Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 51

Thread: 24 bit-Am I delusional?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    107
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 24 bit-Am I delusional?

    I recently downloaded a couple of 24-bit records from eClassical and I honestly think I can hear a difference.
    English is not my native language so I can't really put it into words, but the sound has more clarity, the instruments have better separation. Especially on this record, it's unreal.

    Now, I've heard/read several knowledgeable people make a case that the difference is inaudible as the extra frequencies captured by 24-bit are outside the range of human hearing.
    So, is it just the power of self-suggestion at work here? Am I deluding myself?
    I'd love to hear the opinion of members here, because I think classical fans are more sensitive to slight nuances than the average listener.

    Hopefully I'm wrong. (It would save me a lot of money)

  2. #2
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11,622
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Aha -- fact is, those sounds outside the range of your hearing still interact with the overall sound, and there is an acoustic physical consequence, combined overtones, which DO very much affect what is within the range we hear. I imagine too, that some of the harmonic spread, complex from any instrument, is also more 'present' within the range we do hear, rendering a truer reproduction of an instruments idiomatic 'color.'

    What this means is that digital is now going back to a spectrum which it originally calculated leaving off: to get the data on a CD, a deliberate decision was made to mic and record only those sounds within the range of human hearing. Analogue vinyl and tape recordings prior the digital age did record those frequencies beyond.

    That decision on how to record CD's leaves most CD recordings somewhat 'flat-line' to my ears, having grown up with the earlier audio technology. That reduction also had an audible reduction of placement, i.e. "the oboe is right of center, a few rows back" which was a very audible presence on the older medium. Far too many lower-bit CD's sound to me as if the orchestra is lined up in a straight row against a wall, not seated in the half-round traditional spread.

    So, to me, since the inception of CD's, both the music and the listener have been short-changed, for decades.
    Last edited by PetrB; Jan-11-2013 at 13:38.

  3. Likes vertigo, RonP liked this post
  4. #3
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vertigo View Post
    I recently downloaded a couple of 24-bit records from eClassical and I honestly think I can hear a difference.
    English is not my native language so I can't really put it into words, but the sound has more clarity, the instruments have better separation. Especially on this record, it's unreal.

    Now, I've heard/read several knowledgeable people make a case that the difference is inaudible as the extra frequencies captured by 24-bit are outside the range of human hearing.
    So, is it just the power of self-suggestion at work here? Am I deluding myself?
    I'd love to hear the opinion of members here, because I think classical fans are more sensitive to slight nuances than the average listener.

    Hopefully I'm wrong. (It would save me a lot of money)
    I just saw PetrB's post (above) after I wrote this, and his observations seem to be the same thing I'm saying, only in different words.

    Those "literalists" are wrong. Bit-rates have more to do with "resolution" than frequency content. I'll bet there are many "rapper DJs" who can hear resolution better than "classical audiophile experts." Why is this? What is "resolution," and how do you hear it?

    By comparing 24-bit with 8-bit, 12-bit, or 16-bit! A lot of rappers use "samplers," which are basically digital recorders which can record sounds and transfer them to keyboards to be used in songs. Sometimes rappers will purposely use 8-bit to get a funky, "grainy" lo-fi sound on a drumbeat or voice.

    How to describe "resolution" to someone who's never compared or heard it?

    Resolution affects the overall clarity of a mix. I found this out by using a Tascam 8-channel digital hard-disc recorder, which had settings for lower & higher bit rates (to save data). I noticed on lower resolutions, a single track (like a vocal track) sounded good by itself, but as more channels were recorded (adding drums, guitars, bass) the mix became more "cluttered" and "noisy" sounding.

    With higher resolution, the more things I added did not affect clarity. I could hear (with headphones) separate elements in the sound field better; every instrument had a definite "location" and retained its own "identity" better, and was more easily "followed" by the ears, and could be "tuned in to" easier.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jan-11-2013 at 13:56.

  5. Likes vertigo, opus55 liked this post
  6. #4
    Senior Member quack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mvmt II. Largo e Spiccato
    Posts
    1,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here's a good article dismissing 24bit and its unnecessary detail http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html Really the sound of digital music is dictated by the recording and mastering practices rather than the encoding (assuming it is at a reasonable standard).

