High Definition Audio - Can You Hear The Difference? I hope...

High Definition Audio - Can You Hear The Difference?

I hope nobody minds that I posted this in several Facebook audio groups. My goal is to collect enough responses to report the results with confidence. If anyone would like to share this further, I'll be most grateful. ?

I created a set of music files that lets people learn if they can hear the difference between "high definition" audio at 24 bits and 96 KHz, compared to standard CD quality at 16 bits and 44.1 KHz. The main feature of a self-test like this, where people download files, is they can listen as many times as they like in the comfort of their own environment through their own audio system. A self-test also avoids people complaining that someone else's audition system "isn't revealing enough to hear the difference" as an excuse for why they can't tell one file from the other. So please read this short article, download the files, and email me your choices. When I have enough data I'll report the results on my own Facebook page.

High Definition Audio

I can plug one website that may be of use, https://www.audiff.com/. It is just few days old, i talked with the developer and he already made some changes to it. It is simple online ABCD comparison tool. At the moment, it is quite limited and can't accept different length files but it is one of the changes that are coming.

Please don't encourage people to cheat by submitting my files to a website for analysis.

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Hello Ethan - very nice what you have done but I would like ti tell you something I have discovered over the past twenty years of being involved with audio - Every is different and hears differently and this is the biggest problem that we face - I Have done so many tests with people and can tell you that 8/10 are OK the others cannot hear the difference with a 200 cable to a 2000 cable! So hearing differences for HD audio some will and some won't - such a pity I know = perkune.com

If you are selling audiophile cables, i suggest you press that "leave" button now before we tear you are new one..

sorry for that mistake

If you aren't, then stick around but audiophile cables by default don't belong to audio science and trying to promote or sell them in a group full of engineers will not end well.

I thank you for your words and sorry to mess up!!!!

All Paul does is shill magic cables in every other forum I've seen him in.

Interesting... That means then that i can remove my silk gloves and call a snake a snake.

Hello Scott - I am still learning how and suggestions would be welcomed

I suggest the firs step to learning is to understand the properties relevant in cable - L, R and C.

paul80476 You can stick your head where the sun doesn't shine:

"To improve your system sound, send all your cables to a Company that performs Cryogenic cable treatment. This is one of the best upgrades that you can get because the results speak for themselves."

Utter and total bullshit. I regret of giving you a benefit of a doubt. You seem to be well in the deepest end and that means only two options: either you are an amateur or you are a douche.


I'm open minded and give lots of people second chances, but I have seen you do this exact thing time and time again.... jump into a discussion and then post links to your website that are tangentially relevant at best. I'm all for earning a living from your business, but it took me by surprise to see you here because a group of audio scientists is NOT the target market for your products.

"You must allow at least one hour for any cable to warm up in your system. It does not matter if is the power cord, the speaker cable or the interconnect cable, so please be patient and allow time for them to warm up."

That page is a comedy gold mine, EVERY myth is there. It is like the most stereotypical snakeoil seller you can find. It is not even "innovative" but just copies scams done better by others.

I'm all against him earning a single penny: every single one are product of a scam. Every penny he has made is taken away from actual science and manufacturers that do genuine R&D to improve our sound. This is a niche business and it can not afford wasting money on nothing.

"Your computer or Laptop – to get a better sound fit three SoundCare spikes underneath"


kennett7443 I completely agree.. But I feel that at least 70-80% of all high end audio companies are clearly selling BS products to rich idiots. And they all seem happy with each other. So I just let them be.... but I don't let them come into my territory..?

Understand Scott and really do apologise for my errors but I really love audio and what I do and we are all entitled to our opinion - happy listening everyone

paul80476 You are now among professional so back this claim up:

"Remove the stock power cord that came with the amplifier and replace it with a good quality Power cord, as a simple step such as this will give you a sound improvement."

How, how will it improve sound exactly?

You do know that when i see you next time on some obscure place, i will tell everyone how you had to run the moment you met professional audio engineers. If you provide enough comedy, i may even screencap this.

Ok, what is your rebuttal or is it time for a regret yet?

