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24/352.8 vs. 16/44.1 - an attempt at a comparison

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3 minutes ago, mansr said:

Maybe you should try downloading them again using a better power supply.

 

Or ask Martin, Barry, or Cookie for tech support.


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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Quote

Maybe you should try downloading them again using a better power supply. - mansr

 

Well Mr. Know-it-all, in the last 2 months ,2  high profile ,and  highly qualified members with post counts of >5,000,  that post mainly in the General Forum area have recently confirmed my reports in this area, one with supplied comparison audio files, and the other with uploaded comparison Music Videos.

( No, I am not going to name them and throw them to the resident pack of Hyenas, and that includes Kumakuma, but am willing to have this confirmed with Admin )

 

 So stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it ! :P

Edited by sandyk

"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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8 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

What's your preference?

 

Mani.

 

T005. Funny thing, I just used my preferred player, rather than DW, to play them just now, to confirm. And in fact I had them back to front in my head when kicking them off - I thought I was playing my preferred one from earlier; but in fact it was the other. Oh no! I thought - my head's playing tricks; I've swapped preferences :/ ... but it all came out in the wash, the two sessions correlate.

 

Basically, for my setup, the tonality matched better how I thought a piano should sound.

 

And ... I heading off in a few minutes for another listening round with the audio friend down the road. Horror of horrors, he's excited because he's tidied up the mains feed to the components, for what he feels are substantial gains ... you know, more of that stuff "that doesn't matter" ... :P.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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2 minutes ago, fas42 said:

T005. Funny thing, I just used my preferred player, rather than DW, to play them just now, to confirm. And in fact I had them back to front in my head when kicking them off - I thought I was playing my preferred one from earlier; but in fact it was the other. Oh no! I thought - my head's playing tricks; I've swapped preferences :/ ... but it all came out in the wash, the two sessions correlate.

 

 Hallelujah ! There is hope for you yet. ¬¬


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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4 minutes ago, fas42 said:

And ... I heading off in a few minutes for another listening round with the audio friend down the road. Horror of horrors, he's excited because he's tidied up the mains feed to the components, for what he feels are substantial gains ... you know, more of that stuff "that doesn't matter" ... :P.

 

 

If it's stuff that doesn't matter, then why are you going there ?

 Is it just for the free Morning Tea ? :o

 


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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many, many high profile, and  highly qualified members with post counts of >5,000  think somebody is full of it


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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11 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

Alex, neither of the original files I used were 'up-converted'. One was the original 24/352.8 and the other a 16/44.1, derived by decimating ('down-converting') the original (done by 2L, not me).

 

One of the reasons I went for capturing at 16/44.1 was that it would be difficult distinguishing between the files by analysis alone... or so I thought.

 

 

Both the captures I linked to were 16/44.1, so if they sound different, and they do (very subtly) to my ears, then this cannot be due to one having more HF info above 22.05kHz than the other. What it might be down to is the anti-imaging filter used when replaying the 16/44.1 file, as no anti-imaging filter was used in the case of the 24/352.8. (The anti-aliasing filter used by 2L during decimation may also be having an effect.)

 

Mani.

Ah so the point was to see if folks could hear a difference between the original hires and the downconverted 16/44. I guessed T004 was the 16/44, is that right? 

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4 hours ago, sandyk said:

 

 

If it's stuff that doesn't matter, then why are you going there ?

 Is it just for the free Morning Tea ? :o

 

 

Lunch, actually. And very nice it was too ...

 

He has two rigs, one also does vinyl. Effectively, three sound sources. And at their best, today, all were firing! Key learning this round was that cross interference between the two was a factor, even though it's as almost as far electrically between the two, as for a neighbour's house. Isolation transformers were used on both, but this still wasn't enough to fully stop the operation of one affecting the other.

 

Also for vinyl, gains were made by powering parts of that rig from different spurs - LPs were of a high order, far superior to anything I heard via a needle at the last audio show.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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1 hour ago, pkane2001 said:

 

Mani, not sure I can add much more to the analysis that's already been posted. There are a few dB differences in frequency response above 8kHz or so, and what appears to be a very mellow filter applied at about 20k in T005 (in white):

image.thumb.png.f3a6c54b4d2c325e4db59fa46752584c.png

 

Otherwise, the matching is pretty good with DeltaWave: rms null of about -81dB and correlated null of 84dB.

image.thumb.png.2a492cb36a1b8531a5f4372df5000b34.png

 

