Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album

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firedog

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #20 on: 24 Jan 2010, 01:23 pm »
Holst: The Planets - Sir Adrian Boult/Vienna State Opera Orchestra




I seriously doubt you will be able to find a finer sounding recording of this orchestral suite anywhere, regardless of format.  What is even more astonishing is that this 24/96 stereo download courtesy of High Definition Tape Transfers was sourced from a 1/4" 4-track stereo tape.  It really boggles my mind to think what the original master tapes must be like (assuming they still exist).  I have several recordings of The Planets.  Some are regarded as "must own" performances but unfortunately most of them don't sound particularly good.  And sure enough I have a few that sound great but the performances don't do very much for me.  Here is a case were a knock-your-socks-off performance meets best-of-breed sonics to produce a near-eargasmic effect on the listener.  Chances are good, unless you own a reel-to-reel tape deck and shelf full of tapes, you haven't heard analog source recordings with strings and brass that sound like this.  I have a lot of classical music recordings on a variety of formats: vinyl, SACD, DVD-A, and 1/4" 4-track stereo tape.  Very few of them are able to make me feel as though I am actually at Symphony Hall listening to a live performance.  This is one that can.  At $14 for a 24/96 download it's a steal and you won't find a better value anywhere else in home audio.  I give it the highest possible recommendation.

--Jerome

Wow, thanks for the recommendation. I downloaded it and it sounds great - such a dynamic performance and recording.

Just goes to show how good some of the classical (and jazz) recordings were 60 years ago - the information is there on tape, if someone has the inclination and skill to bring it into the digital realm.

Thanks again.

BPT

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Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #21 on: 24 Jan 2010, 03:07 pm »
Ted:
Yes, the 24/88 from HD Tracks--sorry for the mix-up. Another personal fave is the 24/96 Haydn String Quartet Engegårdkvartetten download from 2L.
Chris H.

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #22 on: 4 May 2010, 11:07 pm »
Hi All.  AudioCircle newbie here.  Recently, I haven't been able to get enough of Keith Jarrett's Paris / London: Testament from HDTracks.  I find the piano to be recorded extraordinarily well.  In 24/96 flac, the dynamic range of the instrument shines through, as does the timbre of each note played.  Jarrett (probably) uses every single one of those 88 keys - so you really get a flavor for the range of this amazing instrument in solo format.  There may be other Jarrett performances that I prefer, even other pianists that I prefer - but I don't think I've heard solo piano recorded better.  To boot, it's a 3-"disc" set for $36 USD.  What's not to love?

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #23 on: 4 May 2010, 11:33 pm »


I'd better get this into proper format....

Format: 24/96 flac
Genre: Jazz (well, mostly. sort of)
Artist: Keith Jarrett - Paris / London: Testament
Download Site: HDTracks
Cost: $36 USD

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #24 on: 5 May 2010, 09:43 pm »
Holst: The Planets - Sir Adrian Boult/Vienna State Opera Orchestra

Here is a case were a knock-your-socks-off performance meets best-of-breed sonics to produce a near-eargasmic effect on the listener.  Chances are good, unless you own a reel-to-reel tape deck and shelf full of tapes, you haven't heard analog source recordings with strings and brass that sound like this.  I have a lot of classical music recordings on a variety of formats: vinyl, SACD, DVD-A, and 1/4" 4-track stereo tape.  Very few of them are able to make me feel as though I am actually at Symphony Hall listening to a live performance.  This is one that can.  At $14 for a 24/96 download it's a steal and you won't find a better value anywhere else in home audio.  I give it the highest possible recommendation.

--Jerome
+1.  I downloaded this last night, after reading Jerome's recommendation.  Even (especially?) for a classical neophyte like me, this album is spectacular.

jaywills

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #25 on: 5 May 2010, 11:15 pm »
A question about the Planets download, if you don't mind.  I, also, bought the Planets hi-res download after reading the comments on this thread.  However, I can't get any of the files to complete downloading.  They get to ~50 mb and time out in a FLAC download instead of a zip file.  I've tried right-clicking in both Safari under Snow Leopard (latest iterations) as well as through Internet Explorer under Windows XP (latest iterations) (using Boot Camp).  Same result every time.  No zip file, dl times out @ ~50 mb in FLAC.  Having had Macs since 1985, I consider myself more than just a casual user, but I can't figure this out.  When I emailed the site, they just responded "server problems, be fixed soon."  Yet some here appear to be able to get the download.  Any ideas?  Help please.  Thanks.

kenreau

While I have not personally heard these yet (but I will), I thought it was notable that Peter Frampton has jumped into the High Res download world through HDTracks.com with both his landmark album "Frampton Comes Alive" and his newest "Thank You, Mr. Churchill"

I'm encouraged that we are finally getting some music in high res that I am excited about.

