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Am i wasting my own time with a DAC? My music is all 44Khz - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzxgene View Post

I would say that I agree to an extent regarding 192-vbr with certain genres of music, but I find classical to truly benefit from higher resolutions. At least, when comparing 192 to 320. Now something like progressive rock...

Yeah, probably couldn't tell.

ho ho smily_headphones1.gif

Need to try a bit of DBT myself. I understand from hydrongenaudio forums that metal needs the most but even then 192 -vbr is fine. From what I've read (going on memory) most classical is un-demanding on encoders. Perhaps full scale orchestra might be similar to metal, and apparently the one instrument that can be a problem is harpsichord. Which is interesting because to my mind harpsichord is an instrument that casts a weird kind of spell on people (not myself, but certainly my friends). Presumably there are multiple harmonics and perhaps intermodulations that encoders have trouble coping with, and it's these that bewitch people.
post #17 of 22

Even 128kbps mp3 is harder than most would think to distinguish. It's certainly not completely transparent, but even at that level you're really picking out minor nuances, which may not even exist with certain music.  It's 96kbps where it actually becomes easy to distinguish side by side in my experience. And remember, the more you compress the quieter the track becomes, so level matching is needed.

 

I've seen people laugh at others using 128kbps mp3's on these forums saying there's no point in having decent gear if that's your source, but that's not really true. It's a pretty minor difference and the musical content that makes nice gear shines is still all there.

 

By the way my lowest bitrate FLAC file is 5kbps biggrin.gif


Edited by chewy4 - 1/16/13 at 7:29am
post #18 of 22
For listing to pure audio (without video) a 44 kHz sample rate is enough.
 
But when video comes into the picture this changes. Audio professionals generally use a 48 kHz sample rate because it is high enough to provide 22 kHz requency response on 29.97 frames per second (NTSC) as well as 24, 25 and 30 frames/s video. 
 
Another advantage you will find mostly with watching movies is the 24-bit audio bit depth. It provides a higher resolution between very loud and very quite. In movies this mostly shines as it allows for explosions and such to be loud and whispers to still be well defined.
 
As for music it really depends on two things: 
 
1) Do you have / are you willing to acquire music in 24-bit?
 
 
2) Does your music justify it? 
 
Most modern music has little use for 24-bit mainly because of the loudness war. But if you enjoy music with a large difference in loudness (classical music comes to mind) it will really shine.
 
Asynchronous Transfer (AT) is usually a plus.
Normally your computers internal clock is used to send and time data (audio in this case) but the accuracy of this clock is generally much lower then a dedicated clock on a DAC.
 
This is where AT kicks in as it allows you to bypass your computers internal clock for sending data over USB and use the much more accurate and stable clock in your DAC.
 
I haven't tried this specific headphone amp but I find that the quality greatly differs on every setup. Each pair of headphone is different and has different Independence and voltage requirements. Looking at your gear I think you will see the largest difference with your HD598 as it has a 50 Ohms independence. For others probably not so much.
 
My advise? Upgrade your music library to 320 variable bit-rate or higher if space allows it. That way you get more out of your DAC and Headphones.
 
If you wonder why give this a try:

Edited by Souchirou - 1/16/13 at 2:42pm
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souchirou View Post

Audio professionals generally use a 48 kHz sample rate because it is high enough to provide 22 kHz requency response on 29.97 frames per second (NTSC) as well as 24, 25 and 30 frames/s video. 
 

..but there's no increase in audio quality as the sample rate is already at more than the doubling needed to satisfy nyquist. Even if the DAC doesn't support 48Khz, Windows Vista+ have good quality resamplers that will downsample the DVD audio; you won't need a DAC that supports more than 44Khz other than for win XP, though it's nice to know it's there. I would also advise against setting the soundcard to above 48Khz since there are sometimes audible sound issues from doing so. Ultra high-frequency audio (above 20Khz) can manifest as sub-20Khz distortion. I've actually tested this myself. I immediately set my card to 44Khz.
Quote:
Another advantage you will find mostly with watching movies is the 24-bit audio bit depth. It provides a higher resolution between very loud and very quite. In movies this mostly shines as it allows for explosions and such to be loud and whispers to still be well defined.

