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Thread: First Flower King Remasters Out Today

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I thought they also ca,e with download cards/links. Anyway, like I said, mystery solved and I've purchased/downloaded the two albums in 24/96 resolution from HDTracks.com.
    Thanks for the info! Qobuz only has them in 16/44.1. I normally order hi res downloads from Qobuz since you can re-download them anytime in the future. But I'll make an exception if Qobuz doesn't add the hi res versions.

    How is the sound quality of the downloads?

    PS: I just emailed Qobuz customer service to see if they have any plans to carry the hi res versions.
    Last edited by Soc Prof; 06-07-2022 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Soc Prof View Post
    Thanks for the info! Qobuz only has them in 16/44.1. I normally order hi res downloads from Qobuz since you can re-download them anytime in the future. But I'll make an exception if Qobuz doesn't add the hi res versions.

    How is the sound quality of the downloads?
    Very nice (though only listened through once and not closely)!
    John Kelman
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    Okay, I downloaded Back in the World of Adventures and Retropolis from HDtracks in 24/96, making use of a 25% discount code on new releases.

    Subjective Test: Listening closely to both albums on a very good audio system, I quickly decided that these sound like CD quality downloads. They're missing that extra bit of transparency I associate with hi res downloads of well-recorded albums.

    Objective Test: Audirvana Origin, my digital playback app, includes an HD Certifier that analyzes the audio data to determine whether or not a download in true hi res. Testing several tracks from both albums, I consistently got readings of "Dubious HD Recording." The red flag was the bandwidth, which was always less than 22 khz when it should have been close to 48 khz.

    So, it appears that both albums are upsamples of 16/44.1 sources. Will this change as we proceed through The Flower Kings' catalog? I'll let you know. As long as HDtracks keeps issuing discount codes on new releases, buying the 24/96 versions from them doesn't cost much more than buying the 16/44.1 versions from Qobuz. I'll test the next two releases, Stardust We Are and Flowerpower, after they come out and report back my results.

  4. #54
    Member Czyszy's Avatar
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    Audophile's life is hard. I personally don't care if something is 16/44.1 or high res.

  5. #55
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Audophile's life is hard. I personally don't care if something is 16/44.1 or high res.
    Same here. More power to those who can hear the difference, but I can't at this point (assuming I ever could).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Audophile's life is hard. I personally don't care if something is 16/44.1 or high res.
    My theory is that most audiophiles suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. So, yes, life is hard for us.

  7. #57
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Audophile's life is hard. I personally don't care if something is 16/44.1 or high res.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  8. #58
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soc Prof View Post
    Okay, I downloaded Back in the World of Adventures and Retropolis from HDtracks in 24/96, making use of a 25% discount code on new releases.

    Subjective Test: Listening closely to both albums on a very good audio system, I quickly decided that these sound like CD quality downloads. They're missing that extra bit of transparency I associate with hi res downloads of well-recorded albums.

    Objective Test: Audirvana Origin, my digital playback app, includes an HD Certifier that analyzes the audio data to determine whether or not a download in true hi res. Testing several tracks from both albums, I consistently got readings of "Dubious HD Recording." The red flag was the bandwidth, which was always less than 22 khz when it should have been close to 48 khz.

    So, it appears that both albums are upsamples of 16/44.1 sources. Will this change as we proceed through The Flower Kings' catalog? I'll let you know. As long as HDtracks keeps issuing discount codes on new releases, buying the 24/96 versions from them doesn't cost much more than buying the 16/44.1 versions from Qobuz. I'll test the next two releases, Stardust We Are and Flowerpower, after they come out and report back my results.
    In the Hi-Res version of Back in the World of Adventures, I heard chromatic percussion I never noticed before on the CD. It's more subtle, thus more prone to get lost in the 16 bit clutter.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    In the Hi-Res version of Back in the World of Adventures, I heard chromatic percussion I never noticed before on the CD. It's more subtle, thus more prone to get lost in the 16 bit clutter.
    They might have brought that track forward in the mix.

    Another possibility: The evolution of digital mastering went from the 16 bit standard to the 20 bit standard to the 24 bit standard. Both transitions were going on in the 90s, around the time these albums were recorded. It's entirely possible that the original masters are 20 bit and thus have a slight edge over CD.

  10. #60
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soc Prof View Post
    They might have brought that track forward in the mix.

