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24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! - Page 102

post #1516 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

No audible difference between the two.

Is it necessary to have a DAC with 24-bit capability even though there is no audible difference between 16 bits and 24 bits just to decode 24-bit's most effectively?

post #1517 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmiller View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

No audible difference between the two.

Is it necessary to have a DAC with 24-bit capability even though there is no audible difference between 16 bits and 24 bits just to decode 24-bit's most effectively?


if your dac handles only 16bit, then the source(computer?) will have to go back to 16bit before sending data. seeing how it works, I guess it's only cutting the end of each sample. it shouldn't do anything to the first 96db of music.

post #1518 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmiller View Post

Is it necessary to have a DAC with 24-bit capability even though there is no audible difference between 16 bits and 24 bits just to decode 24-bit's most effectively?

Having a 24bit DAC is much more important than having 24bit recordings. I say this because having 24 bit output (effectively 20-22) gives you a lot of headroom to use software volume control without any loss of sound quality, nor noticeable increase in noise. This is true regardless if youve got 24bit or 16bit recordings

Cheers
post #1519 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

(effectively 20-22)

20-22 bits is really high end hardware (and I'm talking about real high end measurable stuff like the Benchmark DAC1/DAC2, not snake oil hardware). With good consumer hardware, it's more like 18-20 bits.
post #1520 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

20-22 bits is really high end hardware (and I'm talking about real high end measurable stuff like the Benchmark DAC1/DAC2, not snake oil hardware). With good consumer hardware, it's more like 18-20 bits.

Either way, every additional Effective Number of bits in the output hardware allows an additional 6dB of headroom for software volume adjustment without detriment from the noise floor

Cheers
post #1521 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


Having a 24bit DAC is much more important than having 24bit recordings. I say this because having 24 bit output (effectively 20-22) gives you a lot of headroom to use software volume control without any loss of sound quality, nor noticeable increase in noise. This is true regardless if youve got 24bit or 16bit recordings

Cheers

I turn volume to max in software and adjust volume via volume knob on my dac/amp combo.

post #1522 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_wizzie View Post
 

I turn volume to max in software and adjust volume via volume knob on my dac/amp combo.

That works fine, but if you have relatively sensitive headphones and a fairly high-output dac/amp, that could put you in the low volume range of the volume pot, where there can be channel imbalance issues. This can be avoided by turning down the software volume and increasing volume on the amp, but with a 16 bit dac, this can cause an audible noise floor. With a 24 bit dac, there is no problem with doing this (unless you use a huge amount of software attenuation).

post #1523 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_wizzie View Post

I turn volume to max in software and adjust volume via volume knob on my dac/amp comjbo.

That's fine but it doesn't matter (see here). Like cjl said, as long as you keep the noise floor down, you can set set software volume to whatever is convenient for you/ your amp/ your headphones/etc.

Cheers
Edited by ab initio - 4/29/14 at 10:40pm
post #1524 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


That's fine but it doesn't matter (see here). Like cjl said, as long as you keep the noise floor down, you can set set software volume to whatever is convenient for you/ your amp/ your headphones/etc.

Cheers

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

That works fine, but if you have relatively sensitive headphones and a fairly high-output dac/amp, that could put you in the low volume range of the volume pot, where there can be channel imbalance issues. This can be avoided by turning down the software volume and increasing volume on the amp, but with a 16 bit dac, this can cause an audible noise floor. With a 24 bit dac, there is no problem with doing this (unless you use a huge amount of software attenuation).

I don't hear any noise until I turn gain on and crank up volume to 50-100%. It's inaudible without gain no matter the volume. And I only need 15-40% volume depending on what I'm doing. So I should be getting all 16 bits, right?

post #1525 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_wizzie View Post
 

 

 

I don't hear any noise until I turn gain on and crank up volume to 50-100%. It's inaudible without gain no matter the volume. And I only need 15-40% volume depending on what I'm doing. So I should be getting all 16 bits, right?

Yes, though if the 15-40% is the volume range on your amp, you could get channel imbalance issues at the low end of that range (as I mentioned before). Many (if not most) volume pots have channel imbalance issues at the very low end of their range, so you can sometimes get substantially better performance by setting software volume level to ~50% or so and using the 30-80% range on your volume pot rather than setting software to 100% and using the low end of the volume pot. In addition, most DACs have slightly increased distortion when fed a 0dBFS signal, so some software volume attenuation prevents this as well.

