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Redbook vs. High Resolution Tests Are Clickbait

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2 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

Mark Waldrep is unhappy that his readers couldn't tell the difference. He is a believer in hi-res. He is using his sabbatical this fall to figure out why people can't hear a difference. He and I talked about this at t.h.e. Show in June. 

 

If you look at John Siau's comments in Highly Resolving Redux, June 5, 2019 on Mark's site you will see the math surrounding the audibility of resolutions greater than 16 bits. 

 

I have always found the math for what is audible interesting because I refuse to listen to even a momentary peak over 102 dB. 

 

As an academic pursuit into “why,” I’m unsure that finding the “what” again will help. I could be wrong. 


Founder of Audiophile Style and Superphonica

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1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

As an academic pursuit into “why,” I’m unsure that finding the “what” again will help. I could be wrong. 

 

Depends on what you mean by help. 

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11 minutes ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

+1

 

The 192kHz versions of the Van Halen catalog that appeared on HD Tracks were sublime.  No Redbook version of those masters ever appeared (that I'm aware of).  Of course, I downsampled and dithered those to put on my phone.  👍

Your good luck is what is so frustrating to me:  1 Carpenters, 3 (AFAIR from HDtracks) Simon & Garfunkel, 1 Paul McCartney, and a few others from HDtracks -- all DolbyA imprint without decoding.   Then, you find several really good recordings.  Frustrating -- I guess that my taste is just 'wrong'? :-).

 

Places like HDtracks qualify the material by looking for high sample rate&depth, noise, splats and sometimes actual signal somewhere above 20+kHz, but not by the actual quality.   This makes it tricky, and it is hard to tell proper mastering by the online demos (frankly, I cannot distinguish completed mastering during the online snippets.)

 

John

 

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2 hours ago, Rt66indierock said:

Mark Waldrep is unhappy that his readers couldn't tell the difference. He is a believer in hi-res. He is using his sabbatical this fall to figure out why people can't hear a difference. He and I talked about this at t.h.e. Show in June.

I am not totally surprised that people cannot tell the difference. I frankly have a hard time to do so, and the few cases where I can, it is cases where the recording is really incredibly pristine to start with - which frankly means that I can count very few cases where I care to listen to that music in the first place. 

 

As a side note: I have this tiny headphone amp I got a long while back, a Ray Samuels "The Predator". It only does 44/48. Yet the sound is magical. What DAC does it use? Ray Samuels went as far as painting over the chip so we wouldn't find out. No-one knows except Ray Samuels... :)

 

Like I said above, I care a lot about how well a DAC can do 44/48, certainly more than whether it can do DSD256 or whathaveyou.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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1 minute ago, miguelito said:

I am not totally surprised that people cannot tell the difference. I frankly have a hard time to do so, and the few cases where I can, it is cases where the recording is really incredibly pristine to start with - which frankly means that I can count very few cases where I care to listen to that music in the first place. 

I should clarify: If the high res version is also a remaster, then obviously it is likely that careful remaster is the source of the better sound rather than sample rate or bit depth. This is in my opinion by-and-large the case with MQA. For example, the best version I have of some of Aretha's albums are the MQA ones (and I have a lot of versions). It is pretty obvious they have been mastered very carefully and not produced straight out of any of the other masters.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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4 hours ago, miguelito said:

Like I said above, I care a lot about how well a DAC can do 44/48, certainly more than whether it can do DSD256 or whathaveyou.

 

Not just high res recording, a good DAC should work with upsampling. I freely admit that high bit rate upsampling eg the DSD512 I was referring to, really and very significantly diminishes the difference between Redbook and high-res material  😉


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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CDs have always been perfectly adequate for realising pristine playback - dithering :D about the value of hi-res, and MQA, etc, etc is just wasting energy and focus which would be vastly better spent on understanding the reasons why playback SQ so often fails to satisfy ...

 

The audio industry is still trying to get planes flying safely between destinations with zero fuss, and with customers having full confidence in the system; at the moment the majority of flights crash and burn, and if the aircraft gets to the other end in decent shape, most consider it a small miracle, :P.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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"dithering about" is right

 

 


"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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10 hours ago, John Dyson said:

1 Paul McCartney,

Which one? I'll stay away from it. 
His earlier hires ones are pretty good, without any or much added compression. His people do seem to understand that the hi-res market is different. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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5 hours ago, firedog said:

Which one? I'll stay away from it. 
His earlier hires ones are pretty good, without any or much added compression. His people do seem to understand that the hi-res market is different. 

