New to the HRA game. Looking at HD Tracks primarily, there seems to be no way of filtering albums in order to see only those that have been recorded, mastered and produced (correct terminology?) in high-res throughout the production cycle. I know HD Tracks offers that info in the notes, but having to go into each album to find that is a lot of work. Is there a better e-tailer who specializes in purely albums that are HRA through and through? Or allows customers to filter out the not-so-pure?
This doesn’t quite answer your question but I just want to recommend FindHDmusic.com. It does a pretty efficient job of finding material and you can see what sample rates are available where.
As for whether releases are fully high res throughout production, they really all ought to be! The only place I’ve found concerns in that respect is BIS, whose SACDs were for many years only upsampled. That information you can get on the eclassical.com website, which lists original sample rates.
The other retailer in the states would be prostudiomasters.com, or 7digital. None of the retailers will let you search/focus and more importantly most don’t have the information. I think prostudiomasters does a better job than HDtracks of presenting information.
Why? The retailers provide all the studio give them. The studio are very lax in providing providence or even taking care a good transfer is done. I’ve relied on forums and forum reviews (for example, steve hoffman hi res release forum thread, to filter out good high res vs bad. The information in the store sites will not help, or rather should not be used to make a purchase decision.
A very good label. There are several boutique labels, 2L is another, that do a fantastic job with high res, or even more to the point, the original recording, mixing and mastering. But, not where you’d go to buy the new mono Rolling Stones set. As the OP was talking about HDTracks, I assumed that he would be looking for something close to the same inventory.
And not available in the US. But, I do agree based on window shopping their content and pricing that it would be a great place to shop. And as soon as they open for business in the US, I will. I know you can “circumvent” the geo-fencing using certain services but I don’t.
There are very few tracks that you will ever find that truly meet the definition set forth by the accrediting bodies as to what a high resolution audio track will be. Most of the HD sites are giving you nothing more than a standard resolution file that might have gone through some re-mastering but is simply being delivered to you as a larger bit-bucket but with no better resolution than a standard CD. BTW, a statement like this will create huge amounts of discussion and always does, as the expectation bias one develops after having just paid a bunch of money for their HD (supposed) file is high.
If you get a newer recording that was done 100% in the digital domain the answer can be different, but as another poster put forth, having the labels detail the provenance of the recording is hard to do, as one step in the chain that does not meet the high resolution definition destroys the integrity of the entire track (and they want you to keep buying your music over and over again to enhance their revenue!!).
The fact is that anything that was originally recorded on tape can never ever be high resolution, as tape does not meet the definition. You cannot increase resolution to be greater than the source material (yet most of the HD sites do indeed make this claim).
This does not mean that the music provided by a less-than-high-resolution file cannot be imminently satisfying. If this were not true then vinyl would have gone away a long time ago as we all see how many think vinyl is still the most satisfying of all mediums. If your playback setup is up to the task you will get a satisfying listen with standard resolution files, there will be nothing to gain by going to the HD sites to re-purchase what you already have (except less storage space on your hard drive)!!! Go to the realhd-audio.com site and browse around for a good sense of this discussion.
Purchase from AIX (iTrax) and 2L. 96/24 throughout the recording/mastering process. DSD off of tape may sound superb because of high-quality engineering (eg Blue Coast), but they aren’t inherently as good as expertly recorded 96/24.