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Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 12

post #166 of 1613

Hey Loquah, were you planning to do a comparison between the S.E.X. + C4S upgrade and the Crack?

post #167 of 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

Nobody needs 192kHz. Can you name 10 albums that you would actually want to listen to that are available in a format over 96/24?
Actually I can.


Unrelated to that ^: I had plans for the S.E.X but didn't follow through with it in the end. I'm glad to hear that the crack is no slouch in comparison while possibly being my choice between the 2.
post #168 of 1613
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

Nobody needs 192kHz. Can you name 10 albums that you would actually want to listen to that are available in a format over 96/24?

 

  1. Muddy Waters - Folk Singer
  2. Donny Hathaway - Live
  3. Arne Domnerus - Jazz at the Pawnshop
  4. Michael Jackson - History
  5. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

 

That's it from my collection at the moment, but there's great stuff coming out fairly regularly now and even though the difference between 96 & 192 is minimal, I tend to prefer the extra sense of space created in the higher res recordings. Is it a necessity? No. Nice to have? Yes.

post #169 of 1613
Were any of those albums originally recorded on high-rez equipment? (Before you answer, bear in mind that just because something is analog doesn't mean it is necessarily high resolution.)

A high resolution version of a standard resolution recording doesn't provide you with anything other than a bigger file. You can't create data that was never there in the first place (meaning in the original recording).
post #170 of 1613
Thread Starter 
That's kind of true, but analogue recordings capture ALL the information that's picked up by the microphones and recording equipment. That information then gets "averaged" out during sampling which is why a 44.1kHz sample is never as good as the same content sampled at a higher rate. Because of that, a good analogue recording will translate to good hi-res files.

Donny Hathaway Live isn't a great recording, but it still sounds better in hi-res. More space, more ambience, same details, etc.
post #171 of 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

That's kind of true, but analogue recordings capture ALL the information that's picked up by the microphones and recording equipment.

The important part of that statement isn't the "ALL", it's "the information that's picked up by the microphones and recording equipment".

If you capture all of the information recorded by a poor microphone and recording equipment, then you still don't have as much information as a 44.1 kHz sample made using modern equipment.

Moreover, at some level analog stops being continuous. Think about film photography. It's analog, right? Well, sure. But if you really magnify it, you realize that film basically consists of colored particles (grain) that are discrete, even if they overlap. If you then performed a high resolution digital scan of that film, you could easily capture all of the information on the film, even though you are using digital sampling technology to copy an analog medium. Moreover, a relatively low resolution digital camera can capture more information than an ultra-high resolution scan of a film picture taken at the same scene.

In the audio world, the principle is the same. At some point, the original tape masters stop being continuous. The tape consists of magnetized particles, which are discrete (even if overlapping). A high-resolution digital copy of the original tape master can capture ALL of the information on the tape. The question is: how high does the sampling rate need to be to capture all of the information? I don't know the answer in the audio world, but it is probably lower than you think. Moreover, I suspect that a modern 44.1 kHz recording can capture more information than a 192 kHz copy of an analog original. To the extent that high resolution offers real benefits in the audio world, I think that (a) it is more in the bit depth, than the sample rate, and (b) 96 kHz probably is enough to get you all of the benefits there are to be had.
post #172 of 1613
Thread Starter 

Possibly. The question I guess is, what effective "sample rate" is created by the grains / particles in an analogue system? I suppose it might vary depending on the type / brand, etc. Also, I didn't mention bit-depth, but I agree that this might be more important.

 

I'm not a hi-res snob and actually favour a number of lo-res recordings when I'm critically listening because they are just beautifully produced. That said, I have compared lo-res and hi-res versions of the same albums and often find the hi-res to be preferable, but we're way off topic and what really matters here is how good all of it sounds through the Bottlehead amps! :beyersmile:

post #173 of 1613

Just thought I'd mention that another (HUGE) factor is that albums that have been re-released are often remastered as well. We'd hope that it's a good remaster, but that's another matter entirely.