Phase error is fairly benign up to about 10k, but also increases with frequency:

image.thumb.png.3b6a44e3ba1b3964b56164d6540bfcb1.png

 

 

I just added a new feature to DeltaWave to allow for listening to the ultrasonic differences :) Decided to test it on these two files. Remember that the amplitude above 8k is low, and especially in a delta file the level is extremely low. I had to increase gain by +50dB in DeltaWave to hear the delta, and +40dB to hear the original files. You may need to do this in Audacity or another software.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JL_SAzw0-2mCMBqw7wj4FD1W83N4Ey_k/view?usp=sharing

 

See if you can spot any patterns/musical notes in it. Files are:

mani-T004-8k.wav - File T004 downshifted 8kHz

mani-T005-8k.wav - File T005 phase/amplitude aligned with T004 above, and also downshifted by 8kHz

mani-delta-8k.wav - difference between the two files above

 

In the delta file, I can only hear something above the noise at around 1:35.5 seconds, exactly where you can see the two spikes, below. There's a lot more audible in the T004-8k and T005-8k files, so there's definitely musical content above 8kHz :)

 

image.thumb.png.219186ae4b710f2592512f588a34b625.png

 

Here's the spectrum of T004 and T005 downshifted by 8kHz:

image.thumb.png.8767abf70213042deb8d3d87479d0f0c.png

 

That's excellent Paul. Thanks for doing this.

 

I'll take a listen to the files later tonight, once I've put the kids to bed.

 

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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FWIW, Hoff is playing a Steinway D, which is their flagship concert grand.  It's a wonderful piano for "general purpose playing", and I wouldn't kick it off my stage 😎  But I do prefer the slightly fuller, richer sound (at least to my ears) of the big Yamaha.  I had the same preference in a standard size grand when I bought mine back in 1981, so I have a Yamaha at home a well.

 

The YouTube video of this track is very instructive - it shows mic placement, which explains a lot.  When listening to a solo piano in concert, you don't hear any consistent spatial placement of the registers of the instrument.  When I first listened to the two files at the heart of this thread, I noted strangely consistent placement of different registers between the speakers.  The middle octaves emerge largely from left of center in this recording, while lower and higher octaves often peek out from the right as well as all around.  There's no consistency between the ends of the keyboard and the corresponding speakers, but there is consistent placement of fundamentals around 250-500 Hz.  Before I searched the posts to find out what the song was and who was playing it, I began to wonder if it was a 2 piano piece in a few spots because notes in the same octave seemed to be coming from two distinct places at once. I think that third mic at the far end of the sound board may be the reason for this.

 

There's also more reflected, delayed sound than I like - my living room is not a cathedral.  To my ears, there's a lot more of this "sonic congestion" at places like 3:20 in 005 than there is in 004.  I have no idea how this relates to the processing being compared in this thread, but that reverberation does not seem so prominent in the YouTube audio.  Perhaps there's some technical explanation in the various analyses in this thread.

 

I also assume (and hope) that the powered monitor facing Hoff was not live during recording.  If it was, it had to be contributing to the heavy dose of "ambience".

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4 hours ago, bluesman said:

 

...and there's the trigger for overcoming my reluctance to contribute to threads like this. And although the piano was the instrument in question here, this applies to every recorded instrument you hear. Yes, I know that there was a study showing that professional musicians couldn't reliably tell a Stradivarius from a high quality new violin.  But the problem is the same for all - if you don't know what was recorded, you can't possibly judge subtleties in the accuracy of reproduction.

 

 ...
 

So PLEASE stop thinking that you know how a piano "should" sound and trying to judge the accuracy of reproduced music by that criterion unless you know enough specifics about the piano (or other instrument, vocalist etc) you're hearing to do so.  You may know how you like it to sound - but that's totally irrelevant to the accuracy of reproduction.

 

The mistake you're making here is implying that 'normal' people can't distinguish live sounds from that of normal audio reproduction rigs - no-one has to know what type of piano, they just have to nail the fact that the sound is coming from speakers, rather than a live instrument. If you said, "Okay, $10,000 in the hand right now if you can tell whether the sounds coming from behind this curtain are from a piano, or just speakers" - how many people do you think wouldn't be winners?

 

Even better choice are vocals - if you optimise a playback system so that all vocals sound like the "real thing" - whether it's an opera singer in full flight, or the bloke bellowing away in the midst of a a hard driving rock number - then you're in a pretty good place ... :).


