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(Sydney Morning Herald)   The question is, at 96Hz and 24-bits per second, will the new standard for optical audio satisfy the golden eared audiophiles still clutching their vinyl collection?   ( smh.com.au) divider line
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2085 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Feb 2014 at 7:47 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-13 03:36:40 AM  
You farking bastards, you killed SACD.  We could have had nice things!
 
2014-02-13 06:30:12 AM  
Optical audio?
 
2014-02-13 06:38:36 AM  
I paid $500 for a DVD player that would also play SACD and DVD-Audio, so I'm not getting a kick...
 
2014-02-13 06:40:38 AM  

gnosis301: Optical audio?


It's hard to get used to the smell at first but once you do you will realize that it tastes like chicken.
 
2014-02-13 07:37:35 AM  
Pfft. I still use BASF cassette tapes to record on my station.
 
2014-02-13 07:47:27 AM  

vudukungfu: Pfft. I still use BASF cassette tapes to record on my station.


"BASF...We make the products that other people make better."
 
2014-02-13 07:52:15 AM  

DrPainMD: I paid $500 for a DVD player that would also play SACD and DVD-Audio, so I'm not getting a kick...


Sarcars needs it's own font.  :)

No, audiophiles will never be happy...that is the anture of hipsters...be smugly annoyed with anything
 
2014-02-13 07:52:22 AM  
No.
 
2014-02-13 07:52:32 AM  
I don't know about you, but 24 bits per second doesn't sound like it is going to be very good. Hell, even if I wasn't making fun of that, 96 Hz is pretty slow.

Now, 96 kHz at 24 bits would be fine. Lots of recording is done at that rate and running it out to a consumer format would eliminate the need for conversions.
 
2014-02-13 07:53:07 AM  

cchinni: DrPainMD: I paid $500 for a DVD player that would also play SACD and DVD-Audio, so I'm not getting a kick...

Sarcars needs it's own font.  :)

No, audiophiles will never be happy...that is the anture NATURE of hipsters...be smugly annoyed with anything


@)(#!!
 
2014-02-13 07:57:24 AM  
They won't be happy unless the format is full of "warm" pops, clicks, and hisses, and each playing of the disc slowly destroys it a little bit more.
 
2014-02-13 07:57:45 AM  
I hate to be the one to break it to you...but if you still cling to your vinyl collection, you're not an audiophile; you're nostalgic.
 
2014-02-13 08:03:58 AM  
In summary,

"slightly warmer"
"more presence"
"greater depth"
"added richness"

Thanks, audiophiles.
 
kab
2014-02-13 08:04:48 AM  
No, because bitrate really isnt the issue.
 
2014-02-13 08:06:39 AM  
When will people finally realize that the superior audio format is the 8-track
 
2014-02-13 08:07:15 AM  

dr_blasto: I don't know about you, but 24 bits per second doesn't sound like it is going to be very good. Hell, even if I wasn't making fun of that, 96 Hz is pretty slow.



I was wondering why they would try to communicate through the ocean.
 
2014-02-13 08:14:09 AM  
Another example of an overkill solution to a problem that doesn't exist in the interests of protecting a market designed around shafting both the producer and the consumer...
 
2014-02-13 08:25:27 AM  
It's basically DVD-Audio all over again - a format that can run in everyone's video player but also be plugged into some other audio-only device.  But throwing in a free MP3 download is basically admitting that people prefer to listen to their music on-the-go rather than being tethered to some fancy audio system in their living rooms, so I don't have high hopes for it.
 
2014-02-13 08:29:17 AM  
My 300 baud modem had a lot more richness and depth than these new fangled 96hz audio thingies.
 
