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Better mastered music could be on the way!

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Craig M.'s picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Mirren Boy wrote:

So everyone is wrong and you are right ?

I have three versions on the current Muse album. Vinyl – 24bit down load – My daughters CD put on to the Naz

Vinyl – By far away the best sounding of all the formats , just sounds deeper and warm.

24bit down loaded FLAC to bppoweramp which automatically transfers to the NAZ – Good sounding with a wider stereo image than the CD throws up thus giving better separation to the instruments.

CD – Has a harsher overall sound in the highs and not as wide stereo imaging. Still crystal clear just not as good as the other formats. That’s back to back test in my own system. Funnily I mentioned nothing to my daughter who also sat throw the three formats , her conclusion was the same as mine.

As I wrote further back het yourself out to a hi fi shop for an audition on the latest streamers with back to back tests with CD and and 24bit. Or do you live in tunnel vision meaning your way or no way ?

 

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

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Mirren Boy's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

 

In 2010 what HIFI ran a test using a Niam Uniti they had three blind testers listen to three tracks one version in 16 bit the same three in 24bit. The outcome ? The testers picked the 24 bit track (blind) as better 8/9 times. Maybe What HIFI did not realize the testers were deaf as some would probably believe on the thread banging head against wall

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

SteveR750 wrote:

The you are coloquially speaking simply deaf, or just blessed with "lead" ears?

I'm with CNo here, the difference between 16/44 and 24/48 is easily detectable on my system in my lounge. Cables, nope; but source files yep. When I do the comparison it's absolutely obvious blinfolded, sober, very unsober etc etc.

And how was the file downsampled?  Did you do it yourself using something like Audacity?  Did you downsample, filter and apply the correct dither?  Because if you did then I'm not sure I believe you could prove you could hear the difference using an A/B-X test.  That's the biggest issue I have with claims that there is an audible difference, you have no way of knowing if a site with a vested interest in you hearing differences has done it correctly, and if you do it yourself it has to be done correctly.  When downsampling is done, errors are created, if efforts aren't taken to move them to where you can't hear them, then they could easily be audible.

 

I have a handful of albums I've downsampled from 24/96 and 24/88.2 to 16/44.1 and, after spending time to learn how to do it properly, I can't tell the diffeence.  Of course I might be deaf, but as I can hear the difference if I just let iTunes do the downsampling 'on the fly', I'm inclinded to think I'm not stone deaf just yet.  Incidently, I downsampled them because I use Airplay which changes the audio anyway, I can also hear a slight difference between Airplay and optical from my Macbook, but that's all it is - a slight difference and I wouldn't describe one as better than the other.

For the third time...thanks ASUS / WHF..edit to continue

 

OK I'm not sure what you are trying to say...because the science says otherwise then it cant be so?

I'm only going by what I can hear, and the difference that I described is pretty obvious to me. There is no argument, just assimilate into the data set. If you are trying to discredit my ears simply because your science doesnt fit, well figure where that will end up.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

Mirren Boy wrote:

So everyone is wrong and you are right ?

I have three versions on the current Muse album. Vinyl – 24bit down load – My daughters CD put on to the Naz

Vinyl – By far away the best sounding of all the formats , just sounds deeper and warm.

24bit down loaded FLAC to bppoweramp which automatically transfers to the NAZ – Good sounding with a wider stereo image than the CD throws up thus giving better separation to the instruments.

CD – Has a harsher overall sound in the highs and not as wide stereo imaging. Still crystal clear just not as good as the other formats. That’s back to back test in my own system. Funnily I mentioned nothing to my daughter who also sat throw the three formats , her conclusion was the same as mine.

As I wrote further back het yourself out to a hi fi shop for an audition on the latest streamers with back to back tests with CD and and 24bit. Or do you live in tunnel vision meaning your way or no way ?

 

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

 

You write about converting this and that. Yes your right I might not be catching onto your IT jargon. Me I’m trying to say straight listening tests with the latest streamers a difference can be heard. Though in what hifi terms back in 2010 proves a blind test noticed a mark difference on 16-24bit. You go on to call a poster as telling porky pies. You don’t believe him. That was my point in writing your way or no way. I’m not being abusive here. I certainly take people at face value. Clearly as I keep typling go along and listen to a streamer set up in a hifi shop and do your own back to back. Maybe just maybe you will notice a difference than what’s going through your own system. I’m no expert on computers. Have you tried FLAC dppoweramp.Try a Linn studio master? As you know I don’t think 24bit is the be all for listening pleasure, it dose offer a listening experience over the quality of CD. Why on earth would I go and change the whole hifi set up if I heard no difference. Anyway this time it is time out unless someone can bring something new to the subject.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Mirren Boy wrote:

Craig M. wrote:

Mirren Boy wrote:

So everyone is wrong and you are right ?

