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Xiph answers to PONO marketing Digital Converters
Old 31st July 2014
  #1
Xiph answers to PONO marketing

A really nice read:
24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed
Old 31st July 2014
  #2
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The 192 khz thing really is a pretty humungous scam IMO, but it would seem the designers of Pono have put some effort into designing a decent quality analog front-end which is the most overlooked part of most modern digital equipment...
Old 31st July 2014
  #3
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Bob Katz, although I don't vibe of everything he writes/thinks, says some great stuff on this topic, and he's right, if only filter design was as sexy as re-buying your music in HI DEF OMG SUCH DETAIL..
Old 31st July 2014
  #4
mixmixmix
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On a large scale 24/192 downloads won't survive as a premium priced service because consumers will realize at some point that there is no audible differences between 24/192 and 16.44.

However small croud of hi-rez enthusiasts may be able to support tiny hi-rez industry.
Old 31st July 2014
  #5
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Pono fails to recognise the crux of the issue with the really crap sound consumers are exposed to nowadays.

1) BAD MASTERS AND RECORDINGS
2) Crap headphones/speakers
3) MP3s

The electronics are the smallest (and yes crucial, but still least important) part of the story - an excellent recording played through good headphones or speakers off a mediocre source (and iPhones aren't actually as awful as people think) can sound fantastic. I'm all for that extra 10% or whatever from a great source but let's get some perspective on reality here.
Old 31st July 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
1) BAD MASTERS AND RECORDINGS
I've been reading through Jürgen Meyer's "Acoustics and the performance of music" over the last weeks. Although it is not the book's main subject, it greatly illustrates the insane amount of dedication and cleverness today's famous compositors put into the "translative" qualities of their works ("translative", is this a valid english adjective?). Maybe a reason why they are still popular after all these centuries?
Old 31st July 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
I've been reading through Jürgen Meyer's "Acoustics and the performance of music" over the last weeks. Although it is not the book's main subject, it greatly illustrates the insane amount of dedication and cleverness today's famous compositors put into the "translative" qualities of their works ("translative", is this a valid english adjective?). Maybe a reason why they are still popular after all these centuries?
On a side note, that book is certainly an example of the insane amount of dedication some people put to their work! It's really well made and has tons of valuable information, it should be mandatory read to people who want to record music...
Old 31st July 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
Pono fails to recognise the crux of the issue with the really crap sound consumers are exposed to nowadays.

1) BAD MASTERS AND RECORDINGS
2) Crap headphones/speakers
3) MP3s
One of the less-noticed outcomes of the Boston Audio Society work that the Xiph pieces cites is that the participants noticed there was a perceptual difference between hi-def audio and the regular stuff. On closer inspection they found it was not because of the file format but because the mastering engineers had made different decisions – considering that the hi-def buyer would favour more range and not be bothered by volume.

I don't know how you sell the same number of bits to consumers while declaring one as 'better' quality, but it shows that the pressure for delivering bad masters can be overcome – just as long as there is a choice.
Old 31st July 2014
  #9
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The OP cites Monty and by doing so discredits his argument. In my opinion the only good part of these posts so far is
the citation of the excellent reference work by Jurgen Meyer.

As a recordist with access to the best equipment and best players for the last 35 years, 24/192 material is clearly audibly superior. 96k material flows and plays more smoothly than 44.1.

Monty is an axe grinder, clown and laughingstock. His science is wrong and his logic is wrong. When posters say silly things on this forum, and support silly notions, readers notice and assign a deep discount to the stated opinions.
Old 31st July 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
His science is wrong and his logic is wrong. When posters say silly things on this forum, and support silly notions, readers notice and assign a deep discount to the stated opinions.


Plush, the essence of science is argumentation. Not insults.
Old 31st July 2014
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Monty is an axe grinder, clown and laughingstock. His science is wrong and his logic is wrong. When posters say silly things on this forum, and support silly notions, readers notice and assign a deep discount to the stated opinions.
I vehemently disagree regarding this point. All of Monty's science that I've seen is sound and he has demonstrated his conclusions through published and repeatable experiments (which is in fact the same science and experiments that numerous others have also demonstrated). Unless you are prepared to show refutations of this through your own experiments - rather than via anecdotal information, and for points that do not really pertain to what Monty's statements actually apply to - then I'd say your attack is unmerited and truly spurious.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 31st July 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZangTumblyTumble View Post
On closer inspection they found it was not because of the file format but because the mastering engineers had made different decisions – considering that the hi-def buyer would favour more range and not be bothered by volume.
.
+1

right, but most listeners do not have the patience for this topic like we all know. that is the real problem. anything cd quality and above is very capable of delivering great sound.

