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Read em up boys.
While I do think this is a great article, i believe it has been posted here many times. You can get a sense for the age of the article just from the first sentence:
'Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality''
The video he made afterwards is even better at explaining and demomnstrating some of the key concepts. It has also been linked to from this forum many times. It's great stuff!
Yeah. Why buying lamborghini when speed limit is 40 mph?
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Everyone on this board knows that, it's the rest of head-fi you have to convince. Which is difficult since head-fi themselves are sponsered by HDTracks...
Sometimes I wonder if there is any difference between sponsorship and outright bribery. In the case of high end audio publications similar lack of difference exists between advertising revenue and outright bribery.
Truth, honesty and integrity are all just so 20th century. The 21st century is all about lies, dishonesty and corruption.
Not the best analogy for discussing high-res audio. For most rich douchebags that statement is true, but for others, they have a racetrack within reasonable driving distance. While most a-holes stuck in LA traffic only take theirs to da clubbz, don't cuss at any Lambo on the freeway next to you because for all you know that might be one of the Andrettis going to Laguna Seca. It's not like they only take them out for the annual Bull Run up and down California.
The limitation is in human ears. It doesn't matter how high a frequency you want your stereo to produce and how wide a dynamic range, it all comes down to whether human ears can hear it.
Audiophools love to spend lots of money pushing the decimal point further and further to the left and making the frequencies go higher and higher, but at a certain point, it all becomes moot because only bats can hear it.
One thing I disagree about (and it's stated correctly in the article, but the title here is misleading): 24 bit does not harm the music in any way. Having a 24 bit DAC can provide some advantages too - namely, it keeps the noise floor and signal to noise ratio acceptable even when using digital volume control. 24 bit file formats can also be useful when capturing recordings due to increased headroom without an audible noise floor, and 24+ bit formats are good for mastering/processing, again, to keep the noise from compounding during mastering. Of course, 24 bit music files are pointless for playback purposes - 16 bit is perfectly fine for that.
I am a bit aghast at some of the opinions displayed in this thread. On a high resolution system, the benefits of 192K over 96K is clearly audible. I use CHesky Jen Chapin recording of the same album I bought in 96 then 192 when it was released. Just because someone can't hear the difference in their system doesn't mean it doesn't exsist. I guess at one time just because people couldn't see the curvature of the earth led them to believe the earth was flat.
Then it should be trivially easy for someone to demonstrate that under controlled conditions. No one has as far as I'm aware.
Just as a bit of interesting trivia... 44.1K covers the full spectrum of frequencies that humans can hear- 20Hz to 20kHz, with a bit to spare. Higher sampling rates extend the frequency response higher, far beyond our ability to hear, but the core frequencies below 20kHz are rendered exactly the same at 44.1 as they are at 192. So whatever it is that you seem to think is clearly audible isn't audible with human ears. Perhaps a bat!
However, it is possible that your equipment isn't designed to deal with super high frequencies and is adding distortion down in the audible range. So if you are positive you are hearing a difference, it is almost certainly noise, not music.
The controlled condition, I really want is the most resolving audio system known to man. Then, if it still cannot distinguished, and only then, I will side with the rebel alliance here.
There's so many reasons to not use 24-bit over 16-bit, or 96/192 kHz over 44.1 kHz. No music, not even classical, has enough dynamic range to take advantage of more than 16-bit. Unless you can hear over 22 kHz than above 44.1 kHz is also useless (plus instruments don't have any important information in that register). Really, unless your DAC processes 24-bit data different resulting in better sound... then there is no reason to use it. But the reason it is processed differently on some DACs is because of the believe that Hi-Res is better. It's a viscous cycle.
Why not just do a little googling and find out what additional benefits higher bitrates and sampling rates offer, then compare that to the thresholds of perception and you'll have your answer.
higher bitrate = lower noise floor
higher sampling rate = extended frequency response
Since 16/44.1 already has a noise floor so low you would have to turn the volume up to hearing damage levels to hear it all, and since it has a frequency response that covers the full spectrum of human hearing, what can you possibly expect to hear?
The vibrations caused by the Freightliner driving by the studio during the recording session?