2014-02-13 08:32:37 AM  

Beaver1224: I hate to be the one to break it to you...but if you still cling to your vinyl collection, you're not an audiophile; you're nostalgic.


and is pretty much the same reason people seem to prefer the "film look" of 24fps and percieve it as "better" than 30+fps.  24fps was chosen for film because it's the slowest rate that provides "acceptable" results (i.e.uses the least amount of film).  at 24fps there's visible motion blur which is the hallmark of the "film look" that everyone associates with movies and perceives as more artistic or just "better" than TV.  even now when movies are entirely shot on video and film cost isn't a factor, they still slow it down to 24fps to retain the feel of film.  why?  because that's what people think movies should look like.
 
2014-02-13 08:33:04 AM  
Good news everyone, you can buy your whole music collection all over again so that you can pretend to hear a difference between this format and CDs!
 
2014-02-13 08:33:43 AM  
Watch.  Learn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQ9IXSUzuM

I also love vinyl...but it is out of nostalgia, not fidelity.  50db noise floor (60 if you're lucky), 25db channel separation, inner groove distortion, rumble and microphonics.  It's simply not accurate.  It may produce distortion that makes it sound "warm,"  Still love to play around with it.

Now...if they could simply stop the dynamic compression nonsense (LOUDNESS WARS) that the record companies seem to force...we may have something.
 
2014-02-13 08:36:06 AM  
It's not going to do anything in the market overall.

24bit 96Hz takes up a ton of space on a hard drive, which means it takes forever to download, takes up a lot of space, etc.  Casual listeners are going to stick with MP3 and AAC.

Audiophiles like the distortion that comes from vinyl.  They love the format.  Blu-rays just aren't going to replace that.
 
2014-02-13 08:36:24 AM  

lemurs: It's basically DVD-Audio all over again - a format that can run in everyone's video player but also be plugged into some other audio-only device.  But throwing in a free MP3 download is basically admitting that people prefer to listen to their music on-the-go rather than being tethered to some fancy audio system in their living rooms, so I don't have high hopes for it.


I agree...Sony MiniDisk, DVD Audio and for that matter Optical Audio are all great ideas that will never have widespread acceptance.

Last year I was given a MiniDisk player because I am an "audio guy".  I finally donated it to my local thrift shop...it is still there.  Better collecting dust in their store than in my living room.

/Not an audiophile - just an engineer who knows that .01mm of "gold" does not change 6ft of copper in to an awesome "sounding" cable.
//The only cables I have ever "heard" are broken ones...
 
2014-02-13 08:37:40 AM  
Don't worry, audiophiles. Guitar players are still arguing over tube vs. solid state, and whether there's any difference between mahogany and swamp ash in terms of tone.
 
2014-02-13 08:38:45 AM  

oldmopeder: Watch.  Learn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQ9IXSUzuM

I also love vinyl...but it is out of nostalgia, not fidelity.  50db noise floor (60 if you're lucky), 25db channel separation, inner groove distortion, rumble and microphonics.  It's simply not accurate.  It may produce distortion that makes it sound "warm,"  Still love to play around with it.

Now...if they could simply stop the dynamic compression nonsense (LOUDNESS WARS) that the record companies seem to force...we may have something.


If you hate dynamic compression you must LOVE listening to FM Radio...even HD Radio has not fixed that problem!
 
2014-02-13 08:42:15 AM  
People with vinyl collections clearly don't actually care about audio quality, since vinyl records have  objectively lower fidelity and quality than even an average mass-market CD from the mid-90s.

I mean, it's not necessarily bad to have preferences and if you're willing to pay for incremental increases in various metrics that you literally, biologically are incapable of detecting (really?  resistivity-based attenuation concerns in less than 50' of cable?  are you stupid?), or if you prefer old shiat because it's old, that's fine... so long as you're willing to pay for it and let the rest of us have our broad-based products designed around the use of human beings and don't shift the entire hardware market into stupid bullshiat.

Basically if your stereo is your personal penis extension and you're good with cosmetic expenses, more power to you, that's very 80s of you and I hope it brings you joy.  But waste my time mouthing off about it being superior or whatever when science has literally tested it and told you you're full of shiat and I may cut a biatch.

// Becoming an Engineer did not serve me well in tolerating pointless dick-measuring nonsense.
 
