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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. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    North East UK.
    Absolutely.
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  2. Ninjur

    Ninjur Forum Resident

    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    Off course 16/44.1 is great! Way better than vinyl.
     
    SteveKr, bhazen and timind like this.
  3. BrettyD

    BrettyD Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I’ve always thought that if there’s one great sounding CD out there then it shows how good the format is.
    Same for vinyl.....judge the format on the best it can do....not the middling efforts
     
  4. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    The recording in question & its 16/44 version actually were discussed few years back... ;)
     
    Ham Sandwich likes this.
  5. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Yup. It's the same recording and mastering in CD and high-res. Which is one reason why I use that recording as an example. Another reason is because it is a recording that was/is very affordable to buy as both CD and high-res (it seems the CD is no longer so easily available now direct from Naxos). Another reason is because the sound to focus on is the bass drum rather than treble or cymbals. Telling people to focus on the sound of cymbals makes them think the only differences in high-res are in the high frequency sounds that only bats can hear. Telling people to focus on the impulse and hall sound of the bass drum helps let people know that the benefits of high res can be heard down in the frequencies that humans hear, even retirement age male humans.
     
  6. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I'm not sure exactly what you're doing. Are you recording and playing at the native (source) sampling rate or are you recording at a common sampling rate? Recording at a common sampling rate means one or both of the sources are getting resampled during the process and you're listening as much to the resampling algorithm and method as the gear. Any software resampling when comparing CD and high-res makes the comparison contaminated. Software resampling is not transparent.

    Recording the output from a DAC at both CD-res and high-res introduces the AD converter as a source of sonic contamination. AD converters affect the recorded sound quality as much as DACs affect the playback sound quality.
     
  7. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    But you don't know if the differences in what you hear is on account of contamination. You don't know what is causing the differences due to the fact as you said software resampling isn't transparent. You don't know when resampling is happening. You don't know whether this difference is caused up stream from the source and downstream all the way to the headphones or speakers you're listening through.

    At least if you did my recording test A/B'ing the two rez version files in Audacity as I outlined, if there is no difference heard in the resulting recorded file then this difference is happening up stream through the internal DAC.

    And what does resampling sound like when it occurs? If you don't know, then how do you know it's happening or whether that would influence the result of the recorded A/B test?

    I already know from your attitude and comment about not wanting to be a trained monkey you aren't going to do the test. But at least I put it out there that it can be done.
     
  8. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes, especially when the CD master is brickwalled while the vinyl master isn’t.
    Brickwalled sounds are the best! :righton:
     
  9. There's a serious need for a tongue in cheek smiley/emoticon :)
     
    DRM and Oelewapper like this.
  10. Pete Norman

    Pete Norman Forum Resident

  11. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    You said it best.
     
    DRM likes this.
  12. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Lavry mentions salesmen ignorantly pushing these higher sampling rates from the wrong interpretation of higher numbers mean more detail when the higher number should be defined by FASTER SPEED of sampling electrons traveling in a wave pattern that excite the voice coil of a speaker in the analog world which I also keep getting mixed up in my head as well.

    Very informative paper. Thanks for posting.
     
  13. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I've listened to a variety of software resamplers over the years. The common free ones like the Secret Rabbit Code (SRC) resampler with various settings and the SoX resampler with various settings and other resamplers that have been included in various software players and editors and the resamplers that get used by various VST plugins and even a few hardware upsamplers. I'm currently investigating how to best convert DSD to PCM using various software tools. That process involves resampling. I haven't found an affordable solution yet that I like yet.

    One thing I notice with resamplers is they tend make the imaging and impulse worse. They don't make it better. The best you can hope for is that they don't make it worse.
    The affordable resamplers I've tried make the result sound worse than the source to me.

    My comment about not being a dancing monkey was a way of saying I'm not going to do the ABX dance and other testing subject to convince you that high-res is better. You're going to have to do those tests yourself and do the discovery yourself. I'm not going to do it for you. Back when I joined the forum here I was skeptical about high-res. You can look back at some of my old posts where I questioned high-res. I came around once I heard the difference for myself. It wasn't someone else proving high-res is better to me, it was me finding out for myself. You'll have to do the same.
     
