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manisandher

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

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@manisandher

 

Do you mind providing the original 16/44.1 version?

I would like to be sure of the origin of noise floor encountered in the sample A (24/96):

- Izotope?

- deliberately added in 16/44.1?

The null between Original Hi-Res or Sample B with sample A highlights the noise shape:

 

AB.thumb.jpg.a8b1181df5e844710aca593d93e95c8e.jpg

 

Thanks.

 

Sorry @austinpop if this may confuse even more.

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3 hours ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

The opposition to MQA started with recording and mastering engineers in 2914. MQA is not something they talk about much anymore.

 

MQA is a non-starter as far as cash flow to artists and studio people.

 

I gave you an up vote, simply because some folks seem to be misusing the off-topic vote as a down vote... How subjective of them ?


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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55 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

 

Brian got himself banned in a compression argument. He was approached to be West Coast Representative for MQA  in 2014. 

 

He is an outspoken friend who opposed MQA from the start.

Brian Lucey has been banned from CA ? His interview is really worth reading... and supporting. I liked in particular Let’s just sell the 24 bit files at the mastering session sample rate, not higher and not lower, and call it a day?  Too easy perhaps for the creativity of modern commerce.

Think about that too easy  : Mani is done with hires and I'm under the impression that several persons here think the 24/96 hires sold is not the 24 bit files at the mastering session sample rate even though the recording studio is known and offers 24/96 as standard

 

bad news if CA banned Brian Lucey

 


I❤️ HQP and convolution (REW + RePhase for correcting frequency and time domains for the actual results presented below)

Currently investigating Embedded on mid 2012 15" rMacBP> 2.0 certified Supra > Green Regen > NAA (Miska's Linux image on MB Air)> TEAC UD 501> (balanced output) >Cardas Golden Ref> JRRG all balanced pre> Cabasse system with clean deep LF extension via 36 cm active drivers, played live loud

 

 

 

Proofing B&K C @ -9 copie-Modifier-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, Arpiben said:

I would like to be sure of the origin of noise floor encountered in the sample A (24/96):

 

It may be useful to see the spectra from Samples A and B superimposed:

 

1412041131_SampleAvs.SampleB.thumb.jpg.9407682f81fbd87801023e4139347058.jpg

 

Up to ~16 Khz, the spectra look similar. Above ~22.4 kHz, Sample A (16/44.1 converted to 24/96) has a noise floor of -136dB, whereas Sample B (hires) has a signal of ~-116dB.

 

Does this help?

 

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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1 hour ago, Le Concombre Masqué said:

 

bad news if CA banned Brian Lucey

 

 

He could not follow the rules and insulted people past the point of no return.  I liked his various perspectives and of course his attitude about MQA, but he simply could not control himself...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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35 minutes ago, manisandher said:

 

1412041131_SampleAvs.SampleB.thumb.jpg.9407682f81fbd87801023e4139347058.jpg

 

 

Interestingly, between 16-21 kHz, Sample A has more energy than Sample B. At 21 kHz, the difference is ~4dB. This may account for some of the comments, such as:

 

On 10/27/2018 at 5:04 AM, PeterSt said:

A.

Sounds much clearer which is readily noticeable on the guitar. Lively.

There's more vibrato in the bass (cello ?) audible.

 

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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2 hours ago, crenca said:

 

He could not follow the rules and insulted people past the point of no return.  I liked his various perspectives and of course his attitude about MQA, but he simply could not control himself...

from the pictures, his setup is very fengshui though


I❤️ HQP and convolution (REW + RePhase for correcting frequency and time domains for the actual results presented below)

Currently investigating Embedded on mid 2012 15" rMacBP> 2.0 certified Supra > Green Regen > NAA (Miska's Linux image on MB Air)> TEAC UD 501> (balanced output) >Cardas Golden Ref> JRRG all balanced pre> Cabasse system with clean deep LF extension via 36 cm active drivers, played live loud

 

 

 

Proofing B&K C @ -9 copie-Modifier-2.jpg

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4 hours ago, manisandher said:

I've spent the last couple of days listening to hires vs. redbook I have from the same master, and can only say that I'm generally totally fine with the sound of the redbook. But I'm using PeterSt's software player and DAC, which have been specifically designed to optimise redbook (though not at the expense of hires).