I just double-checked it -- haven't verified in a long time, and my memory DOES glitch -- YES, Paul McCartney/Wings, Band on the Run, Unlimited version is 99% likely DolbyA encoded.  To correct for right before decoding, need a shelf (treble boost) [email protected]/Q=0.707  (Q=1.0 might be better -- it does seem more clean with the Q=1.0 during decoding.)   So, in order to make the material listenable, then someone did a treble cut of at least -3dB at 3kHz -- which is pretty common.   I uploaded a directly decoded snippet, but it sounds like it could also use a slight -1dB at 9kHz or so after decoding, probably because it was likely destined for vinyl.

 

Definitely too much high end compression -- on the 'undecoded' version listen to the cymbals at the beginning, actually hear the gain changes  (DolbyA is fast, so gotta be on-ones-toes when listening.)  Band-on-the-Run was one of my qualifying tests for the very complex attack/release time of DolbyA.  (a simple attack/release wont' work well in the first 10 seconds on this example.)  Also, the stereo image is improved when decoding.  (This problem happens on every HDtracks download in my possession, except, I think, one of them.)

 

Look for the files: (undecoded is a snippet directly from the file downloaded from HDtracks, and decoded is a decode from the decoder) in my 'Audiofilestyle' archive:

 

"'01-Band on the Run-decoded.mp3'

and

'01-Band on the Run-undecoded.mp3'

 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ab9nhtqjforacd8/AABvt7IYgoob7VXxpN0ekK6ra?dl=0

 

 

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17 hours ago, esldude said:

But you'll have to excuse me if I'm not impressed.  Covering up something, like the DAC chip used is well......covering up something, hiding it, trying to put one over on you.

Did not mean to imply this is in any way something to be impressed by, just a statement of fact since I could foresee someone asking "What DAC chip is that?"

 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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2 hours ago, bluesman said:

 

Goldilocks was an audiophile.  Price is one of those weird dichotomies that seem to provoke ire and joy over unpredictable and inappropriate issues - it's only "just right" when the buyer's desire exceeds his or her ill defined and ever-changing threshold of sanity.  I watch in wonderment as people with $50k systems complain bitterly about the exorbitant cost of a $5 mobile app and carp incessantly about the missing features in the free mobile version of Photoshop when (of course...) they stood in line to buy the original for hundreds of dollars.

...

 

Pricing is completely explained by Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class


"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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2 hours ago, bluesman said:

I honestly hear no consistent difference in my live recordings of my own instruments and of the bands in which I play when capturing them in 16/44 or 24/192 on Audacity and other DAWs, despite many attempts to find one.

 

I've had the same experience with recent commercial releases where I can reasonably assume that the mastering is the same.

 

I do, however, purchase the higher resolution format if available. I figure I might as well take full advantage of confirmation bias. 


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

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Most of my silver discs are ripped to my nas. I also have a few high-res downloads. Both can sound fab, both can sound not so fab. More and more convinced it's about mastering (even have a few mp3 that sound good (but more than that...)).

 

I do not think high-res will ever take off, the difference with good red-book is too small (ymmv, etc., etc.).

 

Enjoy the music 👍

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On 8/7/2019 at 4:45 AM, John Dyson said:

Your good luck is what is so frustrating to me:  1 Carpenters, 3 (AFAIR from HDtracks) Simon & Garfunkel, 1 Paul McCartney, and a few others from HDtracks -- all DolbyA imprint without decoding.   Then, you find several really good recordings.  Frustrating -- I guess that my taste is just 'wrong'? :-).

 

 

Yep, certain artists went for high impact sound, 'quality' be damned  ... one of the killer test CDs I have is a super cheapy Ike and Tina Turner - talk about hot, hot mixes!! This rips your eardrums out unless the playback rig is optimised to the n'th degree - one of the beauties I would take around if someone was convinced that their system had what it takes ... :P.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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16 hours ago, John Dyson said:

"'01-Band on the Run-decoded.mp3'

and

'01-Band on the Run-undecoded.mp3'

 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ab9nhtqjforacd8/AABvt7IYgoob7VXxpN0ekK6ra?dl=0

 

 A very marked improvement with the decoded version.

The original reminded me why I can't normally stand to even listen to .mp3


"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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