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  1. #1
    Senior Member SlimChances's Avatar
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    Is this better than CD quality?

    I bought an album off of the Canadian site Stony Plains which I downloaded as FLAC. When I look at the track details it shows a fairly large file size and 24 bit audio. Is this a better quality than standard CD?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimChances View Post
    24 bit audio. Is this a better quality than standard CD?
    Yes. CD is only 16 bit.

    /Claus

  3. #3
    Senior Member SlimChances's Avatar
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    So at Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz it is still better. That's good to know

    Thanks
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  4. #4
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    It may be better quality than CD, but odds are that you can't hear the difference. No one can. CD was designed to exceed the limits of human hearing and in the last 40 years we haven't evolved bat-like hearing (despite what people desperate to sell you the same music again say).

    Test yourself and you will find that CD resolution is all you need.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Senior Member SlimChances's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Sargent View Post
    It may be better quality than CD, but odds are that you can't hear the difference. No one can. CD was designed to exceed the limits of human hearing and in the last 40 years we haven't evolved bat-like hearing (despite what people desperate to sell you the same music again say).

    Test yourself and you will find that CD resolution is all you need.

    Mike
    Thanks
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Sargent View Post
    It may be better quality than CD, but odds are that you can't hear the difference. No one can. CD was designed to exceed the limits of human hearing and in the last 40 years we haven't evolved bat-like hearing (despite what people desperate to sell you the same music again say).

    Test yourself and you will find that CD resolution is all you need.

    Mike
    I mostly share your attitude, and I agree that most of us find CD resolution all we need. But I must disagree with the notion that the CD format "was designed to exceed the limits of human hearing" in any absolute sense. Like most things, it was a compromise, in this case a compromise between some semblance of audio perfection and storage capacity. Squeezing 600 MB onto a single, mass-producible disc was quite a feat in 1982. (There was a story that the capacity was dictated by the wife of Sony's president, who insisted that Beethoven's Symphony #9 had to fit on one disc.) Like most new technologies that seem at first to be perfect, because they are free of the obvious problems of past technologies, it took some time for people to learn to hear the imperfections of the CD format. Many -- probably most -- of us have never learned, and we are usually happier for our ignorance. But I don't think it's at all reasonable to think that, because I usually hear no difference between 16 and 24 bits, or between 44.1 and 96 KHz sample rates (with ears that are old enough that they hear little or nothing above 10 KHz), therefore anybody who claims to hear a difference must be wrong.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimChances View Post
    So at Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz it is still better. That's good to know

    Thanks
    A rocking album with a gain of -9.01 is unlikely to see the noisefloor coming ever near enough to wurry even about 14 bits i guess.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbH View Post
    I mostly share your attitude, and I agree that most of us find CD resolution all we need.
    ....
    Like most new technologies that seem at first to be perfect, because they are free of the obvious problems of past technologies, it took some time for people to learn to hear the imperfections of the CD format. Many -- probably most -- of us have never learned, and we are usually happier for our ignorance. But I don't think it's at all reasonable to think that, because I usually hear no difference between 16 and 24 bits, or between 44.1 and 96 KHz sample rates (with ears that are old enough that they hear little or nothing above 10 KHz), therefore anybody who claims to hear a difference must be wrong.
    It would be unreasonable if that was the basis for the conclusion that 16/44 remains enough. But it isn't. CD clearly was a compromise but the science at the time suggested that it could capture pretty much all you can hear, and nothing has changed really.
    Human hearing really does have limits on its dynamic range, and so do microphones. And even if you could in theory just make out a tiny quiet sound with the track played so loud that the peaks are at the level that would deafen you, masking effects would wipe that out.
    Some people might just be able to hear the odd thing above 20Khz, but they tend to be too busy with their schoolwork.
    The intersting thing is that people who claim to hear improvements in hi res over 16/44 tend to hear it just as much in recordings where there's nothing to hear as in the recordings where there is (in theory). I think this is what ended up driving Mark Waldrep off the edge - he started out trying to advocate Real HD and has ended being more of an involuntary spokesman for why HD doesn't actually matter.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dolodobendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdea View Post
    Some people might just be able to hear the odd thing above 20Khz, but they tend to be too busy with their schoolwork.
    Yes. I had a problem with a beeping sound in Squeezelite and thought it was only I who had that problem because nobody else was reporting it and nobody could reproduce it (or so they thought). No, it was only I who heard it. We're speaking of an 11kHz beep here. @OP: So no, you probably won't need those 192kHz files.

    The higher bit rate could make a tiny difference. But I doubt I could tell which is which even in direct comparison.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member pablolie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbH View Post
    .. (There was a story that the capacity was dictated by the wife of Sony's president, who insisted that Beethoven's Symphony #9 had to fit on one disc.) Like most new technologies that seem at first to be perfect, because they are free of the obvious problems of past technologies, it took some time for people to learn to hear the imperfections of the CD format. Many -- probably most -- of us have never learned, and we are usually happier for our ignorance. But I don't think it's at all reasonable to think that, because I usually hear no difference between 16 and 24 bits, or between 44.1 and 96 KHz sample rates (with ears that are old enough that they hear little or nothing above 10 KHz), therefore anybody who claims to hear a difference must be wrong.
    https://www.philips.com/a-w/research...ck-giants.html

    A fun article on the development of the CD. There are sources that claim it was Karajan who insisted it needed to be 74 mins to receive his backing (9th indeed).

    I am part of the club that claims existing music playback tech probably doesn't allow me to hear beyond CD quality, and that's in the rather rare cases we're talking about a great recording - I'd estimate 90% of music is recorded indifferently, surprisingly often even ineptly.

    That said, I do have quite a few high resolution copies of my favorite albums, but I do it mostly for archiving and psychoacoustics. :-D

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