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

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... A/B ing the recordings matters.Listen to Take five(Dave Bruebeck) in 24/96 and 16 bit flac.
The noise floor is drastically less and the dynamic range pounces on you like a tiger...
Do you have detailed information about the origin of both versions that sound so obviously different ?
Maybe the 16 bit flac is a CD release version from the 80's and the 24/96 is a less than 5 year old remaster?
Just guessing of course

 
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Quote:
  I dont want stir the hornet's nest, but can't resist the action..

despite all the arguments against High res audio, at the end of the day only
A/B ing the recordings matters.Listen to Take five(Dave Bruebeck) in 24/96 and 16 bit flac.
The noise floor is drastically less and the dynamic range pounces on you like a tiger.I have A/B ed these 2 tracks on systems without any tube amp or desktop amps or dacs and still could identify the versions without guessing, 100% of the times adjusted for the individual gains.
 
 
If the dynamic range is different between the two versions, the master is different, and you aren't really just comparing the formats. Also, if you can hear the noise floor on the 16 bit recording, it's either noise from the original recording (tape hiss?), or it was mastered at far too low a level (like -40 or -50dBFS). It's also possible that your playback system has appallingly bad noise when playing 16 bit. For a fair comparison, take the 24 bit version and downconvert it to 16/44, then upconvert it back to 24/96, then compare those two.
 

 
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KeithEmo

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What about when you take your 24/96 and convert it to 16/44? Make sure your lower res copy is created from your higher res version and compare those two. 
 
Unfortunately, whenever you convert a file, there is filtering involved, which introduces some (very slight) changes to the sound. If you don't hear a difference between the 24/96k original and the converted 16/44 version, then this will prove that neither difference is significant (in your test rig, with your sample content, and through your ears). But, if you do hear a slight difference, you won't know for sure how much of it is due to the difference in sample rate or bit depth, and how much is due to slight alterations introduced in the conversion process itself.
 
It's also fair to remind everyone that we are talking about subtle differences here... subtle to the point where they may only be audible at all with certain source material, or with certain speakers or headphones, and maybe not all of us can hear them at all... however that doesn't rule out the fact that they may be audible and significant under some circumstances. (Either way, they may well be less major than differences between speakers or headphones.)
 
Another post suggested that the differences may be due to other things - perhaps because a different master was used. While this is certainly true, I think its importance to end users is being overemphasized. It may matter a great deal to a music producer, or a streaming service, whether a high-def download really sounds better because it's high-def or because it was remastered. However, to the person buying and listening to it, all that matters is that the "high-def remaster" does in fact sound better. Most of the current crop of high-def reissues have been remastered, often in a way that is significantly better than the original CD version... in which case it's worth buying because of the better remastering. (I might even suggest that, once we've established that the 24/192 remaster of Album X sounds better than the CD version, we can also assume that the "master copy" of the remaster was in fact done at 24/192. Therefore, even if the sample rate itself doesn't make a significant difference, the 24/192 version will be "a copy of the master" while the 16/44 "CD quality" version will have been converted form that new master - and so will be "one generation out - and possibly slightly different". In that situation, even if we were to agree that the fact that one is at 24/192 didn't actually matter, it would still make sense to buy the 24/192 version that was a direct 1:1 copy of the new master, rather than the 16/44 version which had been converted from it.)
 
If you accept that many remasters sound better than the original - for whatever reason - then it simply doesn't make sense to agonize over the differences between a 16/44 version and a 24/192k version (the price difference is usually small, and the cost of storage has gotten so low that the size of the file itself simply doesn't matter all that much). A lot of people bought a lot of music in AAC or MP3 format, only to find out later that the difference was obvious on "their new stereo", and end up being disappointed, or end up spending a lot of money buying their collection all over again. I'd rather spend a few $$$ more and buy the best quality version that's available when I make my purchase, and so minimize the risk of having to buy it again later.
 
(I think it's kind of cool to be able to buy an actual copy of the 24/192k remaster; I used to just hate buying a vinyl album... and knowing that what I had in my hand wasn't nearly as good as the original version that was recorded on the master tape. Even if, in a particular case, I don't notice a difference, It makes me feel better to know that there isn't a better quality copy out there "that I'm missing".)
 
