Hi-Res ! Hoax of the Century...?

larkone

Well-known Member
Hi-Res is very similar to the audio industry's attempts to sell cables that defy the laws of physics - caveat emptor.
 

DrMekon

Active Member
Thought that crown belonged to the curved screen.
 

exponential

Active Member
I've always held the belief that the original master copy @ 44.1 KHz is the HD copy. :lesson:
 

exponential

Active Member

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Hi-res is snake oil..?

Oh dear! I've become one of 'those' guys now. :rotfl:

I'm going to do some a/b testing when I can comparing Qobuz hi Res to cd's I know well.

Obv not a proper test, but I've never considered hi-res anything other then better then cd.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
There are plenty of of Hi Res audio out there. They're called SACDs.:thumbsup:
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
There are plenty of of Hi Res audio out there. They're called SACDs.:thumbsup:
The cost though!

Can get a month's streaming with thousands of albums for a single SACD.
 

Antiquarian

Active Member
Having wasted 54mins of my morning listening to this BS, he said 3 things that resonate. 1, analogue is c**p, 2. Store files losslessly, 3. He admitted he is not technically qualified and not an audio engineer. The stuff he said about sample rates totally misses the point about filtering, phase and the practical limitations of reproducing 16/44.1 cd audio.
If you believe this video then I would repeat a phrase used already, caveat emptor.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The cost though!

Can get a month's streaming with thousands of albums for a single SACD.
Shh.:lesson: My wife may read this. I have to admit they are a wee bit expensive, but I do love them.:)

I've never subscribed to a streaming service, far too 21st century for me. Looking at the dynamic range of the vast majority of downloads, via dr.loundness-war site, the dynamic range can be pretty poor and to be honest it puts me off listening to a lot of recent music. The equivalent CDs and vinyl are just as poor.
 

boorock70

Standard Member
Hmm...
OK, non-persuadeds can do the "null test"
Let's see if you or anyone else can hear the "difference" in bitrates/resolutions
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Hmm...
OK, non-persuadeds can do the "null test"
Let's see if you or anyone else can hear the "difference" in bitrates/resolutions
Null Test? Is this where two seemingly identical signals are compared by inverting one? The Inverted and non-Inverted should cancel each other out, and the result should be ...technically... no sound. Where ever you hear any sound, the signals are different. The more sound you hear, the more different the signals are.

Of course there is always the problem of making sure the signals are synchronized, any phase shift between the two sources will cause an increased output. Doing this inverted test is not as easy at it might sound.

With a 44.1k sample rated, you are taking 2.205 samples of a 20khz signal. That hardly seems enough to determine correct amplitude and phase, though with enough computing power you can fill in the blanks with a best guess, and at 20khz, which is functionally inaudible to a vast majority of people, a best guess is probably close enough. Though as Nyquist said, more than two times the highest frequency is enough to recover the FREQUENCY, and in some applications that is enough. But it does not say that is enough to recover the Frequency, Phase, and Amplitude. Though as I have indicated substantial computing power can make up for that.

At a 96k Sample Rate, you are taking 4.8 samples at 20khz. That's better, but still not perfect, and again with enough complex computing power, the signal can pretty much be restored. Especially true at 20khz which people can only theoretically hear.

At 10khz, 44.1k is 4.41 samples per cycle, and that is probably enough. At 10khz and 96k Sample Rate, you have 9.6 samples per cycle and that is most certainly enough to easily reconstruct the wave form.

At 192k Sample Rate, 10khz = 19.2 samples, and at 20khz that is 9.6 samples. Which to me seems a bit of overkill.

So, do you want your signal, the sound you hear, resolved through computing power or through Sample Rate? Your choice.

I suspect 44.1k was chosen at the time because it represented the peak of DAC technology that could reasonably be applied at a tolerable cost. Plus it create files small enough to fit on a CD. But today we have DACs that are 32 bit and with sample rates as high are 768k.

But I will add that far more than bit and sample rate, the factor that will make the most difference in what you hear is the MIX. I suspect different formats have different mixes. SACD might sound better simply because the mix is better. The same with other non-tangible Hi-Res music, it could sound better simply because it is an audiophile mix instead of a consumer mix.

It is equally possible that those Hi-Res files you are buying are simply CDs that have been saved in high sample formats. It is equally possible that those new Vinyl Albums that everyone is so fond of are simply CDs cut into Vinyl.

Also if you go to Hi-Res download sites, you will see that what passed for Hi-Res is 24b/48k, which is not that much better than the 16b/44.1k of common CD.

There is a difference between what the specs might imply and what is actually delivered to the customer.

So, my point is, there are likely things not related to bit depth or sample rate, that can effect what you hear far more than whether a file is Hi-Res.

