HD Tracks Fair Warning

Last week I delved into the song “Panama” from the new HDTracks high-resolution Van Halen releases, and while measuring the 24/96 and 24/192 versions, I noticed something disturbing – the two were so similar that it was entirely possible that the 24/192 version was just upsampled from a lower res file. While prepping for that article I had so many versions of “Panama” to measure and listen to (two vinyl LPs, both HDTracks versions, the original CD, and the recent CD remaster) that I was unable to get to the rest of the set. Perhaps 1984 was the outlier, and the other 24/192 versions had something, anything to distinguish themselves from the 24/96 versions other than a bigger price tag? To find out, I took a sample track from each of the first five Van Halen albums that I didn’t get to last time, and as before, I resampled the 24/96 version up to 24/192 to put it on an even playing field with the original.

Related Pages:

Dynamic Range Day 2015

The Monolith Deathcult

“Where Have All The Good Times Gone!” from Diver Down brings back the usual pattern of identical looking files and peaks just under the 24kHz mark. Looking at all of these files has given me a clearer picture of what’s going on, and it’s actually worse than I originally thought. “Panama” at least has enough high frequency content to suggest that it was taken from a 24/96 file. None of these tracks really break the 24kHz mark (though it’s hard to tell exactly). It’s entirely possible that many of the albums in the set are upsampled 24/48, and Fair Warning appears to be 24/44.