New Hi-Res Audio Players, Speakers, Headphones from Sony - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 62 Old 09-08-2013, 08:41 PM
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They're neat little boxes. As a headphone guy who has a very large collection of classical and film music, these types of elegant players are what I was hoping to see from bigger consumer electronics companies. I would certainly consider one of these right now if I did not already have a solution that I really like.
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post #32 of 62 Old 09-09-2013, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

while literally true, IMHO imagic's point is still right on target.

No because he simply don't know what he's talking about. He's got some kind of ax to grind with Audyssey that clouds his judgement. Not the side of things you wanna be.
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even though it is up to the mfg's, Audyssey is being disingenuous since there is NO company that has seen fit to do it the strictly correct way. until a company DOES build a product that does what Audyssey says is possible to do, they are making an excuse for the fact that no such product exists.

Bull, Audyssey licences a technology it's up to each MFR how to implement it, it's not an excuse, it's fact, and it's true to all third party licencing technology companies. Dolby DTS you name it. THX would be a different thing but for obvious reasons. What it can do can be studied via the white paper, there is no need for prototype to exists, unless you believe that they lie. If you do name your sources.
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in my mind, if's similar to an auto mfg that says it can build a performance engine capable of 50 mpg but it's not their fault that none exist to buy. not quite the same but similar wink.gif

Audyssey is not an OEM it's not it's purpose to build anything, which part is that not clear to you?
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I'll give you 2 companies who are being "honest": Anthem & Trinnov. why?

1. while their receivers downsample, Anthem does build processors that don't with their ARC fully engaged.
2. while the Trinnov implementation in the Sherwood 972 does downsample, there are processors from ADA and Trinnov themselves that don't with Trinnov engaged.

in both cases, they will cost ya, but they are there to buy if you have the coin wink.gif

It has nothing to with honesty, Anthem is an OEM, and Trinnov made a deal with another to produce a statement product, and aimed at a different market. These choices a business ones nothing to do with engineering.
If you have a real evidence to back up your assertions, please provide it, or you should really rest your case!

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post #33 of 62 Old 09-09-2013, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post

No because he simply don't know what he's talking about. He's got some kind of ax to grind with Audyssey that clouds his judgement. Not the side of things you wanna be.
Bull, Audyssey licences a technology it's up to each MFR how to implement it, it's not an excuse, it's fact, and it's true to all third party licencing technology companies. Dolby DTS you name it. THX would be a different thing but for obvious reasons. What it can do can be studied via the white paper, there is no need for prototype to exists, unless you believe that they lie. If you do name your sources.
Audyssey is not an OEM it's not it's purpose to build anything, which part is that not clear to you?
It has nothing to with honesty, Anthem is an OEM, and Trinnov made a deal with another to produce a statement product, and aimed at a different market. These choices a business ones nothing to do with engineering.
If you have a real evidence to back up your assertions, please provide it, or you should really rest your case!

I do see that Audyssey has firmed things up on the high end, spec-wise, so for XT32 users it is possible to use the product in an "unrestricted" manner with hi-res sources, and that XT is good to 96KHz. I already stated that can I see how Audyssey is useful for a home theater. However this thread is about music—and I still feel that full-on Audyssey with room EQ is not necessarily beneficial for music playback on system that is optimized for that sort of listening. However, I can see using Audyssey to manage system calibration and bass—even with music.

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post #34 of 62 Old 09-09-2013, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I do see that Audyssey has firmed things up on the high end, spec-wise, so for XT32 users it is possible to use the product in an "unrestricted" manner with hi-res sources, and that XT is good to 96KHz. I already stated that can I see how Audyssey is useful for a home theater. However this thread is about music—and I still feel that full-on Audyssey with room EQ is not necessarily beneficial for music playback on system that is optimized for that sort of listening. However, I can see using Audyssey to manage system calibration and bass—even with music.