2014-02-13 08:42:44 AM  
Subby isn't good at the maths. 96 KILOhertz, 24 bits. 24 bits per second would sound pretty bad.
 
2014-02-13 08:45:15 AM  
Best sound quality evar

The sound quality loss from YT's horrible audio compression is abominable!
 
2014-02-13 08:53:08 AM  
You have have this new format so you can use the $5000 'dancible' Pear Anjou speaker wires more effectively.

16 bit vs 24 bit you might hear a difference with.  96k vs 44k you won't unless you are a dog.
 
2014-02-13 08:53:28 AM  
Still using my logitech z-55's

/getting a kick
 
2014-02-13 08:57:32 AM  

staplermofo: You farking bastards, you killed SACD.  We could have had nice things!


Fark SACD - it's encrypted. No backups possible.

24/96 is entirely adequate - game over, book it, done.

Vinyl is fun, can sound incredible, but has effectively 14 bits (and that's generous) of resolution. Even the best vinyl rig has significantly worse S/N specs than redbook (CD, 16/44.1). I have a nice system in a decent room and just don't sweat stupid shiat like cables etc. (Blue Jeans is gooe enough for me). I have a nice MC Audio Technica cart that tracks like a charm. So no IGD or obvious colorations with the vinyl.

You can buy an external DAC for a few hundred bucks these days that sounds simply incredible. Holographic imaging, nice flat response, etc. It's a golden age for audio reproduction. Too bad they master new music like absolute shiat, squashing all the dynamics out of it (and hence nullifying all those available bits of resolution - oh the irony).

Nothing will ever stop audiophiles with their raging placeboners from making ridiculous confirmation-bias-fueled claims that some stupid cable "sounds" like blah or that even hard drives have characteristic sounds (yes - I'm not kidding) or that USB cables have "sounds." You'll get some person with a modicum of technical knowledge blathering on about jitter and I want punch them in the nuts. Move your head one inch to the left and you'll have +/- a few dB of EQ change due to comb filtering etc.... but no, that cable over there which theoretically may cause a 0.0001 dB change SOUNDS TOO BRIGHT. BETTER BREAK IT IN.

Yeah I hang out on those forums. Not much anymore though.
 
2014-02-13 09:03:24 AM  
TheGreatGazoo:

16 bit vs 24 bit you might hear a difference with.  96k vs 44k you won't unless you are a dog.

Yes...if the 16 bit 96db dynamic range sounds flat to you.  You NEED 144db.  And the $485 wooden volume knob.  Because resonance.
 
2014-02-13 09:03:57 AM  

Jim_Callahan: People with vinyl collections clearly don't actually care about audio quality, since vinyl records have  objectively lower fidelity and quality than even an average mass-market CD from the mid-90s.


I wish it were that simple. The problem is the mastering or re-mastering process is often done poorly (say from nth generation tapes) or heavy-handed (adding lots of EQ and compression). Sometimes the actual sound of the music ON the vinyl is "better" (objective, I know) even though the medium itself is inferior. I do have some vinyl that sounds much better than the digital release because the remasters were squashed to hell and EQed poorly.

Which can make digitizing your vinyl collection fun. There is cheap really decent rumble/click removal software out there that can work wonders.

I'm just old enough to have lived through vinyl/cassettes/CD and all that followed. I freely admit to the obvious deficiencies of vinyl. But I still buy it occasionally just for fun and in the fervent hope that maybe, just maybe, I'll get a slab of wax w/out pressing defects that was mastered less heavy-handedly than CD version (although it's very common these days to use digital masters on vinyl, keep the squashed shiat and just cut it at lower levels - further reducing the effective dynamic range... oh woe is me...).
 
2014-02-13 09:05:22 AM  
b0rscht:

Vinyl is fun, can sound incredible, but has effectively 14 bits (and that's generous) of resolution. Even the best vinyl rig has significantly worse S/N specs than redbook (CD, 16/44.1). I have a nice system in a decent room and just don't sweat stupid shiat like cables etc. (Blue Jeans is gooe enough for me). I have a nice MC Audio Technica cart that tracks like a charm. So no IGD or obvious colorations with the vinyl.


