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The weakest link in the chain?


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I recently completed my computer based audio system, which uses JRiver for playback, a Schiit Audio - Modi DAC, outputting to a NAD C 316BEE integrated amplifier, which sends power to a pair of GoldenEar Aon3 speakers. I've read extensively on the obvious benefits and of the complete fallacy of high res audio. I then tried my own listening test with Nickel Creeks "A Dotted Line" on CD and 24/96k from HD Tracks, only to find that there were inconsistencies between the two masterings, which in my mind invalidated the test. To make matters worse, I think my system which - though modest, is still not cheap - may not even be capable of reproducing high res audio due to the specs of the NAD amplifier. I even tried reaching out to NAD to see if perhaps the documented 20-20k frequency response of their amplifier wasn't a bit on the conservative side. Unfortunately, the response I got was nothing more than "This amplifier has a frequency response of 20-20k, which covers the whole of the human hearing ability." This seemed a strange and somewhat glib response since NAD themselves sell integrated amplifiers with 24/96k DACs built in. Why do this if 20-20k was all a human would need? It really makes me wonder how the case for high res music can be made when you have to be a world class detective and spend a quite a bit of money just to assemble a system that will do the job.

 

In the end, I don't know if my amplifier is up to the job or not. If anyone could has any knowledge on this issue, I'd be grateful.

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You're system appears well balanced to me ...

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I recently completed my computer based audio system, which uses JRiver for playback, a Schiit Audio - Modi DAC, outputting to a NAD C 316BEE integrated amplifier, which sends power to a pair of GoldenEar Aon3 speakers. I've read extensively on the obvious benefits and of the complete fallacy of high res audio. I then tried my own listening test with Nickel Creeks "A Dotted Line" on CD and 24/96k from HD Tracks, only to find that there were inconsistencies between the two masterings, which in my mind invalidated the test. To make matters worse, I think my system which - though modest, is still not cheap - may not even be capable of reproducing high res audio due to the specs of the NAD amplifier. I even tried reaching out to NAD to see if perhaps the documented 20-20k frequency response of their amplifier wasn't a bit on the conservative side. Unfortunately, the response I got was nothing more than "This amplifier has a frequency response of 20-20k, which covers the whole of the human hearing ability." This seemed a strange and somewhat glib response since NAD themselves sell integrated amplifiers with 24/96k DACs built in. Why do this if 20-20k was all a human would need? It really makes me wonder how the case for high res music can be made when you have to be a world class detective and spend a quite a bit of money just to assemble a system that will do the job.

 

In the end, I don't know if my amplifier is up to the job or not. If anyone could has any knowledge on this issue, I'd be grateful.

 

Well, at the beginning I have some similar thoughts, but don't follow so much the specs and adverts. The most important thing is to have good recording and good mastering of it! If it is done properly, even CD could sound exceptional. This process however involve some additional work, perhaps more detailed and cost additional money and in my humble opinion only few record labels keep their standards nowadays.

 

24/96 for consumers is not to hear anything above the audible range, it is rather to keep that audible range clean as much as possible bypassing some digital filtering in your DAC which is not ideal. It is important that you amp is flat on all the range without any colorization and than if you have good DAC it should sounds quite good.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Go to Soundkeeper Recordings Format Comparison

 

and ask for samples in redbook and hi-res to be sent to you. These are the same masterings, simply the lower res versions have been downsampled from the highest res ones.

 

If you compare these, it is a fair comparison.

 

Your system should be good enough. Hi-res isn't about hearing frequencies above 20k.

 

I recently completed my computer based audio system, which uses JRiver for playback, a Schiit Audio - Modi DAC, outputting to a NAD C 316BEE integrated amplifier, which sends power to a pair of GoldenEar Aon3 speakers. I've read extensively on the obvious benefits and of the complete fallacy of high res audio. I then tried my own listening test with Nickel Creeks "A Dotted Line" on CD and 24/96k from HD Tracks, only to find that there were inconsistencies between the two masterings, which in my mind invalidated the test. To make matters worse, I think my system which - though modest, is still not cheap - may not even be capable of reproducing high res audio due to the specs of the NAD amplifier. I even tried reaching out to NAD to see if perhaps the documented 20-20k frequency response of their amplifier wasn't a bit on the conservative side. Unfortunately, the response I got was nothing more than "This amplifier has a frequency response of 20-20k, which covers the whole of the human hearing ability." This seemed a strange and somewhat glib response since NAD themselves sell integrated amplifiers with 24/96k DACs built in. Why do this if 20-20k was all a human would need? It really makes me wonder how the case for high res music can be made when you have to be a world class detective and spend a quite a bit of money just to assemble a system that will do the job.

 

In the end, I don't know if my amplifier is up to the job or not. If anyone could has any knowledge on this issue, I'd be grateful.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Well, at the beginning I have some similar thoughts, but don't follow so much the specs and adverts. The most important thing is to have good recording and good mastering of it! If it is done properly, even CD could sound exceptional. This process however involve some additional work, perhaps more detailed and cost additional money and in my humble opinion only few record labels keep their standards nowadays.

 

24/96 for consumers is not to hear anything above the audible range, it is rather to keep that audible range clean as much as possible bypassing some digital filtering in your DAC which is not ideal. It is important that you amp is flat on all the range without any colorization and than if you have good DAC it should sounds quite good.

 

 

Ok, here is where my understanding of this gets fuzzy. If the idea behind the higher sampling rate is to smooth the filtering issues at 22.5k (for red book), how will eliminating that issue effect lower frequencies? Presumably, since my amp won't accurately produce anything beyond 20k, the effects of the filtering wouldn't be heard anyway. I'm not trying to star an argument here. I'm genuinely curious about this.

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If the idea behind the higher sampling rate is to smooth the filtering issues at 22.5k (for red book), how will eliminating that issue effect lower frequencies?

 

One effect is phase response. Higher oder filters usually start to affect phase long before the actual cross-over frequency. Another aspect is that human hearing may be different from one of the assumptions behind classic system theory which postulates that systems should be linear and time invariant (i.e. should not change their behaviour over time).

 

Specifically, the correlation between frequency spectrum and impulse response is only valid for linear systems.

Primary ::= Nabla music server | Mutec MC-3+USB w/ Temex LPFRS-01 RB clock | WLM Gamma Reference DAC; Secondary ::= Nabla music server | WaveIO | PrismSound Lyra

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