Running at the mouth

September 6, 2013
 by

Sometimes my mouth runs faster than my common sense and caution, research and fact checking are sacrificed for the heat of the moment. Such was my proclamation that there is no such thing as a stepped staircase waveform at the output of a DAC. Instead, said I, there are a series of pulses that look more like lollipops and I presented a picture to prove my point. While the pulses comment is indeed true, I left out “the rest of the story”. Sorry.

John Atkinson, editor of Stereophile Magazine, was kind enough to send me a note reminding me that most multi-bit DACS also have a sample and hold circuit built into their outputs that actually makes the stair steps happen. You’ll recall that in my post Hold that thoughtI explained the function of a sample and hold circuit on the input of the A/D converter. That same type of circuit also exists at the output of many DACS so when the “lollipop” pulse happens, the level of that pulse is maintained by such a circuit and the result of that action is ….. wait for it ……. a stair step. Take a look at this picture of the raw output of a DAC, from a Stereophile article of the Audio Note CD player:

Stepped waveform

Note the steps? So this happens because there is a pulse that goes to a specific height and once established a sample and hold circuit keeps that level constant until the next pulse.

Once you have this stepped waveform, it’s a pretty simple matter to remove all the jaggie steps with a simple filter and the result is a perfect sine wave.

And one last thought as long as we’re continuing to poke the proverbial box.

I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy. The opposite isn’t true.

A live event, recorded on a high resolution system, cannot be accurately copied on a lower resolution system such as a tape recorder or vinyl record.

And on that one, I have thought it through for quite some time.

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218 comments on “Running at the mouth”

  1. What are the "stair steps" ? … They are high frequency noise, which needs to be filtered.

    Making that point that a broken DAC will make "stairsteps" at it’s output … is at best potentially misleading.

  2. Confused! "I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. " I have many vinyl records (RCA, Mercury, etc.) and their corresponding CD. In virtually every case the vinyl sounds closer to the sound of an actual orchestra than does the CD version. I guess my ears are deceiving me.

  3. Paul,
    I am a tad confused also. Perhaps you are absolutely correct. If so then why do you offer various resolution and bit rates for recording vinyl. You are even doing DSD which I don’t think any other consumer A/D converter is offering at the moment. Why not just standardize on <strong>44.1/16</strong> and say anything above is superfluous for recording vinyl in your NuWave A/D phonostage.

    From Music Direct:

    <em>Using appropriate software on a PC, NuWave Phono Converter owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections (or any analog sources) to their computers at 24bit/192k PCM or up to double DSD rate.</em>

    It makes no sense.

  4. " with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD)"

    I think that is not exactly correct. Vinyl phonograph records and magnetic tape recordings can have FR that extend well beyond 20 kHz. For example, it’s not unusual for magnetic tape to extend FR to at least 27 to 30 kHz at 15ips and 30 ips. That doesn’t even include rotating heads on VCRs which obviously extends FR well into the Mhz range. Audio Fidelity Records in the 1960s claimed FR to 25 KHz with their "Frey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound" (how do people make up these names?) while the RCA CD-4 system extended FR to 40 kHz. The outband response between 20 and 40 kHz was used for the rear channels which had to be decoded. One problem is that recording components at these frequencies on phonograph records can be wiped out in a single play by most styli. The reason the difference is inaudible is…few if any people can hear above 22 kHz so it doesn’t matter.

    Since the subject of vinyl phonograph records has come up again I’d like to compare timing errors on phonograph records with digital systems. Vinyl records are cut with a chisel on a radial arm. If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius. At all other points there is an angular displacement that causes the contact on the inner wall and outer wall to be at different times than the recording was made. The more severe the tracking error and the closer to the center, the greater the timing error. Also unless the playback stylus is also a chisel, the last thing you want, the stylus will contact the grove wall over a surface causing what audiophiles call time smear, that is points on the recording made at different times are being reproduced simultaneously. Fortunately this is inaudible (audiophile hearing is so good they not only hear everything that’s there, they hear things that aren’t.)

    Compare that to digital jitter. As soon as a digital signal enters a buffer register it is re-clocked and its accuracy and time stability become the same as the local clock. It’s like an amusement park ride where a seat aligns with a gate which opens, if a passenger gets in it’s a 1, if one doesn’t it’s a zero. The gate closes after a window, the entire train of seats jerks forward until the next seat aligns with the gate and the same thing happens again. Regardless of what point in time when the gate is opened the passenger gets in, once the gate is closed he moves forward at precisely the same speed as the train of seats. Mischief managed. This is why you can get the same results with a coat hanger as an expensive digital cable. Imagine if this were not true what it would do to the stability of a high definition digital TV image. For a jitter induced error to be significant, it would have to be greater than the time window the gate is opened.

  5. Of all of yesterday’s posts, I most appreciated the last one from Bassman23. Like him, I am an avid but not rabid music enthusiast; the same applies to my enthusiasm for sound improvements. I mentioned once before, that 75% of my music is delivered from desk top computer grade speakers. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy it, sometimes to the point of involuntarily moving body parts. The other times most listening is from my quasi high end system, of which the speakers I built as part of my hobby. The sound from my system has many obvious flaws, but it is sufficiently revealing that it produces many hours of musical enjoyment. My source equipment is a cassette deck, FM tuner, record player, PWT, and PWD II with Bridge; it is thus obvious that the resolution differences across the source platforms are wide. I appreciate the advantages that the better sources provide, yet I enjoy music from each of them.

  6. The link provided in prior posts didn’t actually go to the real argument but there was one brief moment where the url for that article was posted on what appeared to me to be Montgomery’s power point presentation. Monty Montgomery contends the higher resolution download is actually slightly inferior. I am reserving judgment as I haven’t even read the article myself yet let alone thought about it. So here’s a link to it for anyone who cares to get his side of it straight from the horse’s mouth.

    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  7. If the stair steps are removed by a low pass filter, then lower sample rates can have lower low pass filters. A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter! So is there a tradeoff for going to higher &amp; higher sample rates?

  8. Sorry Paul, I have to disagree on this point:

    "… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy."

    With the caveat that the turntable, arm, cartridge, phono stage and pre-amp need to be high quality and the LP needs to at least not be some old worn out garage sale record. Preferably it should be cleaned on a good record cleaning machine as well. If I have time this weekend I will prove it to you this way:

    Make a 16bit/44.1 kHz recording from one of my vinyl records with my Tascam D-RA1000-HD and then record the same track at either 24/192 kHz (if you can play it) or 24 / 96 kHz and let you decide which one sounds better. System is: Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player -&gt; Koetsu Coralstone -&gt; Aesthetix IO -&gt; Aesthetix Callisto -&gt; Tascam. Cables are Purist Audio Design.

    The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP. Honestly even though I have recorded a few of my LPs to hi-rez digital files something is still missing even at 24 bit. The LP is always my choice unless I’m cleaning the house and just need background music.

    I really enjoy your posts!

  9. "The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP."

    This could not be more wrong.

  10. Vinyl is low resolution and CD (digital) is high resolution then why does vinyl handily beat CD (digital) every time as far as the sound goes with more of everything that live music has? Of the many reasons I know of one and that is that people in order to prove digital’s superiority use mediocre front end to play vinyl and then pronounce with great pride " see I told you so. Another thing why would anyone want to make an inferior sounding digital copy of a superior sounding vinyl? Regards.

  11. What are the "stair steps" ? … They are high frequency noise, which needs to be filtered.

    Making that point that a broken DAC will make "stairsteps" at it’s output … is at best potentially misleading.

  12. Confused! "I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. " I have many vinyl records (RCA, Mercury, etc.) and their corresponding CD. In virtually every case the vinyl sounds closer to the sound of an actual orchestra than does the CD version. I guess my ears are deceiving me.

  13. Paul,
    I am a tad confused also. Perhaps you are absolutely correct. If so then why do you offer various resolution and bit rates for recording vinyl. You are even doing DSD which I don’t think any other consumer A/D converter is offering at the moment. Why not just standardize on <strong>44.1/16</strong> and say anything above is superfluous for recording vinyl in your NuWave A/D phonostage.

    From Music Direct:

    <em>Using appropriate software on a PC, NuWave Phono Converter owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections (or any analog sources) to their computers at 24bit/192k PCM or up to double DSD rate.</em>

    It makes no sense.

  14. " with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD)"

    I think that is not exactly correct. Vinyl phonograph records and magnetic tape recordings can have FR that extend well beyond 20 kHz. For example, it’s not unusual for magnetic tape to extend FR to at least 27 to 30 kHz at 15ips and 30 ips. That doesn’t even include rotating heads on VCRs which obviously extends FR well into the Mhz range. Audio Fidelity Records in the 1960s claimed FR to 25 KHz with their "Frey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound" (how do people make up these names?) while the RCA CD-4 system extended FR to 40 kHz. The outband response between 20 and 40 kHz was used for the rear channels which had to be decoded. One problem is that recording components at these frequencies on phonograph records can be wiped out in a single play by most styli. The reason the difference is inaudible is…few if any people can hear above 22 kHz so it doesn’t matter.

    Since the subject of vinyl phonograph records has come up again I’d like to compare timing errors on phonograph records with digital systems. Vinyl records are cut with a chisel on a radial arm. If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius. At all other points there is an angular displacement that causes the contact on the inner wall and outer wall to be at different times than the recording was made. The more severe the tracking error and the closer to the center, the greater the timing error. Also unless the playback stylus is also a chisel, the last thing you want, the stylus will contact the grove wall over a surface causing what audiophiles call time smear, that is points on the recording made at different times are being reproduced simultaneously. Fortunately this is inaudible (audiophile hearing is so good they not only hear everything that’s there, they hear things that aren’t.)

    Compare that to digital jitter. As soon as a digital signal enters a buffer register it is re-clocked and its accuracy and time stability become the same as the local clock. It’s like an amusement park ride where a seat aligns with a gate which opens, if a passenger gets in it’s a 1, if one doesn’t it’s a zero. The gate closes after a window, the entire train of seats jerks forward until the next seat aligns with the gate and the same thing happens again. Regardless of what point in time when the gate is opened the passenger gets in, once the gate is closed he moves forward at precisely the same speed as the train of seats. Mischief managed. This is why you can get the same results with a coat hanger as an expensive digital cable. Imagine if this were not true what it would do to the stability of a high definition digital TV image. For a jitter induced error to be significant, it would have to be greater than the time window the gate is opened.

  15. Of all of yesterday’s posts, I most appreciated the last one from Bassman23. Like him, I am an avid but not rabid music enthusiast; the same applies to my enthusiasm for sound improvements. I mentioned once before, that 75% of my music is delivered from desk top computer grade speakers. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy it, sometimes to the point of involuntarily moving body parts. The other times most listening is from my quasi high end system, of which the speakers I built as part of my hobby. The sound from my system has many obvious flaws, but it is sufficiently revealing that it produces many hours of musical enjoyment. My source equipment is a cassette deck, FM tuner, record player, PWT, and PWD II with Bridge; it is thus obvious that the resolution differences across the source platforms are wide. I appreciate the advantages that the better sources provide, yet I enjoy music from each of them.

  16. The link provided in prior posts didn’t actually go to the real argument but there was one brief moment where the url for that article was posted on what appeared to me to be Montgomery’s power point presentation. Monty Montgomery contends the higher resolution download is actually slightly inferior. I am reserving judgment as I haven’t even read the article myself yet let alone thought about it. So here’s a link to it for anyone who cares to get his side of it straight from the horse’s mouth.

    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  17. If the stair steps are removed by a low pass filter, then lower sample rates can have lower low pass filters. A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter! So is there a tradeoff for going to higher &amp; higher sample rates?

  18. Sorry Paul, I have to disagree on this point:

    "… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy."

