- 74 Posts. Joined 7/2004
- Location: Sydney
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A Love Supreme on HDTracks in 96/24
I got the HDTracks 24/96 DL - mostly blown away by how good it sounds, however: I have a "glitch" in Pursuance, super-brief, at about 4:21. Whether this is an artifact of the downloading process or is in the file on the HDTracks server, I don't know. And I haven't found a response to my emails asking for help. OK, my complaints!
This has made me shy about orders from them -- which is too bad; I got the first Conjure record, which is so starkly superior to the Pangea CD release it's like a different record, and the Bill Frisell Richter-858, which I didn't compare with the CD-release, but I'm also very happy with.
The webpage feedback field gives me error messages when I try to get in touch that way, too. So there's a slight problem with the customer service capacity of the site, it seems to me.
Can you characterize how the sound of the HD TRACKS download differs from the CD or the SACD? I understand AIX records did a demo where they took the waveform from the CD release and the HD TRACKS download and "demonstrated" where the extra bit depth didn't matter for many of these older recordings because of limitations in the original source.
Hi Nathan --
I haven't a/b'd it with the "regular" CD (or, in my case, the "deluxe edition" cd, which for the relevant tracks I believe is identical). I really should get to this comparison. I have a vinyl rip which I was listening to -- and it's mindblowingly great, really; very natural -- and the HDTracks 24/96 file is (obviously) *louder*, but also background is really black in comparison to the 24/96 vinyl rip. No noise behind all the detail. Except this one 1/2 second flaw om Part III - Pursuance, which makes it ANNOYING! But seriously, to be fair I'll have to listen to the CD fed into my Benchmark DAC1PRE and compare, from there, the 24/96 file from HDTracks.
The HDTracks version was an impulse buy -- just got the USB DAC hooked up and bought a favorite record in with the new capabilities. I didn't read any reviews, didn't know about AIX records before your post, all that. This is one of those albums that I just bought the high-resolution digital file because it was THERE, y'know? It's Coltrane's A Love Supreme, so I had to get it. Not necessarily smart.
I'm not a professional reviewer and won't go into huge paragraphs, but I will give a listen both ways on my speakers and on my headphones before I feel like I can say anything.
The Conjure record... ("Conjure: Music for the Texts of Ishmael Reed")... well, that's night and day. No particular care needed in comparing the 24/88 high res file with the CD. I *love* this album, by the way, and was never happy with the CD. I'm happy with the high-res FLACs.
The 'Trane I'll get back to you on! Meanwhile, I'm just annoyed as can be about the momentary flaw in the FLAC file. I'll get to it when I sort through the mound of CD's in front of my rig. That'll happen soon-ish.
Edited by Choronzon - 6/27/10 at 3:02am
Nathan and Rob --
For their "official feedback" -- they have form to submit, but I get a "firewall block" message which I think is *them* -- at least, TIme-Warner cable seems not to know about it; also tried to submit from other computers (other networks) and the same message comes up. So my emails to them have been through what is their receipt system and one that purports to be Norm Chesky's own. In other words, it'll really surprise me if I get feedback. I'm uncomfortable buying anything else from them, too, now. But I'll occasionally pursue, and let you know (as I said) should I meet with any success.
I would think they'd let me re-download, if only they provided a source through which they could be open to hear about my problem. To get their material you need to use their "download manager" which doesn't automatically let you re-download. There's was nothing in the transmission was that indicating any errors, either. I got the flac files, and translated to ALAC (for iTunes) when I noticed it at about 4:18 of "Pursuance". I went back to the original FLACs and listened through VLC, and the problem is at the same point in the music, though it's timed at 4:21. I'm not sure why there's extra silence at the beginning of the tune (or if in fact there' something else going on in clock time). But the point is, I noticed after some translation, but going back to the original FLAC file it was still there -- not something I introduced after the dowload.
If anyone else here has ever contacted HDTracks through email or through the form on their website, I'd love to hear about it, too! I made three purchases from their high-res catalogue, the other two are fine/perfect (the Conjure record and Bill Frisell's 858-Richter record were the others).
Edited by Choronzon - 6/27/10 at 6:03pm
My faith in HDTracks is restored. Now that they got the message through the form on the site, they responded immediately (or at least overnight!) -- I'm totally happy with the response, which is allowing me to re-download the track. I haven't done that yet. But they also even listened to their file first and didn't find the problem there (because I asked them to -- I didn't know if it was some sort of problem introduced in the download process or if they had a glitch in their file).
I'm running off, to be back this evening, and I'll re-download then.
I'm still in process with them. They've restored my faith in their customer service -- now that I can use the feedback/inquiry form. They allowed me a re-download of the offending track. But they said they listened and didn't hear it -- all looks like it's going well, until... I re-download and it's still there, in exactly the same spot. So it's not some random static making it's way into the download process.
I gave it about 15 mins in comparison to the official CD, and.... well, it's not like the Conjure record where the difference is night and day, but I think I hear some difference in the high res files. I can talk about it in terms of blackness of background, maybe an infinitesimal relative graininess on the redbook version... but really now I don't know if I'm fooling myself. Or though both files are going through the DAC and reclocked there, maybe the DAC fed from my computer vs. fed from a disc transport are very slightly different somehow.
The quick summary is that I really do think the high-res file sounds a tiny bit more natural. But I couldn't swear I'm not making it up.