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Gr8Desire

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  I dont want stir the hornet's nest, but can't resist the action..

despite all the arguments against High res audio, at the end of the day only
A/B ing the recordings matters.Listen to Take five(Dave Bruebeck) in 24/96 and 16 bit flac.
The noise floor is drastically less and the dynamic range pounces on you like a tiger.I have A/B ed these 2 tracks on systems without any tube amp or desktop amps or dacs and still could identify the versions without guessing, 100% of the times adjusted for the individual gains.
Thats why listening experience is and will always remain the king
and rest of any arguments based on engineering is feckless.
On other hand badly mastered recordings like LP of Aerosmith's Sweet emotion have much of distortion and noise) which is also audible.
Thus, even though I agree with them logically and technically, I dont quite agree with the article based on my experience.

You are not stirring up a hornet's nest. You have made a terrific observation.  Unfortunately, you also made a critical mistake.

96/24 is NOT an integral multiple of the sampling rate of 44.1/16.  As such, you get dithering artifacts inserted when the content is down-sampled for 44.1 MHz playback.
 
Find an 88.2/24 recording and it will sound much better at 44.1 MHz because no dithering artifacts will be added.

Dithering is affecting the dynamic range and - as you say - the 'impact' at 44.1 MHz playback is also diminished. I am not surprised. Not only is the noise floor potentially higher, but you have more distortion across the entire audio spectrum. 24 bits of dynamic range details could help marginally but it can't fix timebase resampling artifacts.

Your comment is even more interesting because I think the Hi-Res version Brubeck's Timeout is the BEST album I own!!!  It was remastered in 2013 to 176.4/24. It sounds just as good at 44.1/16 as 176.4/24 because the sampling timebase is a proper integer multiple. Moreover, I contend: It is not the sampling rate or bit depth that makes this recording stand out. It is the 2013 remix that did the job.

 
 
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icebear

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Originally Posted by KeithEmo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
....
Therefore, even if the sample rate itself doesn't make a significant difference, the 24/192 version will be "a copy of the master" while the 16/44 "CD quality" version will have been converted form that new master - and so will be "one generation out - and possibly slightly different". In that situation, even if we were to agree that the fact that one is at 24/192 didn't actually matter, it would still make sense to buy the 24/192 version that was a direct 1:1 copy of the new master, rather than the 16/44 version which had been converted from it.)...
Usually most of your walls of text
do make some sense...
BUT arguing about differences of digital formatting/resampling or generations of digital copies that originate from the exact same source file ... nope, lost me there
.
 
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  I dont want stir the hornet's nest, but can't resist the action..

despite all the arguments against High res audio, at the end of the day only
A/B ing the recordings matters.Listen to Take five(Dave Bruebeck) in 24/96 and 16 bit flac.
The noise floor is drastically less and the dynamic range pounces on you like a tiger.I have A/B ed these 2 tracks on systems without any tube amp or desktop amps or dacs and still could identify the versions without guessing, 100% of the times adjusted for the individual gains.
Thats why listening experience is and will always remain the king
and rest of any arguments based on engineering is feckless.
On other hand badly mastered recordings like LP of Aerosmith's Sweet emotion have much of distortion and noise) which is also audible.
Thus, even though I agree with them logically and technically, I dont quite agree with the article based on my experience.

You're probably A/B testing different masters.
 
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interpolate

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I bought Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk in 88.2K/24 FLAC format it's nice and clean, loud without any mid-frequency issue. Whether the 44.1K CD version sounds the same is irrelevant to me.
 
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KeithEmo

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  Usually most of your walls of text
do make some sense...
BUT arguing about differences of digital formatting/resampling or generations of digital copies that originate from the exact same source file ... nope, lost me there
.
 
It's really pretty simple.
 
