Hi-Res 24/94 vs Flac vs CD vs Mp3 free files download comparison - Page 2 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 61 Old 05-28-2014, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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which track? if I may ask.
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post #32 of 61 Old 05-28-2014, 06:16 PM
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Quote:Originally Posted by Suite 

which track? if I may ask.


I used Santana - Abraxas, from HDTracks - which I believe is a 24/96. I used the song "Oye Como Va" at 24/96 and then made a downsampled version at 16/44.1. I could not hear a difference blind. This was played back on my Fiio X3 which supports 24/96 playback and headphones were Audio Technica ATH-M50S.

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post #33 of 61 Old 06-05-2014, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post

Ok, did anyone play these files yet?

Yes. My Sony 5100 Blu-Ray player does not like the FLAC so I listened to the MP3 and both WAVs. I could not discern the MP3 from the lower-resolution WAV but in both cuts, the 24/96 WAV was distinctly different from the others. More airy and almost lower-volume; clearer maybe? I need to listen more closely and without room correction on (I really only did a quick listen). Not what I was expecting, for sure.
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post #34 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up 96/24 files are wider,deeper, clearer, but....

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Originally Posted by Breddy View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by RayDunzl 

Ok, did anyone play these files yet?


Yes. My Sony 5100 Blu-Ray player does not like the FLAC so I listened to the MP3 and both WAVs. I could not discern the MP3 from the lower-resolution WAV but in both cuts, the 24/96 WAV was distinctly different from the others. More airy and almost lower-volume; clearer maybe? I need to listen more closely and without room correction on (I really only did a quick listen). Not what I was expecting, for sure.
I feel that the wav and flac 96/24 files are wider,deeper, clearer and with a more clearly defined sound stage.
After repeated shuffling( Blindfold) of the files it becomes less obvious. And I can not tell for sure what is what.
I believe that the blueprint theory of the Sound Liaison people has a point.
But incredible well recorded music it is.
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post #35 of 61 Old 06-17-2014, 06:07 PM
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CD is good enough IMO. The most important aspect is mastering though. Garbage in = garbage out.
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post #36 of 61 Old 06-19-2014, 04:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
CD is good enough IMO. The most important aspect is mastering though. Garbage in = garbage out.
+1
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post #37 of 61 Old 06-19-2014, 04:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
It would be interesting if track selection is blind and random.

If the files are properly made, and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, then the freeware FOOBAR2000 ABX comparator can help people address all such problems.
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post #38 of 61 Old 08-13-2014, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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How about the DSD downloads that are starting to appear, any opinions, are they superior or...?
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post #39 of 61 Old 11-21-2014, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breddy View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by RayDunzl 

Ok, did anyone play these files yet?


Yes. My Sony 5100 Blu-Ray player does not like the FLAC so I listened to the MP3 and both WAVs. I could not discern the MP3 from the lower-resolution WAV but in both cuts, the 24/96 WAV was distinctly different from the others. More airy and almost lower-volume; clearer maybe? I need to listen more closely and without room correction on (I really only did a quick listen). Not what I was expecting, for sure.
What were you expecting?
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post #40 of 61 Old 03-10-2015, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
CD is good enough IMO. The most important aspect is mastering though. Garbage in = garbage out.
The most important aspect is in the recording process. Garbage in = garbage out.
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post #41 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by Suite

which track? if I may ask.


I used Santana - Abraxas, from HDTracks - which I believe is a 24/96. I used the song "Oye Como Va" at 24/96 and then made a downsampled version at 16/44.1. I could not hear a difference blind. This was played back on my Fiio X3 which supports 24/96 playback and headphones were Audio Technica ATH-M50S.
The reason is that there is no difference. Abraxas was recorded on equipment that was not capable of capturing frequencies and dynamic range above the standard CD specification. HD Tracks just stuffed a standard resolution recording into a high resolution container.
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post #42 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 06:13 AM
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I try a few albums here and there but nothing huge. I will a few years to see if it ever become standard before jumping in.


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post #43 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post
The reason is that there is no difference. Abraxas was recorded on equipment that was not capable of capturing frequencies and dynamic range above the standard CD specification. HD Tracks just stuffed a standard resolution recording into a high resolution container.
Even when recording can capture those high frequencies, no one will hear it simply because human hearing doesn't extend up that high. The same holds true for higher bit depth. No one will hear a difference because 16-bit is already more than enough dynamic range to kill our hearing.
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Hi-Res 24/94 vs Flac vs CD vs Mp3 free files download comparison

Can some one bring up evidence on why Cd are 44.1/16bit? One side people say because human can't heard more than that, the other side people say because CD at that time could not fit any more than that so industry market it as this is that max you will ever need.

