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24 bit 96khz with my particular setup

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello

 

I have a 15" MacBook Pro Retina, and Apogee Duet 2 DAC, and a nice selection on mid range headphones. I primarily use iTunes as my default media player, although I do sometimes use Fidelia.

 

I have a couple questions that I know alot of Headfi'ers are sure to know. I have looked through some of the threads but wanted some feedback with MY setup.

 

1. Can iTunes play 24bit 192 kHz audio files? Does it downsample them?

 

2. Will my Apogee Duet 2 automatically upsample an audio file?

 

3. What player and settings would you use to maximize the setup I have?

 

Any help would be appreciated greatly!

 

Thanks for the replies (in advance)

post #2 of 15

I'll respond to door number 3.  Before you get knee deep into 24/196, experiment. I've discovered that I can't discern any more detail in SACD when compared to the same material downloaded from iTunes  at  256k 16/44. I still buy SACD's when the music I am seeking is available on SACD; but, otherwise, I will download from iTunes or other convenient on-line vendor, since I am sure the music sounds as good from the iTunes store as it would coming to me on a physical disc, CD, SACD, whatever. I'm talking about stereo material, multi channel for me is satisfied by Bluray.

post #3 of 15
post #4 of 15
I'm more of the same opinion as sterling1. Still, to answer you're other questions: Yes iTunes can play 24/192 audio, it will only downsample if you tell it to. The same goes for the Duet. You control the sampling rate thru the Audio Midi Settings in System Prefernces. You can either change the output settings of your Duet to match the sampling rate of your audio files, set it to the maximum (which upsamples everything), or use other software that switches the settings automatically (such as BitPefect for iTunes or other audio players).
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.

 

I a/b switched between a standard audio CD and SACD of the same album. They were both rips. I do not have a "golden ear" but I was astonished by my findings. Although I really wanted to discover that I am missing some fidelity in my 16 - 44.1 collection, I found no more brilliance in the 24 - 192 SACD. I am satisfied that if I cannot tell a difference than it must be very minimal or non-existent. 

post #6 of 15

You can't make this decision off of one disc. Some SACDs are better than others. I'm assuming this was a rip by someone else since SACDs cannot be ripped with a computer. You were listening to DSD converted to PCM.  SACDs are not 24/192 PCM. They are DSD at 1 bit 2.8 MHz. I have numerous SACDs that blow their CD counterparts out of the water. 

post #7 of 15

Get yourself a nice 24-192 vinyl rip that was ripped with good gear.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfuthug View Post

Thanks for the replies.

I a/b switched between a standard audio CD and SACD of the same album. They were both rips. I do not have a "golden ear" but I was astonished by my findings. Although I really wanted to discover that I am missing some fidelity in my 16 - 44.1 collection, I found no more brilliance in the 24 - 192 SACD. I am satisfied that if I cannot tell a difference than it must be very minimal or non-existent. 

The amount of re-processing that SACD went through to be 24/192k is substantial...I still agree that the difference is minimal, if any - it's nothing I'd lose sleep over. As far as SACD (or DVD-A) vs CD in general - you have to be sure they're from the same masters and level-matched and blah blah blah if you're going to do a legitimate A/B between them. It's pretty time consuming to do this right.

Try this one out for more info:
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

Get yourself a nice 24-192 vinyl rip that was ripped with good gear.

Why? Vinyl can't possibly benefit from that...(it lacks the DNR or FR to even approach it, no matter how good the mastering is).
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Why? Vinyl can't possibly benefit from that...(it lacks the DNR or FR to even approach it, no matter how good the mastering is).

 

 

obob, obob always the pioneer...You da man bro...beerchug.gif

 

Have you tried it personally?  Listen to the digital copy and an LP rip?  I mean "personally" (not an "acquired" copy that you really don't know where it came from.  Once a month I go over to a buddy's house that has a recording studio with crates and crates of vinyl back from our growing up days..Especially some sick 12" remixes from back in the day as well as vintage vinyl.....Whether he touches up the pops and clicks or not, it is very evident with revealing gear....Now, is it night and day, no....But if you have decent gear that reveals itself, it's worth it, imo.  Especially for me that the only cost is gas to his studio.  I lend him a few headphones and an amp or two and he rips and rips...

 

Computer audio has come a long way obob and will keep on going and going and going...You gotta get on the train or you will be left behind.  You know I'm a cd freak too but diversifying in all areas of audio a little bit is always a good thing.

