HDTracks sale - 20% off till 30th Sep.

edited September 2011 in New Releases
Code for checkout: hires20

Get 20% off everything they have, which now includes Nevermind. Email:

Nevermind: The Original Album, Never Before in 96/24!

"...as much a part of the classic rock canon as anything by the Stones or The Beatles, Dylan or The Clash." -BBC Music Review

"It's a museum piece, a record that merits a display in the Smithsonian." -Jody Rosen, Rolling Stone

One of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Nevermind, Nirvana's second studio album, was
released 20 years ago this week and featured the chart-smashing
singles "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are." The record was a
saving light to a musical audience that was ripe for change from the
standard-fare Seattle grunge music and the big-hair heavy metal of its
era. The album would become Village Voice's Album of the Year and garnered critical acclaim from reviews in Rolling Stone, Spin, and countless other publications. Nevermind was responsible for exposing alternative rock to the mainstream, and critics regard Nevermind as one of the best rock albums of all time!

HDtracks Goes 20 for 20! Use the code hires20 at checkout.

We're celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's ground-breaking, industry-changing release of Nevermind
with a special private sale giving you 20% off your entire order.
Enjoy this pivotal alt-rock classic along with your choice of anything
else in the HDtracks' catalog in this unprecedented offer good for any
quantity of any artist or label title from HDtracks.com. 

Along with Nirvana, choose from HDtracks.com's amazing collection of high-resolution downloads, even those from our HDtracks Classic 50 from exciting major labels like Universal Music Group, ABKCO, Concord Music Group (Verve, Fantasy), Warner Music Group,
Deutsche Grammophon, plus major independent labels such as 2L and Bar
None, covering
all of the genres that HDtracks.com offers. From classic and alt-rock,
to jazz, classical, world, blues and more, you'll enjoy huge savings
across our entire catalog through this limited-time offer.

Nobody Offers More of the Hi-Res Recordings You Love!

HDtracks.com is your source for amazing-quality downloads
from rock and pop artists like The Eagles, The Who, Paul McCartney,
Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Chicago, R.E.M., Norah Jones, Elton
John, Rush and much more. Plus HDtracks.com features the best of the
best sounding jazz recordings from Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John
Coltrane, and other legends, along with the most-revered classical
recordings of all time.

Thanks again for your continued support.

-The HDtracks team.

*Use code hires20 at checkout for a one-time 20% off discount off of everything in our store.

Expires September 30th, 11:59PM PST


  • Don't seem to be able to purchase on this sight , as they are US only. Has anybody else faced this . Is there a way around it?
  • You pay using PayPal and they don't seem to be able to tell where you are ;-)
  • Will try again later. From checkout to pay always seem to go belly up.
  • The PayPal choice is very early on. You don't need to enter any personal details.
  • All done cheers. Downloading:)
  • I downloaded a couple of albums from there this afternoon. No trouble. Paid with Paypal. Sorry to head others are struggling.
  • So what are people downloading? Any stand out 'hi res' albums I ought to consider? :/
  • I only purchased one album. Beck (sea change). Still downloading very slowly. Nirvana could be good, but I already have the CD, so I can't really justify it yet. Might be an interesting A/B if I did though.
  • The last couple of albums I've downloaded have been ones already in my cd collection....interesting to compare.
  • I try not to double up on music. I'm mean like that :-)

    Are the HD versions audibly better?
  • edited September 2011
    Tbh the selection remains a bit limited. I have no idea how it compares to anywhere else.
    I have tended to pick up old "classics" that either I've never got round to buying, or have on vinyl and want to make a comparison. I think I've bought 4 albums from there in the last 6 months:
    Louis & Ella
    Marvin Gaye "let's get it on"
    Buena vista social club
    Eagles "Hotel California"
    Wings "Band on the run" (haven't had the chance to listen yet).
    All good musically. Only the Louis & Ella album has really impressed from a hi-res POV though. The reproduction of Louis' voice is stunning.
  • I try not to double up on music. I'm mean like that :-)

    Are the HD versions audibly better?
    Good question...
    I own only 1 CD/Hi-res duplicate - Buena Vista Social club. Yes! There are audible differences - most noticeably the hi-res version is quieter. :-/ Bizarrely quiet in fact. Direct comparisons are thus tricky.
    Beyond that though. the hi-res version sounds more...
    ... Hi-res.
  • Band on the run is very fine, as is sea change. My understanding is that the hi-res do not jump out at you as better every time., which seems to tally with my experience.

