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Topic: 24-bit Tubular Bells download at B&W< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Olivier Offline





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Posted: Oct. 08 2012, 11:02

Bowers & Wilkins is selling exclusive 24-bit-studio quality downloads of Tubular Bells, including the 5.1 surround mix. They have published Mark Powell's story of the album on their blog.
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Pat Gleeson Offline





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Posted: Oct. 08 2012, 14:22

Great - “This album is available for purchase in these countries – United Kingdom, France, Germany.”

That excludes me then - thanks .....  :(
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Nacho Offline





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Posted: Oct. 10 2012, 02:57

It's easy to cheat... just put whatever address for the authorised countries,... put a valid credit card, and,... download!!
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Tubularman Offline





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Posted: Oct. 10 2012, 04:44

what means 24 bit?

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Scatterplot Offline





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Posted: Oct. 10 2012, 10:37

That means each piece of data is made up of 24 ones and zeroes.....I think......001011010011100010110110

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Philippe Tavares Offline





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Posted: Oct. 10 2012, 10:55

;) that means a cd quality is in 16 bits so imagine in 24 bits !

...but also imagine the " weight" of the file to download ! hope you have "mega" banwidth ! lol
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dobyblue Offline





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Posted: Oct. 11 2012, 10:08

Quote (Nacho @ Oct. 10 2012, 02:57)
It's easy to cheat... just put whatever address for the authorised countries,... put a valid credit card, and,... download!!


I don't think that will work unless you actually change your billing address with your credit card. You can put in a UK shipping address, but authentication will fail if you don't have the correct billing address submitted.

Quote (Tubular Tos @ Oct. 10 2012, 10:55)
;) that means a cd quality is in 16 bits so imagine in 24 bits !

...but also imagine the " weight" of the file to download ! hope you have "mega" banwidth ! lol


It's only 1.5GB, not so bad. If we estimate .flac as being 65% of the original then it's going to uncompress to around 2.27GB.

TB = 48 minutes. 24/96 5.1 @ 48 minutes = @ 4.86GB.
24/48 5.1 @ 48 minutes = @ 2.42GB.

I'm guessing that this is 24/48 5.1. Shame it's not 24/96, but still sweet to get the opportunity to upgrade to uncompressed lossless for the excellent 2009 TB surround mix! Hope we get the rest of them in due course.
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pauken Offline





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Posted: Oct. 20 2012, 20:53

Quote (dobyblue @ Oct. 11 2012, 10:08)
I'm guessing that this is 24/48 5.1. Shame it's not 24/96, but still sweet to get the opportunity to upgrade to uncompressed lossless for the excellent 2009 TB surround mix! Hope we get the rest of them in due course.

It's great that these are available, at least in some countries :/

But I wouldn't get too excited about the sample rate or the bit-rate for that matter. This explains it all very well:

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

In short:

Empirical evidence from listening tests backs up the assertion that 44.1kHz/16 bit provides highest-possible fidelity playback.
...
In 554 trials, listeners chose correctly 49.8% of the time. In other words, they were guessing. Not one listener throughout the entire test was able to identify which was 16bit/44.1kHz and which was high rate (24bit/96kHz).
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ekloef Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 03:23

Thanks Pauken!

Very interesting article you linked to.


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Olivier Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 13:05

Quote (pauken @ Oct. 20 2012, 17:53)
In 554 trials, listeners chose correctly 49.8% of the time. In other words, they were guessing. Not one listener throughout the entire test was able to identify which was 16bit/44.1kHz and which was high rate (24bit/96kHz).

They didn't have the option to answer "I don't know"? Did the 50% really think they got it right, or - and I wouldn't understand the survey then - they'd randomly pick one answer?
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pauken Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 15:32

Quote (Olivier @ Oct. 21 2012, 13:05)
They didn't have the option to answer "I don't know"? Did the 50% really think they got it right, or - and I wouldn't understand the survey then - they'd randomly pick one answer?

As I understand it, they had to listen to both bitrate versions of the same music and choose which they thought was 16/44.1 and which they thought was 24/96, or actually, which one they prefered.

Each person only managed to "prefer" the "better" version 50% of the time, meaning that they could have done just as well by flipping a coin to make their choices rather than trying to deduce from their ears which was which.

So, it seems that spending more money, not to mention using up more disk space, on 24 bit high sampling rate music files is just not worth it.
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ekloef Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 16:02

The article also mentions the importance of the mastering and how it may contribute to the final product and listening experience.

