Reference Recordings Issues New Series of High-Resolution Downloads


TheaterByte has begun its reviews of a new generation of high-resolution audio (176.4kHz/24-bit) downloads produced by San Francisco’s Reference Recordings. The RR label has been with us since the 1970s with its state-of-the-art vinyl LPs recorded under the supervision of Professor Keith O. Johnson. Many of these now- deleted discs topped the audiophile recording charts and are still eagerly sought for their great sound and great musical performances. As the digital age dawned, RR moved ahead with great sounding Red Book CDs, eventually using the superior HDCD encoding. With the emergence of even better sounding DSD recordings, RR was there again. In 2008, not content to stop at SACDs, this company started issuing DVD-Rs with176.4/24-bit resolution WAV files (the highest resolution then available) to be played back from PCs. Now, RR has entered the disc-free download market with FLAC or ALAC files with this same high resolution and sold online by Acoustic Sounds ( where these downloads are dubbed “Super Hi-Rez.”  There are currently 21 releases (see titles below) featuring some of the best- known CD and LP recordings from the RR archives with the promise of more to come. We will begin posting our reviews of their downloads starting this weekend, so keep watch on this site.

Reference Recordings Current High Resolution Download Offerings

  • Organ Sensations: Felix Hell
  • Yerba Buena Bounce: The Hot Club of San Francisco
  • Crown Imperial: Dallas Wind Symphony/Jerry Junkins
  • Thinking About Bix: Dick Hyman
  • Lincolnshire Posy: Dallas Wind Symphony
  • West of the Sun: Joel Fan
  • Brubeck-Gandolfi-Foss: Concord Chamber Music
  • Brasileiro Soul: Reinaldo Brahn
  • Delibes: Sylvia, Coppelia: SF Ballet Orchestra/Martin
  • Horns for the Holidays: Dallas Wind Symphony
  • Playing with Fire: Dallas Wind Symphony
  • Doug MacLeod: There’s a Time: Doug MacLeod
  • Nojima Plays Liszt: Minoru Nojima
  • Arnold Overtures: London Philharmonic
  • From the Age of Swing: Dick Hyman
  • Mozart Piano Concertos 21 & 24: Eugene Istomin
  • Stravinsky: Firebird Suite, Song of the Nightingale, The Rite of Spring: Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue
  • Exotic Dances from the Opera: Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue
  • Respighi: Belkis, Queen of Sheba: Dance of the Gnomes, The Pines of Rome
  • Rachmaninoff: Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue
  • Reveries: Satie, Grieg, Faure, Ravel, Sibelius, Gounod, Debussy: Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue



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