    On computer audiophile, they have analysed Nevermind and found its better than all the recent re-issues.

    They also found the original 1991 CD is the most dynamic issue of all, by far.
  • I don't know if I'm disappointed or not that high-res files don't trounce Redbook every time.

    I have an original 1991 Nevermind, so I guess I'll save my money on the HD Tracks.
  • I think all the concentration on dynamic range is missing some of the point of 'hi-res'. Surely a lot of the benefit is supposed to be in micro dynamics, texture, the subtle things? The dynamically squashed re-masters are retrograde to be sure, but I wonder if the 'hi-res' still have something to offer?

    Like most, I am not going to be re-purchasing music I already own just to compare.
  • Yes. I agree with you.

    The JuJu recording, In Trance (which is 24/44.1, so only a little on from Redbook), has lots of small cues in it, which make it sound even more live. I think there's a Redbook FLAC on Society of Sound, so maybe I'll grab it and compare it with the 24-bit version.
  • Without a reference point, how is it possible to know that the hi res is any better than redbook cd? It might be a particularly well mastered cd.

    My experience varies greatly between hi res purchases. A few sound better, however the majority I've downloaded don't sound any better than the equivalent cd or Spotify version.

    This is another numpty question, but how can albums that were recorded 40 years ago be offered in sparkling 24bit quality? Isn't the quality associated with the recording method (not just upsampling the original)?
  • That's a really good point. There was a discussion on CA about the HDTracks release of Waltz for Debby, which is an old, live recording. The mastering engineer (Paul Stubbletine IIRC) chimed in, explaining how the process of digitising the old master in hi-res allowed artefacts and noise to be dealt with better than usual, by placing them outside the realm of audibility.

    He made a convincing case, but I don't know how seriously to take it all. I have that one both as hi-res and conventional CD, and there are differences. Not an awful lot though, but you must remember the quality of this particular recording was never 'up there'. What the HDTracks release does is try to make the best use of what is there.

    You pay your money, you take your choice. I keep an eye on Computer Audiophile for the indignant screams following each weeks new releases so I can avoid any wasters, but in general I like to buy the music I am (already) interested in in the highest resolution I can.
  • It's also worth remembering that by far - an absolute country mile in fact - the most important arbiter of quality is the mastering.

    If CDs were all mastered well, I'd never need to buy a hi-res download. Re-masters tend to be a let down, whether hi-res or otherwise ime.
  • edited September 2011
    Good thread this.
    I've been waiting a while for it...!
    I think it's right to say that recording/mastering quality varies enormously. Enormously. So one cannot judge a hi-res album in isolation - it could be that it's been made from a poor or a good recording. It's important that it's compared to the CD equivalent.
    That said my Ella & Louis hi-res album is the best quality reproduction I own. This could be coincidence - I must get the CD version to compare.
    I don't know what old digital recording quality is like. Is it 16/44.1...? If it is, i don't know if there would be any advantage to a 24/96 hi-res release. I doubt it. On the other hand, may be recording equipment has always operated at hi-res levels? I suppose the real question how much justice can well done red book do to most master tapes in a YOUR hifi system?

    Pre-digital recording (no idea when the digital switch over began for recording studios (the late 80s...?)) I presume certainly can offer benefits. The Louis & Ella album that I mentioned earlier is I think from the 1950s so presumably is valves (?) and analogue tape. It sounds amazing, as do many albums of that type from that era. If hi-res does have the potential to make a difference I am sure that my favourite Ella LPs would realise that potential. I will seek one out on CD to check.

    Re. That hi-res potential, Alan is right, I think it would be a bit blinkered to focus on increased dynamic range alone when it comes to hi-res. My impression from comparing Buena Vista Social Club (well and under produced) hi-res with CD is that hi-res sounds more detailed (little details) smoother, and produces a more satisfying shape for the percussive event (to use that famous term of our great leader ;-) ).

    In short I think hi-res is a better format and can show itself as such, but it is not a magic wand to massively improve every LP. As with all hifi getting from source to ear as faithfully as possible is the name of the game. In this case, if some of the source (the original recording) detail is missed by red book, hi-res may show some of what is missed.

    Now hi-res v vinyl.... :-o
  • 'Re-master' smacks of marketing to me.  I'm always deeply suspicious of re-mastered albums....particularly when the release happens to coincide with Christmas  :-?

    It's the same story with films where re-mastered 1970's Star Wars for example does look cleaner, but underlying it is the original recording - what wasn't there in the first place can't me invented on a mixing desk. 

