Acoustic Sounds Offers DSD Downloads...Now!
Online music and gear retailer Acoustic Sounds will begin offering DSD downloads...today! Wednesday, August 28th! That's right, here's the first source for popular titles from artists like John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, and Cat Stevens in lovely resplendent DSD. Kinda makes you glad you have that DSD-ready DAC. You do have one, right?
The new Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez™ service, available on www.superhirez.com, provides consumers with an alternative to MP3 and other lower resolution digital formats, while answering the needs of audiophiles seeking downloadable music with the same quality only available now on vinyl LPs or Super Audio CDs (SACD).Acoustic Sounds founder and CEO Chad Kassem explains,
Using the same resident expertise used to produce its vinyl pressings, SACDs, and their own original recordings, the new service will employ Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology, which provides 64 times the resolution of audio CDs and a much more life-like quality than MP3 tracks.
“We’re excited to be the first company to offer mainstream albums from leading music companies using the DSD format on a website that’s optimized for simplicity and ease of use,” said Kassem. “Those who haven’t heard the music they love in this high-resolution format are going to be amazed by the experience.”
While Acoustic Sounds offers music in several formats, uncompressed DSD technology results in music as close to the master recording as possible, with deeper bass, reduced distortion, and an overall higher dynamic range.
Initial DSD albums available for download will include August and Everything After by Counting Crows, Come Away with Me by Norah Jones, A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens, Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits, and more. Users will be able to access these titles from a site that’s convenient to navigate via an easy-to-use GUI. A detailed, yet simple-to-use tutorial is also available to assist first-time users.
I spoke to Chad Kassem and he expects to have approximately 35-40 titles available initially and 200-300 by the year's end. Titles will be culled from Acoustic Sounds in-house label APO Records, Analogue Productions, and the Universal Music Group catalog (which now includes EMI as well as a ton of others like Blue Note Records, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Geffen Records, Harvest, Interscope Records, Island Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, and Virgin Records) as well as others to be announced as the deals are inked. The initial releases will all be sourced from the original master tapes and mastered to 64x DSD. Double rate 128x DSD may be considered in the future. When the topic turned to bits, Chad emphasized, "Who mastered it is the important thing in terms of sound quality" and he also shared that he feels Acoustic Sounds works with "the best in the business."
This is obviously great, big wonderful news for music lovers. Chad added, "Acoustic Sounds is the best of the old school", having just built a state-of-the-art record pressing plant, combined with "the best of the new school" now offering DSD downloads. I could not be more excited for them and for us.
DSD albums will start at $24.99 and you can check out the first available titles from the Acoustic Sounds dedicated website www.superhirez.com.