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 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   Oscarilbo   (Member)

Hi
I've been an avid CD collector since I was 10. Now at my almost 40 years old I've gather a very big collection. In recent years with the digital revolution I've saying that as long as CD sounds better I would keep buying them.

Well... times change and there's a moment when you just have to give up. There's been a perceived change in music industry which have impacted not only the physical format but the accessibility to the few releases that are still produced. Even my beloved expanded releases from LaLa Land Records an Intrada have been more and more difficult for me to pursue since both product and international shipping prices have increased considerably as well, not to mention the weeks of waiting.

I recently bought a DAP to try digital purchased 24 BIT FLAC albums for the first time and wow, I'm really, really impressed. Not only sounds as good as a CD, but actually sounds better imo. Of course as with every produced album, mastering is a factor and you cannot change a bad mastered album, but a good one can sound greater in 24 Bit, as we know CD is limited to 16 Bit of information.

Does it sounds a lot better? nah, really not, but enough to be noticeable. Its like everything is a bit better; a bit better clarity, a bit better instrument separation, a bit more air, a bit better frequencies extension, and a bit fuller overall.

So it got me wondering. How would a 24 Bit files of our beloved expanded releases like a Mike Matessino's mastered John Williams or James Horner album would sound like? I definitely would love to own that someday. But at the same time, also got me thinking. Would it be profitable for labels? I mean part of the attraction for us is the whole physical experience of these releases, and maybe it is what makes it profitable at core for them.

I don't know, its a transitional stage both for the industry, and for me personally. I will buy now digital albums for completely new releases (meaning a score from a new movie in the current year), and I would certainly keep purchasing physical cds from our labels, because they are a piece of art of its own, from the care poured into the booklet and the cd pressings to the expansions and the mastering themselves, but I finally feel I'm getting closer than ever to the end of an era.

What do you think and what's been your on experience on this?

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Most classical music I buy these days is digital downloads, most recently the terrific set of Beethoven's complete String Quartets with Tácaks Quartet in 24bit/48kHz (Decca).
Yep, I wish more soundtracks would be released like that, but can see why it's often not an option. But the era of CDs has more or less ended. (Yes, they are still around and will be for a while, but as niche.)
All my music is goes directly on my NAS as lossless/high-res ALAC files.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

For digital to "work" as well as physical you need good quality files (CD quality FLACs or ALACs, 16-bit 44.1kHz or higher) and good quality equipment (at least the same as, or better than, the equipment you use to play CDs).

I have to say, 24-bit 48kHz played through my Cambridge Audio CXNv2 streamer, pumped directly from an 8TB Synology NAS through a Marantz hi-fi receiver sounds fantastic.

From a sound quality perspective, no compaints from me. Just two things to consider:

1. Bookets. You just don't get liner notes, or even basic credits, with 99% of soundtrack releases - or ANY type of music come to that. I have to hand it to BSX in that respect.

2. The speciality labels don't have digital distribution rights, apparently. So don't expect LLL or Intrada releases in hi-res any time soon. It's possible, however, that Universal (for example) may release something digitally in high-res that LLL or Intrada or even the Varese CD Club has released on disc. It's happened with things like Matinee and the previous issue of The Burbs

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

I haven’t bought a physical soundtrack in years. And in fact I’ve actually digitised the vast majority of my collection.

My hearing isn’t sophisticated enough to determine the difference that i’m sure most people here probably can discern. I just want hear the music and the set up Inhave for that is perfectly fine. And I love being able to zip through my entire collection in a matter of seconds in a way that I could never have done with my CD or vinyl collection.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   richsto   (Member)

For digital to "work" as well as physical you need good quality files (CD quality FLACs or ALACs, 16-bit 44.1kHz or higher) and good quality equipment (at least the same as, or better than, the equipment you use to play CDs).

I have to say, 24-bit 48kHz played through my Cambridge Audio CXNv2 streamer, pumped directly from an 8TB Synology NAS through a Marantz hi-fi receiver sounds fantastic.

