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I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile.

 

First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment.

 

Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference?

 

This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"?

 

I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all?

 

To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.

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First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment.

 

Welcome, and first of all let me say I mostly agree.

 

When the need for ultrasonic playback was suggested on AVS forums, I tried to point out that most people don't assume their hearing is above ~16kHz, and then posted a poll here that seems to validate my suggestion. The most popular response was that over-sampling the audible range made the difference. The close second was that it allows you to avoid a poorly-applied brick wall filter and thus avoid audible aliasing artifacts.

 

Also, a fair portion of what I bought on HDtracks is up-sampled redbook, so it is best to make sure you are comparing to the real thing. (HDTracks unfortunately has provided us a blind test of sorts -- it is kind of funny to see people sing the praises of faked high-res.)

 

My idea is it is best to keep all the data.

 

Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference?

 

Depends on the recording. Again, a perfectly dithered 16 bit file most likely has inaudible differences, but why compress to 16 bit if you don't have to burn it to a CD?

 

This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"?

 

Maybe not, if the audio streams are mixed during or subsequent to recording. Also, if you look at an authentic high-res file (using Audacity for example), you can see see high-frequency information going to about 50 kHz, which is my understanding of where a good mic will extend to. I think it is unusual to see a signal requiring greater than 96 kHz sampling (48 kHz cutoff).

 

I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all?

 

To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.

 

I think much of high-end audio is a mixture of self-delusion and fraud.

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It is somewhere around 120 db SNR levels that our electronics max out. Actually pretty tough to get even that. I am not aware of any that exceed that.

 

For simple playback it is unlikely you could hear a general difference between 16 and 24 bit. I think 24 bit is worthwhile if one does DSP based room correction or other EQ.

 

There is no objectively confirmed audible benefit to more than say 48 khz rates. Certainly none at higher than 96 khz. Mostly I think these hirez offerings are a value because they are remastered to better quality. If offered in 44/16 it would still be a benefit. Of course you can't count on them not being sourced from redbook files as wgscott says. You also sometimes get remasters that are worse than the original. As in more compressed and clipped samples.

 

And yes, you can't hear above 20 khz if even that. However even inexpensive mikes can reach into the mid 20 khz range. So one wonders what the benefit is. There is talk of the filtering problems from lower sample rates which I also consider mostly hot air with modern equipment. The artifacts of such are above 20khz which you can't hear anyway.

 

If one just wishes on a philosophical basis to leave none of the signal captured by the mikes behind, 96khz will do that even if you won't hear a difference upon playback.

 

So chances are 44/16 isn't really sounding any different, 96/24 is all you could have a rational reason to record music with, and more than that is marketing hoopla.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I think much of high-end audio is a mixture of self-delusion and fraud.

 

+1 .

 

After 40 years in this hobby, I agree.

 

I listen to classical music and have just got into digital because of Qobuz and NativeDSD.

 

I downloaded two free files from NativeDSD to discern differences between Native 128dsd and 256dsd. I could discern no difference in quality although the 256dsd file was twice as large.

 

However, their was a difference in quality between the files I have ripped from cd's and those that I downloaded from NativeDSD. NativeDSD is vastly superior. Now, whether this is due to the recording / mastering process or the technology, I don't think I'll ever know.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile.

 

First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment.

 

Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference?

 

This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"?

 

I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all?

 

To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.

 

True state of the art resolution is 22 bit. Most are 20 - 21 bit.

This is a big step from where it all started. First generation digital was 14 bit resolution. At best.

I am completely happy with 96/24 and a 20 bit resolution dac.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile.

 

I think that you are laboring under a few misconceptions. Let me take them one by one:

 

1) "...there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k."