Powercords are one of the most talked about item I think and I will tell you that one of my friend is a sound engineer and owns a company who supplies to hospitals ultrasonic equipment for baby testing - now he is a true professional with all the qualifications you can have and has a base meant full of equipment because he really is a true audiophile and tears everything to pieces - well after all he is from Russia! His name is Dmitery and actually replaced three of his stock power cords because he certainly could hear the difference and I am happy to put you in touch with him

paul80476 power cords have, by far, the least plausibly of making any improvement of any snake oil.

Here we use proper evidence to back claims, you need to provide such evidence to back a claim. And the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence”.

paul80476 That is not a proof but sure, bring him a long. Always happy to talk to someone who might know what they are doing. invite him in here.

All i can do is quote Scott: 'the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence”'. There is no known way a powercord could affect output until it is so bad that it is practically glowing red hot at some point in it. This is why you have to back up your claims using science, not "my friend from Russia heard it". One of the worst rebuttals i've had. Even the old time favorite "i have no time for you sir" would've been better.

Remember - the burden of proof lies with the claimant. Always.

True dat. There is no known way to disprove things which is why we need to provide prove for it first before we can start a rebuttal.

paul80476 - This canard is repeated time and again...

//Understand Scott and really do apologise for my errors but I really love audio and what I do and we are all entitled to our opinion - happy listening everyone//

You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts. Everyone here loves audio, by the way.

Dennis Young - aptly put. I am here specifically because I love music in all its wonderful forms. I chose to make my living for years by recording and live sound (two radically different professions btw) and through a series of events ended up where I am now, still engineering but researching how humans perceive sound quality.

At the root of it all is the love of music for me. To this I apply well founded and proven scientific principles - this is the only way to make meaningful progress.

Yes true that there is no ways that power chords can improve the audio quality.

thalente9 Power chords:

kennett7443 If your AC line cord is WARMING up, it's undersized for the purpose!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

thalente9 If they are pulled out of the outlet they certainly do!

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I don't want to burst your bubble harshly as I appreciate that you're trying to do a bit of research here but this methodological approach is flawed in pretty much every way. There's just no way to answer the question you asked using an online shotgun approach and a thousand different lo-fi host devices. There are other questions that you could ask or other ways to get more relevant data for evaluation, but any conclusions that you derive from submitted responses will be horribly biased.

My bubble is quite intact, thanks.?

Maybe you didn't read my article closely enough, but I provide files that people can download and play on their own systems. There's no "lo-fi host device" involved.

ethan361 unless everyone's personal systems have 96k dac's, then there is a lo-fi host involved.

If someone claims they're a golden ear and can hear the difference, which is a common claim, it's not my problem if their own converter isn't up to the task. How else would they even listen to HD audio?

so what are you testing then? It sounds like you're setting out to prove that no one can hear the difference between HD and CD quality. Have you ever heard music natively sampled at 96K in a proper listening environment with a 96k dat? Asking random people to play an hd track on a non-hd dac means that it will get downsampled before they hear it. So there is no actual test occurring. * Edit: VLC and other common software will downsample any HD file to the system dac level so most people just playing the two files will hear them both, but will be getting a downsampled version of the HD. And since you're just posting this lots of places at random, you can't assume that everyone understands that.

Test invalidated from the start as the tester claims differences are myths in the first paragraph and completely biases all testers. This is beyond belief and does not belong in a science based group.

Hey, the earth is flat - I have proved it... ok, now what shape is the earth?

If one of my undergrad students brought me this for a research proposal they'd be leaving my office with a very red piece of paper.?

beed74368 It's FLAT where I am standing!

carl2 I know, these sciency nay sayers are idiots

beed74368 Say what? The following is from my article. If you don't understand that those two numbered items are in fact myths, I'm not the one who doesn't belong in a science based group.

This belief is driven by two myths: 1) ultrasonic freqencies can affect frequencies we do hear, and 2) having 24 bits affords more resolution than 16 bits because there are more vertical "steps" between each sample's volume level. But neither belief is true - ultrasonic frequencies don't interact in the audible range unless distortion is present, and digital audio is continuous without steps.