Nothing will ever stop audiophiles with their raging placeboners from making ridiculous confirmation-bias-fueled claims that some stupid cable "sounds" like blah or that even hard drives have characteristic sounds (yes - I'm not kidding) or that USB cables have "sounds." You'll get some person with a modicum of technical knowledge blathering on about jitter and I want punch them in the nuts. Move your head one inch to the left and you'll have +/- a few dB of EQ change due to comb filtering etc.... but no, that cable over there which theoretically may cause a 0.0001 dB change SOUNDS TOO BRIGHT. BETTER BREAK IT IN.


AMEN!
 
2014-02-13 09:12:25 AM  

cchinni: lemurs: It's basically DVD-Audio all over again - a format that can run in everyone's video player but also be plugged into some other audio-only device.  But throwing in a free MP3 download is basically admitting that people prefer to listen to their music on-the-go rather than being tethered to some fancy audio system in their living rooms, so I don't have high hopes for it.

I agree...Sony MiniDisk, DVD Audio and for that matter Optical Audio are all great ideas that will never have widespread acceptance.

Last year I was given a MiniDisk player because I am an "audio guy".  I finally donated it to my local thrift shop...it is still there.  Better collecting dust in their store than in my living room.

/Not an audiophile - just an engineer who knows that .01mm of "gold" does not change 6ft of copper in to an awesome "sounding" cable.
//The only cables I have ever "heard" are broken ones...


One of my favorite arguments was with a guy in my apt complex working at Best Buy who bought the sales pitch with a raging hardon.

I'm a technical person (electrical engineering technology, so not an engi, but I have an electrical BS). I kept trying to explain to him that data transfer is basically binary now; either it gets there entirely or nothing does. He just kept trying to argue that the cables made it 'go faster' or something.
 
2014-02-13 09:19:14 AM  

kab: No, because bitrate really isnt the issue.


This.  It's all about the codecs.
 
2014-02-13 09:26:59 AM  

lasercannon: When will people finally realize that the superior audio format is the 8-track


KA-CHUNK!
 
2014-02-13 09:28:47 AM  

SteakMan: kab: No, because bitrate really isnt the issue.

This.  It's all about the codecs.


TFA isn't about bit rate, it's about sampling rate and bit depth.  and just to be that guy, bit rate is a major factor when it comes to codecs.
 
2014-02-13 09:36:12 AM  

verbaltoxin: Don't worry, audiophiles. Guitar players are still arguing over tube vs. solid state, and whether there's any difference between mahogany and swamp ash in terms of tone.


No, they're not. If you can afford a valve amp, you get one.
 
2014-02-13 09:39:18 AM  

doublesecretprobation: SteakMan: kab: No, because bitrate really isnt the issue.

This.  It's all about the codecs.

TFA isn't about bit rate, it's about sampling rate and bit depth.  and just to be that guy, bit rate is a major factor when it comes to codecs.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2014-02-13 09:40:52 AM  

agent00pi: verbaltoxin: Don't worry, audiophiles. Guitar players are still arguing over tube vs. solid state, and whether there's any difference between mahogany and swamp ash in terms of tone.

No, they're not. If you can afford a valve amp, you get one.


Wow, I've never seen someone's point proven in such an effecient manner.
 
2014-02-13 10:01:57 AM  
I started re-ripping all my audio lossless. I stopped, not only because it started taking up ridiculous amounts of hard drive space, but honestly with decent equipment (digital source, external DAC + amp, Grado PS-500s), I could not tell much difference between files ripped lossless and files ripped at 256 or 320 kbps at 16 bits. There was variation between albums - most sounded great at 256, some sounded better at 320, none sounded significantly different between 320 and lossless. Also, I did not notice differences between 16-bit or 24-bit versions of the same recordings with my equipment. There was a very large and noticeable difference between 256 kbps and 160 kbps, however, so I ended up re-ripping everything at 16/44.1 @ 256kbps.