Check out the very favorable reviews and interview in the latest ToneAudio magazine http://www.tonepublications.com/magazine/

Kenreau

ted_b

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Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #27 on: 27 May 2010, 02:13 pm »
Boy, the guys at CA certainly didn't like Churchill.  Said it was overly compressed and useless as 24/96.  I'd love to get AC impressions.
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/peter-frampton-2496

Atlplasma

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Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #28 on: 27 May 2010, 03:18 pm »
A question about the Planets download, if you don't mind.  I, also, bought the Planets hi-res download after reading the comments on this thread.  However, I can't get any of the files to complete downloading.  They get to ~50 mb and time out in a FLAC download instead of a zip file.  I've tried right-clicking in both Safari under Snow Leopard (latest iterations) as well as through Internet Explorer under Windows XP (latest iterations) (using Boot Camp).  Same result every time.  No zip file, dl times out @ ~50 mb in FLAC.  Having had Macs since 1985, I consider myself more than just a casual user, but I can't figure this out.  When I emailed the site, they just responded "server problems, be fixed soon."  Yet some here appear to be able to get the download.  Any ideas?  Help please.  Thanks.

Did you ever resolve your issue? Are you on a wireless network by any chance?

kenreau

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #29 on: 27 May 2010, 06:01 pm »
Boy, the guys at CA certainly didn't like Churchill.  Said it was overly compressed and useless as 24/96.  I'd love to get AC impressions.
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/peter-frampton-2496

Nuts.  I had high expectations.  Hopefully his Live album will be better.  It will be a few weeks before I can get set up for hi res play back.
Thx
Ken

mgalusha

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #30 on: 27 May 2010, 06:23 pm »
I missed this thread before. :(

I just picked up a few from High Definition Tape Transfers and so far I'm delighted.

Format: 24/192 flac
Genre: Classical
Artist: Elgar Enigma Variations (Recorded Live) Lawrence Foster conducts the Houston Symphony Orchestra
Download Site: HDTT (http://www.highdeftapetransfers.com/category/183)
Cost: $15 USD




I bought the Holst Planets as well, that will be up next but I'm really loving the Elgar. Wow.

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #31 on: 7 Jun 2010, 01:56 am »
A question about the Planets download, if you don't mind.  I, also, bought the Planets hi-res download after reading the comments on this thread.  However, I can't get any of the files to complete downloading.  They get to ~50 mb and time out in a FLAC download instead of a zip file.  I've tried right-clicking in both Safari under Snow Leopard (latest iterations) as well as through Internet Explorer under Windows XP (latest iterations) (using Boot Camp).  Same result every time.  No zip file, dl times out @ ~50 mb in FLAC.  Having had Macs since 1985, I consider myself more than just a casual user, but I can't figure this out.  When I emailed the site, they just responded "server problems, be fixed soon."  Yet some here appear to be able to get the download.  Any ideas?  Help please.  Thanks.
I don't know that this post ever received the attention it deserved.  I had the same problem, with the same response from HDTT.  I found that downloading 1 file at a time, and babysitting the download did the trick for me.  It was more effort than it should have been, but I did get my complete album in the end.  Hope this helps!

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #32 on: 7 Jun 2010, 02:14 am »
Boy, the guys at CA certainly didn't like Churchill.  Said it was overly compressed and useless as 24/96.  I'd love to get AC impressions.
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/peter-frampton-2496
I was one of those posters (although probably among the less caustic of the group).  The album was recorded very hot.  Almost from beginning to end, my levels are pegged at +3.  I'm not sure if that means it's horribly compressed - it could be that Frampton's intent was to record a loud album with almost no dynamic range - in which case he succeeded nicely.  Musically, the album is just okay IMO - not much to write home about.  HDTracks did quite a job of highlighting the best sections of each song on their 30-second samples... definitely not representative of the album as a whole.  YMMV of course - but because it was recorded so hot, because of the lack of dynamics, and most importantly because the music doesn't quite float my boat, I can't recommend the album.

