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Found 1 result

  1. Are we just kidding ourselves?

    I want to believe in high res audio as much as anyone. I want to believe I haven't wasted a fair bit of money at HD Tracks and Linn Records. I believe I've even heard the difference, through a carefully constructed A/B test, between 44.1k/16bit and 96k/24bit files. In the end though, there are a lot of questions I just can't reconcile. First, there is the fact that a great many people don't have amplifiers, preamplifiers, or speakers that will reproduce a signal beyond 20k. There has been some interesting and thoughtful discussion on this point, so maybe this isn't an issue. I’ll let that one go for the moment. Then there's the bit depth. I'm finding it interesting that the s/n ratio on most really good amplifiers is in the 94 - 106db range, which is no where near the 144db required to take full advantage of the s/n of a 24 bit recording. Do amplifiers even exist that have a noise floor that low? If the weakest component in the chain is still too noisy to hear the advantages of the file format, does it make a difference? This is of course setting aside the fact that the best microphones in the world (AKG C12, Telefunken 251, Neumann U47, etc...) are limited to 20k on the high end and have s/n ratios in the 70's (db). Then there is the rest of the signal path (mic preamp, eq, compressor, console, etc...). If any one of these is not up to the capability of the file format, doesn't the idea of calling the end product "high res" fail"? I know there are people who believe that high res is snake oil and that anyone who believes they hear a difference, is fooling themselves. I'd like to hear from the other side though. How given all of these facts, is it still possible for high res audio to provide any benefit at all? To be clear, I am not questioning the value of the format, so much as I'm wondering if the equipment isn't keeping us from ever being able to hear it.