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Old 1st July 2002, 04:45 PM   #21
dorkus is offline dorkus  United States
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jam,

was just about to post to my Sony thread. after i get lunch though.

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Old 1st July 2002, 05:00 PM   #22
SteveG is offline SteveG  United States
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dorkus,
I agree 100% with your impression of SACD. Anyone who hasn't heard it yet is really missing something. Even my cheap player sounds so much better than the expensive PCM 16bit systems I've heard, and is noticably smoother than 24 bit systems I've heard (studio equipment).
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Old 8th July 2002, 08:38 PM   #23
rljones is offline rljones  United States
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sam9,

I might disagree with what you said regarding transient attacks and 20kHz signals, if you mean that signals beyond 20 kHz are non-audible. Many instruments have harmonic overtones that extend beyond 20 kHz. While any number of instruments may have the same fundamental frequency, it is the harmonic overtone package, if you will, that allows us to distinguish a Stradivari from a Guarneri violin. Many of these subtleties are lost with most speakers, let alone the source material (how good were the microphones, the mixing consoles, etc?), but this doesn't reduce the desire or need to have these frequencies properly reproduced. For example, the presence of greater than 20kHz frequencies may influence audible frequencies via modulation. So even if you don't hear the 20kHz signals directly, you may notice indirectly their absence.

I'd refer you to James Boyk, from CalTech ( http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/ ). He's written a few articles about higher frequencies and their affect on recorded music, such as http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/inflection.htm and http://www.tnt-audio.com/intervis/boyke.html

However, if you meant that as long as there was no slew-rate limiting at 20kHz of transients, and that such a standard is sufficient for audio, I'd probably agree with you.

Regards, Robert
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Old 8th July 2002, 09:09 PM   #24
SteveG is offline SteveG  United States
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I can't find a logical or scientific explanation why the higher sampling rates or DSD sound better, but I definitely HEAR it! I would really like to know what is responsible for the analog-like smoothness I hear.
Yeah- 20Khz bandwidth seems like it should be adequate, with no slew limitations. I know that I barely hear up to about 17khz! But, I can surely tell a difference with SACD- there is a dramatic lack of irritation to my ears, and during loud and busy passages in the music, it dosen't sound congested. Cymbals wash and shimmer instead of having that "white noise" effect (I can't remember who described it that way, but that is a wonderful description of cymbals on 16 bit machines). All of this comes from comparisons to my experience playing and listening to live music. Unfortunately, whether anyone who isn't at this site or others like it has a system that will show enough of an difference to give SACD a fighting chance of surviving or not is yet to be seen. I believe most people could tell, even on a decent low-priced system.
I really wish that everyone here would get to a dealer to have a listen, or pick up one of the cheap sony players (I saw the NS500V going for $169 US at best buy!)and start supporting this format before it goes the way of beta, digital compact cassette (a loser to start with), and vinyl. To my ears, it is really that good.
Steve
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Old 8th July 2002, 09:16 PM   #25
dorkus is offline dorkus  United States
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Talking hey, to a lot of people, vinyl is still alive and kicking

although i personally don't have the time/patience for it. but definitely lots of people still into it. i hope SACD takes off though, i like the sound a lot too.
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Old 8th July 2002, 09:23 PM   #26
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Default sam9

I'm not an expert on human hearing but I do remember reading briefly of some of the discussion around two groups of experiments. In the first one, subjects were asked to listen to two tones the first was a pure sine tone well within the normal audible range. (Maybe it was 8k or 10k.) The second was the same tone with a second tone beyond 20kHz added. The subjects could clearly hear the difference. It was concluded that audio reproduction above 20kHz was important and audible.

The second experiment modified this. The first tone was the same. The second was the same except that after the two tones were combined they were passed through a steep filter that effectively cut off everthing above 20kHz. The subjects could still hear the difference. I believe they were also asked to distinguish between the the second signal from both experients (two tones added but one with and one without the 20kHz filter) and could not distinguish between them. The conclusion was that the subjects could not hear sounds above 20kHz but could hear harmonics and/or modulation artifacts caused by the addition of the >20kHz tone and since they could still hear the artifacts after the combinred signal passed a 20Khz filter the frequencies artifacts must be below 20kHz.

Assuming these two experiments to be sound. I would surmise that a recording scheme limited to 20kHz max is sufficient to reproduce any frequency we can hear even if the sourse includes frequencies above 20kHz.

There is one proviso or caveat: the recording scheme should not produce distortions of any kind in the range below 20kHz because of its inability to deal with tones above that. This is a valid reason why some speakers may respond beyond 20kHz - it may easier to be flat up to a given frequency if it responds somewhat beyond that point. Following this logic, an ADC with a "perfect" conversion algorth should have no problem if it's upper limit is 20kHz. Since algorithms are not always perfect there could be an advantage to a sampling rate that lets the ADC opperate beyond 20kHz. -However, the potential to improve the algorithm could make that redundant.

An aside: audio amplifiers often are designed to have a response far above 20kHz. I'm not that knowledgeable but I gather the reason is that if the circuit is allowed to roll off too soon, distortions will be introduced above 20kHz that will generat harmonics and/or modulations at lower frequencies where the will be audible.
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Old 8th July 2002, 09:35 PM   #27
dorkus is offline dorkus  United States
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in an analog amplifier, limited HF response usually indicates slew rate limiting (unless the roll-off is deliberate due to a filter). slew rate limiting translates to distortion and poor transient response. most properly-designed amplifier circuits have intrinisic frequency response well past 20kHz though - 100kHz is not uncommon and i've even seen a few flat to 200kHz and beyond.
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Old 8th July 2002, 09:59 PM   #28
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The higher sample rate means that higher frequencies can be reproducted. Even if you cant hear 30KHz or 50 KHz tones it doesnt mean that you cant hear these frequencies as harmonics. Harmonics can be heard up to 50 or even 100KHz. It makes the difference in sound between different musical intruments.
That why SACD sounds better.
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Old 8th July 2002, 10:05 PM   #29
dorkus is offline dorkus  United States
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i'm not so sure about 50kHz or 100kHz being audible, but what do i know.

are you sure it's the response itself that's important, or the things that go along with extended HF response? one thing SACD and hi-rez PCM give u is greatly improved phase response, even at lower frequencies. this is definitely audible. i think people spend too much time looking at frequency and not enough at phase. timing is everything.
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Old 8th July 2002, 10:10 PM   #30
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I mean by audible that when a musical instrument plays a not at 8 KHz its harmonics extend up to 32KHz 40KHz and so on. When the cds limit is 20 KHz and these harmonics are not there it means the musical instrument doesnt sound normal. Thats the difference in sound higher sample rate makes.
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