Hi-rez downloads, any good?


I recently read an interview with David Chesky of HDtracks. He commented on complaints that some downloads were of poor quality by basically saying, that's what the artist wanted released. It was an artistic decision that he can't change and he can't tell the labels what to do. OK. But, he made the comment in regard to Nevermind by Nirvana. People had complained when they received the download that is was further compressed. I have the original CD and it has good dynamics as Cobain obviously wanted a loud/soft contrast in the recording. So, Cobains been dead for years. Obviously he didn't demand that his recording be further compressed. Chesky has a good reputation as an audiophile who cares about sound quality but this "excuse" doesn't seem to ring true. What's your opinion on hi-rez downloads adn their sound quality or lack thereof?
wildoats
Vhiner and Mlsstl,
Very well said and true!
If taken to its "full" potential the high Rez format can be all that is promised, the problem, it seldom is.Too much marketing hype that isn't backed up by the product. Well produced Redbook played on high quality digital equipment can sound simply excellent. Hi Rez will remain a relatively small niche if an effort isn't made to produce a consistently good recording standard and offer honest pricing. People will just take a pass and ignore it by and large. When this segment gets its act together I'll become more interested and spend the money. As for now, Redbook is just fine sounding , plentiful and cheap.
Charles,
High res downloads from HDTracks are hit and miss at the moment. High res can definitely sound better than cd, but there's no reason why we can't enjoy cds until the high res situation gets sorted out.

I hope that the major music groups, along with many independents, realize that there is a market for higher sound quality downloads that would be worth their while to supply.
Like cd's(Ex Anything by Patricia Barber compared to just about any other cd)reel to reel tapes and vinyl if their mastered nicely they will sound good. You have to evaluate each or at least ask questions on the audio forums to get an idea,most users will give you an honest opinion.
Neil Young's new PONO format and player are supposed to end all of our arguments and put all the FLAC hi-rez debates to bed.
After selling my Goldmund Studio TT in 1983 when I was brainwashed with CD Mania, like so many other guys,I purchased a VPI Scout 1.1 last month, and I am listening to MUSIC that sounds better than I ever thought was possible.

Try it...

Mike S
New Jersey USA
One more comment concerning vinyl. Years ago I found that when I did my own conversions of my LPs and open reels to digital, the results sounded just like the original. I couldn't tell the difference. Over the course of the past 10 or 11 years, I've probably converted about 2,000 records & tapes to digital.

My conclusion? The primary reason that most CDs sound different from LPs is simple. When making a LP, the studio masters are processed differently than when making a CD. That difference doesn't exist on the material I've handled myself.