I've respected your opinion since you first straightened me out on video quality months ago and I've also learned you know your audio too Mark. Audyssey is really wonderful for movies, and you are correct that it's not as good for music, although the flat setting doesn't roll the high end off like full on Audyssey does. At least you state Audyssey's qualities rather than throwing it all under the bus like some biggrin.gif
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post #35 of 62 Old 09-09-2013, 05:03 AM
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Worth reading before purchase (thanks to Arnyk for this link to the full article):

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70893.0

Best,

Brian
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post #36 of 62 Old 09-10-2013, 04:12 PM
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Audyssey changes the levels of different frequencies to accommodate the acoustics of your room. I could see how it could help but from what i have experienced, the DAC's in the receivers just aren't as good as a dedicated dac and the music coming out of the receiver is digitally and not as bodied. Is that Audyssey's fault? Do i like the change in the imaging it produces? I think i could with some music but honestly the degrade in quality just steers me away from it.

who do i talk to around here about changing my title from "advanced member" to "specialED member"
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post #37 of 62 Old 09-12-2013, 07:28 PM
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Not wanting to start a flame war, but DACs are pretty much commodity items nowadays. Do a Google search on null tests and you'll find that very cheap DACs (just a few dollars each) perform identically to expensive DACs (up to several thousand dollars). Seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? The beauty of the Digital Age is that the most esoteric chip designs can be reproduced for fractions of a penny.
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post #38 of 62 Old 09-12-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briansxx View Post

Worth reading before purchase (thanks to Arnyk for this link to the full article):

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70893.0

Best,

Brian

Thanks so much for posting this. I was going to myself but you beat me to it.

The only potential benefit of "hi-rez" is that we may see some well mastered recordings for a change - recordings that have not been stripped of all dynamics like we hear on many modern CDs. It's possible that labels may end up releasing two versions on a recording - one on CD / mp3 totally bereft of dynamic range, and a "hi-rez" version with the dynamics intact. In this case the "hi-rez" version may indeed sound superior, but not because of any inherent audible benefit to the technology, but only due to the proper mastering the hi-rez version receives. If one were to release a CD (or 44/16 lossless download) from the identical master, though, it will likely sound identical to the "hi-rez" version.

The reason so many CDs sound so bad has nothing to do with the underlying technology, but only in how it is utilized.

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post #39 of 62 Old 09-12-2013, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by briansxx View Post

Not wanting to start a flame war, but DACs are pretty much commodity items nowadays. Do a Google search on null tests and you'll find that very cheap DACs (just a few dollars each) perform identically to expensive DACs (up to several thousand dollars). Seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? The beauty of the Digital Age is that the most esoteric chip designs can be reproduced for fractions of a penny.

That's the beauty for the consumer, but the threat for the manufacturer. The fact is that almost all electronics are transparent to the source these days, and electronic manufacturers are left with trying to come up with ways to get us to invest more money in gear that - if well engineered - will sound pretty much like any other piece of gear in the same category. Hence "hi-rez" audio. The benefits of "hi-rez" audio are almost impossible to hear, even with the most expensive gear on the planet, mainly because the most expensive gear on the planet does nothing to improve human hearing.

As I mentioned above, there may be a silver lining in that recordings engineered for hi-rez may end up avoiding the massive compression that most digital music is subjected to these days, and therefore sound better. I can envision a scenario where standard 44/16 may be the format for portable listening where heavy compression can actually be a benefit (in the car, via smartphone or tablet, etc), and hi-rez versions end up being listened to in dedicated listening rooms and home theaters.

My personal preference would be that labels issue their recordings with the dynamic range intact and that we as consumers be given the ability to adjust compression on the playback device. For example, I would LOVE to have the ability to compress classical / orchestral music when I play it in the car, since the road noise obscures quieter passages. However, I would want to be able to totally bypass any compression when I play back the same material in the home.
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post #40 of 62 Old 09-14-2013, 04:23 AM
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interesting discussion: I am looking at the Sony HAP-Z1ES or the Marantz NA-11S1

currently using a Marantz NA-7004 which cost $400.00 new so there is a big price difference for this step up

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post #41 of 62 Old 09-15-2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

...The fact is that almost all electronics are transparent to the source these days, and electronic manufacturers are left with trying to come up with ways to get us to invest more money in gear that - if well engineered - will sound pretty much like any other piece of gear in the same category. Hence "hi-rez" audio. The benefits of "hi-rez" audio are almost impossible to hear, even with the most expensive gear on the planet, mainly because the most expensive gear on the planet does nothing to improve human hearing.

