Is SACD Dead?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by DavidSpearritt, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    This is the question. I have heard rumours, some quite reliable that it has "gone to meet its maker".

    Anyone have any info that is "solid"? Also I guess this applies to DVD-A as well.

    The big news seems to be HD DVD.

    Comments, abuse, invective, seething injustices ???
     
  2. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    From http://www.audioholics.com/news/pressreleases/EHXsurround2004conference2.php ...

    At this point in the seminar the first mention was made that Sony might be pulling the plug on SACD. It was noted that someone very high up at Sony had looked at the books and found that SACD represented only 0.018% of Sony’s overall business. Bobby Owsinski tried to get his last couple of questions into the panelists:

    "What is the top thing that will make multi-channel take off?"
    George Massenburg said "Good music. And shoot every recording session extensively." He went on to say that he was doing this now and paying for it out of his own pocket. That way he could present a "completely finished product" to the record companies.

    Don Was added "I don’t think there is a crappy surround." He just hates non-realistic effects. (Back-up singers in the rear speakers.)

    Howard added, "Broadcast will be a boon for surround". Universal has allocated a lot of dollars and is starting a ‘stockpile’ of all the new product which is being shot almost exclusively in surround.

    Here George Massenburg dropped the next SACD fact:

    "Sony has cut their $10 million promotional budget for SACD. That’s another sign they’re giving up on SACD."

    A younger guy in the audience said he worked in Sony duplication and that as far as he could see they still had a production schedule for the SACD hybrid discs. The Phillips gentleman from the previous seminar claimed that Sony had only withdrawn the $10 million because they (Sony) felt the format had reached "critical mass".

    From the audience it was noted that Kawakami (Sony’s lead man in promoting SACD for eight years) had gone on the record stating that they were having "a hell of a problem with dual disc".

    It was also noted that the Sony/Philips patents on CD were running out in Europe. Regarding the hybrid disc problem, Philips’ man said that they had proposed that the less expensive route in the long run might be to simply put a CD and DVD in the same box.

    George Massenburg ended with "Don’t ask me how I know, and believe me, I hope I’m wrong by this time next year, but to the best of my knowledge SACD may no longer be promoted by Sony." (Editor’s note: This was not recorded in real time, so this quote is the closest and most accurate paraphrase of what George Massenburg said.)

    This was the end of the conference. I would note that the only Sony exhibit I saw at the show was for their replication division. To my knowledge no Sony SACD representative actively took part in any of the Surround 2004 programs.
     
  3. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    Not meaning to offend any of those good and brave people who have invested huge amounts of time and money into these 'new' (yet somehow feeling older than 'CD') formats, but my latest perspective for each of these 'new' things (DVD-A, SACD, surround music) is:

    Someone had better check the horse's pulse.

    I suspect it is dead.

    The general public seems perfectly happy with CD for music and DVD for movies, so call the knackery and get on with it.

    The hardware producers (consumer and pro) desperately need something new to sell people, but the software producers aren't so keen to back it up, and the people themselves seem apathetic about the whole thing.

    I won't be investing in any of the tools to produce for these 'new' formats until I start losing work due to them, which I highly doubt. Nobody ever went broke by being second.

    - Greg Simmons
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You know, I hope this isn't true, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is.

    I have truly loved the SACDs that I've gotten so far and have been truly hoping for its success, but as a consumer, it's hard for even me to get excited about a format that requires 6 individual cables to hook up to your stereo, if you're lucky enough to have the 6 direct analog inputs on your system to begin with.

    To be completely honest, I don't think people give two sh*ts about quality anymore, so SACD was kind of dead before it was even born. Unless you can figure out a way to put DSD on an IPod, it ain't happening.

    Perhaps I'll string the six very expensive cables hooking up my SACD player together and make rope long enough to hang myself with! :evil:

    Why don't people CARE anymore?!
     
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    "Why don't people CARE anymore?!"

    That's a good question, Jeremy, and one for the ages. You'd think with all this technology, things would get better, yet we live in a world where the "Savior" of modern recorded music is the cheap, lowly MP3 download. Go figure. People are paying the same $ now that they ever did, for ONE track, not even full 16/44 wav file resolution, and they're HAPPY about it. No liner notes or pictures, no packaging, no nuttin. Sheeesh. (I DO like buying just what I need - even one track at a time, but I wish it was the WAV file instead....)

