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HD Tracks is so bad.

Discussion in 'Music' started by mordicai, Feb 19, 2014.
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  1. mordicai
    I'm going to give up on HD Tracks. The downloads I get from this site more often then not disappoint. I have never gotten a disappointing download from Linn Records, while I always feel ripped off by HD Tracks. This morning I downloaded Joshua Bell and the Berlin Phil playing Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Bell is fabulous. The download from HD Tracks is so bad it hurts my ears to listen. I went to I-Tunes to compare and although there was a lot less detail I could enjoy the music. The HD Tracks downloads always sound so uprezzed and harsh. I WANT MY $25.00 BACK! 
     
  2. hogger129
    I've had a lot of Mastered For iTunes tracks that are just 256k AAC versions of the same masters HDTracks sells.  They're a lot cheaper too and I don't think they sound worse.
     
  3. mordicai
    So I just read your post and went on I-tunes and listened to lots of song on lots of Mastered for I tunes albums. For me-my ears,my system....a big difference from my good 24/96 24/192 files. I think a lot of these albums are just really recorded poorly. When you listen to Access Memories it just is right there in you lap. Web sites like Linn Records just don't put crap on their site just to sell music. Everyone of there albums wether recorded by them or by others is a superbly engineered and mastered work. Most of the stuff on HD Tracks is garbage. Just there to make money. A company with no moral compass!
     
  4. hogger129

    Do the same test with the ABX comparison tool in foobar and post your logs.
     
  5. elmoe
    Completely agreed. By curiosity I tried a few albums, they were a huge let down, and the poorer the recording the worst it got although I guess they can't really be blamed for that.
     
    "Want to hear the hiss louder? Grab the album off HDtracks!" 
     
  6. mordicai
    The hardest thing about this hobby is obtaining the music to go with our systems. I built a Crack, bought a Emotiva Dac, Hd 600 headphones, built all kinds of fancy cables, downloaded JRiver, and thought I was in a good place to enjoy my music.....I didn't know that the hardest and frustrating part was to come....finding great sounding 24/96 ,24/192 music files to listen to. I been ripped off for hundreds of dollars by sites like HD Tracks selling me stuff so bad it hurts to listen to. Unfortunately Linn Records has a limited selection for me in pop,blues,and rock, but they are forcing me to renew my love of classical because of their fabulous engineering and techniques. What's the sense of going to DSD when the master tapes suck. Crap in crap out!
     
    lamode and Peter Hyatt like this.
  7. elmoe
    Yep, that's why I'm extremely wary of so-called "HD" files, more often than not they are actually worse than a normal CD FLAC rip. I tend to test first, and buy if the quality is decent.
     
  8. hogger129
     
    Same here, I'd rather just buy a CD, pop it in my drive and rip it to FLAC.
     
  9. bigshot
    Sound quality has very little to do with file size.
     
  10. lamode

    Exactly, it's like boasting about a 40 megapixel camera on a phone. The number sounds great. The reality, not so much. There are other weaknesses letting down the image quality.
     
  11. mordicai
    You've got to love it when hd tracks sells you a 24 192 file of a 20 year old album.. However I have to say that when I compare a song on iTunes and the same song on hd tracks 24 96, the hd version most often seems to have much better dynamic range.
     
  12. Steely
    Maybe try CD Baby instead. I've only gotten 3 albums from them currently but they've all sounded fantastic.
     
    The selection isn't great on there since they mostly do independent musicians and bands, but you get both mp3's and FLAC for the same price you pay for mp3's only on itunes.
     
    https://www.cdbaby.com/
     
  13. gzone3lement
    Would anyone recommend using this site?
     
    http://dr.loudness-war.info/
     
    I think some 24-bit sources are bad from HDtracks, but not all are bad (ie. Green Day - American Idiot)
     
  14. DanTheDane
     
    It makes perfect sense if the HD version is based on the original tape master. However if it's based on an album recorded digitally in 44.1 and mastered the same (which was the case for most digitally recorded albums from the late 90's until recently), then there's nothing to win.
     
  15. chazb11
    I'm glad I came across this thread. I just bought Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy album from HD Tracks in 96/24 FLAC expecting to here an old favorite at a new level of clarity. Instead I got something that was clearly distorted and difficult to listen to. At first I thought my headphone amp was acting up but playing some known good tracks from my collection quickly proved that was not the case.
     
    I think I'll try writing to HD Tracks and try to get a refund.
     
    EDIT> Just received this back from HD Tracks...
     

    Please note, we receive up to date masters from the record labels. The masters are created from the original analog recordings. We do not record or master anything at HDTracks. We are only a retailer. We do not rip CDS, upsample or downsample. All the music is recorded and mastered by the labels. 

    Each record label has their own recording/mastering process when it comes to high res. Unfortunately there is no universal standard. Sometimes the high res mastering and its clarity may present qualities that originally were unnoticeable or masked over in first released or in previous formats. We do ask that our label partners have taken note of that.We also ask the labels to provide as much information as possible about the recordings but they sometimes will only provided what they want. We do provided all that we have on the album in the details page ("about this album"). 
     
    As a one time courtesy, we will refund the cost of the item. However, we would not be able to do so in the future as we normally cannot return items for subjective reasons
     
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