....

I beg to differ. People would be stunned if they followed me around and saw the all of the major flaws that I find in almost everyone's systems. It does not matter how knowledgeable the person is. They just do not have the tools or experience to know they have these problems or how to isolate them. People just tend to think things are as good as they can be because they want to believe they have bought something good and know how to set it up within a reasonable level of the gears capability not knowing that a wide variety of equipment by default has faults built-in that you must find and eliminate. Be they internal wiring errors or software features that are engaged and wreck the sound quality.

I have heard and measured 1000's of audio installations in a wide spectrum of homes and professional venues. It is clear to me that as installed most sound systems are far from being transparent to the recording. This is the result of many things including the following:

- Over processing the data in the preamp or source
- Unknowingly engaging software features in either the source or the preamp that dramatically degrade the sound
- Improper setup of equipment resulting in loss of information from the source or poor frequency response
- Poor speaker placement
- Poor room acoustics
- Equipment defects or limitations either from poor QC or design flaws. This is most common in the most expensive electronic equipment.
- Improper gear for the room size increasing either amplifier or speaker distortion

It is the rare sound system indeed that is performing anywhere near the potential of the best recordings or to its price point for that matter. It is also clear to me that very few speaker designs and electronic designs offer the possibility of extracting what is possible in the best recordings. It is rare for me to measure a system that is less than +-2 db from 20Hz to 20kHz for example and one that has vanishingly low distortion from the source to my ears over that range as well. Yet good research, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study" by Sean Olive, has shown how sensitive even the average person is are to frequency response alone.
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post #42 of 62 Old 09-15-2013, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

That's the beauty for the consumer, but the threat for the manufacturer. The fact is that almost all electronics are transparent to the source these days, and electronic manufacturers are left with trying to come up with ways to get us to invest more money in gear that - if well engineered - will sound pretty much like any other piece of gear in the same category. Hence "hi-rez" audio. The benefits of "hi-rez" audio are almost impossible to hear, even with the most expensive gear on the planet, mainly because the most expensive gear on the planet does nothing to improve human hearing.

As I mentioned above, there may be a silver lining in that recordings engineered for hi-rez may end up avoiding the massive compression that most digital music is subjected to these days, and therefore sound better. I can envision a scenario where standard 44/16 may be the format for portable listening where heavy compression can actually be a benefit (in the car, via smartphone or tablet, etc), and hi-rez versions end up being listened to in dedicated listening rooms and home theaters.

My personal preference would be that labels issue their recordings with the dynamic range intact and that we as consumers be given the ability to adjust compression on the playback device. For example, I would LOVE to have the ability to compress classical / orchestral music when I play it in the car, since the road noise obscures quieter passages. However, I would want to be able to totally bypass any compression when I play back the same material in the home.



+1 I think your last point about compression should be front and center as a new feature in the audio world, what a brilliant addition that would be to anyone worried about sound quality. I know some artists release two different versions, one compressed and one for audiophiles.
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post #43 of 62 Old 09-15-2013, 11:23 AM
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I beg to differ. People would be stunned if they followed me around and saw the all of the major flaws that I find in almost everyone's systems. It does not matter how knowledgeable the person is. They just do not have the tools or experience to know they have these problems or how to isolate them. People just tend to think things are as good as they can be because they want to believe they have bought something good and know how to set it up within a reasonable level of the gears capability not knowing that a wide variety of equipment by default has faults built-in that you must find and eliminate. Be they internal wiring errors or software features that are engaged and wreck the sound quality.

