24/192 Music Playback

Gareth82

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Mar 13, 2011
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Hi everyone, after doing abit of research into external DAC's and Streamers i have noticed that some Dac's can playback 24/192 the USB input and also claim to be able to do this through S/PDIF input. Other than using a high end streamer or having a pc/laptop based system with a external Dac (which supports 24/192) is there any other way to achieve 24/192 playback? Can you burn a 192/24 music fle to cd and play it back through a cd player?

Also what bit are normal FLAC/WAV music files and not Hi-Res 24/192 or 24/96 files?

Thanks
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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CD is 16 bit 44.1khz playback. You could take a 24/96 file (for example) and burn it to a CD, but it would be downsampled to 16/44. You could burn it to DVD-Audio or SACD and play it on one of those players if you had one lying around...

TBH, I've found it difficult to tell the difference between the two from an identical master, though hi-res music does tend to be a lot better mastered than most.
 

CnoEvil

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CD adheres Red Book standard, part of which means it is always 16bit 44.1KHz

24/192 is currently the highest resolution available, with very little choice recorded at this level.

Further reading here: http://www.tweakheadz.com/16_vs_24_bit_audio.htm
 

Gareth82

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Mar 13, 2011
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Thanks for the reply.

So 192/24 through S/PDIF could only really be used with a SACD Player or DVD/Blu Ray Player then.

My reason for my question is because i am trying to decide what the best way is to play back my CDripped FLAC/WAV media files. I was looking at either getting a streamer (Denon 720AE, Marantz NA7004, Cambridge Audio NP30), have a PC/Laptop and external DAC setup or if it would be best to just to add a external Hard Drive to my Sony BDP S370 and use a external DAC between that and my Roksan.
 

Jason36

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Gareth82 said:
Thanks for the reply.

So 192/24 through S/PDIF could only really be used with a SACD Player or DVD/Blu Ray Player then.

My reason for my question is because i am trying to decide what the best way is to play back my CDripped FLAC/WAV media files. I was looking at either getting a streamer (Denon 720AE, Marantz NA7004, Cambridge Audio NP30), have a PC/Laptop and external DAC setup or if it would be best to just to add a external Hard Drive to my Sony BDP S370 and use a external DAC between that and my Roksan.
I notice that you have a 1TB NAS drive...does this have music on it at all?

If so... you could also consider the Squeezebox Touch which I believe will play up to 24 bit / 96kHz files (and has a very decent DAC). Personally I have stayed away from 24/192 files as I cant hear any difference between these and 24/96.
 

Gareth82

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Thanks for the reply Cno.

All of my FLAC/WAV files have been ripped from my CDs but it would be nice to future proof myself for when Hi-Res files become more popular.

As i just said in reply to JohnDuncan, i am trying to decide which way (streamer, pc/laptop, other) would be the best way to playback my Ripped music files. I would have around £400-£500 budget for a streamer/laptop setup and want to try and get the best synergy with my Roksan Kandy.
 

Gareth82

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Thanks for the reply Jasn36.

My 1TB Seagate is a external hard drive and not a NAS Drive. I have considerd the Squeezebox Touch, as well as other streamers. The SB Touch would be the cheapest option, the only thing is that i know SB server can be a pain to run on a NAS and that most people choose to use a laptop or pc.

I'm just trying to decide on the best quality way to playback my music files.
 

baz

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Aug 27, 2011
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John Duncan said:
CD is 16 bit 44.1khz playback. You could take a 24/96 file (for example) and burn it to a CD, but it would be downsampled to 16/44. You could burn it to DVD-Audio or SACD and play it on one of those players if you had one lying around...

TBH, I've found it difficult to tell the difference between the two from an identical master, though hi-res music does tend to be a lot better mastered than most.
Excuse me for butting in here...so if you burnt a 24/96 file to CD and played it through a DAC that supports 24/96 (using and existing CD/DVD player as transport), would it still be downsampled, or would the DAC process the 24/96 accordingly, bypassing the 16/44 capabilities of the CD player ?
 

amcluesent

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Mar 8, 2009
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>would it still be downsampled,<

Yep, a CD has to be 16/44.1 to be recognised as such. A universal player would do DVD-A and keep 24/96 IIRC but mastering DVD-A @ home may be tricky, never tried it.
 

Jason36

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Jul 23, 2008
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Gareth82 said:
Thanks for the reply Jasn36.

My 1TB Seagate is a external hard drive and not a NAS Drive. I have considerd the Squeezebox Touch, as well as other streamers. The SB Touch would be the cheapest option, the only thing is that i know SB server can be a pain to run on a NAS and that most people choose to use a laptop or pc.

I'm just trying to decide on the best quality way to playback my music files.
If I remember correctly, the SBT wouldnt have to use a NAS, I believe it can just have an external HDD connected and it will find the music files.

Again for What its worth and Just my two penneth worth, I had the same decision to make about two months or so again. I was seriously considering either the SB Touch or Sonos (I sold my CD Player six months ago as it never got used)......anyway, in the end I decided to use an Asus Netbook which was sitting around doing nothing.

As you can see in my profile I use the Asus Netbook with a WD HDD via NuForce uDAC2 into my Caspian Pre/Power Combo. The Netbook has iTunes (for all my Apple Lossless ripped CD's), Foobar2000 (for my 24/96 FLAC files) and Spotify. This is all controlled via my iPad using relevant control apps for iTunes, Foobar and Spotify and works brilliantly and sounds excellent.
 

Crocodile

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Jan 15, 2009
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Gareth82 said:
it would be nice to future proof myself for when Hi-Res files become more popular.
That could mean paying far more than you need to for something that may well never materialise. By the time that 24/192 material becomes widely available (probably never), anything you buy today is likely to have been long since superseded.
 

spockfish

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Jan 18, 2011
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Get a Synology and running SqueezeboxServer is just a breeze. Many people seem to be put off by the server side of the Squeezebox solution, but I can *guarantee* you that the user epxerience is better than *any* DLNA based streamer.