    On the plus side, though, it means OUR jobs are safe, at least in terms of fewer people care to go to the extremes we go to. I compete with my clients own CD burners and desktop printers (to make their OWN CDs), but I doubt they'll care or be able to afford the front-end (mics, cables, stands, etc) that I bring to the table, as well as overall expertise for the bigger more important stuff.

    But as for SACDs: If this is true, I'm not at all surprised. Sony played along the dangerous (double) edge of the sword for a while now, and probably got cut badly. They (and Philips) decided to buck the trend with an exclusive format (think Betamax, Apple, etc.) that was a great idea in terms of keeping piracy at bay, but a bad idea in that it didn't get into the hands of the masses (and indies like us) at an affordable fee to survive.

    Since it's a proprietary format, there's few (if at all) of anyone working on it at our level. Who can afford to? On the other hand, DVD-A's are out there, including the burners (at every Circuit City and Best Buy) for anyone to create and burn to their hearts content, with software for as little as $99 from Minnetonka for DVD-Audio discwelder Bronze, or now included in software like Sequoia and Samplitude V8. Sony lost out there, big time, iMHO. Sure, the format is copy protected, but no one (the people that they need at a grass roots level to make it go) is able to get onboard with it.

    You can argue which format sounds better - but it's almost the same thing as beta vs. vhs. (Fortunately the differences are less apparant than that.) DVD-A's also have VIDEO component available, as well, something Sony and Philips SERIOUSLY stumbled over, IMHO. (Gee, a disc system that "lives" along side of, within a home video system, and you guys decide that NO ONE will need to see anything like a graphics title or even lo-res video clips for menus? GOOD MOVE, guys...)

    Players have gotten cheap too (finally!) but it may be too late for SACD. Let's face it; most people want to buy a box that plays ANY round, shiny disc. (Witness the CD, CDr, MP3, DVD, DVDr players that sell like hotcakes every Christmas & Holiday season. Think there's a connection there? :roll: There are hybrid players out there that do it all, but I'm told the conversion inside of some makes it all moot anyway (in terms of quality) so there's even less difference between the DVD-A and SACD, making the different even less important. Sony really should have known better once the writing was on the wall with DVD's taking off so fast on the home entertainment front.

    Granted, even DVD-As are still quite scarce compared to regular ol' "Stereo" systems, and they may never catch on quite everywhere, but again IMHO, they've got a stronger foothold than SACD in terms of the general public's acceptance. The market has arrived for DVD-(AC3) surround sound for home movies, HD TV, football games, and prime time TV shows. It's here, it's getting more available, and as long as it's helping in the ratings, it's here to stay. (Just the other night, David Letterman announced (in his comic dumb-guy persona) that "Late Night" was going HD in the fall of 2005. He also said: "Aren't we ALREADY doing that, and if os, why NOT?" I'm not sure he was entirely faking those comments, either)

    Few home users are running Monster or Belden #12 wire around their homes for full-bandwidth surround speaker systems; most are uing the $500-1000 "out of the box" home entertainment systems (and cheap hookup wire) to watch movies and shows in 5.1, but it's a signal that the concept works, people are buying into it, and the less they have to fuss with making it work, the better.

    I just saw a PBS HD broadcast of Bernstein's "Candide" done at the Lincoln Center with HD (1080) picture and full 5.1 surround. It was FANTASTIC. I've also got the DVD of "The MAP" with similar stunning quality, including surround audio, all of it coming right out of my living room system.

    I think the 5.1 format is here to stay, and DVD-A (or DVD with AC3) is the format of delivery. While SACD is a fantastic format, and sounds wonderful, it's too complicated and not enough features to catch fire with the public at large. In an MP3 dominated world, the sonic difference between SACD and DVD-A isn't enough to push it over the top, and Sony may finally be facing up to that.

    Most of our clients can barely afford to pay to have it done in STEREO, but the very nature of what we do: Live, acoustic sound in REAL spaces cries out for no-compromise 5.1 production when the budget and audience calls for it. It's not all the time, but as anyone who's heard a good 5.1 DVD-A or SACD system will tell you, it's worth every penny spent, and while it will never be as popular as Mp3 downloads, there should be enough people out there to keep it alive, but not at the level Sony expected for a proprietary format like SACD.

