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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
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Another factor is that everything above 20 kHz has been filtered out of CDs because of the Nyquist limit. Some audio is now recorded at 88.4, 96 or even 192 kHz sampling rates in order to avoid this problem
Why should I care about content above 20kHz?

No need to care at all about so-called content above the Nyquist limit. The higher sampling frequencies are used since they make it easier to design better reconstruction filters that are required post-DAC.

See also this old article about SACD format which uses a sampling rate of 2.82MHz Q. How does the SACD format achieve higher sound quality?

Paul.

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Yes, the Nyquist limit for 44.1kHz creates the need for very steep low-pass filters so that full attenuatation is achieved by 22.05kHz, the Nyquist limit. The Redbook CD standard probably should have been 48kHz for that reason. But steep digital filters have been implemented for anti-aliasing during ADC, and "oversampling" DACs upconvert to DSD and render that, so steep filtering for 44.1kHz is a solved problem.

Simply put, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz sample rates are not needed. They require a more precise clock to avoid digital jitter, an increase in cost that does not drive increased audio quality (the cost would be better allocated to upgrades in the audio path that drive improved audio quality).

DSD allows for a wider dynamic range, and a very simple DAC that just consists of a voltage gate and a low pass filter. It has many advantages for playback. (I own about 40 SACDs). Its disadvantage is that it is difficult to work with. Digital algorithms to work on DSD are more complex than for linear PCM, so there are fewer post-processing controls, and less margin of error during the analog recording/capture stage.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Simply put, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz sample rates are not needed.

They are not "needed", but they sure sound better than redbook CDs. I listen to Qobuz hi-res streams all the time.

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Listening via loudspeakers isn't only a listening experience, it's also a physical experience involving the whole body.

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Originally Posted by kre
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Simply put, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz sample rates are not needed.

They are not "needed", but they sure sound better than redbook CDs. I listen to Qobuz hi-res streams all the time.

The sample rate is not what is contributing to the better sound. The biggest problem with Redbook CDs is not a limitatuinnof the audio format, but they are mass market products, so they are mastered to sound ok on everything from car stereos and boom boxes to hi fidelity playback systems. Hi-rez content is mastered with tge assumption that it will be rendered on a hi-fidelity system.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The sample rate is not what is contributing to the better sound. The biggest problem with Redbook CDs is not a limitatuinnof the audio format, but they are mass market products, so they are mastered to sound ok on everything from car stereos and boom boxes to hi fidelity playback systems. Hi-rez content is mastered with tge assumption that it will be rendered on a hi-fidelity system.

I can set the album playback quality from Qobuz app to anywhere between 320 kbps mp3 and 192/24 hi-res. It is really trivial to compare what happens with more resolution. Maybe you should try it yourself?

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by kre
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Simply put, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz sample rates are not needed.

They are not "needed", but they sure sound better than redbook CDs. I listen to Qobuz hi-res streams all the time.

The sample rate is not what is contributing to the better sound. The biggest problem with Redbook CDs is not a limitatuinnof the audio format, but they are mass market products, so they are mastered to sound ok on everything from car stereos and boom boxes to hi fidelity playback systems. Hi-rez content is mastered with tge assumption that it will be rendered on a hi-fidelity system.

And yet, however they are mastered, hi-res formats can often sound better even on an extremely modest system.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by kre
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Simply put, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz sample rates are not needed.

They are not "needed", but they sure sound better than redbook CDs. I listen to Qobuz hi-res streams all the time.

The sample rate is not what is contributing to the better sound. The biggest problem with Redbook CDs is not a limitatuinnof the audio format, but they are mass market products, so they are mastered to sound ok on everything from car stereos and boom boxes to hi fidelity playback systems. Hi-rez content is mastered with tge assumption that it will be rendered on a hi-fidelity system.

And yet, however they are mastered, hi-res formats can often sound better even on an extremely modest system.

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If mastered for the extended dynamic range of a hi-res format, if you set the volume so that you can hear the quiet parts of the music in a car, the loud parts will be too loud. Redbook mastering generally does not make use of the full dynamic range of 16x44.1 to get decent signal-to-noise on noisy playback systems.


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Originally Posted by kre
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The sample rate is not what is contributing to the better sound. The biggest problem with Redbook CDs is not a limitatuinnof the audio format, but they are mass market products, so they are mastered to sound ok on everything from car stereos and boom boxes to hi fidelity playback systems. Hi-rez content is mastered with tge assumption that it will be rendered on a hi-fidelity system.

I can set the album playback quality from Qobuz app to anywhere between 320 kbps mp3 and 192/24 hi-res. It is really trivial to compare what happens with more resolution. Maybe you should try it yourself?
MP3 is not on the same continuum. The benefit you are hearing is from other variables than sample rate, such as quantization size (24 bits vs smaller quanta) or other factors such as dynamic range compression. If you take the 24/192 content and run it through a DAC and then ADC to resample at 24x44.1 with a high quality ADC, you would not hear any difference.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
If mastered for the extended dynamic range of a hi-res format, if you set the volume so that you can hear the quiet parts of the music in a car, the loud parts will be too loud. Redbook mastering generally does not make use of the full dynamic range of 16x44.1 to get decent signal-to-noise on noisy playback systems.

