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Are higher sampling rates ever better?

Discussion in 'Digital Integration' started by c.coyle, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,008
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Let's have a look at one of the best DACS currently made, the Benchmark DAC2. You can pay more (a lot more if you're truly ignorant), but you won't get better performance.

    https://benchmarkmedia.com/products/benchmark-dac2-hgc-digital-to-analog-audio-converter

    THD+N, 1 kHz at 0 dBFS -109 dBFS, -109 dB, 0.00035%

    So, what happens to all that dynamic range beyond the 120db that dithered 16-bit audio provides? Lost in the noise. Then add in the noise floor of the preamp and amp. Oops. Since music requires a maximum of 80db dynamic range, and modern rock/pop is horribly range compressed to as little as 10db, there's simply no point in anything beyond 16 bits. They're just trying to get people to purchase, yet again, the music they already own on LP, tape, CD, digital download...
     

     

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  2. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

    Messages:
    4,062
    When I'm talking about digitizing a raw signal I'm not talking about re-sampling something that has already been recorded like the Led Zeppelin catalog for the nth time. Not that I don't like LZ. :)

    What I have in mind is the recording of a worthwhile performance that will last the ages. If you could go back in time and digitally record a live Beethoven or Mozart performance would you bring a standard 80s ADC and record in 16 bit 44.2 Khz or would you try to capture every data point you could possibly capture. I think I would take the ADC that would allow me to accurately capture the maximum data points possible.
     
    Bill Ferris and botrytis like this.
  3. House de Kris

    House de Kris Loud-n-Deep

    Messages:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas
    On topic:
    I read the OP's suggested link. I shook my head and started to think of Monty when he mentioned IM products as being a reason to shun high sampling rates. Why do people assume I'm using such poor equipment as to cause sever IMD? The other question is, why do people assume that these ultrasonics that are causing IM in my playback doesn't result in IM in the path to the digitizer in the first place? Most likely, the mic preamp will have greater IMD and result in the audible IM products which will be digitized no matter how slowly the ADC operates at (as in, 44.1kHz will capture the audible IM products from the mic pre).

    IMO, I say lets just jump to the end of the game and have 500kHz digitizers for audio. Avoids a boatload of issues. And, is better for everyone.

    Off topic:
    Actually, CD is 16 bit. Therefore the dynamic range is 96dB.
     
    botrytis likes this.
  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,351
    Location:
    PODUNC USA......
    I like Benchmark, believe me, but I don't think it is one of the best made - it is decent but there are others out there that are WAY better in my estimation. I prefer the Mytek DAC's but that is me. I have heard both at shows with the same or similar equipment and the Mytek just sounded better to me.
     
  5. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Messages:
    1,591
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Just go with Double DSD and we can avoid this whole argument. 

    My big issue is the presumption that 20kHz is the limit of human frequency response. This biological number is the foundation for Nyquist.

    But it is based on a test of response to sine waves. I've long held that the human hearing system didn't evolve to detect sine waves but phases, arrival time deltas, and very complex clues about predators, mates, and meals. In other words, biologists are the weak link in digital audio.

    None of the above deals with bit depth of course.
     
  6. House de Kris

    House de Kris Loud-n-Deep

    Messages:
    2,241
    Location:
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    It is not clear to me what the point is you're trying to make. Our ability to detect phases, arrival times and complex clues aren't necessarily limited by sampling rate alone. It is the combination of sampling rate and bit depth that give 44.1/16 its ability to have sub-nanosecond arrival time deltas and tiny fractional degree phase relationships. Both of which are way beyond human ability to discern. I think most studies conclude the smallest human detectable arrival time deltas is in the order of 5us. Huge by what CD audio can do.
     

     

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  7. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Messages:
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    To restate my point, the biology experiment on which engineers based RBCD design parameters (20 kHz max human hearing) is the weak point in the CDs. The engineering was sound but the biological input was the weak link.

    "Both of which are way beyond human ability to discern."

    To that I say "Ha!"

    I find that hi-res files played through speakers with super-tweeters have much additional musical content. I think Sony is on to something with their Hi-Res gear and speaker line with super tweeters.

    Subjective, I grant, but it works in delivering superior sound for this consumer. Engineering is ultimately about what WORKS, not about current theories. It should make one question the biologists. Don't ever NOT question a scientist's pronouncement.

    From another field, geologists told us that the tsunamis off Fukushima only got so big - until they came in bigger. We engineers HAD to have some figure to do our design work but the scientists' input was inadequate.
     
  8. House de Kris

    House de Kris Loud-n-Deep

    Messages:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas
    OK, thanks for clarifying FauxHall. For some reason, when you brought up "phases and arrival time deltas," I thought you were complaining about them. Now I see you are strictly complaining about the bandwidth limitation. Not sure why you threw in the red herring of phase and arrival time deltas, but I bit. Sorry about that.
     

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