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HD Tracks help needed please

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I am a virgin to downloading legitimate music from the hdtracks.com site. With my newly acquired Schiit Magni/Modi stack and impending arrival of my Alpha Dogs, I want to have at least one bonafide decent recording.

 

I also want to buy the  Chesky Records - Explorations In Space And Time binaural recording. But, I have no idea which one would be best for my set-up.

post #2 of 17

Here are my tips for you:

 

I heard the Modi / Magni at a recent meet. Unfortunately, I don't like the Magni. It has a lot of power for a cheap amp, but unfortunately, I think it's way too brittle, harsh, and generally bad in the treble area. The treble area is not revealing or transparent, it's just boosted and bad. Keep the Modi, but ditch the Magni. You now have a good DAC and a bad amp in my humble opinion. Sorry, but that's the way I hear it.

 

On to the music...

 

Proceed to HDTracks and download Sea Change by Beck in 88.2 / 24. That is one of the best produced and mastered albums in recent memory. Proceed to the track, "Paper Tiger." That is a reference track you can use from now on. It is fantastic and it should sound fantastic. Unfortunately, I still think you're going to need a different amp to hear it in all it's glory.

 

Congrats on the Alpha Dogs! I have not heard them, but I'm definitely interested in them. I'm sorry to inform you that in my opinion, not all of that Schitt turns to gold. I have a feeling you have made a very wise choice in DAC and headphones, but a poor one for  an amp. That's just my opinion, but the way I see it, you're 2 for 3. :)

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you,

 

It's how one learns though. I need a foundation to build on!!!

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

What about Explorations In Space And Time? There are 3 different versions. But it's really between 88 and 176, no idea which my set up can play.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipervick View Post
 

What about Explorations In Space And Time? There are 3 different versions. But it's really between 88 and 176, no idea which my set up can play.

No comments on the album, but Modi supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96. 176 will have to be downsampled on-the-fly before it hits the Modi. 

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratocasterMan View Post
 

Here are my tips for you:

 

I heard the Modi / Magni at a recent meet. Unfortunately, I don't like the Magni. It has a lot of power for a cheap amp, but unfortunately, I think it's way too brittle, harsh, and generally bad in the treble area. The treble area is not revealing or transparent, it's just boosted and bad. Keep the Modi, but ditch the Magni. You now have a good DAC and a bad amp in my humble opinion. Sorry, but that's the way I hear it.

 

On to the music...

 

Proceed to HDTracks and download Sea Change by Beck in 88.2 / 24. That is one of the best produced and mastered albums in recent memory. Proceed to the track, "Paper Tiger." That is a reference track you can use from now on. It is fantastic and it should sound fantastic. Unfortunately, I still think you're going to need a different amp to hear it in all it's glory.

 

Congrats on the Alpha Dogs! I have not heard them, but I'm definitely interested in them. I'm sorry to inform you that in my opinion, not all of that Schitt turns to gold. I have a feeling you have made a very wise choice in DAC and headphones, but a poor one for  an amp. That's just my opinion, but the way I see it, you're 2 for 3. :)

Hey Strat,

 

Took your advice and downloaded Sea Change. Well, thanks. It does seem to be a good recording/mix. But, totally not my style. I can't really listen to it. More my wife's speed.

 

Now, if there is an ultimate recording of Slayer or Opeth I'd be all in. Sadly there isn't. I am interested in this recently posted:

 

http://earache.bandcamp.com/album/the-ivth-crusade-full-dynamic-range-edition

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipervick View Post
 

Hey Strat,

 

Took your advice and downloaded Sea Change. Well, thanks. It does seem to be a good recording/mix. But, totally not my style. I can't really listen to it. More my wife's speed.

 

Now, if there is an ultimate recording of Slayer or Opeth I'd be all in. Sadly there isn't. I am interested in this recently posted:

 

http://earache.bandcamp.com/album/the-ivth-crusade-full-dynamic-range-edition

If you want to hear why resolution matters far less than mastering, you need to pick up the MFSL (only 44/16, egad!) copy of 'Sea Change.' Not that you'd appreciate the music any more, but the proof is in the pudding - resolution isn't everything.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipervick View Post
 

Hey Strat,

 

Took your advice and downloaded Sea Change. Well, thanks. It does seem to be a good recording/mix. But, totally not my style. I can't really listen to it. More my wife's speed.

 

Now, if there is an ultimate recording of Slayer or Opeth I'd be all in. Sadly there isn't. I am interested in this recently posted:

 

http://earache.bandcamp.com/album/the-ivth-crusade-full-dynamic-range-edition

 

Ah well, sorry you didn't dig it. I think it's an excellent recording, but there's nothing I can do if it's not your style of music. I think any version of Beck's Sea Change sounds excellent, including the normal 44.1 / 16 CD. That album was mastered by Bob Ludwig, who is just a legend. His works are very famous:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ludwig

 

That album is very different from a lot of Beck's other albums. I also like a lot of Beck's other stuff, but I have a feeling you're unlikely to find much enjoyment in Beck's music since you seem to lean toward metal.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratocasterMan View Post
 

 

Ah well, sorry you didn't dig it. I think it's an excellent recording, but there's nothing I can do if it's not your style of music. I think any version of Beck's Sea Change sounds excellent, including the normal 44.1 / 16 CD. That album was mastered by Bob Ludwig, who is just a legend. His works are very famous:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ludwig

 

That album is very different from a lot of Beck's other albums. I also like a lot of Beck's other stuff, but I have a feeling you're unlikely to find much enjoyment in Beck's music since you seem to lean toward metal.

Ludwig is, IMO, the closest we get to audiophile mastering that's acceptable for the mainstream labels putting out pop (in the broadest sense) albums. While the original master sounds good, it doesn't live quite up to the content. All the fancy high res versions that are available are of incremental enough improvement to me that I would not hesitate to chalk it up to expectation bias. 

 

Rob LoVerde's master for MFSL is a game changer. If you haven't heard the MFSL disc, I highly suggest that you do.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

It may grow on me. Especially if the wife listens to it.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

So,

 

The HDtracks 2013 sampler loads on my ipod via itunes, yet Beck - Sea Change and Explorations in Space and Time (binaural) will not.

 

iTunes says it doesn't support the format, wtf? All 3 albums are 24 bit wav's. 

post #12 of 17

Get the 24/96 versions, thats the highest your dac can do. I just downloaded an album from there (i have the same dac as you), and it plays and sounds great.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hmm, I did buy the 96/24 versions.

 

Anyway, I just compressed the wav's into a 320 kbps mp3 for the ipod.....

post #14 of 17

You can set iTunes to automatically transcode everything to 256Kbps AAC when you sync. If that proves to be high enough quality for you for portable use, it saves a lot of the headache of maintaining two different copies. iPhones (and thus, I assume, iPods) support 24/44 and (possibly?) 24/48 in the native music app. 88 and up are not supported.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

I only put music on my 160 Gb ipod classic.

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