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MQA vs HiRez: an apples-to-apples comparison - FINAL

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3 hours ago, sapporo said:

Bruel&Kjaer are measurement mics.

 

So? Microphone doesn't know what it is capturing. As listed earlier, DPA and Sennheiser also have recording mics that go to 50 - 60 kHz.

 

3 hours ago, sapporo said:

The  Monitor Audio Studios have mixed reviews, but again, it's  a matter of taste and preferences.

 

I don't care about review, What Hifi the least. I have heard those speakers myself, with my own ears. That's why I'm considering them...

 

3 hours ago, sapporo said:

AMT ribbon tweeters-- forgot about those. As many pros as cons. In the end it's also a taste thing, I dislike the sound.

 

I cannot stand metal domes, most likely due to the strong resonance just above 20 kHz. Painful to listen. For quite some time I've been preferring speakers with folded or non-folded ribbon tweeters.

 

3 hours ago, sapporo said:

unless the listening position is exclusively near-field

 

I think my headphones are fairly near field. For loudspeaker listening I have 2 meter distance to speakers, with speakers of course toed in, and calibrated through digital room correction for the listening position.

 

This is not about hearing the high frequency components in isolation, but instead hearing their influence to the transient wavelet shape.

 


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2 hours ago, sapporo said:

My bad. Of course a human cannot perceive the highs above 20 kHz firstly due to the auditory apparatus construction, never mind the attenuation by air or walls.

I must have been still thinking about the audiophile  bats.

 

http://www.ica2016.org.ar/ica2016proceedings/ica2016/ICA2016-0219.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/245524994_Hearing_threshold_for_pure_tones_above_20_kHz

https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jn.2000.83.6.3548

 

With RedBook you have a brickwall filter below frequencies many people can hear even with pure tones. Having such strong transition in such place is just plain bad.

 


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4 hours ago, sapporo said:

...Anyhow, all those high harmonics recorded via Sanken and heard only by bats...

 

What is your opinion of this statement by Chandos Records, from the booklets of their SACD and high resolution downloads:
 

Quote

The Chandos policy of being at the forefront of technology is now further advanced by the use of 24-bit / 192 kHz recording. In order to reproduce the original waveform as closely as possible we use 24-bit, as it has a dynamic range that is up to 48 dB greater and up to 256 times the resolution of standard 16-bit recordings. Recording at the 44.1 kHz sample rate, the highest frequencies generated will be around 22 kHz. That is 2 kHz higher than can be heard by the typical human with excellent hearing. However, in this case we use the 192 kHz sample rate, which will translate into the potentially highest frequency of 96 kHz. The theory is that, even though we do not hear it, audio energy exists, and it has an effect on the lower frequencies which we do hear, the higher sample rate thereby reproducing a better sound...

 

Personally, I think the theory that ultrasonic audio energy above 20kHz having an effect on the lower frequencies which we do hear and/or the slower roll-off filtering of high resolution which are further from the audio band vs. the extremely sharp brickwall filtering of 16/44.1kHz could be another reason that well made high resolution recordings are so much more enjoyable as a music listening experience for me.

 

BTW my speakers are Infinity Reference Standard 7 Kappa, which have a frequency response of  37Hz - 45kHz +/- 3dB, they use EMIT tweeters.


I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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41 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

So? Microphone doesn't know what it is capturing. As listed earlier, DPA and Sennheiser also have recording mics that go to 50 - 60 kHz.

 

 

I don't care about review, What Hifi the least. I have heard those speakers myself, with my own ears. That's why I'm considering them...

 

 

I cannot stand metal domes, most likely due to the strong resonance just above 20 kHz. Painful to listen. For quite some time I've been preferring speakers with folded or non-folded ribbon tweeters.

 

 

I think my headphones are fairly near field. For loudspeaker listening I have 2 meter distance to speakers, with speakers of course toed in, and calibrated through digital room correction for the listening position.

 

This is not about hearing the high frequency components in isolation, but instead hearing their influence to the transient wavelet shape.

 

 

If you don't mind can you describe better what do you mean by transient 'wavelet shape', fast decay?

I am familiar with wavelets and their different types (Daubechies, Coiflets, etc...) just wanted to be sure of your point.

Thanks. 

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7 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

Rajiv, this is really my point.

 

Agreed, and we may just want to rest the matter here, and get back to enjoying the music!

 

7 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

Definitely interested. If you could PM with a link, that'd be great.

 

PM sent.

 

7 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

I know expectation bias is real, but I reckon it's massively over-rated in some situations. There have been many occasions where I've wanted something to sound great, but it just doesn't, so I don't use it.

 

Yes, me too.

 

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29 minutes ago, austinpop said:

PM sent.