post #174 of 1613

I agree that it definitely is the bit depth that's more important. Remasters are getting better as technology advances, but what I still want to see is the major labels digitizing their analog master vaults and opening it to the masses. That flies in the face of buying the same album 20 times though....sigh

post #175 of 1613
Yeah, I'm just reacting to the tendency when buying a DAC to focus on the maximum resolution it can handle. I think people focus on that because it is a number they can easily point to, and higher resolution always has to be better, right? I followed that thinking myself when buying DACs, only to realize that...none of the music that interests me is available in high resolution format. HD Tracks, etc. are basically a wasteland as far as I'm concerned. I've managed to buy exactly two high-rez albums that moderately interest me. I also compared them to the redbook versions, but I didn't notice any differences. Anyway, my point is just that I wouldn't make maximum sample rate a gating item when choosing a DAC, nor would I spend significantly more just so that I can play 5-10 albums in high-rez format that are also available in other formats.
post #176 of 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

Yeah, I'm just reacting to the tendency when buying a DAC to focus on the maximum resolution it can handle. I think people focus on that because it is a number they can easily point to, and higher resolution always has to be better, right? I followed that thinking myself when buying DACs, only to realize that...none of the music that interests me is available in high resolution format. HD Tracks, etc. are basically a wasteland as far as I'm concerned. I've managed to buy exactly two high-rez albums that moderately interest me. I also compared them to the redbook versions, but I didn't notice any differences. Anyway, my point is just that I wouldn't make maximum sample rate a gating item when choosing a DAC, nor would I spend significantly more just so that I can play 5-10 albums in high-rez format that are also available in other formats.

Yep I agree, but I have 2TB of 24bit material myself. I guess I'm an exception lol. I'm actually in the process of looking at different TDA154x DACs with possibly a butterworth filter for an excellent 16/44.1 NOS DAC that will give off that nice smooth, analog, vintage sound to go with my horns. Any products or DIY designs come to your mind by chance?

post #177 of 1613
I'm not a big believer in differences among DACs, but I've managed to convince myself that the best DACs I've heard are Audio-Gd DACs based on PCM1704UK chips. I have 3 of them, one of which can play high-rez files. No idea if that answers your question, though!
post #178 of 1613

I've read some arguments somewhere (the "internet") that higher bit/sampling rates can actually increase the amount of noise/distortion/blahblahblah due to the way digital filters/doohickeys work.

 

And hey, I've cooked some opamps in my time with uncontrolled oscillations before shoving a filter cap in there. Just pretending I know what I'm talking about :rolleyes:

post #179 of 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

I'm not a big believer in differences among DACs,

 

 

While I do feel that DACs can make a difference, I am also of the opinion that they hit the wall of diminishing returns the fastest. The "source first" crowd has always puzzled me a bit. Why spend $1000 on a dac when you have a $100 headphone/speakers?

post #180 of 1613
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

Just thought I'd mention that another (HUGE) factor is that albums that have been re-released are often remastered as well. We'd hope that it's a good remaster, but that's another matter entirely.

 

Agree. I just went through my duplicate tracks from various Dire Straits albums and the Sultans of Swing (Best of) Compilation was noticeably poorer than some of their older, original recordings

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 60 = not so good :(

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

Yeah, I'm just reacting to the tendency when buying a DAC to focus on the maximum resolution it can handle. I think people focus on that because it is a number they can easily point to, and higher resolution always has to be better, right? I followed that thinking myself when buying DACs, only to realize that...none of the music that interests me is available in high resolution format. HD Tracks, etc. are basically a wasteland as far as I'm concerned. I've managed to buy exactly two high-rez albums that moderately interest me. I also compared them to the redbook versions, but I didn't notice any differences. Anyway, my point is just that I wouldn't make maximum sample rate a gating item when choosing a DAC, nor would I spend significantly more just so that I can play 5-10 albums in high-rez format that are also available in other formats.

 

Agree. I chose my DAC based on the fact that it is a well-reviewed, musical sounding, but highly resolving DAC that just happens to do everything up to DSD (which I will never use). I personally like to have a DAC that can go up to 192kHz, but it's all a matter of preference and I agree it should not be a sole deciding factor or gate to choosing the right DAC.

 

Brunk, you might want to check out this thread over at the Bottlehead forums: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,5077.0.html

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