 

Cheers my friend!!!


Edited by HeatFan12 - 4/2/13 at 10:14pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post


obob, obob always the pioneer...You da man bro...beerchug.gif

Have you tried it personally? 

Indeed.

But even if I hadn't, that doesn't change my argument.
Quote:
Listen to the digital copy and an LP rip?  I mean "personally" (not an "acquired" copy that you really don't know where it came from.  Once a month I go over to a buddy's house that has a recording studio with crates and crates of vinyl back from our growing up days..Especially some sick 12" remixes from back in the day as well as vintage vinyl.....Whether he touches up the pops and clicks or not, it is very evident with revealing gear....Now, is it night and day, no....But if you have decent gear that reveals itself, it's worth it, imo.  Especially for me that the only cost is gas to his studio.  I lend him a few headphones and an amp or two and he rips and rips...

If the LP has been played repeatedly, it's even worse off than it would've been in theory (they do wear out with time).

See here for more on FR: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)#Vinyl_is_better_than_CD_because_it_reproduces_higher_frequencies_than_CD_and_avoids_anti-aliasing_filter_issues_at_the_frequencies_CDs_can_reproduce

I've heard between 14 and 18khz as a functional top-end, and you also have to ask: what the crap do we actually care about in the ultrasonic range?

I mean ignore the hardware limits that basically every speaker, headphone, etc has that makes it impossible, ignore the problems with decoders and amplifiers that Monty points out (in the Xiph article), ignore the human lack of ability to hear at those frequencies, and ignore that very few "things" produce any usable sound up there - seriously what the crap exists up there that we want to listen to? Even if we could...rolleyes.gif

This isn't a discussion about "fidelity" really - it's a discussion about appropriate container selection. Using 24/192 for audio is like driving a school-bus as a DD for a single person. It makes no sense unless you're the gas station owner.

And this isn't an assault on vinyl - good condition, cared for, etc LPs on a decent turntable (which does not mean $300,000+) can sound absolutely fine, but the whole "CD vs vinyl" debate really needs to be put to bed; CDs are the superior format, and unless you're looking for hard to find issues of a given album or single (which you may not find on CD or other digital formats), there's no technical advantages to vinyl. That having been said, I do get the appeal to a given extent, and have absolutely no issues with legacy formats by and large.
post #11 of 15

I hear ya obob and I love CDs and I personally will never invest (never say never in this place..lol) in a vinyl rig because of the hassle.  I used to spin many years ago and loved it at the time but nowadays with digital audio everything is just easy (great sound, no hassles).  I have exact copies of all my CDs on Taiyo Yuden blanks and my originals are safely kept away.  I rip my original CDs before putting them away to flac, tag them, throw them on my NAS and I have music all over the house.  I also enjoy SACD and DVD-A.

 

My point was that if it's accessible why not use it if your gear can play it.  I have read a lot on all these things but listening to it made me appreciate it no matter how much was read on the subject.  The minor nuances were appreciated.  I also have some 24-96, 24-48, 24-88.2 and don't freak obob, some 32-192 wavpack files...beerchug.gif

 

I have gear that can play these files natively, so there is no issue and no hassle on my part.  It's all about fun...And when I want more fun on my iPod, I convert 24-96 to 24-48 for a real good time....biggrin.gif


Edited by HeatFan12 - 4/2/13 at 11:14pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

I hear ya obob and I love CDs and I personally will never invest (never say never in this place..lol) in a vinyl rig because of the hassle.  I used to spin many years ago and loved it at the time but nowadays with digital audio everything is just easy (great sound, no hassles).  I have exact copies of all my CDs on Taiyo Yuden blanks and my originals are safely kept away.  I also enjoy SACD and DVD-A.

My point was that if it's accessible why not use it if your gear can play it.  I have read a lot on all these things but listening to it made me appreciate it no matter how much was read on the subject.  The minor nuances were appreciated.  I also have some 24-96, 24-48, 24-88.2 and don't freak obob, some 32-192 wavpack files...beerchug.gif

I have gear that can play these files natively, so there is no issue and no hassle on my part.  It's all about fun...And when I want more fun on my iPod, I convert 24-96 to 24-48 for a real good time....biggrin.gif

32/192; for when you need to fill an entire Blu-ray with 6 tracks. tongue_smile.gif

But seriously - there's nothing "wrong" (aside from the ultrasonics issue that Xiph points out, which I'm guessing is more academic than anything else) with HBR, it's just not worth the space by and large, because it's writing a lot of nada to fill out the container, and absolute worst-case you're gonna bring down some ultrasonic noise (but you won't hear that either - so unless it causes some distortion or problem for the playback equipment, it's probably less of an issue than say, overly aggressive lossy encoding).