 

To me it sounds strange if original format sounds worse than the down-conversion... That would mean applying a brickwall filter at 22.05 kHz and dithering down to 16-bit makes it sound better or at least as good on your system. That also tells something.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Just looking at some samples from Soundkeeper Recordings, and there is the usual hires hash, mush constantly present, in the 24/192 version. That is, brick filter out the above 20kHz component of the signal, and this material never drops below a "grass" floor of around 80dB down, irrespective of what's happening musically - this may be the key reason why DACs do a better job, subjectively, when presented with a hires format as source.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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4 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

It may be useful to see the spectra from Samples A and B superimposed:

 

1412041131_SampleAvs.SampleB.thumb.jpg.9407682f81fbd87801023e4139347058.jpg

 

Up to ~16 Khz, the spectra look similar. Above ~22.4 kHz, Sample A (16/44.1 converted to 24/96) has a noise floor of -136dB, whereas Sample B (hires) has a signal of ~-116dB.

 

Does this help?

 

Mani.

 

By Noise floor I was meaning the Noise Density (/10Hz) in the 8kHz-22kHz area.

Nevertheless your graph helped me realise that what I pinpointed in the 16/44.1 -> 24/96 version is probably a triangle dither.

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Miska said:

To me it sounds strange if original format sounds worse than the down-conversion... That would mean applying a brickwall filter at 22.05 kHz and dithering down to 16-bit makes it sound better or at least as good on your system. That also tells something.

 

I would agree with you if the original would look unconditionally good. But it does not. This means that whatever is bad (which is above 22.05), was brickwalled out.

So it depend on how one judges the base (Hires version).

 

10 hours ago, manisandher said:

I'm happy with Miska's possible explanation for its extended HF content, namely:

 

Quote

Not the instrument itself after you have released the string, but the sound of nails hitting the strings can produce fairly sharp transients which you would see as horizontal lines in your vertical flowing spectrogram.

 

And that is not in order because where all the hash is visible the guitar not always plays, plus the attack of the guitar strings is hardly audible in any of the versions because of ... poor quality ?

Listen to it while keeping track of the spectrograph. It seems to be oversteering (if that is English) of some sort. With too many sounds at the same, this is happening. But it seems to be impeded by low frequency.

 

11 hours ago, austinpop said:

Have you and Peter concluded that ALL hi-res content is flawed

 

Not me, really. But I don't spend time on it because the chance is too high that it is a failure of some sort while I try to judge a system largely, instead of listening to music. So Rajiv, this situation happens when someone comes up with a ^2 of something, and in 2 weeks of time again, and then something else and then some software change or a DAC idea etc. etc. etc. So I can't listen to material which may be flawed in the base. Redbook is never flawed that I can think of. It may be a bad recording though, although this is quire rare in my book (of experiences).

 

Yes you can send me an example of a track (or 3 etc.). If it is okay it will have taken me a minute to see it and I will say so. If it is not OK it may take some time to judge it and we can post it and try to discuss it. Point always is : it will be you, the person of good faith who actually gets debunked when something of which he always thought was right, appears to be wrong. It may be good to know, but some times it is also good not to know. This is a hobby ...

 

Peter


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9 hours ago, Miska said:

To me it sounds strange if original format sounds worse than the down-conversion...

 

I wasn't implying that in all the comparisons I've made, redbook is better than the equivalent hires. In most cases I find it much of a muchness.

 

The only cases where the originals obviously sound better than the redbooks to me are some of the 2L DXDs. I suspect you share the same experience.

 

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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8 hours ago, austinpop said:

Certainly, there are many cases where there is no discernible improvement with hi-res over CD.

 

Rajiv, this is really my point.

 

8 hours ago, austinpop said:

I've been comparing, and I can provide you with the 16/44.1 and 24/96 versions of a couple of tracks where to my ears the hi-res is clearly better. If you want to give it a listen, I'd love to have you do so.

 

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

 

8 hours ago, austinpop said:

I'm happy to expose them here too, but you'd know the sample rates. I can hear the cries of "expectation bias" already.

 

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. All my hyper-expensive cables (bought when I was younger and more care- and child-free) sit in boxes in my cellar. My gorgeous-looking SET amps sit boxed up in my cellar. I sold my Pacific Microsonics Model Two because it didn't sound as good as my current DAC, costing a fraction of its price. Etc., etc.

 

Look forward to taking a listen to the tracks you mentioned.

 

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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Best microphones go up to 50 kHz. Room/loudspeaker systems filter around

20 kHz. Mature male ears cut off at 15-16 kHz. Physics limits DACs to ca 20 bit resolution. No wonder most of us find Redbook good enough as a distribution codec.

