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High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter?

Fitzcaraldo215

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Science should be a base for engineering a new, better products. If it doesn't serve that pupose it is pretty much useless.
Fortunately, science over the ages has not seen fit to abide by your simple narrowing of its true intent. You want science to not only make discoveries and add to human knowledge, but also simultaneously to restrict itself to predictions of future useful applications. Einstein was a moron because there were no immediate applications of his theories. What has Galileo’s science ever given us that is useful and commercializable in products at all? And, what about all those Big Bang, black hole guys? Useless. Shall I go on?
 

SIY

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It would never be so for all people. Although probably 100% of the scientists agree that Earth is round...
They most decidedly do not. To understand that better and maybe gain a bit of perspective on why your view of science is not accurate, here's an interesting (if somewhat old) essay which I hope you find enlightening.

The difficulty here is that one is being asked to prove a negative. That can't be done. It is up to someone who believes that higher sampling rates are audible to at least a subset of the population under some conditions to unambiguously demonstrate this it is so.
 

Ron Party

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You know and I know that scientific claims are by definition *provisional*. At the same time this doesn't mean, 'everything is equally possible'.
Yep. Succinct and to the point. I call it the "get out of jail card". We've all read about people using that card... you know, things like "we can't measure everything we need to measure", therefore anything is possible and everything matters. It's a major reason why I don't frequent certain other audio fora.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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I've not seen E. Brad Meyer's devastating follow up, can you point me to it? In any case, M-M tested the then-current reports, totally anecdotal, very often seen in publications and online, that the difference between *any* 'hi rez' release (*regardless of whether it was sourced from analog *) and its CD counterpart was 1) obvious and 2) due to Hi rez (with the SACD or DVDA pretty much invariably sounding better). Their results provided no support for those claims. Given how much against the audiophile grain such data go, it's obviously important for hi rez advocates, including those who think that their 'training' and 'experience' privileges their hearing of it (it's funny how many of you there are), to insist that MM has no evidentiary worth. But their insistence that MM fails on the grounds that MM didn't use exclusively DSD or hi-rez PCM-sourced discs, is contemptibly post-hoc. The pre-MM claim in the biz (including the hi-end press) was *NEVER* that 'you can only really hear the obvious benefits of hi rez if you have a purely hi rez signal chain'. Nor was it 'you need to be a SPECIALLY TRAINED LISTENER to hear the superiority of hi rez".

Face it: in the normal course of listening, whatever difference you, yes, even you, think you hear isn't likely due to 'hi rez', but to simple mastering difference. And in the abnormal course of listening, i.e., if you're in fact actually comparing a hi rez release to a properly downconverted copy, you're probably not hearing a real difference at all. Gee, now, who already offered up results like that.....?
On Meyer, no. Look yourself and you shall find, if it is a big deal to you, although it seems your mind is already made up on the subject. But, please do so, to avoid looking like an overzealous jihadi on the subject based on incomplete information that betrays you.

I don’t have to face anything, any more than you do. I like what I like, as can you. But, your speculations about what I hear under what circumstances are just just that - idle speculations, although you think you know all there is to know.

Your mind is clearly made up. No problem if you wish to enjoy your CDs. I go another route and I have other preferences for my own reasons. Why is that such a big problem for you? Why do I have to prove anything to you about my own listening preferences?
 

maverickronin

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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.
If it's only audio then it's doesn't really matter. If it has to keep up with video, then it does matter quite a bit.

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.
I wouldn't imagine most companies with vested interest in upcharging people on hi rez content put in any more research than Nordost, but if they did a good job, like a much of Harman's stuff, we'd be sure be discussing it here.

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
Somewhat agree with you here. Historically it was more important to separate content providers from hardware manufacturers but the recent sampling rate arms race is making it a necessity to buy a new DAC every few years if you think it's important to be able play back cetacean sonar and LF radio. How long before PCM sample rates catch up to original DSD? Only two more doublings...