    With the caveat that the turntable, arm, cartridge, phono stage and pre-amp need to be high quality and the LP needs to at least not be some old worn out garage sale record. Preferably it should be cleaned on a good record cleaning machine as well. If I have time this weekend I will prove it to you this way:

    Make a 16bit/44.1 kHz recording from one of my vinyl records with my Tascam D-RA1000-HD and then record the same track at either 24/192 kHz (if you can play it) or 24 / 96 kHz and let you decide which one sounds better. System is: Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player -&gt; Koetsu Coralstone -&gt; Aesthetix IO -&gt; Aesthetix Callisto -&gt; Tascam. Cables are Purist Audio Design.

    The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP. Honestly even though I have recorded a few of my LPs to hi-rez digital files something is still missing even at 24 bit. The LP is always my choice unless I’m cleaning the house and just need background music.

    I really enjoy your posts!

  19. "The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP."

    This could not be more wrong.

  20. Vinyl is low resolution and CD (digital) is high resolution then why does vinyl handily beat CD (digital) every time as far as the sound goes with more of everything that live music has? Of the many reasons I know of one and that is that people in order to prove digital’s superiority use mediocre front end to play vinyl and then pronounce with great pride " see I told you so. Another thing why would anyone want to make an inferior sounding digital copy of a superior sounding vinyl? Regards.

  21. What are the "stair steps" ? … They are high frequency noise, which needs to be filtered.

    Making that point that a broken DAC will make "stairsteps" at it’s output … is at best potentially misleading.

  22. Confused! "I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. " I have many vinyl records (RCA, Mercury, etc.) and their corresponding CD. In virtually every case the vinyl sounds closer to the sound of an actual orchestra than does the CD version. I guess my ears are deceiving me.

  23. Paul,
    I am a tad confused also. Perhaps you are absolutely correct. If so then why do you offer various resolution and bit rates for recording vinyl. You are even doing DSD which I don’t think any other consumer A/D converter is offering at the moment. Why not just standardize on <strong>44.1/16</strong> and say anything above is superfluous for recording vinyl in your NuWave A/D phonostage.

    From Music Direct:

    <em>Using appropriate software on a PC, NuWave Phono Converter owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections (or any analog sources) to their computers at 24bit/192k PCM or up to double DSD rate.</em>

    It makes no sense.

  24. " with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD)"

    I think that is not exactly correct. Vinyl phonograph records and magnetic tape recordings can have FR that extend well beyond 20 kHz. For example, it’s not unusual for magnetic tape to extend FR to at least 27 to 30 kHz at 15ips and 30 ips. That doesn’t even include rotating heads on VCRs which obviously extends FR well into the Mhz range. Audio Fidelity Records in the 1960s claimed FR to 25 KHz with their "Frey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound" (how do people make up these names?) while the RCA CD-4 system extended FR to 40 kHz. The outband response between 20 and 40 kHz was used for the rear channels which had to be decoded. One problem is that recording components at these frequencies on phonograph records can be wiped out in a single play by most styli. The reason the difference is inaudible is…few if any people can hear above 22 kHz so it doesn’t matter.

    Since the subject of vinyl phonograph records has come up again I’d like to compare timing errors on phonograph records with digital systems. Vinyl records are cut with a chisel on a radial arm. If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius. At all other points there is an angular displacement that causes the contact on the inner wall and outer wall to be at different times than the recording was made. The more severe the tracking error and the closer to the center, the greater the timing error. Also unless the playback stylus is also a chisel, the last thing you want, the stylus will contact the grove wall over a surface causing what audiophiles call time smear, that is points on the recording made at different times are being reproduced simultaneously. Fortunately this is inaudible (audiophile hearing is so good they not only hear everything that’s there, they hear things that aren’t.)

    Compare that to digital jitter. As soon as a digital signal enters a buffer register it is re-clocked and its accuracy and time stability become the same as the local clock. It’s like an amusement park ride where a seat aligns with a gate which opens, if a passenger gets in it’s a 1, if one doesn’t it’s a zero. The gate closes after a window, the entire train of seats jerks forward until the next seat aligns with the gate and the same thing happens again. Regardless of what point in time when the gate is opened the passenger gets in, once the gate is closed he moves forward at precisely the same speed as the train of seats. Mischief managed. This is why you can get the same results with a coat hanger as an expensive digital cable. Imagine if this were not true what it would do to the stability of a high definition digital TV image. For a jitter induced error to be significant, it would have to be greater than the time window the gate is opened.

  25. Of all of yesterday’s posts, I most appreciated the last one from Bassman23. Like him, I am an avid but not rabid music enthusiast; the same applies to my enthusiasm for sound improvements. I mentioned once before, that 75% of my music is delivered from desk top computer grade speakers. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy it, sometimes to the point of involuntarily moving body parts. The other times most listening is from my quasi high end system, of which the speakers I built as part of my hobby. The sound from my system has many obvious flaws, but it is sufficiently revealing that it produces many hours of musical enjoyment. My source equipment is a cassette deck, FM tuner, record player, PWT, and PWD II with Bridge; it is thus obvious that the resolution differences across the source platforms are wide. I appreciate the advantages that the better sources provide, yet I enjoy music from each of them.

  26. The link provided in prior posts didn’t actually go to the real argument but there was one brief moment where the url for that article was posted on what appeared to me to be Montgomery’s power point presentation. Monty Montgomery contends the higher resolution download is actually slightly inferior. I am reserving judgment as I haven’t even read the article myself yet let alone thought about it. So here’s a link to it for anyone who cares to get his side of it straight from the horse’s mouth.

    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  27. If the stair steps are removed by a low pass filter, then lower sample rates can have lower low pass filters. A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter! So is there a tradeoff for going to higher &amp; higher sample rates?

  28. Sorry Paul, I have to disagree on this point:

    "… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy."

    With the caveat that the turntable, arm, cartridge, phono stage and pre-amp need to be high quality and the LP needs to at least not be some old worn out garage sale record. Preferably it should be cleaned on a good record cleaning machine as well. If I have time this weekend I will prove it to you this way:

    Make a 16bit/44.1 kHz recording from one of my vinyl records with my Tascam D-RA1000-HD and then record the same track at either 24/192 kHz (if you can play it) or 24 / 96 kHz and let you decide which one sounds better. System is: Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player -&gt; Koetsu Coralstone -&gt; Aesthetix IO -&gt; Aesthetix Callisto -&gt; Tascam. Cables are Purist Audio Design.

    The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP. Honestly even though I have recorded a few of my LPs to hi-rez digital files something is still missing even at 24 bit. The LP is always my choice unless I’m cleaning the house and just need background music.

    I really enjoy your posts!

  29. "The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP."

    This could not be more wrong.

  30. Vinyl is low resolution and CD (digital) is high resolution then why does vinyl handily beat CD (digital) every time as far as the sound goes with more of everything that live music has? Of the many reasons I know of one and that is that people in order to prove digital’s superiority use mediocre front end to play vinyl and then pronounce with great pride " see I told you so. Another thing why would anyone want to make an inferior sounding digital copy of a superior sounding vinyl? Regards.

  31. What are the "stair steps" ? … They are high frequency noise, which needs to be filtered.

    Making that point that a broken DAC will make "stairsteps" at it’s output … is at best potentially misleading.

  32. Confused! "I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. " I have many vinyl records (RCA, Mercury, etc.) and their corresponding CD. In virtually every case the vinyl sounds closer to the sound of an actual orchestra than does the CD version. I guess my ears are deceiving me.

  33. Paul,
    I am a tad confused also. Perhaps you are absolutely correct. If so then why do you offer various resolution and bit rates for recording vinyl. You are even doing DSD which I don’t think any other consumer A/D converter is offering at the moment. Why not just standardize on <strong>44.1/16</strong> and say anything above is superfluous for recording vinyl in your NuWave A/D phonostage.

    From Music Direct:

    <em>Using appropriate software on a PC, NuWave Phono Converter owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections (or any analog sources) to their computers at 24bit/192k PCM or up to double DSD rate.</em>

    It makes no sense.

  34. " with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD)"

    I think that is not exactly correct. Vinyl phonograph records and magnetic tape recordings can have FR that extend well beyond 20 kHz. For example, it’s not unusual for magnetic tape to extend FR to at least 27 to 30 kHz at 15ips and 30 ips. That doesn’t even include rotating heads on VCRs which obviously extends FR well into the Mhz range. Audio Fidelity Records in the 1960s claimed FR to 25 KHz with their "Frey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound" (how do people make up these names?) while the RCA CD-4 system extended FR to 40 kHz. The outband response between 20 and 40 kHz was used for the rear channels which had to be decoded. One problem is that recording components at these frequencies on phonograph records can be wiped out in a single play by most styli. The reason the difference is inaudible is…few if any people can hear above 22 kHz so it doesn’t matter.

    Since the subject of vinyl phonograph records has come up again I’d like to compare timing errors on phonograph records with digital systems. Vinyl records are cut with a chisel on a radial arm. If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius. At all other points there is an angular displacement that causes the contact on the inner wall and outer wall to be at different times than the recording was made. The more severe the tracking error and the closer to the center, the greater the timing error. Also unless the playback stylus is also a chisel, the last thing you want, the stylus will contact the grove wall over a surface causing what audiophiles call time smear, that is points on the recording made at different times are being reproduced simultaneously. Fortunately this is inaudible (audiophile hearing is so good they not only hear everything that’s there, they hear things that aren’t.)

    Compare that to digital jitter. As soon as a digital signal enters a buffer register it is re-clocked and its accuracy and time stability become the same as the local clock. It’s like an amusement park ride where a seat aligns with a gate which opens, if a passenger gets in it’s a 1, if one doesn’t it’s a zero. The gate closes after a window, the entire train of seats jerks forward until the next seat aligns with the gate and the same thing happens again. Regardless of what point in time when the gate is opened the passenger gets in, once the gate is closed he moves forward at precisely the same speed as the train of seats. Mischief managed. This is why you can get the same results with a coat hanger as an expensive digital cable. Imagine if this were not true what it would do to the stability of a high definition digital TV image. For a jitter induced error to be significant, it would have to be greater than the time window the gate is opened.

  35. Of all of yesterday’s posts, I most appreciated the last one from Bassman23. Like him, I am an avid but not rabid music enthusiast; the same applies to my enthusiasm for sound improvements. I mentioned once before, that 75% of my music is delivered from desk top computer grade speakers. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy it, sometimes to the point of involuntarily moving body parts. The other times most listening is from my quasi high end system, of which the speakers I built as part of my hobby. The sound from my system has many obvious flaws, but it is sufficiently revealing that it produces many hours of musical enjoyment. My source equipment is a cassette deck, FM tuner, record player, PWT, and PWD II with Bridge; it is thus obvious that the resolution differences across the source platforms are wide. I appreciate the advantages that the better sources provide, yet I enjoy music from each of them.

  36. The link provided in prior posts didn’t actually go to the real argument but there was one brief moment where the url for that article was posted on what appeared to me to be Montgomery’s power point presentation. Monty Montgomery contends the higher resolution download is actually slightly inferior. I am reserving judgment as I haven’t even read the article myself yet let alone thought about it. So here’s a link to it for anyone who cares to get his side of it straight from the horse’s mouth.

    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  37. If the stair steps are removed by a low pass filter, then lower sample rates can have lower low pass filters. A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter! So is there a tradeoff for going to higher &amp; higher sample rates?

  38. Sorry Paul, I have to disagree on this point:

    "… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy."

    With the caveat that the turntable, arm, cartridge, phono stage and pre-amp need to be high quality and the LP needs to at least not be some old worn out garage sale record. Preferably it should be cleaned on a good record cleaning machine as well. If I have time this weekend I will prove it to you this way:

    Make a 16bit/44.1 kHz recording from one of my vinyl records with my Tascam D-RA1000-HD and then record the same track at either 24/192 kHz (if you can play it) or 24 / 96 kHz and let you decide which one sounds better. System is: Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player -&gt; Koetsu Coralstone -&gt; Aesthetix IO -&gt; Aesthetix Callisto -&gt; Tascam. Cables are Purist Audio Design.

    The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP. Honestly even though I have recorded a few of my LPs to hi-rez digital files something is still missing even at 24 bit. The LP is always my choice unless I’m cleaning the house and just need background music.

    I really enjoy your posts!

  39. "The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP."

    This could not be more wrong.

  40. Vinyl is low resolution and CD (digital) is high resolution then why does vinyl handily beat CD (digital) every time as far as the sound goes with more of everything that live music has? Of the many reasons I know of one and that is that people in order to prove digital’s superiority use mediocre front end to play vinyl and then pronounce with great pride " see I told you so. Another thing why would anyone want to make an inferior sounding digital copy of a superior sounding vinyl? Regards.

  41. What are the “stair steps” ? … They are high frequency noise, which needs to be filtered.

    Making that point that a broken DAC will make “stairsteps” at it’s output … is at best potentially misleading.

      1. Yes indeed…. and if you do not filter out those high frequencies (the steps), then your system is "broken"…. You are not obeying the rules on which digital audio is founded.

        You mentioned earlier that you did not understand the mathematics underpinning this… Not filtering out those high frequencies disobeys the mathematical rules by which this operates correctly.

        So …. it IS "broken".

      2. Yes indeed…. and if you do not filter out those high frequencies (the steps), then your system is "broken"…. You are not obeying the rules on which digital audio is founded.

        You mentioned earlier that you did not understand the mathematics underpinning this… Not filtering out those high frequencies disobeys the mathematical rules by which this operates correctly.

        So …. it IS "broken".

      3. Yes indeed…. and if you do not filter out those high frequencies (the steps), then your system is "broken"…. You are not obeying the rules on which digital audio is founded.

        You mentioned earlier that you did not understand the mathematics underpinning this… Not filtering out those high frequencies disobeys the mathematical rules by which this operates correctly.

        So …. it IS "broken".

      4. Yes indeed…. and if you do not filter out those high frequencies (the steps), then your system is "broken"…. You are not obeying the rules on which digital audio is founded.

        You mentioned earlier that you did not understand the mathematics underpinning this… Not filtering out those high frequencies disobeys the mathematical rules by which this operates correctly.

        So …. it IS "broken".

      5. Yes indeed…. and if you do not filter out those high frequencies (the steps), then your system is “broken”…. You are not obeying the rules on which digital audio is founded.

        You mentioned earlier that you did not understand the mathematics underpinning this… Not filtering out those high frequencies disobeys the mathematical rules by which this operates correctly.

        So …. it IS “broken”.

  42. Confused! “I have said before that if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. ” I have many vinyl records (RCA, Mercury, etc.) and their corresponding CD. In virtually every case the vinyl sounds closer to the sound of an actual orchestra than does the CD version. I guess my ears are deceiving me.

    1. No, not at all. I think you missed some valuable information. I didn’t say the CD release of the vinyl is indistinguishable. I said "if you make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original." That is VERY different than saying the remastered CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl. It is not.

      Most remastered CD’s do not sound as good as the vinyl. There’s a big difference in what I am saying.

    2. No, not at all. I think you missed some valuable information. I didn’t say the CD release of the vinyl is indistinguishable. I said "if you make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original." That is VERY different than saying the remastered CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl. It is not.

      Most remastered CD’s do not sound as good as the vinyl. There’s a big difference in what I am saying.

    3. No, not at all. I think you missed some valuable information. I didn’t say the CD release of the vinyl is indistinguishable. I said "if you make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original." That is VERY different than saying the remastered CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl. It is not.

      Most remastered CD’s do not sound as good as the vinyl. There’s a big difference in what I am saying.

    4. No, not at all. I think you missed some valuable information. I didn’t say the CD release of the vinyl is indistinguishable. I said "if you make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original." That is VERY different than saying the remastered CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl. It is not.

      Most remastered CD’s do not sound as good as the vinyl. There’s a big difference in what I am saying.

    5. No, not at all. I think you missed some valuable information. I didn’t say the CD release of the vinyl is indistinguishable. I said “if you make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original.” That is VERY different than saying the remastered CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl. It is not.

      Most remastered CD’s do not sound as good as the vinyl. There’s a big difference in what I am saying.

  43. Paul,
    I am a tad confused also. Perhaps you are absolutely correct. If so then why do you offer various resolution and bit rates for recording vinyl. You are even doing DSD which I don’t think any other consumer A/D converter is offering at the moment. Why not just standardize on 44.1/16 and say anything above is superfluous for recording vinyl in your NuWave A/D phonostage.

    From Music Direct:

    Using appropriate software on a PC, NuWave Phono Converter owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections (or any analog sources) to their computers at 24bit/192k PCM or up to double DSD rate.

    It makes no sense.

    1. Well, good question Terry. Couple of reasons: first DSD will prove to be a better sounding format than PCM even for recording vinyl – it’s just a better sounding process IMHO. Having said that, most of us don’t have the means to play it back so of course we offer both formats.

      If all you plan on doing is copying your vinyl to hard disc then using a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s face it, there will be plenty of people who will want to just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      There are two other good reasons we actually included the higher sample rates: we are hoping to get acceptance of this incredible A/D Converter for recording other venues than just vinyl. Live recording is something I would love to do myself and there are plenty of folks doing that – we’d like to have our unit considered for such things. Its ability to constantly sample the analog at over 5 million times a second, regardless of where you set the output sample rate, is a big benefit to anyone serious about capturing live music perfectly.

      The second reason is we could. 🙂

    2. Well, good question Terry. Couple of reasons: first DSD will prove to be a better sounding format than PCM even for recording vinyl – it’s just a better sounding process IMHO. Having said that, most of us don’t have the means to play it back so of course we offer both formats.

      If all you plan on doing is copying your vinyl to hard disc then using a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s face it, there will be plenty of people who will want to just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      There are two other good reasons we actually included the higher sample rates: we are hoping to get acceptance of this incredible A/D Converter for recording other venues than just vinyl. Live recording is something I would love to do myself and there are plenty of folks doing that – we’d like to have our unit considered for such things. Its ability to constantly sample the analog at over 5 million times a second, regardless of where you set the output sample rate, is a big benefit to anyone serious about capturing live music perfectly.

      The second reason is we could. 🙂

    3. Well, good question Terry. Couple of reasons: first DSD will prove to be a better sounding format than PCM even for recording vinyl – it’s just a better sounding process IMHO. Having said that, most of us don’t have the means to play it back so of course we offer both formats.

      If all you plan on doing is copying your vinyl to hard disc then using a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s face it, there will be plenty of people who will want to just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      There are two other good reasons we actually included the higher sample rates: we are hoping to get acceptance of this incredible A/D Converter for recording other venues than just vinyl. Live recording is something I would love to do myself and there are plenty of folks doing that – we’d like to have our unit considered for such things. Its ability to constantly sample the analog at over 5 million times a second, regardless of where you set the output sample rate, is a big benefit to anyone serious about capturing live music perfectly.

      The second reason is we could. 🙂

    4. Well, good question Terry. Couple of reasons: first DSD will prove to be a better sounding format than PCM even for recording vinyl – it’s just a better sounding process IMHO. Having said that, most of us don’t have the means to play it back so of course we offer both formats.

      If all you plan on doing is copying your vinyl to hard disc then using a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s face it, there will be plenty of people who will want to just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      There are two other good reasons we actually included the higher sample rates: we are hoping to get acceptance of this incredible A/D Converter for recording other venues than just vinyl. Live recording is something I would love to do myself and there are plenty of folks doing that – we’d like to have our unit considered for such things. Its ability to constantly sample the analog at over 5 million times a second, regardless of where you set the output sample rate, is a big benefit to anyone serious about capturing live music perfectly.

      The second reason is we could. 🙂

    5. Well, good question Terry. Couple of reasons: first DSD will prove to be a better sounding format than PCM even for recording vinyl – it’s just a better sounding process IMHO. Having said that, most of us don’t have the means to play it back so of course we offer both formats.

      If all you plan on doing is copying your vinyl to hard disc then using a sample rate higher than 44.1kHz doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s face it, there will be plenty of people who will want to just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      There are two other good reasons we actually included the higher sample rates: we are hoping to get acceptance of this incredible A/D Converter for recording other venues than just vinyl. Live recording is something I would love to do myself and there are plenty of folks doing that – we’d like to have our unit considered for such things. Its ability to constantly sample the analog at over 5 million times a second, regardless of where you set the output sample rate, is a big benefit to anyone serious about capturing live music perfectly.

      The second reason is we could. 🙂

  44. ” with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD)”

    I think that is not exactly correct. Vinyl phonograph records and magnetic tape recordings can have FR that extend well beyond 20 kHz. For example, it’s not unusual for magnetic tape to extend FR to at least 27 to 30 kHz at 15ips and 30 ips. That doesn’t even include rotating heads on VCRs which obviously extends FR well into the Mhz range. Audio Fidelity Records in the 1960s claimed FR to 25 KHz with their “Frey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound” (how do people make up these names?) while the RCA CD-4 system extended FR to 40 kHz. The outband response between 20 and 40 kHz was used for the rear channels which had to be decoded. One problem is that recording components at these frequencies on phonograph records can be wiped out in a single play by most styli. The reason the difference is inaudible is…few if any people can hear above 22 kHz so it doesn’t matter.

    Since the subject of vinyl phonograph records has come up again I’d like to compare timing errors on phonograph records with digital systems. Vinyl records are cut with a chisel on a radial arm. If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius. At all other points there is an angular displacement that causes the contact on the inner wall and outer wall to be at different times than the recording was made. The more severe the tracking error and the closer to the center, the greater the timing error. Also unless the playback stylus is also a chisel, the last thing you want, the stylus will contact the grove wall over a surface causing what audiophiles call time smear, that is points on the recording made at different times are being reproduced simultaneously. Fortunately this is inaudible (audiophile hearing is so good they not only hear everything that’s there, they hear things that aren’t.)

    Compare that to digital jitter. As soon as a digital signal enters a buffer register it is re-clocked and its accuracy and time stability become the same as the local clock. It’s like an amusement park ride where a seat aligns with a gate which opens, if a passenger gets in it’s a 1, if one doesn’t it’s a zero. The gate closes after a window, the entire train of seats jerks forward until the next seat aligns with the gate and the same thing happens again. Regardless of what point in time when the gate is opened the passenger gets in, once the gate is closed he moves forward at precisely the same speed as the train of seats. Mischief managed. This is why you can get the same results with a coat hanger as an expensive digital cable. Imagine if this were not true what it would do to the stability of a high definition digital TV image. For a jitter induced error to be significant, it would have to be greater than the time window the gate is opened.

    1. “If you have a pivoted playback arm, the stylus can only be in perfect alignment with the original recording at one point where its contact arc is tangent to the radius.”

      Hi Mark, normally I have great respect for your knowledge in your posts. But I must ask about this point.

      My understanding for cartridge alignment with a pivoted arm, if the two-point alignment procedure is followed then you have at least two points where the stylus is perpendicular to the line of the cutter head. Yes, the arc begins below the tangental line at the lead in, then crosses at a distance which varies depending on which alignment formula is utilized, to a point above the line, before crossing over again (this point also determined by which alignment formula is utilized) to end up below the tangental line as it traces closer to the run out. In addition, when done correctly the tracing error for the cartridge is reduced by keeping the arc for the pivoted arm as close to the tangental line of the cutter head as possible. But does it not match the tangency at the two points the arc crosses the tangental line of the cutter head?