I have heard and measured 1000's of audio installations in a wide spectrum of homes and professional venues. It is clear to me that as installed most sound systems are far from being transparent to the recording. This is the result of many things including the following:

- Over processing the data in the preamp or source
- Unknowingly engaging software features in either the source or the preamp that dramatically degrade the sound
- Improper setup of equipment resulting in loss of information from the source or poor frequency response
- Poor speaker placement
- Poor room acoustics
- Equipment defects or limitations either from poor QC or design flaws. This is most common in the most expensive electronic equipment.
- Improper gear for the room size increasing either amplifier or speaker distortion

It is the rare sound system indeed that is performing anywhere near the potential of the best recordings or to its price point for that matter. It is also clear to me that very few speaker designs and electronic designs offer the possibility of extracting what is possible in the best recordings. It is rare for me to measure a system that is less than +-2 db from 20Hz to 20kHz for example and one that has vanishingly low distortion from the source to my ears over that range as well. Yet good research, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study" by Sean Olive, has shown how sensitive even the average person is are to frequency response alone.

I guess I am not sure why you "beg to differ," since I don't find anything in your comments above to be at odds with what I posted. I agree with just about everything you wrote. I'm just not sure how any of this relates to hi-rez audio, because the problems you point out are still going to be there whether or not someone has hi-rez audio or not. My point had to do with the audibility of the supposed benefits of hi-rez.

If I understand you correctly, you are mostly referring to room interactions and improper use of component software / processing. To clarify my point, I was saying that well-engineered electronics will sound pretty much the same as any other piece of well-engineered electronics in the same category. I suppose I could have stated "when properly set up" to make things more specifically accurate. All that extra processing that many receivers and pre-amps do is an example of "feature creep" that manufacturers instigate in order to differentiate their products. And it is very true that most people don't know what they are doing in terms of implementing those features.

One final clarification - I would NEVER suggest that all speakers sound the same, or that speaker placement is not important, or that acoustically treating your room is not important. Choosing the right speakers, placing them correctly, and treating the room are far more important than having a hi-rez audio source when it comes to achieving the best sound possible. My one caveat would be that having the hi-rez source IS more desirable if it also represents a much more dynamically mastered recording.
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post #44 of 62 Old 09-15-2013, 02:09 PM
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I guess I should say almost no electronics are transparent to the source as designed and installed due to sloppy design, manufacturing and features. Most manufacturers are more interested in next years model instead of getting what they are doing right and keeping the design for years because it is solid.
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post #45 of 62 Old 09-29-2013, 09:10 PM
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So much negative opinions, I am seriously considering buying one of those HAP-Z1ES!

The only thing is that I really like true multichannel audio with the 800Ds and 802Ds smile.gif
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post #46 of 62 Old 12-09-2013, 04:34 PM
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Been waiting for a product like this, currently using iMac / Dac/ stereo , with Pure Music software. My question is can I still use use Pure Music software for playback thru Sony's Hi Rez player ?
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post #47 of 62 Old 01-01-2014, 10:21 PM
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Well, If I can find any device that will make most of the downloadable MP3 Crap files sound better then so be it! I am old school and still tend to listen to most of my music on CDs/SACDs but would love a good device to stream everything through or at least send everything through a device like this or similar to this for better quality. But the general public just doesn't care, the problem with Sony and other companies they need to educate that quality is better than quantity! LOL wink.gif
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post #48 of 62 Old 01-10-2014, 05:01 PM
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I am stoked that Sony is back in the speaker game! Those ES models from the 90's were outstanding!
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post #49 of 62 Old 01-11-2014, 12:24 AM
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Sony has never been successful in the speaker game. It has shown decent high end product on occasion but nothing either came to market or was successful there. For many years sony demoed high end electronics for audio with Wilson Watts. There seemed to be a difference between Japanese audio signature of the speakers and what high end yanks preferred.

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post #50 of 62 Old 01-12-2014, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

... Higher bitrates and bit depths absolutely translate to superior clarity and dynamics during recording and playback, and thanks to the increased quality of hi-res music, listeners can experience studio-quality sound at home. The main barriers to wider adoption of higher quality music reproduction is convenience and awareness....

