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Hi Res article in Sterophile

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I vaguely remember seeing something about the latest issue of Stereophile and hi res somewhere here?

But couldn't find it now.

Sorry if this is a repeat

Anyway just having read "As we see it" in the August issue, I found it very interesting with quite a few of the things I have said here in different posts endorsed by the author John Marks.

Among other amusing things he says:"If you can't hear the difference between MP3 and 24/96 Hi Res maybe you shouldn't be reading this magazine"

He also says that the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96 is like going from a 400dpi printer to a 1200 dpi one-No contest.


Being a professional photographer myself,I would say that not only do I fully agree but would of course again add: provided the source material has anything to gain from higher res!

The same principle and logic applies to both picture and music IMO!

There is nothing more horrible to my critical eye than an unsharp, fussy, bad photo printed in the highest possible quality!

And bad music badly recorded does not get better in HI RES either!

It just makes a painful experience even worse.


If on the other hand you start with something like the latest titles at The Classical Shop .net the absolutely wonderful Schostakovich recordings from ARTS

You are entering the new era I have talked about!

Master Quality downloads !

They also laud both Pure Vinyl and Pure Music elsewhere in the same issue.

All the best Chrille


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Not everyone has the equipment to even play hi res recordings.

Yes, if you do have the equipment then yes, you should be able to notice the difference. I can and I must be at least partially deaf because I have a lot of problems listening to classical music on any Hi Fi because I just can’t find a system that can do non electrified instruments, choral arrangements, etc, justice in general.

I have very little classical music on file for exactly this reason. I prefer to go and listen to it live.

Imo, HiFi is best suited to other genres such as popular music which can often sound a lot better after the recording engineer has had a go at the mix.

As for stating that the difference going from 16/44.1 to 24/96 is like going from 400 dpi to 1200 dpi, all I can say is remind me to not let this guy do my accounts.

The main problem for people like me who like “bad” music is hi res downloads sites just don’t cater for us.

So, it looks like the new era you talk about is in fact going to be most relevant to those who maintain that a few particular genres of music are the only ones worth listening to at any higher quality level and the rest of us who like all that “bad” music should be happy with mp3.



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You know, it's funny. Before I bought the Legato (which is 44.1 only), I had assumed that the differences between 24/96 (or higher) and redbook would be clear and obvious.


After downloading a few and running them through my HiFace (instead of the Legato) into my DAC, I have to say I'm not sure.


Look, yes, the files sound better. Well, at least in many cases. But how much of that is better handling back at the studio? As in, better (re-)mastering, instead of merely higher-res transfers?


I'm sure there are lots of folks lurking here that can weigh in here.


But I hear you about the photography thing. Nothing like taking all that noise and making it REALLY BIG to show you how bad your original focus job really was.


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I don't see how anyone can compare visual acuity to aural acuity. Even the most untrained eye can distinguish the subtlest of color, shade, and texture whereas the most golden-eared audiophile can have difficulty hearing much of any difference between 16 and 24-bit sound files. Perhaps the writer in question should have compared the music samples to the difference between, say, a good CD player and a good SACD player. Most will probably hear some differences but some may not.


As far as "bad" music is concerned, I understand where you are coming from Tipper. However, "bad" can have duel applications: "Bad" in terms of music not worthy to be graced with hi-res magic and "bad" in terms of poorly recorded material. In all fairness, most digital music recorded in the early to late 80's sounds fairly lifeless so engineers can pick and choose what they want to revive. Things did get a bit better after that but since 24/96 recordings will be very limited in comparison to what's available in the 16-bit world, some will only choose to listen to these hi-res files. However, I do believe many audiophiles listen to all kinds of music regardless of format.


The music DOES come first.


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Regarding new devices...If you can afford them,the Sennheiser HD 800 are very clearly much better and much more refined and uncoloured, simply more hi res,than the HD 650s,which on their own , by any standard are a good pair of headphones.

But easily beaten by the HD 800s and several others.


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I haven't heard anything recently from AKG apart from the 701s .But IMO they don't stand a chance compared to the HD800s.

Nor have I heard the Beyer T1 you mention either.But report your findings. I am always interested in even better sound than the HD 800s produce.

They are very,very good indeed. But in some respects in the high midrange, low treble region somewhat sucked out compared to live and some Electrostats.

But they are simply the most highly resolving dynamic headphones I have heard. And as far as deep and full tight bass goes, they are in my experience unrivalled.

But not perfect!


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If the suggestion is that high quality hi-fi is wasted on people who can't reliably hear the difference between, say, 24/96 and 256kbps, then I'm not at all convinced.


In my recent post "High v Mid v Low", I described a simple test, comparing different resolution versions of the same recording. My conclusion, admittedly based on a small sample, was that I couldn't reliably tell the difference between even the extremes of 24/192 and 256kbps. Some other contributors to this forum - including Scot in this thread - have expressed similar doubts (though I get the impression that no-one is keen to repeat my test).


But this doesn't mean that I and others can't detect subtle differences. CD players and DACs, for instance, don't all sound the same to me. Perhaps more controversially, I have easily detected differences between interconnects (including digital) and even between power cables.


Of course, if my listening conditions were different - different equipment, speaker positioning, more or less lively acoustic etc. - my conclusions about the effects of "high" v "low" resolution, and other changes, could be completely different. In the meantime, it seems to me that no purpose is served by casting aspersions on the discernment/hearing ability of other audiophiles.


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