 

Yes, a high sampling rate such as 96 KHz does, indeed, extend the digital frequency response beyond the 22.05 KHz limit of a 44.1 KHz sampling rate system such as CD, but it's real merit is the fact that that a high sample-rate moves the sampling frequency far away from the audio passband. This affords less chance that the sampling frequency will 'beat' with the high-frequency audio content causing a difference frequency with sub-harmonics to be created that will appear as uncorrelated distortion in the audio passband. This is controversial, but nonetheless, most listeners can hear the difference between 44.1KHz and 88.2 or 96 Khz sampling rate material. Since it is doubtful that these people can hear the extra bandwidth as extended frequency response (whether their equipment has the bandwidth or not), there must be something else at work, here.

 

2) "...I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording."

 

True. Most amps don't have anywhere near the dynamic range to reproduce the entire range available with 24-bit, but again, that's not really the point. With 16-bit, by the time a recording is trying to reproduce an instrument playing at ppp levels, or trying to capture (or reproduce) the hall reverb dying away after the last note, the number of bits in play are often reduced to one or two bits at those low levels. Since a two-bit digital audio system has a signal-to-noise ratio of only 12 dB, the noise and distortion at low levels is almost as loud as the signal one is trying to capture/reproduce. This is why record companies often add a small amount of analog noise to low level signals to keep as many bits "working" at the bottom end of the loudness scale as possible. This "dithering" process lowers the amount of distortion one gets from trying to resolve a very quiet signal (such as hall ambience) with one or two bits working out of the available 16. With 24-bits, dithering is not necessary because the low-level signal resolution goes much lower than any system can resolve without resorting to adding dithering noise. This addresses one of the complaints about 16-bit CD, that it doesn't handle ambience as well as analog did in spite of CD having about 36 dB more dynamic range than did the best LPs or analog tape recorders.

 

On the recording side of the equation, 24-bit affords more headroom than does 16-bit, making it less likely that the music will over modulate by needing more bits that the system can provide. Believe me, if you've ever had something that you are recording accidentally go into "the red" on a digital recording system, then you know that it's something that you want to avoid at all costs! Analog recording was somewhat tolerant of momentary over modulation, and that tolerance increased with linear tape speed. NO digital system, irrespective of bit depth and sample-rate can tolerate any over modulation. 24 or 32-bit recording allows the recordist to maintain a lower average level, staying well away from the dread "red zone" on their level meters, thus assuring that whatever the musicians do, they won't over modulate the recording.

 

So, in essence, the high-bit rate affords both the recordist and the listener a wider window through which to squeeze all that music. The touted advantages of wider frequency response and wider dynamic range are real enough, but their usefulness lies in the ability to solve problems in capture and playback that have long vexed the high-fidelity community. Just because one can't hear above 20 KHz, or one's playback equipment (not to mention one's ears) fall far short of the required to specs to utilize the 48 KHz bandpass or the 144 dB (theoretical) dynamic range of high-res formats, doesn't mean that this over abundance of capability can't be used to improve the recorded music experience.

George

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If you think HD isn't worth it, it isn't. I find that many, but not all downloaded tracks can sound better than the CD but not always, and maybe not usually. I do find remastered stuff commonly sounds better than the original recording, especially those made in the 80's.

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My idea is it is best to keep all the data.

 

When you find a filter that "keeps all the data," please let me know. Mike Moffat, who pretty much invented the modern DAC, doesn't know of one available yet, but says he's coming out with one. I remain skeptical, but we'll see.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile.

 

First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment.

 

Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference?

 

This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"?

 

I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all?

 

To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.

 

None of this in my mind has to do with ultrasonics. It has to do with the signal chain.

 

Starting at the A/D side, let's say the recording is not an audiophile one, so perhaps it's digitized at a 24/96 sample rate.

 

- The digital sampling first goes through a process of taking the analog signal to something that for all intents and purposes is DSD.

- This is then converted to PCM at 24/96 by a lossy filter. (I am using "lossy" in the technical sense of a process that does not allow perfect reconstruction of the original.)

- To make a CD, a second lossy filter is used to take the signal to 16/44.1.

