Hires vs. 16/44

Hi everyone,

I was comparing the same Hires tracks on my Rossini DAC to the 16/44 redbook tracks, and find it very hard to notice any difference between the two versions. Am I the only one? I wonder if the processing algorithms of quality DACs is so good that the hires files are of minimal or no benefit. Curious to know what others think.

It depends on what files you are comparing. Hi-res provides more information from the original recording but if the information wasn’t there in the first place…

That often happens with files touted as hi-res but which are no more than resampled versions of lower resolution original recordings. Provenance is everything - not that the record labels give you much to go on. Further IMO some music genres are not that likely to contain additional information that is easy ( or possible) to discern - death metal anyone?

Finally we are talking about refinement. If you are listening for more bass or additional instruments or when the drummer drops a stick or the conductor’s podium creaks then that is not what hi-res is about.

I would agree that all of the dCS lines will provide renditions of redbook that is subjectively better than lesser equipment can manage with SACD or other hi-res formats . But that is not to say that genuine higher resolution recordings will not reveal their benefits.

My advice is not to consciously compare in the sense of looking for some magic moment. Just let the two versions of a genuine hi-res v. redbook file play and decide which you feel happiest with. Then replay the other one :wink:.


Pete nailed it: too much so-called “hi-res” music is nothing more than resampled/upsampled low-res music. IOW, there is no actual additional or new information for the higher sampling rate or bit depth to reveal.

Thanks guys. It is unfortunate that the record companies and websites which sell hires music such as HDTracks are so obscure about a recording’s provenance and also don’t allow customers to leave album reviews.

If anyone has some suggestions on good hires music, please feel free to share.

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In respect of provenance the best download vendor has to be Native DSD Music. Their catalogue is guaranteed to be from true DSD or DXD originals. You will find that they also offer various resampled versions from the original if that was originally recorded at a resolution you cannot replay e.g. DSD256. But they all derive from a bona fide hi-res master. However this is nearly all classical genre music so if that’s not your bag then try Highresaudio from Germany. They do check the authenticity of what they sell. However If you do not live in Europe ( specifically the EU/EEA) there may be limitations to what you can buy from them if there are territorial restrictions on the repertoire. NB: if you are UK based they can probably still sell everything to you up to the end of the month. Thereon we keep our collective fingers crossed.

I was also going to suggest a subscription to Qobuz. Yes high res albums offered in profusion but the question of provenance raises its head again. It would be impractical for them to verify a catalogue of 60 million tracks so they are basically just accepting what the record company tells them the file is.

If you are interested in classical music then I may be able to offer some suggested titles. Let me know.

I would add Blue Coast Music to Pete’s recommendation. They are fairly clear about their provenance. And some of the recordings are superb.

Many thanks for your responses!