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24 bit versus 16 bit CD Rip

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by louisjames, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,995
    Same CD's, XLD running on an iMac, same settings with the only difference being one rip at 16 / 44.1 and the other at 24 / 44.1. Logic says these should sound the same during playback but the 24 bit version sounds fuller than the 16 bit version and with no "loss" of articulation. In other words it's not like turning up the bass control on your receiver / integrated or preamp which can give more "oomph" to the bottom end but can also smear the mids / tops.

    Everything I've read says that ripping at 24 bit won't add anything but extra "0's". Although if you look at both wav's side by side in an audio editor the 24 bit one is definitely "bigger" looking. But the handful of folks who have heard both through my system could clearly hear the difference and like the 24 bit version better. I guess it doesn't really matter since it's all about what your ears tell you and what you like. But anyone else notice the same and / or have any thoughts on the matter?
     

     

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  2. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

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    Do you use any form of software volume control at some point in the chain ? That could be one plausible source of difference.

    Another possibility is some form of digital conversion loss when playing back the 16bit file. Is that using the built-in sound card or an external DAC ?
     
  3. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    It is a waste of space. You will not get any more resolution converting from 16 to 24 bit. Upsampling might smooth things out but not much else. It is a fooler.

    Ask at Computeraudiophile forum, they will tell you what a waste it is.
     
  4. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Like Bot says, never, never trust your own ears. Especially if someone on a forum can tell you why you are not hearing, what you are hearing.
     
    Audioraven, PAGS and yockmyer like this.
  5. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

    Messages:
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    probably what we are hearing IS a "smoothing" of the overall sound. which to most ears sounds more "listenable". so perhaps not a total waste of space. especially given the large amount i have at my disposal. which is why i only do wav's in the first place. i will say that when mastering, working at 24 bit or 32 float (whether the master was originally at 16 or not) and then dithering back down to 16 does make a difference in what "effects" can be applied, etc., and the final result. of course that's a different application then ripping a CD for audio playback.
     
  6. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I assume you are running a USB DAC from the IMac? Which DAC, if you do not mind me asking?

    @louisjames
     

     

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  7. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    Actually using a Mac Mini that has been optimized for audio. USB from the Mini, Coax from my Marantz CD player and Optical out from the Mini for Spotify (which is not supported by Audirvana as yet. Though Tidal and Quboz is), into the DAC. I was using an Audio-gd NFB1 (balanced, Sabre 9018-based) but recently got a Metrum Onyx. The Metrum is of course much different from the Audio-gd in that it has a more "romantic" sound. And although I miss some of the "excitement" the Sabre-based DAC provided the Metrum is much "easiser" on the ears and a really fills out the sound without negatively impacting articulation and transparency. Something other NOS DAC's I auditioned did.
     
  8. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,129
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I've noticed the difference between 16 bit & 24 bit CD rips to FLAC. It does carry more detail and sounds fuller as you described.

    The source material has to be formatted in 24 bit for me to hear it, though.

    Some CD's are marked "HDCD" (no, not SACD) and I've noted that each one I've ripped was a 24 bit source.
     

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