24/96 only works if you have both a 24/96 disc (DVD audio) and player/processor capable of reading 24/96. The sound may differ somewhat when playing a regular CD on, say, a DVD audio player. You will be able to play a "regular" CD on a DVD audio player, but will likely find that it doesn't sound as good as a decent 16/44.1 transport/DA converter. This is just do to the audio quality of the components, and mostly, to the audio quality of the DA chip or converter. Hint: Most current DVD players send a standard 16/44.1 signal on the Digital out, even if they have their own 24/96 inboard capability. Be sure to investigate before buying a new player.
The "Buzz" is that 24/96 DOES make a difference with regular CD's. The filters used supposedly (supposably?) are not as extreme and result in a "less harsh" sound.
Read about it at tweakaudio.com.
An UPSAMPLER that takes the standard 16 bit 44.1 CD digital output and upsamples to 24 bit 96khz which has interpolative algorithms and is then D to A decoded by a 24bit 96 khz can make almost astonishing improvements on standard CDs. Until recently the best known units were from dCS and were five figure investment. Just recently MSB and Perpetual technologies have released much more reasonable products. I'll have them to compare in about two weeks and will report back.
IN REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION AS TO WHETHER "IT" MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE WITH NORMAL CD's, I BELIEVE YOU MIGHT FIND YOUR TIME WELL SPENT, AS I DID, IF YOU WERE TO PICK UP STEREOPHILE MAGAZINE'S APRIL 99 ISSUE (VOL 22 NO. 4) IN WHICH YOU'LL FIND A VERY INFORMATIVE INTERVIEW WITH MUSE ELECTRONIC'S DESIGN ENGINEER KEVIN HALVERSON (DESIGNER OF THE ORIGINAL UNIVERSAL I2S INTERFACE) ENTITLED, "MUSING ON 24/96." THIS HIGHLY INFORMATIVE IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW IS ALSO FOLLOWED UP WITH A GREAT REVIEW (CULMINATING IN A CLASS "A" RECOMMENDED COMPONENT RATING) OF THE MUSE MODEL EIGHT DVD/CD TRANSPORT AND THE 296 DVD/CD PROCESSOR COMBO. IN THIS REVIEW, STEREOPHILE MAGAZINE'S SHANNON DICKSON REPORTED "I CONSISTENTLY PREFERRED THE SOUND OF RECORDED MUSIC PLAYED THROUGH THE I2S-EQUIPPED MODEL EIGHT AND 296 FRONT-END OVER THAT OF ANY OTHER SOURCE I'VE HAD IN MY HOME--INCLUDING CD,DVD, OR LP." DURING THE COURSE OF HIS AUDITION MR. SHANNON FURTHER STATED "I WAS CONFIDENT THAT THE HIGH-END MUSE GEAR WOULD SET A NEW BENCHMARK OF REALISM PLAYING DVD's. BUT I WASN'T PREPARED FOR WHAT THEY DID FOR ORDINARY CD's." IN THE CONCLUSION OF HIS REVIEW MR. DICKSON STATED "I'VE BOUGHT MORE THAN 20 CD's IN JUST THE PAST MONTH-- A BINGE UNLIKE ANY I CAN REMEMBER. PERHAPS THAT SAYS IT BEST OF ALL." I THINK YOU SHOULD BE AWARE HOWEVER, SUCH RESULTS ARE NOT TO BE EXPECTED TO SUCH A DEGREE WITH ANYTHING LESS THAN TRUE HI-END GEAR, SUCH AS THAT DESIGNED BY MUSE A PIONEER IN THE FIELD OF TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT OF DISC AUTHORING, AS WELL AS RECORDING AND PLAYBACK HARDWARE FOR THE 24-BIT/96kHz AAD's (ADVANCED AUDIO DISCS). IF YOU LIKE, PLEASE GET BACK TO ME AS I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ARRANGE TO HAVE A FULL REPRINT COPY SENT TO YOU.
Upsampling is what really makes the difference. If you ever look at test bench measurements, the best quality dual differential 20 bit DACS still have a definite performance advantage over affordable non-upsampling 24/96 DACs like the standard MSB link (when playing CD's). BUT WITH UPSAMPLING, THE ADVANTAGE GOES DEFINITELY TOWARDS THE UPSAMPLING CONVERTER/DAC COMBO, whether it's relatively cheap or not. MAKE NO MISTAKE, the dCS combos still beat everything else by a landslide! And as for affordable upsampling, the Bel Canto DAC-1 soundly beats the MSB Link with upsampling option...for now anyway.
...............THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO EVERYBODY........................................................Ive heard great things about all these products. I think i'll check out some of the stereophile archives and read more about them........
I am awaiting arrival of a Denon AVR5700. I have the Sony DVD 7700. Both state true 24/96 capability, I think without downconversion. If this is so will this improve my standard CD listening or must I have a 24/96 disc to hear any improvement? I am using the Sony DVD player for audio temporarily until money is saved for the SACD player. Vey interesting chat. Thanks, Martin Butler
By "full capability", it just means it has an internal 24/96 DAC that can play 24/96 audio DVD's. WHAT'S MORE IMPROTANT IS: CAN IT OUTPUT 24/96 THRU THE COAXIAL (or Toslink) DIGITAL OUTPUT? If so, you can get a better external DAC later, and use the DVD player as the transport.
I think that it passes 24/96 through the analogue outs only, but I will check and return with the results later.
I see Muse has a new Web Site up- MuseElectronics.com. May want to check it out, as I understand Muse is a Pioneer in advancing the whole issue of the Advanced Audio Disc format. Just as well get some information from the "Horses Mouth" so to speak, whenever we can.
Good to hear that Muse finally got a website. Should be interesting.
From what I've read the Sony 7700 only outputs 24/96 in analog mode and down converts in digital mode. I have a Sony 7700 and was curious if I play a regular cd will it be set to my amp 24/96 since the DAC being used is in the 7700? Thanks
It's a line level analog signal when sent to your amp (unless it's a digital amp, or has the DAC built in like the Wadia PowerDAC). A CD has nothing to do with 24/96, unless there is upsampling before the DAC (many feel that a 24/96 DAC in general is best for playing non-upsampled CD's, BUT THEY ARE ACTUALLY NO BETTER THAN A DUAL DIFFERENTIAL 20 BIT DAC DESIGN). DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. When we refer to a DVD player or transport outputting 24/96, we are speaking of a digital signal through a digital ouptut connector like toslink optical, or RCA 75 ohm coaxial. Both of those are called "S/PDIF", for Sony/Philips Digital Interface. A balanced 110 ohm line level digital connection is called AES/EBU, for Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union. It uses a 3 pin XLR connection. It usually has less induced word clock jitter than the S/PDIF. The best connection is called I2S plus, but few manufacturers use it. There's also AT&T glass fiber optical, which has similar performance to AES/EBU. You might want to peruse "The Complete Guide to Highend Audio" sometime. Read some back issues of Stereophile, and consider subscribing. Happy listening!