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Why 24 bit audio and anything over 48k is not only worthless, but bad for music. - Page 18

post #256 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

I'm talking in practical terms too. I'll be the first to agree with you if you say that something like 256kbps lossy compression sounds very nearly the same as lossless, or that fancy cables are pointless, or that all well-designed solid state amps sound pretty much exactly the same (or, more accurately, do sound exactly the same within the limits of the loads and power levels they are designed to output).

 

OK. Well... you can have the practical side in those. I'm happy to go absolute on all of those things... AAC 256 sounds exactly the same as lossless, fancy cables are a total waste and all modern solid state amps sound the same.

post #257 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

It seems to me, if you can do this without X, Q or Z then you don't need them at all!

 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.


"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

 

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

 

My man! :)

post #258 of 334

Im glad my alphabet thing hit the spot, I was pretty proud of that one I thought it was spot on lol.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

OK. Well... you can have the practical side in those. I'm happy to go absolute on all of those things... AAC 256 sounds exactly the same as lossless, fancy cables are a total waste and all modern solid state amps sound the same.

Whoa whoa whoa.  Fancy cables are a waste?  Thats news to me.  Sounds like blasphemy.

 

I agree to a point.  I rather have a nice flexible fancy cable that is durable and well sleeved and soft and comfortable and doesnt clink a whole lot than some POS cable that is going to fall apart after 3 months (Apple, Im looking at you).  Does it sound better?  Nah, I doubt it.  Are they electrically superior sure, doesnt mean you can hear it.  But a total waste? Surely not.  A good cable can be good for other non 'how it sounds' reasons that can matter (electrical superiority not being one).  

 

I didnt think all amps sounded the same, just amps with matching/extremely similar transfer functions.  I havent really considered it though.  But as far as I am aware a tube amp with the same transfer function as a solid state amp would sound the same?  Are we saying all modern solid state amps have pretty much the same transfer function?  Are we saying SS amp A that puts out 1/10 the power of SS amp B (but is 25 times smaller...) will sound the same when listened to on an HE-6?  

 

(Please read the amp part with full on deadly seriousness, no joking in there)

 

Really guys 256?  Not even 320?  Well if thats true then...iTunes...holy crap..iTunes?!? did it right?  

 

I think the file size point on the upper octave is the most valid made on its relative worthlessness.  And the biggest detractor for Hi-Res er I mean Hi-N music.  The biggest case for lossy files etc.  I mean if we drop on octave and use 256...damn I mean I could literally put 12 times more music on my iPod.  That rules, plain and simple.  

 

5.1 vs Stereo.  Yeah its cool and all but stereo still sounds better in 2 channel i think.  Weeeeell, actually, the MCH Stereo DSP sounds really good but I dont care for DTS or Dolby DSP (for music).  The center channel is extremely overworked I feel.  Music that has been mastered for 5.1 sounds better but its hard to find things that will even play it lol.  And most of the songs I like arent in 5.1.  That is huge, I mean its hard for me to say that Storm Corrosion sounds so good, when I mean Im just not a huge fan of the music at the base.  So its been pretty hard for me to judge on that. 

 

At the end of the day I am a hardware nerd.  I mean I want the fast processor, too much memory, too much storage and then I want to make it faster.  I have literally no need to, but its fun.  I do like the cool hardware aspect of the hi-res scene, and that is why I mess with it at all.  Lets let Pono Store come out and see if the music sounds better.  Im not saying use a Pono, but if I can get Reflektor off of there (they had an Arcade Fire signed Pono....) then I will.  Not because I think that the 24/96 part will make it better.  But as many people have stated SACDs often used completely different and superior masters, this is what I am hoping comes from Pono.  Really good, much less compressed, masters would be a god send.  If I have to have a 24/96 file to get that, then so be it.  I can always down sample it and run it through an AAC encoder lol.  

post #259 of 334
I think 24/96 or even 192 is currently the only way to get better masters. I have heard well-mastered CD's sound amazing, even better than some DVD audio stuff. But on the flip side, I know i at least can tell a difference between many files played in plain CD and 96/192. Is it because of the higher sampling rate? It's much more LIKELY that the master used was just better quality. I know some people have reported HD tracks using lower quality masters to make the CD and mp3 sound worse. I think a lot of things would have to change in the recording industry for this to change. Because the masters, being the ultimate source of our audio files, are the area of the recording studios. It's an interesting pickle for sure...
post #260 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePianoMan View Post

It's much more LIKELY that the master used was just better quality....I think a lot of things would have to change in the recording industry for this to change. Because the masters, being the ultimate source of our audio files, are the area of the recording studios.

