Is listening to 24-bit/192kHz a bad idea?

Gazzip

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I have no experience of this audio format but I cannot help thinking that this way madness lies. Due to the extremely limited amount of music available as 24/192 is there not a risk of narrowing what one is prepared to listen to down to what is commercially available?A bit like going from tape to CD. Any thoughts?
 

paradiziac

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Suggest you read this:

Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
 

The_Lhc

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I don't understand your tape to cd analogy, everything is available on cd, nothing is on tape anymore but look at it this way, they'll only increase the amount of 24bit music available if people buy it, otherwise there's no perceived demand and labels won't see the point in offering it.

Besides, nobody said you had to listen to it to the exclusion of everything else, that would just be odd.
 

chasefrench

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actually the latest research shows that while in a blind listening test, people were unable to tell the difference, however when their eyes were not covered but the listener was still unable to see what had been put on, they were statistically significant results showing 24bit/ 192khz was enjoyed more.

The latest medical research shows that the eye which can respond upto 60khz is providing the extra information to the ear and brain.

This was written about in this months/ last months Hifi News and Record, try it yourself, I think it is better. For me the size argument is futile unless we are taking smartphones
 

chasefrench

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I d also like to point out that we cant even get cd downloads yet which is utterly disgraceful, and all cds arent "equal" which is even more disgraceful. What the record industry has created is a disjointed mess, and I hope someone (not apple) creates a distribution model that allows you to buy the any possible quality available you want.

I can buy studio master for my computer and then cd quality for my smartphone. Anything less and people will pirate, not because it is free, BECAUSE IT IS A BETTER SERVICE!!!!!!!!
 

SteveR750

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Gazzip said:
I have no experience of this audio format but I cannot help thinking that this way madness lies. Due to the extremely limited amount of music available as 24/192 is there not a risk of narrowing what one is prepared to listen to down to what is commercially available?A bit like going from tape to CD. Any thoughts?

Indeed if you decide only to listen to that kind of file. I would imagine that any streamer or DAC that ca handle 24/192 can handle everything else at a lower sample rate, so it's hardly a constraint
 

chasefrench

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Did an extensive comparison last night and personally couldnt hear any difference. My setup is MDAC->Plinius 9200 -> Spendor A6 so maybe it might be slightly audible in ultra high end gear.

Personally I believe, while the article linked may be correct in it being overkill, it is certainly not harmful to have 24bit/ 192khz, but again the most important thing is the quality of the cd and the master. I cant believe this is not standardised these days. The difference between cds in volume and clarity is astounding
 

manicm

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There are too many unknowns when comparing vanilla cd-res to hi-res (24/96 or higher):

1. First I will rule out using a PC to play high-res - setting it up is a pig.

2. Which dictates using a good streamer - here again some players differentiate hi-res greater than others, if you check out WHF's reviews.

3. The recordings themselves - I will never ever consider a '24/192' a high-res recording where the original was lower (assuming the recording was digital to start off with). Recordings like Linn's high-res masters are a safe bet.

So I take articles with a pinch of salt when they make blanket statements that normal listeners can not tell the difference, it's the same with articles about SACD. These testers should give detailed recording and playback details. Vice-versa as well.
 

MikeToll

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I went to a demonstration by Naim listening to all their top stuff including their top streamer powering a Kudos Titan which is a very revealing speaker (£13K) and they ended by playing a CD quality file followed immediately by the same song in 24/192. Yes there was a difference but it was subtle the music being slightly fuller. So is 24bit/192 kHz a bad idea? Yep, it could certainly damage your bank account if you are determined to hear the difference. The whole Naim setup would cost £65K (I asked) and revealed only a subtle improvement.
 

chebby

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chasefrench said:
The latest medical research shows that the eye which can respond upto 60khz is providing the extra information to the ear and brain. This was written about in this months/ last months Hifi News...

I really want to know more about this!