I have never seen a good ABX test where subjects can reliably differentiate between 16 bit and 24 bit audio, and 192kHz is also pointless (and it may in fact be harmful to SQ). If there were such tests in existence, HD Audio purveyors wold have trotted them out long ago, instead of obfuscating their claims with flowery nonsense.

So, this stuff about "Higher bitrates and bit depths absolutely translate to superior clarity and dynamics during recording and playback" may be effective marketing speak, but it's also outrightly misleading, to put it politely.

See, for e.g. 24/192 Music Downloads ... and why they make no sense.

Quote:
Quote:
192kHz considered harmful

192kHz digital music files offer no benefits. They're not quite neutral either; practical fidelity is slightly worse. The ultrasonics are a liability during playback.

Neither audio transducers nor power amplifiers are free of distortion, and distortion tends to increase rapidly at the lowest and highest frequencies. If the same transducer reproduces ultrasonics along with audible content, any nonlinearity will shift some of the ultrasonic content down into the audible range as an uncontrolled spray of intermodulation distortion products covering the entire audible spectrum. Nonlinearity in a power amplifier will produce the same effect. The effect is very slight, but listening tests have confirmed that both effects can be audible.

...

In summary, it's not certain that intermodulation from ultrasonics will be audible on a given system. The added distortion could be insignificant or it could be noticable. Either way, ultrasonic content is never a benefit, and on plenty of systems it will audibly hurt fidelity. On the systems it doesn't hurt, the cost and complexity of handling ultrasonics could have been saved, or spent on improved audible range performance instead.
Quote:
The dynamic range of 16 bits

...

16 bit audio can go considerably deeper than 96dB. With use of shaped dither, which moves quantization noise energy into frequencies where it's harder to hear, the effective dynamic range of 16 bit audio reaches 120dB in practice [13], more than fifteen times deeper than the 96dB claim.

120dB is greater than the difference between a mosquito somewhere in the same room and a jackhammer a foot away.... or the difference between a deserted 'soundproof' room and a sound loud enough to cause hearing damage in seconds.
Quote:
Listening tests

...

This paper presented listeners with a choice between high-rate DVD-A/SACD content, chosen by high-definition audio advocates to show off high-def's superiority, and that same content resampled on the spot down to 16-bit / 44.1kHz Compact Disc rate. The listeners were challenged to identify any difference whatsoever between the two using an ABX methodology. BAS conducted the test using high-end professional equipment in noise-isolated studio listening environments with both amateur and trained professional listeners.

In 554 trials, listeners chose correctly 49.8% of the time. In other words, they were guessing. Not one listener throughout the entire test was able to identify which was 16/44.1 and which was high rate [15], and the 16-bit signal wasn't even dithered!

Another recent study [16] investigated the possibility that ultrasonics were audible, as earlier studies had suggested. The test was constructed to maximize the possibility of detection by placing the intermodulation products where they'd be most audible. It found that the ultrasonic tones were not audible... but the intermodulation distortion products introduced by the loudspeakers could be.

This paper inspired a great deal of further research, much of it with mixed results. Some of the ambiguity is explained by finding that ultrasonics can induce more intermodulation distortion than expected in power amplifiers as well. For example, David Griesinger reproduced this experiment [17] and found that his loudspeaker setup did not introduce audible intermodulation distortion from ultrasonics, but his stereo amplifier did.

Don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but also feel that misleading information on forum like this should be challenged.

Cheers.
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post #51 of 62 Old 01-12-2014, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I have never seen a good ABX test where subjects can reliably differentiate between 16 bit and 24 bit audio, and 192kHz is also pointless (and it may in fact be harmful to SQ). If there were such tests in existence, HD Audio purveyors wold have trotted them out long ago, instead of obfuscating their claims with flowery nonsense.

So, this stuff about "Higher bitrates and bit depths absolutely translate to superior clarity and dynamics during recording and playback" may be effective marketing speak, but it's also outrightly misleading, to put it politely.

See, for e.g. 24/192 Music Downloads ... and why they make no sense.

Quote:


Don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but also feel that misleading information on forum like this should be challenged.

Cheers.