And THIS is why 99% of this thread is sadly meaningless. We're COMPLETELY at the mercy of the record companies/studios that distribute the content. While many recording engineers are likely perfectly capable and willing of churning out album after album of high quality content (musically and sonically), the people that write their checks are in the business of selling music, not producing the best quality music they can. If the "lie" of 24/192 is what it takes to get people to shell out more cash than the price of their favorite tracks on iTunes or Amazon MP3, it will happen, regardless of sonic impact... even if we end up downconverting it all to a lower resolution format such as 16/44.1 or 16/48 for our own usage/playback.

 

My biggest fear is that 24/96 or 24/192 will end up being higher bitrate versions of the same squashed dynamics that we've become accustomed to.

Dynamic range isn't everything, but have you guys tried looking for DR Database entries for HDTracks content? Some of it is not pretty and isn't even close to requiring the 24-bit part:

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=&album=hdtracks

post #261 of 334
I am mildly curious as to where DSD fits into this, though I suspect it runs into the same basic problem of sampling size 44khz etc.
And as a trained musician myself, UCAN confirm the bit about hearing to anyone who might doubt it. Even overtones of the Tuba and Timpani, up to the highest piccolo note don't go beyond what CD quality can give you.
post #262 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post
 

Sounds like blasphemy.

 

Go check it all with controlled listening tests. You'll find out what I did. The stuff they talk about in hifi forums is usually the stuff that doesn't matter at all.

 

P.S. Yes solid state amps. I am talking about amps that are designed *not* to have a sound. 256 AAC VBR is audibly transparent. I tested that too. And I can take my 5:1 system and dumb it down to a standard 2 channel system and it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as in 5:1. Same equipment. Same settings. Same everything. Come to LA and I will prove it to you.


Edited by bigshot - 5/6/14 at 10:44pm
post #263 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePianoMan View Post

I am mildly curious as to where DSD fits into this, though I suspect it runs into the same basic problem of sampling size 44khz etc.
And as a trained musician myself, UCAN confirm the bit about hearing to anyone who might doubt it. Even overtones of the Tuba and Timpani, up to the highest piccolo note don't go beyond what CD quality can give you.


A solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. 

post #264 of 334

Either that or marketing genius! How else you get everyone to buy Dark Side of the Moon YET AGAIN?

post #265 of 334
This thread is both uplifting and disheartening all at once, for so many reasons...
post #266 of 334
I'm waiting till high res ear implants become available.
post #267 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Either that or marketing genius! How else you get everyone to buy Dark Side of the Moon YET AGAIN?


Well, you hit the nail on the head.  I owned the 8-track (yes I am getting old, listened to it mostly in a 1967 Camaro), then cassette (mostly listened in an early Honda Accord, yes I sold the Camaro and bought the Accord in its place), original issue LP, Harvest issue LP, and demo copy LP, then Mobile Fidelity LP, and finally MoFi gold Ultradisc CD.  I haven't sprung for the high rez version.  The CD from Mofi was the best followed by the Harvest LP.  MoFi Lp was good, but somehow not as nice as Harvest LP or gold CD. 

 

 

 


Edited by esldude - 5/7/14 at 3:15pm
post #268 of 334
That probably explains why Neil Young decided to demo his Pono to a bunch of stoned rockers in his car and then strangely forgot to turn the engine on or drive anywhere.
post #269 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post
 

Whoa whoa whoa.  Fancy cables are a waste?  Thats news to me.  Sounds like blasphemy.

 

I agree to a point.  I rather have a nice flexible fancy cable that is durable and well sleeved and soft and comfortable and doesnt clink a whole lot than some POS cable that is going to fall apart after 3 months (Apple, Im looking at you).  Does it sound better?  Nah, I doubt it.  Are they electrically superior sure, doesnt mean you can hear it.  But a total waste? Surely not.  A good cable can be good for other non 'how it sounds' reasons that can matter (electrical superiority not being one).  

