24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense

My general experience as well, along with a better sense of decay. I don’t find there to be greater dynamic range per se, put somehow a greater ease to the dynamics.

I find the differences intriguing.

I should have time today to do a Test . But not with speakers as I loaned someone one of my aragons for use as a headphone amp. But I can do the test with two headphones. A stax 009 and a hifiman HE6.

We will see.


In the end, what matters to me is whether the particular high res song or album sounds better than the standard res alternative. If it does, that’s the version I want and I don’t really care whether it’s because of the higher resolution and/or bit depth or because they took more care in the mastering (better master tape, less dynamic compression, cleaner mastering chain, whatever). On the other hand, when I buy a high res album that is not noticeably better than the CD version (or even worse than the CD), I feel ripped off, just as I do when I buy a premium CD remaster that doesn’t improve on the regular CD. When you buy a high res album (or a premium CD), you pay a premium price and have the right to expect a superior sounding recording. I leave how they get to that superior sound to the mastering engineers. If they can do it with a redbook CD, so much the better. If they are only willing to take the trouble to maximize sound quality with high res files, that’s the price we pay. That seem plausible to me as high res albums are aimed at audiophiles while CDs (and even more so lossy digital downloads) are aimed at a general audience where there may be more pressure to boost compression and less pressure to improve sonics in general. I’m sure we would all prefer it if mastering engineers always went for the best SQ that CDs can achieve but that does not appear to be the case (or anything close to it).

You know some balding bad grammar guy from NYC did a post about great recordings any genre. Oh wait it was me. Yes you are correct bu the product you buy is as stated. But the quality may not be what we think it should be. That is why I posted it. Well I thought the point of this post was about is it better. And to me the only way to assure this is use the same recording from high Rez and down sample to lower to maybe hear the change . It should a very hi Rez like a really good dsd and have simple a complex with low and high dynamics . If this is about reviewing the hi Rez downloads in general well that is entirely a different story. And it is why I did the post,s . I have over 6 ter of hi Rez two ter of dsd double and single . Do you think it’s all good or great hell no. That is why I asked people to post there absolute best sound quality.

As I understand your point now the hi Rez sites want to mKe money so where would you want to put the line


The only thing that makes me buy Hi Res audio files is that I expect that the mastering step, the one which prepare the files in different formats (mp3 for headset market, and so on…) pay a particular attention to get the best for the Studio Master edition.

May be it is a dream and I must admit in many cases I was disappointed but it seems to be a reality for some albums (if we can believe some sound engineers interwiews).

The only review you can trust is in a forum like this . There is no reviewer here. I have done the same thing in other forums and have good results. But never to level of responce I would think. I will by almost any genre do superb quality. I now have ter,s of dsd classical , I listen and have no idea who or what it is . But if it is great I smile. Many people buy what they like only. I have done that a long time ago and have some again hopeful like you . And we both know where that got us .


There is one huge advantage of hi-rez material - you can always get low-rez from hi-rez, but not the other way around.

Unless the hi-rez is not simply upsampled low-rez, of course :smiley:

Good points.

stevem2 said: In the end, what matters to me is whether the particular high res song or album sounds better than the standard res alternative. If it does, that's the version I want and I don't really care whether it's because of the higher resolution and/or bit depth or because they took more care in the mastering (better master tape, less dynamic compression, cleaner mastering chain, whatever).


Speaking of… Are there any examples where low-rez albums sound better than the same albums in hi-rez?

I have seen plenty of reviews from various sources where this is the case. I don’t buy these high resolution versions.

As with better sounding high definition, the explanation is typically that the CD version was mastered better, was sourced from a better sounding version, etc.

The fact that high resolution does not regularly sound better than CD is a large part of why SACD and DVD-Audio failed in the marketplace.

This is the opposite of high definition TV which almost always looks much better than standard resolution.

Very true elk.


Some time ago, based on my own listening experience, I came to the conclusion that extremely hi-res files are not necessary for superb sound. I have some 24/192 or 24/176 and they sound excellent. But last night, for example, I listened to the San Francisco Symphony's Beethoven 7th Symphony and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Haydn #100. Both are 24/96 and the sound was spectacular, particularly the Beethoven which I can only describe as demonstration class. Could a higher-resolution version of these sound better? Possibly, but I think the improvement would have to be very small. The very excellent sounding recordings by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra have been released in 24/44. I could go on but you get the point. At the same time, my experience indicates that going from 16 to 24 bits makes a real difference, so I am skeptical about the claim in the article mentioned by Gordon that 16/44 is really enough. I'm not enough of a physicist/mathematician to really understand these things, so for now I'm just enjoying the "sweet spot" -- buying mostly 24/44 to 24/96 recordings and enjoying them.

Magister, I am in complete agreement with what you wrote. I think there may be audible differences between 96/24 and 192/24, but I'm not sure that the differences are musically significant, nor that they are always improvements. Inevitably, different mastering or conversion does something to the sound, and that something may be pleasant. An analogy would be the preference of many audiophiles for vinyl. As Paul M. has pointed out, all vinyl is compressed and frequency limited, and this may make the sound more pleasant in some ways.

Now, we just need to consider the stereotypical audiophile who is always changing gear or cables to understand that sometimes any difference seems like an improvement. It may be only a subtle change (but not necessarily higher fidelity), or it may be some form of euphonic distortion. Another example is DSD. Most DSD recordings have been converted to PCM for editing and then back again -- so why does DSD sound so special? I am wondering if some modern Bob Carver will make a "DSD filter" to shape the sound in the same way DSD does, so that the special qualities of DSD are available without download those absurdly sized files. I am especially perturbed that old analog tapes, which couldn't possibly have anything to gain by it (other than profit) are being converted to ultra high resolutions and sold at inflated prices. For me, like you, the sweet spot is 44/24 to 96/24 recordings, which I find do sound considerably better on average than 44/16.