From a sound quality perspective, no compaints from me. Just two things to consider:

1. Bookets. You just don't get liner notes, or even basic credits, with 99% of soundtrack releases - or ANY type of music come to that. I have to hand it to BSX in that respect.

2. The speciality labels don't have digital distribution rights, apparently. So don't expect LLL or Intrada releases in hi-res any time soon. It's possible, however, that Universal (for example) may release something digitally in high-res that LLL or Intrada or even the Varese CD Club has released on disc. It's happened with things like Matinee and the previous issue of The Burbs



These are great points and some of the reasons I still buy CD releases. Don’t get me wrong I immediately rip to FLAC but typically utilize high quality cd players (redbook & SACD) to listen unless I’m on the go. For the wider distributed Hi Res downloads I’ve moved over to purchasing those over CD. However, most of the LLL expanded and remastered releases are unobtainable anywhere else on any other format. So there is still a “need” for physical CD.

Also, there are times when your streaming device can’t access your service like this last weekend with Cambridge. Cambridge flubbed the update of their device firmware and app this weekend and my CXN V2 would have been rendered useless if I didn’t have my FLAC rips and Hi Res digital downloads. Having the physical CDs and my entire library downloaded in multiple places means I’ll never go without music - anywhere.

Agree on sound quality. With some exceptions most of the lossless and Hi Res downloads can sound quite good and faithful to the mastering (which plays a huge role) depending on what equipment you have. In some cases, Hi-Res downloads do sound superior and truly glad we have these available on many releases.

Stunning to have so many lossless options these days. I am a happy camper!

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Oscarilbo   (Member)

For digital to "work" as well as physical you need good quality files (CD quality FLACs or ALACs, 16-bit 44.1kHz or higher) and good quality equipment (at least the same as, or better than, the equipment you use to play CDs).

I have to say, 24-bit 48kHz played through my Cambridge Audio CXNv2 streamer, pumped directly from an 8TB Synology NAS through a Marantz hi-fi receiver sounds fantastic.

From a sound quality perspective, no compaints from me. Just two things to consider:

1. Bookets. You just don't get liner notes, or even basic credits, with 99% of soundtrack releases - or ANY type of music come to that. I have to hand it to BSX in that respect.

2. The speciality labels don't have digital distribution rights, apparently. So don't expect LLL or Intrada releases in hi-res any time soon. It's possible, however, that Universal (for example) may release something digitally in high-res that LLL or Intrada or even the Varese CD Club has released on disc. It's happened with things like Matinee and the previous issue of The Burbs


Agree. I mean I would definitely miss and will miss a cd case and booklet with every CD release I buy, but having the music without shipping costs, time, and logistic troubles is refreshing. And I didn't know about Matinee! Is there any place where one can follow these digital albums (for expanded and remastered releases)? I know Varese Sarabande also sells digital albums.

Oh and I myself enjoy my music (both CD and digital) through a Schiit stack (DAC+AMP) into my headphone collection.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Many, not all but certainly quite a few, digital download releases come with booklets (PDF). At least classical recordings often do have them.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I just love those little silver discs, I don't mind waiting for them to arrived, or paying the p&p from America to the UK (an imported CD is such a rare thing for me these days, that price doesn't really matter). I can understand downloads & streaming taking over, but it's CDs for me, & if you don't mind buying s/hand, they really are cheap.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I have to say, 24-bit 48kHz played through my Cambridge Audio CXNv2 streamer, pumped directly from an 8TB Synology NAS through a Marantz hi-fi receiver sounds fantastic.
From a sound quality perspective, no complaints from me.



That sounds like a sweet system Spy.
I 'm a bit jealous.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 3:37 PM   
 By:   richsto   (Member)

I have to say, 24-bit 48kHz played through my Cambridge Audio CXNv2 streamer, pumped directly from an 8TB Synology NAS through a Marantz hi-fi receiver sounds fantastic.
From a sound quality perspective, no complaints from me.



That sounds like a sweet system Spy.
I 'm a bit jealous.


