Sometimes dissatisfied with Hi - Res music

I open this discussion with sadness and maybe I don’t even know if it is the case … But maybe it’s a period of my life … Often I get gifts in Hi Res format 24 bit, I often buy them like today "abbey road 24 / 96 "then I get the urge to listen to them, I listen to them once and almost all the first three songs then I become unsatisfied. The quality seems identical to all the records I listen to through Tidal in the Naim app. The Tidal subscription costs the right amount and I have everything at hand … The HiRes costs and does not satisfy me! Will it be my age? Is it that the HiRes is like this and, the moon? Yet they are moved to Naim Unitiserve 2tb and listened through ND5 xs2! Could it be that the integrated I have, a Nait5si, no longer satisfies me? Could it be that I can’t understand the kind of music I want and that drives me crazy? Is all this happening to you? … And yet the money I spent on cables, accessories, isolators, power lines, swicht, are many! … :rofl:

Not all Hires is better than 16bit. Rehashed old stuff such as you mention wasn’t recorded in anywhere near 24 bit quality so it shouldn’t be sold as such.


No. Hi-Res is overrated.


In the past few years I have so many things to do with HD tracks … To date, something as beautiful as a recording to listen to with Naim exists? …

One thing I will say here though is that although my ND5 XS 2 does sound more sophisticated than my CD5si player doesn’t mean I enjoy it more, quite the contrary in fact. I too use Tidal via the Naim app for discovering new music but find the quality of the content way too variable to take it seriously. If I discover something I like then I much prefer to buy the CD, rip it bit perfect and then local stream it back from my NAS via Asset. Only then I will take the listening more seriously.


May CD Rips live forever!

My best sounding albums are always CD Rips. No clue why - keep scratching my head about it.


We all spend vast amounts of money on music and how many of us do our homework, who was the producer, or more importantly who was the sound engineer and who is the mastering engineer

This is an amazing interview with Mandy Parnell which is full of interesting insights - it is long but have a listen from 32 minutes on and it may answer your question - with subtitles for you @anon35986639


Subtitles not available in Italian

The biggest effect depends on the mastering.

A good master will produce a good CD and a better Hi Res album.
A rubbish master will produce a rubbish CD and a Hi Res album that shows just how rubbish the master is and shows this even more clearly!

(Then of course there are some that are just up-scaled CD resolution files which then aren’t any better than the CD.)


I have found as a very general rule, although there are exceptions, that if the original was mastered digitally ie. relatively recent, then the 24 bit versions have a good chance of sounding subtly better then the 16bit CD rip. Otherwise there is a good chance you will be disappointed.
I haven’t tried Qubuz yet and so I haven’t cloud based streamed in 24 bit yet but if you can you can actually try before you buy.

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At this point we ask the most experienced or downloaders to eat a lot of them which ones are worth buying for your NAS and who are not disappointed in listening …

First, there is at least a rumor that HD Tracks have mis-identified files; that some were upsampled. I do not know the truth however.

Yes, it’s more about the mastering than the bit depth etc. But when all else is equal, hi res CAN provide a sense of musicality and immersion that exceeds redbook format – on the right system.

@anon35986639 which Abbey Road? The 2009 remasters or the 2019 remix? I have the 2019 remix downloaded both as redbook and hi res; I’ll do a listening test at some point soon!

I bought the 2019 mix from HD tracks today. It looks ok.

I always buy hi-res (24-bit or DSD) when its available. If I buy a hi-res to replace a previously released CD rip, I normally take the time to look around the internet to see if its recommended, or if its from a studio or engineer I have had good experiences with. Then if its better great, that is usually my experience.
If however its not as good, I then take my time & listen a few times, so far I have not heard any that caused me to reject it.

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Well I’ll follow your advices

That SHOULD be ok, as the publisher distributed an HD version I’m pretty sure, so HD Tracks will have gotten good files to re-sell.

I have some albums from HD Tracks from some years ago that sound like crap. Some Girls is one that comes to the top of my head; very lean sounding.

Very interesting. Thanks Andy for posting. I found her comments about MQA at 34-36 minutes very interesting. She said that when she auditioned MQA, it was Shockingly good. Its the best codec she has ever heard. Great Format.

Its one way to eliminate the multiple masters, and remixes, etc. And to my ears, its sounds the best.

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I’ve come along late to this conversation, so my apologies if what I’ve said here has already been mentioned.

In my experience, the sound quality is really dependent on the skills of the recording and mastering engineers and the bit rate generally has little to do with it.

I’ve heard some really stunning recordings in MP3-VBR, one example being a 1962 recording (on a valve tape recorder) of some works by Edgar Varèse where you can even hear a turboprop airliner flying overhead! The clarity and richness of the recording is absolutely stunning.

CDs can also sound sublime and I have many examples of such recordings - and no I don’t rip them to NAS, as I really do enjoy actually playing CDs.

However, Hi-Res recordings, if properly engineered with Hi Res in mind, can sound absolutely beguiling - but only if freshly recorded on a new master.


Without wanting to be condescending nor be critical but it may be that the Nait 5si doesn’t perhaps allow the Hi Res files to fully reveal their potential? Of course music can sound great and move us when replayed through all sorts of equipment but when you are expecting a clear difference between 16/44.1 vs ‘Hi Res’ this might be more apparent with slightly more revealing equipment…

I believe that the Nait5si is a very good integrated and clearly superior to the others of the competing houses … Then when I take the XS3 I’ll tell you … Oramani took me the monkey :speak_no_evil:! However heard at 09.30 / 10.00 I tell you that abbey road 24/96 breaks! Beautiful sound and voice