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Thread: Upsampled SACD's

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Upsampled SACD's

    So what's everyones take on this practice? I'm finding more and more labels that take the RBCD layer and just upsample it to DSD and call it an SACD. I've checked almost a hundred today for HDtracks and over half are upsampled. Go figure....



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    Bruce A. Brown
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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Bruce

    IIRC most SACD's in the early years of SACD were exactly what you stated at least for remastered albums
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    So what's everyones take on this practice? I'm finding more and more labels that take the RBCD layer and just upsample it to DSD and call it an SACD. I've checked almost a hundred today for HDtracks and over half are upsampled. Go figure....
    Impressive. Can I ask you how you selected the ones you assessed?

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
    Impressive. Can I ask you how you selected the ones you assessed?
    As most know, we do all the hi-rez transfers for HDtracks. Sometimes we get 100 or so at a time. This shipment had quite a few upsampled discs.
    Now with people listening with their eyes, we're having to check every single disc (and track) that we do. I've found a few discs where there were 3-4 tracks that were upsampled and the rest were pure DSD.


    Regards,
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
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    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    As most know, we do all the hi-rez transfers for HDtracks. Sometimes we get 100 or so at a time. This shipment had quite a few upsampled discs.
    Now with people listening with their eyes, we're having to check every single disc (and track) that we do. I've found a few discs where there were 3-4 tracks that were upsampled and the rest were pure DSD.
    Regards,
    Hmm. Not a scientific sampling. What I would like to know is if you can comment about newly recorded SACDs, i.e., those originally released on SACD, and those that are reissues? The majority of HDTracks repertoire consists of re-released, presumably re-mastered pop/rock stuff and I am really only interested in classical.

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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator RBFC's Avatar
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    I'm sure that there are a lot of pop/rock albums that were not recorded in native DSD. Those that have redbook PCM digital masters would have to be upsampled, while those with master analog tape could be directly captured via DSD.

    Lee

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    WBF Founding Member Nicholas Bedworth's Avatar
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    @Bruce...

    This may be a slightly delicate question, but would you be willing to recommend say 10 of HD Tracks best sounding albums? I need a 24/96 reference library, so to speak, for all my reviewing work with high-end DACs, music servers, etc. A lot will be coming out on Blue Note but not for another couple of months. I'm definitely looking for "real" high-res material, not upsampled anything.

    BTW is it true that most SACDs are edited in PCM?

    Robert Harley related in the TAS article on 25 years of the CD that in his days as a CD mastering engineer, the labels would hand out a 3rd level master tape (2 levels down from the real master) to make the CD. Robert said that this was pretty much standard practice.

    The notion of taking an RBCD, which can be bad enough, and then converting it to SACD, yucko! I don't know what other people are experiencing, but SACD has never been tolerable for me. There "must" (maybe?) be some goods ones out there, but... Certain Learned Digital Audio Luminaries will spit coffee at the mere mention of SACD, that's for sure.
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    WBF Founding Member/Member Sponsor MylesBAstor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Bedworth View Post
    @Bruce...

    This may be a slightly delicate question, but would you be willing to recommend say 10 of HD Tracks best sounding albums? I need a 24/96 reference library, so to speak, for all my reviewing work with high-end DACs, music servers, etc. A lot will be coming out on Blue Note but not for another couple of months. I'm definitely looking for "real" high-res material, not upsampled anything.

    BTW is it true that most SACDs are edited in PCM?

    Robert Harley related in the TAS article on 25 years of the CD that in his days as a CD mastering engineer, the labels would hand out a 3rd level master tape (2 levels down from the real master) to make the CD. Robert said that this was pretty much standard practice.

    The notion of taking an RBCD, which can be bad enough, and then converting it to SACD, yucko! I don't know what other people are experiencing, but SACD has never been tolerable for me. There "must" (maybe?) be some goods ones out there, but... Certain Learned Digital Audio Luminaries will spit coffee at the mere mention of SACD, that's for sure.
    Well if one wants to hear something made from THE master tape, get ahold of the new Nat King Cole 45 rpm LP reissues or the SACD/CD. Rather than using the three-->2 track mixdown tapes --and then another generation to account for the tape sent for mastering the LP, Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray did the impossible They set their mastering system up to go directly from the three track master to the lacquer (or digital recorder). This is as close as most audiophiles will get to the original tape!

    And the results are impressive--though I still am put off by the popular use of echo chambers back then (to be fair, Steve reduced the echo too).
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    I may be biased (ain't we all?) but, for stringent testing with digital media, I would consider only newly recorded materials that are high-res from the mic feed. Analog-sourced material, no matter how good, still will have SNR limits inherent in the original media, including the master tapes. So, while I am a big fan of the RCA Living Stereo SACDs, they would not qualify. Also, I do not consider the presence of a hi-res PCM intermediary or original as disqualifying (for many reasons).

    For downloads, I recommend those from 2L, Reference Recordings and (selected) Linn tracks.

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    For HDtracks recomendations, I'd say anything from the PentaTone label. "Some" of the new Verve stuff is good as well.
    For anything processed in DSD, yes, you need to change the format.... either add bits or use 352.8kHz. Any DSD processing that I do goes to the analog domain and then back to DSD.
    2L is good for DXD downloads.. don't know about Reference Recordings. I've heard otherwise about 1 or 2 albums.
    Bruce A. Brown
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