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Xiph answers to PONO marketing Digital Converters
Old 3rd August 2014
  #61
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All I'm saying is for me the mastering forum is about hearing tips from pro's and other smart peeps, not debating dumb things like whether compressed lossy audio is equal to ultra high definition lossless audio or whether the sky is blue.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #62
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Even though we have discussed Monty a lot before on GS, I re-read his paper to refresh my memory about all that he says. He gives an excellent primer about digital audio for those new to it.
I am not new to it.

It does not go in to nearly as much detail as my bible however.

My bible is: John Watkinson: The Art of Digital Audio
Focal Press

It is shocking to see who is coming out to defend Monty here.

The discussion should have nothing to do with data-reduced formats; only with 44.1 / 16 bit vs. hi-res clocks speed and 24 bit recordings.

I can identify a 44.1kHz 16 bit recording every time in my playback room.

Monty's conclusions about sound quality are not shared by those with a more knowledgeable and vastly more accomplished CV. This respected cadre includes Rupert Neve, Bob Stuart, Michal Jurewicz, Michael Bishop, Morten Lindberg, Harry Brotman, Tony Faulkner, other prominent converter designers, truly known mastering people, those with high detail playback set-ups, etc.

Move now to the listening studio. There, in situ, it is easily heard that 192kHz. and 96 kHz. masters are offering a more fulfilling, better detailed, less one dimensional, less card-boardy, and more involving playback. A more high fidelity playback.

Please read the other thread here on GS that debunked Monty and his flat earthers.

There are many more real practitioners in recording who will dismiss Monty than embrace his ideas about 44.1 khz. / 16 bit being sufficient for delivery.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #63
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But how do most recordings get to 44.1KHz 16 bit.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Not interested in scientific proof, no time for that.
Why does it seem all zealot claims/arguments end with a quote like. or similar, to this!
Old 3rd August 2014
  #65
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Ken Pohlmann's "The Principles of Digital Audio" (6th edition), is my bible, also great. Will check out the John Watkinson!

http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Dig...dp/0071663460/
Old 3rd August 2014
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Move now to the listening studio. There, in situ, it is easily heard that 192kHz. and 96 kHz. masters are offering a more fulfilling, better detailed, less one dimensional, less card-boardy, and more involving playback.
sideways motion ....As I said before - 192 may well be more fulfilling etc - but it is not more accurate (yet). There are STILL technical limitations to producing a proper 192 converter on a par with a 96.

Bit like using the best format tapes... I love them, but I love them because of their flaws.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I can identify a 44.1kHz 16 bit recording every time in my playback room.
I've just left one of the best 5.1 rooms in europe with a AAA monitoring system. It's now a pile of rubble but fortunately I still own the speakers. Building a new room.... I digress..... I've NEVER been able to reliably spot the difference in none hyper limited material (so my 24 bit masters against the 16bit versions released by EMI classics). I am, however, able to kind of spot then 75% of the time.... but that's not reliable!! Is it ?
Old 3rd August 2014
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arf View Post
This debate may finally have been put to rest. Here's an abstract from a paper about to be presented at AES in October. Key quote:

Two main conclusions are offered: first, there exist audible signals that cannot be encoded transparently by a standard CD; and second, an audio chain used for such experiments must be capable of high-fidelity reproduction.

The Audibility of Typical Digital Audio Filters in a High-Fidelity Playback System—Helen M. Jackson, Meridian Audio Ltd. - Huntingdon, UK; Michael D. Capp, Meridian Audio Ltd. - Huntingdon, UK; J. Robert Stuart, Meridian Audio Ltd. - Huntingdon, UK