I can vouch for the Cambridge CXNV2 - sounds terrific with almost any format thrown at it, connected library or streaming. Won’t spin shiny silver discs though. smile

Rich

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

Many, not all but certainly quite a few, digital download releases come with booklets (PDF). At least classical recordings often do have them.

That's true - classical releases are pretty good for booklets. But not so much soundtracks or pop or anything remotely mainstream... it's horrendously lazy by the labels. It's not like there are printing costs, they just need to pay a designer and a writer.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   Manakin Skywalker   (Member)

Bookets. You just don't get liner notes, or even basic credits, with 99% of soundtrack releases - or ANY type of music come to that. I have to hand it to BSX in that respect.

Man I really wish more studios would include PDF booklets with their digital downloads. I really appreciate the few labels that do that.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 8:41 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

I was born in 1975 and am now 48 years old, and I've never downloaded a soundtrack or any other type of music for free or fee, nor do I own any music on LP, 8-track, cassette or floppy disk (another retro trend in niche circles). As far as I'm concerned, if it hasn't been released on CD it's unobtainable.

Given the wide range of my taste in music, my personal quirks and the desire to keep my music library manageable, I've found it necessary to restrict the format in which I consume and collect music to that which for numerous reasons I prefer: The Silver Coaster!

I do appreciate having access to online resources for sampling purposes though, so I can try before I buy (or not), but apart from that it's CDs or bust.

Wait, I take that back. I do own a copy of the soundtrack LP for Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son-In-Law, but it's framed and hanging on the wall. big grin

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 11:18 PM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

Nick's probably expecting me to jump in with my usual post about people not being able to hear the difference between "high rez" files vs. CD quality files from the same master, so here it is. Since my last post on the subject I've been double blind comparing high rez original files with CD quality down rez versions and so far no one has been able to tell the difference. Our tests are level matched and blinded so the listener does not know if they are listening to the high rez original or the down-rezed copy. So far the percentages of correct guesses have fallen in line with what you'd get from pure chance (ie, guessing).

So for me the value in high rez is that various companies are going back and remastering old recordings so they sound better no matter whether it's high rez or not. If you "only" have CD quality don't fret; it's the quality of the original recording and the remastering that matters, not the format.

For reference I am testing on the following system:

Preamp / processor: Trinnov Altitude32

Source: Roon streaming direct through the Trinnov, files through Qobuz or via hard drive rips

Speakers: Revel Salon2 (the same speakers Dolby has in their Critical Standards Listening / Testing room)

Amp: ATI Signature Series AT6003 (350 watts)

Headphones: Mark Levinson 5909

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   AdoKrycha007   (Member)

My personal experience is NO CD = NO SALE
I have never and will never pay for a digital release of any kind music genre.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2023 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   keky   (Member)

My personal experience is NO CD = NO SALE
I have never and will never pay for a digital release of any kind music genre.


This.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2023 - 12:26 AM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

My personal experience is NO CD = NO SALE
I have never and will never pay for a digital release of any kind music genre.


Do you happen to rip your CDS intl ITUNES so you can play them in your car or on your phone?

Just wondering....


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2023 - 12:49 AM   
 By:   AdoKrycha007   (Member)

No. Never. I am lucky enough to have a factory CD player in my car.

My father bought the next model generation of my car, and the CD player was no longer available, not even at an extra charge. So, I am aware that today's new cars do not have the possibility of having a CD player and in future I will have to rip my CDs to a pendrive. But I very rarely listen to music in the car. I like silence in the car

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2023 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Nick's probably expecting me to jump in with my usual post about people not being able to hear the difference between "high rez" files vs. vs. CD quality files from the same master

Actually not at all, as I don't want every thread that mentions high-res files steer into a discussion about perceived or imagined benefits of high-res audio. (However, and as I have previously pointed out, the debate encompasses considerably more than merely hearing sample rates in a blind test setting.) I think we should collect them all into one thread instead and link to it as we see fit.


Of course, as this is the "digital vs physical" thread, it might just be the place to do that. big grin

 
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