 

Sure, but if all you want is a reasonably well made cable that is electrically perfect (or at least perfect enough that it will not affect the signal in any perceptible way), you can get that for fairly cheap. I understand the people buying cables from places like Blue Jeans Cable for example, even though those still cost more than I would pay for cable, personally. At least they're genuinely just well-made cables that look a bit nicer than the ones from someplace like Monoprice (though they won't sound any different). The ones that I will never understand are the ones that are hundreds of dollars per foot, and claim that you will now be able to hear every heartbeat from the people in the booth of the recording studio where your recordings were made, because normal cables blur out the details (or other bogus nonsense like that).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post

 

I didnt think all amps sounded the same, just amps with matching/extremely similar transfer functions.  I havent really considered it though.  But as far as I am aware a tube amp with the same transfer function as a solid state amp would sound the same?  Are we saying all modern solid state amps have pretty much the same transfer function?  Are we saying SS amp A that puts out 1/10 the power of SS amp B (but is 25 times smaller...) will sound the same when listened to on an HE-6?  

 

(Please read the amp part with full on deadly seriousness, no joking in there)

All modern solid state amps (both for headphones and speakers) will sound identical so long as they meet a certain set of criteria:

1) The amp has an inaudibly low noise floor (this isn't really a problem for speaker amps, but it can be a problem for headphone amps, especially if you have sensitive, low-impedance headphones)

2) The amp's output impedance is substantially lower (preferably by at least an order of magnitude) than the minimum impedance of the headphone/speakers being driven - again, this isn't a problem for most well-designed solid state speaker amps, but it is a problem with some headphone amps. Many tube amps also have a high output impedance, which can significantly affect the sound.

3) The amp has both sufficient voltage swing and sufficient current sourcing capability to drive the speakers to a high level (preferably a couple dB above the maximum listening level) without significant distortion in the output signal. Once again, usually not a problem as long as the amp is designed to drive the load impedance that the speaker/headphones present, and the amp gets loud enough. This can be a problem with a few esoteric high end speakers, since the impedance drops to absurdly low levels in some speakers (which requires a lot of current to drive, and amps not designed for this enormous current requirement can have problems). If you can find an impedance curve for your speakers, you can see what the minimum impedance is, and compare it to your amp's rating. Chances are, if your speaker never drops below 4 ohms (which covers the majority of "8 ohm" speakers out there), pretty much any modern solid state amp with sufficient power can drive it just fine. If you do have an odd, high end, super low impedance set of speakers, a potential good option to drive them is actually a professional amp - many of them have significantly more current capability than amps designed for home use, without the audiophile price tag.

4) Flat frequency response from 20-20k. Most inexpensive speaker amps do this just fine - interestingly, it's the higher end, more esoteric designs you have to watch out for (especially in headphone amps)

5) Channel balance - usually not an issue in speaker amps, can be a problem with some headphone amps

 

There are a couple more considerations as well,  but the interesting thing about it is, you usually don't run into any problems with low to mid range, mass-produced solid state amps driving relatively normal, well-designed speakers. Audible problems are much more likely to happen with a high end, "audiophile-oriented" design than with a normal mass produced amp. So, if you want a good accurate sound, get a mass produced, well built solid state amp. Preferably a recent one, since the extra features (especially things like room correction) have really improved in the past few years.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post

 

Really guys 256?  Not even 320?  Well if thats true then...iTunes...holy crap..iTunes?!? did it right?  

 

I think the file size point on the upper octave is the most valid made on its relative worthlessness.  And the biggest detractor for Hi-Res er I mean Hi-N music.  The biggest case for lossy files etc.  I mean if we drop on octave and use 256...damn I mean I could literally put 12 times more music on my iPod.  That rules, plain and simple. 

I'm not familiar with AAC, so I can't comment on it, but I can say that well-encoded 320 MP3 is completely transparent to my ear with the exception of a couple of very carefully picked samples (and even in those cases, I have to do a fast-switch comparison while listening extremely carefully to a tiny chunk of the file to hear any difference). As a result, I use 320kbps MP3 as my main listening format. I do have all of my files archived in either FLAC or WMA Lossless though (depending on when I ripped them - I originally ripped in WMA, but I have moved to FLAC for more recent files), just so I have a perfect archival copy of everything. As for the upper octave? Keep it. 256 or 320 lossy encoding will keep the majority of that high-frequency content, and will sound much, much better than a low-passed file where the top bit was discarded.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post

 

5.1 vs Stereo.  Yeah its cool and all but stereo still sounds better in 2 channel i think.  Weeeeell, actually, the MCH Stereo DSP sounds really good but I dont care for DTS or Dolby DSP (for music).  The center channel is extremely overworked I feel.  Music that has been mastered for 5.1 sounds better but its hard to find things that will even play it lol.  And most of the songs I like arent in 5.1.  That is huge, I mean its hard for me to say that Storm Corrosion sounds so good, when I mean Im just not a huge fan of the music at the base.  So its been pretty hard for me to judge on that.

