24/192 Music Downloads and why they make no sense

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24/192 Music Downloads and why they make no sense


What do you think ?
I don't care that much about what someone can measure and say that things can't possibly sound good because that is what the measurements say. We've been through this a million times before, just look at the cable debates for proof. It seems that the human ear is far more sensitive than any electronic measuring devices and I put a lot more weight in something like a bunch of audiophiles saying yes something does sound better than something else than some guy trying to prove we are all idiots.

That aside I have not personally been all that impressed with 24/192. I have heard a few recordings that did seem to sound a lot better than the old 16/44 version I had but that could have a lot to do with remastering which would do a lot more to change the sound than anything else. Most of the time I am really struggling to hear a difference with some of the hi rez stuff. I have not heard DSD which guys say is supposed to be a lot better than even 24/192. Personally I still think vinyl sounds quite a lot better than any digital but that is a whole other topic.

Sometimes you have to wonder what is really going on with these hi rez recordings. Anyone could just take a 16/44 file and upsample it to 24/192 and call it that. It would sound the same but would be 24/192. You have to wonder if some of this does not go on. Just upsample it and add 10 bucks to the price and I'm sure someone will buy it because it's supposed to sound better.
This topic has been addressed ad nauseum for years. Yet, despite millions of folks who obviously DO hear and appreciate the increased fidelity of hi-res PCM and DSD, this kind of pseudoscience article continues to float around.
The primary fallacy they seem to share is that yes, we do not directly perceive whatever strawdog ultrahigh audible ranges are cited. But we humans do perceive and process to an astonishing degree the time domain of sound.

Mike Lavorgne has explained it well:

"The answer is not being able to hear inaudible supersonic information, but the ability to hear the timing of transients more clearly. It has long been known that the human ear and brain can detect differences in the phase of sound between the ears to the order of microseconds. This timing difference between the ears is used for localising high frequency sound. Since transients can be detected down to microseconds, the recording system needs to be able to resolve timing of one microsecond. A sampling rate of 1 MHz is needed to achieve this!

So higher sample rates used to process digital data into analog signals do not necessarily benefit frequency response, rather we're talking about improved performance in the time domain. Better transient response."

This is what improved "air" and the spatial perception of instruments from aural cues is all about. And yes, if you have the gear and setup, and right master files, 24/192 can do it better.
Excellent article. I understand that Acoustic Sounds sells high quality redbook CD. As the author said, the biggest quality issue is RECORDING, ENGINNERING AND MASTERING. Most of the rest is voodoo. Thanks KAPA. I'll stick with my CDP for now and try out some of Acoustic Sounds' high quality redbook CDs and report back.
It's not some analysis or measurements that make 192 sound better. It is simply the guts of the D/A chips in most DACs that makes them sound better, particularly the digital filters.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
They can sound good, but the selection of recordings is very small and the price is high.

If you want Hi-Rez and choice, buy SACD's. Only they are 90% classical, 8% jazz, and 2% pop/rock. Amazon has over 3000 SACD's.
I add, better to buy Blu-Ray discs if you can find material you like, say Miles/Blue.
At the end the quality of how it is recorded is so much more important than the system how it is recorded. I have stunning recordings with 192khz. But I also have some which do not convince. I have have redbook recordings at 44.1khz which sound stunning converted to 384khz.
From our experience, the quality of recording and mastering are the paramount factors effecting sound quality (not to mention performance itself....).

It seem to me both theoretically and experimentally that for Hi-Rez playback the most important is not bit depth (e.g. 24 bit vs 32 bits) but sampling rate. Perhaps for this reason, today, DSD playbacks are best sounding provided everything else is equal

Musicia Pristina