Also, do I hear the letters M-Q-A in the distance?
A shameless attempt to rake in licensing fees...
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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On the latency issue with video, I have a Concertgebouw Mahler cycle BD set at 96k using DTS HD MA. Also, some San Francisco videos at 96k.

Decoding the sound and Dirac EQing it cause no problems with video syncing all done via my PC. Not sure if it is 5.1 or 7.1. I will have to look. So, never any video sync problems while using DSP for me with Mch. JRiver seems to have gotten that under control in conjunction with my aging I7 CPU and middling GPU.
 

maverickronin

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On the latency issue with video, I have a Concertgebouw Mahler cycle BD set at 96k using DTS HD MA. Also, some San Francisco videos at 96k.

Decoding the sound and Dirac EQing it cause no problems with video syncing all done via my PC. Not sure if it is 5.1 or 7.1. I will have to look. So, never any video sync problems while using DSP for me with Mch. JRiver seems to have gotten that under control in conjunction with my aging I7 CPU and middling GPU.
I'm not saying latency always has to be a problem, just that it's something that needs to kept in mind as some combinations of software and hardware can cause a lot. @BE718 was explaining the parallelization his crossover/room correction software uses to go from ~600ms to ~20ms in another thread.
 

amirm

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Most science in the sound reproduction field is commercially related. And right now, there is little interest in resolving the debates in this thread. So don't expect the science to be further developed other than an effort here and there. The topic is mostly a "don't care" since high-res audio is available without the barriers that physical media (DVD-A/SACD) provided. No one makes boatload more money with some new science discovery here.
 

andreasmaaan

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Most science in the sound reproduction field is commercially related. And right now, there is little interest in resolving the debates in this thread. So don't expect the science to be further developed other than an effort here and there. The topic is mostly a "don't care" since high-res audio is available without the barriers that physical media (DVD-A/SACD) provided. No one makes boatload more money with some new science discovery here.
I definitely see your point when it comes to the music production/distribution end, but do you think this is also true when it comes to the reproduction/hardware end?
 

amirm

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I definitely see your point when it comes to the music production/distribution end, but do you think this is also true when it comes to the reproduction/hardware end?
For sure. The hardware is a "solved problem" with even 50 cent DACs playing high-resolution audio.

If anything, it would harm the hardware industry to push back on high-res. Specs and bigger numbers are a good thing for sales.
 

Blumlein 88

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They most decidedly do not. To understand that better and maybe gain a bit of perspective on why your view of science is not accurate, here's an interesting (if somewhat old) essay which I hope you find enlightening.

The difficulty here is that one is being asked to prove a negative. That can't be done. It is up to someone who believes that higher sampling rates are audible to at least a subset of the population under some conditions to unambiguously demonstrate this it is so.
+1 on the Asimov article above.

https://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm
 

Krunok

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+1 on the Asimov article above.
What exactly impressed you in that article? Stating that Earth is not a perfect sphere? Isn't that pretty much an obvious thing? I mean, (perfect) sphere doesn't exist in real world, it simply can't. Each and every spherical object that we find in real world is only spherical up to a certain point of precision, and this is true for every real object. Sphere is a mathematical concept which exists only as an abstract described by its equation and/or definition. This has been known far before Asimov was born, namely from ancient Greek times. ;)

P.S. I do like his SF novels :)
 

Krunok

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Most science in the sound reproduction field is commercially related. And right now, there is little interest in resolving the debates in this thread. So don't expect the science to be further developed other than an effort here and there. The topic is mostly a "don't care" since high-res audio is available without the barriers that physical media (DVD-A/SACD) provided. No one makes boatload more money with some new science discovery here.
I believe this offers a correct explanation why nobody is interested in making true progress. Same thing is happening in video as well - we will soon have 8K or 16K picture (what we don't need) while the movement will still remain blurred and juddery.
 

derp1n

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My opinion is this: unless audio science is able to deliver simple, well defined answers to a fundamental questions, like the one I asked, there will always be a space for "subjectivists" stating that not only the difference betwen RBCD and 24/192 can be heard, but also the difference between network players, power supply cables, interconnect cables and onlyGodknowswhatelse can be heard.