Of course, that's the point of an open forum, to have a discussion.


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post #52 of 62 Old 01-12-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

To highlight the significance of hi-res music, Sony had Herbie Hancock take the stage to describe his own experience—in his own studio—comparing hi-res music to MP3, and more poignantly to a CD he produced in the same studio. It is only three minutes and well worth checking out:

Where did the hi-res track that Herbie compared to his CD version come from - was it sourced from a better-than-CD master version?

If not, the comparison is meaningless.

I agree with those who say that we need better mastering that achieves the capability of CD a lot more than we need higher res, where the average quality will be less than what CD is capable of.
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post #53 of 62 Old 01-13-2014, 02:48 PM
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noah katz: I agree better mastering would be nice but then companies couldn't sell us the new and improved version of what we already have! lol I am still a fan of "Physical" media, why? Because I have control over it, and it seems to employee more people and in this economy this could be a good thing! wink.gif To me 320kps seems to be at or near CD quality and most of the downloads I have that are 128kps just sound like crap, now that just could be the mastering of the songs who knows. Just give me a device that makes the music sound better to "My Ears" or what I think sounds better and I am happy, and not for a ton of money of course. wink.gif Sony's DSD sounds promising as long as it isn't too expensive, but they can start by better masters, just don't think they are going that route. Just like TVs market, its all a numbers game weather our ears hear it or not.
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post #54 of 62 Old 02-18-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I do admit many red book CD's do not sound that good, but I have remastered ones from 40 year old sources that rival my SACD's. I also have a couple SACD and DVD-A discs that don't sound so good.That indicates to me that it's less about res and more about the recording and mastering process. Again I'm not saying high res sounds bad, it's all how one hears it.

Great post. Your experience mirrors mine.
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post #55 of 62 Old 02-18-2014, 02:36 PM
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And now they embrace BLu ray audio-MLP!
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post #56 of 62 Old 03-09-2014, 06:49 PM
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I admit that I am a total novice to this technology. But it seems to be a godsend for someone like me.

I currently have 100,000 songs. They are all stored on HDs in FLAC format. The problem is that most audio equipment pertaining to vehicles and home stereo setups does not play FLAC format. So essentially I have 100,000 useless files. My only option for car listening is to convert some of these files to MP3, put them on an iPod, and connect the iPod to my car stereo. The 2 downsides are low audio quality with MP3 format and 160GB maximum storage capacity with the iPod. In the home stereo realm, my best option is to convert the FLAC files to WAV, burn them on CDs, and then play them on a CD player. The downside to that is having thousands of CDs.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. This device currently has 1TB of storage, so future models may have 2+ TB of storage which would solve my storage problem. I would be able to have all 100,000 FLAC files on a single component. Also, no one seems to mention that this device can "up-convert" lower resolution files like MP3, FLAC, and WAV to DSD. Therefore, my songs that are currently "CD quality" can be up-converted to HD quality with this device.

Am I the only one who finds this absolutely mind blowing?!

I can play 100,000 songs in DSD/HD quality (which is considered the pinnacle of hi fidelity sound, any further improvement in sound and the human ear can't even tell the difference) using a little box the size of a CD player that simply attaches to my receiver. I don't have to buy SACDs because this device will convert all my regular CDs into DSD sound. I could literally throw away thousands of CDs. The only issue this wouldn't solve is listening to music in my car.

Am I missing something here?
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post #57 of 62 Old 04-04-2014, 05:41 PM
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I got a HAP-Z1ES to audition for a few days: this thing weighs 32 pounds: it is built like the old ES gear: solid and massive and beautiful

HAP-Z1ES has a file transfer program you can download to a PC or MAC: and an iPad app

I have it playing the demo material that comes preloaded: there is a noticeable thump at the beginning and end of some tracks: but in between it sounds excellent: perhaps more later smile.gif

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post #58 of 62 Old 04-05-2014, 06:45 AM
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I downloaded some albums from HD Tracks: the HAP transfer program found them quickly and cover art came up on the front display and iPad app

Rebecca Pidgeon album The Raven was downloaded in 176.4khz/24 bit and I know these songs well: sound quality is excellent: very clean: and there are no thumps as I heard in the preloaded demo tracks.

