96.0kHz / 24bit

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I see some 96.0kHz / 24bit releases and/or recordings.
I don’t use that, so I’m not sure what it represents exactly.


Should such recordings be kept separate, not merged?

I understand we keep stereo and mono recordings separate because it’s a different mix but there are only quality differences, like when you compare LP and CD, WAV and MP3, etc.

Digital releases

Same question for digital releases, should we keep 96.0kHz / 24bit digital releases separate from regular digital release?

Yes, in general, because the record companies assign them different barcodes.

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This is another instance of the “digital formats” can of worms. You can trivially upsample any 44.1kHz/16bit (CD-spec) audio to 96/24. We have absolutely no way of verifying that what a vendor claims to be “authentic high sample rate/depth” actually is that, and not just upsampled.

Contrast this with a physical releases, where we actually do have a way of verifying if a particular physical CD is one of the rare and obscure CD subtypes.

This feels like the wrong way around: We should have different releases because the record companies assign different barcodes, not because of the technical details.


And can I merge those recordings with the regular ones? I think, there is no mixing difference, so I should but what’s the custom here on MB?

Well if we just keep the 24 bit releases because of the different barcode or catalogue number, I guess the recordings are always merged.

IMO If an album has a higher bitrate and sample rate then generally this is a remaster and therefore will have a different release date and catalogue number so should be separate. I’m taking genuine official releases here from the likes of HD Tracks, Nimbus records, Linn, Chesky records, Stockfisch records etc.

You say there are only quality differences, like when you compare LPs and CDs and obviously there is between lossy and lossless but that’s not quite correct. The whole point of higher bitrate and sample rate is about quality and you can just as easily have both a CD and LP at 24/96 or higher.

If it’s a RIP then yeh that is minefield and there is no easy way of verifying. That would take some deep analysis of the spectrogram and waveform and making comparisons to the same recording at a lower level. But many record companies or should I say recording studios are getting hold of master tapes and remastering older material and releasing as Hi Res either as SACD, LP or Digital download. This is a separate market and should be treated as such and not be thrown in with a standard Redbook releases from years ago.

TBH I would go as far to say this is the future and direction that everything is going. 16/44 CD’s are the past. It’s not about ripping CD’s any more and it’s more about companies professionally remastering at a better quality than CD. To throw another spanner in the works there’s going to be MQA releases to deal with too. I don’t know if these are being added to the database.

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A large majority of people are completely fine with lossy low-bitrate web codecs streamed by Spotify. There is no conclusive evidence that it’s actually possible to reliably hear the difference that higher sample rates or depth (beyond the range covered by CDs) result in.


I’m pretty sure if I would listen to those streamings, made for phones in the street, in my modest average hi-fi, it would still sound crap next to a CD.

24/192 Music Downloads…and why they make no sense


I would still like to keep these releases separate, if only for documenting the correct sources (HDtracks, etc.) If MB can keep 3 different itunes variants for a release that shouldn’t even be up to a vote. I agree, however, that all those digital releases would usually share the same recording.

And you’re right to say that HD remasters are no guarantee for better sound. Some publishers are indeed just unethically upsampling to sell to the self-appointed audiophiles. But, there are those releases that sound genuinely clearer, too. Of course, there are those mixes that sound like radio transmissions no matter what they do (Hello ELO)…


Oh man the whole debate over whether we can hear a difference is a debate that go around in circles forever. It’s like why one should vote for one political party over another LOL Personally I have heard good and bad in all ranges of bitrate/sample rates but that’s a whole different debate. The issues here is if a release is a different release with a different catalogue number then it should be separate irrespective of what the bitrate/sample rate is.


… This of course, but we can merge its recordings.

It’s all clear for me now. Thanks. :slight_smile::+1: