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Old 16th June 2019
  #537
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
I think the DAC side is not where the problem is. It's the ADC side.
It's actually not the DAC nor the ADC. It's mostly the speakers. Those are the most non linear components of the whole audio chain. By far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
And even here, of course a higher sample rate is not automatically better. As Bob has pointed out, he's heard every sample rate sound better than another, including lower sample rates sounding better than higher ones.
Better doesn't mean more accurate, which is what a conversation about sample rate comparison should be about. The rest is subjective (and mostly unreliable) personal opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
There's just more room for the anti-aliasing filter to work at a higher sample rate. But if it's not a well designed filter, if other components of the ADC aren't good or designed well, then sure, the higher sample rate could sound worse. But all things being equal, more room for the filter to work equals a better filter and better sound.
That's not true at all. The higher sample rate could absolutely sound worse even if the filter and the whole ADC are an amazing design and components.
Forget the ADC (or DAC) intrinsic non linearities. I'll go with the case they are perfect.
With 44.1 they feed content up to 22kHz to the amp, with 96 kHz they feed extra stuff between 22 kHz and 48. That's a whole extra audio band of content that nobody can possibly hear, but will create problems much bigger than aliasing once it goes through the amp and (above all else) the speakers.
Think of frequency content as a mortgage. If you stop at the mere first step, you may think that getting more money from the bank is better than less.
Then you quickly realize that you have to pay interests on the money borrowed (that's the intermodulation distortion).
You want to borrow enough money so that you can buy your house (the audio band), but anything extra will get you in a worse position. Less is more, in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
But I suppose you're arguing no one can hear these differences without a perfect DAC, amp and speakers.
Incorrect. I'm saying you can absolutely hear the difference. You may actually even prefer the more inaccurate sound. That would be the 96 kHz. Not as much because there is such a huge difference right after the DAC (or ADC) when filtering is done on the fly between the power of increased intermodulation distortion for 96 kHz and increased aliasing for 44.1 kHz, but because in the end all that extra content ends up at the terminals of a pair of speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
So then the remaining question is what is responsible for the more open top end at higher sample rates?
I don't know. A few culprits are:
1. Small amounts of distortions are often perceived as more detail
2. You looking for a certain quality in the sound you're listening to will make your brain find it (self conditioning)
3. Comparison with lower sample rates done badly with specific hardware/software and following erroneous generalization

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
I've heard the more open top end. And no one's telling me I didn't. I used to think it was the higher sample rates catching things "between the samples" of lower sample rates. I no longer believe that to be true. So what are we left with?
See above