We're NOT talking about generations in terms of copies not being the same as originals. Of course, since it's just bits we're talking about, a copy will be identical to the original (if you don't do something wrong). The same is true if you convert from one lossless format to another - no change. However, when you convert a digital audio file to a different sample rate, new numbers must be calculated, and part of the process involves digital filtering. It is NOT a totally lossless conversion. Therefore, whenever you convert one sample rate to another, you slightly alter the content. (For example, if you convert a 16/44k file to 16/96k, then convert the 16/96k file back to 16/44k, you might expect to end up with exactly what you started with, but you won't.) Some conversion programs alter the signal more than others, and some offer several different options in terns of filtering, but none is "absolutely perfect". Therefore, if you have a file that was actually mastered at 24/192k, and you buy a copy at 24/192k, your copy should be identical to the original. However, if you convert it to 16/44k, even excluding any possible difference because of the different sample rate, you will also have differences due to the artifacts of the conversion process. (And so, if what you're buying was mastered at 24/192k, a 24/192k copy should be identical to the original, but, even excluding any possible audible difference because of the different sample rate itself, the 16/44k version will have been altered slightly by the conversion process itself.)
 
An easy to demonstrate this for yourself is to start with a 24/96k "master file" and convert it to 16/44 using several different "high end" programs; you will find that the results are similar, but not identical (and sometimes the differences are audible).
 
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Computer audio has one significant disadvantage : your have to use a computer

If you are a PC wizard or like to deal with all the necessary trouble shooting to get things running smoothly, then be my guest. I like to listen to music. I press play on my old fashioned disc player and enjoy 16/44 and some SACD's. If people feel the high rez formats are the best thing since the invention of electricity, then again be my guest.
 
I'm also into photography a little bit and you have a similar phenomenon there, the pixel and the ISO race. More and more MP, flagships are around 50MP and ISO up to 125,000 and no new camera has less than 20MP and highest ISO below 12,500. And does it really matter? If you blow up the files big enough, yeah you can proof a there is a difference, as always "moar is bettar" ... on the spec sheet
. In real world application or viewing size, a little more than 10MP give excellent results. And yeah you can take pictures in complete darkness, only choosing the subject and framing might be an issue.

Why have the TV's grown to a size of half the living room wall? Because with a reg. 46 inch screen you won't recognize any difference. Of course 4k resolution makes it possible to identify the sort of bug on the leaf of grass on a football field. Does it make the game more interesting?
 
Back to audio ... there is no equivalent option to increase the screen size. Just positioning the speakers further apart is not really going to help
And since this is head-fi we're screwed anyway. With all the splitting hairs over formats - I just have to listen to some Mercury living presence recording, made with 3 microphones and 35mm magnetic tape more than 50 years ago and I realize that the ability of the recording engineer to listen to the space of the concert hall, pick the right microphones for a specific task and position them in the best possible location - THIS will make a fascinating recording and an artistic and audiophile document.
 
And btw I think for a processing chip in a computer it doesn't really make a difference if the multiplication / division is by 2.000000000 , 4.000000000, 8.000000000 or by 1.89512345678. It's only humans who like even numbers as our brain handles them easier. I'm certain a chip doesn't care. Yes, theoretically there might be differences in the 10th digit when you shovel the numbers back and forth. On a 80 inch screen you might see it, on a 46 inch, who cares? Ooops wrong medium again

 
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"Computer audio" isn't any harder than pressing play for music. It's a weak task. It does essentially the same thing as your disc player, which is also a computer funnily enough. Press play and enjoy anything computer made (which accounts for nearly all of the music industry's output). It's simply audio.
 
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  I dont want stir the hornet's nest, but can't resist the action..

despite all the arguments against High res audio, at the end of the day only
A/B ing the recordings matters.Listen to Take five(Dave Bruebeck) in 24/96 and 16 bit flac.
The noise floor is drastically less and the dynamic range pounces on you like a tiger.I have A/B ed these 2 tracks on systems without any tube amp or desktop amps or dacs and still could identify the versions without guessing, 100% of the times adjusted for the individual gains.
Thats why listening experience is and will always remain the king
and rest of any arguments based on engineering is feckless.
On other hand badly mastered recordings like LP of Aerosmith's Sweet emotion have much of distortion and noise) which is also audible.
Thus, even though I agree with them logically and technically, I dont quite agree with the article based on my experience.
 
Please do tell about these alleged listening experiences. Were they carefully controlled comparisons with adequate quality controls or were they the usual audiophile casual sighted evaluations?
 
The usual casual sighted audiophile evaluations are utter junk when it comes to reliable tests of sound quality.
 