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #33 on: 7 Jun 2010, 03:32 am »
Kazumi Watanabe - Jazz Impression



Putting the lame title aside, this album is phenomenal.  I'm mostly a jazz guy.  How the hell didn't I know about Kazumi Watanabe?  I've no excuse: he's put out like 40 albums and 4 DVDs, and is one of Japan's most famous jazz musicians.  The recording quality is excellent.  'Holographic' is a much-abused term in our hobby, but it applies here.  Instruments are placed with a great deal of specificity in 3-dimensional space.  On a couple of tracks (A Child is Born, in particular) I kept wondering how I could be hearing what I was hearing without the benefit of surrounds.

Nevermind the excellent sound quality though - Watanabe's playing is nothing short of virtuosic (and after a bit of reading, I learned that a virtuoso indeed he is).  The band is impressive too - especially Yosuke Inoue on bass.  There are three tracks that make use of soprano saxophone for some additional color, probably also making for three of my favorite tracks on the album.  The first couple of tracks are somewhat standard jazz guitar fare - great stuff, but not the reason to buy the album IMO.  Then things get interesting on track 3 with 'Trane's "Impressions".  From there, the album just rips.  Don't miss... any of it.  But also don't miss Wes Montgomery's "Four on Six".  If you like jazz in general, and guitar in particular (or even if you don't like jazz, really), buy this album.

Kazumi Watanabe - Jazz Impression
HDTracks
24/96 FLAC (DSD transfer)
$17.98 USD
« Last Edit: 7 Jun 2010, 09:13 pm by sturgl »

ted_b

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Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #34 on: 7 Jun 2010, 03:47 am »
Sturgl,
Nice review.  This is also a Hybrid SACD available on Eastwind Imports.  Hmmmm (was recorded in DSD).  However, over there it's like $33 and shipping.  Bruce Brown does such a nice job transferring these DSD recordings to HDtrack's PCM that I'm likely to just download the damn thing.  Thanks for the heads up!   :thumb:

(Editors Note:  By the way, I have a neat little $225 box that now allows me to take 2 channel hirez off HDMI and send it out optical!  So I can play SACD's and capture the 24/88.2 downrez that my Oppo BDP-83 does to them and send that 24/88.2 to my DAC!!  I have a mini-review on CA.  Also does this for 2 channel everything that Oppo handles (can you say 24/192 BluRay!).  So far so good.  Sorry to hijack!  :)    )

sturgl

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #35 on: 7 Jun 2010, 04:00 pm »
I noticed in the liner notes (on just about the only page that isn't in Japanese) as well that Jazz Impression was recorded in DSD - at a Sony studio, no less.  I don't own the SACD of course, but based upon my experience I'll happily go out on a limb and say that this transfer was a very good one.  Many (most?) of my native 24/96 albums don't sound as good.

I'm psyched to hear about that little device of yours! - will definitely check out your review on CA.

mfsoa

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #36 on: 8 Jun 2010, 01:16 am »
Where can you buy the hi-rez Morph the Cat from?

Downloadable I hope?

-Mike

ted_b

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Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #37 on: 8 Jun 2010, 01:28 am »
Where can you buy the hi-rez Morph the Cat from?

Downloadable I hope?

-Mike

I don't think it's available downloadable.   

firedog

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #38 on: 12 Jun 2010, 08:32 am »


Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra.

I just got this from the new HDTracks Everest label series. Very good sounding, very dynamic. Yes, you can tell it is a 50 year old recording, but it sounds great and I'm glad I bought it. It's now my reference version of this piece.

jaywills

Re: Mini-Review: Favorite Downloaded HiRez Music file/album
« Reply #39 on: 12 Jun 2010, 11:50 am »
"Did you ever resolve your issue? Are you on a wireless network by any chance?"

Thanks for your inquiry (I'm wired).  Yes, it worked the next day.  "Server problems" apparently were corrected.  Cordially,