    That kind of market share is not good enough for SONY, I'm sure.
     
  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Its not hard to see why this and other hi-res audio will fail.

    1. It is simply not necessary, people want music not electrical complexity, hence the MP3 satisfaction.

    2. There is no sonic differences or advantages between SACD stereo and CD, also, no ergonomic advantages

    3. People do not want surround anything, except maybe for movies, they are happy with mono clock radios and boom boxes, as long as they can sing along.

    4. Most people cannot tell the difference between stereo or mono, in our out of phase, including musicians.

    5. Most people have HF hearing loss due to the cacophony of modern life and the too many nightclubs they attend, so the extended HF argument is useless, see 4.

    6. Most people cannot connect their stereos up correctly, see 4 again

    7. Content is king, there is no need for new mediums to sell old content. How many copies of Dark Side of the Moon do we need. The electronics giants have nothing new to add, simple, they are now completely bereft of ideas. Content is king. I guess they are researching 384kHz sampling at present, I am laughing as they wee their money down the drain. SONY, are you listening, put some money into Music and Composition schools for cryin out loud.

    8. Most people want more convenient storage demands on their music collections, with less, not more discs, more HUGE files, huge hard drives, etc, none of this is progress, it is regression before the chaos.

    9. Live music is king. See 7 above. Live music is actually where real music is made, listened, absorbed, cherished, due to mandatory performance quality, social aspects of group listening, we are social animals, great GREAT acoustics, better than any crap surround system in a low set house with carpet on the floor etc, Live music keeps the industry pumping, it is the heart. Get out of the house, go to a concert, pick up a guitar, tinkle the keyboard, join a choir, beat some drums, live life. SONY, are you listening, put some of your money into big live concert programs, especially classical, then sell a CD of it, thats all that's required for TOTAL RECALL.

    10. Its the music that's important and not the electronics.

    Have I forgotten anything. :lol:
     
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, I won't agree that there are no sonic advantages, but the ergonomics - I'll agree on that point.
     
  8. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    How are you doing your test, to say that there are differences?

    The following are not conclusive tests.

    1. Listen and compare the SACD with the CD layer on the same disc. This is useless, because there is no proof that the mastering processes for both these are the same or come from the same source. See for example: http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/index.html

    In fact I am such a cynic as to suggest that they deliberately make the CD layer inferior, so you will rave to your friends etc.

    2. Listen to the SACD of an album and compare it to the normal CD release. See above why this is also not valid. Different digital sources, different mastering.

    3. Listening through the players DAC. These are never good enough, one should use a high quality external DAC for all comparisons.

    I contend that if you have high-res source material and you master and make a CD as carefully as the SACD or DVD-A, the sonic differences will be not detectable, unless you are Mr Lipinski.

    Cheers
     
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    David, what are you SAYING! Hehehe.... (tongue firmly in cheek).

    You mean there's NO difference at all??? You'd better watch out, the Hi Res police will come looking for you. :shock:

    I've never done a double-blind A/B comparison of SACD to CD, but I've always felt that a properly made CD (good dithering, SRC, etc.) can sound fantastic if the source material was good. All the hi res stuff is great on the front side, while making the recording, etc., but a properly done 16/44 CD can sound quite fantastic.

    And I've heard a lot of commerically released DVD-As on a friend's system (seriously hi-end stuff, with discrete components and TWO subs) and they do sound wonderful. There was no A/B comparison going on, we just enjoyed the experience for what it was: well done stuff, remixed from classics, as well as new stuff.

    I"m sold on the whole DVD Audio experience (lossy AC3 for movies, as well as DVD-A for audiophiles), and you won't get any negatives from me. SACD, on the other hand, just seems like a doomed format, no matter how good it sounds. It just doesn't have the value-added cache of DVDs.

    And only the people who post on here and other similar forums can hear whatever difference there MIGHT be between them all. Forget about the public at large - these people can't sit still through the end credits of a movie in the theaters, let alone hear the difference.
     
  10. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    You have hit the bullseye JoeH.

