./sox Bheki.wav -b 16 Bheki-16bit-custom.wav gain -1 rate -v -I 44100 dither -s
./sox Bheki-16bit-custom.wav -b 24 Bheki-16bit-custom-abx.wav rate -v -I 96000
./sox Bheki.wav -b 24 Bheki-abx.wav gain -1
./sox Bheki-16bit.wav -b 24 Bheki-16bit-abx.wav gain -1 rate -v -I 96000
For some reason the 24-bit one sounds like it has a more in-depth stereo feel to it than the 16-bit one. Now this is only noticed when listening at the original sound level, the bass seems to have more clarity too.
4. Take the down-converted Redbook sample and create an upsampled 96kHz version from it. This eliminates any side effects for the later ABX comparison without increasing the actual resolution of the content.
Note, however, that the 16-bit version appears to be attenuated by 0.165db relative to the high res version. This is just barely on the cusp of what I might consider audible.
I give it up, over 80% probability that I'm guessing after 10 trials. And I really did give it a chance: loud volume, several ranges tested, long runs. And the equipment wasn't bad either, a Benchmark DAC1 and a pair of Westone UM2, which tend to be my most revealing headphones.I just compared the high resolution track against my own 16 bit version, since Linn's is not aligned and there's not much (probably nothing) you can do better than the above procedure. So after all that I don't buy the 24/96 advantage!Still this is a nicely done record. They have used some kind of tube effect, that adds nice distortion to the louder amplitudes as some piano highlights, which makes it very pleasant to hear. Stereo image and setup are also well done. It didn't have to be mastered that loud considering it is a 24 bit record, but where else do you get that nowadays?
foo_abx 1.3.4 reportfoobar2000 v0.9.6.72009/08/19 10:14:17File A: C:\Users\Eunice\Desktop\Bheki-16bit.wavFile B: C:\Users\Eunice\Desktop\Bheki.wav10:14:17 : Test started.10:15:46 : 01/01 50.0%10:16:38 : 01/02 75.0%10:18:57 : 02/03 50.0%10:19:57 : 03/04 31.3%10:21:22 : 04/05 18.8%10:21:41 : 05/06 10.9%10:21:58 : 05/07 22.7%10:23:48 : 06/08 14.5%10:24:46 : 07/09 9.0%10:26:30 : 08/10 5.5%10:27:57 : 09/11 3.3%10:28:10 : Test finished. ---------- Total: 9/11 (3.3%)
I didn´t do any upsampling - that would have changed the results. My external interface very neatly switches the samplerates around without me knowing it (no clicks involved) and foobar adds a pause when every track (A, B, Y or X) is changed.
Common guys, I have just one pair of ears. Anyone else? So many people swear by 24/96. Convince me that it isn't just marketing hype.
As far as I know the E-MU 0202 USB does not switch sample rates automatically, but employs Windows' mediocre quality realtime-SRC to convert to the rate set in the E-MU USB Audio Control Panel.
The 16 bit track, as it comes from Linn, cannot be converted to a higher sample rate (wether realtime or HQ) without resulting in several hundred clipped samples, so it must be attenuated prior to conversion. Attenuation again requires re-dithering, which again raises the noise floor, so the approach to generate your own high quality master from the 24/96 source is the cleanest path to follow.
1. use the provided 24/96 as a source (call that A)2. halve the volume (23 bits! ) (call that B)3. resample (B) to 16/44 (call that C) using fb2k or whatever4. ABX (B) vs ©5. resample © back to 24/96 (call that D)6. ABX (B) vs (D)