You may think you are comparing Apples to Oranges, but more than likely you are comparing a complex mix of assorted hybrid fruit that are mostly strange and exotic.

But then ... that's just my opinion. I can see value to higher resolution files, but not much point beyond 96k when file size is taken into consideration. More Bits and more Samples means substantially more data has to be stored and that means a substantially bigger file.

There was something from JVC which I think might have been called HCD, though I can't remember for sure, and since I can't remember what it was called I can't look it up. But JVC control the production of the music from the mixing board to the final CD to maximize the sound quality. And the results were supposedly impressive. They tried to maximize the potential of bog-standard Red-Book CD, and succeeded. They succeeded because they did not allow the sound to be compromised for commercial appeal.

Which bring us full circle to my original point, far more than any other factor, the Mixing and Production Values will determine the quality of what you hear far more than the medium in which it is presented.

But ...again... that's my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Antiquarian

Active Member
You have to ask the question: why do recording studios work with DXD (384KHz or 352.8KHz) 24 bit format. It’s not for fun, they can hear a sonic advantage using these higher bit rates over CD quality 44.1KHz 16bit when mastering their recordings.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
The difference is clear to my ears. Everything hi-res I've listened to is better then the cd.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Though more of a side note, I calculated that all other things being generally the same 24b/96k file is 3.27 times larger than a 16b/44.1k file.

A 24b/192k file is 6.53 times larger than a 16b/44.1k file.

For what it might be worth.

Edited:

Expanding on this, if an Audio CD holds 600Mb, then to hold the same music at 24b/96k, you would need 1.962Gb.

And to hold the same 600Mb at 24b/192k, you would need 3.918Gb of storage space.

Though keep in mind that Music CDs are rarely full. I think a CD is capable of holding 75 minutes of music, but they typically have about 40 minutes on them.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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dannnielll

Well-known Member
You have to ask the question: why do recording studios work with DXD (384KHz or 352.8KHz) 24 bit format. It’s not for fun, they can hear a sonic advantage using these higher bit rates over CD quality 44.1KHz 16bit when mastering their recordings.
The answer is actually rather simple. If you are going to be doing calculations you need to have more bits available in the intermediate stages than in the final result. Otherwise you get truncation errors. So the arguement for 20 or 24 bit resolution is obvious. Digital processing is basically binary addition and subtraction with samples taken at different times.
If digital sound had waited until now..or at least until visible red lasers , , and was not limited to the resolution of an infrared laser in 1980, they would almost certainly have gone to at least 48 Ks and probably 20 bit resolution...closer to the DAT standard or the pcm rates on satellite receivers .. so 96k and 24 bit, would still be Hi Res. The red book CD specification was limited by what was available. Legend being that Sony, with Von Karajan as consultant wanted to fit one of the longer Beethoven pieces onto a single disc. That Sony then went to 48Ks in their slightly later DAT player, is indicative that they would have preferred slightly more headroom.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Though more of a side note, I calculated that all other things being generally the same 24b/96k file is 3.27 times larger than a 16b/44.1k file.

A 24b/192k file is 6.53 times larger than a 16b/44.1k file.

For what it might be worth.

Steve/bluewizard
That is true, but would not have been any effort in a visible red laser ..as used in the DVD. . A DVD stores 4.7GB as compared to the original CD which was 0.65GB. (Later CDs would push this up to 0.800).
It is just one of those regrets that DVD Audio never took off.
 

Jodel

Active Member
When I bought my B&W loudspeakers a few years ago, the purchase price included a limited time membership of their 'Society Of Sound' which allowed you to download Hi Res files. I tried several downloads and to my ears anyway, I couldn't tell the difference from a normal CD. I also tried some other Hi Res downloads, with a similar outcome.

I'm not saying there is no difference, just that I couldn't hear it.

I may be able to hear a slight difference if I'm presented with an A / B comparison between two files, but I suspect for me the difference is likely to be very, very subtle.

In a similar vein, when comparing my Chord Qutest DAC with the DAC built in to my Rotel pre-amp, I did think there was a very slight difference between them. However, I very much doubt that I'd be able to tell them apart if I was asked to choose which one was playing at any one time.

Perhaps I'm just lucky to have been blessed with cloth ears and am able to just enjoy my system without worrying about what I might be missing. :)
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
Bitter Truth...
- That will hurt, Sorry 😉
To the OP, are you really suggesting that people should spend 54 minutes of their lives that they will never get back by watching that awful video?

To those sensible people who couldn't be bothered, here's the summary:
At 19 minutes, the author says 44.1kHz gives you 20kHz bandwidth, and that's all you can hear.
At 29 minutes, he says 16 bits gives you 96dB dynamic range, and "that should be enough"

That's what he's got. It took him 54 minutes to say nothing new.