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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As a side note - I just thought of an experience some years ago at an school where  the young kids were paraded doing their "musical bits" - of course, a piano was there, a decent looking Yamaha grand - but this particular instrument was a mess - it was cringe time, not from the kids playing, but the offness of the duff notes, and strange noises coming from everywhere; the sound problems made it difficult to take.

 

Yet, I had zero problems in noting that it was a real piano ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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Back on topic, I just had a look at some 2L files, of an orchestral number, I downloaded some time ago, CD version as compared to the 192 one. Naughty, naughty, at first glance it appears that 2L is doing some mild doctoring of the high frequency, starting at about 17k - giving the 16/44.1 one a treble boost, to about 2dB by 20kHz! Which means on systems with unwanted HF artifacts the hi-res variety will sound 'smoother' ... hmmm ...

 

Will double check this - the 16/44.1 should be a 'perfect' discarding of the ultrasonics.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

The mistake you're making here is implying that 'normal' people can't distinguish live sounds from that of normal audio reproduction rigs - no-one has to know what type of piano, they just have to nail the fact that the sound is coming from speakers, rather than a live instrument.

 

That may be true if the goal is simply generating audio output that sounds "real".  But it's total nonsense when discussing accuracy in reproduction, which seems to me to be what the OP was addressing. Sounding like one "thinks a piano should sound" is hardly a criterion for judging the quality and accuracy of any component of a playback system.  The OP seems to me to be focusing on whether any element of true fidelity to the source is lost in conversion from higher resolution to lower, to wit:

  • "Could there be anything in the original 24/352.8 file that is lost during decimation down to 16/44.1? If so, what could have been lost, considering there’s virtually no music signal above 10kHz anyhow? Is all this hires malarkey really much ado about nothing?"

A mediocre recording of almost any "tack piano" (a piano with thumbtacks in the hammers to simulate old, worn felts) will sound a lot more "live" than a better recording of a poorly maintained Baldwin baby grand.  The tacks generate sharp transient attacks on the notes, and there's a lot more high frequency energy in the signal - it's simply more convincing when played back through almost any system.  The effect is useful in some kinds of music - I did it many times back in the '60s and '70s.  By your criterion, this is good sound. smiley_gagging.gif.7542d6813159347b0a2364517b36da1b.gif

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10 minutes ago, bluesman said:

 

That may be true if the goal is simply generating audio output that sounds "real".  But it's total nonsense when discussing accuracy in reproduction, which seems to me to be what the OP was addressing. Sounding like one "thinks a piano should sound" is hardly a criterion for judging the quality and accuracy of any component of a playback system.  The OP seems to me to be focusing on whether any element of true fidelity to the source is lost in conversion from higher resolution to lower, to wit:

 

Which is implying that you believe that a microphone and recording system is incapable of capturing the sounds of a live instrument such as a piano. If it were otherwise then a quality and accurate playback system should deliver what "a piano sounds like" - yes?

 

10 minutes ago, bluesman said:
  • "Could there be anything in the original 24/352.8 file that is lost during decimation down to 16/44.1? If so, what could have been lost, considering there’s virtually no music signal above 10kHz anyhow? Is all this hires malarkey really much ado about nothing?"

A mediocre recording of almost any "tack piano" (a piano with thumbtacks in the hammers to simulate old, worn felts) will sound a lot more "live" than a mediocre recording of a poorly maintained Baldwin baby grand.  The tacks generate sharp transient attacks on the notes, and there's a lot more high frequency energy in the signal - it's simply more convincing when played back through almost any system.  The effect is useful in some kinds of music - I did it many times back in the '60s and '70s.  By your criterion, this is good sound. smiley_gagging.gif.7542d6813159347b0a2364517b36da1b.gif

 

When did I say fake transient attacks on a note makes something more realistic? Or that pumped up treble makes the sound more lively? Au contraire ... live sound has a certain quality which silly FR manipulation will never mimic ... if you have never heard what an optimised rig can do, so be it - but it is, something special ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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36 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Naughty, naughty, at first glance it appears that 2L is doing some mild doctoring of the high frequency, starting at about 17k - giving the 16/44.1 one a treble boost, to about 2dB by 20kHz!

 

 Perhaps they were simply attempting to audibly improve the performance of the lowly 16/44.1 version ?


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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13 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Which is implying that you believe that a microphone and recording system is incapable of capturing the sounds of a live instrument such as a piano.

 

I can not imagine how you concluded that from what I actually said.

 

13 minutes ago, fas42 said:

When did I say fake transient attacks on a note makes something more realistic? Or that pumped up treble makes the sound more lively?

