Feeling Underwhelmed with Hi Rez

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by superjojo, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. superjojo

    superjojo Active Member

    Messages:
    225
    Ive been playing around with 24/96 flac and some sacd iso files thru a tube dac. I gotta say for the most part I am underwhelmed.

    Im kind of sick in my musical tastes that I am picking up albums in these digital formats that I aleady have on record and cd. Im not using the LP versions as comparison but the ones I have on CD already, played thru the same dac, sometimes sound superior to me.

    I should note that I listen to tons of live music at 24/96 from reputable sources that sound amazing on my system. I have enjoyed both analog and digital audio (going back to early days of cd, pcm/beta and dat) for decades. So what I am experiencing is not subconscious analog snobbery or something.

    Obviously I am either getting shitty rips or don't have something dialed in correctly. I might even need to start looking at spectrograms to insure some of this stuff is truly lossless.

    Any ideas?
     
    Gents likes this.
  2. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

    Messages:
    313
    Some recordings are just mediocre to begin with. So, make sure you're listening to a good one. Otherwise, try another DAC? Where are the files stored, and how are they fed to the DAC?

    I know I've purchased some supposedly high resolution files and have ben underwhelmed at times.
     
  3. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,803
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Hard to say why you aren't hearing what 24/96 truly brings to the table.

    What does your current set up consist of? What sort of cabling are you using?
     
  4. GSS61

    GSS61 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    Tallahassee
    Some high resolution rock and pop releases suffer from poor mastering... highly compressed with brickwall limiting to make the recording sound as loud as possible.

    Earlier CD releases that haven't gone through this type of modern remastering treatment will in many cases sound better due to their greater dynamic range.

    Well mastered high resolution digital music can sound amazing, however.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
    Bill Ferris, invaderzim and Condorsat like this.
  5. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,869
    Location:
    North of Philly
    Go lo-fi with Spotify! Phenomenal fidelity? No. Decent and enjoyable? Yes! And an incredible catalog.
     
  6. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    Messages:
    165
    There is an upper limit to what our ears and brains can decode. I've always felt that the strength of HD audio is not necessarily the bitrates or formats but rather the care taken in procuring the original source materials and then doing a stellar job of mastering. With new music, it's just a fact of life that 24/96 is the defacto minimum for serious listening. Whether or not this is actually necessary is debatable, but I wasted way too much money on iTunes and then iTunes Plus a decade ago when I had an iPod with limited storage capacity. I convinced myself that AAC files and the occasional mp3 were good enough.

    Each individual recording made in each individual format needs to be evaluated on its own merits with no a priori assumptions about the inherent attributes and/or capabilities of that format.

    But humans are dismal when it comes to discerning anything but changes in amplitude.

    AgeUK-infographic-v1.jpg
     
    rogerfederer likes this.
  7. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,869
    Location:
    North of Philly
    On a positive note, our hearing apparently is better than a chicken's.
     
    Bill Ferris and Gents like this.
  8. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,077
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    The whole point of MQA is based on the fact that while we may not be able to hear it...the ultrasonics play some kind of role.
     
  9. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

    Messages:
    2,482
    Location:
    Tega Cay
    Fixed it for you. :)
     
  10. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    Messages:
    165
    Indeed. They chase the bunnies out of my garden.
     
    E.Auer and chicks like this.
  11. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    51,223
  12. superjojo

    superjojo Active Member

    Messages:
    225
    How can I insure some of the suspect flacs are truly lossless 100%?

    I like to be able to do this without having to learn the heavy theory behind frequencies, spectrograms and lossless vs lossy.
     
  13. woofmytweets

    woofmytweets AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    i too have found that sometimes, files are not as advertised. this keeps my ears sharp, and i try to remember that i'm not paying for much of this content.

    were that not the case, i would demand a refund.
     
  14. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    627
    I wonder if the tubed DAC could be a limiting factor?
     
  15. Gents

    Gents New Member

    Messages:
    45
    I just tuned in to post this precise question!
    I'm dealing in 'just OK' and I'm sure I'm missing something here.
     
  16. rwartner

    rwartner Super Member

    Messages:
    1,043
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    What is your music player software, DAC, how do you hook up (USB, SPDIF)? All of my music is ripped lossless CD. So can't comment on hires.
    If there is something wrong have to examine the setup.

    If I was wondering if something was not lossless I would look at the properties. How big is the file compared to others? Your music player might give you information checking properties. Play track, right click on it and see if music player provides details.
     
  17. Gents

    Gents New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Being a solid 20th century plug & play motherfker, the digital turn of the hobby has me at the crossroad. I'm running 'lossless' files and a few lossy files out of the laptop via Foobar2000 through Audioquest Forest USB into the MF V-Dac II. That, of course, is going into the Adcom GFP750, so on & so on.
    In futzing with it today, I'm seeing that I'm not getting a green light on the V Dac II to indicate that a digital signal is locking in.
    So, I'm not getting any 24-bit/192k upsampling from the laptop. My transport (via digital cable) locking in.
    In any event, the lossless digital files sound quite good, for the most part, like an acceptable CD, however, no upsampled modern magic.
     
  18. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

    Messages:
    3,077
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    You pretty much have to look at spectrograms and look for both upper frequency loss as well as "distortion" in those upper frequencies.

    It won't tell you for certain if something has been upsampled.
     
  19. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

    Messages:
    313
    Maybe get some high resolution files that are deemed to be really good. Go from there.
     
  20. GSS61

    GSS61 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    Tallahassee
    The HDtracks 24/96 release of Fleetwood Mac sounds very good and has great dynamic range... pretty close to the original vinyl pressing

    cover.jpg Clipboard01.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017

Share This Page