 

Thanks Rajiv. Will share my thoughts here in a short while.

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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3 hours ago, Miska said:

 

So? Microphone doesn't know what it is capturing. As listed earlier, DPA and Sennheiser also have recording mics that go to 50 - 60 kHz.

 

 

There is a niche-- selling measuring mics to studios for their recordings. Neuman, AKG -your time is over. 

As I wrote earlier, best mics go up to 50kHz.

 

 

3 hours ago, Miska said:

I cannot stand metal domes, most likely due to the strong resonance just above 20 kHz. Painful to listen. For quite some time I've been preferring speakers with folded or non-folded ribbon tweeters.

 
  • Agree. I use silk dome tweeters.

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2 minutes ago, sapporo said:
  • Agree. I use silk dome tweeters.

 

In living room I have Dynaudio speakers with silk domes. Very nice sound, rolls off smoothly above 25 kHz and resonance frequency is below cross-over frequency. Their silk domes with high power handling capability also allow lower than usual cross-over frequency.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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2 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

In living room I have Dynaudio speakers with silk domes. Very nice sound, rolls off smoothly above 25 kHz and resonance frequency is below cross-over frequency. Their silk domes with high power handling capability also allow lower than usual cross-over frequency.

 

 

I use SEAS. Very happy with them. 100 Watt continuous, 250W peak, 1500Hz crossover.

 

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36 minutes ago, sapporo said:

The above quoted acoustics research says that a small percentage of people  can "hear" ("feel" is a better word, mechanism unknown)  pure tones at SPL>90 dB up to 24kHz. This is old hat and  has nothing to do with reproduction of music.  The 48kHz codec  covers even that most bizzarre of audiophile scenarios. Pump the 24khz pure tones'  volume up to 130dB and maybe half of population will "hear", or die trying.

 

I wouldn't say 4 out if 15 listeners is small percentage. And 15 is really small sample. And the test was limited to 100 dB SPL which is not particularly high, something typical symphony orchestra will put out. Think how many out of million that would be? How many of that "small" percentage out of million would be audiophiles? Chances are high that quite big. And hearing is very heavily learning-based. These were still about hearing pure tones, tones combined with base band fundamental are again a different thing. I have experienced that myself after spending years teaching passive sonar operators to listen underwater sounds to detect submarines and such (and developing systems for that). Brain is extremely capable and powerful detector that can compensate for lot of defects in audio delivery paths, including hearing. It takes some time and effort to become good listener, but I'd say most audiophiles are way above average on that front!

 

Not really. In fact 48 kHz sampling rate has exactly the nasty ringing at 24 kHz. Another aspect is that the ringing or leaky filters coincides exactly with resonance frequency of aluminum dome tweeters where you have typical 20 dB boost....

 

You really need to go for at least 88.2 kHz sampling rate or more. IMO, the only tolerable case is that Nyquist frequency is above the point where microphone input naturally falls below background noise. And with good microphones that is well past 50 kHz. (microphone output reaching about -120 dB level) When you start band-limiting, you wreak havoc already. For long time I've had opinion that DSD is best way at the moment to deliver this.

 

It doesn't even need much extension to already become a lot better. If you listen at many of the remasters/productions made by Steven Wilson, all those look like relatively (for digital filter) slow roll-off band limited at 30 kHz, most likely by Lavry ADC, the difference is already huge. Most recent, only couple of days old, one:

https://www.highresaudio.com/en/album/view/tf263a/steven-wilson-home-invasion-in-concert-at-the-royal-albert-hall-live

I can only wonder how good those could become without any artificial band limiting!

 


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Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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5 minutes ago, manisandher said:

Vibrant. Colour. More bite. Too 'etched' - like an artificial sheen/halo around instruments. More interesting to listen to, but fatiguing in the long run.

 

Usually when I hear such I think there's coloration or distortion.

 

So how about taking the hires and putting your own 30 kHz filter on it? Why would you accept someone's choices except yours and take the original instead?


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1 hour ago, Miska said:

 

I wouldn't say 4 out if 15 listeners is small percentage. And 15 is really small sample. And the test was limited to 100 dB SPL which is not particularly high, something typical symphony orchestra will put out. Think how many out of million that would be? How many of that "small" percentage out of million would be audiophiles? Chances are high that quite big. And hearing is very heavily learning-based. These were still about hearing pure tones, tones combined with base band fundamental are again a different thing. I have experienced that myself after spending years teaching passive sonar operators to listen underwater sounds to detect submarines and such (and developing systems for that). Brain is extremely capable and powerful detector that can compensate for lot of defects in audio delivery paths, including hearing. It takes some time and effort to become good listener, but I'd say most audiophiles are way above average on that front!