[Edit] Just found this...

http://www.townshendaudio.com/Townshend%20supertweeters%20research.pdf
 

Tim2010

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Why should it be rubbish? That hate campaign from Xiph (because they don't offer hi res ogg's?) is not to be taken seriously. Not everything can be explained with science.

Sometimes I can hear the difference, sometimes not.

Same for blu-ray vs dvd.

Some are worth the upgrade, others don't. It's on you to judge what you like the most.

For some people vinyl sounds betters, for others not.

How do those listening tests happen? What kind of music do they play to the blindfolded public.

If they test only with audiophile releases it would be harder to hear the difference. Classical cd's sound almost as good as their sacd counterparts, because they're mainly mastered for an audiophile public with expensive hifi gear. While the latest Foo Fighters-album will be mastered for standard iPod earbuds.

E.g. the AF Gold cd of Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" sounds as good as the Japan sacd. But ... was it recorded from the same master tape or at ...th generation copy tape? The mastering engineer is the different ... Was the playback on the same system? Playback through PC ... can be superior or inferior. IMO it's almost impossible to compare audio.

You need to have the exact same playback system and the same mastering. Good luck.
 

BenLaw

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chebby said:
chasefrench said:
The latest medical research shows that the eye which can respond upto 60khz is providing the extra information to the ear and brain. This was written about in this months/ last months Hifi News...

I really want to know more about this!

[Edit] Just found this...

http://www.townshendaudio.com/Townshend%20supertweeters%20research.pdf

Thanks for the link. Sounds odd but more info would be interesting.

Of course the proper test would be a standard 'double blind' but 'sighted' test. Ie get a 24/192 recording and downsample it to 16/44. Call the two files A and B. Have a tester in a separate room putting on A or B and a listener to see if they can hear a difference / which they prefer. This would remove any psychological bias from body language cues etc. Also easy to setup, anyone with a streamer and 2 willing partners (one to label the files) could do this.
 
A

Anonymous

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Compare it with a digital camera. The more pixels the better, but if the lens is poor, the image will be of a bad quality.

I think it is all part of a marketing idea, to let you believe that the original 16 bit word length is out of date. There is nothing wrong at all with those chips. I use a 1541 S1 from Philips myself. And it is still one of the best around. If there is a weak link, you can never restore this. That weak link is often in the output stage of a digital device such as a cd player. That is why I use tubes in the output.
 

Thompsonuxb

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CD/DVD.... mans greatest ever medium carrier......lol.

I have a few SACD's I have a cd player which switches automatically and a reciever which plays 24-bit/192khz, sounds no better than a well produced CD in terms of clarity, seperation 3Dness.....

Then again a good well produced DVD imo easily matches Blueray - Transformers at 576p looks fantastic to this day.
 

manicm

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Thompsonuxb said:
CD/DVD.... mans greatest ever medium carrier......lol.

I have a few SACD's I have a cd player which switches automatically and a reciever which plays 24-bit/192khz, sounds no better than a well produced CD in terms of clarity, seperation 3Dness.....

Then again a good well produced DVD imo easily matches Blueray - Transformers at 576p looks fantastic to this day.

On a full HD set? No way, Jose.
 

MajorFubar

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So where exactly do they source such hi-res masters from? Fair enough most modern music is recorded and mixed in at least 24/96, then downsampled for CD. But I bet nearly all digital recordings made in the 80s nd 90s weren't. As for converting from old analogue tapes, that's a whole different ball-game. If they create new digital masters from the old tapes, then potentially they're going to sound better than a 25-30 year old CD anyway, because the ADC hardware has got better over the last three decades, irrespective of the bit-depth and sample-rate. That would mean that while some people think it's the higher bit-depth and sample-rate which is making the recording sound better, it's more to do with it being a better recording from the old mastertape.
 

paradiziac

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MajorFubar said:
So where exactly do they source such hi-res masters from? Fair enough most modern music is recorded and mixed in at least 24/96, then downsampled for CD. But I bet nearly all digital recordings made in the 80s nd 90s weren't. As for converting from old analogue tapes, that's a whole different ball-game. If they create new digital masters from the old tapes, then potentially they're going to sound better than a 25-30 year old CD anyway, because the ADC hardware has got better over the last three decades, irrespective of the bit-depth and sample-rate. That would mean that while some people think it's the higher bit-depth and sample-rate which is making the recording sound better, it's more to do with it being a better recording from the old mastertape.