Chris Montgomery has a good take on why 44.1 kHz is pretty much all you need.

The take away for this: it's OK to invest in some low-end audiophile grade equipment - Grado headphones and an external DAC will sound significantly better than what you get at Best Buy, and your music will sound better. However, you hit the diminishing rate of return really quickly and the snake oil starts. These super-high bit rates I classify as snake oil, not only because of what's in the link above, but because I have tried and can't actually hear the difference in a blind test.


/ I have a turntable and enjoy vinyl for nostalgia reasons.
 
2014-02-13 10:06:29 AM  

staplermofo: You farking bastards, you killed SACD.  We could have had nice things!


This, right here.

FirstNationalBastard: They won't be happy unless the format is full of "warm" pops, clicks, and hisses, and each playing of the disc slowly destroys it a little bit more.


Yeah well, those people that claim to be audiophiles that like that...aren't audiophiles.  They should be revolted at even the hint of any popping or clicking.

CSB:  I remember listening to "Elton John's Greatest Hits"...and it was not remastered.  The pops and clicks were pretty audible in the dead spots.
 
2014-02-13 10:07:29 AM  

Beaver1224: I hate to be the one to break it to you...but if you still cling to your vinyl collection, you're not an audiophile; you're nostalgic.


That and, guess what, you can listen to a whole album on a CD guys.  That's right, you can.
 
2014-02-13 10:08:25 AM  

b0rscht: Fark SACD - it's encrypted. No backups possible.


That's not entirely true. If you have certain specific models of Playstation 3 with specific firmware revisions, you can boot Linux on them and extract the audio as lossless multichannel .FLAC. That's what I've done with mine. I have a  maybe a hundred SACDs backed up on my file server that way. Jazz and classical music still does get released in audiophile formats and often there is a significant difference in the mixing on those sorts of releases, so the effort to preserve that content really does have value.
 
2014-02-13 10:11:38 AM  

agent00pi: verbaltoxin: Don't worry, audiophiles. Guitar players are still arguing over tube vs. solid state, and whether there's any difference between mahogany and swamp ash in terms of tone.

No, they're not. If you can afford a valve amp, you get one.


Interestingly, professionals are increasingly starting to disagree.  A large number are using some of the newer amp modelers- John Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Howe, Todd Rungren, Tosin Abasi, Devin Townsend, Paul Gilbert and a pile more use them for at least some work.

Handy for home use as well: I can't practice with my kids in bed with even the smallest tube amp, but a modeler lets me get decent overdriven tone with headphones.
 
2014-02-13 10:16:59 AM  
"golden-eared"

LOL
 
2014-02-13 10:28:17 AM  

Ginnungagap42: I started re-ripping all my audio lossless. I stopped, not only because it started taking up ridiculous amounts of hard drive space, but honestly with decent equipment (digital source, external DAC + amp, Grado PS-500s), I could not tell much difference between files ripped lossless and files ripped at 256 or 320 kbps at 16 bits.


I still rip to lossless simply because it's a nice way of future-proofing a collection.  If a better lossy codec (or codec implementation) comes along, I can start using it without re-ripping a lot of discs.  Or if I want to switch to a better lossless codec someday, conversion is only a shell script away.  It helps that hard drives have gotten larger and cheaper at a faster rate than my audio collection has grown.

But I don't pretend I can hear the difference.  Any modern lossy codec should be transparent given sufficient bitrate.
 
2014-02-13 10:36:56 AM  

Kuta: golden-eared


it's a real thing you know.  believe it or not there are many professionals out there who can identify frequencies by ear and also discern and identify very subtle shifts in amplitude etc.  listening is a skill that is improvable with practice.  it's a common skill among recording/mixing engineers and invaluable for FOH pros.

i mean LOL DOUCHEBAG THINKS HE CAN LISTEN BETTER THAN ME DOUCHBAG!!!
 
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