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Audible limitations of 16/44

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  • #46
    It did it's called dacs ripper lol. I rip to an iso and what software you use effects the sound. And converting them to tracks in wav or aiff matters too. On the end it's all math
    and I suspect many round off are used
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    • #47
      Originally posted by chrisfromri View Post
      To answer your questions Tech7738:

      By both the Hybrid CD Layer and SACD Layer coming from the same source, I meant the same performance/mikes/mixing board/multi-track recording. This was one of the bugaboos of early SACD testing is that the SACD disc was often created from a completely different "take", and in fact a better one than the old Redbook CD was, so the SACD always won easily over the Redbook. By using both the Hybrid CD layer on the SACD and the SACD layer on the very same disc I eliminated the variability that it was a completely different performance/setup.

      The first time I ran the test it was sighted because it was just me and I was figuring out the levels, and how to time and switch cleanly with the preamp remote between the two. After that I ran the test two more times and it was still sighted for me because I was running the test (though giving no audible clues), but it was NOT sighted for the two other participants who each had no idea which version I was playing when - and it was just their ears that could confirm the difference. So it was an unsighted test on two occasions with two individuals known to me that have a good ear. They could reliably tell the difference, and both said the difference was a smaller difference than they remembered from past tests. This is on a revealing system. On a less revealing system they might not have heard the difference reliably.
      All very interesting. Not to be too dogmatic...you never had a fully controlled DBT though. And we still don't have the source provenance issue under control. There was/is a strong motivation to make the SACD layer sound different, and that's an out-of-control variable to contend with.
      Originally posted by chrisfromri View Post

      In retrospect SACD should have allowed a digital output so that owners could take advantage of future DAC upgrades to improve the sound of the SACDs too.
      But it can't offer a digital out without conversion to PCM first, or feeding a DSD savvy DAC. I have had several "universal" disc players that could play an SACD, but generally there was a conversion to PCM before the bits tumbled out. I have had an external device that was DSD-aware in that it could accept that stream, but it converted that stream internally to PCM for processing.

      This is probably a reason that SACD was a flop. Not enough standardization, and ways to handle that kind of stream all the way to the last DAC. We can go coulda-shoulda all day, but it is what it is (was), and kind of over. But given hi-res, there's really no point at all now anyway.

      And now I'll duck and cover waiting for the hard-cord DSD guys to volley back!

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      • #48
        Tech the thread as I see it is what we hear not the math behind it.
        In truth red book is very good but wav or AIFF is better
        and 24/xx is better than 16/44.1 that's it for me
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
          Tech the thread as I see it is what we hear not the math behind it.
          Ok, but you can't separate the two in practice.
          Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
          In truth red book is very good but wav or AIFF is better
          All of those are lossless PCM. All can be identical, different containers.
          Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
          and 24/xx is better than 16/44.1 that's it for me
          Um...well....no, not always, not even usually. You can't reproduce 24 bit dynamic range in your listening room and not damage your hearing permanently. You don't have 24 bit DR on any of those recordings, the bottom 4 to 8 bits are faithfully reproducing noise. So...not exactly sure what's better for you.

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          • #50
            24 bits is not about dynamic range, its about fidelity as it has 256 more "steps" in level than 16 bit so it can offer finer resolution of amplitude,
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            • Tech7738
              Tech7738 commented
              Editing a comment
              Did you watch the video?

              No, 24 bits cannot represent 96dB with any aspect of better fidelity than 16 bits. If you think it can, then please state what aspect of "fidelity" it represents better. Or, just watch the video again.

              There is no such thing as nonlinear PCM. PCM is linear by definition. If a codec is nonlinear, it is no longer PCM. There are no nonlinear codecs in common use in audio.

            • JCOConnell
              JCOConnell commented
              Editing a comment
              Pcm is pulse code modulation and while it is most commonly used linear mode, it doesn't have to. for example if you use an expander and compress with the A/D D/A externally its non linear pcm. Just ask the phone company about that one, they compress a/d transceiver d/a expand to achieve better sound than the 8 bit digital channel would be able to in a linear mode alone.

            • Tech7738
              Tech7738 commented
              Editing a comment
              Companding around PCM doesn't change the fact that its still linear PCM, and it's limits are constant. Companding is also difficult to accomplish without audible artifact. The broadband companding used in telephony only works because the actual voice spectrum is quite narrow and changes at a syllabic pace. If you tried the same companding with music, you'd hate it (worse than dbx). You can use something like dbx or one of the Dolby processes, but you're going to sacrifice encode/decode tracking in favor of noise reduction. There have been several attempts at this in the first decade of digital audio, all failed (can't name one now can we?) Companding is a cheat, and not a good one. Why do you think the CD was specified at 14 bit linear PCM, then bumped to 16 bit linear, and not fixed at 8 bit companded? We could have had 140 minute play-time CDs! In fact, dbx came out with an early delta-mod digital recording system that used their companding and had specs that beat 16/44. Know where those recordings are now? Transcoded to 16/44. Their raw noise floor was about at the 8 bit linear level, and yes, you could hear the companding action particularly around simpler sounds. Piano was brutal. Steady state noise was down in the 100dB or so range, and bandwidth was up over 20kHz, but companding and the inability to edit made the formate fail.