This paper describes listening tests investigating the audibility of various filters applied in high-resolution wideband digital playback systems. Discrimination between filtered and unfiltered signals was compared directly in the same subjects using a double-blind psychophysical test. Filter responses tested were representative of anti-alias filters used in A/D (analog-to-digital) converters or mastering processes. Further tests probed the audibility of 16-bit quantization with or without a rectangular dither. Results suggest that listeners are sensitive to the small signal alterations introduced by these filters and quantization. Two main conclusions are offered: first, there exist audible signals that cannot be encoded transparently by a standard CD; and second, an audio chain used for such experiments must be capable of high-fidelity reproduction.
Convention Paper 9174
Yes, I'm looking forward to reading this one -- curious about their rationale for using rectangular rather than triangular dither.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #68
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Quote:
This paper describes listening tests investigating the audibility of various filters applied in high-resolution wideband digital playback systems. Discrimination between filtered and unfiltered signals was compared directly in the same subjects using a double-blind psychophysical test. Filter responses tested were representative of anti-alias filters used in A/D (analog-to-digital) converters or mastering processes. Further tests probed the audibility of 16-bit quantization with or without a rectangular dither. Results suggest that listeners are sensitive to the small signal alterations introduced by these filters and quantization. Two main conclusions are offered: first, there exist audible signals that cannot be encoded transparently by a standard CD; and second, an audio chain used for such experiments must be capable of high-fidelity reproduction.
Convention Paper 9174
I wonder how up to date these A/D's are in this test. Are not modern A/D's all 128x oversampling, so 44 and 96 and 192 all sample and A/D at the same rate of 5.6MHz with the same anti-aliasing filters. SRC then down samples the output.

Be interesting to see their methodology and what chips were used.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #69
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Consider if it came down to this question.

What if you were offered a full-time job working with HD Audio, Specifically mastering to digital at 24-bit 192kHz.

Would you turn down the gig based your convictions about 16-bit 44.1kHz audio?
Would you lecture the person offering you the job, trying to "correct" their perceptions?
(Thereby biting the hand that would potentially feed you?)
Or keep your trap shut and enjoy years of doing HD Audio work, despite your scientific convictions.

I for one hope that Neil Young's PONO system & HD Audio in general, is a huge success!

It just might stimulate a little commerce & create jobs for many audio engineers.

I love the enthusiasm that Listeners exiting Neil Young's Cadillac have after hearing Pono.

They've had a spiritual experience, a magical vision.

PONO de Neil Young - YouTube

Personally I do hear a difference in 24-bit 96k vs 16-bit 44.1k audio.

Sitting in the sweet spot listening to the big Dunlavy's, the HD Audio has a little more depth and clarity in the soundstage.

Is it a huge difference(?), No. Probably not even noticeable on Apple Earbuds or MacBook to your average Joe.

Is digital convertor performance involved, perhaps.

Many of the best current mastering engineers approve of HD audio, including these guys:

Mix talks to four mastering engineers--Gavin Lurssen, Michael Romanowski, Joe Palmaccio and Andrew Mendelson--about music, mentoring and hi-res formats | Four mastering engineers--Gavin Lurssen, Michael Romanowski, Joe Palmaccio and Andrew Mendelson-

On Monty's behalf I do like his Lollipop analogy better than the old stair step idea.

And the first video is a good primer on basic digital audio.

But Inaccurate are his summations of analog tape, as in cassette tape = 6-bit digital, etc.

Monty's smug attitude is problematic for me, as it reveals he has an agenda, and he likes being "right".

Best, JT
Old 3rd August 2014
  #70
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While top rank mastering engineers with great rooms and great monitoring are a good source of informed opinion in many things, I doubt if this group is the best one assembled to judge differences in various bit depth / sample rate program material.

Rather it is the skilled recording person, the persons in production, who are best equipped to comment on the differences heard.

That is because it is standard style of work to record the same console feed to various machines at various resolutions (at the same time.)
Old 3rd August 2014
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
The assumptions/conclusions are interesting, I can't wait to hear this audible 96kHz sound that disappears if converted down to 44.1kHz. Let's hope we don't have to buy a Meridian Audio amp before being able to do so

As far as I understood description from Alan's post well, it is not about signal disappearing but about listeners sensitiveness to some filters (found in A/D's downsampling circuits) and possible signal alteration by the process (of quantization too). Maybe it's doable to construct the test signal in a way that this phenomenon could be measured or shown as some kind of audible distortion (however the second conclusion may suggest something different...). Well I'm just guessing here. It's no doubt a very interesting reading!

Art
Old 3rd August 2014
  #72
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Saturday, October 11, 2:00 pm — 5:30 pm
The Audibility of Typical Digital Audio Filters in a High-Fidelity Playback System
from Meridian Audio presenters including Robert Stuart

Who else will be there to hear this paper read at the AES convention in Los Angeles?