It's like saying the waves in the Atlantic affect the water in my pipes at home...waves effect the water flow fro?m the local water company, just cus you can't see that, doesn't mean it ain't happening

ethan361 Ethan, I have seen your work before. I agree with much of what you say. (I am very happy with 44/16 for the rest of my life and I have a highly resolving system). You talk a lot about expectation bias. As I get older, I have come to realize it may fuel much of the high end market in many ways. As you have preached in the past - someone wants to believe that they hear a difference - they can magically find a difference. Someone wants to NOT find a difference, they won't. If you precondition people to hear something - they will. Even if you let them hear the same file twice in a row - people will claim there are differences. Remember Poppy and the backwards song? People are extremely fallible in this way. On top of that, they have hardened opinions and pride gets in the way.

That said, and with your past work on expectation bias, I would think you would want to setup a a scientifically valid test that made an attempt to truly get around expectation bias and come to a real conclusion. You have come to a "Audio Science and Engineering" and in the first paragraph setting up the test you have biased everyone that differences are a myth. There are many other issues with the test, but I will not go into those.

You go so far as to completely miss the point that I was saying, I was not agreeing or disagreeing with you about the "myths". I was simply stating that you are not following a good scientific testing method. So, if anyone should not be here - maybe it's you and this poorly constructed test. It seems blatantly obvious to me that it is clearly setup to confirm the tester's bias and not get to the truth of the matter. Maybe this test is ok in other lighter groups just for fun - it shouldn't be in this one.

So when they download don't tell them which is which, just number them. Then ask them to rate what they hear for each number?

Beed Littman Please tell me specifically what you think is erroneous in my article. Quote the exact text you disagree with. Thanks.

These replies seem to misunderstand what Ethan's trying to do. In short: if you think you can distinguish, or if you are unsure, do your best. Use your high end system to guess. Then Ethan will reveal the truth and the results. Did you get better than a coin toss? Only you will know for sure. How did everyone do? It will be fun to find out. That's all (correct me if I'm wrong ir if I don't remember, I read the challenge a few days ago via another forum).

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Subjective studies are very difficult to design methodology. I spend as much time designing the study as it takes multiple participants to take them if not more.

Not trying to rain on your parade at all, but blinding and randomizing properly is critical as is choosing the proper format - anchor or no anchor? Etc.

You must also be fastidious about controlling the environment and playback chain.

I do applaud your efforts though.

This is not intended to be published in a peer reviewed journal. It's mostly for people who believe they can tell "HD audio" from CD quality. They'll play the files, email me their choices, and then they'll know for sure.

honestly, the people that believe they can tell the difference have spent countless hours comparing high quality sources in multiple formats on good equipment. It seems that your goal is to convince them that they're fools. What a worthwhile pursuit.

My only goal is to learn the truth. If a few people learn that they can't really hear what they thought they could, I see that as a good thing. How could the truth be anything but useful information?

So which is it? For you to learn the truth about whether people can hear a difference OR to convince other people that they can't really hear it? But the problem we keep pointing out is that 1. you haven't structured your test in a way to actually know whether people hear a difference or not - you structured it only to see if people can guess which is which. 2. You biased the test from the very beginning by telling people that there is no difference. 3. The samples you gave are far too short and sparse for the differences to be manifested. 4. The conditions of the test are full of potential tech issues that cloud the whole thing.

You may not hear a difference and that's fine - everyone's hearing is different and it all diminishes with age. The people that have added Hi Res audio to their library did so because they perceived a positive difference in SOME recordings. As noted elsewhere, it's not noticeable in all recordings or in every second of those recordings. In some cases, I prefer the Hi Res simply because it is a higher quality/more tonally pleasing digital conversion compared to the one 30 years ago - which has more to do with the quality of the adc than the actual resolution.

But my original point still stands, people that have a preference for it have done plenty of research and listening - far beyond your little snippets. If you want to disprove it scientifically then look at the math, but the math all says that between 88k and 96k is the optimal resolution. So whether we can all hear it all the time or not, what is the harm with storing our music at the optimal level of quality? Who does it hurt?