 

I actually agree with you on the 5.1 vs stereo, but I'll be the first to admit that my current listening room is pretty well set up for 2.1 (my sub is in an excellent place, as are the two mains), but my surround speakers are much less optimal (I don't have room currently to place them how I'd really like). As a result, surround content definitely isn't up to its full potential in my listening area for the time being. I'll likely redo my setup at some point when I have more space, but for the moment, it has to do. It works just fine for movies, but for music, I still prefer stereo on my setup.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeDylie View Post

 

At the end of the day I am a hardware nerd.  I mean I want the fast processor, too much memory, too much storage and then I want to make it faster.  I have literally no need to, but its fun.  I do like the cool hardware aspect of the hi-res scene, and that is why I mess with it at all.  Lets let Pono Store come out and see if the music sounds better.  Im not saying use a Pono, but if I can get Reflektor off of there (they had an Arcade Fire signed Pono....) then I will.  Not because I think that the 24/96 part will make it better.  But as many people have stated SACDs often used completely different and superior masters, this is what I am hoping comes from Pono.  Really good, much less compressed, masters would be a god send.  If I have to have a 24/96 file to get that, then so be it.  I can always down sample it and run it through an AAC encoder lol.  

Heh - I definitely understand this attitude. I'm definitely a hardware nerd too, and I love looking at design articles, and seeing how things like the Benchmark DAC2 (for example) are designed to extract every bit of performance from modern technology, even though a lot of what is done on things like that is way, way past what is necessary for audible perfection. However, I am a little frustrated having to do this whole "I'm going to buy the high-res in the hope that they mastered it better" thing - the "low-res" formats are perfectly capable of sounding way, way better than they currently do on a lot of music, and I wish people would focus on getting the existing, perfectly adequate formats to sound as good as they can, rather than inventing new formats for no reason.


Edited by cjl - 5/8/14 at 7:14am
post #270 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Go check it all with controlled listening tests. You'll find out what I did. The stuff they talk about in hifi forums is usually the stuff that doesn't matter at all.

 

P.S. Yes solid state amps. I am talking about amps that are designed *not* to have a sound. 256 AAC VBR is audibly transparent. I tested that too. And I can take my 5:1 system and dumb it down to a standard 2 channel system and it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as in 5:1. Same equipment. Same settings. Same everything. Come to LA and I will prove it to you.

The blasphemy line and most everything out of my mouth has been tongue in cheek facetiousness where I actually mean the opposite lol.  Mostly I agree with you across the board (although not on the octave part, but Saint Hi-N saved you there and made it sound somewhat reasonable =). I just felt that some of your points needed further fleshing out so I try to go hyperbolic metaphorical to get someone I agree with to justify their point further in better terms.  

 

On the cable thing, I mean I do own Silver Dragons but I got them used and it was mainly a bling thing.  Like idk a gold watch, I didnt get them thinking it would make a sound improvement.  Well, and the one I got new was only because it is pretty hard to find IEM cables terminated in 4XLR.  A lot of people think the SD is a great match for the JH13 so I did fall for that a little bit but it is a really nice cable and I like side by side coax cable design whereas most aftermarkets are the braided cable style.  

 

On the 5.1 vs stereo thing, you are saying that you prefer to listen to a PCM track in DTS or Dolby DSP rather than the MCH Stereo DSP?  Or that you simply prefer having 5 speakers hit you instead of two?  I like the MCH Stereo DSP, and I mean since I have the 5 speakers (I got all 5 Floor Standing instead of the center and bookshelves for 3) it really pisses me off when only 2 are in use.  I think maybe the MCH Stereo DSP sounds so good for me is that all 5 speakers are the same and maybe the effect wouldnt be as good if I had opted for the standard set up.  Not sure there, but admittedly I never listen to normal stereo out of those guys just because of the waste factor.  However, I also dont ever hit the DTS or Dolby option for music ever either (anymore, now that Ive tried them out enough) 

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