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Brasil '66 Masters: Any Chance for 24-Bit Downloads?

With VERY rare exceptions, all of their CD albums weren't beautifully miked, mixed and recorded. But many (though not all) classic albums from the 50s, 60s and beyond sound even better when the first gen analog tape masters are digitized in 24 bit 96kHz. I'm a new member so I can't post a link to hdtracks.com, but go there and check out the offerings (e.g. the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds").

Or has the Universal fire (however accidental that tragedy actually was) made such high res downloads impossible?
 
Those of us who own the HERB ALPERT PRESENTS album from MFSL think it sounds pretty good.
 
Or has the Universal fire (however accidental that tragedy actually was) made such high res downloads impossible?
Even if they did release these at 24/96, we have no way of knowing if these were original two-track masters, production masters, copies made for Europe or Japan, etc., so whatever we end up with might not sound all that good anyway. All because I don't even think Universal knows exactly what was destroyed in the fire. Not everything was destroyed (they have multiple storage locations) but given that the recordings were based in L.A., chances are higher that some if not all of the tapes were destroyed.

I've had a Qobuz Sublime subscription for several months and have been purchasing the high-res files from them, rather than HD Tracks, largely because I get a discount (up to 50% off). I have to say that some of Universal's releases in high-res have not been good. (I had gotten ahold of Nirvana's Nevermind and whatever they used for a master was smashed and had no dynamics--it was just loud and nasty. Yet the reissues of many of the Stan Getz bossa nova albums are top notch.)

That is one advantage to Qobuz--the high-res file I stream is the one I'm purchasing. So I can give it a trial beforehand. That subscription has saved me a lot of money in recent years.
 
Even if they did release these at 24/96, we have no way of knowing if these were original two-track masters, production masters, copies made for Europe or Japan, etc., so whatever we end up with might not sound all that good anyway.
So are you saying that the tapes that produced my US pressed A&M and Verve CDs are not the same as those used to produce my Japan pressed CDs?
If there are audible differences I likely wouldn't know until I upgrade my DAC to a Holo or better model this year.
 
So are you saying that the tapes that produced my US pressed A&M and Verve CDs are not the same as those used to produce my Japan pressed CDs?
It's an unknown, unfortunately. Back when these were pressed on vinyl, Japan and Europe would likely have received copies of the tapes from the US, so they could be a generation away from what was released in the US. We also don't know if the labels sent copies of the 2-track master, or copies of the production master (which would be the copy used when the lacquer was cut, and often had the EQ choices applied to the tape so the engineer didn't have to adjust the equalization via a set of instructions that was often included with tapes sent for cutting).

It's further unknown if the Japan or Europe CDs were made from those tape copies, or if Universal in the US sent over digital copies of the masters. I would think that in the earlier days of CDs, it would be more common for countries to use what they had on hand. Yet depending on how the tapes were stored, or how often they were used, a little-used tape in Japan might actually sound better than an often-used master in the US.

One example of the confusion is when Jordi Pujol was instrumental in getting a lot of the older RCA catalog titles reissued via BMG in Spain. The sound quality often suffered because he was forced to use the tape copies on hand in Europe, as RCA in the US would not send their better tapes to Spain or provide a digital copy of them. I have a few CDs from BMG in Germany made during those same years that sound much better. Did Germany have better copies on hand, or did RCA either loan out the tapes to Germany or make them a digital copy? We'll never know.

I guess the shortest version of all this is that we don't know what sources any of the countries used for mastering the CDs--they could be the same, or different. And I could only suggest enjoying the copies we already own, or comparing them to determine which is the best sounding copy to our ears and keeping the one we like.

If there are audible differences I likely wouldn't know until I upgrade my DAC to a Holo or better model this year.
Nice kit! The Spring 3, or the May?
 
I guess the shortest version of all this is that we don't know what sources any of the countries used for mastering the CDs--they could be the same, or different. And I could only suggest enjoying the copies we already own, or comparing them to determine which is the best sounding copy to our earsand keeping the one we like.


Nice kit! The Spring 3, or the May?
Wow, I'd didn't think anyone-even at a niche forum section like this-would have that much of a handle on those details. All of my foreign CDs were Universal Japan; all from the early to mid 90s; I think my domestic A&M issues were too. And my Verve CDs were 2000 and 2002. They're all priceless treasures, though
I will be comparing them in due course. This year my own version of Gary Dahl's Beyond the Aerial speakers will be completed by Troy Crowe, who co-designed them with Pierre Lavoie, fellow members at diyaudio.com. This is certain to be a thrill of a lifetime; a very long sonic journey from 5 Marsak Lane.

DACwise, if it's Holo I'll go with the top model, or maybe even the T & A ElectroAcoustic 200, as suggested after extensive chats with DIYaudio.com's Markw4.
Though highly critical of the inadequacies of ESS DAC chips (versus the better AKM ones) used in the Benchmark DACs, Mark acknowledged the problems caused by intersample overs distortion, though which JRiver, HQ, Foobar and other good players can be set to prevent or substantially reduce.

I have maybe two SACDs in my collection so I always thought that DSD was irrelevant, but Mark said DSD capable DACs can convert PCM digitized 44.1 CD data to DSD to then upsample to "subjectively", much better sound quality. Thus, reducing intersample overs distortion via software players and DSD upsampling CDs with their DACs are certainly ways that many here should often be able to directly improve the sound quality of their digital source material.
 
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Wow, I'd didn't think anyone-even at a niche forum section like this-would have that much of a handle on those details. All of my foreign CDs were Universal Japan; all from the early to mid 90s; I think my domestic A&M issues were too. And my Verve CDs were 2000 and 2002. They're all priceless treasures, though
Indeed. I might not always have a version of a specific version the Internet approves of but if I enjoy it in the end, that is all that matters.

I have maybe two SACDs in my collection so I always thought that DSD was irrelevant, but Mark said DSD capable DACs can convert PCM digitized 44.1 CD data to DSD to then upsample to "subjectively", much better sound quality. Thus, reducing intersample overs distortion via software players and DSD upsampling CDs with their DACs are certainly ways that many here should often be able to directly improve the sound quality of their digital source material.
That is somewhat behind the principle of the DirectStream DAC I use--all incoming digital (PCM or DSD) is upsampled to 20x DSD, and from there it is a simple process to convert it back to analog. After upsampling and processing (via FPGAs--FieldProgrammable Gate Arrays), it then goes through a series of precision micro-transformers and directly to the analog outputs.

One thing I noticed the first day I used it is how natural it sounded. And how it made CD-rate digital something I wanted to listen to again. I may eventually upgrade to the DirectStream 2 in a couple of years but I'm settled in on how this thing sounds with no urge to change.

And again it's a matter of taste. Maybe it's not for everyone but if I'm happy with it, that's all that matters. And it works well in my system.
 
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