 

You didn’t - I did, because it’s true (except that the transients aren’t fake, they’re real). Having done all this and more on my high speed Crown deck and listened through Infinity Reference Standards driven by a Hafler 500, a Citation 2 and a Marantz 8b, I know it’s correct. 

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5 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 

 Perhaps they were simply attempting to audibly improve the performance of the lowly 16/44.1 version ?

 

Whatever their intentions, it's not quite the thing to do if you want level playing field comparisons to happen ... sorta reminds me of something called, er ... ... ah, yes, MQA ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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2 minutes ago, bluesman said:

You didn’t - I did, because it’s true. Having done all this and more on my high speed Crown deck and listened through Infinity Reference Standards driven by a Hafler 500, a Citation 2 and a Marantz 8b, I know it’s correct. 

 

But I'm not interested in 'enhancing' what's been recorded. I find that when I achieve very low levels of key types of distortion in the playback chain, something "magical" happens - you finally stop hearing artifacts of the playback chain, and only hear the recording - which is very special, because all the good stuff was in fact captured - it doesn't need, 'makeup'.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

Back on topic, I just had a look at some 2L files, of an orchestral number, I downloaded some time ago, CD version as compared to the 192 one. Naughty, naughty, at first glance it appears that 2L is doing some mild doctoring of the high frequency, starting at about 17k - giving the 16/44.1 one a treble boost, to about 2dB by 20kHz! Which means on systems with unwanted HF artifacts the hi-res variety will sound 'smoother' ... hmmm ...

 

Will double check this - the 16/44.1 should be a 'perfect' discarding of the ultrasonics.

What it looks like to me is noise.  Remember how we get these FR charts using music.  If the music is very low in level then noise begins to effect the FR charts derived from comparing bins in the FFT.  In these 2L tracks being discussed, the levels above 10 khz are way down in level.  There isn't much there.  So what looks like a FR difference up there is really just more noise in the 16 bit track than the hirez 24 bit track.  

 

That was my deleted post last night.  I'd looked in Deltawave, and thought it had a mild frequency contour around or over 1 db in the treble.  Plenty to be heard as different.  Then I realized it was the signal being so close to the noise floor you were seeing mainly a noise difference.  So I doubt at those low levels you'll hear the noise alone among music.  So I deleted my post about FR. 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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7 hours ago, bluesman said:

 

...and there's the trigger for overcoming my reluctance to contribute to threads like this.

 

I am glad you did. It is one of the best posts I read in this forum. Too bad that only a relative few will be able to relate.

And I am not even saying that I can.

 

I am of the stance that when the reproduction is starting to be really good (which is a process of decades IME) you sort of explicitly start to have the feeling and idea "yeah, that is how it will sound for real". This combines with the clear envisioning how e.g. a singer behaves and moves on stage. This is still illusion of course, but without the realism this doesn't happen (at all).

 

Most instruments are very "touchy" (I hope you get what I mean with this). A piano is one - possibly a violin and the like (up to upright double bass) could even be better. When the playback system represents these instruments very well, you can 100% see through the mood of the player of the time. Btw, that mood is a theatrical happening to begin with, which is fine and belongs.

 

To my belief the "seeing through" happens for the better and best because of consistency. Thus, the less the recording is mangled with (like adding HF would be mangling) the more realistic it comes across, *if* of course the playback system doesn't mangle either. And there's the thing of course - it usually will.

 

Occasionally I run into situations which tempt me thinking "yea, this is how Mark Knopfler's voice really will be" (and this is not when Roberta Flack is singing). This happens (can happen) while I never met Knopfler in person so in my view it is not even related to experience or "knowledge" or something. However, I suspect that having the experience with an image (preferably moving) is required. Most probably having experience with people "performing" is also very relevant (like you yourself). Regarding this, putting your blues thoughts in a blues (guitar) instruments could be a great example. I mean, only if the performer really has the blues, he will be best at it, and how genuine it is during the performance, can be heard (no need to explain to you). And this is the beauty of playing music (and being part of the band etc.) - this can be genuine every new day again. And if the playback system is top notch, you can perceive that through it.

The best blues I heard from a single man and his bass guitar on the corner of a street in Washington. All fitted. All belonged. A playback system can not represent that. But since that experience I try to see through it. Without the experience nothing is to be seen through.

 

You talking about worn keyboards, made me think of boogie woogie - way underestimated these days. Nothing for a grand if you ask me and to be played on worn pianos. I could be wrong. But it could be a typical example. A grand is too sluggish for that. Doesn't fit in that smoky cafe's corner either.

Etc.


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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