Of coarse the media companies are looking to make a quick buck selling resampled to "hd" copies of the same smashed record engineered to compete with the volume war. that hopefully will be a short lived occurrence with HDaudio do to back lash once the dust settles. But who knows until it plays out. hopefully it wont leave a scar in the mind of the masses.
Old 1st August 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
I vehemently disagree regarding this point. All of Monty's science that I've seen is sound and he has demonstrated his conclusions through published and repeatable experiments (which is in fact the same science and experiments that numerous others have also demonstrated). Unless you are prepared to show refutations of this through your own experiments - rather than via anecdotal information, and for points that do not really pertain to what Monty's statements actually apply to - then I'd say your attack is unmerited and truly spurious.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
+1

plush, tell us what you disagree with in this video:

Xiph.Org Video Presentations: Digital Show & Tell
Old 1st August 2014
  #14
Plush, I suppose you aren't aware that Monty proved "his science" (whatever you mean with it, I can easily reproduce all his claims) over and over again with real working products. He's the lead developer behind OGG, just to mention one. He invented OGG on his own. He's not a philosopher, he's a maker.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/

You'll have to bring in more paperwork to discredit these kind of ppl. I hope you realize that you're the clown in the room, at least as as long you cannot back up your hilarious criticism with any verifiable algebra or experiments. This would be a massive revolution and probably earn you a Nobel prize and eternal fame, just bring it down to paper.

When developing real world products, one quickly finds out whether "his science" (let's call it education, really!) is accurate or not. It's a matter of logic.
Old 1st August 2014
  #15
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This video is golden.. and also has some great points about conversion myths.
Old 1st August 2014
  #16
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does this site really need 2 of these threads? probably...
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/moan-...ghlight=why+24
Old 1st August 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The OP cites Monty and by doing so discredits his argument. In my opinion the only good part of these posts so far is
the citation of the excellent reference work by Jurgen Meyer.

As a recordist with access to the best equipment and best players for the last 35 years, 24/192 material is clearly audibly superior. 96k material flows and plays more smoothly than 44.1.

Monty is an axe grinder, clown and laughingstock. His science is wrong and his logic is wrong. When posters say silly things on this forum, and support silly notions, readers notice and assign a deep discount to the stated opinions.
Not really sure about his science being wrong. His explanations are based on Nyquist/Shannon sampling theorem which is used in a huge number of areas of science from medicine through to astronomy. So far it seems to be working pretty well and there's no reason for it to fall down with sound.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ZangTumblyTumble View Post
One of the less-noticed outcomes of the Boston Audio Society work that the Xiph pieces cites is that the participants noticed there was a perceptual difference between hi-def audio and the regular stuff. On closer inspection they found it was not because of the file format but because the mastering engineers had made different decisions – considering that the hi-def buyer would favour more range and not be bothered by volume.

I don't know how you sell the same number of bits to consumers while declaring one as 'better' quality, but it shows that the pressure for delivering bad masters can be overcome – just as long as there is a choice.
But that has already been happening in the industry in the form of re-masters. Unfortunately they've generally been pretty poor, remastering records which already sounded amazing.

It's not just the mastering which is to blame, it's a whole chain of things which need fixing.
Old 1st August 2014
  #18
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Great article! Really well laid out and just some solid, honest, science.

Any of you check your system with the Intermod Tests he posted? Here is a link to where they're in the article (just scroll down a tiny bit to the posted WAV files):

24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed

Be sure to set your sample rate to 96khz and let me know what occurs for you.

To my surprise I get audible sounds with all the tests. The "30kHz tone + 33kHz tone" being the most prominent. It causes a faint high mid rangy type tone. Obviously these test tones should not be audible. I did my own test with a straight 30khz tone, nothing, then 33khz tone, nothing, combined, I get some interference in the audible spectrum.

So to eliminate some equipment possibilities I plugged my headphones right into my Benchmark DAC1, tones still there. Tried my Mytek DAC (with headphones), still tone. And even more to my surprise I ran the "30kHz tone + 33kHz tone" through my analog chain with everything engaged and it came right back through my Mytek ADC into my DAW, still there. So basically every single piece of equipment I have is susceptible to "nonlinearity causing audible intermodulation of the ultrasonics" in the audible frequency range as the article puts it.

Not worried about it. The tone was really faint and I had to crank my DAC's to hear it. It also goes away when SRCing to 44.1 or 48. Nevertheless it was pretty interesting.

Test for yourselves and report back. I'm interested to hear others results.
Old 1st August 2014
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
Great article! Really well laid out and just some solid, honest, science.

Any of you check your system with the Intermod Tests he posted? Here is a link to where they're in the article (just scroll down a tiny bit to the posted WAV files):

24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed

Be sure to set your sample rate to 96khz and let me know what occurs for you.

To my surprise I get audible sounds with all the tests. The "30kHz tone + 33kHz tone" being the most prominent. It causes a faint high mid rangy type tone. Obviously these test tones should not be audible. I did my own test with a straight 30khz tone, nothing, then 33khz tone, nothing, combined, I get some interference in the audible spectrum.

So to eliminate some equipment possibilities I plugged my headphones right into my Benchmark DAC1, tones still there. Tried my Mytek DAC (with headphones), still tone. And even more to my surprise I ran the "30kHz tone + 33kHz tone" through my analog chain with everything engaged and it came right back through my Mytek ADC into my DAW, still there. So basically every single piece of equipment I have is susceptible to "nonlinearity causing audible intermodulation of the ultrasonics" in the audible frequency range as the article puts it.

