I've posted in the past about whether or not the limitations I hear in some of my music are the result of my "rig" (unamped HD 448s run out of a MacBook Pro) or the source music. Lately, because I've been wondering about buying new cans, I've been paying attention to which music sounds good and which does not. Increasingly I am of the opinion that my 448s are fine but that the biggest issue is my music.
An example: I own two versions of Bach's Goldberg Variations. One is a digital recording of Glen Gould ripped at 256 kbps from a CD. THe other is a recent record by Simone Dinnerstein that I bought off of the iTunes store, which is 128kbps. There is a clear difference to my ears, and I much prefer listening to Gould's version because of the sound quality. Generally speaking, the classical music that I've ripped from CDs sounds better than the stuff I bought from iTunes. I notice no difference, however, from my non-classical music, although perhaps there I simply havnt been paying as much attention.
On the other hand, one of the pieces of music that I feel is lacking something is my 1962 Karajan recording of Beethoven's 9th, which I ripped using Apple lossless. But there, perhaps what I'm missing--detailing and clarity--comes from the fact that it's ADD vice DDD?
1. Is the consensus among head-fiers that I absolutely should not buy music (or at least music I care about) from iTunes?
2. Can anyone point me to a recording of Beethoven's 9th that is regarded as high-quality in terms of sound (setting aside the quality of the perfomance), so that I can compare with my 1962 Karajan version (regarded as one of the best, performance wise)?