    I am also a firm believer in hi-res during recording. I record at 96/24 (as far as anyone ever needs to go), but mainly 44/24, but when properly mastered to 44/16 it is not detectably different when played through excellent loudspeakers.

    You see, most people who argue this stuff have never done a proper blind test on exactly the same source signals, with proper high quality mastering, resampling and dithering.

    If we as mastering and recording engineers are having trouble with the higher quality audio argument for the delivery of music then these formats are doomed, because the public will never be convinced.
     
  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I think Sony blew it. They made the hardware only available to certain studios like TELARC here in Ohio and if you want to put out a SACD disk you have to use someone else to do the work for you. This means more cost and limited availability of the places to master SACD discs. If Sony had made the equipment more affordable or brought out a software program to do SACD work I think you would see more and more studios doing SACD work. (As we all know from the BETA/VHS wars the one with the most titles WINS irrespective of the quality.)

    I too subscribe to the theory that most people what to listen to the music and not to the technology. How else do you explain the MP3 phenomena and the IPOD both of which are NOT great in terms of sonic quality?

    I think the CD has become the cassette of the bygone era and is here to stay for a while at least. As someone else pointed out the companies needed some new gimmick to start reissuing all the catalogs similar to what happened when CDs first came out and everyone wanted their record collection on CD.

    The problem today is that you can buy the DVD with the whole movie and 8 hours of extras on it for the same price you can buy the sound track CD so the consumer is going to by the DVD and forget the CD. Now you want them to purchase an SACD that has to be played on a separate player, has in some cases a premium price and there is no picture to watch -FORGET IT-

    MTWC
     
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    This isn't the age old debate - is recording at 96kHz better. The fact is, an SACD preserves all of the "good" things that you are trying to preserve when recording at high res.

    Why do you record at high res? Do you think it gives you a better finished product? Then why wouldn't SACD be a superiour product considering there is no SRC or Dithering at the final stages? To suggest otherwise implies a blind faith in the 24/96 way of life, just because the magazines say it's better!

    Simply put, a wave recorded in DSD is far more accurate to the original source material than one recorded PCM (almost immaterial of the sample rate/bit rate)

    While I whole-heartedly agree that a well recorded/mastered red-book CD can sound fantastic - a well engineered, well mastered SACD has virtually no equals!

    J...
     
  13. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm interested in hearing you say this, Jeremy. You're one of the few on here who actually HAVE the system (SACD) and I certainly trust your ears and your judgement. I'm sure you're hearing some amazing things.

    In a perfect world, I'd LOVE to give my clients the 24/96 or 24/44 final master to play and be done with it. (Ditto for the DSD version, if I could afford it). In a perfect world, we'd all adhere to nothing but the highest standard for content delivery and playback. And maybe even our clients would have the kind of equipment to let them hear the difference. (This of course would be the very reason to keep SACDs and DVD-A's alive and an option for our high-end clients.)

    But in reality, the average SPL and distractions even in most homes (let alone cars, offices, clubs, etc.) is far far higher than anything we're going to hear on the disc(s), even CDs. Who listens that way???

    For example, I'm typing this in a quiet living room, it's snowing at about 2" per hour outside, not a soul (or car) is out there, no wind, and only my computer's fan and the sound of my (fake DVD) fireplace crackling in the background. And it's STILL not what I would deem quiet or practical enough for "serious" listening. God knows how my clients listen! (I'm told one of my aging client-conductors has [literally] a boom box he uses to check tempi, pitch and little else. That's HIS idea of critical "listening.")

    Also, I listen "ALONE", and I suspect most of you folks do, too. When I'm doing the serious stuff, it's: no family, no tv, no phone, no conversation, no one (save the client, if it's work-related) even near me, no other applications open or running, and hopefully no one even in the studio. And even THEN I'm paying strict attention to what I'm hearing, literally "zoning in" to hear things. Many times, a client will gratefully thank me for catching something THEY'd missed before. (Again I ask: WHO ELSE listens that way???)

    And David, you earned yourself a drink here in Phila., should you ever find yourself up this way: "most people who argue this stuff have never done a proper blind test on exactly the same source signals, with proper high quality mastering, resampling and dithering."