I can more or less agree with the "why not?" argument, but at the same time - if it's making litlte-to-no difference, why bother either way? redface.gif
Edited by obobskivich - 4/2/13 at 11:16pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


32/192; for when you need to fill an entire Blu-ray with 6 tracks. tongue_smile.gif

But seriously - there's nothing "wrong" (aside from the ultrasonics issue that Xiph points out, which I'm guessing is more academic than anything else) with HBR, it's just not worth the space by and large, because it's writing a lot of nada to fill out the container, and absolute worst-case you're gonna bring down some ultrasonic noise (but you won't hear that either - so unless it causes some distortion or problem for the playback equipment, it's probably less of an issue than say, overly aggressive lossy encoding).

I can more or less agree with the "why not?" argument, but at the same time - if it's making litlte-to-no difference, why bother either way? redface.gif

 

There you go my friend, you said it and read my mind.  Going the other way (lossy) is detrimental whereas going upwards in lossless can never hurt, but if you get a small nuance that you notice in a song or two or a small bit better extension or space in an album it's worth it for me, especially on revealing gear.  What suffers is HD space but given the low prices the last few years, it's an addition that will become inevitable anyway once you accumulate a lot of music.

 

Cheers!

post #14 of 15

I recently digitized my entire vinyl collection. It was an ordeal. Recognizing some of the challenges early, I experimented to get it right the first time rather than living with results which could have possibly been better. Since I have several recording programs, one from Roxio and another from Creative, I could choose to digitize at 16/44 or 24/96. In listening tests I could not discern that 24/96 sounded better or even different from 16/44. One evening, I digitized an original recording of Love In Vain from the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed at both 16/44 and 24/96. In addition, I downloaded a 256k 16/44 version of this song from the iTunes store, as well as a 24/96 version from HDtracks. The iTunes version sounded to me to be no different than  any of the 24/96 material. While I was at it, I ran out and purchased a new re-mastered vinyl version of the album; and, listening to it after digitizing it at both 16/44 and 24/96, I could still not discern any of the material  as sounding better or worse. In fact, the only give away that I was listening to the digitized version of my older vinyl record was the occasional pop or tick present in the silent groove.

 

At any rate, here's what I learned. The Roxio EZ LP to MP3 program, which I set to 16/44, produced the best results. The best results were not as it tuned out about a proper bit rate but instead about being able to edit out pops from the silent groove, as well as being able to separate tracks without considerable effort. I could have selected any digital recording format without any fear of not hearing all that was there in the grooves to be heard; however, I did want lossless since I am not in any need of conserving space, and lossless permits better copying results. On the other hand, it seemed senseless to use more space by recording at a rate higher than 16/44, so although,  the Creative program allowed me to digitize at 24/96 I used the more intutitive Roxio program which was limited to 16/44. I am satisfied that 16/44 is what it was promised to be, perfect and forever.  BTW, I discovered  noise could be reduced in recording by converting the LP to digital using my Sound Blaster X-FI HD DAC,  powering the computer and X-FI HD on battery power rather than AC.


Edited by sterling1 - 4/3/13 at 10:35am
post #15 of 15

Outstanding sterling.  Great work...beerchug.gif

 

That's the beauty of these discussions.  Years ago it was lossy vs. lossless (will never end..lol), but at least now discussions go into the lossless vs. lossless (hi-rez) realm and it's great.  It is a neverending story but at least it gives us things to discuss...biggrin.gif

 

 

For me, if it's available try it out.  I use lossless and lossy for various applications.  For the gym I take either a 1st generation Nano or 1st generation Shuffle.  Due to their space, I use the nano with ogg files and the shuffle with mp3.  Not only for their space but the phones I use at the gym are sport phones, so fidelity is not my priority.  I also take my Clip+ which is filled with FLAC not only because of the space but I use it at home as well with full size headphones...With the sport phones, the lossy and lossless sound the same.  With full size headphones the 'dryness' of lossy rears it's ugly head.  Different formats, gear for different applications.

 

Variety is the name of the game and experimenting is fun....If it's out there why not give it a whirl.

 

Cheers!!!

 

 

The Three Amigos

 


Edited by HeatFan12 - 4/3/13 at 10:53am
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