Red Book specs published for CDs in 1987 are a compromise between audiophile sound and practical considerations for the production the media itself - the CD. There is only so much room on a CD. No one in 1987 ever thought that studio master files could be made available to the public. Now that they are, they are selling briskly and there is an incentive for publishers to make them available. I play 24 bit 192mhz files through my PC into an Electrocompaniet DAC and the sound is jaw dropping! Far superior to the CD of the same music and much better than a 16bit flac dowload. I think that many people will claim that there isn't a difference in the sound because they don't have the equipment that will let them hear the difference.
Part of the "equipment" of which you speak includes the listener's ears. I for one have a hearing problem which is that I'm quite deaf above 10 kHz. Thus I really don't don't hear a difference between well-record CD resolution and SACD (as an example of hi-rez).
In any case I doubt that you will deny that far, far more of the differences between recordings are due to the recording and mastering processes than shortcomings of CD vs. hi-rez.
I play 24 bit 192mhz files through my PC into an Electrocompaniet DAC and the sound is jaw dropping! Far superior to the CD of the same music and much better than a 16bit flac dowload. I think that many people will claim that there isn't a difference in the sound because they don't have the equipment that will let them hear the difference.
Yes indeed. But as the subsequent post suggests, not having the equipment only scratches the surface of the culture of denial that this subject has spawned throughout this thread, for reasons we can only guess at.
Stand by for another wave.
Given that the 'subsequent post' refers to a hearing loss above 10kHz, I don't really understand what you mean by a "culture of denial".
Perhaps you could elaborate?
"Louder! Louder! I can still hear the singers!"
- Richard Strauss to the orchestra, at a rehearsal.
Perhaps you missed the final paragraph, quoted above.
Do you doubt there has been a culture of denial over this issue?
I honestly don't know what you mean by "a culture of denial".
To go off topic a little, just tried to download Die Lustige Witwe from the Universal Music website using their much touted Downloader. It does not work. I finally had to download the music as zip file. Another gripe. Why don't DG include the liner notes and libretto in PDF format? I trawled the web high and low for a German-English libretto to no avail. Tried the EMI website too. EMI claim they can't make the libretto available for copyright reasons. Makes me want to go back to buying physical CDs. The only download site that is really good about providing liner notes and libretti is classicsonline.com owned by Naxos. I know where I'll be buying my downloads.
A music lover currently living in the middle of nowhere.
I know about cultural denial but I know you can't deny the laws of physics. If you encode a music file at 24bit you are going to get a better dynamic range and more detail and accuracy than you will at 16 bit - all else being equal. Now, whether the music was any good to begin with, that is a matter of taste. surely we all want a world where we can optimize both.
Absolutely right. I have supported this view throughout this thread.
Not that it's really worth the effort, but a scan through this thread will show the negativity, the denial, surrounding claims for high bit-rate reproduction of music. Low points have included the claim that all CD players sound the same; that human hearing can't detect the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit; that some 24 bit downloads are deliberately recorded at higher levels to trick purchasers; that self-delusion drives this issue, and so on.
I don't know why but there are some who just want to knock any enthusiasm for innovation they haven't tried yet. I'm sure in the days of mono to stereo, they would have found reasons to denigrate it.
Ah, right - I understand what you mean now.
It's usually just 'human nature', rather than anything more sinister. People generally don't like change, even if it's for the better.
Plus, sometimes claims are made for/against things that aren't tenable, and it can be hard to determine what's true and what's hype, especially as the technology gets more complicated.
Perhaps you might like to try the little test of whether you can really hear differences between different numbers of bits at www.ethanwiner.com/BitsTest.html
Not a classical sample, but some acoustic guitar samples in a random order (some reduced to very low numbers of bits).
Just came across this thread and thought I'd add my tuppence-worth.
All my CDs are ripped to FLAC as it's a lossless, non proprietry format. Whatever happens in the future I'll be able to convert the full "CD quality" files to any new format with no loss of quality.
There are programs easily available that are able to convert any of the popular lossless formats to another format.
I usually rip all my cd's to ALAC and then convert those ripped files to other fomats as needed with dBpoweramp.
That's an interesting experiment but I'm not sure what it proves. In my estimation you have introduced too many variables and have obscured the issue. I contend that the 24 bit original would always stand out against any 16bit copy if nothing else was done to the file to throw the listeners ear off. But again, it is always dependent on the listener having equipment that can discriminate the difference. This has been my experience.
I agree. And I think the position I outlined in post 60 still stands. How many bits would it take to exactly mirror the analogue sound wave we hear in nature? That is the standard of perfection we aim to reproduce, is it not? (I readily concede that I might be missing something here.)
I like the idea of trying the bit test though Ted. But I would need to be convinced that the samples can be relayed through my system as truly recorded (without loss or distortion in the transmission) before having confidence in its validity.
I am hampered by a lack of technical know-how here, but I need to be convinced that the test samples are, and can be downloaded in, a lossless format.
I have, as previously stated, downloaded the 24 bit 192kHz 4,516MB Studio Master of the Mackerras SCO Mozart symphonies (from Linn Records) and compared it to the ripped 16 bit CD. The difference is clear and significant (though not "night and day" as some have claimed) on my system anyway. Most, though not all, listeners to it agree. Listening to samples on the Linn site throught my computer/headphones does not reveal the difference (of course?) The method of getting a download to my DS streamer in/via FLAC is key, as indeed, as Deputydowg1 states, is the rest of the system that plays it. We are not talking of something that the kitchen tranny will reveal after all.
An interesting pursuit of music as close as possible to hearing it live. Now that is "night and day" compared to any audio equipment.
When I upgraded from my old Rotel integrated amp to the Magnum Dynalab I was very pleased with the improvement in stereo separation and increased sound stage, it was marvelous. The Magnum Dynalab has a much brighter sound and although it delivered a lot of detail (that I was not accustomed to hearing) it also made upper frequency sounds a little harsh and fatiguing. Violins in particular. I have been downloading some very nice samples from Nordic Sound (2L test bench). The high freq's in these samples definitely have a smoother edge. And, the sound stage in upper midrange has a lot more depth. I know that the sound of any system is a very dependent on source as well as components - and there are a dizzying complexity of options for interconnects. You all have given me lots to think about and explore this winter.
Just let me point out that the test I mentioned above is not mine, but those of a well-known US audio buff. All the files are standard 16 bit WAV files which will play fine on any PC and I assume a DS player. Three of the files will have a lower effective resolution though because of the way he processed them. None of the files is 24 bit, but at least it will give you an idea of what happens when the number of bits goes the other way.