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In theory, is it better to downsample from 192 to 96 or go straight 96?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

This may be a somewhat silly question in that I almost certainly could not hear the difference. However, in theory, if my DAC (DACport LX) can only handle up to 96/24, am I better off getting music at 96/24 or 192/24 and downsampling to 96. Eventually (a year or three) I will probably get a better home DAC that can handle 192 directly, so I'm leaning that way, but I would like to hear from the experts (or anyone :) ) here.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post

This may be a somewhat silly question in that I almost certainly could not hear the difference. However, in theory, if my DAC (DACport LX) can only handle up to 96/24, am I better off getting music at 96/24 or 192/24 and downsampling to 96. Eventually (a year or three) I will probably get a better home DAC that can handle 192 directly, so I'm leaning that way, but I would like to hear from the experts (or anyone :) ) here.

For music, use 24-bit/44.1Khz or 24-bit/48Khz

For Blu-ray movies 24-bit/96Khz

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

After finding this wonderful thread <http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded> I figure that 94/26 will be just fine :)

 

Thanks!
 

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post

After finding this wonderful thread <http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded> I figure that 94/26 will be just fine :)

 

Thanks!
 

 

16/44 also is fine

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Certainly, but if I have access to 24/96 for not much more (money or time) then I would prefer 24/96 mainly for 2 reasons:

  • It is probably better recorded, mastered, and produced which will have the most effect on sound quality.
  • From what I have read, and I am no expert at all, even for playnback, there may be reason to prefer rates >44.1 and while 96 is probably overkill and 60-88 just fine, it may be better than 44.

 

Most of my music is 16/44 (my CD collection :) ) and I have no reason to change from that. The question was only when I have the desire and ability to get a piece or two at a higher sample rate, what should I do. Thanks.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post

This may be a somewhat silly question in that I almost certainly could not hear the difference. However, in theory, if my DAC (DACport LX) can only handle up to 96/24, am I better off getting music at 96/24 or 192/24 and downsampling to 96. Eventually (a year or three) I will probably get a better home DAC that can handle 192 directly, so I'm leaning that way, but I would like to hear from the experts (or anyone :) ) here.

 

Thanks!

 

To begin with it is highly unlikely (read: next to impossible in normal listening) you'll notice a difference between 96/24, 192/24 or 44/16. Those files will only take up more space and likely cost more. And even in terms of high rez the sweet spot is at 24/96 rather than 192/24, see http://lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-sampling-theory.pdf.

post #7 of 14

Some DACs do worse with 44.1 kHz, maybe even in an audible way, but that's more of a "why does my hardware suck even though it costs more than plenty of cheaper alternatives that can do 44.1 kHz properly" kind of thing.  Don't think the DACport would fall into that category at all.

 

For those intent of sweating the far reaches of the "last 1%" far before perfecting anything in the 99%, there's something of a fringe-case argument to want 24/96, if file size is no concern.  The real issue is that 24/96 masters are generally better than those masters released on 44.1/16, which is certainly significant beyond the 1%.  And 24/96 is some kind of standard.  There's no real argument for 24/192, and I'm not sure if the typical 24/192 masters are any better than those for 24/96.

 

In any case, you want to avoid unnecessary sample rate conversion, so don't get 24/192 just to convert to 24/96...

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

 

To begin with it is highly unlikely (read: next to impossible in normal listening) you'll notice a difference between 96/24, 192/24 or 44/16. Those files will only take up more space and likely cost more. And even in terms of high rez the sweet spot is at 24/96 rather than 192/24, see http://lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-sampling-theory.pdf.


Yup, I eventually found that paper while reading the "myth exploded" thread. I'm up to page 46 now, so more than halfway through it.Thanks!

post #9 of 14

I'd trust that Lavry dude. That guy is the smartest guy in digital audio I think. He's the Albert Einstein of digital audio. Maybe even the Chuck Norris of digital audio as well.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

I'd trust that Lavry dude. That guy is the smartest guy in digital audio I think. He's the Albert Einstein of digital audio. Maybe even the Chuck Norris of digital audio as well.


Do you mean:

  • He could restore a perfect signal sampling less than twice the frequency?
  • He can ABX FLAC from CDDA?
  • When he transcodes to MP3, it remains lossless?

 

evil_smiley.gif

post #11 of 14

Straight 96. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post

Most of my music is 16/44 (my CD collection :) ) and I have no reason to change from that. The question was only when I have the desire and ability to get a piece or two at a higher sample rate, what should I do. Thanks.

 

Don't pay any more for it than you do for 16/44.

 

Concentrate on the quality of the music and the musicians, forget the technical stuff. You'll get more benefit in terms of musical enjoyment from learning to play yourself than you will from any amount of energy or money put into technology, nowadays it's so good and it costs so little. 16/44 is so good that you can throw away most of it and you have to struggle to tell the difference.

 

w

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't disagree, but I believe that there may be a correlation between 24/96 and better quality, if only because the producers who generate 24/96 tend to be more careful and precise when it comes to recording, mixing, and mastering. It is not necessarily that 24/96 PLAYBACK provides a better experience than 16/44.1 PLAYBACK, but that the quality of the production is better.
 

FWIW, I already play a few instruments, albeit poorly (piano, saxophone, clarinet, drums) :)

post #14 of 14

My contribution: 

 

All things equal, I always go with the most data possible as hard disk space is cheap. Even if there's a very high probability that you won't need it, it's easier to take lots of information and reduce it to a little, than to do the opposite.  Entropy. It's the law. 

 

Anyway, higher bitrates give you peace of mind, so it won't hurt anything. I was a boy scout. "Be Prepared." The boot of my car is half full already just with emergency vehicle repair and first-aid supplies. So you can see my mentality. 

 

But. If they charge a serious premium, don't bother. 44.1khz is generally good enough as far as perceptibility goes.

 

Other considerations, if you are worried about convenience (sounds like you aren't afraid of a little) are things like the quality of your USB/S/PDIF/I2C/analogue conversion chipsets (many aren't as happy dealing with 192 kHz, as you mentioned) and CPU utilisation, which will be significantly higher with higher sampling/bitrates. This isn't an issue today, unless you are a poor soul still using a Pentium 3 in this day and age. Also, most portable players can't handle anything higher than 48kHz files, and it's a PITA to have to make additional versions of your files. 

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