So far I have almost 40 replies (though not from you), and most of them included "I admit I'm mostly guessing." Only one person was adamant that he could hear a clear difference, and he got every one wrong. I did not bias the test. Either people can hear a difference or they can't. Logic, and all that is known about human hearing perception, says there's no audible difference. I'm not the first person to test this! And of all the tests I know of, those done properly anyway, concluded that nobody can tell a difference.

You ask who is hurt by being fooled by false marketing claims. People who honestly want to know the truth, and who truly want to have the highest quality music possible, but don't want to pay more than necessary for the media or for the hardware. Most of the people who emailed me also thanked me for doing this.

we live in a world where 320k mp3 is free. Who is being forced to buy a high res album? As for the problems in the test, I stand by claims. I worked in research for years, reviewed for many journals and worked on editorial staff etc.. This test is called 'advocacy research' and the flaws are real. If the results make you happy then be happy. But please don't try to present the results to others unless you are prepared for some major criticism. We're just trying to help you here, but you've made it clear that you aren't interested in learning the truth, but are simply trying to get others to agree with you.

I was mostly guessing the pop songs, i had no confidence at that point anymore after absolute fails over 16 clips. I can check what the difference actually is but i'm sure Ethan you got null test results already waiting...

um... wut? "We're just trying to help you here, but you've made it clear that you aren't interested in learning the truth, but are simply trying to get others to agree with you."

If you want to learn the truth, there is ample amount of literature available, countless tests, research that all debunk the whole HiDef > CD debacle. So of course the intention is to get people to change their minds when they believe in absolute bullshit. The test is not scientific but there is no way you can get the people who do believe the most to put ANY amount of effort from their part and that is what is required.

"honestly, the people that believe they can tell the difference have spent countless hours comparing high quality sources in multiple formats on good equipment. It seems that your goal is to convince them that they're fools"

Does this mean you disagree with the premise? That there is some differences after all, i can't think of any other way to interpret this. And thus, you are not talking about "them" but it is YOU who are now called a fool.. am i right?

^^^ What he said.?

kennett7443 There are a few things going on here. The first is that the op is trying to perform a test - and it is a flawed test in every possible sense. If he wants to do an actual test then he would benefit from the many valid suggestions given by others here. But from his comments, he doesn't actually want to do a test as he's just trying to convince people that they're wrong. His 'test' is in no way rigorous enough to do that either then. So what's the point of it?

As for my personal HD preferences, I have unequivocally detected differences in some recordings, subtle as they may be. Although as I noted elsewhere, many recordings seem indistinguishable to me and some even worse - particularly conversions from old tape.

I don't in any way regard HD as an essential tech for musical enjoyment, but in an age of digital recording, the math that I've looked at suggests that 88k or 96k is the optimum for recording a full range of sound without defects. Regardless of whether the upper octave contains directly perceivable information, it does contain transients that do have some impact and interaction, whether it is positive or perceivable on most systems and after passing through the mix/mastering stages is a separate issue. But I track everything at 96k (as do most of the engineers that I know). And going forward it makes perfect sense in my mind to preserve that rate to the final consumers if they wish it. It's not necessary and I can live without it. But I will always record a master at that level and at lower levels. If consumers want to listen to that, then great. They should have the option.

From a purely archival perspective, I absolutely think that 96k is a good digital standard. It contains more information than the overwhelming majority of current gear and ears can detect, but it doesn't hurt anything and who knows what tech advancements will occur in the future. I'd rather preserve more information than less information and Aretha Franklin's voice in HD excites me to no end.

But to bring it home, the OP test focuses on differences between a couple short clips that don't even faintly resemble the type of source material where I have detected a positive difference and it doesn't address the scientific rational to store music in that format. Nowhere in this thread have I said that all HD is better. But to say that all HD is BS would be equally wrong. It has a place and a purpose and I don't think it's presence in the market harms anyone when they can obtain the same music in a dozen different formats and rates if they choose.

"Regardless of whether the upper octave contains directly perceivable information, it does contain transients that do have some impact and interaction"

Any transient that has a rise time faster than a 20 KHz sine wave is by definition ultrasonic and thus inaudible.

