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Seems like 16/44 has gotten better


Kimo

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For many years, I ran through a variety of CD sources, some borrowed, some purchased, but never found one that that seemed that much better than the others. Different maybe, but not better. Recently, however, I have listened to a few new DACs/players. I bought the Marantz SA 14S1. I have noticed some improvements.

 

It does seem that the 14s1 sounds like it is getting more out of 16/44. Bass through treble with everything in between, there seems to be more attack and a bit more decay, more purity.

 

I can live with this version of 16/44 much easier than before. 24 bit is still a bit smoother and organic by comparison, but 16 is not so painful over the long term.

 

I wonder how they got there?

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For many years, I ran through a variety of CD sources, some borrowed, some purchased, but never found one that that seemed that much better than the others. Different maybe, but not better. Recently, however, I have listened to a few new DACs/players. I bought the Marantz SA 14S1. I have noticed some improvements.

 

It does seem that the 14s1 sounds like it is getting more out of 16/44. Bass through treble with everything in between, there seems to be more attack and a bit more decay, more purity.

 

I can live with this version of 16/44 much easier than before. 24 bit is still a bit smoother and organic by comparison, but 16 is not so painful over the long term.

 

I wonder how they got there?

 

 

The chip sets are improving, that's how they got there. It's been possible for many years to make a super sounding CD player. I have a Sony XA777ES, which aside from being a great SACD player, even though it's 10+ years old, it is also the best sounding 16/44.1 CD player I've ever auditioned - bar none, and believe me, I've reviewed dozens from just about every era.

 

I've said this before, and I'll go on record saying it again. If the record companies actually bothered to try, a regular CD, carefully mastered and manufactured, would make all forms of so-called hi-res audio pretty much unnecessary! I have quite a collection of JVC (and JVC licensed) XRCDs of both jazz and classical repertoire. many of them have been also released as SACDs and DVD-A's and in all cases, the XRCD 16/44.1 version sounds far superior to the SACD or the 24/96 or the 24/192 DVD-A versions. This shows that the differences in sound are merely the care that goes into the mastering and manufacture of the XRCDs and the bit depth or sampling rate of the so-called Hi-Res editions are largely irrelevant!

George

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The chip sets are improving, that's how they got there. It's been possible for many years to make a super sounding CD player. I have a Sony XA777ES, which aside from being a great SACD player, even though it's 10+ years old, it is also the best sounding 16/44.1 CD player I've ever auditioned - bar none, and believe me, I've reviewed dozens from just about every era.

 

George

How does it compare with the SA11 which I have heard at a friend's place.

 

Alex

 

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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Another thought....

 

Studios may no longer be recording 16/14.4 but a much higher resolution at 24/96 or better. Then, the two track master is transcoded to CD format, resulting in a better recording.

 

I could be wrong, and usually are.

 

Judging by some of the offerings from HDTracks, some may be recording in 24/44.1 ?

 

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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The Marantz uses a Cirrus Logic CS4398 chip.

 

With respect to high rez material, the differences may not be as pronounced. Warmer is a little warmer, less hash, etc. No complaints, but it is the CD performance which sounds most impressive.

 

George, I don't know if I can agree that 16 bits gets it all. I tried Hoffman's test with the CCR disc, and I easily heard the loss of decay on the drums. I have heard the same thing on Freddie's vocals on the latest Queen SACDs/Cds. I will try the tests again with the 14s1 and see if everything is as noticeable.

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I can live with this version of 16/44 much easier than before. 24 bit is still a bit smoother and organic by comparison, but 16 is not so painful over the long term.

 

I agree. 24/96 24/192 and DSD are noticeably different than 16/44. I've thought that the improvements in 16/44 are significantly due to reading the CD using error correction (!!) and improved resampling filters.

 

DSD vs PCM seems implementation dependent. I'm not entirely sure how much difference I can hear between 24/96 and 24/192 -- some might be psychological and other times recording/mastering dependent.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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For many years, I ran through a variety of CD sources, some borrowed, some purchased, but never found one that that seemed that much better than the others. Different maybe, but not better. Recently, however, I have listened to a few new DACs/players. I bought the Marantz SA 14S1. I have noticed some improvements.

 

It does seem that the 14s1 sounds like it is getting more out of 16/44. Bass through treble with everything in between, there seems to be more attack and a bit more decay, more purity.

 

I can live with this version of 16/44 much easier than before. 24 bit is still a bit smoother and organic by comparison, but 16 is not so painful over the long term.

 

I wonder how they got there?

 

I've had my eye on the 14S1 since I read a review claiming the DSD playback isnt far off the NA11S1 - different chip but both seem to have been given plenty of attention in terms of power supply. I'm going to a dealer today to see if I can pre-order the HD-DAC1, simply because I've long dreamt of the day when Marantz would throw their engineering muscle at a headphone amp. Enjoy your new DAC/SACD player.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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I've had my eye on the 14S1 since I read a review claiming the DSD playback isnt far off the NA11S1 - different chip but both seem to have been given plenty of attention in terms of power supply. I'm going to a dealer today to see if I can pre-order the HD-DAC1, simply because I've long dreamt of the day when Marantz would throw their engineering muscle at a headphone amp. Enjoy your new DAC/SACD player.