Using XLR to Marantz 8801

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post #59 of 62 Old 04-14-2014, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

I got a HAP-Z1ES to audition for a few days: this thing weighs 32 pounds: it is built like the old ES gear: solid and massive and beautiful

HAP-Z1ES has a file transfer program you can download to a PC or MAC: and an iPad app

I have it playing the demo material that comes preloaded: there is a noticeable thump at the beginning and end of some tracks: but in between it sounds excellent: perhaps more later smile.gif

This unit is basically a Sony XA-5400ES that requires one to use only 2 channels for hi res PCM and DSD files. But, I don't understand the logic. Why would I want 2 channel DSD and PCM when I can have 5.1 channesl of PCM at 176.24/24 using the Sony XA-540ES playing SACDs? eek.gif
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post #60 of 62 Old 05-01-2014, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

I got a HAP-Z1ES to audition for a few days: this thing weighs 32 pounds: it is built like the old ES gear: solid and massive and beautiful

HAP-Z1ES has a file transfer program you can download to a PC or MAC: and an iPad app

I have it playing the demo material that comes preloaded: there is a noticeable thump at the beginning and end of some tracks: but in between it sounds excellent: perhaps more later smile.gif

This unit is basically a Sony XA-5400ES that requires one to use only 2 channels for hi res PCM and DSD files. But, I don't understand the logic. Why would I want 2 channel DSD and PCM when I can have 5.1 channesl of PCM at 176.24/24 using the Sony XA-540ES playing SACDs? eek.gif

I believe multi-channel mixes/masters for SACD (DSD) have been abandoned. The vast majority of musical content available today is still, overwhelmingly, 2 channel stereo. Modern SACD and DSD downloads since are in 2 channel stereo. From an "audiophile's" view, one should listen to music in the channel/speaker format for which it was mixed/mastered: these days, and that means today's DSD, that is 2 channel stereo. Yes, one can, and Sony could have added options to use all sorts of Dolby like multi-channel matrixing hocus pocus, but that would alter the original mix just to have sound emit from all 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 speakers. I'm sure that would be controversial among many on this forum, and Sony is marketing this to the "audiophile" market who would, most likely, agree with Sony's decisions. However, the analog outputs to an AVR does allow one to add the multi-channel matrixing using their own device. I suppose, from Sony's standpoint, if one wants to listen their old multi-channel SACD's (mastered as so), they need to get a seperate SACD or SACD/Blu-ray player.

IMHO, Sony probably feels comfortable enforcing adherence to the original source materiel with offering 2 channels of output only and a built in amp and speaker connections designed to leave things to "Sony's standard" completely eliminating (sarcasm here) contamination of the audio from "outside" influences smile.gif. Note that there are no digital outputs for this device. IMHO, Ideally, Sony probably does NOT want people using this device as a transport because many (not the really well informed folks, but the more casual "audiophiles") would blame the Sony device for a not so great sound when the fault may be in the listeners DAC, as Sony is making a big deal about their DAC being the bee's knees. There is still great controversy regarding differences among DAC's and if they are truly significant.

For me, the power and appeal of this device is having all my music on one STAND-ALONE device that organizes it, provides copious visual information along with album art, that does not depend upon a PC for playback nor streaming one room to another (streaming is another omission most likely to keep the Sony experience positive rather than have people upset at the Sony device when the listener's real problem is their lousy, slow, LAN). All the other stuff is not terribly compelling to me because there just aren't any devices like this one in regards to how it SPECIFICALLY can store, DISPLAY, and play the music without a PC. Not since the old LG Blu-rays that could rip CD's and access Gracenote (as this device does) to provide storage, organization and easy, intuitive playback with plenty of visual data and all for a lot less $$ than this device, but LG no longer makes those Blu-ray players. I am so desperate to get my music on such a device that I just may bite the bullet and get this Sony device. Heaven Help me to win the Lotto.
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