Plush will be there.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
That is because it is standard style of work to record the same console feed to various machines at various resolutions (at the same time.)
And blind test, correct? These guys couldn't do it (but....):

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9612229-post1.html

"Sixteen expert Listeners were asked to compare 3 versions (44.1 kHz, 88.2 kHz, and the 88.2 kHz version down-sampled to 44.1 kHz) of 5 musical excerpts in a blind ABX task. Overall, participants were able to discriminate between files recorded at 88.2 kHz and their 44.1 kHz down-sampled version.
Furthermore, for the orchestral excerpt, they were able to discriminate between files recorded at 88.2 kHz and files recorded at 44.1 kHz.Convention Paper 8101"

...But you're right, they were able to do it with the orchestral piece, so that's probably significant.

The SRC used in their test was questionable and possibly had ripple in the passband, and they ace'd the down-samples.

But the majority of 44.1 is the result of down-sample so that's a variable in most cases.

Granted you were talking about 16 bit, but would you extend that to 44.1 24 bit? The abstract doesn't say so I'm not entirely sure if their 44.1 was 16 or 24 bit.

Last edited by walter88; 3rd August 2014 at 11:05 PM.. Reason: sp cases
Old 4th August 2014
  #74
nms
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I would love to have been at the meeting where these bloody crack pots decided 192khz was a useful distribution format.

"-So the current market is primarily listening to 16bit 44.1khz compressed files which are around 10mb each. What's a realistic step up we could get people on board with?

-Well, clearly we should aim for uncompressed 24bit 192khz files which turn that 10mb file into a 285mb file. That would be the next logical step.

-Sounds great! And very practical. Let's run with it.

-Guys.. does anyone see that pink dinosaur in the corner of the room juggling or is that the acid? He's been making me uncomfortable this entire meeting!

-See him? Where do you think we got the idea from!"
Old 4th August 2014
  #75
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luv ya nms, they're just making it available along w/ 96, 44, etc. up to the consumer.
Old 4th August 2014
  #76
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This classic is available at 192/24 or 96/24.

http://www.hdtracks.com/kind-of-blue-stereo

I also have the original vinyl LP, the CD and the SACD.

I like having options, including 256k AAC for my iPhone.

Cheers, JT
Old 4th August 2014
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
I wonder how up to date these A/D's are in this test. Are not modern A/D's all 128x oversampling, so 44 and 96 and 192 all sample and A/D at the same rate of 5.6MHz with the same anti-aliasing filters. SRC then down samples the output.

Be interesting to see their methodology and what chips were used.
It depends on the converters used. For example AKM's highest performance
ADC the AK5394 performs equally well from 44.1 up to 192. In fact I have seen
FFT's of a custom ADC using this chip at 192kHz / 10kHz tone / 0dBFS where
there were no harmonics above -125dB or so. That's way above even the chips
data sheet spec. On the other hand ADC's like PCM4222 perform worse at 192k.

With DAC's it's a similar story however the current top performance DAC, ESS
Sabre ES9018 performs equally good at any SR up to 384kHz.

As always at higher sample rates if the measurement BW is increased, for
example 80kHz at 192k then the additional noise will degrade the DR spec.

FWIW, next years premium AKM DAC's and ADC chips will all do PCM up to
768kHz / 32 bit and quad speed DSD (11MHz).

There you go, lets see if that fires up some SR arguments

cheers

Terry
Old 4th August 2014
  #78
Old 4th August 2014
  #79
Quote:
On Monty's behalf I do like his Lollipop analogy better than the old stair step idea.

And the first video is a good primer on basic digital audio.

But Inaccurate are his summations of analog tape, as in cassette tape = 6-bit digital, etc.

Monty's smug attitude is problematic for me, as it reveals he has an agenda, and he likes being "right".

Best, JT
Well, this isnt an attitude. It's the certainity proper scientifical methodology gives you. Its not an agenda either. This guy is the only one in the room working for an open source non profit organisation. He has no financial interest at all. Contrary to most nay sayers heres. Interestingly, NONE of them were able to even explain WHY they have a problem with Monty's article.

Your are discrediting the author just because you are running our of args. That's very obvious and in case you arent aware, such rethory is an insult to every half way intelligent participant. This is childish and impolite behavior.

Your ridiculous "but i can hear it" "ppl who know better think different"
"The tape 6bit thing can't be true" and your obvious ignorance of digital audio ("montys lolipops") is revealing.

What about argumentation? Ive seen none so far. And dont come with stupid cross references. Talk for yourself, explain your points in a manner we can reproduce without having to trust anyone. Mr Neve has shown more than one time how little he understands digital audio. His articles and interviews on the subject are a joke. And I wouldnt be so sure how he would answer to Montys text.
Old 4th August 2014
  #80
Old 4th August 2014
  #81
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Plush's Avatar
Neve certainly IS an expert in frequency response and how it relates to human hearing.