You really need to go for at least 88.2 kHz sampling rate or more. IMO, the only tolerable case is that Nyquist frequency is above the point where microphone input naturally falls below background noise. And with good microphones that is well past 50 kHz. (microphone output reaching about -120 dB level) When you start band-limiting, you wreak havoc already. For long time I've had opinion that DSD is best way at the moment to deliver this.

 

 

I really have no problem with hi-res audio for home users. And  I still have  a collection of SACDs, gathering dust in times of Tidal.

I just think that there are so many more important factors in sound quality of music reproduced at home. First is loudspeakers and the room. Moving to good speakers and doing some acoustic adaptations can be a paradigm shift in home music reproduction. Then the quality of the master. I find many tracks from 50-60 years ago much better than a vast majority of today's releases, hi-res or no. Then the electronics, but with  a smaller impact than the previous two.  And of course, first of all, good music and the company to share the experience with. 

 

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27 minutes ago, sapporo said:

Jazz at the Pawnshop was recorded with  Nagra IV at 38 cm/s (second machine for reel changes).  Two main mics  Neumans U47 using ORTF setup, some extra mics.  This recording ( I have the SACD)  inspired me to get my own  Nagra Seven and two AKG C414. 

Jazz at the Pawnshop - what's the big deal? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

 

Given the age, the recording is pretty amazing. You can check tech specs tab about the new transfers from the tape:

https://naxos.nativedsd.com/albums/jazz-at-the-pawnshop

 

I have both DXD and DSD128 versions.


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2 hours ago, Miska said:

 

Given the age, the recording is pretty amazing. You can check tech specs tab about the new transfers from the tape:

https://naxos.nativedsd.com/albums/jazz-at-the-pawnshop

 

I have both DXD and DSD128 versions.

 

In the tech specs section it says:

 

"For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4”, 15 ips CCIR master tape was played on a NAGRA IV-S Tape recorder – the same model as used in the original recording – with a pair of Dolby 361, using a hi-end tube pre-amplifier with OCC silver clables. We did an analog transfer for each HiRez sampling and A & B comparisons were made with both the original LP, using the Kronos turntable, as well as the best available CD, using the Nagra HD Dac and dCS Vivaldi DAC, throughout the process. 

64fs DSD was done using dCS 905 and dCS Vivaldi clock 
DXD 352.8kHz was done using dCS 905 and dCS Vivaldi clock 
128fs DSD was done using Ayre QA9pro"

 

So there's no mention for DSD256 there, above.

 

But then later it says:

 

"Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD256"

 

 

So the DSD256 is the digital master that the DXD and other DSD versions were made from?

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

Well, that was interesting! I listened to the 24/96 and 16/44.1 formats of the two tracks you sent me a few times.

But isn't it wrong to mix 24/96 and 16/44? It should be 24/88 and 16/44, to avoid algorithm interpolation.

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5 hours ago, audiobomber said:

But isn't it wrong to mix 24/96 and 16/44? It should be 24/88 and 16/44, to avoid algorithm interpolation.

 

Just to be clear, I didn't choose these tracks - @austinpop suggested that I take a listen to them, which I did.

 

The original 'apples-to-apples' thread used a 24/88.2 hires and a 24/44.1 MQA decoded to 24/88.2 (I'll add the 16/44.1 when I can get around to it):

 

For me, it's still one of the most insightful comparisons.

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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18 hours ago, manisandher said:

Well, that was interesting! I listened to the 24/96 and 16/44.1 formats of the two tracks you sent me a few times. My general impressions are the same for both tracks.

 

24/96

Easy on the ear. Smooth. Rounded. Brown/grey. Homogeneous. A bit boring to listen to.

 

16/44.1

Vibrant. Colour. More bite. Too 'etched' - like an artificial sheen/halo around instruments. More interesting to listen to, but fatiguing in the long run.

Maybe it's your DAC.

 

I notice a similar phenomenon when using the Schiit Modi Multibit as a DAC.  16/44.1 material sounds very good, especially for the price and class of the DAC (vibrant and colorful, but not too etched), but high resolution material sounds smoothed/dulled/rounded like what you're hearing.

 

When I play the same tracks on a higher end DAC, the high resolution tracks sound better than the 16/44.1 tracks (although the 16/44.1 tracks sound very good).

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4 minutes ago, clipper said:

Maybe it's your DAC.

 

There is no 'higher end' DAC than the Phasure NOS1... IMHO of course ?.

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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5 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

Just to be clear, I didn't choose these tracks - @austinpop suggested that I take a listen to them, which I did.

 

And I in turn will say that’s how the label BIS released them. The original recording was 24/96, and they sell that sample rate, as well as standard Redbook.

 

Mani, thanks for taking the time to listen. I don’t think there are any next steps. We hear what we hear!

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