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24bit/96kHz playback

i have some questions about playing back 24bit/96kHz FLAC files from my PC through my receiver.  first, i have a Pioneer VSX-D414 receiver that is advertised with "192 kHz 24 bit D/A converter".  so i assumed, it can handle the 24bit/96kHz FLAC files.  i have it connected to my PC's sound card (X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series) through it's SPDIF OUT TOSLINK.  in the SPDIF OUT's properties, i have it's "default format" as "2 channel, 24 bit, 96000 hz").  when i select that, my receiver displays "PCM 96" steadily.  i play the FLAC files through Foobar2000 which recognizes they're 96000 hz and 3000+ kbps, but i really don't notice any difference in quality compared to having it set to 16 bit and 44100/48000 hz.  so i was wondering if 1)  i have the right equipment to properly play these files and 2) will the difference even be noticeable?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #1
will the difference even be noticeable?

Unless your receiver was poorly designed or broken in some way any answer other than no would need to be backed by double-blind test results in order to be taken seriously on this forum.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #2
i play the FLAC files through Foobar2000 which recognizes they're 96000 hz and 3000+ kbps, but i really don't notice any difference in quality compared to having it set to 16 bit and 44100/48000 hz.  so i was wondering if 1)  i have the right equipment to properly play these files and 2) will the difference even be noticeable?


(1) Sounds like you do have things set up right.

(2) In general there are no audible differences or benefits due to the use of audio delivery formats above 16/44.  16/44 is actually an overkill format. If you chose 12/28 as your baseline format, then 16/44 might sound somewhat different and/or a little better. 


24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #3
So Arnold, what do you meant by overkill? Does it mean that HD audio has little benefit compared to 16/44?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #4
"HD audio" ??

Comparing 16/44.1 vs 24/96 is not the same as comparing DVD vs Blu-Ray

HD video generally offers a noticeable improvement over standard definition, but in audio anything above 16/44.1 is far from what your ears can reach so yes, it has little benefit, or none at all.


24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #5
Well one can always make the case for cranking the volume on reverb tails or other extremely quiet passages without any regard to what happens during loud passages (assuming that the loud passages would actually reach full-scale).
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #6
Are your 24/96 FLAC audio files converted from 16/44.1 source or are those true 24/96 recordings?

Juha

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #7
Are your 24/96 FLAC audio files converted from 16/44.1 source or are those true 24/96 recordings?

That wouldn't make much of a difference.

HD Audio is a marketing hype, because the audio industry wanted something just as cool as "Full HD".

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #8
Quote
That wouldn't make much of a difference.

HD Audio is a marketing hype, because the audio industry wanted something just as cool as "Full HD".



Hmm... that's an opinion?

Juha

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #9
Yes, based on the threads here already covering this topic. But feel free to convince me of the contrary.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #10
What about the dogs, people? Does anyone here ever think of the dogs?!

I can barely detect the negligible difference between a well-encoded MP3 @ 128 Kbps and its lossless source...but my dog surely could. I'm almost certain of it. I wish I could get ol' Heinrich to stop licking his business long enough to engage in an ABX of 16-bit CD-A and 24/96. If I ever hear that difference I'll be posting the results on this forum.

...don't hold your breath for that.

The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #11
People have also started referring to blu-ray and HD-DVD audio formats (DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD) as "HD audio" in the past few years though, even though they can still be 16/48. It's an euphemism for "lossless" in this regard.

Lossless audio in movies is a pain in the ass anyway, at least for PC playing, due to additional HDMI DRM restrictions.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #12
Err, record a dog-whistle on 24/96 and see if Heinrich responds to the playback, to get him into training?

Edit: in reply to post #11, of course.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #13
Juha:  they are true recordings to my understanding.  they're the 45rpm vinyl rips of Metallica's albums that are floating around the internet.  in the text files included, they show the logs and such.

my obvious question would then be, why all the hype about this extra quality?  i'm not just talking commercially but even just downloadable music.  everybody rips mp3s at 320kbps, 1000kbps+ FLAC, and now a lot of these 3000kbps+ 24/96 vinyl rip FLAC's.  if 16/44.1 is pretty much the max that the human ear can hear.  are people like me and just like knowing they technically may have the higher of qualities?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #14
The original is vinyl then, not 24/96 audio.

So since the original is vinyl then there's another obvious question that should be asked first. Do you think vinyl sounds equal or better than 24/96 digital audio? Cause if vinyl sounds worse, you're not making it better by ripping at 24/96.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #15
So Arnold, what do you meant by overkill? Does it mean that HD audio has little benefit compared to 16/44?


Little or none as far as delivery formats go. There are some infrequent situations where moving up to 24 bit samples and/or higher sample rates can have some indirect audible advantages during audio production. But once the distributed recording is mixed, mastered and finished, 16/44 is all we need.

Both SACD and DVD-A basically tanked in the marketplace and failed in their bids to become mainstream. This was due to the fact that they failed to convince the general public and the scientific community that they had any sonic advantages. This contrasts with the audio CD and DVD video, which obtained unprecedented public acceptance, partially due to improved sound quality. In the case of video DVDs, the improved sound quality was due to the dramatic benefits of using more than 2 channels, and not due any improvement in the sound quality of individual channels.

It is generally conceded that the lossy compression formats that are widely used for music delivery over the web and in portable players do at least occasionally cause some change or loss of audio quality. Yet, these formats are widely accepted and have become mainstream. I take the fact that these formats are acceptable to so many people despite the fact that they sometimes audibly change or degrade music from 16/44 sources, as proof that 16/44 is for most practical purposes, an overkill format.

