Hi Res audio sounds great, no doubt. The better the master, the more improvement you’ll hear. It’s even astonishing to hear some old master tapes that have been converted to hi res. Hi Res is 24 bit as opposed 16 bit, CD quality. Both have the ability to sound terrific. But 24 bit can indeed step away if the source is spectacular.
How do you get this great format at your house? The most popular way to get 24 bit is to use your computer. You buy 24 bit files from various web sites. You can then run your computer via USB into a fine DAC and away you go. But you can do better.
The best sound we’ve heard is when you take the files from your computer and dump them to a hard drive. Then connect this outboard drive to a Bryston BDP-2 Music Player. You run the BDP-2 to a DAC and avoid your computer being in the road. It has lots of tasks to do and doesn’t sound as good as playing your music through the Bryston. You can navigate the music from your phone or pad.
If you’re not into the computer and don’t want to mess with it, there’s an even easier way to get hi res. Purchase SACDs and play them on a player that is compatible, like Marantz SA-8005 ($1200) or Marantz SA-11S3 ($4000).
SACDs were introduced in 1999. Simply stated, a CD has 44,100 “dots” per second. An SACD has 2.8 million- hence 64 times more info. With SACD you are less likely to hear each dot. When SACD was introduced, there was a competing format called DVD-A. It was a fine sounding format too. But it lost the battle to SACD and in the process, confused the Hades out of the entire hifi world. Like beta vs VHS. What a shame!
SACD remains an important format for those of us who have been on board forever, or just don’t want to bring our computer into the equation. Much of the massive classical repertoire is available on SACD. There’s a surprising amount of jazz and rock available too. You don’t have to buy music from a limited number of sites. You have a physical disc in hand to play. It can’t get lost in a computer crash.
Whichever way works best for you, consider joining the hi res audio world. We can help you make sense of it all at Audio Emporium. Your sound has never been better!