And most important: look at the price.... for 200 euros I've got a streamer that's capable of doing 96/24 with a nice coloured touch screen!
 

spockfish

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Jan 18, 2011
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24/192 seems a little bit overdone. There's isn't that many software for it, expect stuff from for example Linn Records. I suggest you go for 24/96, as this is considered 'high res' audio too.

Not many are aware of this, but you *can* play 24/96 from any normal DVD Video player (so you won't require a DVD Audio!). If you have your DVD player hooked up digitally to a DAC this can provide you with a very cheap high res solution.

This is because the DVD Video standard has room for a stereo, 24/96 LPCM signal. There aren't many DVD's out there (I only know some DVD's from Neil Young), but there's an open source project which enables you to burn these DVD's yourself

Look here: http://audioplex.sourceforge.net/
 

Gareth82

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Thanks for the replies guys.

@Jason36: I think a netbook based system with DAC seems like the best future proof and stable way to play digital files as it won't suffer from drop outs etc that streamers can. I'll make sure i check out the DAC you are using because if it sounds good with your Caspian i would hope it would sound very similar with my Kandy.

Does the spec of the netbook i use make any difference to the sound quality i may get?
 

Gareth82

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Mar 13, 2011
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Thanks for the replie spockfish

Can you recommend which Synology NAS drive to use? If it is something i am confident would work without any problems then i would consider the SB Touch. I do like the look of it, it's just getting the server side of things running smoothly.

I have also considerd burning the Hi-Res files to dvd and playing them back on my Sony BDP S370 with an external DAC.
 

spockfish

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I would suggest at least a 2-drive bay. This will guarantee you data safety. Synology provides a official package for the Squeezebox Server. Installation is done by a wizard, so you'll be up and running within no time.

For Squeezebox Server you'll have enough with the DS212j.

Regards
 

Jason36

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Jul 23, 2008
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Gareth82 said:
Thanks for the replies guys.

@Jason36: I think a netbook based system with DAC seems like the best future proof and stable way to play digital files as it won't suffer from drop outs etc that streamers can. I'll make sure i check out the DAC you are using because if it sounds good with your Caspian i would hope it would sound very similar with my Kandy.

Does the spec of the netbook i use make any difference to the sound quality i may get?
The NuForce uDAC2 is a good and very portable DAC (its the size of a box of matches) it can take up to 24/96kHz audio files and has a very good headphone out as well. I bought it to use with my laptop at work with headphones....however because its portable I can use it in my home system.

However I would also say that there are probably better sounding DAC's if you want it to sit permanently as part of your main HiFi......I am currently looking at the AudioLab M-DAC, HRT Music Streamer, CA DAC Magic 100 (which will take 24/192 via USB).

As for the netbook I wouldnt say the spec will affect the sound at all.....however depends what software you want to use and you can optimise the outputs by bypassing the windows based sound management. I would suggest using media players like Foobar, JRiver or similar.

My netbook is only 1.2 GhZ processor with 1Gig Ram running windows XP.....I have had no problems with this.....no dropouts and no electrical feedback at all.
 

Gareth82

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Mar 13, 2011
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Thanks for the reply Spockfish.

I'll be sure to take a look at the Synology NAS Drives and do abit of research. My budget should be around £400-£500 so that should be enough to get a SB Touch and NAS or go down the Netbook/Dac route.
 

Gareth82

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Mar 13, 2011
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Thanks for the reply Jason36.

Yes i was looking at the HRT Music Streamer and CA DAC Magic 100 as well. I also was thinking about the MF V-DAC II as you can upgrade this with the V-PSU II to improve the sound quality.

I have got iTunes, Foobar 2K and also MusicBee installed on my netbook so have got abit of flexability and can try out each one for music playback quality.
 

Jason36

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Jul 23, 2008
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Gareth82 said:
Thanks for the reply Jason36.

Yes i was looking at the HRT Music Streamer and CA DAC Magic 100 as well. I also was thinking about the MF V-DAC II as you can upgrade this with the V-PSU II to improve the sound quality.

I have got iTunes, Foobar 2K and also MusicBee installed on my netbook so have got abit of flexability and can try out each one for music playback quality.
To be honest the music playback quality will not really alter whatever media player you use......they just have different user interfaces and displays. Personally I use iTunes for my standard 16/44.1 files and Foobar for my 24/96 FLAC files........this is only because I like to keep my standard and Hi Res files separately.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Jason36 said:
Gareth82 said:
Thanks for the reply Jason36.

Yes i was looking at the HRT Music Streamer and CA DAC Magic 100 as well. I also was thinking about the MF V-DAC II as you can upgrade this with the V-PSU II to improve the sound quality.

I have got iTunes, Foobar 2K and also MusicBee installed on my netbook so have got abit of flexability and can try out each one for music playback quality.
To be honest the music playback quality will not really alter whatever media player you use......they just have different user interfaces and displays. Personally I use iTunes for my standard 16/44.1 files and Foobar for my 24/96 FLAC files........this is only because I like to keep my standard and Hi Res files separately.
My understanding is different, especially with a Windows PC. Google WASAPI and ASIO. iTunes on a PC will always sound average, just like WMP does. A good media player will sound much much better.
 
A

Anonymous

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FYI

The magazine "The Absolut Sound" did a softwares review for computer audio. (Sound quality for Playback, ripping, other)

Did not had time to read it yet though.

(I hope I won't burn in hell for mentionning another mag. I'm just trying to share knowledge to help mates)

:pray:
 

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