          • #51
            Tech you know more and as such understand more. Having said this lower noise is fidelity I would think. I keep saying what do you hear aside of numbers on paper.
            I too see 256 steps like jc does. Please comment on sound just once please.
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

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            • Tech7738
              Tech7738 commented
              Editing a comment
              Noise is only one aspect of "fidelity". There are other aspects such as frequency response. Once noise and distortion acceptably low we equate "fidelity" with frequency response. Bit depth only changes the noise level. There are some audio demo files out there, if you google a bit, that show can show you the audible differences of bit depth from 8 bit to 24 bit.

          • #52
            Last time I'll ask what do you perceive in listening with your ears ? Lol. I know this is convoluted to say but still what hear is the ultimate test so listen n comment please.
            Its not about being fooled. How much of what we like is counter to what math tells us. And I am not being offensive to anyone here. Without math we know little this is obvious but with both math and our perception we learn more.
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

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            • #53
              [
              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              Last time I'll ask what do you perceive in listening with your ears ? Lol.
              I'm sorry Alrainbow, I don't know what you want me to listen to. If you want me to listen to the difference between various bit depths, I've done that, and so can you. The difference between 8 bit and 16 bit is clearly audible as a change in noise level. The difference between 16 and 24 bit is not because the noise in recordings is higher than the 24 bit theoretical noise floor, higher than the 16 bit noise floor too. We can force a situation to reveal a lower 24 bit noise floor but we can't actually play the full dynamic range that 24 bit theoretically offers without damaging our hearing. Mostly, there's no difference to hear between 16 and 24 bits other than noise level in extreme and exaggerated circumstances.

              But yes, I have listened. Even with my ears and all.

              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              I know this is convoluted to say but still what hear is the ultimate test so listen n comment please.
              Sure, but in order to improve on quality we need to know what's going on and our ears won't tell us that.
              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              Its not about being fooled.
              I'm sorry, did I say something about being fooled? I only partially agree that the ultimate test is listening because "listening" typically includes massive amounts of non-audible stimulus. We don't just listen with our ears. It's not being "fooled", it's how we humans work. Out in the world the various sensory inputs are complimentary. We can see the source of a sound, turn our heads to find it, and see what it is, how far away, etc. When we listen to recordings we no longer have complimentary sensory input, rather we have disassociated sensory input. We have something making the sound, we see that, but the sounds it makes has no relation to the thing itself. And we see and know about the rest of the system too, all of which is non-audible sensory input that is disassociated from the sound we are hearing. Our brains struggle to make sense of it, and our expectations fill in the gaps. If we remove all non-audio sensory input, including the knowlege of what system or system component we are listening to, our subjective impressions change significantly.
              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              How much of what we like is counter to what math tells us.
              Give me an example something you like that is counter to what math tells us please. Must be something I'm missing.

              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              And I am not being offensive to anyone here. Without math we know little this is obvious but with both math and our perception we learn more.
              I do detect a rather pronounced aversion to "math" (probably science too), in the context of being incapable of explaining what we hear. Haven't we been down this road before? Seems like it.

              If you're looking for quantitative measurement of perception, no, we can't do that because our measurement devices can't be inserted into the brain. We don't have a "soundstage meter" for example. But we don't need to measure perception directly, we can get quantitative results from a good set of subjective data, and if you do that you can begin to see that we actually can explain what we hear. We do know what improves or degrades perceived qualities. We also know that the perception result includes many stimuli, not just that of an audible wave.

              Returning to the original thread topic, the primary limitation of 16/44 is the noise floor, but since the residual noise of the vast number of recordings is significantly above that noise floor, it's not really a limitation at all. The limitation in frequency response (spectrum) is minor, with audibility relating more to the quality of the filters involved than the theoretical .5 Nyquist limit.

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              • #54
                The only audible limitation of 16/44 is the source material and the quality of the server/DAC and of course the rest of your playback chain. There is entirely too much digital hocus pocus with the provenance of source files used to make digital recordings. What percentage of 24/192 recordings are really just upsampled 16/44? Ditto for any of the other hi-rez formats. And even if you could trust each hi-rez recording was genuine vs. just upsampled 16/44, any differences you hear would be related to the provenance of each recording, who mastered the file, and the gear it was run through at the studio. Just as some people still believe that all CDs contain 96dB of dynamic range on each and every recording and of course they think they are hearing it, those same people believe that 24 bit digital recordings contain 144dB of dynamic range. Some people just don't understand the difference between what is theoretically possible and the digital reality that surrounds them. Outside of train wrecks and gunshots, nobody is making any recordings that would push the envelope on the dynamic range ceiling of RBCD.
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