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Best Way to Buy Hi-Res Audio?

  1. AEIOU9
    So I've done some googling and came across a few stores that were highly rated for hi-res audio purchases - 7 Digital, Qobuz & HD Tracks.

    The breath of the catalog varies between providers and so does the file quality available to download. Plus in addition to that the albums are more expensive ~18-20 vs ~10-12.

    So do most folks who want to download high end audio buy from these sites? I was also debating about whether it is better for me to just buy the CDs and then convert them to higher resolution.

    Any tips are appreciated,
  2. surfgeorge
    Converting CDs to "higher resolution" will not improve the audio quality, since it cannot create information that was not there in the original data to begin with.
    It may actually decrease quality as the conversion process hast to interpolate data and will most likely introduce it's own errors in the process.

    Question: Do you hear the difference between CD quality and High-Res with your current equipment?
    TYATYA likes this.
  3. AEIOU9
    I have only listened to Tidal Hifi which I think is only 16 bit 44.1khz (i.e. cd quality). I guess I should get an album in high resolution to compare to Tidal to answer whether it is worth the extra money over a CD.
  4. whirlwind
    This is a good idea for you.

    If you buy the cd's you can convert those to 44/16 Flac and not have to spin cd's.

    When I do buy high res files I buy from internet sites.

    Oh, and by the way....nice avatar you have. :)
  5. surfgeorge
    I downloaded several pieces of David Elias in different formats and resolutions.
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Yes. Specifically HDTracks.

    That's like taking a D5100's 14MP JPEG and trying to convert it to a D800E's 36MP RAW then trying to use the converted files for HDR - you'll just end up with pixelated JPEGs the same way the upconversion can just add noise to audio files.

    Mastering and recording quality is still the primary determinant, you're just more sure of getting a properly mastered copy by buying high res. Then again, albums that mainstream listeners don't listen to tend to be less susceptible to getting drafted into the Loudness Wars to begin with.
    surfgeorge likes this.
  7. AEIOU9
    Thank you Joe Bonamassa is the man IMO!

    It's like your a psychic, you knew I was a photography buff and dropped that excellent simile :L3000:! Point noted about extrapolating extra data from CDs. So I guess that also means the threads I've about folks taking FLAC files and using some specialized software to convert them to DSD is bogus too and just a waste of time + disk space?
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor

    What I know of is people converting SACDs to PCM FLAC since many SACDs were made from proper masters bt you need a 1bit, 700X oversampling DAC to read the actual SACD layer (as opposed to the bundled 16/44.1 PCM layer on these discs).

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