Not worried about it. The tone was really faint and I had to crank my DAC's to hear it. It also goes away when SRCing to 44.1 or 48. Nevertheless it was pretty interesting.

Test for yourselves and report back. I'm interested to hear others results.
I use the DAC1 for monitoring as well, so I'll give it a run later today.

The interesting part really is "It also goes away when SRCing to 44.1 or 48". It clearly shows that "more" does not equal "better" when it comes to playback (simply because every speaker/headphone is nonlinear).


On a side note, these IMD effects are "dark side" of harmonic distortion, stuff that nobody ever mention in ads.

with music signals, harmonic distortion is really just an edge case. It basically only works with a sine (a pure, single frequency signal). As soon a nonlinear system faces a real world music signal (a non static signal having much more than one frequency), the result will be much less harmonic. In this case, the system will not only produce harmonic distortion, but also sum and difference products which most probably have no reasonable harmonic relation with the original signal. The more frequencies contained in the input signal and the wider they are spaced, the stronger IMD "spreads" over the spectrum. The effect literally explodes with serial nonlinear processes.

These sum and difference products appear in all nonlinear processes. This explains why comps and saturators sound so much better on simple, monophonic material.
Old 1st August 2014
  #20
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xiph also claims 24 bit has no advantage over 16 bit, and i think they're one of those claiming that mp3's are identical to CDs. in other words they're a joke. of course higher sample rates are better.
Old 1st August 2014
  #21
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What interests me in the end is playback quality. All the rest is interesting but largely academic in the end. I totally understand the science behind 44.1 vs 192k and it seems like a scam to me. A well intentioned one would hope but useless in all but archiving. But still - what is it when you here a violin in a concert hall or whatever superlative music experience - working out what makes that such a beautiful thing is what interests me. SHould we be looking into dynamics more? Volume maybe the answer. And why settle on 192k? seems arbitrary
Old 1st August 2014
  #22
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one of those claiming that mp3's are identical to CDs. Really? Have you got a link?
Old 1st August 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post

As a recordist with access to the best equipment and best players for the last 35 years, 24/192 material is clearly audibly superior. 96k material flows and plays more smoothly than 44.1.
.
Haven't heard a 192 recorder that I liked yet. For very simple technical and practical reasons, I find 96 is still pragmatically better!
Old 1st August 2014
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
And why settle on 192k? seems arbitrary
highest common recording standard.
Old 1st August 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
xiph also claims 24 bit has no advantage over 16 bit, and i think they're one of those claiming that mp3's are identical to CDs. in other words they're a joke. of course higher sample rates are better.
pretty sure he says 16 bit is fine as a final delivery medium, he specifically says you should use 24 for tracking/mixing if i remember right. and i don't remember anything at all about mp3s being identical to cds. nobody would claim that, as you could disprove it in a second with a null test. watch it again.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
xiph also claims 24 bit has no advantage over 16 bit, and i think they're one of those claiming that mp3's are identical to CDs. in other words they're a joke. of course higher sample rates are better.
Monty Montgomery doesn't claim any of this at all - I suggest you re-read what he has actually written because it seems you have completely misunderstood it.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 2nd August 2014
  #27
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I haven't read the science papers.. Not that I discount that the science was done right. And I bet for most instances, 24/192 is useless.
Supposedly we can all get lost in the music just as easily at 16/441. Streaming / satellite is almost impossible for me to enjoy at all.
I'm still bummed to see "professionals" eat up how there's nothing to gain by hirez.
While it's been fun the past few years pretending that I don't hear a difference, that 16bit is the same. the truth is I think I do hear something. I'm not crazy. I'm certainly rare, as 90% or more of the people I record can't hear pitch timing or tone like I can. Most of these people are nowhere close to my hearing ability. I guess I'm weird. While all you guys can enjoy your cheap sound, I hear quality preamps, quality mics, quality cabling, quality eq's and comps. And I can hear when you use limiters.
So I guess I'm a clown
Old 2nd August 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
Monty Montgomery doesn't claim any of this at all - I suggest you re-read what he has actually written because it seems you have completely misunderstood it.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Production 24bit has advantages.
End product I doubt it if it has been dithered down correctly. The dynamic range of even the best systems, which very few people have is 16bit when properly implemented.
Consumer/pro, etc.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #29
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xiph: "It's true enough that a properly encoded Ogg file (or MP3, or AAC file) will be indistinguishable from the original at a moderate bitrate."

no point in talking about this joke dude on this forum imo.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
xiph: "It's true enough that a properly encoded Ogg file (or MP3, or AAC file) will be indistinguishable from the original at a moderate bitrate."

no point in talking about this joke dude on this forum imo.
Well thats just rubbish. To claim there is no distinguishable difference between orignal and moderate bitrate Mp3 AAC - well distinguishable and moderate are malleable terms - hardly fit for Mr ABX double blindfold. Can you tell the difference between them I sure as hell can
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