Again, the 96dbs of CD is more than enough for this. The only advantage to 24bit is that it permits digital volume attentuation. With 16bit audio on winXP, reducing the volume also reduced the audio data and compromised audio quality. I've not been able to determine the issue on Vista+ (there are hints that only XP had this issue; that 16bit on Vista+ is fine). To be on the safe side one should select 24bit for your soundcard's config (Vista defaults to 16bit). The audio itself can be 16bit; it's the soundcard that needs to be set to 24bit to avoid 'bit-stripping' of the audio.

Quote:
 
As for music it really depends on two things: 
 
1) Do you have / are you willing to acquire music in 24-bit?

There is no advantage to getting audio in 24bit or higher sampling rates than 44Khz. SACD was a total failure probably for this reason. 
Quote:
Asynchronous Transfer (AT) is usually a plus.
Normally your computers internal clock is used to send and time data (audio in this case) but the accuracy of this clock is generally much lower then a dedicated clock on a DAC.
 
This is where AT kicks in as it allows you to bypass your computers internal clock for sending data over USB and use the much more accurate and stable clock in your DAC.

AT is also not necessary. A properly implemented USB DAC has no need of it. Onboard soundcards don't use USB any way, and since onboard sound on any half-decent modern laptop is already near or at hifi......... (To clarify, AT is an issue for USB devices.)
Quote:
My advise? Upgrade your music library to 320 variable bit-rate or higher if space allows it. That way you get more out of your DAC and Headphones.
 
Do some DBT (double blind testing) and soon convince yourself that you only need mp3s at 192kbps vbr.

This speaks for itself. smily_headphones1.gif

I don't mean to insult the well-meaning poster, but this info is not the whole truth, so to speak.

I would google "audio myth busting" to get past some of the stuff out there purporting to be fact.
Edited by lorriman - 1/17/13 at 3:45am
post #20 of 22

It takes no more than a spare hour and a quiet Sunday to verify for yourself what bit rate you find acceptable on your equipment with your ears. No need to base your digital collection solely on what you read online other people are using wink.gif Of course if you can go further and hear a difference between sampling rates then congrats on having better ears than me

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souchirou View Post

Asynchronous Transfer (AT) is usually a plus.
Normally your computers internal clock is used to send and time data (audio in this case) but the accuracy of this clock is generally much lower then a dedicated clock on a DAC.
 
This is where AT kicks in as it allows you to bypass your computers internal clock for sending data over USB and use the much more accurate and stable clock in your DAC.
USB cable doesn't carry any clock signal. All USB devices have their own clocks.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoldOx101 View Post

I am the newly proud owner of an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC, which is looking very cool with its green dragonfly light on the train home from a hard days work.

 

But I didn't buy to impress the commuter sitting next to me.  I bought it to make my tunes sparkle.

 

I am just not getting any tangible or at least audible difference

 

So send it back and try something else? I believe this thing costs $350 coz it's a thumb key....if you can live with a desktop DAC, then you could most likely get much better bangs for your bucks. There are also bigger portable DAC's, but my point is that you are paying $350 because it's tiny but compromises had to be made you know.....especially off a noisy 5V power source.

 

I didn't dare posting this link in the Science Forum, but I don't believe much(if anything ^^) of what the m2tech owner had to say about HD audio: http://www.wickeddigital.com.au/index.php/2011-09-04-22-32-08/industry-interviews/189-high-resolution-is-it-really-necessary

 

You can use dithering/noise shaping to make 16/44.1 sound subjectively as good as HD IMHO.


Edited by leeperry - 1/17/13 at 9:08pm
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