  45. Of all of yesterday’s posts, I most appreciated the last one from Bassman23. Like him, I am an avid but not rabid music enthusiast; the same applies to my enthusiasm for sound improvements. I mentioned once before, that 75% of my music is delivered from desk top computer grade speakers. I listen to a lot of music and enjoy it, sometimes to the point of involuntarily moving body parts. The other times most listening is from my quasi high end system, of which the speakers I built as part of my hobby. The sound from my system has many obvious flaws, but it is sufficiently revealing that it produces many hours of musical enjoyment. My source equipment is a cassette deck, FM tuner, record player, PWT, and PWD II with Bridge; it is thus obvious that the resolution differences across the source platforms are wide. I appreciate the advantages that the better sources provide, yet I enjoy music from each of them.

  46. The link provided in prior posts didn’t actually go to the real argument but there was one brief moment where the url for that article was posted on what appeared to me to be Montgomery’s power point presentation. Monty Montgomery contends the higher resolution download is actually slightly inferior. I am reserving judgment as I haven’t even read the article myself yet let alone thought about it. So here’s a link to it for anyone who cares to get his side of it straight from the horse’s mouth.

    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

    1. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book "Mastering Audio The Art and the Science". He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). It’s not the frequency response.

      24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit but he dismisses 24bit with a couple of lines we are just supposed to accept.

    2. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book "Mastering Audio The Art and the Science". He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). It’s not the frequency response.

      24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit but he dismisses 24bit with a couple of lines we are just supposed to accept.

    3. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book "Mastering Audio The Art and the Science". He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). It’s not the frequency response.

      24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit but he dismisses 24bit with a couple of lines we are just supposed to accept.

    4. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book "Mastering Audio The Art and the Science". He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). It’s not the frequency response.

      24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit but he dismisses 24bit with a couple of lines we are just supposed to accept.

    5. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). It’s not the frequency response.

      24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit but he dismisses 24bit with a couple of lines we are just supposed to accept.

      1. "He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). "

        Yes, the filter can have an effect. It’s doesn’t have to though.

        I agree that Monty is probably going a bit far to "disparage" high res downloads as "inferior" …. Although it IS possible for them to be inferior for the reasons he states (they are just not such a big deal in practise).

        "24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit"

        If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.

      2. "He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). "

        Yes, the filter can have an effect. It’s doesn’t have to though.

        I agree that Monty is probably going a bit far to "disparage" high res downloads as "inferior" …. Although it IS possible for them to be inferior for the reasons he states (they are just not such a big deal in practise).

        "24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit"

        If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.

      3. "He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). "

        Yes, the filter can have an effect. It’s doesn’t have to though.

        I agree that Monty is probably going a bit far to "disparage" high res downloads as "inferior" …. Although it IS possible for them to be inferior for the reasons he states (they are just not such a big deal in practise).

        "24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit"

        If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.

      4. "He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). "

        Yes, the filter can have an effect. It’s doesn’t have to though.

        I agree that Monty is probably going a bit far to "disparage" high res downloads as "inferior" …. Although it IS possible for them to be inferior for the reasons he states (they are just not such a big deal in practise).

        "24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit"

        If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.

      5. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read Bob Katz’s book “Mastering Audio The Art and the Science”. He has a good explanation for why high sample rates make a difference (it’s the filters used in most playback gear that cause the problems, as I recall -it’s been a while since I read it.). ”

        Yes, the filter can have an effect. It’s doesn’t have to though.

        I agree that Monty is probably going a bit far to “disparage” high res downloads as “inferior” …. Although it IS possible for them to be inferior for the reasons he states (they are just not such a big deal in practise).

        “24bit offers clearly audible advantages over 16bit”

        If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.

        1. "If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less."

          No I am not talking about digital volume control. Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit — assuming you play back the files I plan on posting this weekend on a revealing system with a low noise floor and all the usual high end "yada yada yadas". (See my last post in this thread.)

        2. "If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less."

          No I am not talking about digital volume control. Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit — assuming you play back the files I plan on posting this weekend on a revealing system with a low noise floor and all the usual high end "yada yada yadas". (See my last post in this thread.)

        3. "If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less."

          No I am not talking about digital volume control. Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit — assuming you play back the files I plan on posting this weekend on a revealing system with a low noise floor and all the usual high end "yada yada yadas". (See my last post in this thread.)

        4. "If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less."

          No I am not talking about digital volume control. Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit — assuming you play back the files I plan on posting this weekend on a revealing system with a low noise floor and all the usual high end "yada yada yadas". (See my last post in this thread.)

        5. “If you are modifying the audio with DSP like digital volume, EQ, or mixing/processing audio….then it has advantages. In a playback system only, then I couldn’t agree less.”

          No I am not talking about digital volume control. Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit — assuming you play back the files I plan on posting this weekend on a revealing system with a low noise floor and all the usual high end “yada yada yadas”. (See my last post in this thread.)

          1. "Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit "

            Go for it. (no sarcasm intended)

            Remember, if the two files don’t come from the same original recording, then all bets are off. Take the 24bit file, and convert it to 16bit (otherwise you cannot be sure you are comparing what you think you are).

            24bit will allow for storing quieter sounds than -96dBFS (compared to 16bit).

          2. "Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit "

            Go for it. (no sarcasm intended)

            Remember, if the two files don’t come from the same original recording, then all bets are off. Take the 24bit file, and convert it to 16bit (otherwise you cannot be sure you are comparing what you think you are).

            24bit will allow for storing quieter sounds than -96dBFS (compared to 16bit).

          3. "Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit "

            Go for it. (no sarcasm intended)

            Remember, if the two files don’t come from the same original recording, then all bets are off. Take the 24bit file, and convert it to 16bit (otherwise you cannot be sure you are comparing what you think you are).

            24bit will allow for storing quieter sounds than -96dBFS (compared to 16bit).

          4. "Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit "

            Go for it. (no sarcasm intended)

            Remember, if the two files don’t come from the same original recording, then all bets are off. Take the 24bit file, and convert it to 16bit (otherwise you cannot be sure you are comparing what you think you are).

            24bit will allow for storing quieter sounds than -96dBFS (compared to 16bit).

          5. “Strictly playback. I reckon I can change your mind on the 16 vs 24 bit ”

            Go for it. (no sarcasm intended)

            Remember, if the two files don’t come from the same original recording, then all bets are off. Take the 24bit file, and convert it to 16bit (otherwise you cannot be sure you are comparing what you think you are).

            24bit will allow for storing quieter sounds than -96dBFS (compared to 16bit).

            1. No sarcasm taken. I like a good challenge!

              There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts so I intend to record the same LP twice with the Tascam. ( Levels will be the same, the crappy inputs of the tascam will be bypassed the passes will be within minutes of each other.) Once at 16/44, once at 24/192. I will only re-sample to 96 kHz if someone requires it for playback.

            2. No sarcasm taken. I like a good challenge!

              There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts so I intend to record the same LP twice with the Tascam. ( Levels will be the same, the crappy inputs of the tascam will be bypassed the passes will be within minutes of each other.) Once at 16/44, once at 24/192. I will only re-sample to 96 kHz if someone requires it for playback.

            3. No sarcasm taken. I like a good challenge!

              There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts so I intend to record the same LP twice with the Tascam. ( Levels will be the same, the crappy inputs of the tascam will be bypassed the passes will be within minutes of each other.) Once at 16/44, once at 24/192. I will only re-sample to 96 kHz if someone requires it for playback.

            4. No sarcasm taken. I like a good challenge!

              There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts so I intend to record the same LP twice with the Tascam. ( Levels will be the same, the crappy inputs of the tascam will be bypassed the passes will be within minutes of each other.) Once at 16/44, once at 24/192. I will only re-sample to 96 kHz if someone requires it for playback.

            5. No sarcasm taken. I like a good challenge!

              There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts so I intend to record the same LP twice with the Tascam. ( Levels will be the same, the crappy inputs of the tascam will be bypassed the passes will be within minutes of each other.) Once at 16/44, once at 24/192. I will only re-sample to 96 kHz if someone requires it for playback.

              1. "There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts "

                There is no such argument, unless you use a resampling technique … or more importantly a -playback technique- … which has faults.

                The point is that these "artifacts" … while -possible- … are not a given, and results form known deficiencies in method.

                There is no mysticism here.

              2. "There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts "

                There is no such argument, unless you use a resampling technique … or more importantly a -playback technique- … which has faults.

                The point is that these "artifacts" … while -possible- … are not a given, and results form known deficiencies in method.

                There is no mysticism here.

              3. "There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts "

                There is no such argument, unless you use a resampling technique … or more importantly a -playback technique- … which has faults.

                The point is that these "artifacts" … while -possible- … are not a given, and results form known deficiencies in method.

                There is no mysticism here.

              4. "There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts "

                There is no such argument, unless you use a resampling technique … or more importantly a -playback technique- … which has faults.

                The point is that these "artifacts" … while -possible- … are not a given, and results form known deficiencies in method.

                There is no mysticism here.

              5. “There is an argument that re-sampling from 192 to 44.1 introduces artifacts ”

                There is no such argument, unless you use a resampling technique … or more importantly a -playback technique- … which has faults.

                The point is that these “artifacts” … while -possible- … are not a given, and results form known deficiencies in method.

                There is no mysticism here.

                1. OK Less work for me to re-sample the 192 down to 44.1 and reduce the bitdepth from 24 to 16. Of course since I will provide both files you are welcome to do it yourself if you think I am using a "faulty" resampling algorithm. I was just trying to make it fair. 🙂

                2. OK Less work for me to re-sample the 192 down to 44.1 and reduce the bitdepth from 24 to 16. Of course since I will provide both files you are welcome to do it yourself if you think I am using a "faulty" resampling algorithm. I was just trying to make it fair. 🙂

                3. OK Less work for me to re-sample the 192 down to 44.1 and reduce the bitdepth from 24 to 16. Of course since I will provide both files you are welcome to do it yourself if you think I am using a "faulty" resampling algorithm. I was just trying to make it fair. 🙂

                4. OK Less work for me to re-sample the 192 down to 44.1 and reduce the bitdepth from 24 to 16. Of course since I will provide both files you are welcome to do it yourself if you think I am using a "faulty" resampling algorithm. I was just trying to make it fair. 🙂

                5. OK Less work for me to re-sample the 192 down to 44.1 and reduce the bitdepth from 24 to 16. Of course since I will provide both files you are welcome to do it yourself if you think I am using a “faulty” resampling algorithm. I was just trying to make it fair. 🙂

                  1. Mark916: "OK Less work for me "

                    Cool. Yes, I can downsample it myself. I was saying that for the purpose of making sure YOU downsample it yourself (and everyone else does). It is essential to reduce the variables. :thumbsup:

                  2. Mark916: "OK Less work for me "

                    Cool. Yes, I can downsample it myself. I was saying that for the purpose of making sure YOU downsample it yourself (and everyone else does). It is essential to reduce the variables. :thumbsup:

                  3. Mark916: "OK Less work for me "

                    Cool. Yes, I can downsample it myself. I was saying that for the purpose of making sure YOU downsample it yourself (and everyone else does). It is essential to reduce the variables. :thumbsup:

                  4. Mark916: "OK Less work for me "

                    Cool. Yes, I can downsample it myself. I was saying that for the purpose of making sure YOU downsample it yourself (and everyone else does). It is essential to reduce the variables. :thumbsup:

                  5. Mark916: “OK Less work for me ”

                    Cool. Yes, I can downsample it myself. I was saying that for the purpose of making sure YOU downsample it yourself (and everyone else does). It is essential to reduce the variables. :thumbsup:

  47. If the stair steps are removed by a low pass filter, then lower sample rates can have lower low pass filters. A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter! So is there a tradeoff for going to higher & higher sample rates?

