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Old 02-07-2016, 01:58 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Australia, NSW
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Default Where to buy High Res albums? SACD/5.1 is better?

Now now... before you start going crazy I just want to explain myself.

I was helping a guy on headfi yesterday, he was experiencing a bug on Xduoo's new X3 DAP, some of his files were having weird bugs/artifacts and he uploaded a couple of test tracks.
One of the test tracks was Depeche Mode's 'Rush' track from Songs of Faith & Devotion album, a track I know rather well.
I downloaded it and played this HD 24bit version through foobar. At first I didn't notice any difference, but about half way through the song the track encounters a slower, quieter section around 1:55 (before 'rushing' off again towards the end). It was during this section of the song I was hearing a pretty pronounced increase in sound quality, like my ears were going 'hmm... this sounds pretty new to me'. If I were to put words to it I would say it sounded more spacious, increased details, more separation, tiny details came to being more pronounced that otherwise hadn't heard before, the vocals especially more echoey.

I don't know what to think, it sounded significantly better?/different than my MP3 equivalent, but how can this be? I have abx tested files in the past and cannot ascertain a difference at all, but then this file was 24bit vs 16bits (that I tried in the past). Is it because it is higher quality still? Or is it because the actual recording differs from the previous released versions of that album (the track length does differ by some 3 seconds between this version and an MP3 version)?

Anyway, this discovery has prompted me to look into HD recordings more seriously but it seems I have hit a wall anyway in regards to actually getting my hands on any 24bit material. Searching HDTracks for example comes up short for many artists that I enjoy, furthermore there seems to be licensing issues for me to buy some of these albums from Australia! I might have to VPN to get my hands on some test albums <sigh>.

I'm going to now try and find a few different sample rates of the song 'Rush' by Depeche Mode, as well as try downsampling and converting that 24bit HD version to see if it makes a difference to that middle quiet part once squashed down...

Here is the download link for the 24 bit 'Rush.Flac' file;



I imagine those of you can manage to locate a 16bit FLAC or 320kbps MP3 file to compare easily enough.

EDIT: Upon further investigating it seems as tho some albums have had the SA-CD treatment, or 5.1 Surround Sound. My bet is this particular album has too.
Googling around a bit and I can see some other albums I know of have had this SACD 5.1 treatment, I will definitely investigate that more seriously.
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