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Hi-Rez - Another Myth Exploded! - Page 9

post #121 of 156

You should change the topic title to something more informative IMO. smile.gif

post #122 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

So.... may I ask why we are discussing about the topic, which is already repeatedly beaten to death in hydrogen audio forum..... since as early as 2003?

 

It was very clearly answered multiple times, yet after 8 years later, we are still debating already answered topic with such passion. popcorn.gif



Maybe the same reason they still teach Plato in University thousands of years later?

 

I also don't see the passionate debate some of you seem to be imagining.  I see a few folks like myself w/ questions participating in a discussion.  I will say though it is tiresome to see the same schoolyard clique roll in w/ the same attitude and lack of contribution to get in their atta boys.  I for one thank gregorio and judmarc and everyone else that has had something to offer.

post #123 of 156

Hello~~

 

Thank you for this informative thread G. I lack the background to fully understand all the arguments here, but I learned few things :)

 

So are you suggesting that devices like hiface is over-hyped and won't make a difference in the listening experience?

 

Most DACs & soundcards I see (m-audio, Ayre, meier-audio) just to name few, all advertise playback of upto 192khz...

 

Now, I'm beginning to question the credibility of all these brands/manufacturers.

 

I use my computer to listen to music on HD650 & Old Corda Ha-I Mark II, but I lack a DAC.. so I'm relying on Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 which is way outdated... and the EMI is audible.

 

Therefore I am considering buying a DAC & a sound card that outputs digital in order to eliminate this issue & upgrade my setup.

 

What should I really believe? and I apologize for my ignorance and lack of knowledge, but I'm willing to learn :)

 

Thanks,

 


Edited by recca_cool - 9/24/11 at 6:13am
post #124 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

Hello~~

 

Thank you for this informative thread G. I lack the background to fully understand all the arguments here, but I learned few things :)

 

So are you suggesting that devices like hiface is over-hyped and won't make a difference in the listening experience?

 

Most DACs & soundcards I see (m-audio, Ayre, meier-audio) just to name few, all advertise playback of upto 192khz...

 

Now, I'm beginning to question the credibility of all these brands/manufacturers.

 

I use my computer to listen to music on HD650 & Old Corda Ha-I Mark II, but I lack a DAC.. so I'm relying on Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 which is way outdated... and the EMI is audible.

 

Therefore I am considering buying a DAC & a sound card that outputs digital in order to eliminate this issue & upgrade my setup. 

 

What should I really believe? and I apologize for my ignorance and lack of knowledge, but I'm willing to learn :)

 

Thanks,

 


 

Any properly made modern DAC will give you excellent sound. You will have very hard time differentiating cheap ones and expensive ones thanks to advances made on modern electronics.

 

It is up to you to decide, but I must remind you that those exotic DAC makers claims on their superiority of DACs may be correct, but there is little evidence that we (human beings) can hear the difference.

 

If you have desktop and have some internal space/slot, grab some studio-oriented DACs. They are ones that can actually handle 24bit signal from USB (which most of consumer-oriented DACs don't.) and they are quite cheap for what they do.

 

Search for brands like E-MU and M-AUDIO.

post #125 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

What should I really believe?


Very good question and I wish I had a good answer for you. Unfortunately, even if they support or advertise they are capable of 192kS/s this is not necessarily an indication that they don't know what they are doing. Both Benchmark and Lavry sell 192kS/s capable units even though they both publicly say 192kS/s is lower quality. The problem is, there are only a handful of DA chip manufacturers and I believe they all provide support for 192kS/s. So most DAC makers have no choice but to include 192kS/s.

The best answer I can give you is if in their advertising they state 192kHz or 32bit is better quality, that's a good indication that they either don't know what they are talking about or are trying to scam you. You can also look out for dynamic range specifications, if they talk about anything higher than about 126dB, again, they are trying to pull a fast one. Avoid NOS DACs if you are looking for an accurate (linear) sound reproduction. Remember that in the audiophile world high price often doesn't translate to superior sound quality. Beyond that, there's not much I'd suggest except to try them out and take what sounds the best to you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

I lack the background to fully understand all the arguments here, but I learned few things

Ask away if you have any questions or concepts you're stuck on. Quite a few knowledgeable people round here willing to help.

EDIT: Just seen wnmnkh's last post, all good advice in my opinion!

