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24/192 DAC still interesting?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'd like to take a quick survey. A few questions.

 

What with all the higher rates coming out now, and DSD, would you still be interested in a 24/192 USB DAC if it had a worthy performance-to-price ratio? (it would be somewhere between $500 and $1000)

 

As an aside, how much source material do you have at rates > 192? How important is this material in your overall collection? How often do you listen to it?

post #2 of 9

The question that you should ask yourself is whether these newly created formats bring anything sonically to the table that is audibly superior. Or is it just a marketing scam to trick us into disposing of our existing perfectly good equipment in favour of some new clothing. Just do the maths. If the average person replaced even half of their audio library with DSD they would be looking at between U$1K to U$5K. And as soon as they have spent that amount of money, a new format will come along that costs even more.

Betamax lost out to VHS because VHS was cheaper, not better. DSD is extremely expensive. I can't see me spending another couple of grands just so that I can listen to it.

post #3 of 9

24/192 gets it done. Even once you get to 24/192, the res will not be the weakest ling in the chain.

post #4 of 9

A while back I bought CD quality, 24/96, and 24/192 recordings of a piece I am very familiar with.  I couldn't tell the difference between the 24/96 and 24/192.  Now I don't even bother with 24/192.  I listen primarily to classical music and to me performance and recording usually outweighs any benefit of even 24/96 over CD.

 

It's hard to see what DSD would bring to the table,  as goodvibes said, there will be weaker links in the chain than resolution.


Edited by Omphalopsychite - 1/21/14 at 7:03pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeng View Post
 

I'd like to take a quick survey. A few questions.

 

What with all the higher rates coming out now, and DSD, would you still be interested in a 24/192 USB DAC if it had a worthy performance-to-price ratio? (it would be somewhere between $500 and $1000)

 

As an aside, how much source material do you have at rates > 192? How important is this material in your overall collection? How often do you listen to it?

 

Maybe you should pose this question to the people who frequent Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Seemed to work pretty well for Light Harmonic...

 

I downloaded some files from HDtracks (24/96 and 24/192) to compare with their CD counterparts in my library and came away unimpressed. The sound quality sometimes doesn't approach the same album on compact disc. Other times it's hard to tell which I'd prefer - the Redbook version or the 'high-res' one.

 

DSD / SACD is another crapshoot. See the following (http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/john-marks-of-stereophile-attacked-for-article-on-norah-jones-sacd-defends-himself.41682/) about Norah Jones' Come Away With Me as an example of 44.1/16 PCM master converted to DSD for the SACD release. I've found that the few Columbia Jazz reissues on SACD I've managed to listen to in my system to be reliably better than those on CD. If the DSD files offered by a download service are the exact same as those on the SACD reissues, I wouldn't hesitate to download them.

 

Without a clear idea as to provenance, the hi-res landscape is truly caveat emptor.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by yage View Post
 

I downloaded some files from HDtracks (24/96 and 24/192) to compare with their CD counterparts in my library and came away unimpressed. The sound quality sometimes doesn't approach the same album on compact disc. Other times it's hard to tell which I'd prefer - the Redbook version or the 'high-res' one.

Et tu Brutus? I have had the same dilemma. I don't know which was more painful: the cost of the 192KHz download, or finding out that it was a waste of money.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

 

Betamax lost out to VHS because VHS was cheaper, not better. DSD is extremely expensive. I can't see me spending another couple of grands just so that I can listen to it.

 

This is a common misapprehension, but it's not entirely true.  "Better" is always subjective, of course, but what most consumers cared about at the time was the fact that VHS could be recorded at a lower speed (and lower quality), giving you more play time on each tape.  You could run it at full speed for highest quality, or slower for longer play time.  

 

What people liked about VHS was not just price, but flexibility.  I imagine that's what people like about the latest crop high res DACs now -- even if you only have a handful of 24/192 material, let alone DSD, it's nice to flexibility to play all of your files.

 

For my part, I would not be interested.  I have over 100 DSD albums, now, and listen to them often.  Probably 10% of my listening is DSD.  0% is 24/386, but only because I have none of it.  DSD is far easier to come by than super high res.

post #8 of 9

From a technical point of view it can be argued that

24/96 > 24/188.2 or higher > DSD

 

See whitepapers by Lavry, Benchmark as well as the article on 24/192 on xiph.org. There's more but that's a good starting point.

 

 

^ You can play any kind of audio file at any format even on a 16/44.1 DAC. Just need to convert (on the fly).


Edited by xnor - 1/22/14 at 10:46am
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

From a technical point of view it can be argued that

24/96 > 24/188.2 or higher > DSD

 

See whitepapers by Lavry, Benchmark as well as the article on 24/192 on xiph.org. There's more but that's a good starting point.

 

 

^ You can play any kind of audio file at any format even on a 16/44.1 DAC. Just need to convert (on the fly).

Can you clarify what your > sign means? You mean sound quality?

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