If you have better clips you'd like to share for a follow-up test, please email from my home page to arrange that. ? http://ethanwiner.com/

sit in the next time I teach a research class and then I'll give you some clips?

ethan361 "ultrasonic impact" is a nonsense non-technical term much like "fast bass"...

"sit in the next time I teach a research class and then I'll give you some clips" is very arrogantly said and also: you don't really have any clips now, do you?

Was your test blinded, level matched when you found differences? Was it checked to not have IM distortion?

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How did you create the files? What was the original master?

Are they both from the same master? Was the low res one created from the high res file?

I explain this very clearly in the short article that accompanies the files.

Did have a quick listen but on first impression for example i prefer 2B over 2A.

pasi35936 Does "quick listen" go along with "did not read the article"?

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Acquiring sound, as with making a picture benefits from the highest resolution possible at capture. High resolution is most effective in the beginning as that is where you create the first bottleneck. The same performance, into the same signal chain recorded to two different machines, one at 16/44.1, and one at 24/96 will be a revealing comparison.

This horse has been beaten to death countless times.

I would ask for citations to support this claim.

I don’t have any research papers lying around, but let me address it with a potentially imperfect, but applicable, metaphor. You can always cut a rope shorter, but you can’t make it longer. It’s the same reason why we shoot everything commercial at at least 4K now, even stuff that will only wind up being played on instagram in a 4:3 ratio, which cuts the final pixel count down further. Look at your cell phone pictures from 8 years ago. They almost look like pointillist paintings compared to the resolution of your current phone. You can’t blow up one of the old phone photos, but can pinch pretty deep into a 12 megapixel shot, because there was more information from the original event to work with. With sound it’s not as obvious, because audio recording technology has progressed in less obvious ways. The way that HD audio is most recognizable is in the change from 16 but to 24 bit. The sampling rate gets into diminishing returns for a lot of folks beyond 48k, but the increased dynamic range of a 24 bit makes an appreciable difference.

I will agree that when doing content creation higher sr and bit depth is absolutely beneficial. This leaves “headroom” for the processing and manipulation that recording and mixing usually entail.

But regarding end product there has been very scant evidence provided for any measurable benefit beyond 48k, or even 44.1. The few papers I have seen on the topic have been either in support of 44.1 as adequate or a very very slight support of 48 k and up.

What has been shown is that proper clocking, dither, and converters are important.

what's interesting about Matt's point is that he's right about 24/48k being about the functional optimum for most people and systems, although most recording/mixing engineers who have worked/listened in a studio setting can clearly hear a difference between a track originally sampled at 96k and one at 48k. It's more relevant to the signal processing during the mix than to the final sample rate of the master though. Mathematically (from the paper's that I've read), 192k adds mathematical harmonic distortion and artifacts while not offering the ear any additional perceivable detail. Somewhere between 88K and 96K seems to be the optimum HD range for both the listener and the mathematics of it. As for bit rate, 24 bits provides a dynamic range just beyond what the human ear can comfortably tolerable. Talk of future 32 bit formats is a bit unnecessary as any audio source taking advantage of that whole spectrum would have a db range far beyond what the ear can comfortably hear (meaning, if you can hear the quiet parts, then the loud parts would cause permanent hearing damage).

Testing individual perception and subjective preference can only be done in a very controlled environment with high quality gear and source material that ideally has been recorded straight from a microphone to two identical converters set at different encoding settings. Conversion from an old tape source is problematic for a number of reasons as is upsampling or downsampling from a digital source.

As for the need for the original question, I'm not sure what it matters. I listen to HD recordings on my good system and crappy mp3 on my phone/mp3 earbuds. I'm happy with that.?

Thanks for the info about 196k brother !

Audio is not video. For example, all video is lossy compressed. There are other differences too that give a benefit from shooting at higher resolution than the final render. Another example: shooting in HD lets you zoom in later during post without losing quality.

matthew216 why don't you just take the test and the results will speak for themselves, louder than the papers you don't have lying around...

Hence my preamble about an imperfect metaphor ethan361. Your logic also follows that originating with high resolution, and high dynamic range, which are two separate things, gives us an objectively better picture at original spec before cropping in.