G
Edited by gregorio - 9/24/11 at 7:37am
post #126 of 156
Quote:

Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

If you have desktop and have some internal space/slot, grab some studio-oriented DACs. They are ones that can actually handle 24bit signal from USB (which most of consumer-oriented DACs don't.) and they are quite cheap for what they do.

 

Search for brands like E-MU and M-AUDIO.

Thank you for the recommendation wnmnkh.

I didn't get you exactly... are you referring to PCI DAC or a PCI soundcard?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post

NOS DACs if you are looking for an accurate (linear) sound reproduction. Remember that in the audiophile world high price often doesn't translate to superior sound quality. Beyond that, there's not much I'd suggest except to try them out and take what sounds the best to you.

Ask away if you have any questions or concepts you're stuck on. Quite a few knowledgeable people round here willing to help.

EDIT: Just seen wnmnkh's last post, all good advice in my opinion!

G


Thank you for the tip. I'll keep that in mind.

 

I have many questions but I'll keep mine on topic in this thread.

 

I'll summarize what I learned in simple language:

* 16-bit precision input to DAC is perfect for the job for 'red book' standard. Therefore, no point in any higher precision or sampling as an input to DAC.

* Inside DAC, doing sampling 24-bit or higher is better to avoid creating artifacts? (not so sure about this).

 

Now to add more to it, we are talking about stereo playback, i.e. CDs and "red book standard". There is SACD which is a different standard than PCM and also as far as I understand requires multi-channel setup..

Doesn't this mean that CDs aren't the best standard? Although for CDs going any higher than 16-bit & 44.1Mhz is pointless?

 

Finally, any recommended 'introduction to audio' papers or even a book? I have one but it was too focused on hardware, rather then theory.

 

Thank you!

 

 

post #127 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

I have many questions but I'll keep mine on topic in this thread.

 

I'll summarize what I learned in simple language:

* 16-bit precision input to DAC is perfect for the job for 'red book' standard. Therefore, no point in any higher precision or sampling as an input to DAC.

* Inside DAC, doing sampling 24-bit or higher is better to avoid creating artifacts? (not so sure about this).

 

Now to add more to it, we are talking about stereo playback, i.e. CDs and "red book standard". There is SACD which is a different standard than PCM and also as far as I understand requires multi-channel setup..

Doesn't this mean that CDs aren't the best standard? Although for CDs going any higher than 16-bit & 44.1Mhz is pointless?

 

Finally, any recommended 'introduction to audio' papers or even a book? I have one but it was too focused on hardware, rather then theory.

 

Thank you!


Your first starred point is correct, the second is not (or maybe under certain circumstances). Try reading this post as an intro to bit depth.

SACDs don't require multi-channel setups, the vast majority are stereo. SACD is based on a closely related technology to CD called DSD. SACD only uses 1bit of bit depth but at very high sampling rates. Ignore learning about SACD until you have a better understanding of PCM (the technology of CD).

Best book on the subject is "Digital Audio Explained: For The Audio Engineer" by Nika Aldrich.

Look for articles online by "Hugh Robjohns", the Technical Editor of "Sound on Sound" magazine. Try these to start with, it's quite old but still good.

Get back to me if you have any questions.

G
Edited by gregorio - 9/24/11 at 10:51am
post #128 of 156

The real concern about DAC's isn't the DAC itself so much as it's the implementation in the circuit or device just like pretty much everything.

post #129 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

Hello~~

 

Thank you for this informative thread G. I lack the background to fully understand all the arguments here, but I learned few things :)

 

So are you suggesting that devices like hiface is over-hyped and won't make a difference in the listening experience?

 

Most DACs & soundcards I see (m-audio, Ayre, meier-audio) just to name few, all advertise playback of upto 192khz...

 

Now, I'm beginning to question the credibility of all these brands/manufacturers.

 

I use my computer to listen to music on HD650 & Old Corda Ha-I Mark II, but I lack a DAC.. so I'm relying on Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 which is way outdated... and the EMI is audible.

 

Therefore I am considering buying a DAC & a sound card that outputs digital in order to eliminate this issue & upgrade my setup.

 

What should I really believe? and I apologize for my ignorance and lack of knowledge, but I'm willing to learn :)

 

Thanks,

 


What do you mean when you say the EMI is audible?
post #130 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


What do you mean when you say the EMI is audible?


