It’s actually sobering, again and again albums in the hi-fi audio sector appear that promise more than they actually deliver. This is currently becoming apparent with the new remaster of the legendary AC/DC albums, which have only just been released, as the German provider HIGHRESAUDIO reports.
Hi-res audio can be a really great thing, enjoying music in exactly the same quality as it was either recorded directly in the recording studio, or at least mastered. That’s exactly what audiophile music lovers want and sometimes spend immense amounts of money for it, be it for a system that brings out this quality, as well as the corresponding audio data, which is at least a bit more expensive than conventional “CD quality”.
This makes it all the more frustrating when the industry makes promises that it simply does not keep in the end. Far too often it has happened that albums are offered for sale in an impressive resolution, but in the end they are nothing more than a cheat package. Of course, there are especially blatant examples where there is no “raw material” available for an album in alleged hi-res audio, although this is admittedly the exception. Much more often, actually much too often, you will find recordings that are shown with a much higher resolution than they actually have. This is called up-sampling, which of course doesn’t improve the quality at all, but from a marketing point of view it’s very good. Obviously, the customer prefers to use a download that advertises itself with 24 bits and 96 kHz or even 24 bits and 192 kHz instead of “only” using 24 bits and about 48 kHz. More brings “more”…
Or not, as the German company HIGHRESAUDIO once again points out.
Lothar Kerestedjian of HIGHRESAUDIO has made it his business to realize an online store with Hi-res audio content alone, the same applies, by the way, to his streaming offer HRA-Streaming. In order to guarantee this, he and his team put a lot of effort into quality control. In contrast to many other providers in this area, the data is not simply taken over from the labels without being checked and simply put online, but rather has to pass a test with the appropriate software tools.
Unfortunately, it happens again and again that new albums in the course of this test turn out to be much worse than they are actually labelled. Currently this is the case with the remaster of numerous albums of the Australian formation AC/DC, which are probably eagerly awaited by many. AC/DC can celebrate their 50th anniversary these days, so it’s no wonder that a dozen albums of the band are now available as remasters, of course first and foremost as “Hi-res Audio” downloads.
But what is declared as 24 Bit and 96 kHz turns out to be often not more than 24 Bit and 48 kHz according to HIGHRESAUDIO, one suspects that once again simply an up-sampling was done, which of course doesn’t help at all from a sound technical point of view.
HIGHRESAUDIO writes about this on his Facebook page:
“As feared the following albums are up-sampled: “Blow Up Your Video”, “The Razors Edge”, “Ballbreaker”, “Stiff Upper Lip”, “Live at River Plate” and “LIVE” (Collector’s Edition). Please note that the albums are offered in their native sample rate of 48 kHz at 24 bit. The provided 96 kHz version has been up-sampled and offers no audible value! We will not offer the album “Backtracks”. There are too many tracks that look very suspicious. No further comments.”Lothar Kerestedjian, CEO HIGHRESAUDIO
But even if you close like this for the time being, you don’t want to leave it all uncommented and add:
“This is really a very disappointing result – considering that this is the biggest rock band in the world – and still playing. Celebrating 50 years of AC/DC should earn much more respect for fans and music lovers all over the world.”Lothar Kerestedjian, CEO HIGHRESAUDIO
An assessment we can only agree with. In addition, HIGHRESAUDIO deserves a lot of praise at this point for their focus on quality assurance on the one hand, and for communicating everything in this regard so openly. One can be sure that the provider is not making friends with the industry partners…
Once again, we would therefore advise you to think very carefully about who you trust as a customer, after all, you want to receive exactly what you pay for your hard-earned money.
Getting to the point
Once again a THICK praise to Lothar Kerestedjian of highresaudio.com and their quality control! Will the music industry finally get it? If Hi-res, then please do it the RIGHT way, do no cheat pack with resolutions that may sound good for marketing but not better while listening? As always: Be VERY careful where you buy your stuff! Not every supplier deserves our trust as a consumer!