file Have you gone Hi Rez, high resolution music?

  • WayneWilmeth's Avatar Offline school
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 4581
    • Thank you received: 7021
    • Karma: 15
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
WayneWilmeth Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19265
Hey Art,
Thanks and I will have to think about that one. I love Wagner, but not the fat lady singing part so far.
As a matter of fact, the singing part of MOST classical does not push my buttons.
Only some choral music, and then I would rather be singing it than listening.
We will see, thanks for the recommendation.
God Bless,
Wayne
God bless the child that's got his own.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • charliehatch's Avatar Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 442
    • Thank you received: 751
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
charliehatch Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19266
Wayne,

I hear you about the problems of subjective bias, whether by price or foreknowledge of what you are hearing. I completely agree. That's why they do double blind tests.

Here's a method I came up with.

Find a digital recording that has been recorded using DSD or 24/96 or higher. Locate a 2-channel DSD or 24/96 (or higher) download file that has been created from that, AND find a 16/44 CD of the same recording (or a download or a hybrid SACD with a CD layer). Rip the 16/44 CD/SACD so you end up with digital files for both.Then you can compare resolutions.

I spent a LOT of time looking for this combination. It is very hard. There are a lot of hi-res files out there that have been created from analog masters, and more from a lot of older digital recordings. Not the same.

After a lot of searching, I found a Chesky jazz album, "The Jazz Side of the Moon", available on HDTracks in several resolutions. This album was recorded in 2007 using "High-Resolution Digital Recorders: Genex Optical and Tascam DVD". According to one Internet source (so it must be true), "DVD-Audio is capable of sample rates up to 192 kHz, while DVD-Video tops out at 96 kHz. Both DVD formats support PCM resolution up to 24 bits." So it seems safe to say the Chesky album was originally at least 24/96, and probably higher. The recording has typically excellent Chesky imaging. I do love their engineering.

I purchased both 24/96 and 16/44 versions from HDTracks, and downloaded. WARNING: Don't put multiple versions of the same album on the same purchase at HDTracks, as the HDTracks downloader will barf. Order them separately. With the help of HDTracks, I was eventually able to get both versions downloaded and transferred to my Passport drive I use for my music.

Now, listening.

First, let me say up front that my system is incredibly transparent, and fully capable of reproducing the kind of subtleties we are talking about here. Not a $250 k system, but quite good.

I didn't like the music all that much, but I listened to multiple tracks, concentrating on the sax and percussion sound (other instruments were too electronic to be useful to me). I went back and forth from hi res to low res. Fortunately, the volume levels were identical, so that variable was eliminated. Once, I thought I heard a difference with hi res (more air, more detail in ambient reflections, maybe?), then I couldn't. At one point, having gone back and forth so many times, I lost track of what I was listening to and thought I was listening to 24/96 when I was listening to 16/44! (Hah! bias eliminated, albeit by accident.) I just couldn't firmly say which was better.

I'll try it again, but so far, I don't think it would pass an A/B blind test, at least for me. I can't say what other people's ears would hear. Next time one of my bat-eared friends drops by I'll do this test blind and see if they can tell.

You can do a blind test if you had someone else play a random sequence of the same tracks (or pieces thereof) and play them for you. It wouldn't be double blind, but you could be blindfolded and swear your partner to silence.

Also, I think this might work better with an orchestral recording where there's a bigger variety of instruments and good ambient hall sound.


Charlie
PS Audio P20 feeds all components of 2.0 System: Auralic Aries G2> Coax > DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 DAC/Pre > Core Power Diamond XLR interconnects > Bel Canto e.One Ref600M monoblocks > Core Power Diamond banana speaker cables > Triton References
The following user(s) said Thank You: WayneWilmeth

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • WayneWilmeth's Avatar Offline school
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 4581
    • Thank you received: 7021
    • Karma: 15
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
WayneWilmeth Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19267
Yes, thanks Charlie!!!!!
That sounds like a lot of work, sadly not terribly rewarded. BUT I think, IMHO, IF you are gonna go to all that much trouble, you should at least try comparing normal redbook CD resolution to higher res than just 24/96. At least 192 or some of the DSD stuff.
THEN it MIGHT be easier to differentiate. OR not, what do I know?
But as you said, it is NOT easy to get music that you can check out like that.
AND there are a lot of built in biases in our brains to overcome or work around and fool.
What I found especially funny and interesting about your saga was when you said about the music you were comparing "I didn't like the music all that much".
I have a jazz CD called "Famous Sound of Three Blind Mice Vol. 1" which is a bunch of Japanese jazz wannabes playing weird jazz closely miked and with digital glare that can almost hurt my ears. I use this dog to do a LOT of my critical listening to see if my system, headphones, DAP, whatever I am auditioning and working on, see if they can tame this beast and make it sound almost musical. This is DREADFUL music, to my ears.
I found a pic of it on Amazon being sold used, it is usually not available at all.
I am not suggesting anybody buy this dog and for sure it is not part of our Hi Res discussion, it is just a CD that I have listened to for a LONG time for calibration purposes, it goes from quite low bass to a high piano note that makes me winch with near pain on lesser systems.
Sorry I got off subject there, but it is funny we are using and listening to music we don't really like.
Perhaps that helps.?????
God Bless,
Wayne
God bless the child that's got his own.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • charliehatch's Avatar Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 442
    • Thank you received: 751
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
charliehatch Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19272
Wayne, from your description, I think I'll pass on the three blind mice!