Was 44.1/16 a real scientific decision? Which I would have my doubts given the music industry marketing

Or was a decision made because the limits of the technology when CDs came out?
Why not more? Why not less? Without the real details seem like a random number to call it "Maximum"

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post #45 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Can some one bring up evidence on why Cd are 44.1/16bit? One side people say because human can't heard more than that, the other side people say because CD at that time could not fit any more than that so industry market it as this is that max you will ever need.

Was 44.1/16 a real scientific decision? Which I would have my doubts given the music industry marketing

Or was a decision made because the limits of the technology when CDs came out?
Why not more? Why not less? Without the real details seem like a random number to call it "Maximum"

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It was chosen because it perfectly reproduced everything we can hear. All one needs to do is look up Nyquist Theory. I have heard the argument that going to 48kHz pushing filtering out of the audible range, but I've never been able to hear the difference.
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post #46 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 06:31 AM
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I will look it up


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post #47 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Can some one bring up evidence on why Cd are 44.1/16bit? One side people say because human can't heard more than that, the other side people say because CD at that time could not fit any more than that so industry market it as this is that max you will ever need.

Was 44.1/16 a real scientific decision? Which I would have my doubts given the music industry marketing

Or was a decision made because the limits of the technology when CDs came out?
Why not more? Why not less? Without the real details seem like a random number to call it "Maximum"
Hans B. Peek discusses the origins of CD.

http://www.research.philips.com/tech...ct-Disc_v2.pdf
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I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot
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post #48 of 61 Old 03-11-2015, 11:15 AM
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Will read it when I get home
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post #49 of 61 Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM
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Even when recording can capture those high frequencies, no one will hear it simply because human hearing doesn't extend up that high.
It is not a matter of hearing or not hearing those frequencies. It is about audibility of resampling filters. Latest published double blind tests on AES directionally demonstrate this. See my write up on it that came out recently in the Widescreen Review Magazine: http://www.madronadigital.com/Librar...20Matters.html

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The same holds true for higher bit depth. No one will hear a difference because 16-bit is already more than enough dynamic range to kill our hearing.
This is not true . To kill your hearing, the loud sounds must last good bit of time. Loud by itself does not tell you if your hearing will be damaged or not. Music peaks last milliseconds and as such, they are not liable to cause damage.

But let's say that is true for you. You can always turn the volume down. But the rest of us can't restore what the requantization to 16 bit did to the music. By having high-resolution stereo masters, we both can have what we want. With CD spec, one camp is left behind.
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post #50 of 61 Old Yesterday, 12:52 PM
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Can some one bring up evidence on why Cd are 44.1/16bit? One side people say because human can't heard more than that, the other side people say because CD at that time could not fit any more than that so industry market it as this is that max you will ever need.
As with all optical formats, the notion started as you say: what capacity there was and working backward. Story goes that Morita-san (founder of Sony) had a specific classical performance in mind that he said must fit. And while the initial spec called for 14 bits, Sony jammed in 16 because they thought their co-development partner, did not have 16 bit DACs. This is what I have heard second hand even though I worked for Sony and for the guy that managed the development with Philips .

Quote:
Was 44.1/16 a real scientific decision? Which I would have my doubts given the music industry marketing
No, it was not scientific. No listening tests were performed. No signal processing exercise conducted. Such analysis has been done since and we can demonstrate that 16-bit quantization noise floor is too high for transparency. Should you use noise shaping you you can get there but that is not standard practice.

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Why not more? Why not less? Without the real details seem like a random number to call it "Maximum"
Building a 16-bit DAC and consumer prices was very hard circa 1980. I remember my first CD player that I bought in 1982. It was by Panasonic (Technics). Its DAC was actually a daughterboard, not a single chip. They only had one DAC that they switched back and forth between channels! And this was a $500 player. I remember you could buy a new Honda Accord for $4,500. Today the same car is around $25,000 so that player cost $2,500 in today's dollars yet still had mono DAC!

