Astell & Kern, Blue Note team up for high-resolution audio deluxe kit

Like 4K video, high resolution audio is in a bit of a sore place, with few places to find it, and much of the availability locked out thanks to international restrictions, but if you have enough money, you can find a whopper of a pack.

We hope you like jazz, because if you do (and this writer does), the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records will yield something pretty special for anyone with a passing interest in high-resolution audio, and oh, almost eight thousand dollars (not us, sadly).

The pack includes 75 of Blue Note’s most famous records over its 75 year history, remastered from analogue and put into a high resolution 192kHz/24-bit format, complete with Thelonious Monk, Don Cherry, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, and a bunch of other albums in a special decorative tower that can be shaped to look like whatever you want.

Of particular note — and this is really the gadget side of things — the kit will come with an Astell & Kern high-resolution audio player, the AK240, branded specifically for the Blue Note 75th anniversary and making it a collectible.

“The Blue Note Records catalog of Jazz is the perfect showcase for high resolution audio,” said Henry Park, CEO of IRiver, the company that owns Astell & Kern.

“The Astell & Kern line of portable high-resolution audio players were designed to showcase the range of instruments in these musical genres. Now, everyone can listen to these new and classic albums the way they were meant to be heard, how the artist and engineer intended them to be heard.”

Now for the hard part, and that’s the price: $7,599.

Yes, it will cost you a few hundred shy of eight grand to experience the package that is the Astell & Kern Blue Note 75, a package that doesn’t just deliver the music, but the system to play that music on.

For many of us, that’s a price that is likely too far out of reach, and now that high resolution playback is possible through more sources — four of them being phones, the LG G2, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3, and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact — this is a cost that is simply too high to match.

Because of this, we’re checking with the local people for Blue Note and Astell & Kern to see if the high resolution records are available outside of the package.

Right now, one of the only places that sells high res tracks — HD Tracks — region blocks Australian customers trying to purchase Blue Note tracks, so we’re hopeful that someone else will pick up the slack and deliver another source of high-res audio for those of us keen to spend the money… just not THAT much money.