HD tracks and provenance

This is probably a stupid question and apologies in advance

I’m big on music provenance, and occasionally browse HD Tracks. Frustratingly, they don’t say much about the source of their files.

So when I see Miles Davis, King of Blue, offered in 192/24, I’m confused. I know that this album was recorded in 1959. It could not have been sampled at that rate at that time.

So… Did someone (a) upsample from the 44.1, or did someone (b) do the actual hard work of getting out the original master, and sample that at a recording studio? (Or other…)

In the case (a), couldn’t any upsampling DAC (i.e., dCS) do the work for me so I shouldn’t need to buy the file?


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Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, in 192/24 :

For posterity and for history, the best-selling jazz album ever has now been redefined as a stunning 24/192 high-resolution transfer.

Newly transferred from the original 3-track session tapes and painstakingly engineered to recreate the original sound of the recording studio, this brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res digital remaster is a definitive take on this Miles Davis classic. What’s been achieved is a clarity and richness that transports the listener into the control room of Columbia Records’ legendary 30th Street Studio in New York.

So much gushing press has accompanied this high-res remaster — here’s a sample: “…The DR Value for the 24/192 version is a whopping 14 which should make every meter reader happy and Audacity spectrum plots confirm what the provenance told us, namely that there’s no brick wall filter with plenty of musical energy above 20kHz. But more importantly, the remastered Kind of Blue sounds simply stunning. It sounds big, airy, intimate, warm, cool, and hot. All of the instruments sing out with a natural and beautifully clear voice. This remaster is in a word, most excellent.” — Audiostream, Michael Lavorgna

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Thank you @Ermos !

Given the importance of the album, I am not surprised it is a true remaster.

But, do I need to research every individual HD album in this manner?

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If you wanna know… yes :wink: A simple Google search brought my reply to you. But it would be a good service if HD Tracks offers this kind of information.

Here is even more info:


Thanks again @Ermos.

There has to be a more scalable way to check this rather than researching every recording… : /

I doubt they would. Wouldn’t be in their best interest as it would expose the not insignificant number of redbook upsampled tracks they carry :wink:

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If that’s genuinely the case then I’d paraphrase Erno and suggest that:

“HD Tracks would be a good service if they offered this kind of information.”

Until they do, I hope customers request refunds for the albums that aren’t what they say they are.

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That’s the problem with HD Tracks. You have no idea if you’re wasting money on an upsampled redbook album. And they don’t allow user reviews. A bit shady in my opinion.

But the beauty of dCS is that redbook sounds fantastic.


I often buy from prostudiomasters.com - they have a nice DR database for all their albums as well as editorial notes. Not perfect but at least some info regarding the provenance of their recordings.

Thank you @Urbanluthier , @Anupc and others, this is Exactly what I was trying to get into.

In your opinion(s), what are the best spots to download/buy, real remastered (not upsampled) HighRes music?

Is Qobuz for example better on provenance?

I listen to newly recorded classical music so most recordings are available as genuine studio masters (although on occasion I’ve seen 192 files that are clearly 96 upsamples to 192. I buy from a few sources, but I try to buy from the record label direct as a first choice (i.e. Hyperion, Chandos, Linn etc.). 3rd party sites I’ve purchased from include:
www.prestomusic.com - UK
www.prostudiomasters.com - Canadian
https://www.highresaudio.com/en - German
https://www.nativedsd.com - Dutch

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Agree with Urbanduthier, and I would add;


Thanks @Anupc

I like the fact that Sound Liaison is so upfront about their mastering, honesty is in short supply these days!

" Our DSD masters are not original studio masters. We record in PCM (DXD), so if you want a native one to one copy of the original studio master,
without any kind of conversion, choose the PCM (DXD) download. With one exception, Impromtu (Tony Overwater & Bert van den Brink), was recorded direct to PCM and direct to DSD with two seperate recorders."

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I tried HDtracks when they first started. It is easy to look at the spectrum of a redbook file and see that it has a brick wall filter around 19KHz., so you could see that some they were selling at higher rates were just upsampled redbook. When I called them on it they said they didn’t have the resources to check what they were supplied. So that was the last I dealt with them.

As pointed out, they continue to offer very little if any information about where the files come from. They won’t let users comment. I think they are a band of thieves.


I agree Bruce.

I’m created an account with NativeDSD and am researching recordings before downloading… (sigh)

It is actually a very good question. If someone is asking you to pay a premium price for a file they should be able to tell you where it came from and how it was produced. The fact that HDtarcks refuses or is unable to do this means I will never do business with them. I’m am surprised that so many people do.


I did a lot of a-b testing/comparison
My conclusion is that the DCS Vivaldi upsampling of a standard decent recording is far better than 90% of so called higher res’ market place dodgily described product

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I use qubuz to get unusual single tracks, and ignore their higher res stuff as it is artificial and far worse than the dcs vivaldi upsampling of a standard track

I purchased 192/24 albums from HD Tracks when they were first offered. I was disappointed with the sound. When I called them, they admitted that the album in question was upsampled. Their excuse it that it was just what the label provided to them

I resolved to not purchase from HD Tracks again, until they provide the provenance of each recording