Caesar's words RE:Monty
"Throw him to the lions."
Old 4th August 2014
  #82
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Bernie Grundman says digital copies sound worse, but he can still master well, and I can still enjoy the records he's worked on.
Old 4th August 2014
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Neve certainly IS an expert in frequency response and how it relates
Iirc Rupert Neve (our neighbor) really likes the idea & sound of 384kHz audio.

He recently celebrated his 88th birthday!

Cheers, JT
Old 4th August 2014
  #84
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This is really an argument about the benefits of down-converting at different points in the chain since no modern A to D converter actually operates below 192k.

This has been a troll fest that has been going on since the first 96k converters were released. Almost every argument is somewhat right and somewhat wrong. There are IEEE papers in German that I understand explain how to do real scientific ABX tests as opposed to the audiophile magazine nonsense commonly cited.

Myself, I put my trust in Jim Johnston about what we can and can't hear. Jim invented lossy encoding at Bell Labs with a massive budget for research into what we can and can not hear.



Old 4th August 2014
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermetech Mastering View Post
This has been my experience too. It's impossible to statistically tell the difference between, for example, a 16 bit original .wav file, against a recently compiled LAME encoded MP3 file at 320 kbps. Have you guys actually done this ABX test recently?

Hydrogen Audio have been performing these listening tests for years, and so far NO ONE on there has been able to statistically tell the difference.
Conclusive "Proof" that higher resolution audio sounds different
Old 4th August 2014
  #86
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Quote:
Interesting - has anyone dug through enough of that to find the equipment/setup used? This kind of test file with very high level high frequencies can easily produce significant distortions in some or other part of the chain.

The next step would be to take a direct feed from the DAC output and a microphone capture of the speaker output and analyse the downsampled and full bandwidth samples to see what differences there are in the audible range. If there are none then it does indeed demonstrate that 44.1kHz isn't enough for this sample for this listener, but until proven otherwise I suspect there are.

Are the original files still available somewhere? I've downloaded some mentioned later in the thread relating to DAC/ADC conversions and I believe I can hear the difference there (I only have a laptop and a cheap pair of headphones with me, and I drank a couple of beers earlier on which very quickly destroys my critical listening for an evening as well as my concentration, but my ABX results (with results visible, which isn't the right way of doing it) were very positive. It doesn't sound like they're quite level matched.)
Old 5th August 2014
  #87
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Quote:
Wow. 575 replies in little over 2 weeks since that first post. Unless I'm missing something, the files are gone, the files author is gone. And some of the latest posts say the files were resampled badly. Too bad they're not still there.

Last edited by walter88; 5th August 2014 at 08:56 PM.. Reason: added little over
Old 6th August 2014
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter88 View Post
Wow. 575 replies in little over 2 weeks since that first post. Unless I'm missing something, the files are gone, the files author is gone. And some of the latest posts say the files were resampled badly. Too bad they're not still there.
The first files were sampled badly. The new files were put up and are good. You can find most of the files on AVS or Hydrogen Audio.
Old 6th August 2014
  #89
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSD_Mastering View Post
The first files were sampled badly. The new files were put up and are good. You can find most of the files on AVS or Hydrogen Audio.
From what I understood (the linked thread confuses me), the 96kHz has been explicitely polluted by very strong (and thus, totally unnatural) HF content.

This HF content creates to problems:

1. This is more or less equivalent to Montys IMD test! Of course the 96 file will sound different, i.e. less fidel than the properly bandlimited 44.1 version.

2. Similarly to 1), this excessive HF will create relatively strong aliases in the audible range. This also strongly depends on the filter design and implementation. Sadly, the author doesnt mention how the files were bandlimited.

Both point can easily create the illusion that 96 is more fidel.
Old 6th August 2014
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Even though we have discussed Monty a lot before on GS, I re-read his paper to refresh my memory about all that he says. He gives an excellent primer about digital audio for those new to it.
I am not new to it.

It does not go in to nearly as much detail as my bible however.

My bible is: John Watkinson: The Art of Digital Audio
Focal Press
Interesting you claim his work as your bible (it's an excellent book), and then go on to contradict his stance.

John Watkinson is most definitely not a believer in the need more more than 44.1/16 in a delivery format.

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements • The Register
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