Phase 2 of my study. By a coincidence, I did just what you suggested. I found a recording at higher resolution.

This time I used Reference Recording's recent release, "Wine Dark Sea". This is a collection of modern wind pieces performed by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble. As usual with Prof Johnson's recordings, it is spectacular, with sharp imaging and great depth. And, the music is very interesting, especially Wine Dark Sea. This ensemble has everything except strings, with a big variety of percussion.

Starting this year, Reference is now releasing new recordings in what they call HRx. These are recorded at 24 bit 176.4 kHz, and they are available in that format. HDTracks has both the 24/176 and 16/44 versions of this recording, so I bought both to try (this time separately so the downloader wouldn't get upset).

The volume levels are not exactly matched (i think the 16/44 is around 3 dB louder), and I think the 16/44 version may be slightly compressed compared to the 24/176. Seems to be, anyway. So I tried to match the volume as best I could for the comparison.

This time I could hear a difference! There is definitely more of a sense of space in the 24/176 version, and maybe (just maybe) it's a tad smoother. The 16/44 version sounded kind of limited and "dark", for want of a better word; there was less ambience. I found myself wanting to listen to the 24/176 version. Is it the 24 bit versus 16? Or the higher sample rate? Probably some of both.

If you want to try this, this is a good album do this test. But, holy maloly, that flac file is big (1.77 GB, compared to 259 MB for the 16/44 version).

I highly recommend the recording if you like wind music.

Charlie
PS Audio P20 feeds all components of 2.0 System: Auralic Aries G2> Coax > DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 DAC/Pre > Core Power Diamond XLR interconnects > Bel Canto e.One Ref600M monoblocks > Core Power Diamond banana speaker cables > Triton References
The following user(s) said Thank You: WayneWilmeth

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • WayneWilmeth's Avatar Offline school
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 4581
    • Thank you received: 7021
    • Karma: 15
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
WayneWilmeth Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19277
OK, GREAT, thanks Charlie.
I am taking your recommendation and downloading the Hi Rez (176/24) version of Wine Dark Sea now. IF it is music I like, I will go back and dl the redbook CD version too, so I can compare like you did. IF it sucks (which I doubt after your recommendation) I will forego the second download, why have two versions of music I don't like?
I hope I can also tell the difference.
Talk about big files though, I was checking one 128fs DSD file, one album, 16.76 GB!!!! That is over on native DSD. Wow.
OK, gotta get back to it, seems I am having trouble downloading this one.
God Bless,
Wayne
God bless the child that's got his own.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • WayneWilmeth's Avatar Offline school
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
    • Posts: 4581
    • Thank you received: 7021
    • Karma: 15
  • arrow_drop_downMore arrow_drop_upLess
WayneWilmeth Posted 2 years 8 months ago
#19290
Well Charlie and all,
Hummmmmm, well I bought the Wine Dark Sea in 24/176 and it is a Prof Johnson Reference Recording.
BUT, let me say this, nearly all recordings that I use for reference and critical listening, checking out my sound system, etc. most all are like say Jesse Cook "Blue Guitar Sessions", some music that has only a voice or a few instruments, close miked so that I feel like my head is inside the guitar or piano, that the singer is right on stage in front of me.
This music has a LOT more musicians playing at once, and MIGHT present a good seat in the audience sound presentation, not sure, knowing the reputation of the Prof. it is likely are great recording. But it does not lend itself to close sound inspection in this sense, I cannot turn it up all that loud to hear exactly what is happening with this or that instrument, because the dynamic range (another sign of a good recording) is great enough that at any moment a LOUD part may come and blow my ears out!!!!
I only listened to it once so far, and I will try to make myself listen again, even more carefully, but honestly so far, I am not inclined to spend another $12 on another version of this music which I am sure I will never listen to again, except in this sort of listening test comparison.
Charlie, thus far I am rather inclined to just take your word for it. This is not my kind of music. It is not rock and roll and it is not classical, not sure what it is but to me it is not worth the more than $21 I spent on it already. I kept hoping it would get better, and it sorta did, because it was not good at all at first, then got, well, OK.
I THINK I need to try this kind of comparison with music that I already know and enjoy.
That would make more sense to me.
Still holding out hope for this demo though, will TRY to listen again.
God Bless,
Wayne
God bless the child that's got his own.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Moderator
menu
close
Menu
person_outline
arrow_back
You are here: Home Forum Advanced Topics DIY, Mods and Tweaks Have you gone Hi Rez, high resolution music?