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24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by gregorio, Mar 19, 2009.
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  1. Peti
    Mark's websites are becoming staples in my audio self-education. Have had the chance to obtain some of his records for my headphone system, and it's really a jaw-meets-floor moment each time I listen to them. When he talks about the "Hi-Rez Mafia", DSD, etc. it's just make sense. I'm thoroughly enjoying these records:
    Stravinsky - Firebird Suite & Ravel - Boléro (Enescu Phil. Orchestra, 2001) AIX Recrods
    A. Dvorak - Symphony No. 6 & 9 (Aslop, Baltimore Symp. Orc.) (Naxos Records, available through Mark's online shop)
  2. pinnahertz
    Mark will be at Axpona this year again.  His demo room last year was, IMO, the best of the show.  Very low on Blue Smoke, very high no just plain great audio.  He's quite passionate about it.  His recordings would be excellent, high-res or not.  Visiting his room cost me money in disc purchases.  And I'm sure it will again this year. 
    As to the rest of the show...the Blue Smoke got pretty thick on occasion (I had to walk out of the analog tape session), but it was a good day outside the box anyway. 
  3. Ruben123

    Perhaps they sound that good because they're mastered in surround instead of stereo? They definitely don't sound that good because they're high resolution.
  4. sterling1

    ​Yeah, I know what marketing is. It's what 24/192 and DSD are today. And, no, the word perfect is not exclusive to marketing. I also know what the word fact means. And, for most the fact is 16/44 is all they can appreciate.
  5. sterling1
    Yeah, I know what marketing is. It's what 24/192 and DSD are today. And, I know about the word perfect too, it's not  exclusive to marketing. I also know what the word "fact'" means; and, for most, the fact is 16/44 is all they can digest. BTW, I believe that about 10 years after 16/44's appearance, DAC, as well as ADC were pretty well perfected. In my experience as a producer, it appeared to me that in the early 90's equipment and techniques had progressed enough that a live studio performances as listen to from studio monitors could not be discerned as being different sounding from a DAT recording of same listened to from studio monitors. I still use a pair of Sony PCM-7010F DAT recorder's from about 1992 for their excellent analog to digital and digital to analog conversion. Nothing that I've heard since sounds better, that's to say, nothing seems to retrieve more content. Also, I think Mark is right about all he professes. I believe multi-channel audio is the way audio recording should go. This is easily possible today since so many folks have AVR's or audio/video preamps and processors, as well as universal players to play multi-channel.
  6. Peti

    Yes, yes! these are exquisitely recorded materials. I will downconvert my ripped flac files to redbook and do some abx testing just for the hell of it and I'm not expecting much of a difference. Mind you, I was referring to stereo, as I've never heard the 5.1 version of it.
  7. pinnahertz
    He includes 2 channel stereo mixes and usually two different surround perspectives on most discs.

    There's no definitive evidence to prove that higher bit depth or sampling frequency provides an audible difference, but everyone to a person can hear the difference between two channel stereo and 5.1.

    The question is, how do you want to budget your bits? Inaudible data or audible channels?
  8. EasyEnemy
    great post. thank you. Always been wondering. On many occasion. I tried very hard and I can't hear different between bit depth 16 bit and 24 bit. 
  9. TheoS53
    Here are a few more pics of my sample-rate/bit-depth null tests. You can be the judge as to whether or not anything above 44.1/16 is significant:

    192/24 original

    96/24 vs 192/24

    48/24 vs 192/24

    44.1/16 vs 192/24

    Lossy LAME320 MP3 vs 192/24
    watchnerd, HAWX and jeffhawke like this.
  10. sonitus mirus
    While interesting, I'm not sure how practical it would be to provide the null test results between a lossless and any lossy audio file.  By design, mp3 is going to remove audio data, but the goal is to only remove those sounds that would be masked or otherwise be far too quiet to be heard in a normal listening environment.  A null test alone will give no indication if any difference can actually be heard, despite the fact that something might be heard in the null result.  A bit like having a jackhammer at 10 feet away with a string quartet playing 100 feet away.  The music might be there, but you won't hear any of it when the hammer is operating; so most, if not all, of the music can be discarded.
  11. TheoS53
    That's pretty much the point of including the lossy null test as well. The point of all of this was to showcase the difference between the various sampling-rates and bit-depths. Graphically we can see that there is a significant difference between the lossy and 192/24 file. Yet, the vast majority of people can't tell the difference between lossy and lossless. So, if such a large difference can audibly sound pretty much identical, then it's safe to say that there's practically zero point in opting for a 192/24 FLAC file vs a 44.1/16 FLAC file (given how relatively little difference there is between them vs how big of a difference we could illustrate that the lossy file has)
    sonitus mirus and jeffhawke like this.
  12. sonitus mirus
    Ah, I get it now.  Thanks for sharing.
    TheoS53 likes this.
  13. danadam
    Didn't you mean 44/16?
  14. TheoS53
    Not quite sure what you mean there. But all of the spectrogram images I provided were of 96/24 vs 192/24, 48/24 vs 192/24, 44.1/16 vs 192/24, and finally lossy vs 192/24
  15. danadam

    Ah, sorry, I somehow misread that as relative differences between the formats as we increase "density", so lossy vs 44/16, 44/16 vs 48/24, etc.
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