    Another possibility: The evolution of digital mastering went from the 16 bit standard to the 20 bit standard to the 24 bit standard. Both transitions were going on in the 90s, around the time these albums were recorded. It's entirely possible that the original masters are 20 bit and thus have a slight edge over CD.
    20bit 96KHZ recorders existed in the early 80s. They were so massively expensive, they were out of reach for most. One notable artist who owned one was Kitaro. His 80s vinyl records sounded particularly good. Those machines are the only ones from that era still in use today BTW.

    But yes, mixing is a major factor. The way Yes' Relayer was mixed didn't transfer well at all to CD. Patrick's keyboards sound like just a wall of sound on the CD, but are far more audible on the original vinyl. The Steven Wilson remix of the album cured that ill.
    Last edited by progmatist; 06-17-2022 at 07:31 PM.
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  11. #61
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    You have, IMHO, a bizarre interpretation of the recording, mixing and mastering process. You can use whatever descriptive euphemisms you like but it has nothing to do with taking a session with each individual track recorded at 16/44.1 and trying to create more musical information in said track by upconverting it to 24/96. The baby has already been thrown out with the bath water.
    I've had similar conversations with people who think that because you can convert MP3 files to WAVE (so that you can burn them to a CD) that you have somehow reversed the process that converted the WAVE to MP3 in the first place.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Audophile's life is hard. I personally don't care if something is 16/44.1 or high res.
    Ahem. I don't consider myself an audiophile, but if an album is properly mastered in high res, on my system the difference is clear, at least when I've been able to a/b with CD (I don't do vinyl anymore,massive posted multiple times over the years).

    When I posted my "very nice" comment, I did say I'd only listened once and not very closely. I've not had a chance to go back to them since, but as I've got the albums on cd, when I do I'll a/b 'em.

    As for "caring" whether something is cd or higher res? It's not hard at all. If it's available in high res and I've not heard anything to the contrary, I assume they're proper HD masters. If not available in high res I've no issue with CDs at all. I DO have a problem with compressed (lossy, that is) compression formats, but that's another story.

    But no need to turn this into a knock against those who prefer proper high res if available. Just sayin'....

    Oh, and why do I not consider myself an audiophile? Because my impression has long been that audiophiles are always looking for the next best thing. Me? I bought my system in 2015, love it, and barring upgrading my OPPO player so I can handle 4k media, I never feel the need to upgrade anything...in fact, hope my system will last me for the rest of my life. I even covered an audio show in Montreal a few years back, where I interviewed a series of high end audio gear manufacturers, and while I heard some great stuff, went home without any desire to change what I had/have.