  7. Likes lll liked this post
  8. #5
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    Here's a good article dismissing 24bit and its unnecessary detail ...Really the sound of digital music is dictated by the recording and mastering practices rather than the encoding (assuming it is at a reasonable standard).
    I'd rather believe my ears than an article. I notice "quack" does not speak from personal experience, but only "quotes an expert." I think personal experience has much more gravity in a "subjective" case such as listening to music.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jan-11-2013 at 13:55.

  9. #6
    Senior Member quack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mvmt II. Largo e Spiccato
    Posts
    1,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well I don't really care either way, pointless format fights are boring, i'd rather listen to crappy 8bit music than argue if 16 is better than 24. I offered the article as an interesting read on the subject. You are quite right to trust your ears but as you can't lend them out people will have to make up their own minds.

  10. #7
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    6,176
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I absolutamently guarantee that I can hear no difference. !!

    [There's a lot of stuff I can't hear.]
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

  11. Likes Kopachris, N/A liked this post
  12. #8
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    I absolutamently guarantee that I can hear no difference. !!

    [There's a lot of stuff I can't hear.]
    You sound like you're bragging.

    "Me too! Gosh, I can't tell one way or the other! I guess this invalidates the fact that the company offers both formats, as if somebody could!"
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jan-11-2013 at 15:45.

  13. #9
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    Well I don't really care either way, pointless format fights are boring, i'd rather listen to crappy 8bit music than argue if 16 is better than 24. I offered the article as an interesting read on the subject. You are quite right to trust your ears but as you can't lend them out people will have to make up their own minds.
    Then why did you "weigh in?" If you don't care, then prove it, and delete your post; it's cluttering up a thread which is decidedly, from the OP, biased towards people who know how to tell the difference.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jan-11-2013 at 15:48.

  14. #10
    DrMike
    Guest

    Default

    I made one 24-bit purchase from eClassical - I could not detect any difference from other modern digital recordings. To be honest, anything over 160 kbps MP3 sounds the same to me - and thankfully so. Where possible, I try to save music in lossless format, but only because if I am going to keep it long-term, I want to keep as much of the data as possible, not because the sound is so much different. I like having nice clear sound, but it is not absolutely essential.

    I guess, in this case, I am blissfully ignorant - it also saves a lot of money if you don't have to have things like SACD players and always purchasing your digital content at 24-bit price ranges.

  15. #11
    DrMike
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Then why did you "weigh in?" If you don't care, then prove it, and delete your post; it's cluttering up a thread which is decidedly, from the OP, biased towards people who know how to tell the difference.
    Because, in case you hadn't noticed, "weighing in" is what people tend to do on these internet forums. Practically by definition, these forums exist for the purpose of people contributing their own 2 cents, and soliciting said 2 cents from others. If you don't want people weighing in, just go read a textbook on the issue.

  16. Likes Kopachris, Ukko, opus55 liked this post
  17. #12
    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    1,041
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    How about a test? Here are three uncompressed audio files of the same sound:

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/90384230/res_test1.wav
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/90384230/res_test2.wav
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/90384230/res_test3.wav

    The sound is synthesized, but the synthesizer is perfectly capable of rendering 192kHz, 32-bit floating point sampling, and deals with over 32,000 harmonics (15 octaves, from (say) 440Hz to 14MHz). (I picked a sound which resembles a saw wave precisely because it's produced by many harmonics.) One of the files is at studio-quality, 96kHz, 32-bit float sampling. Another file is DVD-quality 48kHz, 24-bit integer. Another file is CD-quality 44.1kHz, 16-bit. Your job to guess which is which. No cheating and looking at the codec information.
    Last edited by Kopachris; Jan-11-2013 at 16:17.

  18. #13
    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Praha,CZ -> Scotland, UK?
    Posts
    842
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Depends what you play it through.

  19. Likes Kopachris liked this post
  20. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    107
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That's very interesting...I'll do it when I get home in a few hours...I wouldn't know how to cheat anyway...

  21. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    107
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bassClef View Post
    Depends what you play it through.
    computer->Fiio E17 dac->Fiio e09k amp->HifiMan He400 headphones

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •