Pristine site

www.pristineclassical.com/ (www.pristineclassical.com/ / December 6, 2013)

Sites for CD-quality and studio master downloads:

Qobuz: This French site is now the world's best megastore record store for downloads. While the catalog is not quite as deep as Amazon or iTunes, it offers a vast wealth of recordings available as downloads in CD quality and often hi-def. Plus it has a wealth of unbelievable bargains, although you have to search for them.

HDtracks: Although the selection is fairly limited, this pioneering U.S. site has hi-def recordings you won't find anywhere else and is especially good at providing astonishingly rich remasterings of classic '50s and '60s jazz, rock and classical. Forget about bargains.

Pristine Classical: Historic classical (and a few jazz) recordings in public domain remastered to the highest modern standards. Wilhelm Fürtwängler's "Ring" recordings sound like they were made yesterday (or at least the day before).

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eClassical: A decent collection of downloads, CD quality and higher, at decent prices.

Presto Classical: A British site with a strong collection of CD-quality downloads but not hi-def. Many European releases are blocked, but the site also sells CDs and video. Many bargains.

High Definition Tape Transfers: Reasonably priced historic recordings, classical and jazz, transferred directly from reel-to-reel tape. There are many rarities here and the sound is gorgeous, but the selection is small.

Hyperion Records: The boutique British label sells downloads of its recordings in CD quality and as hi-def studio master often less expensive than you can find on other commercial sites.