  14. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Well that wasn't helpful, nor did it add new and useful information.
     
  15. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    It was helpful inasmuch as it explained the monkey comment, provided personal historical experiential context, and rightly in my opinion emphasized how we all have to come to certain realizations on our own.
     
  16. visolo

    visolo Well-Known Member

    Those are fighting words in the hipster community. :laugh:
     
  17. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Putting aside the hipster cliche, analog does sound better to discerning ears. Not to everyone, but to many.
     
  18. visolo

    visolo Well-Known Member

    I believe during the 1st few passes, yes analog can sound the best, but it degrades over time with each use. Whenever there is friction or physical contact onto the medium, it degrades. This is just physics. That's why many of the old master analog tapes were transferred to hi-res digital files, to preserve the analog tapes.
     
    SteveKr likes this.
  19. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Every physical media degrades.
    Analog or digital, it doesn’t matter.
     
    DRM likes this.
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Dan Lavry does a very good job of explaining sampling theory. His explanations are more in depth and more detailed and more correct than the presentation Monty has done. I've read his white papers about digital and sampling. He knows his stuff based on his experience designing both AD and DA converters.

    Links to his white papers are here: Lavry Engineering

    Back in the mid 2000s Dan Lavry gave a presentation on sampling theory at a Seattle area headphone meet. I was there. The presentation was done using a Mathcad worksheet projected on a large screen. While he was speaking he could manipulate the functions and graphs in the Mathcad worksheet and show in real-time what is going on. It was essentially a live version of the Mathcad worksheet and graphs in the PDF you linked.

    In that presentation Dan Lavry also explained why he figured around 60 kHz was an optimal sampling frequency. Due to hardware timing and engineering design limitations. The closest standard sampling rate above 60 kHz is 88.2 kHz. So he considered 88.2 kHz to be the more optimal sampling rate at the time to use to record or play back music. Hardware has gotten faster now. Storage has gotten much bigger now. Back in the late 90s a big harddrive was around 40 to 80 GB. By the early 2000s a big harddrive was up to around 120 to 300 GB. DSP and FPGA are much faster now and much more powerful. It is now much easier for hardware in AD converters and DA converters to do the processing at high rates. The limitations back in the 1990s and 2000s aren't so much a limitation now. Chord is now doing a their WTA filter with a million taps in real time at high sample rates. I look at 88.2 and 96 kHz as being the more optimal high-res rates for stuff through the 2000s. But now 192 kHz and higher can be handled just fine and be more optimal.
     
    jusbe likes this.
  21. Gaslight

    Gaslight ⎧⚍⎫⚑

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    This thread

    Oh deer
     
  22. Ninjur

    Ninjur Forum Resident

    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    In most cases they use the same master.
    But what I comment was that the CD format is way better than the vinyl format.
     
    SteveKr and bhazen like this.
  23. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    All good points, Ham, and very reasonably put.

    I'd like to think I'm agnostic, but since digital audio has moved on from established standards (CD) and now into the world of IT, the shifting sands of tech development now interfere with digital audio in the home. It's one reason why I continue to cherish CD as a 'fixed point' around which designers of both hardware and software can orient themselves - and the market. I prefer to concentrate more on the music rather than, predominantly, the version (not exclusively so, since I'm an audiophile and hang around here and elsewhere).

    That said, if I were able to spring for a dCS Vivaldi One, I'd probably make space for it and let it handle the IT detail while I enjoyed the music. I'd still buy CDs though.
     
  24. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Oh dear lord! Really?! Another quote stacker offering nothing but argumentative one line responses and pointing out the obvious. It's a waste of internet technology in the information age. And yeah, I can read, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  25. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Can someone hear suggest High Rez downloadable songs that can be proven with documentation they were RECORDED in high rez so I can do my own A/B test? I did a Google search on the subject and found a stacked deck of click bait on this subject from a bunch of you guessed it, HD music advocates and naysayers.

    I want a style of music that has the sound of the room meaning lots of delicate and subtle trailing off echo of acoustic guitar, percussion, one woodwind instrument and bass like a quartet, not a big orchestra or chorus vocals awash in reverb.
     

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