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Is 16/44.1 still a decent quality in 2020?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by twelvealo, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Memphisflash

    Memphisflash Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    no layers, just different cd's, sometimes the same cd or SACD (f.i. Hotel California on SACD or the latest cd issue)
     
  2. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident

    Has anyone here ever inadvertently played the CD layer of an SACD without realizing it but still got all involved and wrapped up in the music? Just wondering...
     
  3. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Crumpets mandatory.

    And so should real blind tests of real source files when comparing. All this I took a 24bit file and turned it into 16bit and I heard a difference just will never cut it.
     
    rockphotog and William Bryant like this.
  4. Retro Music Man

    Retro Music Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    If you want to listen to a wide variety of music, you have to be happy with 16/44.1. The majority of recorded music history is still only available in this format.

    You know why? I hate to say it, but 99% of music consumers do not care about resolution or format. They'd probably look at you like a mad scientist if you started mentioning these issues.

    It's just fortunate that, when CDs were being developed, they went with 16-bit instead of 14-bit, and 44.1kHz instead of 37.5kHz (like the old Soundstream recorders). The format was certainly future-proof in that respect.
     
  5. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Hell, most of 'em aren't even aware of how the other 12% is obsessed with digital compression (or whatever they think it is - "That CD's awful because it's not a vinyl...").
     
    Retro Music Man likes this.
  6. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
  7. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I am happy with 16/44.1. But I'm happier with high-res mastering that sound better than the 16/44.1 version.
     
  8. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You can tell 24 fps. Have you seen a film shot and projected in 60fps? A completely different experience. I saw first saw Showscan (developed by Douglas Trumbull) in the 1980s (60 fps) and was amazed. It never took off, but you could see the difference between 24 and 60 very clearly. Night and day. 24 looks very blurry in comparison.

    With Hi-Res recordings is isn't about being able to hear ultra-sonics (that's a red herring), but one can clearly hear a difference in transients. As in the attack on a saxophone or (even more common) the hit on cymbals. The reproduction of these sounds is more faithful in 24 bit.

    With some music it can be hard to tell or even impossible to tell. But listen to the cymbals in a 16/44.1 recording vs a 24/96 mastering of the same (superb) recording. It not subtle.

    Bill
     
    audiomixer likes this.
  9. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Yeah, that 60 fps point in recorded video was made several pages back. No comparison.

    Those transients as in the attack on a saxophone and cymbal hits provide no before and after causality. You'ld have to be in the room next to these instruments to compare their sound being recorded at high resolution vs low resolution to hear a difference and we both know you and I can't make that comparison. You don't know what's causing it to sound so detailed. I remastered an old Capitol Records recording of a circa 1960's Burl Ives Christmas song and pulled out a lot of detail and presence editing from the CD standard resolution up sampled to 32bit floating point in Audacity. Why did the original engineer crush all that detail back when it was recorded on reel to reel tape? It has nothing to do with high resolution considering digital editing wasn't around.

    High resolution digital audio is only useful for recording sound and editing afterward in high resolution.
     
    Retro Music Man likes this.
  10. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Uh, no man. All one has to do is hear the same recording in both formats to hear the difference.

    You seem to have your mind made up, so I won't waste my breath.

    Bill
     
  11. Retro Music Man

    Retro Music Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes, there would be quite a difference if the high-res version used a superior mastering. Otherwise... :rolleyes:
     
  12. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    No, the same mastering. And shove the eye-rolls. OK?

    Bill
     
  13. Retro Music Man

    Retro Music Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Ah, the same mastering. OK.

    So you're saying that 192kHz/24-bit and 44.1kHz/16-bit can have the same mastering, even though one supposedly contains all that extra high-end goodness? I would call that two different masterings - one with information above 22kHz, the other without.

    A bit of a contradiction, yes, but so are the arguments that hi-res exponents use to justify their love of the format.
     
  14. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The problem with using the sound of cymbals to compare CD and high-res is that people will think that the differences are all in the high frequency treble that only bats can hear. And that's not the case. The benefits of high res are present down in the bass and midrange that humans hear, even 60 year old humans. That's why I prefer using examples that focus on bass sounds and midrange sounds when comparing high res to CD. Rather that comparing high treble harmonics. The benefits for high res are present down in the midrange and bass. The benefits are more related to better phase and impulse and bandwidth and timing than in the frequency measures.