    1. Yes but are they "Stairways to the Stars" that "Hold That Tiger" or are they "Lollipops and Roses?"

      You said you’re the next best thing to Einstein and he’s dead so….inquiring minds want to know.

    2. Andrew: "A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter"

      Yes it absolutely does. The "stairsteps" ARE the high frequencies. Employing a stronger filter takes more of the high frequencies (the steps) away.

      If you DON’T take away those higher frequencies…. Then you are breaking the rules of the system.

    3. Yes but are they "Stairways to the Stars" that "Hold That Tiger" or are they "Lollipops and Roses?"

      You said you’re the next best thing to Einstein and he’s dead so….inquiring minds want to know.

    4. Andrew: "A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter"

      Yes it absolutely does. The "stairsteps" ARE the high frequencies. Employing a stronger filter takes more of the high frequencies (the steps) away.

      If you DON’T take away those higher frequencies…. Then you are breaking the rules of the system.

    5. Yes but are they "Stairways to the Stars" that "Hold That Tiger" or are they "Lollipops and Roses?"

      You said you’re the next best thing to Einstein and he’s dead so….inquiring minds want to know.

    6. Andrew: "A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter"

      Yes it absolutely does. The "stairsteps" ARE the high frequencies. Employing a stronger filter takes more of the high frequencies (the steps) away.

      If you DON’T take away those higher frequencies…. Then you are breaking the rules of the system.

    7. Yes but are they "Stairways to the Stars" that "Hold That Tiger" or are they "Lollipops and Roses?"

      You said you’re the next best thing to Einstein and he’s dead so….inquiring minds want to know.

    8. Andrew: "A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter"

      Yes it absolutely does. The "stairsteps" ARE the high frequencies. Employing a stronger filter takes more of the high frequencies (the steps) away.

      If you DON’T take away those higher frequencies…. Then you are breaking the rules of the system.

    9. Yes but are they “Stairways to the Stars” that “Hold That Tiger” or are they “Lollipops and Roses?”

      You said you’re the next best thing to Einstein and he’s dead so….inquiring minds want to know.

    10. Andrew: “A lower low pass filter probably smoothens the staircase better than a higher low pass filter”

      Yes it absolutely does. The “stairsteps” ARE the high frequencies. Employing a stronger filter takes more of the high frequencies (the steps) away.

      If you DON’T take away those higher frequencies…. Then you are breaking the rules of the system.

  48. Sorry Paul, I have to disagree on this point:

    “… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original. This is because with vinyl or a tape recorder, you have a limited scope recording (vinyl and tape has limited everything relative to a CD) and capturing that limited recording on a CD is easy.”

    With the caveat that the turntable, arm, cartridge, phono stage and pre-amp need to be high quality and the LP needs to at least not be some old worn out garage sale record. Preferably it should be cleaned on a good record cleaning machine as well. If I have time this weekend I will prove it to you this way:

    Make a 16bit/44.1 kHz recording from one of my vinyl records with my Tascam D-RA1000-HD and then record the same track at either 24/192 kHz (if you can play it) or 24 / 96 kHz and let you decide which one sounds better. System is: Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player -> Koetsu Coralstone -> Aesthetix IO -> Aesthetix Callisto -> Tascam. Cables are Purist Audio Design.

    The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP. Honestly even though I have recorded a few of my LPs to hi-rez digital files something is still missing even at 24 bit. The LP is always my choice unless I’m cleaning the house and just need background music.

    I really enjoy your posts!

  49. “The reason is not frequency response, it’s that 16 bits doesn’t have enough dynamic range in comparison to LP.”

    This could not be more wrong.

      1. Hi Paul,

        I was so excited about this project that I have already completed it. Here is the link to download the .WAV files:

        https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2ceYgRGBXdbMkZsbWthRVBaSEE&usp=sharing

        As “davewantsmore” suggested I recorded the tracks once at 24/192 and resampled the original file to 16/44.1 for this test. I also resampled the 24/192 file to 24/96 because my mac mini running “Pure Music” will not play 24/192 files without an outboard DAC and I haven’t bothered buy one yet. So all three resolutions are in the folder and plainly marked for people to compare.

        For the record I think the differences between 24/96 and 24/192 will be subtle at best.

        You seem to have backed away from your statement that a “… if you have a vinyl disc and make a 44.1kHz/16 bit copy of that analog vinyl disc, the sound will be indistinguishable from the original.” However I don’t think even 24/96 is enough to be indistinguishable from the LP. It got too late last night for me to do that test again but in the past I have done so and the 24/96 suffers a lot in direct comparison. It is fine for portable use with headphones though. 🙂

        I hope that you will take the time to listen to these files (each one is less than 10 minutes) on your big system with the IRS and report on what you hear. I would sure love to hear those someday.

        Here is the rundown on the system used to make these files:

        Versa Dynamics 1.2 record player (with upgraded compressor and control box modifications)
        Koetsu Coralstone
        Aesthetix IO Phono Stage
        Aesthetix Callisto Line Stage
        Tascam DV-RA1000HD (with input level controls bypassed. I use the Callisto volume controls instead.)

        Tonearm wire is narrow gauge silver wire from somebody I can’t remember. Walker I think.
        All cables are XLR Purist Audio Design (Primus and 25th Anniversary)
        Power Cords are Purist Audio Design as well

        The files are exceprts from:

        The Firebird Mercury SR90226 as re-issued by Speakers Corner (2nd side just after the edit is where I started)
        Le Sacre Du Printemps (Rite of Spring) Solti, Decca as re-issued by Speakers Corner also a 2nd side excerpt

        and for the fun of it:
        Abbey Road (2nd side, “Mean Mr Mustard, Polythene Pam, and She Came In through The Bathroom Window”)

        There is one vicious pop on the Abbey Road selection that went over 0 dBfs. Oh well it’s not music, it’s a pop.

        Dave, feel free to resample with your software. I used Samplitude on the “Very High” quality setting. Just to be fair. 🙂

        1. Forgot to add that for playback the Mac Mac Mini feeds an Audio Aero Capitole MkII via toslink which I use as a DAC. This is a pretty good DAC but it does “upsample” to 24/192 internally. But as I’m sure everyone here knows once the information is gone it’s gone there is no getting those 8 bits back. I suspect it sounds better playing back a 16/44.1 than a non upsampling DAC does however.

          I also put some pictures of all this stuff in the folder too.

        2. Interestingly enough I have the Speaker Corner Stravinsky’s recordings digitized and also the MFSL version of Abbey Road. I also have the HDTracks’ download of the Firebird. I have downloaded three of your Firebird variations and first of all let me complement you on your equipment. All three sounds very good however I will have to say the 24/92 and the 24/192 are the best. What I do find surprising is that your files sound better than the HDTrack download which is a 176/24 FLAC file. Additionally my own recording is a 384/24 FLAC file which is not the norm for me. Usually I record as WAV files. Your files to my hearing are better than mine. I would imagine equipment makes most of the difference but I also wonder about WAV versus FLAC files. I think WAV files are superior but that is a whole ‘nuther argument. If time permits, I will download the remaining files. This is football Saturday and I have other vices to feed.

          BYW—What iteration of Abbey Road did you record?

          1. Thanks Terry! Glad you like them.

            In theory a FLAC file should be indistinguishable to the .WAV from
            which it was made. In practice I suspect (but have not proven) that
            the on-the-fly decompression may introduce some issues. If you have
            doubts about FLAC you could convert them to .WAV files before adding
            them to your library.

            I am very happy that my Firebird outdid the HDTracks download. I don’t
            know what the source is for their copy, perhaps it is one of those
            third or fourth gen copies of the master tape or something?

            My Abbey Road is an old pressing I bought from Tom Port. Side 2 is rated “A+”. It’s an EMI made in the UK PCS 7088 and is just about the thinnest vinyl in my collection. I am curious how you like it up against he MFSL, I don’t have MFSL’s Abbey Road.

            By the way, proper VTA/SRA setting is absolutely critical. Until I stumbled on Fremer’s article on using a USB microscope to get this right I never got this level of sound quality out of vinyl. Check into it if you haven’t already! Here’s his article: http://www.analogplanet.com/content/how-use-usb-digital-microscope-set-92-degree-stylus-rake-angle-sra

            Enjoy your football! 🙂

        3. “I was so excited about this project that I have already completed it.”

          Ah. When I talked about resampling ourselves, what I was referring to was, for example comparing a “highres version” with a CD version. You would want to downsample the highres yourself, rather than use the CD, because that would remove the assumption that they were created from the same original data.

          Thus, what you’ve done is fine.

          My quick 1 hour results? Using Mean Mr Mustard.

          I cannot pick the difference between the 192 and 44khz rates using ABX. Tried both using my headphone rig, and speakers (I am a speaker designer / manufacturer).

          DACs used were PCM1704 (PC uses oversampling 4x to either 176.4 or 192… DF/DAC uses no oversampling), ESS9023 (oversampling in DAC), and TDA1541A (only 44.1 supported, downsampling used in PC).

          Next post, I will show the output of software which computes the difference between the files (audiodiffmaker)

          1. Hi Dave,

            Thanks for taking the time to listen to the Beatles track. However that one was “just for fun”. I suspect you will find the difference more pronounced on the Firebird or Rite of Spring tracks as classical LPs have more detail and wider dynamic range than rock and roll. Much as I love the Beatles even Abbey Road is nowhere near as demanding as The Rite. That said I had no problems hearing the difference even on the Abbey Road track. But then I have the LP as a reference so that may help.

            This experiment is not about comparing a specific LP to it’s CD equivalent. That has been beat to death. This is about what resolution do you need to to make an “indistinguishable copy of an LP” with a digital recording. And this absurd claim that 13 bits is enough. I believe my files will prove on a system with sufficient resolution that 16 bits is certainly not enough.

            1. 13bits is certainly enough if that represents the range of volumes you wish to encode.

              Here’s a link to the promised files. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jm66fj0frtl5yn9/095gUtY2yr

              What I did was (using audacity’s resampler, not the last word in quality)

              Take your 24/192 recording
              Downsample to 16/44
              Upsample to 24/192

              Then compared the resulting file with the original 24/192 file using diffmaker. The produces a 3rd file, which is the difference between the two input files. Some pictures of the diff file are also included.

              I can’t hear the difference between the 24/192 and the 16/44 …. FWIW, my high-score on the klippel driver distortion test is -42dB … and an average is more like -36dB.

              To perhaps better answer the question (sorry I thought we were investigating resampling, not recording formats). You should record with 16/44 and also with 24/192, and compare … These can’t directly be compared (without resampling or using an D>A>D loop) … and you are really just comparing the performance of your ADC at different rates (which you MIGHT see differences in, but that is specific to your device)

              Otherwise…. The actual sample rate or bit depth DOESN’T matter, unless you want to store quieter sounds… or higher frequencies (than the chosen system allows).

              1. Dave,

                My Tascam will not record at 16 bits. What does your “upsample” step actually do to bitdepth? Left shift by 8 bits? Or attempt to interpolate between the steps? I am trying to figure out what exactly your difference test is supposed to prove. Have you listened to the classical tracks yet, by the way?

                …”unless you want to store quieter sounds” Bingo! That is exactly what I want. Low level details. Reverberant decay, microdynamics, etc. These are the things that separate the high end from run of the mill systems. This is one of the big things that makes the difference in making music reproduced in the home sound “real”. That detail is lost with a 16bit word length. I will have more to say about noise floor in a later post.

                1. “What does your “upsample” step actually do to bitdepth? Left shift by 8 bits? Or attempt to interpolate between the steps?”