 

At the D/A side, you rip the CD to computer file format at 16/44.1.

- In the computer and/or DAC, the 16/44.1 bitstream is converted by another lossy filter or filters to a 24/352.8 bitstream.

- The 24/352.8 bitstream is converted by yet another lossy filter (a "sigma-delta modulator") to something that for all intents and purposes is DSD.

- The DSD bitstream is converted to analog by yet another lossy filter.

 

If you purchase a 24/88.2 or 24/96 file, you avoid one or more of these filtering stages. If it is "fake" hi-res, what you are doing is substituting upsampling done by the studio for the first upsampling stage in nearly all DACs that takes the 16/44.1 bitstream to 24/88.2. If it is "fake" 24/176.4 or 24/192, you're skipping two upsampling steps in the DAC. If it's real hi-res, you're skipping the upsampling steps in the DAC *and* the downsampling on the A/D side. If it's real DSD and you have a DSD-capable DAC, you're skipping all the steps involving conversion to and from, and upsampling within, PCM format. (The recording, if it was edited as most are, went through PCM stages for that - though my understanding is the Native DSD stuff isn't.)

 

So is all this lossy filtering, or the lack of it, audible? Don't know for sure, but at least we're talking about legitimate engineering and scientific questions. (Whether near-ultrasonic frequencies interact with audible ones in ways that can't be reproduced if those near-ultrasonic frequencies aren't fed to our speakers is a question I wonder about. Again, this is not a question of trying to hear above 20kHz, but of audible range effects.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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None of this in my mind has to do with ultrasonics. It has to do with the signal chain.

 

Starting at the A/D side, let's say the recording is not an audiophile one, so perhaps it's digitized at a 24/96 sample rate.

 

- The digital sampling first goes through a process of taking the analog signal to something that for all intents and purposes is DSD.

- This is then converted to PCM at 24/96 by a lossy filter. (I am using "lossy" in the technical sense of a process that does not allow perfect reconstruction of the original.)

- To make a CD, a second lossy filter is used to take the signal to 16/44.1.

 

At the D/A side, you rip the CD to computer file format at 16/44.1.

- In the computer and/or DAC, the 16/44.1 bitstream is converted by another lossy filter or filters to a 24/352.8 bitstream.

- The 24/352.8 bitstream is converted by yet another lossy filter (a "sigma-delta modulator") to something that for all intents and purposes is DSD.

- The DSD bitstream is converted to analog by yet another lossy filter.

 

If you purchase a 24/88.2 or 24/96 file, you avoid one or more of these filtering stages. If it is "fake" hi-res, what you are doing is substituting upsampling done by the studio for the first upsampling stage in nearly all DACs that takes the 16/44.1 bitstream to 24/88.2. If it is "fake" 24/176.4 or 24/192, you're skipping two upsampling steps in the DAC. If it's real hi-res, you're skipping the upsampling steps in the DAC *and* the downsampling on the A/D side. If it's real DSD and you have a DSD-capable DAC, you're skipping all the steps involving conversion to and from, and upsampling within, PCM format. (The recording, if it was edited as most are, went through PCM stages for that - though my understanding is the Native DSD stuff isn't.)

 

So is all this lossy filtering, or the lack of it, audible? Don't know for sure, but at least we're talking about legitimate engineering and scientific questions. (Whether near-ultrasonic frequencies interact with audible ones in ways that can't be reproduced if those near-ultrasonic frequencies aren't fed to our speakers is a question I wonder about. Again, this is not a question of trying to hear above 20kHz, but of audible range effects.)

 

Hi Jud,

 

Something to read:

 

John Siau: Benchmark Audio Guru | Real HD-Audio

 


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If you think HD isn't worth it, it isn't. I find that many, but not all downloaded tracks can sound better than the CD but not always, and maybe not usually. I do find remastered stuff commonly sounds better than the original recording, especially those made in the 80's.