Today of course it costs nothing to make a DAC that runs at 24/192 Khz. And just about every piece of audio gear you buy at any price level plays such. It is the height of silliness to keep insisting that someone should truncate the stereo masters down to 44.1/16 to give us the bits. THe CD physical format required that. Digital downloads don't. We should as enthusiasts get behind getting the stereo masters prior to CD master/loudness compression. There is no other right answer as I explained in my article in the previous post.

Good/insightful questions by the way .
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My 2 cents is crap in-crap out- it all really depends on the producer and engineer in studio. I've heard high res that was awful and cd's that are great.
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Hi-Res 24/94 vs Flac vs CD vs Mp3 free files download comparison

My biggest issue is I have been an iTunes user for 10 years. I'm so used to getting music easily and organized in my library. I enjoy iTunes personally and because my previous job I was never in the same city for more than a year I never got a Hi-Fi stereo until last year. I was always on the road so portable speakers is what I used.

Pono store only have a handful of music beyond 16/44 at a price that I can't fully sustain at the amount of music I like to get every month. I don't know why they insist in selling Hi-Rez music at a higher price when they are saving on the step required to convert it to CD quality. One less step to do.

HD Tracks lack in many modern music I listen and even older music I like.

That's about it. Here is to hope that by a unlikely miracle Apple will start to sale masters quality tracks at the same price.
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Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Pono store only have a handful of music beyond 16/44 at a price that I can't fully sustain at the amount of music I like to get every month. I don't know why they insist in selling Hi-Rez music at a higher price when they are saving on the step required to convert it to CD quality. One less step to do.
The issue is the reverse: why is music so cheap on iTunes, Amazon, etc!

Music has always been a loss leader/"door pull" for retailers. Because of high frequency of new releases, it was a way to get the person to come into the store so that you could sell him something else. To do that effectively music and movies are routinely sold at well below cost. In the case of Apple, they want you to buy very high margin hardware from them so music is sold at razor thin margin above their cost.

A retailer like HD Tracks/Pono doesn't have anything to sell, putting aside the Pono player. And they have such low volumes/leverage with labels that they are paying higher royalties or minimum guarantees.

It is unfortunate that the dynamics are such but that is the way the messy marketplace works. As these formats get more popular, hopefully these barriers get removed. Who knows, maybe Amazon or iTunes hire an executive who has more love for audiophile music than he has business savvy and gets them into this business .
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post #54 of 61 Unread Yesterday, 07:01 PM
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Hi-Res 24/94 vs Flac vs CD vs Mp3 free files download comparison

Yeah , still after many year I'm used to that price. Just people that got used to Spotify price.

I used the devices for more than just music so I don't look at it the same way
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
Today of course it costs nothing to make a DAC that runs at 24/192 Khz. And just about every piece of audio gear you buy at any price level plays such. It is the height of silliness to keep insisting that someone should truncate the stereo masters down to 44.1/16 to give us the bits. THe CD physical format required that. Digital downloads don't. We should as enthusiasts get behind getting the stereo masters prior to CD master/loudness compression. There is no other right answer as I explained in my article in the previous post.
While it is true the fact just about every piece of audio gear you buy at any price level plays such, it should also be carefully noted that 24/192 alone does not warrant better sound. A well recorded, well mixed and well mastered Redbook CD or 16/44.1 digital download or 16/44.1 online streaming service version can still result in higher audio fidelity than a poorly recorded and or poorly mixed and or poorly mastered 24/192 DVD-Audio or Blu-ray or digital download, for example. In fact, even a used vinyl record transferred to 16/44.1 can sound truer to how the original analog studio master tape sounded more than half a century ago than a 24/192 reissue of the same album. (Even, if this 24/192 reissue was created from the exact same tape as the vinyl without doing any remixing or remastering or anything like that, simply because analog studio tape degrades over time whereas good quality properly stored and well cared for vinyl records can generally withstand the tooth of time much better in comparison).


Usually IMO, the biggest audible differences between different versions of a recorded album are due to applied different mastering. However, just because a certain DAC is capable of running at 24/192, does not necessarily also mean this DAC can be used in any way that is possible to achieve good audio performance. The vast majority of DACs supporting 24/192 operating at 24/192 perform worse audibly than the best DACs supporting up to only 24/96 operating at 24/96.
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My 2 cents is crap in-crap out- it all really depends on the producer and engineer in studio. I've heard high res that was awful and cd's that are great.
Are you really sure it was hi-res... that is, that it was recorded on equipment that was capable of capturing frequencies and dynamic range beyond that of the CD spec?