^^^ Yes, and Yes. Which is why comparisons to video aren't so useful with HD versus CD audio. Maybe Wave versus MP3 is a little closer.

I was just trying to illustrate that as far as capturing sound goes, unless you’re recording Live to lacquer disc, or the worlds quietest tape machine with magical tape that operates at a quieter noise floor than currently available, you’re going to have to go digital capture, and then More’s Law applies which is more is better. More resolution, and bit depth the better. Who cares if we careen off into the land of diminishing returns? Disk space is cheap, so who cares about economical file sizes for critical listening? In an ideal scenario, I’d like to listen to the album in whatever quality it was originated at.

matthew216 if your goal is an accurate translation of the albums quality read what Bob Clearmountain has to say here.


scott63 I’ll check him out. He’s a legit guy. The soundstage at LucasSound is recording in HD though.

I brought it up because of your statement “direct to lacquer”.

Bob is 100% legit and is one of the most accomplished guys in the business. His take carries great weight.

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Done and done. Wont spoil telling my results, ABX test that i really, really tried since i really, really want HiDef myth to be true in all honesty (anything that gives me some edge...).

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Need more than 15 seconds of music.....

Using 15 seconds doesn’t violate copyright law as a rule.

Did not know that. But still, this is not enough time. Differences are subtle, most likely not enough material to tell the difference. I won't participate...invalid test.

There are also many other reasons to keep segments short. Listening fatigue, our audible memory is quite short, several others as well.

To effectively do comparisons it’s important to keep the clips within reason and typically short in duration. Each sample should cover a specific attribute for example- low level detail, dynamic range, imaging, tonality, etc.. If the test subject is asked to evaluate more than one or two specific potential differences they fail miserably.

In op example I suppose it’s: can you hear any difference? In which case it’s valid for each sample regardless of length.

It's an excellent point about the nature of the material. Just from my own experience as a listener and from working in studios, the differences are more apparent in 'full' recordings with a lot of high frequency information where more of the harmonic transients push through. Giving it words is a little tricky, but the closest I can describe it is to say that CERTAIN higher def sources are tonally nearly identical, but have a little more energy and vibrancy to them as the transients pump out. Other recordings I've heard, particularly those dumped from heavily saturated tape are indiscernible to me... and I think to most people. In fact, I've heard some HD transfers that were positively less enjoyable to listen to because that extra information seemed mostly populated with tape noise that you couldn't really hear but was oddly fatiguing to listen to.

So, I listened to the music. The classical is made up of only violins. No Cymbals, no other instruments. The other 2 are synth pop silliness. None of the music here is suitable to be used to compare from a listening perspective.

I am disappointed. This is really and truly a setup to fail type of test. First of all the tester calls the differences myths. Ok, test invalidated because you have biased everyone that there are no differences. This is the first rule of testing is not to influence your testers. Secondly the samples provided are terribly poor in providing enough quality material to judge. Thirdly, I also notice that there is lots of content right up to 48kHz in all samples!

This test is unfortunately setup to confirm beliefs already held by the person orchestrating the test.

yep. and not only that, there is no mechanism to determine whether the listeners perceive a difference or not, which would actually be a worthwhile test, notwithstanding all of the other issues. If a respondent does clearly hear a difference, it is mostly guesswork with his two snippets to figure out which is which since the recordings are so sparse. 100% of listeners might hear a difference, but if 50% of them attribute it incorrectly then the results are void. The whole point of HD is not that you hear the higher frequencies directly, but that their presence has an effect on what you do hear and the way in which you perceive it.

Valid points and very well said

"The whole point of HD is not that you hear the higher frequencies directly, but that their presence has an effect on what you do hear and the way in which you perceive it."

You forgot to add "may" there. None of this is confirmed, in fact everything so far points opposite. Don't say it like it is a fact.

beed74368 The most accurate test type we can have is looping ABX. The longer the passage, the less accuracy we have. Our ears adjust constantly and our echo memory is only few seconds long. You can't do recollection based comparison because of human physiology. No matter how much you try to convince yourself. Try to think how you arrived at the conclusion that long term listening is needed? Was it during lots and lots of sighted, non level matched testing? And maybe that is the reason you can't find differences in shorter snippets?

