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High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter?

Krunok

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Wow. What 'should' art be, in your view, I wonder?
Hard to tell. IMHO art is totally out of science scope, it is something we express ourselves with and something we enjoy in. Unlike that, science and egnineering is something we should make use of.
 

krabapple

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Invariably, when I've encountered someone who says eye-popping stuff like 'I don't read fiction, why would I? It's not true' -- and I have -- they've been engineers. Also, IME they are over-represented in the anti-evolution and anti-climate-change factions of those 'debates', which I've followed for decades.
 

krabapple

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This sounds very reasonable to me, but there should be a wide consensus on this if there is a message to be send to consumers and audiphiles to start pressing manufacturers to stop fooling people around with HiRes, DSD and all other useless stuff and instead start manufacturing reasonably priced stuff that will meet these specs.
Because a scientific consensus reliably persuades people against embracing nonsense and snake oil? I wish it were so.
 

Krunok

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As an engineer I've learned the scientific base (basis) for many things is a little shaky... Not useless, but often a starting point, not the end-all-be-all.
I fully agree. But IMHO science should draw a starting line somewhere for the engineers to have a well defined starting point to go from. And than you test, to see how it fits and see if and where to improve it. And here I don't see many tests done in a serious way, so their interpretation is often very vague and practically useless.
 

Krunok

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Because a scientific consensus reliably persuades people against embracing nonsense and snake oil? I wish it were so.
It would never be so for all people. Although probably 100% of the scientists agree that Earth is round there will always be people believeing otherwise. I was calling for scientists and engineers consensus, not the entire population.
 

krabapple

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Hard to tell. IMHO art is totally out of science scope, it is something we express ourselves with and something we enjoy in. Unlike that, science and egnineering is something we should make use of.
So no scientist should pursue knowledge for the pleasure of it, or for its own sake, but always with the goal of making a 'useful product' from it?
 

Krunok

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So no scientist should pursue knowledge for the pleasure of it, or for its own sake, but always with the goal of making a 'useful product' from it?
IMO, a true scientist should believe in his work to produce practical outcome, the same as true artist should believe to make an exhibition where people could come and enjoy his/her work. ;)
 

Thomas savage

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If the outcome is not clear it's not the fault of science, it's the fault of testing.
It’s no one things fault ..,

Science has evolved well enough for us to brew a huge range of beers and very reliably, the rest is of little concern to me.

I mean you can brew up in a prison bunk bed , science did good.

IMO, a true scientist should believe in his work to produce practical outcome, the same as true artist should believe to make an exhibition where people could come and enjoy his/her work. ;)
You have not hung round many academics have you , It’s a whole heap of messing about , the object of the excise being avoiding getting a real job lol
 

DonH56

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Invariably, when I've encountered someone who says eye-popping stuff like 'I don't read fiction, why would I? It's not true' -- and I have -- they've been engineers. Also, IME they are over-represented in the anti-evolution and anti-climate-change factions of those 'debates', which I've followed for decades.
I've been around a lot of engineers and most of us read fiction. "Invariably" may depend upon your sample size. The only one I recall saying something like that was an uncle who was a real estate guy, no engineering background. Most of us get smacked upside the head by reality every day so reading a little fiction, and often science fiction, is a pleasant break.

Anyway, this type of discussion is just not worth it to me, heading to one of those "religious" debates and as an analog designer I have to maintain a less-rigid viewpoint on most science and engineering. Seen science and engineering be wrong too many times to think there is an absolute and forever exact answer...
 

solderdude

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Ouch ...
repeatable science AND human behavior (the very complex and not yet fully comprehended auditory system, including the brain) as well as acoustics combined. On top of that using flawed transducers on the recording and playback side is not likely to give any definitive answers.

And even when one tests with people that show extreme hearing acuity/capabilities and can determine the boundaries of those unique individuals it is still very likely that the vast majority can't hear beyond 48kHz sample rates (even though they claim otherwise).
Current sample rates/depths and techniques are already way beyond even the best hearing human capabilities so for 'improvements' it is not needed. Why the need to establish what is audible or not. Higher sample rates and bitrates will still be developed because of competition between manufacturers and 'demands' from the audiophool market.

I say... find your own limits, done in a repeatable and proper way, and apply that knowledge for your own music collection.

