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Hi-Res Albums vs. Mastered for iTunes (or Apple Digital Master) Albums - Which is Better??!

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by RockStar2005, Dec 5, 2017.
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  1. RockStar2005
    Any of the Hi-Res albums by Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, The Eagles........all sounded better. Also..........The Band, Band of Horses, The Beatles (just bought new White Album remaster.....really love the acoustic "Guitar Gently Weeps" on there), Bush, Eric Clapton/Cream/Derek & The Dominos, The Doors, Garbage, Guns N' Roses, Interpol, Lenny Kravitz, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Paul McCartney and Wings, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, Phil Collins, Queen, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, The Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, U2, Van Halen, Van Morrison, Weezer (not sure if I compared though?), The Who, & Wolf Parade (not sure if I compared though?).

    Pick as many names as you like and I'll reply back with album names.
  2. stonesfan129
    I'll probably check out some of The Who stuff. I've already got a lot of these artists on CD and like the way those discs sound.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  3. RockStar2005
    Ok cool. Yeah for sure "Who's Next", and really all the rest sound great too.
  4. stonesfan129
    Do you have The Who Hits 50!? I'm curious what the sound quality is like. Currently I have The Ultimate Collection and the sound quality isn't that good.
  5. RockStar2005
    No I don't.

    I have tracks and/or full albums of the following in Hi-Res:

    Live at Leeds
    My Generation (Stereo Version)
    Who Are You
    The Who Sell Out (Stereo Version)
    Who's Next

    The songs that are on my old CD version of The Ultimate Collection that are also on any of those listed albums to me DEFINITELY sound better, and by better I mean more clarity, more punch, better dynamics, wider soundstage, etc.
  6. Whazzzup
    The who for sure didn’t master in high res
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  7. RockStar2005
    Well back then no one did. Everything was analog until the CDs came around in the mid-80s. But since they all have had their catalog to some extent remastered in Hi-Res, fortunately. :L3000: lol
  8. Whazzzup
    One can't change res of the master, it is what it is, re mastered is a different animal.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  9. RockStar2005
    Yeah. But I'm saying back then everything was analog so resolution wasn't an issue. Of course everything changes when you remaster, but that's another issue.
  10. stonesfan129
    Does analog tape even have measurable resolution?
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  11. stonesfan129
    1. Depends on which CD. Some have resell value. Some go in the $3 bin at the used bookstores. 2. You still retain the rights to keep listening with a 256k iTunes AAC track also. They no longer sell the 128k DRM-protected files. The only DRM-protected files they sell are audiobooks and the offline downloads from Apple Music. 3. You can GIVE the collection to anyone really because you bought the CD or the iTunes files. Store the downloaded files on a couple of redundant hard drives. 4. Again, store on a couple of redundant backups. When you computer or drive bites the dust, restore from a redundant backup. 5. How much music is even available in surround sound? 6. I agree, keep physical backups of your files because cloud services do fail or even stop operating when they are no longer profitable.

    Lossless files really just give you a reference-quality backup, more flexibility in encoding to other formats and some theoretical benefits.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  12. castleofargh Contributor
    of course. a lot of variables can affect tapes, so it's hard to make generalizations and bundle everything under "tape". but the size of the tape(K7 tapes can't come close to the resolution of big large stuff they used in studios), the speed(changing what you can record but also the amount of noise), how many copies where made(you lose about 6dB to noise with each new generation). for old stuff it was a battle between making copies or let the tape degrade with time(and it sure did :sob:, a lot of good music was lost from being stored too long without care).
    don't quote me on this but I believe that studio tape gears could do up to 80dB of dynamic range.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  13. stonesfan129
    Yeah many times these Mastered For iTunes/high-resolution sourced tracks do sound like they are a better master. I tend to go for audiophile CDs first if the price is reasonable ($35 or less) if that is the recommended version on places like the Steve Hoffman forums. Otherwise yep I am okay with buying 256k AAC files on iTunes if the mastering is good.

    I searched around for a good-sounding version of that album myself and ended up getting whatever is the generic CD remaster available on Amazon. I am happy with how it sounds. I do have a few of the Mastered For iTunes ones and think they sound great as well. People on the Steve Hoffman forums described them as bright but I think I tend to have different EQ preferences than a lot of those folks.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  14. RockStar2005
    Yeah I'm with you there, at least to some extent. I purchased a very limited "numbered" edition of the first Derek and the Dominos SACD album by MoFi about a year ago, and it was fantastic! (The single review at the bottom there is mine btw lol). Paid $35 for it, so right there at your limit (and prob mine too lol). The version of Layla definitely outdid the regular CD version of that song that I had off "Cream of Clapton". I also purchased the recent SACD remasters of the first 2 Rage Against The Machine albums as well. Both were better than 2 other remastered versions I'd heard or owned already, and I'm happy I got them.

    Unless I happen to hear about Hoffman's site or MoFi releasing a special edition of an album, I usually just buy off iTunes Store now. It's become quite difficult to buy off HDTracks or Acoustic Sounds at this point. I have only kept my e-mail subscription with all of them because they send out weekly updates on new and upcoming releases/re-releases. It's easier to check that than go to iTunes Store to check cuz I can do it from my phone too (and not need the iTunes app lol).
    Sterling2 and stonesfan129 like this.
  15. RockStar2005
    UPDATE: So Apple has decided to rename its Hi-Res music catalog from the former "Mastered for iTunes" to the newly minted "Apple Digital Master". (See attached example below.)

    It appears this change has already gone into effect, per the logo change. FYI to everyone!

    P.S. Hope all of you are doin' well!!

    Screen Shot 08-14-19 at 09.55 PM.PNG
    flyte3333, castleofargh and voxie like this.
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