They usually suffer from one or more of the following fatal problems, usually all of them. Any of these problems is fatal to the credibility of the evaluation for the reasons stated:
 
(1) Audiophile Casual Sighted evaluations are not reliable evidence because they are not even tests. That is, they do not involve comparison to a fixed, reliable standard.
 
(2) Audiophile Casual Sighted Evaluations are not  reliable evidence because they involve excessively long switchover times, which makes them highly susceptible to false negatives because they desensitize the listeners.
 
(3) Audiophile Casual Sighted Evaluations are not reliable evidence because the do not involve proper level matching, which makes them highly susceptible to false positives because people report the level mismatches as sonic differences.
 
(4) Audiophile Casual Sighted Evaluations are  reliable evidence because they do not involve listening to the identical same piece of music or drama within a few milliseconds, creating false positives because people report the mismatched music as sonic differences in the equipment.
 
(5) Audiophile Sighted Casual Evaluations are not  reliable evidence because they constantly reveal the true identity of the UUTs to the listener, creating false positives because people report their prejudices and preconceived notions as sonic properties of the equipment.
 
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  Computer audio has one significant disadvantage : your have to use a computer

If you are a PC wizard or like to deal with all the necessary trouble shooting to get things running smoothly, then be my guest. I like to listen to music. I press play on my old fashioned disc player and enjoy 16/44 and some SACD's. If people feel the high rez formats are the best thing since the invention of electricity, then again be my guest.
 
I'm also into photography a little bit and you have a similar phenomenon there, the pixel and the ISO race. More and more MP, flagships are around 50MP and ISO up to 125,000 and no new camera has less than 20MP and highest ISO below 12,500. And does it really matter? If you blow up the files big enough, yeah you can proof a there is a difference, as always "moar is bettar" ... on the spec sheet
. In real world application or viewing size, a little more than 10MP give excellent results. And yeah you can take pictures in complete darkness, only choosing the subject and framing might be an issue.

Why have the TV's grown to a size of half the living room wall? Because with a reg. 46 inch screen you won't recognize any difference. Of course 4k resolution makes it possible to identify the sort of bug on the leaf of grass on a football field. Does it make the game more interesting?
 
Back to audio ... there is no equivalent option to increase the screen size. Just positioning the speakers further apart is not really going to help
And since this is head-fi we're screwed anyway. With all the splitting hairs over formats - I just have to listen to some Mercury living presence recording, made with 3 microphones and 35mm magnetic tape more than 50 years ago and I realize that the ability of the recording engineer to listen to the space of the concert hall, pick the right microphones for a specific task and position them in the best possible location - THIS will make a fascinating recording and an artistic and audiophile document.
 
And btw I think for a processing chip in a computer it doesn't really make a difference if the multiplication / division is by 2.000000000 , 4.000000000, 8.000000000 or by 1.89512345678. It's only humans who like even numbers as our brain handles them easier. I'm certain a chip doesn't care. Yes, theoretically there might be differences in the 10th digit when you shovel the numbers back and forth. On a 80 inch screen you might see it, on a 46 inch, who cares? Ooops wrong medium again
But unlike audio, taking pictures with high pixel counts may be useful when you want to crop pictures. Having more ISO is better provided that the noise level is below acceptable levels. The photography argument doesn't really work with audio TBH.......................................
 
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  But unlike audio, taking pictures with high pixel counts may be useful when you want to crop pictures. Having more ISO is better provided that the noise level is below acceptable levels. The photography argument doesn't really work with audio TBH.......................................
 
... see great specs work, there is always some reason that this necessary, at least in some cases
.
It is just an example of bigger numbers are used to sell something.
Marketing convinces most consumers that this is sooo much better and a lot of folks buy first the argument and then the product.
 
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What about when you take your 24/96 and convert it to 16/44? Make sure your lower res copy is created from your higher res version and compare those two. 

I have tried and haven't found any difference between 16/44 cd and 16/44 from 24/96.
 
But i have a question..
is the effect of different downsampling algorithms used noticeable to a discerning ear..because of dithering?
 
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I have tried and haven't found any difference between 16/44 cd and 16/44 from 24/96.
 
But i have a question..
is the effect of different downsampling algorithms used noticeable to a discerning ear..because of dithering?
Unlikely due to its insignificant values  it is done by adding noise of a level less than the LSB (Least Significant Bit) before rounding to 16 bits.
 
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