I have three versions on the current Muse album. Vinyl – 24bit down load – My daughters CD put on to the Naz

Vinyl – By far away the best sounding of all the formats , just sounds deeper and warm.

24bit down loaded FLAC to bppoweramp which automatically transfers to the NAZ – Good sounding with a wider stereo image than the CD throws up thus giving better separation to the instruments.

CD – Has a harsher overall sound in the highs and not as wide stereo imaging. Still crystal clear just not as good as the other formats. That’s back to back test in my own system. Funnily I mentioned nothing to my daughter who also sat throw the three formats , her conclusion was the same as mine.

As I wrote further back het yourself out to a hi fi shop for an audition on the latest streamers with back to back tests with CD and and 24bit. Or do you live in tunnel vision meaning your way or no way ?

 

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

 

You write about converting this and that. Yes your right I might not be catching onto your IT jargon. Me I’m trying to say straight listening tests with the latest streamers a difference can be heard. Though in what hifi terms back in 2010 proves a blind test noticed a mark difference on 16-24bit. You go on to call a poster as telling porky pies. You don’t believe him. That was my point in writing your way or no way. I’m not being abusive here. I certainly take people at face value. Clearly as I keep typling go along and listen to a streamer set up in a hifi shop and do your own back to back. Maybe just maybe you will notice a difference than what’s going through your own system. I’m no expert on computers. Have you tried FLAC dppoweramp.Try a Linn studio master? As you know I don’t think 24bit is the be all for listening pleasure, it dose offer a listening experience over the quality of CD. Why on earth would I go and change the whole hifi set up if I heard no difference. Anyway this time it is time out unless someone can bring something new to the subject.

Could it possibly be that the difference that you are hearing is the signature of DAC in the streamer rather than the file itself? Or the factthat it has no moving parts like a CDP.

Not that this makes the enjoyment less valid, just wondering?

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

Welcome to my world......frustrating, isn't it! Wink

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

SteveR750 wrote:

OK I'm not sure what you are trying to say...because the science says otherwise then it cant be so?

I'm only going by what I can hear, and the difference that I described is pretty obvious to me. There is no argument, just assimilate into the data set. If you are trying to discredit my ears simply because your science doesnt fit, well figure where that will end up.

My post asked if the 24/48 and 16/44 that you mentioned in your post are the same master, and if they are how did you downsample the 24/48?  Downsampling needs to be done properly if it is not to introduce audible errors/noise, there is lots of information available about it.  And given how unreliable sighted listening tests and human perception are, yes the science is more reliable.  Oh, and it's not MY science and I have no idea what "figure where that will end up." is supposed to mean, but I suspect I won't care.

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Craig M.'s picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:

Craig M. wrote:

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

Welcome to my world......frustrating, isn't it! Wink

It's like swimming through treacle.

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

Craig M. wrote:

Oh my.  Do you know what?  I don't care to go through this argueing with each point because it's clear you haven't a clue what I've been saying.  Epic fail.

Welcome to my world......frustrating, isn't it! Wink

It's like swimming through treacle.

Or a pot full of Black Ravioli!  silenced

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Neuphonix wrote:
2) You can not overstate the power of expectation. If you know that a file is 24bit before you listen to it then it must be really difficult to not think that it must be better (subjectively). I'm not saying that it isn't, who's to say anyone is more right or wrong, but it is a factor for sure. So to take Cnos challenge, you would have to get someone else (or fubar? havnt used this) to play the tracks for you in a random order, other wise you will hear what you expect to hear. Or at the very least you cant completely rule this possibility out of the equation.

Exactly, or to put it another way "If you have been told 24Bit should not sound any different in the text book, you already have expectation that it won’t sound any different"

If someone who listens to the different formats and hears a difference, then surely this has to be what we should be going on. I have tried listening to the different 16/24 bit tracks on the Society of Sound service. I hide the file size, drag and drop into a memory stick, randomly rename each pair of songs, go out on the pop, come back a few days later, forget what I've done, and had a listen. I can still tell the difference, although I will say that its easier to tell with certain types of music, and the differences isnt always night and day. 

The "loudness war" problem has to be won first. Once that is done, if the different formats don’t make a difference, then the word would soon spread. People won’t spend money on something that is not going to make a difference.

I think the problem here is, this is exactly like a "cable" debate, in as people on both sides are firm in their opinions. I'm of the opinion that cables and 24Bit files do sound better (I'm not in favour in spending a fortune on cable though, so let’s leave the cable debate there!). I also believe though that to get the full benefit your system needs to be of good enough quality to reveal the differences.

Perhaps it’s also a case of our understanding of the science, influencing factors and the measuring instruments is not good enough to explain why people say one format sounds better than another. I do think it’s very arrogant for anyone not even to consider that there may be factors outside our current understanding, and just say to other people they are hearing things.

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

 

I have not heard bit rates higher than those on CD, so I shall not take sides here. However, I will point out something that is overlooked in the arguments above.