 

Of course, the chances are that all of the flaws I just mentioned are near-inaudible anyways, so it doesn't really matter much. Out of curiosity (maybe you already mentioned and I didn't notice), what amp/dac are you using?

post #1526 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

Yes, though if the 15-40% is the volume range on your amp, you could get channel imbalance issues at the low end of that range (as I mentioned before). Many (if not most) volume pots have channel imbalance issues at the very low end of their range, so you can sometimes get substantially better performance by setting software volume level to ~50% or so and using the 30-80% range on your volume pot rather than setting software to 100% and using the low end of the volume pot. In addition, most DACs have slightly increased distortion when fed a 0dBFS signal, so some software volume attenuation prevents this as well.

 

Of course, the chances are that all of the flaws I just mentioned are near-inaudible anyways, so it doesn't really matter much. Out of curiosity (maybe you already mentioned and I didn't notice), what amp/dac are you using?

O2/Dac.

I don't notice any channel imbalance issues and didn't know it was a thing until a few days ago when I read about it.

 

Although I think the Objective has different gain settings, one for default and another for 'extra gain' button. So in theory if we decrease the gain even further, lower than default without the gain switch, I would turn the volume knob up a little bit to decrease channel imbalance and prevent higher noise from having higher gain. But then again, neither of these issues are noticeable to my ears, and having sound play at 50% volume with gain switch on is ear suicide whether by speakers or headphones. But I can actively look for channel imbalance issues, lol.


Edited by Dark_wizzie - 5/1/14 at 1:42pm
post #1527 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_wizzie View Post
 

O2/Dac.

I don't notice any channel imbalance issues and didn't know it was a thing until a few days ago when I read about it.

 

Although I think the Objective has different gain settings, one for default and another for 'extra gain' button. So in theory if we decrease the gain even further, lower than default without the gain switch, I would turn the volume knob up a little bit to decrease channel imbalance and prevent higher noise from having higher gain. But then again, neither of these issues are noticeable to my ears, and having sound play at 50% volume with gain switch on is ear suicide whether by speakers or headphones. But I can actively look for channel imbalance issues, lol.

I would definitely leave it in low gain unless you're driving some hard-to-drive headphones that really require the high gain level. If you don't notice any channel imbalance though, then you should be good to go. I use an O2/ODAC as well, and I do notice a slight channel imbalance (right channel is a bit louder) at extremely low volume levels (around the 8-o-clock position on the dial), but I have my software volume set so that my listening level is always higher than that on the analog dial. Usually, I leave my windows volume control around 50%, my volume control on my O2 at around 50%, and my gain switch on low gain.


Edited by cjl - 5/1/14 at 2:15pm
post #1528 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

I would definitely leave it in low gain unless you're driving some hard-to-drive headphones that really require the high gain level. If you don't notice any channel imbalance though, then you should be good to go. I use an O2/ODAC as well, and I do notice a slight channel imbalance (right channel is a bit louder) at extremely low volume levels (around the 8-o-clock position on the dial), but I have my software volume set so that my listening level is always higher than that on the analog dial. Usually, I leave my windows volume control around 50%, my volume control on my O2 at around 50%, and my gain switch on low gain.

Can't really change the default gain now though. I'd have to open it up and stuff.

I still can't hear channel imbalance at 7-8oclock position.


Edited by Dark_wizzie - 5/1/14 at 7:46pm
post #1529 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_wizzie View Post
 

Can't really change the default gain now though. I'd have to open it up and stuff.

I still can't hear channel imbalance at 7-8oclock position.

I'm not saying change the default gain - just leave the gain switch on the low gain setting. No real reason to go monkeying around with the internals if there's nothing wrong with the amp. As for the lack of channel imbalance - maybe you got a volume pot that happens to be really good, even at low levels. Not all volume pots have channel imbalance issues at low gain (and if you got a good one, that means there's even less reason to go mess with the internal gain settings of the amp).


Edited by cjl - 5/2/14 at 9:49am
post #1530 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

I'm not saying change the default gain - just leave the gain switch on the low gain setting. No real reason to go monkeying around with the internals if there's nothing wrong with the amp.

Yup, I don't touch the gain button.

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