If you read my blog on getting back into audio, you may have noticed I have the Ayre DAC at home. One neat feature the Ayre DAC has is the ability to play back very high resolution audio files. With a pile of great gear sitting in my listening room, I thought it was time to give high res audio a spin.
The best source for HD files is a website called HD Tracks. This was started by the Chesky brothers. For those of you who were into the audio hobby 30 years ago, you may remember the Chesky record label. These were (and still are) great sounding albums.
With the advent of faster internet pipes into our homes, HD Tracks became a reality. The brothers started it in 2008 with a few obscure high resolution tracks. However over the past couple of years they have gotten the master tapes to a ton of all time great jazz, rock, and classical recordings and redone them to be in high resolution format. In some cases we are talking about a file that has close to 5 times the amount of data a regular CD has!
Being a big Rolling Stones fan, I was extremely happy to see they have done almost their entire library. My first HD Tracks purchase was Hot Rocks, for $50! Was it worth it? Heck yes!!! If you are lucky enough to have a DAC capable of playing back 192 or 176K files, you are in for the treat of your audio life. The difference in these files and my ripped CDs is just HUGE, I mean WAAAAAY better!
Once again, I’ve been staying up way to late at night listening, but its like you are hearing these very familiar albums for the first time. It does seem like our industry keeps figuring out how to get us to buy the same music over and over again, but I have to say, this time, its really worth it.
If you want to learn more about high resolution audio, you’ll need our help getting set up with a DAC capable of playing back these files and a computer rig in your music room to serve them up. The experts at either of our stores can help you out. My personal favorite is the Ayre DAC with a MAC Mini controlled by the new Apple Remote app.
(See the HDTracks video intro “What is HDTracks?” here.)