                  “Interpolate between the steps” indicates that you do not know how bit depth works. The extra bit depth give the ability to store quieter sounds…. it does not add more resolution “between the bits”.

                  …”unless you want to store quieter sounds” Bingo! That is exactly what I want.”

                  16bit systems cannot store below -96dB… by converting from 16 to 24 to 16 bits…. We have chopped off everything below -96dB, and then filled it with zeros.

                  ” I am trying to figure out what exactly your difference test is supposed to prove.”

                  It is not really trying to offer “proof” of anything. It just showing the difference between the two files (the original 24/192 … and then the same filter converted to 16/44 then back to 24/192).

                  The level of the differences (circa -50dB) is coincidentally (or not !?!) beyond my “level of audibility” on other listening tests.

                  “Have you listened to the classical tracks yet, by the way?”

                  Yes, but not ABX, that takes a lot of time.

                  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to “disprove” that it sounds different on your equipment. However, IF it does sound different for you …. then I WOULD propose that the reason why is not what you think.

                  1. ““Interpolate between the steps” indicates that you do not know how bit depth works. The extra bit depth give the ability to store quieter sounds…. it does not add more resolution “between the bits”.”

                    Yes it most certainly does add resolution.

                    take the simple example of an 8 bit ADC that s sampling some voltage between 0 and 5.0 volts DC. It can resolve 19.6 mV. 5.0 – 0.0 / 255 = 0.0196 per level.

                    a 16 bit ADC on the other hand can resolve 76.3 uV per step. So what happens when you measure a voltage that is 3.25465 vDC with an 8 bit ADC vs a 16 bit ADC? Which one do you suppose is more accurate?

                    The 8 bit will approximate to 3.2536 vDC and the 16 bit ADC will approximate to 3.254624.

                    Now if you discard the 8 LSBs what are you left with? The less accurate 8bit measurement.

                    When I spoke of “My theory”. I mean my theory to explain what I hear when I compare the two files I created and hear differences that you say should not be audible. Digital audio has been around for 300 years? Really?

                    1. Indeed. Your response indicates you don’t understand how this works.

                      More bits allows a greater range of values…. it allows smaller (or larger if you want to look at it that way) numbers into the system. It does NOT allow greater precision over the same range. Your explanation of more precision, is (while very intuitive) wrong.

                      Your thinking is one of the common misconceptions in digital audio …. and is the sole reason why I began posting on this blog. To dispel these myths, which lead to completely incorrect thinking / explanations.

                    2. “The 8 bit will approximate to 3.2536 vDC and the 16 bit ADC will approximate to 3.254624”

                      The implication of what you say here is NOT “more resolution” like one would intuitively expect…. (ie. more values between the existing values)

                      …. What is actually means is lower noise floor, which allows quieter sounds to be represented. Please do not be so quick to tell people “Yeah it does”.

                      “Now if you discard the 8 LSBs what are you left with? The less accurate 8bit measurement.”

                      Yes, you are left with an 8 bit measurement….. but it is not “less accurate” like you mean. It doesn’t contain those quieter sounds (between 96 and 144db for 16 vs 24bit) …. but the remaining range (0 to 96dB) is stored with EXACTLY THE SAME accuracy/precision in the 24bit and 16bit systems.

                      A very common misconception, however. (Unfortunately).

                      “When I spoke of “My theory”. I mean my theory to explain what I hear when I compare the two files I created and hear differences that you say should not be audible.”

                      I am not attempting to say they are not be audible. I’m just attempting to show actually how big they are (there’s no guessing required here)…. and I’m attempting to show that the -explanation- you are giving for what you hear is wrong (and it IS very wrong).

                      “Digital audio has been around for 300 years? Really?”

                      The mathematics which we are discussing here (encoding data with ‘bits’) was first widely used in the early 1700s.

        4. Great work. I will give a try this week and let you know. What’s missing here is a means to tell the quality of the A/D Converter. Everything depends on that. The work we’ve been doing with ours proves that to me quite easily.

          I haven’t backed away from my statement either. 🙂

          If the TASCAM isn’t up for the job in the first place, then all the hard work you’ve done is for naught. One of the things we struggled mightily with is getting the sound of the A/D as close as we could to the analog out – and we made hundreds of tests to do so. What we found was, at first, a pretty big chasm. As we narrowed the gap it came down to the group delay issues I wrote about. At this point, the output through our DAC is pretty darned close as long as you don’t exceed 96kHz – so 44.1 through 96 sounds darned close. If you decimate to higher sample rates, as you did, the differences increase quickly.

          So this test seems to me to be valid only under the circumstances where you have conversion equipment where you’ve verified the sound differences are slim to none. I don’t know the TASCAM but they surely aren’t on my list of products designed by people who care about the end result in a sound room.

          1. Thanks Paul!

            I certainly do not believe that the Tascam is the best ADC out there. I also don’t believe it is up to the task of making an indistinguishable copy of an LP. But then I doubt any ADC could do it. I wish I could afford Ed Meitner’s gear as I have read good things about it but I just can’t see spending the money. I would love to evaluate your ADC if you would care to loan me one for a month or so though. 🙂

            However I do believe the Tascam is up to the task of demonstrating that 16bits / 44.1 kHz is not enough based on what I hear when I compare the files to each other.

            About this 13 bits figure. I suspect you come up with this number by first assuming the dynamic range available on an LP is on the order of 72 dB, correct? I say this because 72 = 20 * log(2^(13-1)).

            If so I believe this is where you are going astray. That number is too low. If you look at the noise floor of an unmodulated groove on a test record you will see the noise falls off rapidly above 200 Hz or so. This is an FFT made from a recording of Track 6 on Side 2 of the HFN test record at the same level that I used when recording the Firebird test track that I posted. The overlay in red is a “max hold” display. If you only use 16 bits you will lose any information below -90 dBFs in the frequency range from about 400 Hz up. At least that is my theory. But all of this theory is just that. Let your ears decide when you listen to my files! 🙂

            By the way is there a run-down of the current equipment feeding your IRS Speakers somewhere on your website? If not could you post it here?

            By the way if you haven’t asked Jim for a demo of the IO and Callisto you really should, considering how much you liked the Calypso.

            1. “If you only use 16 bits you will lose any information below -90 dBFs in the frequency range from about 400 Hz up. At least that is my theory. But all of this theory is just that.”

              Please don’t call it “just a theory”. This is not conjecture, it has been known for nearly 300 years. 16bit can store to -96dbFS … with dither you can argue better than that.

              16bit are not enough so that it’s noise floor (quietest sound able to be stored) avoids the noise floor of good electronics …. nor enough room to avoid the boundaries if the audio is mixed (boosted or cut, etc) … so it’s not the most appropriate for archival or production, especially considering that bits are cheap and easy to add.

              There’s no reason to avoid 24bit…. but for playback 16bits is certainly sufficient. To actually utilise 16bits in payback…. you will need to set the quietest sound -96dB to the lowest audible point in your room (30dB for a quiet listening room?!?) …. Using 30dB as the low point…. your system will now produce 126dB for full scale. Unless you listen at levels beyond this, there is no advantage to more bits.

              NB – More bits is NOT “higher quality” … adding more doesn’t make anything “higher resolution” …. it only adds “LOUDER” like in the example above.

  50. Vinyl is low resolution and CD (digital) is high resolution then why does vinyl handily beat CD (digital) every time as far as the sound goes with more of everything that live music has? Of the many reasons I know of one and that is that people in order to prove digital’s superiority use mediocre front end to play vinyl and then pronounce with great pride ” see I told you so. Another thing why would anyone want to make an inferior sounding digital copy of a superior sounding vinyl? Regards.

    1. I think you are probably right about the bias. It can go both ways of course. As for why I make inferior sounding digital copies of my vinyl… I do it to have something to listen to at work and I have found that the high resolution recordings I make from vinyl sound better on my Astell &amp; Kern portable than the CD of the same recording. Plus the fact that I don’t own everything in both formats so if I want to listen to an LP at work I have to either record it or buy it again.

    2. For one reason I can record once and play back as digital many. I recently purchased a 45 rpm of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. It is a two record set which means I am changing the record every 12 minutes or so. Once it is recorded it goes to my NAS and I play it back without the hassle of changing, loading the record, cleaning, flipping sides, putting the record back etc… I use a M2Tech Joplin A/D converter which happens to be the best phonostage I have ever owned. I record at a high resolution/bit rate of 384/32. It may be overkill for some but then owning a $150,000 turntable and playing $35.00 software seems excessive to me. Paul makes 44.1/16 recordings using what some people thought was not the greatest cartridge in the world. He claims his recordings are exactly like the original: so why but an expensive cartridge? I upgraded my Grado Sonata to a Grado Reference 4.0 mv. I suppose Paul thinks a cartridge is a cartridge is a cartridge. All you need is 44.1/16. Can’t say I agree but as I have said before to each his own.

      And finally, I simply enjoy recording music.

    3. I think you are probably right about the bias. It can go both ways of course. As for why I make inferior sounding digital copies of my vinyl… I do it to have something to listen to at work and I have found that the high resolution recordings I make from vinyl sound better on my Astell &amp; Kern portable than the CD of the same recording. Plus the fact that I don’t own everything in both formats so if I want to listen to an LP at work I have to either record it or buy it again.

    4. For one reason I can record once and play back as digital many. I recently purchased a 45 rpm of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. It is a two record set which means I am changing the record every 12 minutes or so. Once it is recorded it goes to my NAS and I play it back without the hassle of changing, loading the record, cleaning, flipping sides, putting the record back etc… I use a M2Tech Joplin A/D converter which happens to be the best phonostage I have ever owned. I record at a high resolution/bit rate of 384/32. It may be overkill for some but then owning a $150,000 turntable and playing $35.00 software seems excessive to me. Paul makes 44.1/16 recordings using what some people thought was not the greatest cartridge in the world. He claims his recordings are exactly like the original: so why but an expensive cartridge? I upgraded my Grado Sonata to a Grado Reference 4.0 mv. I suppose Paul thinks a cartridge is a cartridge is a cartridge. All you need is 44.1/16. Can’t say I agree but as I have said before to each his own.

      And finally, I simply enjoy recording music.

    5. I think you are probably right about the bias. It can go both ways of course. As for why I make inferior sounding digital copies of my vinyl… I do it to have something to listen to at work and I have found that the high resolution recordings I make from vinyl sound better on my Astell &amp; Kern portable than the CD of the same recording. Plus the fact that I don’t own everything in both formats so if I want to listen to an LP at work I have to either record it or buy it again.

    6. For one reason I can record once and play back as digital many. I recently purchased a 45 rpm of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. It is a two record set which means I am changing the record every 12 minutes or so. Once it is recorded it goes to my NAS and I play it back without the hassle of changing, loading the record, cleaning, flipping sides, putting the record back etc… I use a M2Tech Joplin A/D converter which happens to be the best phonostage I have ever owned. I record at a high resolution/bit rate of 384/32. It may be overkill for some but then owning a $150,000 turntable and playing $35.00 software seems excessive to me. Paul makes 44.1/16 recordings using what some people thought was not the greatest cartridge in the world. He claims his recordings are exactly like the original: so why but an expensive cartridge? I upgraded my Grado Sonata to a Grado Reference 4.0 mv. I suppose Paul thinks a cartridge is a cartridge is a cartridge. All you need is 44.1/16. Can’t say I agree but as I have said before to each his own.

      And finally, I simply enjoy recording music.

    7. I think you are probably right about the bias. It can go both ways of course. As for why I make inferior sounding digital copies of my vinyl… I do it to have something to listen to at work and I have found that the high resolution recordings I make from vinyl sound better on my Astell &amp; Kern portable than the CD of the same recording. Plus the fact that I don’t own everything in both formats so if I want to listen to an LP at work I have to either record it or buy it again.

