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16/44 data with DSP applied...what happens?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I force 16/44 output to 24 bit depth using JRIver and sometimes apply DSP eq and/or crossfeed...

 

if I send a 16/44 data stream (with DSP) thru a USB only capable of tranfering 16 bits what happens to the signal?

(I assume the original 16/44 gets truncated to accomodate the DSP and 16 bit USB limitation?)

 

With further reading on DACs, are recent soundcard dac specs that bad that *aged" human hearing can detect a difference vs. specs of commonly available outboard offerings claiming transparency?  Where is the transparance threshold and how much more of nothing can we hear? I realize everyone has different thresholds of hearing but still the more I read the more paranoid I become that unseen forces are trying to sway my opinion regarding best ways to spend my money.

 

There are measurements we know we can hear, measurements we know we can't hear, and measurements we don't know we can't hear

post #2 of 5

Signal processing is usually done in 32 or 64-bit floating point. This means that the conversion from 16 bits to 32 or 64 bits is "lossless" but after the processing is done the samples have to quantized again to 16 bits (or 24, whatever you choose).

 

This quantization introduces tiny errors. These errors are smaller with 24 bit samples compared to 16 bit samples since every single bit improves the signal to quantization noise ratio by 6 dB.

So with 16 bit you get noise about 96 dB down, with 24 bit the noise is down 144 dB (better than what electronics can actually achieve).

 

Unless you listen to quiet signals at high levels you shouldn't be able to hear any of this noise.

post #3 of 5

anything recent should dither if forced to output 16 bits - even RockBox running on DAP dithers after digital EQ, Volume calculations

 

 

but are there really that many USB Audio DAC that don't take 24 bits?

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post

 

 

 

but are there really that many USB Audio DAC that don't take 24 bit

 

agreed, but there's still a few and I've even come across marketing that touts dac chips capable of 24/96 yet the USB transfer limit is "in the fine print".  If the dac is fed strictly by USB I find such selective advertizing suspect

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thx xnor

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