 

 

That's always true. All the resolution in the world can't make up for poor production, overproduction, incompetent engineering, wrong or inappropriate equipment, etc. At best, high-res sounds spectacular, at worst it can sound worse than a poor first-generation CD. I have Red-Book CDs from JVC (their HRCD productions) of mid-1950's stereo recordings (Reiner, Chicago, Prokofiev's Lt. Kije originally on RCA Red Seal) that sound better than most commercial 24/96 high-res downloads.

George

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Can't resist jumping in!

 

Initial declarations:

 

* I am a hi-res (particularly DSD) enthusiast

 

* I believe we can hear/feel differences in music presentation that cannot necessarily be explained by current knowledge.

 

But having said that, I think that at least about 90/95% of the quality of a recording is down to the recording techniques. I have a RBCD of music recorded by a UK recording engineer as a special "one off" that sounds unbelievable. I'm in the room with the artists! I also have hi-res recordings by Gus Skinas that sound amazing, much better than the typical hi-res recording.

 

But having said that, I believe that a very well recorded hi-res piece of music sounds better (on good equipment) than a very well recorded 16/44 piece of music. To me, anyway. But I can't prove it!

 

Another factor to take into account is that, in my opinion, much of the music recorded in hi-res is better recorded than most of the music recorded in low res- probably because the recording team are more concerned about AQ. So this probably gives an apparent advantage to hi-res recordings.

 

I still believe that hi-res recording benefits the last 5-10%, but obviously I can't prove it, and I don't think that arguing about physics is going to prove it one way or the other.

 

Philip

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True state of the art resolution is 22 bit. Most are 20 - 21 bit.

This is a big step from where it all started. First generation digital was 14 bit resolution. At best.

I am completely happy with 96/24 and a 20 bit resolution dac.

 

I know of one dac that resolves the full 24 bits.

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I agree with many of the points from Post 6 onwards.

A few points here .

1. Barry Diament's microphones are only 1dB down at 40kHz IIRC.

2. Modern SS amplifiers can have much better S/N than most valve amplifiers, and possibly Class D too ?

Back in 2008 , Silicon Chip magazine published their ULD Mk.2 design which has a S/N of 122dB unweighted W.R.T. 135W into 8 ohms (22Hz to 22kHz) There are plenty more like that around.

My own Silicon Chip 15W Class A from 1998 was quoted as 113dB unweighted, and 116dB weighted.(22Hz to 22kHz.)

My own highly modified version would be even quieter, and with an improved bandwidth over their original published design.

 

It's about time that speaker designers (in general) gave us wider bandwidth speakers to help realise the benefits of better S/N and bandwidth from high resolution formats.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I know of one dac that resolves the full 24 bits.

 

Have seen tests of some DACs that got slightly below 20 bits, but not to 24 bits. Which DAC does this?

 

I believe some AP measuring ADCs claim to reach 24 bit resolution.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile.

 

First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment.

 

Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference?

 

This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"?

 

I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all?

 

To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.

 

Hello and welcome, Jason. Personally, I tend to find it more helpful to deal with the concrete particulars first. You clearly have made a number of astute choices for your system. Good values all around. But I wonder if your music server and OS might be a weak link. Is this a dedicated music server? Why XP? What kind of music do you listen to and could you offer some details about particular recordings that you've compared at different resolutions? Thanks.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

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Hello and welcome, Jason. Personally, I tend to find it more helpful to deal with the concrete particulars first. You clearly have made a number of astute choices for your system. Good values all around. But I wonder if your music server and OS might be a weak link. Is this a dedicated music server? Why XP? What kind of music do you listen to and could you offer some details about particular recordings that you've compared at different resolutions? Thanks.

 

If you could align a 'concrete' sound quality issue with XP and it's ability to playback hi-res content AND music genres that may better represent hi-res content, the OPs details might be of some help.

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I know of one dac that resolves the full 24 bits.