When an analogue signal is converted into digital it involves errors. Suppose we had analogue voltages in the range 0 to 3 volts and we were doing two bit sampling. The sample values would be 0, 1, 2 and 3 volts. So 2.3 volts would be read as 2 volts digitally, and 0.4 volts as 0 digitally. Sizeable errors, especially on low analogue signals. Clearly with 16 bits the errors will be much smaller, and with 24 bits, smaller still. (The error size using 16 bits is 256 times that using 24 bits.)

When a digital signal is converted back to analogue there will be similar errors. So the analogue signal out of a DAC will not be identical to the recorded analogue signal (with frequencies up to 20KHz). That is assuming that the DAC outputs the voltage steps perfectly, which they don't.

Andrew

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Andrew17321 wrote:

When an analogue signal is converted into digital it involves errors. Suppose we had analogue voltages in the range 0 to 3 volts and we were doing two bit sampling. The sample values would be 0, 1, 2 and 3 volts. So 2.3 volts would be read as 2 volts digitally, and 0.4 volts as 0 digitally. Sizeable errors, especially on low analogue signals. Clearly with 16 bits the errors will be much smaller, and with 24 bits, smaller still. (The error size using 16 bits is 256 times that using 24 bits.)

When a digital signal is converted back to analogue there will be similar errors. So the analogue signal out of a DAC will not be identical to the recorded analogue signal (with frequencies up to 20KHz). That is assuming that the DAC outputs the voltage steps perfectly, which they don't.

Andrew

Is that the same as saying that sound-waves by their nature are analogue, so they can only be turned into digital with a series of "snapshots"...and sounds that have very quick transients, such as a drum beat or trumpet tone, can be distorted as they may change too quickly for the sample rate to capture ie. The more snapshots you take, the greater likelihood of capturing the sound accurately.

....or is that b*!!*x?

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

b*!!*x. Smile

A higher sampling rate ( which I think is what you are getting at?) doesn't capture more 'snapshots' per second (or whatever), it merely extends the captured frequency range, so a 96khz sampling rate will capture sounds upto 48khz - I'm sure I don't need to point out that no-one can hear these sounds.  Neuphonix posted a link earlier that explains it all.  I believe it also covers Andrew17321s post?  What I do know is that a test carried out some time ago (back in 1984 actually) by the Boston Audio Society showed a digital loop inserted into an analogue system was inaudible - even to Linns Ivor Tiefenbrun! 

They also conducted a test into the audibility of a CD standard A/D/A loop inserted into a high-res playback system (Clicky) and found it could not be reliably detected, unless the volume was turned up very high with no music playing and listening for the slightly higher noise floor.  This link explains how that test was carried out using high-end kit in rooms that were much quieter than the average room.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

The quotes below from Alan Shaw (designer & MD Harbeth) sum it up for me. He should know what he's talking about?

Source: http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?1274-Hi-Def-Recordings-Are-they-worth-it

'...Having exhausted every opportunity to wring the last drop of cash from the mass market CD consumer, our brainstorming session has focused on draining the last dregs from the consumer sump. We've identified a tiny, cash-rich sub-sub-sector of the CD market who are susceptible to buzz words like 'high definition', '96k recording', '32 bit' and similar terminology words that they barely understand. Obviously we can't justify (and won't be making) investment of a cent in new technology or artist or recording costs. For virtually zero cost we can fiddle about with the already recorded material and/or find unknown artists/music that are hungry for exposure and package that up under the High Definition banner. What a brilliant wheeze! And the audiophiles will get all excited when in fact we're using the same tired old microphones with all their defects. To be sure there is an audible difference we'll master the CD to guarantee that it does sound different. We may even make the CD with a gold layer to really convince them. We'll increase the price! Then we'll give away gratis copies to everyone in the music review arena with a glossy Press Pack full of quasi techno-mumbo jumbo and job done ...'

'How often do we have to mention that the human ear is just not the precision instrument that audiophiles think it is. It just cannot hear to the degree of precision that justifies 96k etc.. Why do people have this ludicrous self-belief in the super-human ability of their hearing when they can be fooled in seconds with a carefully constructed test? My ears can be as easily fooled as yours. I can absolutely guarantee that properly constructed audio tests will fool all of the listeners 50.00% of the time.'

'by far the best investment you can make for your listening pleasure is room acoustics. The room has the dominant influence on what you hear. Improve the room and then attend to exotic micro-improvements.'

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

Kate Bush 50 words for snow in 24/96 sounds far superior to the red book CD, a lot smoother with plenty of detail - I love it, just damn cant afford it!

You could afford to buy your stereo, but you can't afford the 15 quid for that?

Think I misquoted myself, I bought the 24/96 50 words for snow download......

I meant I cant afford it every time I want to buy an album!

Anyway worth every penny imho

 

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