Now, either you, very experienced and theorethically sound gentleman, get your schiit together and prove, based on scientifically sound methods, what makes the difference and what not, or you make ground for "subjectivists" to claim whatever they want, as you were not able to prove otherwise.
That's not how reality operates.
 

andreasmaaan

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For sure. The hardware is a "solved problem" with even 50 cent DACs playing high-resolution audio.

If anything, it would harm the hardware industry to push back on high-res. Specs and bigger numbers are a good thing for sales.
Yes absolutely. I'd misunderstood your post #248. Completely agree with you :)
 

Krunok

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That's not how reality operates.
Interesting statement from a person who's reality is obviously turned upside down. :D

Proving or disproving if HiRes matters is not too complicated job of designing and executing a series of listening tests - no rocket science there.
 

derp1n

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You can't use science, objective truth, laws, or violence to stop magical thinking from existing. There will always be subjectivists. You can disprove them until you're blue in the face and they will still exist. However, you're totally free to simply ignore them.
 

Krunok

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You can't use science, objective truth, laws, or violence to stop magical thinking from existing. There will always be subjectivists. You can disprove them until you're blue in the face and they will still exist. However, you're totally free to simply ignore them.
I agree with you. But the problem I see with HiRes is that racionalists don't know if everything above say 96/24 is snake oil or not.
 

svart-hvitt

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What exactly impressed you in that article? Stating that Earth is not a perfect sphere? Isn't that pretty much an obvious thing? I mean, (perfect) sphere doesn't exist in real world, it simply can't. Each and every spherical object that we find in real world is only spherical up to a certain point of precision, and this is true for every real object. Sphere is a mathematical concept which exists only as an abstract described by its equation and/or definition. This has been known far before Asimov was born, namely from ancient Greek times. ;)

P.S. I do like his SF novels :)
The author of the article, Asimov, is a doctor of philosophy. It’s his argumentation that is nice reading, I think, not the well known facts he’s using to tell a story.

And he makes a good argument that science is about getting it about right, not 100 percent right. Wouldn’t you agree? And his story is about natural sciences where knowledge is accumulating, which may or may not describe say social sciences.
 
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Blumlein 88

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What exactly impressed you in that article? Stating that Earth is not a perfect sphere? Isn't that pretty much an obvious thing? I mean, (perfect) sphere doesn't exist in real world, it simply can't. Each and every spherical object that we find in real world is only spherical up to a certain point of precision, and this is true for every real object. Sphere is a mathematical concept which exists only as an abstract described by its equation and/or definition. This has been known far before Asimov was born, namely from ancient Greek times. ;)

P.S. I do like his SF novels :)
Did you read and consider the article carefully?

No the Greeks didn't know it wasn't a sphere. Remember for a long time most people believed celestial objects moved on crystal spheres.

The point of course is the title of the article. The Relativity of Wrong. That absolutes are rarely found viable in science. Instead you learn certain parameters and improve upon them over time. Getting closer and closer to right. It also might cue in one to the idea science moves toward the truth rather than at any time being able to definitively say yes or no about most things to absolute perfect unwavering precision.

Can someone hear improvements in sample rates higher than 96 khz? Everything we know says they cannot. If someone claims otherwise it is up to them to do tests and show the idea mistaken. It isn't up to rational people to test every far out idea disputing what is known about such things.

As for 44.1 vs 96? If I said 44.1 can't be heard as different than 96 khz, will I also need to try out 44.0 and 42 and 40.1 khz rates? You ever learn about standard deviations? Do you know that abilities of humans are not all exactly the same like another piece of gear off an assembly line? If there is one person in the world with unusual abilities who can hear 48 khz as inferior to 96 khz should we raise all rates on that one person hearing it? That was the idea behind the suggested 60 khz rates. It was slightly above what might be needed. Not a huge jump, but enough we could be sure there is no one human on the far end of the distribution chart to hear any problems. Standards being what they are you'll have to jump to 88 or 96 instead. And as others have been telling you, there are people who'll believe unreasonable things which you'll never be able to persuade.
 

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