96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Reprise Records 9362-48935-2 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
The genesis of this release seems to hark back to 2004, when Neil Young remastered these tracks from his back-catalogue using the HDCD encoding he’d been favouring in the studio for almost a decade. Alongside it, there was also a 96kHz/24-bit release on DVD-Audio (remember DVD-A?), with Young hailing the format as ‘the difference between a true reflection of the music and a mere replica’. ‘I’ve always been a strong believer in analogue and this is about as close to the rewarding listening experience of vinyl as the real thing’, he added. Now the cynic night say ‘yes, but you also said that about Pono, Neil, and whatever happened to that?’. But Young writes a nifty tune, and all the favourites are here – the trouble is, true fans will have them all already, or probably this album in one form or another, and the hi-res envelope doesn’t really add that much. AE
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Noise and levels of compression/THD are set by the original analogue recordings but these 96kHz remasters are mercifully free of digital clipping. There’s not much ‘real’ content beyond 20kHz and trks 15/16 are 44.1kHz upsamples [green]. PM
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