Very little out there is REALLY hi-res. It is mostly standard res or lower stuffed into a hi-res container.
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Well that should be illegal


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And I'm sure what he really means is that there's bad mastering real hi-res out there making it bad


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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Hans B. Peek discusses the origins of CD.

http://www.research.philips.com/tech...ct-Disc_v2.pdf
Good read! Loved to learn how the diameter and hole sizes were determined!
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Originally Posted by nvidio View Post
While it is true the fact just about every piece of audio gear you buy at any price level plays such, it should also be carefully noted that 24/192 alone does not warrant better sound. A well recorded, well mixed and well mastered Redbook CD or 16/44.1 digital download or 16/44.1 online streaming service version can still result in higher audio fidelity than a poorly recorded and or poorly mixed and or poorly mastered 24/192 DVD-Audio or Blu-ray or digital download, for example. In fact, even a used vinyl record transferred to 16/44.1 can sound truer to how the original analog studio master tape sounded more than half a century ago than a 24/192 reissue of the same album. (Even, if this 24/192 reissue was created from the exact same tape as the vinyl without doing any remixing or remastering or anything like that, simply because analog studio tape degrades over time whereas good quality properly stored and well cared for vinyl records can generally withstand the tooth of time much better in comparison).
That is all true but not the point I was making. The point was that one you remove the CD as the transport to get music, the *requirement* to convert to 44.1/16 goes out the window. There is no fidelity justification whatsoever for conversion of a higher bit-depth/higher sample rate to 44.1/16 when we are talking about digital downloads. At best such a conversion is transparent. At worst, it is not. In no case does it result in an improvement. But if one thinks it can improve the sound, you can always get the high resolution stereo master, and truncate it yourself. The reverse is not possible (getting back to the high resolution master from 44.1/16).

The only valid argument against this would be lack of ability to playback said content. And my other point was that this is not an issue. The capability to play high resolution has been in our audio equipment for a long time.

Now, what the talent does to create their art is not something we can argue or control. Someone can record AM radio and distribute it at 24/192 Khz. It is their prerogative to do that and it is ours to stay away from it when the fidelity takes away from the experience we seek. Same is true of the fidelity is there but the content itself is not to our liking. 24/192 Khz spec did not contribute to any of this.

Quote:
Usually IMO, the biggest audible differences between different versions of a recorded album are due to applied different mastering.
Which is another reason to support high resolution music distribution. CDs are targeted to mass market and as such, if you are talking about popular music, you are almost assured that loudness compression is applied to it. If on the other hand you opt for the high-resolution version, that channel does not come with the *requirement* of loudness compression. Content can surely arrive that way due to lack of attention, QC, cost, etc. But it doesn't have the edict that by definition screws up CDs and MP3/AACs.

In that sense, this is the #1 reason to support high resolution audio. Let's establish a solid market for stereo masters prior to CD re-mastering. It is our only hope for elimination of loudness compression.

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However, just because a certain DAC is capable of running at 24/192, does not necessarily also mean this DAC can be used in any way that is possible to achieve good audio performance. The vast majority of DACs supporting 24/192 operating at 24/192 perform worse audibly than the best DACs supporting up to only 24/96 operating at 24/96.
That is true. Here is a real life example of my ancient, completely obsolete Mark Levinson DAC which is limited to 24/96 KHz, compared to a couple of AVRs and a higher-end processor with the latest and greatest DAC (circa 2013):



As we see, my ML DAC wipes the floor with all of these. And we are not talking about some small tiny difference. No. The peaks around the main signal in the center in the AVR is some 50 decibels higher than the Mark Levinson! Not 0.1. Not 1. Not 10. But 50!

It is the difference between good engineering, and packaging an AVR to sell to people who don't know any better and just buy on the basis of spec lists.

To this day, the ML 360S is my reference system for critical listening. Have not felt the need, other than lack of higher sampling rate, to buy anything else. I think the ML is now 15 years old. I had to repair one channel when a capacitor started to leak. But that has been it. It is a work-horse quality product that delivers for years and years.

All of this said, again this was not my point. The point is that if we care about best mastering and fidelity, we have to get on the wagon of high-resolution audio. It is the most transparent channel for transmission of audio and by getting the bits prior to CD re-mastering, has the best shot at reducing the probability of getting loudness compressed content. It does not cure any other ills with music creation and industry but it does accomplish these two things.
nvidio, Gerardo2068 and Garidy like this.

Amir
Retired Technology Insider
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"
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