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24/192 Audio pointless ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I thought the following was a very interesting article, that challenges robustly if there is actually any point (for the purposes of human being listening to it) in having music in either 24 bit or at 192Khz. Or indeed at any resolution beyond 16 bit and 44Khz.

 

I would be interested to hear comments from audiophiles here, that would take a contrary view to this, and that can be backed up by consensually/peer reviewed data, rather than subjective opinion.

 

 

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


Edited by phlashbios - 9/11/12 at 7:11am
post #2 of 17

Data and mearurements were created to try and understand what we hear and not the other way around. Subjective evaluations are personal but valid whether you want them or not. The best engineer understands that he doesn't understand everything like a message board hero does.

 Subjective evaluations are also limited by kit used and personal experience and expectations so you'll never get a absolute here.

 

 My personal impressions from first generation recordings on non computer based kit an also played back on top non computer based kit is that I would currently stop at 24/96. I hear a difference in 192 but I don't percieve it as better and perhaps worse in some aspects.

 

Strictly my opinion and I've done it blind.

post #3 of 17

I have compared and heard many improvements with 24/96

 

The Beatles is the way to compare, the 24/96 sounds incredible, I have original mono and stereo pressings and a £5k+ turntable,

yet my VAIO/Audioengine D1 wipes the floor with it, I know these recordings VERY well, and these have many, many details missed by LP and 16/44

 

Of course remember no format is better than any other, its all down to the masterings,

so not all high rez recordings are the best, but I can vouch for the Beatles and Stones for sure.

 

I really wish it wasn't the case, as i live in the UK and I am not allowed to buy from HD tracks, so of course

strictly speaking, legally, I haven't heard the Stones on HD!

 

Rumours 24/96 is on par with a good German 2001 pressing on LP, but better than any redbook I have heard.

 

So HD Tracks, PLEASE let me give you my money!
 

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I certainly think you have hit one of the nails on the head there, in terms of the quality of the mastering. It doesn't really matter what resolution the recording is, if someone makes a pigs ear of the mastering.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Data and mearurements were created to try and understand what we hear and not the other way around. Subjective evaluations are personal but valid whether you want them or not. The best engineer understands that he doesn't understand everything like a message board hero does.

 Subjective evaluations are also limited by kit used and personal experience and expectations so you'll never get a absolute here.

 

 My personal impressions from first generation recordings on non computer based kit an also played back on top non computer based kit is that I would currently stop at 24/96. I hear a difference in 192 but I don't percieve it as better and perhaps worse in some aspects.

 

Strictly my opinion and I've done it blind.

 

The article above links to a paper by Meyer and Moran, describing an experiment where more than 50 subjects compared SACD audio that was passed through a CD quality 44.1 kHz/16 bit D/A-A/D loop to the original in a total of more than 500 ABX trials. None of them were able to identify what they hear with a sufficiently high percentage of success to prove that they are not just guessing.

 

Music that is sold in "high resolution" formats is often better mastered than CDs, as they target different markets, but this has nothing to do with the limitations of the CD format.

 

The problem with the large majority of "subjective evaluations", especially when there should not be an audible difference in the first place in theory, is that they test the imagination of the listener more than the actual audio differences (or lack of thereof). Even in the rare cases when an attempt is made to eliminate bias by double-blind testing, it is easy to introduce spurious differences by making various mistakes like not matching the levels accurately enough, and many others.


Edited by stv014 - 9/11/12 at 10:12am
post #6 of 17

what was the rest of the system used?

was the room treated?

were they all seated in a perfect listening position?

maybe the recordings weren't good enough?

etc etc

 

I take all these tests with a massive pinch of salt, I can only believe my own ears.

Again, I wish it was not true.
 

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

what was the rest of the system used?

was the room treated?

were they all seated in a perfect listening position?

maybe the recordings weren't good enough?

etc etc

 

I take all these tests with a massive pinch of salt, I can only believe my own ears.

Again, I wish it was not true.
 

 

Did you actually read the article or how the tests were conducted and under what conditions and who it was that was tested? because it answers your questions.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

what was the rest of the system used?

was the room treated?

were they all seated in a perfect listening position?

maybe the recordings weren't good enough?

etc etc

 

If you are referring to the Meyer and Moran study, you can find and read the entire paper if you search around, as well as a later rebuttal to the various criticisms of the original paper.


Edited by stv014 - 9/11/12 at 10:26am
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

If you are referring to the Meyer and Moran study, you can find and read the entire paper if you search around, as well as a later rebuttal to the various criticisms of the original paper.

 

Indeed.

 

It is interesting to note that this particular paper was only used as an example. However, if I understand correctly, its conclusions support all the empirical data so far established.

 

Given human biology in respect of our hearing range, and the technicalities explained as to why 24/192 is of no benefit and indeed appears actually to be undesirable, then the burden of proof to suggest otherwise, must surely be to go through a similar testing regime as the Meyer and Moran one, and prove it to be untrue.

 

Should be easy, shouldn't it ? All it needs is for a rigorously controlled test to be set up, and see if a majority can tell the difference.  It's part of the reason why I invited people to provide evidence other than subjective opinion. Subjective opinion regarding sound, is of value when comparing things such as whether a sound is warm or whether it sounds clinical etc. but I don't think it is of much value when subjectivity is used to deny what the limits of human hearing are (no matter how good your ears) and how sound is physically recorded and processed.

post #10 of 17

Herbert Von Karajan asked to store his Beethoven 9th symphony in one CD only, that's why 16/44 was choosen.

 

While digital data generally are a no problem, always same data from source to receiver (checked and approved), when you consider digital audio which has "time" the battlefield changes a lot.

We're not even near to understand how digital audio data could be converted to analog in a perfect way, how it's possible to conduct an empirical blind test and conclude something?

A similar test could be done without changing anything with same souce, setup and methodology and still we'll have 50% of tested ears that will swear they've clearly listened a difference. What will be the conclusion? The glass is half full or half empty?

I can add that a 16/44 setup is easier to implement than a 24/192, a mathematical theory supports me, and for 24/192 systems we're just at the beginning of development.

 

If you do the test to have a secure conclusion you need a perfect setup, let's recap just a few things:

original recording studio, mic, recorder, converter, support, player, converter, preamp, amp, speaker and cables everywhere.

Even if state of the art or alien components are used it'll never be perfect as is mathematics.

 

Maybe my ears are limited to 35Hz-15Khz but I'm still able to pick sound quality differences, I don't care if mathematics tells me I can't, I like the sound which is nearer to my reference reality.

 

 

P.S. Frome scientists and mathematics I'm still waiting an answer about black holes and the beginning of the universe.


Edited by Thraex - 9/11/12 at 4:35pm
post #11 of 17

Try this: 

 

It's two and a half hours long, mind you. However I found every minute's worth watching especially seeing how much these guys loathe redbook CD audio, compression and stuff. 

post #12 of 17

What do they know, LOL. Since my post of a few months back I've heard a 24/192 a2d that has me preferring it to 24/96 on top kit.

post #13 of 17
Thanks guys. You give me hope that there are many who can hear a difference.

I can't say for sure 192, but I know 24/96 sure sounds nice. Not as glorious as a 1/2" master, but still nice.
post #14 of 17

These differences typically go away if you do a proper test.

 

Convert a 24/96 file and compare them using ABX software. Post the log here, good luck.

post #15 of 17

Is there any free ABX software for Mac?

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