Electrical Magnetic Interference, or maybe Radio Interference... basically static I get to hear because the audio cables run through IDE cable inside the case to the external soundboard... It is very noticable if I raise volume through headphone amp, but otherwise, it doesn't stand out much.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post


Your first starred point is correct, the second is not (or maybe under certain circumstances). Try reading this post as an intro to bit depth.
SACDs don't require multi-channel setups, the vast majority are stereo. SACD is based on a closely related technology to CD called DSD. SACD only uses 1bit of bit depth but at very high sampling rates. Ignore learning about SACD until you have a better understanding of PCM (the technology of CD).
Best book on the subject is "Digital Audio Explained: For The Audio Engineer" by Nika Aldrich.
Look for articles online by "Hugh Robjohns", the Technical Editor of "Sound on Sound" magazine. Try these to start with, it's quite old but still good.
Get back to me if you have any questions.
G


Thanks for all the references, I'll check them out when I come back from my vacation in a week.

 

What I want to know is that, do you need a multi-channel setup to enjoy SACD or headphones would work on them?

From what I read also that PCs cannot play SACD to their benefit.

 

post #131 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by recca_cool View Post

What I want to know is that, do you need a multi-channel setup to enjoy SACD or headphones would work on them?

From what I read also that PCs cannot play SACD to their benefit.


As far as I know, the vast majority of SACDs are stereo, so should work fine with headphones. SACDs cannot be played back by any type of CD, DVD or BluRay player, you need a player that is specifically designed for SACDs. I'm not sure if it's worth investing in the SACD format now though, it doesn't look like it has much of a future, new releases are becoming rarer. Remember, the SACD format is not intrinsically any better than 16/44 or 24/96, it's just that the mastering is sometimes better. Maybe others here have a better idea than me on the future of SACD?

G
post #132 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post


As far as I know, the vast majority of SACDs are stereo, so should work fine with headphones. SACDs cannot be played back by any type of CD, DVD or BluRay player, you need a player that is specifically designed for SACDs. I'm not sure if it's worth investing in the SACD format now though, it doesn't look like it has much of a future, new releases are becoming rarer. Remember, the SACD format is not intrinsically any better than 16/44 or 24/96, it's just that the mastering is sometimes better. Maybe others here have a better idea than me on the future of SACD?
G

 

Wait, you saying DSD used by SACD is worse than 16/44 LPCM?... Argh, do you have something to prove that?

 

By the way, physical high-def audio format is dead. Digital is all the way (Linn Record said 90% of their 24bit are sold digitally. Similar figure for other music labels)
 

 

post #133 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

 

Wait, you saying DSD used by SACD is worse than 16/44 LPCM?... Argh, do you have something to prove that?

 

By the way, physical high-def audio format is dead. Digital is all the way (Linn Record said 90% of their 24bit are sold digitally. Similar figure for other music labels) 

 


No, I didn't say SACD was worse than 16/44, just no better. There are both technical advantages and disadvantages to the SACD format compared to 16/44. However in a year long study by the AES with over 500 DBTs, using professionals and non-professionals, the success rate in distinguishing SACD from CD was almost exactly 50%.

G
post #134 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post


No, I didn't say SACD was worse than 16/44, just no better. There are both technical advantages and disadvantages to the SACD format compared to 16/44. However in a year long study by the AES with over 500 DBTs, using professionals and non-professionals, the success rate in distinguishing SACD from CD was almost exactly 50%.
G


I see. what I meant was about technological aspects of DSD and LPCM. For actual listening experience, surely no one can discern any difference.

 

post #135 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

I see. what I meant was about technological aspects of DSD and LPCM. For actual listening experience, surely no one can discern any difference.


When it gets to the actual technology side of things as opposed to what can be heard, then it becomes a little more complicated. The obvious problem with SACD is the huge amount of noise generated by using 1bit. On the other side of the coin is the high sampling frequency which makes filtering much less problematic.

In reality, the difference between DSD and PCM is not as much as you may think. The vast majority of SACDs have originally been recorded, edited and mixed in PCM and only converted to DSD during the final mastering. The single bit depth makes it hugely problematic to apply any processing (mixing techniques) in DSD. Also, the front end of professional PCM ADCs have both a higher sampling rate and higher bit depth than DSD. The reality of DSD is a little complicated.

G
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