    8. For one reason I can record once and play back as digital many. I recently purchased a 45 rpm of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. It is a two record set which means I am changing the record every 12 minutes or so. Once it is recorded it goes to my NAS and I play it back without the hassle of changing, loading the record, cleaning, flipping sides, putting the record back etc… I use a M2Tech Joplin A/D converter which happens to be the best phonostage I have ever owned. I record at a high resolution/bit rate of 384/32. It may be overkill for some but then owning a $150,000 turntable and playing $35.00 software seems excessive to me. Paul makes 44.1/16 recordings using what some people thought was not the greatest cartridge in the world. He claims his recordings are exactly like the original: so why but an expensive cartridge? I upgraded my Grado Sonata to a Grado Reference 4.0 mv. I suppose Paul thinks a cartridge is a cartridge is a cartridge. All you need is 44.1/16. Can’t say I agree but as I have said before to each his own.

      And finally, I simply enjoy recording music.

    9. I think you are probably right about the bias. It can go both ways of course. As for why I make inferior sounding digital copies of my vinyl… I do it to have something to listen to at work and I have found that the high resolution recordings I make from vinyl sound better on my Astell & Kern portable than the CD of the same recording. Plus the fact that I don’t own everything in both formats so if I want to listen to an LP at work I have to either record it or buy it again.

    10. For one reason I can record once and play back as digital many. I recently purchased a 45 rpm of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. It is a two record set which means I am changing the record every 12 minutes or so. Once it is recorded it goes to my NAS and I play it back without the hassle of changing, loading the record, cleaning, flipping sides, putting the record back etc… I use a M2Tech Joplin A/D converter which happens to be the best phonostage I have ever owned. I record at a high resolution/bit rate of 384/32. It may be overkill for some but then owning a $150,000 turntable and playing $35.00 software seems excessive to me. Paul makes 44.1/16 recordings using what some people thought was not the greatest cartridge in the world. He claims his recordings are exactly like the original: so why but an expensive cartridge? I upgraded my Grado Sonata to a Grado Reference 4.0 mv. I suppose Paul thinks a cartridge is a cartridge is a cartridge. All you need is 44.1/16. Can’t say I agree but as I have said before to each his own.

      And finally, I simply enjoy recording music.

      1. I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge – that’d be silly since a cartridge is an electro mechanical device and the sound it produces is very much a function of the build quality, type and mechanical elements. It very much matters. I am now running a Lyra Kleos and it is much better than the Denon I used, although the Denon wasn’t bad.

        I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill and much depends on the quality of the filering system within you A/D. There is simply no information above a certain point coming from your turntable/arm/cartridge so running a higher sample rate and bit depth isn’t buying you anything. But if your A/D D/A hasn’t any group delay up at those frequencies (doubtful) then why not?

      2. I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge – that’d be silly since a cartridge is an electro mechanical device and the sound it produces is very much a function of the build quality, type and mechanical elements. It very much matters. I am now running a Lyra Kleos and it is much better than the Denon I used, although the Denon wasn’t bad.

        I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill and much depends on the quality of the filering system within you A/D. There is simply no information above a certain point coming from your turntable/arm/cartridge so running a higher sample rate and bit depth isn’t buying you anything. But if your A/D D/A hasn’t any group delay up at those frequencies (doubtful) then why not?

      3. I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge – that’d be silly since a cartridge is an electro mechanical device and the sound it produces is very much a function of the build quality, type and mechanical elements. It very much matters. I am now running a Lyra Kleos and it is much better than the Denon I used, although the Denon wasn’t bad.

        I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill and much depends on the quality of the filering system within you A/D. There is simply no information above a certain point coming from your turntable/arm/cartridge so running a higher sample rate and bit depth isn’t buying you anything. But if your A/D D/A hasn’t any group delay up at those frequencies (doubtful) then why not?

      4. I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge – that’d be silly since a cartridge is an electro mechanical device and the sound it produces is very much a function of the build quality, type and mechanical elements. It very much matters. I am now running a Lyra Kleos and it is much better than the Denon I used, although the Denon wasn’t bad.

        I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill and much depends on the quality of the filering system within you A/D. There is simply no information above a certain point coming from your turntable/arm/cartridge so running a higher sample rate and bit depth isn’t buying you anything. But if your A/D D/A hasn’t any group delay up at those frequencies (doubtful) then why not?

      5. I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge – that’d be silly since a cartridge is an electro mechanical device and the sound it produces is very much a function of the build quality, type and mechanical elements. It very much matters. I am now running a Lyra Kleos and it is much better than the Denon I used, although the Denon wasn’t bad.

        I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill and much depends on the quality of the filering system within you A/D. There is simply no information above a certain point coming from your turntable/arm/cartridge so running a higher sample rate and bit depth isn’t buying you anything. But if your A/D D/A hasn’t any group delay up at those frequencies (doubtful) then why not?

        1. JRiver told me to set Media Center at the highest bit rate my DAC could take which in my case is 32. I thought why not record at 32 so Media Center would not have to do the calculation to change 24 bit to 32 bit. I doubt if there is much difference between 192 and 384 but since I have 4 terabytes of NAS why not use it. Besides I use Samplitude which allows you to record at <em>32 bit floating point</em> which is their highest resolution. There is some method to my madness but mostly I am just having a good time listening to good music.

        2. I don’t recall seeing lab measurements of phono cartridge performance since the disappearance of the 3 popular hobbyist magazines that ran from about the 1950s to the 1980s. That’s unfortunate because those curves and lab data were IMO very useful and telling. Most cartridges FR curves only showed response to 20 kHz. The only ones I recall that showed response beyond that were CD-4 types and the only ones I recall seeing or that were reviewed was a B&amp;O and an Empire 4000D/III. As luck has it, I have an Empire 4000D/III and a similar earlier non CD4 model 999VE. I recently managed to acquire a NOS stylus for the 999VE and to my ears they sound identical. Of course not being an audiophile I don’t own a high end phono preamp so some might dismiss that.

          One problem for a phono cartridge, perhaps the most important problem is to not damage the record while it is being played. That means not exceeding the modulus of elasticity of the vinyl. If that happens, the vinyl will undergo plastic deformation and will be permanently changed. Higher tracking forces, smaller contact area, and higher dynamic mass increase stress on the vinyl. The highest frequencies where the vinyl is most fragile and stylus force can equal 1000Gs can be wiped out in a single playing. To prevent this, cartridges for CD4 records required high contact area styli, low dynamic mass, and the ability to track the record at the lowest possible force. If the force is set too low, the stylus will lose contact with the groove on high acceleration and then come crashing down on it also causing damage to it.

          It is questionable if records that have been subjected to 2 grams of tracking force with low compliance high dynamic mass cartridges still have any of their original highest frequency content left. Even if you don’t believe content above 20 kHz is irrelevant, it’s questionable if there still is any on most records to be recorded.

        3. JRiver told me to set Media Center at the highest bit rate my DAC could take which in my case is 32. I thought why not record at 32 so Media Center would not have to do the calculation to change 24 bit to 32 bit. I doubt if there is much difference between 192 and 384 but since I have 4 terabytes of NAS why not use it. Besides I use Samplitude which allows you to record at <em>32 bit floating point</em> which is their highest resolution. There is some method to my madness but mostly I am just having a good time listening to good music.

        4. I don’t recall seeing lab measurements of phono cartridge performance since the disappearance of the 3 popular hobbyist magazines that ran from about the 1950s to the 1980s. That’s unfortunate because those curves and lab data were IMO very useful and telling. Most cartridges FR curves only showed response to 20 kHz. The only ones I recall that showed response beyond that were CD-4 types and the only ones I recall seeing or that were reviewed was a B&amp;O and an Empire 4000D/III. As luck has it, I have an Empire 4000D/III and a similar earlier non CD4 model 999VE. I recently managed to acquire a NOS stylus for the 999VE and to my ears they sound identical. Of course not being an audiophile I don’t own a high end phono preamp so some might dismiss that.

          One problem for a phono cartridge, perhaps the most important problem is to not damage the record while it is being played. That means not exceeding the modulus of elasticity of the vinyl. If that happens, the vinyl will undergo plastic deformation and will be permanently changed. Higher tracking forces, smaller contact area, and higher dynamic mass increase stress on the vinyl. The highest frequencies where the vinyl is most fragile and stylus force can equal 1000Gs can be wiped out in a single playing. To prevent this, cartridges for CD4 records required high contact area styli, low dynamic mass, and the ability to track the record at the lowest possible force. If the force is set too low, the stylus will lose contact with the groove on high acceleration and then come crashing down on it also causing damage to it.

          It is questionable if records that have been subjected to 2 grams of tracking force with low compliance high dynamic mass cartridges still have any of their original highest frequency content left. Even if you don’t believe content above 20 kHz is irrelevant, it’s questionable if there still is any on most records to be recorded.

        5. JRiver told me to set Media Center at the highest bit rate my DAC could take which in my case is 32. I thought why not record at 32 so Media Center would not have to do the calculation to change 24 bit to 32 bit. I doubt if there is much difference between 192 and 384 but since I have 4 terabytes of NAS why not use it. Besides I use Samplitude which allows you to record at <em>32 bit floating point</em> which is their highest resolution. There is some method to my madness but mostly I am just having a good time listening to good music.

        6. I don’t recall seeing lab measurements of phono cartridge performance since the disappearance of the 3 popular hobbyist magazines that ran from about the 1950s to the 1980s. That’s unfortunate because those curves and lab data were IMO very useful and telling. Most cartridges FR curves only showed response to 20 kHz. The only ones I recall that showed response beyond that were CD-4 types and the only ones I recall seeing or that were reviewed was a B&amp;O and an Empire 4000D/III. As luck has it, I have an Empire 4000D/III and a similar earlier non CD4 model 999VE. I recently managed to acquire a NOS stylus for the 999VE and to my ears they sound identical. Of course not being an audiophile I don’t own a high end phono preamp so some might dismiss that.

          One problem for a phono cartridge, perhaps the most important problem is to not damage the record while it is being played. That means not exceeding the modulus of elasticity of the vinyl. If that happens, the vinyl will undergo plastic deformation and will be permanently changed. Higher tracking forces, smaller contact area, and higher dynamic mass increase stress on the vinyl. The highest frequencies where the vinyl is most fragile and stylus force can equal 1000Gs can be wiped out in a single playing. To prevent this, cartridges for CD4 records required high contact area styli, low dynamic mass, and the ability to track the record at the lowest possible force. If the force is set too low, the stylus will lose contact with the groove on high acceleration and then come crashing down on it also causing damage to it.

          It is questionable if records that have been subjected to 2 grams of tracking force with low compliance high dynamic mass cartridges still have any of their original highest frequency content left. Even if you don’t believe content above 20 kHz is irrelevant, it’s questionable if there still is any on most records to be recorded.

        7. JRiver told me to set Media Center at the highest bit rate my DAC could take which in my case is 32. I thought why not record at 32 so Media Center would not have to do the calculation to change 24 bit to 32 bit. I doubt if there is much difference between 192 and 384 but since I have 4 terabytes of NAS why not use it. Besides I use Samplitude which allows you to record at <em>32 bit floating point</em> which is their highest resolution. There is some method to my madness but mostly I am just having a good time listening to good music.

        8. I don’t recall seeing lab measurements of phono cartridge performance since the disappearance of the 3 popular hobbyist magazines that ran from about the 1950s to the 1980s. That’s unfortunate because those curves and lab data were IMO very useful and telling. Most cartridges FR curves only showed response to 20 kHz. The only ones I recall that showed response beyond that were CD-4 types and the only ones I recall seeing or that were reviewed was a B&amp;O and an Empire 4000D/III. As luck has it, I have an Empire 4000D/III and a similar earlier non CD4 model 999VE. I recently managed to acquire a NOS stylus for the 999VE and to my ears they sound identical. Of course not being an audiophile I don’t own a high end phono preamp so some might dismiss that.

