88.2kHz & 176.4kHz/24-bit FLAC, Reference Recordings RR-130 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

If you’ve got a system capable of suspending disbelief and you’re a fan of the blues, recordings don’t come much better than this. Dim the lights, turn up the wick and you’ll swear bluesman Doug MacLeod is sitting at the end of your room. Reference Recordings’ technical director ‘Prof’ Keith O Johnson has been a darling of the US high-end scene for more than 30 years, renowned for his audiophile recordings. This was his first blues project. MacLeod, together with bassist Denny Croy and drummer Jimi Bott sat in a circle on a soundstage at Skywalker Sound in May ’12 and played ‘live’, the hi-res recording capturing the true-to-life dynamics of the performance. It’s available as one of the label’s ‘HRx’ discs, the 176.4kHz/24-bit master file burned to a DVD-R. Since they cost $45 plus shipping, this download is a great way to add the file to your library. JB

Sound Quality: 95%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded for RR’s HRx 176.4kHz/24-bit DVD Data Disc format (HR-130), the choice of sample rate is also perfect for downsampling to CD or upsampling to DSD. This file is the real deal though, and the bandwidth is fully utilised. PM