    Note: I bought mine at HDTracks at 24/96, but have since seen this note at HighResAudio.com: "Please Note: We offer this album in its native sampling rate of 48kHz, 24-bit. The provided 96kHz version was up-sampled and offers no audible value!" So perhaps that answers the question. So while my 24/96 is no better than the native 24/48, it does appear that the native sampling was in 24-bit, and I've generally found that it's the bit rate that provides the most bang for buck, thus the move from 16 to 24. I can't say I can hear the diff between 24/48 and 24/192 easily, for example, but I can hear the change from 16 to 24 bit.
    Last edited by jkelman; 06-18-2022 at 08:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Note: I bought mine at HDTracks at 24/96, but have since seen this note at HighResAudio.com: "Please Note: We offer this album in its native sampling rate of 48kHz, 24-bit. The provided 96kHz version was up-sampled and offers no audible value!" So perhaps that answers the question. So while my 24/96 is no better than the native 24/48, it does appear that the native sampling was in 24-bit, and I've generally found that it's the bit rate that provides the most bang for buck, thus the move from 16 to 24. I can't say I can hear the diff between 24/48 and 24/192 easily, for example, but I can hear the change from 16 to 24 bit.
    Interesting. It's easy to determine the native sampling rate by looking at the bandwidth, which is what the Audrivana HD Certifier does. This confirms that the 96k is an upsampling. I'm not sure if the native bit rate can be determined as easily. I ran a hi res download of Rush Moving Pictures through the HD Certifier, and it came as authentically HD. But this is false. The album was one of the very earliest digital masters, using Sony's 1600 A/D converter to produce a 16/44.1 master. The story is that the hi res versions were created by transferring the original digital master to analog tape and then converting the analog tape to 24/96 or 24/48.
    Last edited by Soc Prof; 06-18-2022 at 12:32 PM.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I've had similar conversations with people who think that because you can convert MP3 files to WAVE (so that you can burn them to a CD) that you have somehow reversed the process that converted the WAVE to MP3 in the first place.
    Yes there's already loss recording separate instrument tracks in 16/44.1. But squeezing all combined instrument tracks into the same 16/44.1 pipe won't result in any further loss? Really? If 16 bit digital strips away sound quality from a single instrument, how can it not strip away quality from the massively multiplied information of all tracks mixed together? Then throw in the reverb which suffers more than anything else from 16/44.1 loss. Reverb is applied as part of the mixing process. Usually on a separate aux bus, with all tracks using sends to that aux bus. There's a major difference between upsampling a finished CD, and mixing instrument tracks to a vinyl record as they did in the 80s. Most of which still sound great BTW. Or the equivalent of mixing to higher res today. That would be mitigating further loss deeper in the process. Not reversing the irreversible loss in the source instrument tracks.
    Last edited by progmatist; 06-18-2022 at 05:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Same here. More power to those who can hear the difference, but I can't at this point (assuming I ever could).
    You can definitely hear crackles and pops on vinyl so you're getting yer money's worth there at least for that stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Same here. More power to those who can hear the difference, but I can't at this point (assuming I ever could).
    You can definitely hear crackles and pops on vinyl so you're getting yer money's worth there at least for that stuff.
    It's true most people can't. In the same way, and for the same reason most people can't hear the individual notes in a chord. The way most young people could never qualify as a naval Sonar Technician. Because they can't hear the subtle difference between the various tones. Before investing a single dollar training new Sonar Techs, the US Navy will thoroughly test candidates' hearing. To ensure they can in fact distinguish the subtleties. One of my own A School classmates was originally slated to be a Sonar Tech, but failed the hearing test. He instead trained as an Avionics Tech. One of my uncles was a Sonar Tech in the Navy BTW. I have a family history of being able to hear subtleties most people can't. I have many cousins in the same branch of the family who are also musicians.
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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Banks of Eden, 10 years old today!
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  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Banks of Eden, 10 years old today!
    Crazy right? I took my vinyl copy off the shelf to listen to. It's been a hot minute!

    I still really like this album, even if it didn't quite reach the heights of Desolation Rose for me.
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  19. #69
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    You can definitely hear crackles and pops on vinyl so you're getting yer money's worth there at least for that stuff.
    Crackles and pops are my favorite!

    I'm slowly moving toward setting up my turntable again. I don't know if it'll sound spectacular, but it'll be fun.
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  20. #70
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Crackles and pops are my favorite!

    I'm slowly moving toward setting up my turntable again. I don't know if it'll sound spectacular, but it'll be fun.
    Crackle in particular is largely dependent on how well the turntable dissipates static. I would go out on a limb and predict those plagued by crackle, on a variety of different records are using a P-Mount cartridge table, and not a 1/2" mount. If using a !/2" mount, they're using the wrong platter mat. In my experience, those "anti-static" mats actually generate far more static than they're supposed to dissipate. I've had the best luck with rubber, acrylic, and those Vinyl Styl cork mats. The latter only with the record pressed firmly against it by a Vinyl Styl clip. If the record only sits on the cork mat, it generates so much static the mat comes up with the record when lifted. Those felt mats which ship with many new tables are almost as bad as "anti-static" mats.
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  21. #71
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    ^ Gotta love the ritual, though!
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  22. #72
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Crackle in particular is largely dependent on how well the turntable dissipates static. I would go out on a limb and predict those plagued by crackle, on a variety of different records are using a P-Mount cartridge table, and not a 1/2" mount. If using a !/2" mount, they're using the wrong platter mat. In my experience, those "anti-static" mats actually generate far more static than they're supposed to dissipate. I've had the best luck with rubber, acrylic, and those Vinyl Styl cork mats. The latter only with the record pressed firmly against it by a Vinyl Styl clip. If the record only sits on the cork mat, it generates so much static the mat comes up with the record when lifted. Those felt mats which ship with many new tables are almost as bad as "anti-static" mats.
    Static is what killed my interest for a while. It was winter at the time and very dry in the house. I hope to make another attempt while summer is still here. I mostly intend to transfer the vinyl (I was able to buy cheaply) to digital.
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  23. #73
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ Living in the desert where static is more problematic, my experience carries that much more weight.
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  24. #74
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    I bought the two box sets, so I don't need new versions.

  25. #75
    I'm psyched to get some of these on vinyl, like Flower Power and Retropolis. Hoping that Space Revolver isn't too far off also.
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