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44.1kHz/16bit & 192kHz/24bit versus 2.822MHz/1bit! - Page 3

post #31 of 37
Thread Starter 
I've been re-reading this thread several times for the past several months now. I think I understand what you're talking about Glassman, but I have some specific questions to ask of both you and jefemeister (if both of you would be so kind as to educate me on this matter as a neophyte):

1. The Burr Brown 1738E triple DACs are delta-sigma in design and not R2R ladder, correct? If so, then that means that it really does come down to the distribution format and the filtering of the information that has a perceivable sonic affect upon the sound. So, PCM is more mathematically precise and consistent in the treatment of recording and reproducing the digital bitstream of music. Also, DSD has greater theoretical resolution for most commercial SA-CDs (especially Hybrid SA-CDs) in the lower frequencies (excuse me: perhaps something to do with low pass band) because the recording engineers decided to go with that in the mastering process. Am I onto something in terms of how the technology works and how it is implemented in the real marketplace?

2. What the heck is the purpose of the Pioneer HiBit and Legato PRO features in the technical sense (other than marketing gimmicks)? What precisely do they do to the sound other than deliberately shape it with different noise shaping filters? If the triple BB 1738E DACs are delta-sigma in design, then doesn't that make HiBit and Legato PRO useless other than marketing ploys? Doesn't that mean that HiBit and Legato PRO exist solely for sonic tuning to kind of make the Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi a bit more of a "jack of all trades" in that it can complement different "audiophile" sonic preferences given the multitude of dizzying systems into which it can be incorporated (like high end home theater systems)?

3. For purest signal pass-through in my rig, doesn't that mean that my initial first post that disabling both HiBit and Legato PRO features messes with the sound and it results in a much more natural sound with greater low-level retrieval, wider dynamic range, "audiophile blah blah blah?"

4. What is this business about 1bit/64fs and 1bit/128fs? Please explain in layman's terms.

5. Please take a minute to do some basic research into my source component. I ask you to do so because I'm trying to get an accurate, honest, and truthful appraisal about how it handles DSD SA-CD data in light of this new evidence about the nature of the BB 1738E multi-bit delta-sigma DACs. While you're at it, explain to me how a ZAP Filter works in relation to the custom AD8620 operational amplifiers in terms of passing the data from the transport -> DACs -> op-amps / ZAP Filter -> analogue stage out.

Please note: I still firmly believe that the ModWright LLC modifications did wonders to the sound and picture quality because everything does matter in proportion to one another (transport, DACs, etc), but I'm trying to get to the most controversial and perhaps critical element of modern source component architectures: DACs and their design. I'm also trying to understand how this critical function of the DACs effects the whole source component too.

Thanks. I know I got a bunch of more questions to ask both of you in particular, but I open these questions to any and all with technical/empirical evidence and common sense. Honesty and truthfulness are always welcome in my thread.

Remember: I'm trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can so be gentle!
post #32 of 37
IME, a better mastered CD will sound better than any badly-mastered SACD or DVD-A. Any well-mastered SACD will sound better than any badly-mastered CD or DVD-A. Any well-mastered DVD-A will sound better than any badly-mastered SACD or CD.

Sadly, we really don't have very many equivalently-mastered CDs, DVD-As and SACDs. What we have are very different versions of the same material, mastered by different people at different times, on different equipment, and possibly with different source material (safety tapes instead of original masters, tapes EQ'ed for LPs instead of the original masters) with varying levels of quality resulting. It's almost impossible right now to compare a CD, a DVD-A and and SACD of the exact same material.

Not to mention that each playback system (particularly your source, which can vary greatly in its ability to play back any one or another audio format), varies, and can't be relied on by itself to provide the definitive answer on which format is better. This makes it extremely hard for any one person with any one system to make any sweeping declarations of which format is "the best".

All I know for myself, with my own equipment and ears, with all these limitations, is that after owning over 3500 CDs and hundreds of DVD-As and SACDs is that the new formats, in general, when done right, spank the hoary old CD in the *ss.
post #33 of 37
Fascinating discussion! Glassman, thank you for your expertise--I've learned a lot here.

I think, though, that markl has the right of it: the mastering makes a bigger difference in the final product than does the underlying digital technology. Even if, as Glassman states, PCM is technically superior, a good mastering job probably makes more difference than whether it's DSD or PCM.

To digress into an example: one of the SACDs which has been hyped for sound quality is Roxy Music's Avalon. I remember reading a couple reviewers who were blown away by how much better the SACD sounded than the original. Well, turns out this is a hybrid SACD with a standard Redbook PCM layer. And you know what? THAT also sounds dramatically better than the original. It's just a great remastering job, and the improvement is reflected in both digital technologies.

I think a high percentage of the perceived improvement in high-res formats is just that the engineers have been more careful about mastering for the high-res format, not that the format is intrinsically better. And it's clearly the case that mastering on the average rock Redbook CD has been getting progressively worse rather than better...
post #34 of 37
Welly: Maybe you shouldn't be that suspicious ("marketing ploys"), if you want to learn something. Your worrying about the extra features on your Pioneer is a bit like pondering the theoretically ideal dip instead of enjoying the four different dips you usually get with your vegetable pakoras at a good Indian/Pakistani restaurant.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
post #35 of 37
OK, to corroborate Glassman's arguments, I made a simple simulation of behavior of SDM (sigma-delta) and PCM (pulse-code) spectrums. In the figure you can see spectrum of 2205 Hz harmonic signal SDM (blue) and PCM (red) modulated. SDM was performed by with Fs=2.82240 Mhz, 1bit quantization, triangular dither and PCM with 16bit quantization.

Here is a bigger version.

So, you can see that PCM provides virtually constant noise level through whole frequency band, while SDM goes as low as -180dB of noise level on lower frequencies (and can go much much lower) and slightly increases with frequency over audio band.

Imho both modulations have their pros and cons and question which is better is pointless.

post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'd still appreciate technical opinions to my questions! Thanks!
post #37 of 37

amirite? xD
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