Yes and I wonder how many microphones can record these kind of frequencies beyond the human hearing? If I were an engineer, I'd be choosing a mic that did the best job in the audible frequency range.
 

SteveR750

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manicm said:
There are too many unknowns when comparing vanilla cd-res to hi-res (24/96 or higher):

1. First I will rule out using a PC to play high-res - setting it up is a pig.

2. Which dictates using a good streamer - here again some players differentiate hi-res greater than others, if you check out WHF's reviews.

3. The recordings themselves - I will never ever consider a '24/192' a high-res recording where the original was lower (assuming the recording was digital to start off with). Recordings like Linn's high-res masters are a safe bet.

So I take articles with a pinch of salt when they make blanket statements that normal listeners can not tell the difference, it's the same with articles about SACD. These testers should give detailed recording and playback details. Vice-versa as well.

No it's not, it's easier than connecting the DAC up! You just need to right software.

I agree that in principle 24/192 is probably overkill, but, if it results in simply a better remastered versions of the original analogue tapes then great, I'll buy that; so long as it's not a premium over a 24/96 remaster of the same original.
 

manicm

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SteveR750 said:
manicm said:
There are too many unknowns when comparing vanilla cd-res to hi-res (24/96 or higher):

1. First I will rule out using a PC to play high-res - setting it up is a pig.

2. Which dictates using a good streamer - here again some players differentiate hi-res greater than others, if you check out WHF's reviews.

3. The recordings themselves - I will never ever consider a '24/192' a high-res recording where the original was lower (assuming the recording was digital to start off with). Recordings like Linn's high-res masters are a safe bet.

So I take articles with a pinch of salt when they make blanket statements that normal listeners can not tell the difference, it's the same with articles about SACD. These testers should give detailed recording and playback details. Vice-versa as well.

No it's not, it's easier than connecting the DAC up! You just need to right software.

I agree that in principle 24/192 is probably overkill, but, if it results in simply a better remastered versions of the original analogue tapes then great, I'll buy that; so long as it's not a premium over a 24/96 remaster of the same original.

You misunderstood my bit about 24/192 - I'm not against it, but only if its honestly labelled as such. Linn records some new material at native 24/192, but a Lady Gaga CD is not going to inform you.

I maintain, to the PC and audio layman, setting up a PC for hi-res audio is a pig, because while software like JRiver simplifies it somewhat you still have to make sure you make the correct choice between ASIO, WASAPI etc.

Also, and I'm not saying they're wrong, but I've read setting a fixed output of 24-bit as JRiver suggests will not always give the best results for 16 bit audio. This can be all very confusing.
 
T

the record spot

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paradiziac said:
Yes and I wonder how many microphones can record these kind of frequencies beyond the human hearing? If I were an engineer, I'd be choosing a mic that did the best job in the audible frequency range.

Indeed and one reason why so many of RCA's Living Stereo series was so good. A limited series at that from the late 50s I think and you can buy them on Amazon often for very good prices. SACDs too. The recording and placement of the mikes were both intended to be the best they could possibly be.
 

chasefrench

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tremon said:
chasefrench said:
The latest medical research shows that the eye which can respond upto 60khz is providing the extra information to the ear and brain.
:rofl:

"A typical human eye will respond to wavelengths from about 390 to 750 nm. In terms of frequency, this corresponds to a band in the vicinity of 400–790 THz"

Yes, it is hilarious that you have completely misunderstood the point. You are referring to the visible light spectrum that is what the retina responds. NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I SAID, BECAUSE YOU DONT SEE SOUND

The eyeball itself is a essentially a membrane with mucus inside which itself reacts to the sound waves. If you doubt it, read the article which has been written by people far less idiotic than yourself
 

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