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19 minutes ago, manisandher said:

I know expectation bias is real, but I reckon it's massively over-rated in some situations

 

Absolutely.  I also wonder  why  expectation is always assumed to be a positive bias.

As a skeptical Brit, my default expectation is “how much have I just been ripped-off for?” until listening proves the contrary.

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I am really curious about the 100kHz mics and 50 kHz speakers with the typical 0.5 dB tolerance for the former and 3dB for the latter. Could you give the model names please? In case of speakers I wrote speaker/room system, but ok, let it be anechoic specs. Rooms attenuate highs. But you are not equipped with above 20 kHz hearing

I presume?

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24 minutes ago, sapporo said:

I am really curious about the 100kHz mics and 50 kHz speakers with the typical 0.5 dB tolerance for the former and 3dB for the latter. Could you give the model names please? In case of speakers I wrote speaker/room system, but ok, let it be anechoic specs. Rooms attenuate highs. But you are not equipped with above 20 kHz hearing

I presume?

 

I listed mics earlier in this thread. But one of the mics was:

http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/freqpola.cfm/3.1000400

As you can see, the response is also diffuse-field compensated, so it gives pretty even frequency response in a normal space.

 

Also Bruel&Kjaer has wideband microphones, like the 4939 model that is 4 Hz to 100 kHz +-2 dB. 4138 model goes 6.5 Hz to 140 kHz, but is a bit low on sensitivity.

 

I use Elac loudspeakers with their JET tweeters (AMT ribbon). Planning to get Monitor Audio Studio's to the office too. But that is anyway about 5% of my listening. Rest is with various headphones.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

 

A bit like MP3 can "fix" some bad recordings by removing some of the distortions. Probably MP3/AAC would also "fix" some of the MQA's aliasing flaws too.

 

Have you found a way to measure these distortions? I asked someone for an AAC v FLAC v MQA plot of the track in this thread earlier... 

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/freqpola.cfm/3.1000400

Also Bruel&Kjaer has wideband microphones, like the 4939 model that is 4 Hz to 100 kHz +-2 dB. 4138 model goes 6.5 Hz to 140 kHz, but is a bit low on sensitivity. I use Elac loudspeakers with their JET tweeters (AMT ribbon). Planning to get Monitor Audio Studio's to the office too. But that is anyway about 5% of my listening. Rest is with various headphones.

 

 

Bruel&Kjaer are measurement mics.

The Sanken is "the first 100kHz microphone in the world used for recordings". Most likely the only 100k. It's an omni. The one quoted engineer uses it for orchestra pickups. See the FR chart.

 

CO100Kmic.thumb.png.2bccb8a3b364bd625b44aef778444c27.png

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

Anyhow, all those high harmonics recorded via Sanken and heard only by bats will be dispersed and attenuated by the  room's walls, unless the listening position is exclusively near-field. 

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

Monitor Audio Studio review | What Hi-Fi?

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Miska said:

 

To me it sounds strange if original format sounds worse than the down-conversion... That would mean applying a brickwall filter at 22.05 kHz and dithering down to 16-bit makes it sound better or at least as good on your system. That also tells something.

 

I sometimes wonder if there might be a benefit to brick wall filtering at 22kHz.  Consider that none of us can hear anything above 22kHz, plus some amplifiers might be doing lots of work trying to reproduce the ultrasonic content we cannot hear, possibly dealing with tweeters with strange impedance loads above 22kHz.  Add the brick wall filter, the amp (and possibly the tweeter) has an easier time of things and may perform better with the stuff we can hear.  Just a thought.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, sPS-500, SOtM modified switch, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.

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51 minutes ago, sapporo said:

 

Bruel&Kjaer are measurement mics.

The Sanken is "the first 100kHz microphone in the world used for recordings". Most likely the only 100k. It's an omni. The one quoted engineer uses it for orchestra pickups. See the FR chart.

 

CO100Kmic.thumb.png.2bccb8a3b364bd625b44aef778444c27.png

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

Anyhow, all those high harmonics recorded via Sanken and heard only by bats will be dispersed and attenuated by the  room's walls, unless the listening position is exclusively near-field. 

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

Monitor Audio Studio review | What Hi-Fi?

 

 

 

 

 

High Frequencies are mostly directive.

Sound air absorption in free field is around 0.5 dB / m @10 kHz or 5 dB / m @100 kHz.

Therefore even with headphones you should not be able to perceive those highs at normal/safe SPL.

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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.

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