 

There's 24 bits, and there's 24 bits. :)

 

24-bit or 32-bit internal processing, sure. But down around 21-22 bits these days you are getting into the thermal noise of the electronic components, so in practicality nothing really gets beyond that. At least that is what I gather from what some very smart engineers (e.g., Demian Martin) have said in these forums.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Have any of the hi res doubters ever actually listened to the identical piece of music recorded at dsd via one mic and double dsd via another mic to determine if they could hear a difference between the two recordings (of the same material). You should give it a try if the opportunity presents itself as you might change your mind.

- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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Hi Jud,

 

Something to read:

 

John Siau: Benchmark Audio Guru | Real HD-Audio

 

Hi alfe. Yep, I'm well aware of this.

 

Somewhat unfortunately, I think, we have to watch very closely how people are using different words or phrases. John Siau in the entire article you link always uses "DSD" and "1-bit" as synonymous. Most professionals I've read in these forums do not. (This isn't to say who's "correct," if there is such a thing, but rather how I formed my understanding.) So when I wrote about "DSD" above, I was referring to a signal in sigma-delta modulated form that could be up to six bits.

 

It is correct to say that in today's recording and playback world, nearly without exception, one first has a sigma-delta modulated signal at the recording end, and eventually arrives at a sigma-delta modulated signal just prior to conversion to analog, whether one wishes to refer to it as "DSD" or not. It is also correct to say that for this reason one is able to dispense with many filtering and conversion steps if one takes a "DSD" recording and plays it back through a DAC capable of "DSD" playback. (Not saying "DSD" recordings and playback are therefore wonderful, just that they may be able to take advantage of fewer conversion steps - noting, as I did above and as John Siau does in the article, that most DSD recordings have gone through PCM stages for editing.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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+1 .

 

After 40 years in this hobby, I agree.

 

I listen to classical music and have just got into digital because of Qobuz and NativeDSD.

 

I downloaded two free files from NativeDSD to discern differences between Native 128dsd and 256dsd. I could discern no difference in quality although the 256dsd file was twice as large.

 

However, their was a difference in quality between the files I have ripped from cd's and those that I downloaded from NativeDSD. NativeDSD is vastly superior. Now, whether this is due to the recording / mastering process or the technology, I don't think I'll ever know.

 

-1

 

After 80 years in this hobby, I disagree.

 

But what about difference between 64dsd and 128dsd? There aren't too much dsd256, or almost nothing, to decide there are differences.

 

BTW, when you listen to music downloaded from nativeDSD, you are to a master file.

 

Roch

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Can you share which one. The best third party measured resolution I have seen is close to 22 bit. And that is very good.

Most high quality dacs are 20+ today. Even some inexpensive ones.

I look at the resolution level for dacs like I do the waterfall plot for loudspeakers. This is where the rubber meets the road for me.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Have seen tests of some DACs that got slightly below 20 bits, but not to 24 bits. Which DAC does this?

 

I believe some AP measuring ADCs claim to reach 24 bit resolution.

 

There's 24 bits, and there's 24 bits. :)

 

24-bit or 32-bit internal processing, sure. But down around 21-22 bits these days you are getting into the thermal noise of the electronic components, so in practicality nothing really gets beyond that. At least that is what I gather from what some very smart engineers (e.g., Demian Martin) have said in these forums.

 

Can you share which one. The best third party measured resolution I have seen is close to 22 bit. And that is very good.

Most high quality dacs are 20+ today. Even some inexpensive ones.

I look at the resolution level for dacs like I do the waterfall plot for loudspeakers. This is where the rubber meets the road for me.

 

The only dac that I am aware of is the new Phasure NOS1a. The previous model (NOS1 USB) resolved a little better than 22bits but my understanding is that with cutting-edge power supply and USB technology that PeterSt has been able to get the full 24bits out of those PCM1704's.

 

I had some plots somewhere but if you guys are actually interested I could PM PeterSt and see if he wants to contribute in this thread.

 

Let me know.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

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