    One recording that I've found to be good for demonstrating the benefits of high res is "The Doors Of Heaven" performed by the Portland State Chamber Choir. In the first track on that album there is a bass drum recorded in a church. The bass drum hits in the high res version sounds more lifelike. There is more ambiance and hall sound and the initial drum hit sounds more lifelike. This post and this post explain more about what I hear with that recording and contain links to the CD and high-res versions for that recording.
     
    Spy Car likes this.
  15. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You've gone for the red herring argument--which is unsurprising :rolleyes: <---here is an eye-roll for you.

    It isn't about having ultra-high frequencies, it is about the way transients are reproduced.

    If you don't bother to read what I write, then please don't respond to my posts. OK?

    Bill
     
    MGW likes this.
  16. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    No, science has made its mind up. And you haven't provided any science based facts on how high resolution digital audio works. The computer scientists and programmers at Xiph.org will fill you in. They're the ones that invented the open source FLAC file format, the very same format folks keep saying sounds better than CD PCM which the folks who invented FLAC say that's impossible. They don't understand what a FLAC file is. The inventors have also made up their mind they're not going to waste their time explaining why that is.
     
    Retro Music Man likes this.
  17. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    More nonsense from a guy who said no one can tell the difference between 24 fps and 60 fps.

    Do you ever tire of being wrong?

    Good night and good day.

    Bill
     
  18. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I'm also a software engineer with a computer science degree. I say there is an audible difference between CD and high-res.

    Why is being a software engineer even a qualification for being able to hear a difference between CD and high-res? And why do you trust Monty's ears more than mine? Monty knows how to code and make a codec. That doesn't mean he knows how to hear. They don't teach you how to hear in computer science school.
     
    Spy Car likes this.
  19. Retro Music Man

    Retro Music Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    @Tim Lookingbill and myself have presented civil arguments without personal criticism.

    We all have our disagreements, but there's no need for hostile, confrontational language in a thread like this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
    Tim Lookingbill likes this.
  20. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Can you post a link where it specifically says by the recording engineer those performances you linked to on Qobuz were recorded in high resolution and with what equipment?

    I listened to those Qobuz samples 1. The First Tears and 2. Rivers of Light and I'm not hearing any detail that one could prove it was due to high rez verses CD down sampling considering it's awash in a ton of murky reverb. That low end bass drum in The First Tears sample isn't anything special. I've heard better recordings of the same type of venues.

    Where is the CD version samples on Qobuz? Why can't you pick a more easier to A/B demo? Is that all you could find? I would think if it was that pronounced and beneficial to the sound there would be far more easier to find sound demos.
     
    Retro Music Man likes this.
  21. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Another example that doesn't rely on cymbals. Listen to the attack on a saxophone or the a trumpet. Compare the high-res and CD-res versions when flipping the absolute polarity (absolute phase). The sound of the attack and transients of a saxophone or trumpet are different when the absolute polarity is wrong. I find it easier to hear the audible differences when flipping absolute polarity when listening to a high-res recording than a CD-res recording. Of course it should be a good recording done with a good ADC and played back using a good DAC. The differences when flipping absolute polarity are more audible with a high-res recording than a CD-res recording.
     
    Spy Car likes this.
  22. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    From the guy who posts eye-rolls. Not civil. Not respectful.

    And you're wrong.

    Bill
     
  23. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Oh! You're software engineer? Ok, maybe it boils down to electronics as well integrating with digital sine waves speeding by our ears at 96k cycles a second. I would think you'ld be able to know the physics going on because I don't hear anything special about your demo mainly because it's too difficult to A/B. I'm not plunking down cash to buy that music just to hear what amounts to highly subjective and minuscule nuanced sound on one isolated audio spectrum.

    You really haven't provided any science based reasons on what's going on either. I'm a musician. I have good hearing. I'm also an honest person so when someone provides an easier A/B demo of music that can be proven to have been recorded in high resolution ADC process, I will relent to your authority on the subject and everyone else.

    As it stands now no one has provide any proof that one can hear a difference.
     
  24. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    John Atkinson from Stereophile was the recording engineer for that recording. It was recorded by an audiophile for audiophiles. His contact info is available from Stereophile. You can ask him if he pulled any funny business during the recording to make the high-res version sound better than the CD.

    Bonus Recording of October 2017: The Doors of Heaven
    Recording The Doors of Heaven
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
    Spy Car likes this.
  25. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    My college physics professor was also an audiophile. I got somewhat of a clue he was an audiophile when he lectured about point source waves and made some comments about stereo during lecture. It was confirmed when I saw him at several symphony concerts and found out he shopped at the same audio store I bought my MOFI CDs at (I couldn't afford the gear they sold, I could afford the MOFI CDs).
     

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