    I'm sure Jeremy's the exception to this rule (I trust what HE says, regardless, based on his own listening experience and chops), but for many other "qualitative" listeners out there who make these pronouncements on other subjective things, they often turn into deer in the headlights when I stop their rants and say: "Wait a second, HOW did you test this? Were you able to INSTANTLY toggle between the two, and if so, did you set the levels correctly, is EVERY OTHER ASPECT of the test done accurately, in a controlled environment? (They usually get real quiet at that point, muttering things like: "Well, NO...but...." )

    I gag when I read some other forums, with endless opinions "From the Mountain" about which device is "Better" (not different, mind you), which cable sounds better, what processor is "warmer", yada yada yada. So very often, it's often a simple GAIN mis-match that fools their ears, but they of course don't want to be told that... People also don't know that (unless you're Lipinski and a few others), the sustainable accuracy of most people's hearing is about 2 seconds, in terms of test-gear accuracy.

    Most folks here are all trained (or have learned on our own) to hear things (db ratios and relative changes in timbre, pitch, amplitude, etc.) better than most, but true discernment between toggled devices needs to happen quickly to hear the true differences. By the time someone takes a tape, er...CD...home from a studio (where they've been listening all day or night) to their home or friends speakers, all bets are off. Ditto for the guy doing speaker, amp or preamp tests between devices even in the same space. By the time they unplug the cables, turn something on or off, the subjective nature of the experiment kick in, objectivity goes out. The only TRUE way to hear the "difference" (not nec. better or worse, either) is to TOGGLE, instantaneously.

    Most good software can do this for you, in terms of checking wav files. (And yes, another shameless plug for Samplitude/Sequoia.) I love to play "Stump the Stoops" and put two things along the timeline, adjust for identical levels, and then toggle between them to hear the difference. Soooooooo many times, the results are moot. What do you say to someone who's been jumping up and down about this or that, and then you put the two "oh so very different" results along the timeline, and go back and forth (instantly) to show them that were ARE NO DIFFERENCES? Suddenly the room gets very quiet.....

    I could bring up the old "Vinyl vs. Digital" argument too, but perhaps on another thread....hehehe.....I'm waiting for someone to start THAT stuff again. :twisted:

    Time to go check on the snow depth....6" and counting.......
     
  14. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Maybe, but is it necessary, if the "good" things are inaudible? Is there a profound, detectable, any difference when listening over loudspeakers? No.

    It gives me more margin for error, with 24bits I can record much cooler and know that the excess headroom can be removed on the DAW with wide band accurate calculations. 96k which I do rarely, as it is nowhere near as important as 24bits, allows me flexibility to master to 44 for CD and 48 for DVD if necessary.

    I do not record at hi-res for any other reasons but insurance of headroom margin and flexibility for mastering.

    On headphones, I can easily, reliably, hear a difference between 16 and 24 bits, but it is not profound, and I hear no difference between 44-96 in a properly controlled experiment.

    Either SACD or 96/24 is preserving stuff that cannnot be heard, therefore why is it necessary. Archiving material should be at hi-res for the reasons I have said above, but not as a delivered medium.

    This sounds a bit like faith in marketing material. How do you know? What rigorous experiments have been conducted. But I am not singling out SACD over PCM.

    Maybe, but I think it is not necessary as a delivery medium for music.

    I do not wish to insult people who have invested in SACD either, but I am trying to understand its journey through the market.
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    David,

    I try with as much as I can to listen to everyone here with equal respect, but you make such bold, unqualified statements almost to insight a reaction.

    You say:

    And I say BULLSH*T. If you cannot hear the differences between SACD and redbook over loudspeakers, then I call into question both your loudspeakers and your ears.

    You also say:
    Again, I say BULLSH*T

    Recording at 24 bit does more than just give you approx 20 extra dB of headroom - it makes the transition between amplitude differences smoother - eliminating "zipper effect" or aliasing. What's more, I haven't recorded in too many halls where I can sufficiently cut out 20 dB of dynamic range by recording that much quieter and still have a respectable noise floor.

    This response is still the "canned," "Fresh from the market" response. The real reason to record at 24 bit or higher is an overall smoother sound.