Yes, but even standard Redbook has a dynamic range great enough to suffer that same problem in a car, unless your car is much quieter than mine, or stationary with the engine off :-) In a quiet room it is a different matter of course.

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A Redbook CD of classical music will certainly exhibit the issue. Nonetheless, the benefits of hi-res formats are from greater dynamic range and less quantization error when rounding off samples to 24 bits (or using DSD) instead of rounding of to 16 bits.

The full dynamic range of human hearing, from the faintest whisper to an Airbus jet engine at full thrust a meter from your ear, be encoded with 20 bits. 24 bits is 16x the dynamic range of 20 bits (2^4=16), and you don't need to encode the full dynamic range of human hearing to represent all known music.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by kre
I can set the album playback quality from Qobuz app to anywhere between 320 kbps mp3 and 192/24 hi-res. It is really trivial to compare what happens with more resolution. Maybe you should try it yourself?
MP3 is not on the same continuum. The benefit you are hearing is from other variables than sample rate, such as quantization size (24 bits vs smaller quanta) or other factors such as dynamic range compression. If you take the 24/192 content and run it through a DAC and then ADC to resample at 24x44.1 with a high quality ADC, you would not hear any difference.

I can change the quality between 16/44, 24/96 and 24/192, in addition to 320 mp3, so your point is lost here. Anyone reading this with open mind and ears, give yourself a chance and try it yourself. No need to get a degree of hifi-pseudoscience, just click play and listen.

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Math, physics, and human physiology are not hifi pseudoscience. My position is informed by the Shannon-Nyquist Theorem, the frequency range of human hearing, and material in audio engineering books by respected authors such as Bob Katz, a top-tier audio engineer.

The 192kHz version may sound better to you than the 96kHz version. It may even sound better to you in a blind A/B test. But if so, the reason is something other than the fact that it was sampled at 192kHz. The waveforms represented with 192kHz sampling that were not represented with 96 kHz (above 48kHz frequency) are all being filtered out by your DAC during playback before your dog or cat has a chance to hear them (if your amp and speakers or headphones even have a frequency response that high).

Speaking of hifi pseudoscience, the audiophile industry is notorious for selling people more than they need to achieve a given level of audio quality. The more upgrades that can be objectively listed on the marketing materials, the more they can charge, and it can help convince the buyer that they are getting alot for their money. Typically, the improvements in quality come from certain well engineered upgrades that are incorporated, but which may not sound impressive in marketing materials.


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Ah, audiophiliology--where scientific instrumentation and methodology is often wrong but human perception is infallible. Usually this human has golden ears and speaks with authority (but can't pass a simple hearing test).

And never forget: the more expensive it is, the better it is. No exceptions.

One time my friend let me listen to these 10,000 Euro per foot cables. I couldn't believe I had lived my life without those. And when he put those cable on special risers (lifting them away from the floor), the sound was so life like I had to be carried out on stretchers.

Since I couldn't afford those 10K cables nor risers, I had to contend with $2k power conditioners instead. Amazing results!

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I see, this was an interesting conversation for the most part. Now people come in who tell other people what they hear.
To be honest, your generalization is hard to take. Do you have any more stereotypes and generalizations to share? Let it out.

I’ve been skeptical all the time when people told me about sounding cables etc. But if I had to choose who to trust, a guy who believes in 10,000 Euro per foot cables or a guy who completely ridicules other people and tells them what they hear and what they don’t hear, it’s no hard pick.

Btw. This is a constantly recurring misconception of some people. No one said that “human perception is infallible”. But it’s the only thing that matters when listening to music. Whatever people hear matters to them. Whether someone else can hear it or verify/falsify it via technical devises or not is completely irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by zeitlos
But if I had to choose who to trust, a guy who believes in 10,000 Euro per foot cables or a guy who completely ridicules other people and tells them what they hear and what they don’t hear, it’s no hard pick.
I'm pretty sure that you don't limit yourself to those two options.


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Of course I don’t. But if I had, I would.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Math, physics, and human physiology are not hifi pseudoscience. My position is informed by the Shannon-Nyquist Theorem, the frequency range of human hearing, and material in audio engineering books by respected authors such as Bob Katz, a top-tier audio engineer.

The 192kHz version may sound better to you than the 96kHz version. It may even sound better to you in a blind A/B test. But if so, the reason is something other than the fact that it was sampled at 192kHz. The waveforms represented with 192kHz sampling that were not represented with 96 kHz (above 48kHz frequency) are all being filtered out by your DAC during playback before your dog or cat has a chance to hear them (if your amp and speakers or headphones even have a frequency response that high).

Speaking of hifi pseudoscience, the audiophile industry is notorious for selling people more than they need to achieve a given level of audio quality. The more upgrades that can be objectively listed on the marketing materials, the more they can charge, and it can help convince the buyer that they are getting alot for their money. Typically, the improvements in quality come from certain well engineered upgrades that are incorporated, but which may not sound impressive in marketing materials.

To be honest, I'm a bit lost what we are discussing here. I told you that in my opinion hi-res music sounds better than same music with lower quality. You bring post by post new explanations why Iäm hearing what I'm hearing. Well thanks but so what, better is better no matter what the reason is in your opinion? I have a 25 year career in physics btw.

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Originally Posted by kre
Well thanks but so what, better is better no matter what the reason is in your opinion?

Exactly my point smile And even if it wasn’t better for someone else, it would still be better for you.

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