@jasonbourne52 we don’t even know the provenance of "authenticated" albums.
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Well the earlier uncompressed "used" ones are now demanding far more than what they were new on ebay. So you know the streaming companies aren’t going to shell out for those. They are going to go for the cheapest they can get, which unfortunately is going to be the later/latest highly compressed versions.
Just look at this, which do you think the streaming company will end up getting 28 years difference for the same CD only the oldest one is uncompressed. Look at the shocking difference in dynamic range!!
this topic has been explored in many threads here. Personally I see no reason why one digital technology should be better or worse than another. A CDP can extract the bits and send it to an internal DAC, leaving all the streaming issues aside, such as provenance of the masters, the quality of the streaming service, whether the ISP is throttling bandwidth in this era of Zoom and everyone getting all of their entertainment over the Internet, the home router, and the quality the streamer. For me, given all the links in the chain just described, the wonder is that streaming can sound as good as it does, but the claims that it inherently is superior to CD replay are just marketing blather
As noted above, music is often re-mastered for streaming, making direct A/B comparisons between those and the original CD's very difficult. Whether hi-res is audibly superior to to Redbook is still an open question in my own mind.
MQA is another whole can of worms. Many contend that MQA "folding/unfolding" is not a lossless process, and some artists have removed their catalogs from Tidal, because the end result was not to their liking. Tidal maintains that MQA content must be played back through proprietary MQA-licensed gear to achieve a complete sonic "unfolding".
I've personally opted to stream hi-res for my own system from Qobuz, rather than Tidal. Qobuz offers FLAC content quality up to 24/192 for many releases. Another streaming alternative is Deezer, which provides CD-quality content streaming. Subscriptions to both Qobuz and Deezer together can be had for less than the price of a top-tier Tidal subscription.
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