          One problem for a phono cartridge, perhaps the most important problem is to not damage the record while it is being played. That means not exceeding the modulus of elasticity of the vinyl. If that happens, the vinyl will undergo plastic deformation and will be permanently changed. Higher tracking forces, smaller contact area, and higher dynamic mass increase stress on the vinyl. The highest frequencies where the vinyl is most fragile and stylus force can equal 1000Gs can be wiped out in a single playing. To prevent this, cartridges for CD4 records required high contact area styli, low dynamic mass, and the ability to track the record at the lowest possible force. If the force is set too low, the stylus will lose contact with the groove on high acceleration and then come crashing down on it also causing damage to it.

          It is questionable if records that have been subjected to 2 grams of tracking force with low compliance high dynamic mass cartridges still have any of their original highest frequency content left. Even if you don’t believe content above 20 kHz is irrelevant, it’s questionable if there still is any on most records to be recorded.

        9. JRiver told me to set Media Center at the highest bit rate my DAC could take which in my case is 32. I thought why not record at 32 so Media Center would not have to do the calculation to change 24 bit to 32 bit. I doubt if there is much difference between 192 and 384 but since I have 4 terabytes of NAS why not use it. Besides I use Samplitude which allows you to record at 32 bit floating point which is their highest resolution. There is some method to my madness but mostly I am just having a good time listening to good music.

        10. I don’t recall seeing lab measurements of phono cartridge performance since the disappearance of the 3 popular hobbyist magazines that ran from about the 1950s to the 1980s. That’s unfortunate because those curves and lab data were IMO very useful and telling. Most cartridges FR curves only showed response to 20 kHz. The only ones I recall that showed response beyond that were CD-4 types and the only ones I recall seeing or that were reviewed was a B&O and an Empire 4000D/III. As luck has it, I have an Empire 4000D/III and a similar earlier non CD4 model 999VE. I recently managed to acquire a NOS stylus for the 999VE and to my ears they sound identical. Of course not being an audiophile I don’t own a high end phono preamp so some might dismiss that.

          One problem for a phono cartridge, perhaps the most important problem is to not damage the record while it is being played. That means not exceeding the modulus of elasticity of the vinyl. If that happens, the vinyl will undergo plastic deformation and will be permanently changed. Higher tracking forces, smaller contact area, and higher dynamic mass increase stress on the vinyl. The highest frequencies where the vinyl is most fragile and stylus force can equal 1000Gs can be wiped out in a single playing. To prevent this, cartridges for CD4 records required high contact area styli, low dynamic mass, and the ability to track the record at the lowest possible force. If the force is set too low, the stylus will lose contact with the groove on high acceleration and then come crashing down on it also causing damage to it.

          It is questionable if records that have been subjected to 2 grams of tracking force with low compliance high dynamic mass cartridges still have any of their original highest frequency content left. Even if you don’t believe content above 20 kHz is irrelevant, it’s questionable if there still is any on most records to be recorded.

          1. “Indeed. Your response indicates you don’t understand how this works.”

            Dave, have you ever had any actual hands-on experience with an ADC? Have you, for example, used a micro-controller with ADC inputs and sat at a lab bench with a multimeter and measured the voltage going into that ADC channel and then looked at the ADC’s output word? I have.

            1. Yes… I have recorded a lot of audio (testing and calibration of studios mainly), and used ADCs in other fields (basic robotics) …… and it does not change the basic principles by which digital audio works.

              More bits lets you encode smaller signals, NOT the same sized ones more accurately.

              Yes, even though it SEEMS like it lets you encode the same range more accurately … that increased accuracy, only gives less quantisation error, which gives lower noise floor, which gives the ability to store quieter sounds. Nothing more.

              1. I don’t see any point in continuing to argue with you about this. Especially since it is actually the lower noise floor that I am after in using 24 bits to record LPs and to make my point that 13 bits certainly does not provide a low enough noise floor to capture the output of my analog front end.

                What was the result of your “non ABX” listening? Or do you not want to say because it wasn’t ABX?

                I compared the Firebird LP today to the 24/96 file. Matched levels to 0.5 dB and gave that 0.5 dB advantage to the digital. The 24/96 copy is plainly inferior to the LP. The LP sounds more immediate, faster in attack, more alive. The sound of the hall comes through in a much more convincing way.

                1. Heh. You’re not arguing with me… you’re arguing with everyone. This is hardly “my opinion”.

                  I have no doubt that playback through your vinyl and digital rig sound different.

                  Best you read a book if you are interested…. Until then, please stop attempting to spread misinformation (your “yes it does” comment).

                  Meanwhile, enjoy your 24bits, with a noise floor beyond -96dBFS (could be -144dbFS, but likely limited by the analog electronics) …. there’s certainly no harm to using it… Just don’t think that it means that the first 16bit are encoded more accurately (they’re the same).

                  I’m not attempting sarcasm… and I certainly don’t disbelieve that they could sound different…. It is just your explanation/reasoning for what is happening which is incorrect (a very common and pervasive misconception though).

                  PS – I was not able to hear a difference in the very very quick listen to the other files… but with such small differences I would normally need instant A/B switching to pick them up, which I didn’t do.

                    1. If I set the noise floor of the digital system to the noise floor of the room …. then my wife would need to come and collect me from the ER.

                      My room is 30dBA. 144dB on top of that is 174dB.

                    2. That’s a nice quiet room you have there.

                      I would be willing to bet that you are not getting anywhere near that 144 dB theoretical noise floor out of your system taken as a whole. What is your system comprised of? Including the cables?

  51. I by “like”… I mean for Pauls post…

    “I certainly don’t think a cartridge is a cartridge I would say, yes, that recording vinyl at a sample rate of 384/32 is way overkill ”

    The cart (and rest of the vinyl equipment), is of utmost importance ….. but you still only need to use the digital system capable of capturing the range of frequencies and amplitudes of interest.

    If using more than you need sounds better…. then this is because of the way some of your equipment might be designed to operate better at higher rates….. that is the only possibility (aside from the obvious caveats).

    Just because high rates might sound better to some people on some equipment …. DOESN’T mean that the common misconceptions about how they work are true.

    Arrogant? No. To say this science is ‘well agreed’, is an understatement of colossal magnitude.

    1. When I started to record LPs to digital there was very little science(?) available on the subject. So here is my faulty logic. I sampled more because the more samples you have the better you recreated the analog wave form. Makes sense to me but apparently I am a lone wolf on that accord. It looks like now there is a sound barrier that breaking makes no difference. Now here is the kicker. My DAC and A/D converter plus other DACs/A-Ds offer high resolution. In this case higher than Paul’s beloved 44.1kHz. So I read the specs that Music Direct offer and purchase an M2Tech 386/32 DAC and 386/32 A/D convertor. They gladly accepted the $3,999 without question or any warning about these devices being essentially worthless. SNAKE OIL Its like my old Stats teacher told me, “Ya pays yer money and takes yer chances.” Why didn’t listen to her? Now lets freeze time for a moment and I will explain that I am a Microbiologist and computer analyst by education/and or training. I am not a sound engineer. Consequently I trust people who purport to know the straight dope about such things. Ohhh woe with me, I trusted the wrong people. What’s a mother to do? I’ll tell ya what I’m gonna do. I am going to hold my head up high and continue making overkill recordings despite the jeers; scorn and derision (see Handel’s Messiah for further exaltations). I shall dash them to pieces with a rod of iron or a reasonable facsimile. I am referring to the SNAKE OIL dealers, vendors, and peddlers of products that allow people to produce digital overkill recordings. Do you know any people like that? So who do you blame? The Junkie, The Pusherman, or the Cocca grower?

      In summation, ladies and gentleman of the jury I ask you to find the defendant innocent because of being duped by charlatans, grifters and others who practice the dark arts of Alardyce T. Merryweather (See Martin Balsam in Little Big Man) for a command performance of said individuals.)

      1. Awesome! 🙂 Very entertaining, thanks.

        Digital bores me, actually. I stick with vinyl for most of my listening. As long as I have a copy that sounds good enough at work through headphones to engage me in the music I’m good. I don’t understand people who want to record all their LPs to digital so they can put them on the shelf and never play them again. Preserve them for what? Their kids who only listen to mp3s off of iTunes anyway?

        1. I think I said it before. However the main reason is that simply I love to record music. Maybe I missed my calling. If you own a 2 LP set of a 45rpm recording, how many times do you sit and listen to it? Or rather how many times do you get up and flip the record over? I think you do not understand because you expect us all to view the world as you do. I think the non audiophile world thinks we are all involved in overkill. And yes, sometimes people that we trust sell us stuff they don’t believe in. That is also true.

          Glad you enjoyed a little humor.

          1. Oh I understand the desire to record. I have a few dbl 45s and I do tend to not play them very often because I’m too lazy to get up and flip the record. Everybody is different and has their own approach. I like to play my records. Also I keep making improvements in the sound I am getting out of my analog front end, so if I record a record, next year I just have to record it again because I know the new recording will sound better than the old one. So the idea of archiving my entire record collection so that I never play them again is… inconceivable to me. I wouldn’t get half way through before I had to start over again!

            We are all involved in overkill. But sometimes overkill is necessary. 🙂 I have cryo treated romex power lines feeding my system. 2 30 Amp dedicated circuits for the amplifiers alone. The electrician I hired to do the work looked at me like I was crazy.

                  1. Yes it’s the same company. They have a new top of the line DAC/Transport/Clock/Upsampler stack now called the Vivaldi. TAS gave it a rave review recently. Of course for that money (the DAC retails for $35K) it really should sound fantastic! Whether it could beat my old Versa Dynamics would be an interesting test. Let me know if you buy the 905, I would be interested in hearing the results. I suspect he would take considerably less since I’m sure he didn’t pay retail for it. I’m tempted but just can’t justify that money on an ADC right now.

                    1. Right now my goal is a bit more modest. I have put an esaSound e20 DAC MK II or MK III on my radar. The DAC can play multiple favors of DSD plus play my overkill 386/32 vinyl recordings. What I learned from you is that I must put more attention into my turntable rig. That would come after the esaSound. Right now the Original Recording Group is going to release several 45 rpm LPs. I plan to buy a few of these and do my insane record once and play many routine.

                    2. Ha! No I don’t think you are insane! But I do think you will end up recording your 45 rpm records more than once as you improve your analog front end. Actually its good to have those recordings so you can compare them later if you keep good notes about how you made them, etc. (I don’t but I should.)

                      I just hear so much more detail in the original record that I found I don’t bother playing the digital copies, I just get my butt off the couch and flip the record.

                      The other day I played the HFN test record’s tracking ability test track and it sounds like I have more work to do on my cartridge setup. Presumably this will enable my cartridge to handle crescendos better. I also did some tests to look at the noise floor and with the needle in the groove but the belt off the platter and the motor running there is a very faint signal getting through that would be nice to get rid of. That might be overkill though.

                      I will have to read up on esaSound I haven’t heard of them.

                    3. I like that they give a 30 day free trial! Let me know how you like it. It seems to have a lot of good features.

                    4. It will be a few months…I’m an old retired guy who is obviously out of his league but doesn’t know it.

                    5. Sure! Glad you found them helpful. If I have time I will update them after I take a look at that tracking test track if I am able to make any improvement.

      2. “I sampled more because the more samples you have the better you recreated the analog wave form”

        As you seem to have realised…. and as unintuitive as it seems for the uninitiated. This is actually not true.

        More samples (sample rate) allows you to store higher frequencies. Bigger numbers (more bits) allows you to store quieter and quieter sounds (the existing sounds do not get more accurately stored).

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