ultimate in resolution. <br />

    <br />

    The question of how much better is one resolution over another is impossible to answer. Some 44.1 is much better than 96 kHz. It all depends on the whole process used from recording to playback. RR recordings at 176.4 are better than the 96k or 88.2k versions but it does take a well tuned and very resolving system to discern some differences in this type of stuff.

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    Thanks for your response to my query concerning Hi-Rez music recordings. I think I will stay put with my system as I listen primarily to FM and Online Radio in my system. Have to say that my MR-71 tuner brings in some great classical and jazz music. Listening to CD's through my Benchmark is great too, but it lacks the interesting personalities one meets with live radio programming. <br />

    <br />

    Bill

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    Sorry Bill, I hope my posts haven't offended you personally.<br />

    That was not my intention.<br />

    <br />

    Enjoy your music anyway you prefer,that is after all what this hobby is all about .<br />

    <br />

    Good enjoyable music.<br />

    <br />

    All the best and happy listening Chrille

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    Sorry both Chris and Bill,<br />

    <br />

    My post was not really intended as a personal attack on anybody in particular,but only as a defence of and indication of the need for real REFERENCES once again.<br />

    <br />

    When I wrote my post I hadn't read the follow up discussion. <br />

    <br />

    I admit I was a bit blunt and certainly not laid back in my comment.<br />

    <br />

    Pardon my bad manners. <br />

    <br />

    But the heading "Complete waste of Time" was not exactly "humble" either was it? <br />

    <br />

    And was IMO as far off the mark as you can get with these samples and the other recording from Reference Recordings that I mentionend in my post.<br />

    <br />

    About the only negative thing that can be said about them is that they are extremely overpriced and that there is really no logical reason why they couldn't be sold as hi res downloads!!!<br />

    <br />

    Chris,why not partner with Reference Recording and some other labels and start offering high quality downloads at a decent price?<br />

    <br />

    You seem to have the connection speed needed?<br />

    <br />

    I downloaded these samples in a couple of seconds.<br />

    <br />

    That would make this site even more interesting to visit.<br />

    <br />

    These recordings definitely are , and I repeat , about as good as you can expect recordings to get with today's available technology!!!<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    Chris ,I am really very grateful for all the help you have given me.<br />

    <br />

    It is partly thanks to you that I have got more than 150 gigabyte of hi res files on my harddrives and growing by the day.<br />

    <br />

    And I do admire your patience with my and other poster's ignorances on many matters here.<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    What I was doing in my less than humble way again was simply trying set "The Record Straight" <br />

    <br />

    To be quite honest, I thought Bill was yet another of all those who have been so brainwashed by low resolution RBCD sound for so long that he had completely lost his point of reference.<br />

    <br />

    That is how his post read to me at first. <br />

    <br />

    And to be quite honest again I still get a bit confused when he mentions that he likes his 24/96 downloads but not these?<br />

    <br />

    Yes, there has got to be something strangely wrong with his system.<br />

    <br />

    But are you really sure that his system actually plays CD resolution material BETTER than 24/176.4?<br />

    <br />

    In my experience that is simply not possible?<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    From my own experience both at recordings of live concerts for Radio and recording sessions and most recording engineers I have talked to,<br />

    I know there can be a difference beween 24/88.2.24/96 and higher sampling rates like 176.4.<br />

    <br />

    But the difference is NOT always Night and Day,it can as you say , be quite subtle.<br />

    <br />

    More or less noticeable,depending on the complexity of the source material.<br />

    <br />

    IMHO 24/88.2 and 24/96 are very,very good done right,and vastly better than 16/44.1.<br />

    <br />

    Maybe even as good as a lot of music people listen to anyway really demands!?<br />

    <br />

    And many listeners will have great difficulty in hearing any difference at all,between them and higher sampling rates.<br />

    <br />

    Just as some still have a difficulty hearing any improvment from 16/44.1 and hi res.<br />

    <br />

    I would stick my neck out again, and say that both the Tchaikovsky ,the Gymnopedie and the Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances that came bundled with the Minerva,sound very very good indeed even downsampled to 24/88.2!<br />

    <br />

    On all of them I can hear a very cohesive natural soundstage where individual instruments are heard in their right places within the orchestra and with real depth and high resolution.<br />

    <br />

    For depth and resolution listen to the soft percussion clearly at the far back of the orchestra in the Gymnodpedie, or the stunningly realistic dynamic range and natural rendition of anything from a mere ppp whisper to full fff outbreaks in the whole orchestra in the Rachmaninov!<br />

    <br />

    If these samples sound less than excellent and very realistic on anybody's system,there has got to be something wrong with either the system or the listener's own ability to appreciate really realistically recorded HI RES Music.<br />

    <br />

    There is absolutely no need to excuse the material,even downsampled to 24/88.2 in these cases.<br />

    <br />

    If it doesn't sound good to you,upgrade your system or go to a live Concert, either or both may help.<br />

    <br />

    Or if neither helps,well then keep listening to compressed commercial music if that keeps you happy.<br />

    <br />

    It is after all about one's own pleasure in the end right?<br />

    <br />

    <br />

    All the best and happy listening.<br />

    <br />

    Chrille<br />

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    Hi Chrille,<br />

    <br />

    I am sorry too. You are right. My negative comments were not hitting the mark as I should have said "Disappointing Sound". <br />

    <br />

    I downloaded these files again and recorded them to CD for playback through my Benchmark. They still sound anemic in my system compared to other CD's and truly behind in sound quality to some 24/96 recordings. Perhaps as Chris said, the Benchmark USB limitations is the cause.<br />

    <br />

    I too attend live music concerts (Symphony & Opera) to measure my sound system by. So far I am happy with my music system as it stands and have no desire to move to hi-rez 24/172.4 as downloads are much too long. <br />

    <br />

    At present I am searching for a way to eliminate my laptop from my music system; one which is capable of remote control and will give me a solid backup of music files. In a learning mode for this endeavour.<br />

    <br />

    Regards,<br />

    <br />

    Bill

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    Would appreciate hearing comments from anyone who has compared the two, is WAV better sounding or not worth the extra file size ?<br />

    <br />

    rogerdn

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    <i><br />

    "Would appreciate hearing comments from anyone who has compared the two, is WAV better sounding or not worth the extra file size ?"<br />

    </i><br />

    <br />

    A FLAC file is just a WAV file which is losslessly compressed. Once you decompress a FLAC file you have a WAV file so the sound would be the same. It becomes debatable when you decompress on the fly while listening. Some say you can hear the difference and it's best to decode the files before playback.<br />

    <br />

    As far as filesize? Storage is so inexpensive now. I don't think it really matters. Though it does save time downloading FLAC files vs WAV files.

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    Chris,<br />

    <br />

    Downloaded these & the earlier ones. Many thanks, also to RR, also for putting up other files then the ones to be found on the RR sampler DVD that came with my BADA.<br />

    <br />

    R.e. the issue of HDCD lights illuminating when playing HRx.. Does use of HDCD technology for these HRx recordings imply that the embedded resolution in these recordings is actually higher than 24bit?<br />

    <br />

    Hans

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