In the laboratory, it has been repeatedly found that down sampling commercial music recordings produced in so-called high resolution formats to 16/44 simply has no audible effects whatsoever. Thus we have reliable evidence that 16/44 is at least sufficient for music reproduction that is generally indistinguishable from so-called high(er) resolution formats.

Some of us have experimented with more extreme reductions in resolution such as 13/32 and 12/28. Depending on the musical selection, even these formats can be either indistinguishable or only barely audibly degraded as compared to 16/44. Therefore, we have additional evidence that in general, 16/44 is an overkill format.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #16
The original is vinyl then, not 24/96 audio.

So since the original is vinyl then there's another obvious question that should be asked first. Do you think vinyl sounds equal or better than 24/96 digital audio? Cause if vinyl sounds worse, you're not making it better by ripping at 24/96.


well, since you're saying the albums are not true 24/96, i have nothing to compare to.  i have compared these rips to the previous versions i had of the albums (~1,000kbps FLAC) and no i don't really notice a difference really.  those compared to mp3's at 320/192/128, etc... i have not done yet.  but basically, anything more than a 128kbps/16 bit/44,100 hz .mp3 file will not present any noticeable quality gains?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #17
128kbps/16 bit/44,100 hz .mp3

Mp3 files are 32 bit float in the frequency domain; 16-bit is meaningless here.  Anyway, no one is saying that 128kbps mp3 is a guarantee of adequacy, but regarding vinyl you are hard-pressed to find something that requires more than 14 bits, tops.  You're also hard-pressed demonstrating that you need more than a 44.1kHz sample rate as a delivery format despite the fact that vinyl is actually capable of delivering greater than 22.05kHz unless there is something wrong with your DAC.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #18
Unfortunately the rumour about 24bit or high resolution material is superior to 16/44.1 in every respect has spreaded all over.
On many places you can read how much better the 24bit version sounds be it a DVD rip, a HD download or somewhere else sourced from.
Mostly people compare this 24bit version to a cd version they have around from a while back. To them there is no doubt it sounds better cause of the 24bit of the new material and ignore the fact that it is for sure a complete different master transfer/mix.
It is even hard to convince people that don´t have a clue about this music being data that they compare apples to oranges then. Just lately i was in a thread with someone comparing cd vs 24bit like VHS to Blue-ray. Even if some people tried to explain he should compare the 24bit downsampled to 16bit beneeth each other and not an older cd against his new 24bit download he didn´t get it. He knows both have the same source so the sound difference is the bits - BASTA!
What can i say? In the next thread he entered again how superior his system sounds with 24bit... thats how that BS about 24bit spreads.
Very frustrating if you ask me.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #19

Wombat. I remember that thread. That poster was quite thick headed. :-)

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #20
If you want to engage in looking for the audible benefits of 24/96 you should also make sure the equipment you use can actually reproduce sound at that spec. What I'd especially look for is SNR (of the amp) and the frequency response of the speakers.
I don't know what speakers/headphones you use, but for the receiver the SNR values are as follows:
Quote
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
(IHF, short circuited, A network)
CD, DVR/VCR, CD-R/TAPE/MD,
DVD/LD, TV/SAT ......................................... 96 dB
Signal-to Noise Ratio
[EIA, at 1 W (1 kHz)]
CD, DVR/VCR, CD-R/TAPE/MD,
DVD/LD, TV/SAT ......................................... 79 dB

(manual from here)

I'm not sure what the difference between IHF and EIA specs is, hopefully someone can explain.

Many speakers can't reproduce sounds above 22 kHz, AFAIK. (Although I think the specs given by the manufacturers are supposed to be the only for the ~flat frequency response - so there could still be non flat frequencies beyond those mentioned in the specs.)

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #21
Beyond having to establish the technical limitations of the playback equipment, you have to know that the producer of the recording thought there would be some benefit in reproducing frequencies more than an octave above what humans can hear.  If that octave can't be accounted for during recording and post-production, then what use is it anyway, even if we could hear it?

In other words, in most cases we have real people making decisions about how to make a recording based on what their ears tell them.  Their ears aren't telling them shit about what's above 20 kHz.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #22
Unfortunately the rumour about 24bit or high resolution material is superior to 16/44.1 in every respect has spreaded all over.
On many places you can read how much better the 24bit version sounds be it a DVD rip, a HD download or somewhere else sourced from.



Like this place , for example:

www.hdtracks.com  (David Chesky's new venture)

Quote
Q: Will I really hear the difference between the various formats?
A: You should hear a substantial difference when listening to the music on a home stereo. The music will sound cleaner, the bass will be tighter and you will notice a higher definition in all the instruments.
\

Is that a promise, Mr. Chesky?   


24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #23
I think one of the reasons this is so pervasive is that it's so easy to believe, and to understand why it's not true, you have to actually make an effort and know how things work (like the LCD monitor!), and/or understand scientific issues that can get very technical. It's about the purest form of pseudoscience. It's not like they're saying they saw Bigfoot or a UFO (at first glance, at least). I've been reading all this for years, and there is still some stuff (which usually require maths understanding) that I have to take on authority from the likes of some of you people.

24bit/96kHz playback

Reply #24
I've been reading all this for years, and there is still some stuff (which usually require maths understanding) that I have to take on authority from the likes of some of you people.


This is true for many including myself, but the crucial difference is that here, you ask those authorities what's in the box* and they'll open it up for you and explain every part. And if you have questions about that, they'll open up more boxes. And so on, and so on, until it starts to make sense.

An Audiofool authoritay will simply shrug it off with, Hey, It's 24 bit!.



*) conceptually speaking, though it could also apply to a piece of hardware.

 
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