Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971

Firstly i must say I LOVE this album to bits and have played the CD to death (i don’t have it on vinyl, yet…). Since i’ve had roon i never thought to play side-by-side comparisons (because i can’t find the CD), however, i always thought that the roon version never quite sounded as good as the CD.

However, recently, I noticed that Qobuz have several versions of it, two at 44.1kHz 16bit and one at 192kHz 24bit (highres is the default version and the one i’ve been playing).

It was only today when I decided to see if I could hear any difference in sound quality between the three versions…

I started off with playing track 3 - old man - and switched between the 3 versions, the two CD quality tracks sounded identical (at least to my ears), but there was a big shift when playing the hires version, but not in a good way.

The warmth, echoes and enjoyment that comes from the 44kHz (CD quality) versions is just not there, the hires version sounds hollow and lifeless in comparison, not something I would have expected!!

Now of course this could be me and my ears/my system, but this 192kHz version, i feel just doesn’t quite do it justice, has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone else agree or disagree?

Well, resolution is just a small component of SQ, imho. The most important is the mastering and/or the mix; but remixes are rarer than remasters. Just because it is the same album does not mean the mastering is the same between versions. Likely it isn’t.

I care more about having the best sounding master rather than resolution. This takes research. There are a couple of forums which you could search to see if others have done in depth comparisons, like the Steve Hoffman forums. I didn’t find an in depth comparison but I did find a thread about how great it is you might like to read “Would Neil Young Live Massey Hall be considered an all-time great live album if released in the 70s? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

To your specific album, I have not heard that album in any context so cannot speak to it. Although the DR numbers found on the DR database seem to indicate that all versions are from the same original 2007 release. Vinyl will probably be different just due to the differing mastering requirements for the format.

1 Like

Awesome, thank you so much for that! Out of interest how and where did you get info on DR?

There is a DR database that is online for reference. I should have included the link to that album’s page.

Album list - Dynamic Range DB

listening to it more intently even though the DR numbers seem to indicate that all versions are the same I don’t think they are. The guitar on the hi-res version sounds like a different guitar, in the CD quality version it sounds like a “well used” one when in the hi-res version it sounds like an expensive alternative (but doesn’t provide the same loving notes). His voice in the CD version you can hear him using the mic to control sound volume (moving closer and further away etc) but this seems to disappear in the hi-res, almost as if the remastering has removed some if not all of this. Same with the crowd noises, so obvious in the CD quality version that he’s in a hall with a lot of people, but again missing this depth and atmosphere in the hi-res version where it seems as though the echoes etc have been quietened, making it sound like a studio version rather than live…