Karajan Remastered

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Karajan Remastered

I see that Karajan is undergoing a revamp on the Warner Classics label, much of his output being remastered in Abbey Road Studios and released in a series of box sets.  Does anyone have one of these releases, and what are your thoughts on the remastering?  If they're leaps and bounds ahead of the original stereo outputs, which I kind of expect they will be, I will be putting pennies aside for them...

John Copeland

Karajan

Hi, OK were back up and running on the Gramophone Forum!

 

I was previously on another forum about the Beethoven Symphonies and HvK was mentioned since one of his cycles with the Berlin had recently been remastered and released by DG. A member of the forum decided to order the box set and stated that one disc was great (possibly #6 & #7) and that the rest were just all-right.

 

I then discovered that there was a Japanese remaster solely of that good sounding CD in the box set (again it could have been numbers six and seven). It became clear that these tapes delivered an exceptional sonic quality while the others offered less to work with. In other words, that Japanese remaster was a cherry pick while the other symphonies were ignored.

 

I can't predict of course how these Warner releases will sound but my thought is that their historical signicance will be more of its selling point than will its sonic quality.

goofyfoot

While they're been remastered

While they're been remastered at 96k 24 bit, if you buy them on CD the quality will remain limited to the CD standard, ie 44k 16 bit. If there's an advantage to be had from the new remasterings, you'll need to buy a hi res download (or just possibly one of the new BluRay based discs) to benefit to a meaningful degree.

I'd make the radical

I'd make the radical assumption that a Japanese remaster would sound better than any other possible option.

 

Analogue Productions is releasing a number of RCA Living Stereo

hybrid/SACD (and 200 gram vinyl) remasters but they've yet to do anything regarding HvK.

 

I've orderd the Analogue Productions/RCA Living Stereo,

F. Reiner with the CSO, Rimsky-Korsakov 'Scheherazade'.

The price is steep but it may be worth every penny and if I think so, then I'll purchase all of the scheduled Joshua Heifetz releases as well.

 

pgraber, I've found that the higher resolution files present too much gritty digital noise, or at least through my stereo they do but I'll try them again after my DAC returns from its upgrade.

 

As for now, I'll stick to the standard CD's or the hybrid/SACD's which I play through Audirvana Plus at 96 kHz.

goofyfoot

Goofy

Goofy

One thing higher resolution digital must surely do is present you with less digital artefacts. Unless your system is faulty.

regards

Paul

No Paul, I have a high

No Paul, I have a high resolution system;

 

Audirvana Plus software application

Ayre QB9 DAC (soon to be upgraded)

ASR Emitter II Exclusive version Blue amplifier

Quad 2905 ESL speakers

High Diamond Cables interconnects and speaker

 

I downloaded a sampler from HD Tracks here in the US and I was not that impressed with what I heard.

 

I know that there are some recordings that were recorded at a higher resolution but the majority of HD Tracks available for download were not.

 

So, if higher resolution is the issue, I can upsample anything I like, up to 192 kHz and I can do that without paying someone else to do it for me.

 

If something was actually recorded at a higher resolution. then I'll adjust my settings to accomodate it but the idea of making adjustments for an individual recording seems like too much of a bother.

 

I have my DAC set to 88 kHz for audio streaming, mainly the BBC Radio 3

and for standard CD or for a hybrid/SACD,

my DAC with Audirvana Plus is set to 96 kHz.

 

You can trust me when I say that there's nothing at all wrong with this system.

goofyfoot

I'm sure there's nothing

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with your system (which sounds rather fine!), but upsampling is not giving you higher resolution. You might, or might not, prefer its sound, but the resolution was fixed by the original recording and the limitations of the playback medium. So there's nothing you can do to improve the resolution of a CD beyond what the original creators decided upon back in about 1979. (Which actually wasn't that bad - but much more can be achieved now.) the point I was trying to make is that low resolution digital - say MP3 - may suffer from digital artefacts, but high res should not. I just find it odd that your experience is so different.

 

The whole subject of whether it's worth transferring an analogue recording at much higher than CD quality is quite controversial. My feeling is that it is, but it's rather wasted if you then have to downsample it back to 16/44 to make a CD out of it - regardless of whether your particular DAC then upsamples it again. The resolution has been lost!

High Resolution Being High Definition

Hi Paul,

I perceived that you were referring to 'high definition', also sometimes referred to as 'high resolution' downloads. An MP3 file was the furthest thing from my mind because I don't use MP3 files. Nor have I ever used the Apple lossless file because they all sound compressed to me.

 

'So there's nothing you can do to improve the resolution of a CD beyond what the original creators decided upon back in about 1979.'

 

This is true to a degree however many recordings have been remastered from the original master tapes to digital format by labels such as Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Analogue Productions, Andante, d'Orfeo. etc... And in most cases there are sonic improvements ( to my ear ) even if it just means a blacker and quieter background. But you are correct in the sense that the original tape source will provide certain advantages and disadvantages and that little can be done with a bad recording no matter what one tries.

 

Technically. information retrieved from an old analogue tape recording which wasn't previously audible, is no more than simply retrieving information that already existed, otherwise it wouldn't be there. However, if I only hear that detail clearly after a remastering of the source, then the remaster is different from the original. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

 

'regardless of whether your particular DAC then upsamples it again. The resolution has been lost!'

 

My experience has been that 97% of the CD's that I own sound the best where my settings currently are. That is really good news as it means that I can generally leave things alone.

 

That being said, it depends a lot ( through my stereo ) on the recording and whether or not a 96 kHz playback setting delivers a greater degree of clarity and detail than does a playback setting of 44.100. Not to be overlooked as well is the naturalness of tone. So while playing a 44.100 recording at an up-sample rate of 96 kHz won't usually extract greater amounts of information ( but it still may depending on your level of hearing ) there are other variables that can also factor in.

 

 

It just seems for some reason that in the world of audio, 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4. My playback settings are where they are because that's what sounds best to me.

goofyfoot

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