So if 20kHz is all we need, how come I can hear the difference between a 7kHz sine wave and square wave? The additional harmonics for the latter are inaudible. Please answer me that. If you don't believe me try it for yourself.

What I'm saying is that while CD is pretty good at reproducing audio within a 20x96 envelope, we've all been mistaken for a long time in thinking that's all that's needed for transparency.

Sure, I can't hear a 20kHz sine wave any more, but that doesn't mean it's enough, and that sort of reasoning has held back HiFi for some time IMHO.

Nick
 

larkone

Well-known Member
The hoax is that a lot of so called hi-res music is just standard CD quality that has been upscaled and sold as hi-res. Genuine hi-res recordings can be an improvement over 16/44 but the music and streaming industries need to come clean so people know what they are paying for.
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
As Larkone says there is hi-res and then there is hi-res.
I have a SACD of Stravinsky Rite of Spring - Leonard Bernstein & NYP. It was recorded on two track in 1959 and so the s.q. is nowhere near as good as a more recent recording I have on CD, despite being 3x the price
Another example is the type of hi-res file of the same recording. I quote another post I put on here;-
"
A/B comparison between DSD and FLAC via 8 metre Supra USB

Bach Cello Suite transcribed to violin by Rachel Podger


First thing to state was when downloading DSD in 256 I quit the download once it hit 11Gb. 11+Gb for one album!!! So I went down a level to 128 but even that took up almost 4 times as much storage as a 192kHz flac, which itself is a very big file.


This is a high quality recording of solo violin, so no bass. I was expecting both to sound exactly the same but they weren’t. The DSD was a more grounded, solid sound - slightly less shrill and fatiguing."
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
To the OP, are you really suggesting that people should spend 54 minutes of their lives that they will never get back by watching that awful video?

To those sensible people who couldn't be bothered, here's the summary:
At 19 minutes, the author says 44.1kHz gives you 20kHz bandwidth, and that's all you can hear.
At 29 minutes, he says 16 bits gives you 96dB dynamic range, and "that should be enough"

That's what he's got. It took him 54 minutes to say nothing new.

So if 20kHz is all we need, how come I can hear the difference between a 7kHz sine wave and square wave? The additional harmonics for the latter are inaudible. Please answer me that. If you don't believe me try it for yourself.

What I'm saying is that while CD is pretty good at reproducing audio within a 20x96 envelope, we've all been mistaken for a long time in thinking that's all that's needed for transparency.

Sure, I can't hear a 20kHz sine wave any more, but that doesn't mean it's enough, and that sort of reasoning has held back HiFi for some time IMHO.

Nick
Hi Nick.. your question is misplaced. The 44kilosamples is exactly that. The instantaneous sound field is sampled 44,000, times per second and the values recorded.. The assumption that the square wave will only exist as the superposition of Fundamental or First Harmonic and then third Harmonic, is what would be called a sufficient but not necessary or indeed a unique condition/ solution. All the other samples will be contributing and if computed will create a bandwidth limited facsimile of the square wave.. Indeed if just displayed in the time domain,will look square wave like
But once listened to all those thousands of cillae in the ear will be excited ,to different degrees by all these impulses of samples. They will each resonate at their own natural frequencies, and send a multiplicity of signals to the brain,which will construct a response. Even if some of these cillae are missing or clogged, the brain will interpret this as something. .. maybe even recreating responses to non existent sounds or sounds remembered from years ago. It is only when pure tones at say 18khz,which would only excite a single cilla,but which is previously burnt away, that we hear nothing.
 
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Antiquarian

Active Member
As Larkone says there is hi-res and then there is hi-res.
I have a SACD of Stravinsky Rite of Spring - Leonard Bernstein & NYP. It was recorded on two track in 1959 and so the s.q. is nowhere near as good as a more recent recording I have on CD, despite being 3x the price
Another example is the type of hi-res file of the same recording. I quote another post I put on here;-
"
A/B comparison between DSD and FLAC via 8 metre Supra USB

Bach Cello Suite transcribed to violin by Rachel Podger


First thing to state was when downloading DSD in 256 I quit the download once it hit 11Gb. 11+Gb for one album!!! So I went down a level to 128 but even that took up almost 4 times as much storage as a 192kHz flac, which itself is a very big file.


This is a high quality recording of solo violin, so no bass. I was expecting both to sound exactly the same but they weren’t. The DSD was a more grounded, solid sound - slightly less shrill and fatiguing."
Please don’t start a DSD vs. PCM discussion, it could get as acrimonious as a cable debate!
 

larkone

Well-known Member

Numpty112233

Active Member
@Antiquarian I only write as I found - without preconception bias and based on only 1 recording on my own system which just happens to scale all USB to PCM .8kHz352 regardless of supply.
fwiw I could tell the difference blind every time
 

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