 

Let us know what info you get on the HD-DAC1. There are a few of us following it with interest.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Of course they are better players today for 16/44, but still lacking a lot (to my taste) in frequency extremes, then far away from real live music reproduction. Also a lot of good recorded music, thanks to the labor of love of recording engineers and better ADCs, this added to excellent musicians playing the music you like and enjoy is wonderful to the soul. But, if you make a comparison to hi res under the same conditions my soul will go to hi res...!

 

Maybe our ear/brain system reconstructs the lacking frequencies on 16/44...?

 

Roch

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George

How does it compare with the SA11 which I have heard at a friend's place.

 

Alex

 

 

I haven't heard the SA11, but I have heard the dCS Puccini (with the U-Clock) and the MSB Signature Data CD IV, and my Sony sounds more musical than either of them. I still have yet to hear any player that equals it.

George

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Another thought....

 

Studios may no longer be recording 16/14.4 but a much higher resolution at 24/96 or better. Then, the two track master is transcoded to CD format, resulting in a better recording.

 

I could be wrong, and usually are.

 

 

While that's a thought, and certainly possible, most CDs from the majors such as Warner/Electra, TelDec, still sound as bad or even worse than CDs of 10 or fifteen years ago!

George

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The Marantz uses a Cirrus Logic CS4398 chip.

 

With respect to high rez material, the differences may not be as pronounced. Warmer is a little warmer, less hash, etc. No complaints, but it is the CD performance which sounds most impressive.

 

George, I don't know if I can agree that 16 bits gets it all. I tried Hoffman's test with the CCR disc, and I easily heard the loss of decay on the drums. I have heard the same thing on Freddie's vocals on the latest Queen SACDs/Cds. I will try the tests again with the 14s1 and see if everything is as noticeable.

 

 

Well, I don't think that really means anything. If the CD version is poorly mastered, than a Hi-Res version would certainly sound better. When a 16/44.1 CD of a recording sounds better than the high-res versions on DVD-A or SACD or DSD downloads, then it does make one wonder what we are really buying, does it not?

George

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while that's a thought, and certainly possible, most cds from the majors such as warner/electra, teldec, still sound as bad or even worse than cds of 10 or fifteen years ago!

 

big +1

--

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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Let us know what info you get on the HD-DAC1. There are a few of us following it with interest.

 

Drew a total blank with my dealer, and they have a boatload of Marantz - past experience tells me it can be months after the US release date before we see a given component here, so I threw my arms in the air and ordered the 14S1, Between VAT, import duties and a strengthening US dollar, we tend to take what we can get here and the asking price for the 14S1 was just too good to pass up - hopefully it will be here this time next week. The other contender was Yggdrasil, but between the Head-Fi hypefest and the expected beta-test/backorder hoopla, I just dont have the patience for it.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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Well, I don't think that really means anything. If the CD version is poorly mastered, than a Hi-Res version would certainly sound better. When a 16/44.1 CD of a recording sounds better than the high-res versions on DVD-A or SACD or DSD downloads, then it does make one wonder what we are really buying, does it not?

 

Hoffman did both the high and low rez versions of the recording. It is an example, which he directed one to on his forum. It is a great test, unless he is fibbing.

 

I can report that the two have never sounded so close to my ear, as they do on the 14. I can hear more reverb on the drums on the 16/44 version. I am starting to think that I am now convincing myself of these things.

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I think this is generally true except most of us don't upgrade our gear that often so we could potentially miss out on this revolution. I'm not entirely convinced that the improvement comes from DAC chips, especially when some new products dig up really old DAC chips claiming they sound better. I strongly suspect the improvement comes from improved jitter rejection. It is also possible that specifically for the Marantz and some higher end products, due to more powerful computer chips, we are getting improved filtering/upsampling/processing from DSP/FPGA chipsets.

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Drew a total blank with my dealer, and they have a boatload of Marantz - past experience tells me it can be months after the US release date before we see a given component here, so I threw my arms in the air and ordered the 14S1, Between VAT, import duties and a strengthening US dollar, we tend to take what we can get here and the asking price for the 14S1 was just too good to pass up - hopefully it will be here this time next week. The other contender was Yggdrasil, but between the Head-Fi hypefest and the expected beta-test/backorder hoopla, I just dont have the patience for it.

 

 

 

Ned where about are you ; I always heard the Land of smiles was Thailand is that right

The Truth Is Out There

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I live in Chonburi Province, between Sin City and a town called Rayong in the Gulf of Thailand Local price for the SA-14S1 is 80K baht but that's sure to change as the rampaging greenback continues to erode Thailand's purchasing power. I couldnt import the Marantz for anything resembling this price - checking some of the Australian prices online confirmed that I got a good deal.

 

80,000.00 THB = 2,471.42 USD

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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