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44.1 versus 48. Any perceivable difference ?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by ginetto61, Nov 26, 2018.
  1. ginetto61
    Hi everyone.
    if these following doubts have already been dealt with in other threads, please address me to these.
    My main doubt is why 44.1kHz for the cd and 48kHz for the dat?
    if I understand well when the dat format was defined the cd format was already available since some years. Why this decision of increasing the sampling frequency at 48 kHz?
    second doubt ... is there any perceptible difference between a recording 16/44.1 and 16/48?
    Or better ... from the original dat recording and the cd produced from the original ?
    A friend recorded some quality LPs in 16/48 format and told me there were no big differences between original and digital copy. A good sign, isn't it?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  2. gregorio
    The CD sample rate was set to cover the entire audible spectrum and give the CD certain duration. 48kHz sample rate was used in TV and film though, if I remember correctly it just made life a bit simpler with digital tape and film (for example, 48kHz is exactly 2,000 samples per frame of film). Certain early film/TV workflows required working at an adjusted ("pulled-down") sample rate, 0.1% or 4% below the sample rate. 4% below the 44.1kHz sample rate would put the anti-alias filter theoretically just within the audible band whereas 4% below the 48kHz sample rate is still outside.

    In practice for music recordings there should be no perceptible difference between the two rates.

  3. Speedskater
    Two decades ago, in primitive digital systems there were differences. But with modern designs there are no differences.
  4. ginetto61
    Hi thank you very much for the very interesting reply. I thought about the space on disk but given that the original lps were lasting about 45 minutes a cd could be enough also for 45 minutes of 16/48. Anyway i was clearly wrong about the perceivable superior quality
    And in any case we have to live with what we have. Thanks again
  5. ginetto61
    Thanks a lot for the helpful information. I have to study more on the possibility to convert pcm to dsd. I think someone is doing that we interesting results
  6. old tech
    Why would you want to convert pcm to dsd?
  7. 71 dB
    Early digital audio was recorded to existing analog video cassette tapes which used PAL and NTSC formats.

    NTSC: 44100 = 245 × 60 × 3
    PAL: 44100 = 294 × 50 × 3

    Active lines/field × lines/second × samples/line

    44100 has a lot of small prime integer factors as it's 2 × 2 × 3 × 3 × 5 × 5 × 7 × 7.
  8. ginetto61
    Hi ! beacuse i read something about this in the PS audio web pages. Their dacs can convert pcm to dsd. I know there are also algoritms that do this but they use HW. Actually i do not know if this could provide any benefit.
  9. ginetto61
    Hi ! thank you very much for the interesting information. So there was a good technical reason for choosing 44.1kHz. Good.
    However for me it is enough to know now that both can give very similar results in terms of sound quality. I was feeling that the soundtrack on some dvds in 16/48 was excellent indeed. Very very musical. But clearly it's me. Because sometimes i find musical even some mp3 320k tracks.
    I am always listening for musicality above all. And realism.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  10. Tsukuyomi
    so i did a little test sampling some music i had both in 44.1 and 48.
    i wasnt able to hear a difference at all between thoes at all.
    but between 16/44.1 and lets say 24/192 you can definitely hear a difference.
  11. ginetto61
    Hi another important confirm. Thank you very much indeed. I have to try some high rez files one day. I have to check the formats on my dac.
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
  12. bigshot
    The only difference with a sampling rate above 44.1 is it is going to render frequencies beyond the range of human hearing. The threshold of transparency is 44.1. Beyond that everything sounds the same to human ears. The quality of the recording and mastering matters. The sampling rate doesn't.
  13. old tech
    It can't provide a benefit, at best there wouldn't be any perceptible difference and at worst, a deterioration.

    Although the jury is still out which is better, DSD or PCM, that comparison is really between a DSD recording, playback chain - not PCM converted to DSD or vice versa.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  14. old tech
    Who is you? I certainly can't hear a difference in a properly controlled test - ie comparing the 24/192 file with the same file converted to 16/44 (to ensure identical mastering sources), level matched, double-blind etc. It is easy to verify this using foobar with the dbt plugin.

    If a difference is heard under the controlled conditions, it is more likely that it is a deterioration than an improvement due to ultasonic IMD messing with the rest of the playback chain - as discussed in the link below.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    omniweltall likes this.
  15. old tech
    Well you won't find that by focusing on formats but rather you should seek out the best mastering of whatever album you want to experience that musicality and realism. The fact that you find it on some mp3 tracks should tell you that.

    It is hard work finding the best mastering, further complicated by what is "musical and realistic' can be subjective to any one individual, but there are many resources on the net to provide a guide. Just type "name of album and artist" and "best sounding" into google for opinions.

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