    Also, you say:
    Well, there's been plenty. Speak with Ed Meitner or perhaps Dan Weiss - they've both been involved in detailed research regarding higher sampling and DSD. Check out their sites, they'll give you loads of information. I'm not just making this stuff up - YES there have been extensive tests.


    BTW...what constitutes a "properly controlled experiment?" Because frankly, I can hear a profound difference between 24 and 16 bit, and I can hear a profound difference between 44.1 and 96k stuff. And that ain't just in my own work, but many others' work too.

    Sorry for the aggressive message, but you might want to check your facts before you start spewing off about stuff you're not sure about.

    J...
     
  16. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I am sorry that my comments have produced this response, I will try to be gentler about it next time.

    I always express my opinion bluntly, its just the way I am, but my main question to you, was what tests have YOU done yourself, thats all. If you can hear profound differences then you have the ears of a bat. I have acute hearing and perception in classical music, my hearing was properly tested recently to be normal.

    I am merely reflecting my honest opinion about the hi-res audio juggernaut, and it invariably gets a similar response. Bob Katz's experiences with good filtering/aliasing at 44 and 96K were interesting to me, as he could not really tell a difference.

    I never take anyone elses word for granted on audio technology, such as this name or that name. I think its largely marketing and endorsement that drives this stuff. I have to do the tests myself.

    But again, I apologise for causing you to react this way.
     
  17. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I must refer to this. The steps in amplitude response of 16 bit and 24 bit are the same size, its just that 24 bit goes lower. Its all a linear amplitude scale, so I am not sure what you mean by this.

    But I am sure about it, that's my problem, I cannot hear a discernable difference. :?
     
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    And that I can respect - however, to boldly say there isn't a difference, simply because you can't hear one is pretty daring.

    This is incorrect and a common misconception at that.

    The difference between 24 bit and 16 bit is more than just "more possible volume difference between digital noise floor and signal max."

    As you are probably aware, an analog signal, when converted to digital and plotted on an amplitude scale is given a whole number followed by a decimal representing its relative volume. There are obviously a finite amount of decimals which are represented. With 16 bit, I believe the number goes out as far as 2 decimal places and rounds up or down for adjacent values.

    However, with 24 bit, there is significantly more information present. I believe you can go out as far as 4 to 5 decimal places with 24 bit audio. This means that a note increasing from 89.234567 dB to 89.235678 dB can be represented accurately in 24 bit. In 16 bit, the jump would be far more significant and would probably represent it as something like 89.24 to 89.25 dB.

    It's a fine distinction, but one that is VERY noticeable, even to the untrained ear.

    J...
     
  19. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Yes thats true but not what I meant. There is no doubt there is a difference but I cannot discern it over my good loudspeakers and probably neither can most people. This was my thesis.

    OK gotcha, for a 24bit AD there are 256 more steps in amplitude possible between those of a 16 bit AD, although for the same sampling rate and good signal level they will both give the same answers, ie top 16bits the same, or am I still confused.

    When the sampling rate goes up, the intermediate amplitude steps are used more completely to interpolate the courser waveform that the 44/16 sampling would give. These are then eliminated in resampling and dithering back to 44/16.

    Thanks for clearing that up. :oops:
     
  20. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Please don't abuse me again Jeremy, but ...

    I think this very broad statement is only true when the 24bit words are combined with a high sampling rate.

    For the same sampling rate, a more accurate amplitude slice, which only is significantly more accurate at very low sound levels, will only phase shift (inaccurate) the waveform when compared with the 16 bit amplitude slice. Nyquist guarantees the correct waveform construction. Maybe this explains why 44/24 sounds slightly less compressed in the stereo image, and more open, especially at low sound levels, and has a lower noise floor, but not much else. Certainly when the signal level is high > 40dB its very difficult to tell.

    Time to put my cards on the table.

    I have been doing all my tests with 96/24 and an upsampling DAC (Benchmark). When I play a 96/24 file and re-sample to 44/24 on the way out, I cannot tell a difference. When I take the 96/24 file, and resample to 44 and dither to 16 on the way out, I find it very difficult to tell the difference, while listening to the upsampled (96K) result.

    As its so hard to tell any difference on all signals, particularly unless they are low amplitude, this was the basis of my argument for the irrelevance of hi-res audio for the delivery of music.
     

Share This Page