It is not that hard to convert HiResolution audio files to lower samplerates. So try it yourself, fooBar2000 allows for any length of testing, i'm sure a complete song is enough? Or do you need weeks? The longer your required time is when yo start to find these differences, the more likely it is that you are just guessing. It is VERY hard to keep the blinding intact for weeks... For conversion, i'm sure you can find software. Reaper is one possibility, it has all the options you can possibly need.

One rub to bear in mind - SRC should be avoided when possible. In an ideal scenario the reference source should go through from its input through identical converters straight at the two, or more desired sample rates to storage. Then be played back the same way.

Although it is very problematic to avoid SRC, windows audio archethure can do some under the hood.

kennett7443 Ad hominem argument. I did not say long term testing, just longer with more varied content. Are you are saying a 15 second of just violins is enough? IF the test is asking - "can you hear a difference with violins" then ok. But the test is asking "can you hear a difference" Need more varied material - regardless of length of material.

There is a ton of software out there to analyze and convert music. If you load these files up you will instantly see which are which. I am disturbed that content was added to up-converted files above 22kHz... Check it our for yourself. This is got to be the most invalid test I have ever come across.

I completely discount the synth pop stuff as valid material to base a hires comparison on - or ANY comparison. I wouldn't play that through my grandma's toaster?

santa en cielo. y'all are still at this? we're arguing at cross purposes. Everyone go for a walk and listen to some snippets in your preferred format.

scott63 Windows converts to whatever bitrate is set in the settings. Using WASAPI or ASIO can remedy that. Bit perfect is over rated in playback, one can put dozen converters in a row and no one noticing anything..

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done and emailed my results.

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Thanks, Ethan. I'll give this a try a bit later when I've got some quiet time.

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I love my pono DAC

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kevin Welch

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This is high-def compard to CD quality or compared to MP3 too?

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I firmly believe (in old recordings pre 80's) some vinyl rips sound better than same albums CDs...though...(ABBA, ELO, Elton john, Bee Gees...those guys CDs SUCK!) PS: member it was meant for AM radio...)

This is because the smooth wonderful excellent ABBA productions Treschow made has been multibandcompressorprocessed by Treschow with a treshold-shift in the sense of hearing to match a more modern sound. I have found that I like multibandprocessing better myself with the hearing treshold on its age related upward climb. Similar sonic disasters - ahem updates - have probably been done in remastering the other smooth stuff you mention.

To be fair to them actually re-releasing the vinyl mastering would necessitate recording off of a grammophone record because of the inline processing in the record cutting process. So they have just used the contemporary tools and the contemporary production style.

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Ethan, it is a possible source of error if identical dithering is not used because soundcard truncation may obfuscate the results.

Dither affects only the lowest bit, and I doubt anyone can hear that while music 80+ dB louder is playing at the same time!

No one has heard one stage of dithering to this date unless there are obvious problems. it is mainly just theoretical "feel good" thing as it does make one happy that you know you just lowered the noisefloor. We know it works but no one can tell if it is being used or not. The worst we can do is dither multiple times, something i can admit being my modus operandi in the past (TIP: schools are a good place to learn about the things that exist but can't be heard...)...

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Pono was much over hyped BS, from Neil young, and his con associates...now he gives music away...old age has taken it's toll...MQA, is the latest con......the last actual improvment was CD, turn it into a digital world, portable, reliable. DSD/SACD was a nice tweak of same science.and a chance at keeping money stream, as Cd patents where running out DSD/SACD, would extend it, it didn't take off as Philips/Sony wanted. It's always about the money. Patents matter, it's BUSINESS.SACD came out just as CD patents where winding down, how coincidental.. by the same innovator Philips...DSD sounds better on certain stuff, sometimes not so apparent, lots of times lately, I don't give a shit...just listen, I must be getting old...

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And you know why Sony bought CBS, right? So they could keep reissuing the back catalog on one more format after another, both recorded music and the movie archives.

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I am trying to hear a difference... it is there somewhere

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