Personally I don't mind people buying and/or lusting for DSDx-times, DXD or the highest bit-rates/depths they can find. It's good for the economy and business. If it rocks their boat and enjoy music more I am all for it. Placebo or not they don't care anyway nor should anyone else.
For my own wallet and piece of mind I know what it is enough and how small my files can be.
 

krabapple

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It would never be so for all people. Although probably 100% of the scientists agree that Earth is round there will always be people believeing otherwise.
There are consensuses practically as strong among scientists, yet scads of people 'believing otherwise', in many areas today and historically. Believers in astrology, 'luck', beauty aids, anti-aging treatments, various nutritional supplements, to name a few less politically controversial examples, far outnumber those who accept the scientific consensus on these matters.
 
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krabapple

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I've been around a lot of engineers and most of us read fiction. "Invariably" may depend upon your sample size. The only one I recall saying something like that was an uncle who was a real estate guy, no engineering background. Most of us get smacked upside the head by reality every day so reading a little fiction, and often science fiction, is a pleasant break.
I was gonna say...the exception is (invariably) science fiction.

Anyway, this type of discussion is just not worth it to me, heading to one of those "religious" debates and as an analog designer I have to maintain a less-rigid viewpoint on most science and engineering. Seen science and engineering be wrong too many times to think there is an absolute and forever exact answer...
You know and I know that scientific claims are by definition *provisional*. At the same time this doesn't mean, 'everything is equally possible'.
 

solderdude

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For the sake of argument.
Let's assume scientists undeniably determine 48kHz/24bit to be all everyone needs.
It would be announced on the news, globally, and talked about in TV shows and repeated by bloggers all over the world as the newest discovery.

Would that stop those who currently believe they benefit from higher resolutions from buying/using that ?
Would manufacturers stop making chips that have even higher resolution ?
Would the hi-res logo from then on mean 48/24 ?
Would higher-res stuff not sell anymore ?

Nah.... the world would go on and people would still believe what they know they heard for sure.
Hi Res Audio: Does it matter?
Nope it doesn't it is already there.
 

JJB70

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My own view is if you really need to concentrate to try and discern a difference between red book and these high res formats (assuming you can discern a difference) then that tells its own story.
 

maverickronin

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The reason there's no consensus is pretty simple. Funding.

There's not any extra money to be made in telling people CD rez is fine. The evidence we already have suggests that the difference is non-existent to very small. Those who could profit potentially profit from conclusive data in favor of hi rez usually either don't want to risk money on definitive trials or already have religious objection to proper testing.

Plus, even if there was conclusive testing showing benefits to hi rez the profit might not be all that impressive anyway. The audiophile industry already has no problem raking it in hand over fist on verifiably false claims so printing more glossy brochures and having marketing find an untapped pantheon of dead gods to name their new power cord line after will probably yield a better return of investment.

This kind of thing might as well be market research or R&D. Next to no one outside of the audiophile hobby cares about it so it rarely get university or government funding as basic science research.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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DSP latency when playing back higher resolution is a bit lower, isn’t it?
Probably, but I have yet to encounter a normal playback situation in which it was either noticeable or any problem at all. I normally play 5.1 channel hirez from a PC in DSD64 converted on the fly to 356k PCM, downrezzed to 176k, then EQed by Dirac. Any processing or DSP latency is immaterial, even when DSD256 is the input. File access from the NAS at play start seems to be the major latency delay.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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The reason there's no consensus is pretty simple. Funding.

There's not any extra money to be made in telling people CD rez is fine. The evidence we already have suggests that the difference is non-existent to very small. Those who could profit potentially profit from conclusive data in favor of hi rez usually either don't want to risk money on definitive trials or already have religious objection to proper testing.

Plus, even if there was conclusive testing showing benefits to hi rez the profit might not be all that impressive anyway. The audiophile industry already has no problem raking it in hand over fist on verifiably false claims so printing more glossy brochures and having marketing find an untapped pantheon of dead gods to name their new power cord line after will probably yield a better return of investment.

This kind of thing might as well be market research or R&D. Next to no one outside of the audiophile hobby cares about it so it rarely get university or government funding as basic science research.
Captive research funded and conducted by individual manufacturers with a vested interest has a hard time being believed - science or marketing hype?. That, rather than your scenario, is I think why they generally do not publish, even if they have conducted “good” scientific research internally.

Also, the “CD is/is not good enough” hypotheses, if true, would apply across the industry. Why should one company go to the expense of funding to conduct and publish this for the benefit of competitors? Nobody really owns CD or hirez exclusively anymore. What is in it for the companies, one way or the other? It is saner and more economical to just provide hirez on top of CD capabilities, and make that a “feature”. Let the audiophiles sort it out for themselves, as they will do in their infinite wisdom. The multi-format universal player idea, like Sony and especially Oppo, was a smashing success

Also, do I hear the letters M-Q-A in the distance?
 

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