    HD Tracks' catalogue does seem to be moving ever so slowly towards more mainstream music, but I wonder if it's now time for Apple or Amazon to dip their toe into the hi-res water....that, would be a turning point.

  • edited September 2011
    What does "remaster" actually mean?
    Do they go right back to the original 4/8/16/32 track studio recording and remix it using hi-res mastering (surely not)? Or do they just take the original mixed down master tape and transcribe it at 24/96?
  • Not a clue Doc.  Aside from what Alan described earlier re removing artefacts which I can understand, I don't see how it's possible to improve on what was originally recorded - hence my point about 40-50 year old music being offered at 24/192.

    Oh and while were at it, I see HD Tracks offering a range of music at 16/44, 24/44, 24/192 etc.  Does the bit rate have a greater bearing than the kHz value?  Must admit I'm sooooo far out of my technical comfort zone here, but I'd be interested to know which one, if any, is the most important.  I'm guessing the bit rate?
  • Unscientifically, I've always thought that 24/48 sounds more different to 16/44.1 than 24/96 does to 24/48.
    No idea what to make of that.
  • Just realised I've been quoting the figures the wrong way round (bit/sample :-/ ).
    My bad.
  • Got round to listening to the "Band on the Run" hi-res. It's very good quality-wise. One of the better hi-res efforts i've heard. I know the album well from vinyl, though don't have it on CD.
    The HD tracks hi-res version is billed as "uncompressed"!!! So may be it's one of the aforementioned "remasters"....? If so, I guess technically all comparative bets (with any 'compressed' versions, CD or otherwise) are off. Personally I think it sounds excellent. Very well sculpted sound - solid, assured and dynamic. Better than any CD rip I have (tho' as I say, I've never heard this particular album on CD).
  • edited September 2011
    Shame about the music, though  %-( :-)
  • edited October 2011
    Actually it's one of macca's better 'solo' (ie post-Beatles) efforts.
    I can see how he wouldn't cut it in an ugly music collection tho', so I'm aware that opening sentence is not saying much to you. ;-p
    If it's any consolation, I bought that juju album this week on your recommendation. Ying and yang, balance in the universe restored etc.,...
    I should get to listen to it today (after the rugby...).
  • As Alan Partridge once - and quite rightly - said:

    "Wings. The band the Beatles could have been"....
  • As a young teenager the Beatles were what first hooked me into music. I became an obsessive collector of all Beatles and, then for mainly collecting purposes, post-Beatles LPs. I have them all.
    Many of the solo albums are terrible - a few of Ringo's are actually comic (intentional or not I don't know). Lennon's are generally the best, if you can overlook his self indulgence and yoko's contributions. George Harrison's "All things must pass" is a very good album by any standards.

    Most musicians seem to peak in their 20s* and then deteriorate in terms of musical creativity, but even given this the ex-beatles solo albums indicate that there was a musical chemistry there that made the band more than the sum of it's parts.

    * I once saw a graph (I'll make an effort to find it) that showed an exact correlation between on one hand rates of violent crime in men against age, with on the other, rates of male musical creativity (can't remember how that was gagued) against age. I recall that 23 is the most prolific age for murder and song writing. I have no recall of what the hypothesis for this correlation was. :-/
  • I still like McCartnety better. And the Stones.
  • I still like McCartnety better. And the Stones.
    Hoisted by your own petard.
    No one shall take you seriously now... ;p
  • Wtf's a petard hoisting anyway? Is it some sort of old fashioned naval wedgie...? :-/
  • My hurty wrist prevents me from spelling correctly!....

    A Petard (assuming you weren't calling me a retard & mis-spelled) is a quote from Hamlet, and refers to an engineer being blown up by his own bomb (Petard).

  • Ah - Ben-baiting on a Saturday morning...
  • Baited by a shakespearean scholar...
    It's simply a higher class of trolling on this site isn't it...?
  • Actually it's one of macca's better 'solo' (ie post-Beatles) efforts.
    I can see how he wouldn't cut it in an ugly music collection tho', so I'm aware that opening sentence is not saying much to you. ;-p
    If it's any consolation, I bought that juju album this week on your recommendation. Ying and yang, balance in the universe restored etc.,...
    I should get to listen to it today (after the rugby...).
    I remember when it came out - showin' me age - and I didn't like it then!

    SWMBO loves JuJu. Not sure what that means...
  • Cranked up the volume this evening.
    Hi-res tracks are seeming to show off their superior pedigree to a greater degree. Especially bass and drums. Very well defined and visceral.
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