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Holger Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 16:36

Quote (pauken @ Oct. 21 2012, 21:32)
Quote (Olivier @ Oct. 21 2012, 13:05)
They didn't have the option to answer "I don't know"? Did the 50% really think they got it right, or - and I wouldn't understand the survey then - they'd randomly pick one answer?

As I understand it, they had to listen to both bitrate versions of the same music and choose which they thought was 16/44.1 and which they thought was 24/96, or actually, which one they prefered.

Each person only managed to "prefer" the "better" version 50% of the time, meaning that they could have done just as well by flipping a coin to make their choices rather than trying to deduce from their ears which was which.

So, it seems that spending more money, not to mention using up more disk space, on 24 bit high sampling rate music files is just not worth it.

This would be the case if 0% or at least less than 50% got it right.

50% means half the listeners knew, or guessed correctly, which was the better version.
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pauken Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 16:59

Quote (Holger @ Oct. 21 2012, 16:36)
This would be the case if 0% got it right.

50% means half the listeners knew which was the better version.

No, it's not saying that half of the people got it right, it's saying that every person only got it right half of the time.

Think about it, there's a big difference.

It's saying that nobody could tell the difference between the two any better than if they just flipped a coin to decide.

Which means that, to all intents and purposes, there is no audible difference that anybody could reliably even detect, let alone prefer.
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Holger Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 17:04

Sorry, I was editing my post just as you were posting yours... thinking about it right now :)
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pauken Offline





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Posted: Oct. 21 2012, 17:10

Quote (Holger @ Oct. 21 2012, 17:04)
Sorry, I was editing my post just as you were posting yours... thinking about it right now :)

Heh, no worries. I didn't want to agree with the findings, I couldn't imagine that 24/96 wouldn't sound better than 16/44.1 but it seems that's the case. I have a pretty good system and some nice high-bit-rate recordings and they do sound wonderful. But then I listen to things from Spotify through the same system and they sound wonderful too :)

It's all about the music...
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Olivier Offline





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Posted: Oct. 22 2012, 00:22

Quote (pauken @ Oct. 21 2012, 13:59)
It's saying that nobody could tell the difference between the two any better than if they just flipped a coin to decide.

Which means that, to all intents and purposes, there is no audible difference that anybody could reliably even detect, let alone prefer.

Were "anybody" experts or random people? If you ask, say, Alan Parsons, wouldn't he feel the difference either?
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pauken Offline





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Posted: Oct. 22 2012, 03:59

Quote (Olivier @ Oct. 22 2012, 00:22)
Were "anybody" experts or random people? If you ask, say, Alan Parsons, wouldn't he feel the difference either?

From one of the links in the article:

"The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems."

So it seems that even someone as old and wise as Alan Parsons couldn't tell, although I guess they didn't test him specifically.
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Black Bunik Offline





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Posted: Oct. 24 2012, 08:40

That is very interesting.
I always thought 96/24 must be better. But seems that it is better mostly for editing as you won't lose that much information if the final release is on 44,1/16.
And as always it all comes down to mastering and what they were listening to.
Today we won't even get a full quality of a CD as lots of these are botched already in the recording/mastering process.

One comment though. On a high-end DAC (Digital-Analogue Converter) you can get a very great performance from CD. (Try EMM labs if you get the oportunity, you won't believe your ears) The reconstruction of the analogue curve will be on a very high quality level.
However on a consumer level DAC you might get noticeably better performance with 96/24 source. What do you think?
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dobyblue Offline





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Posted: Oct. 24 2012, 10:47

One thing that hasn't been pointed out is that this has little to do with the 5.1 mix, which is what my original post was about. You're comparing 16/44.1 CD quality audio to 24/96, what this 5.1 flac download does is allow you to experience the amazing 5.1 2009 surround mix without one of the lowest compression schemes around for surround being used; Dolby Digital 448 Kbps. Dolby matrixes everything about @ 15kHz I think it is and frequencies get sharply rolled off just like they do with 756 Kbps dts.

That's two completely different scenarios.

As for whether 24/96 is better than 16/44.1, the mastering will always be of highest importance. SACD, DVD-A, vinyl, CD, Blu-ray Audio, HDCD, give me whichever one has the best mastering with the least dynamic range compression, I can play them all.

Also I've seen lots of tests that don't specify whether the source was 24/96, did it have information in it that would be removed by converting to 16/44.1 (frequencies that would be cut off for example or not if the original source was 16/44.1 or if it already had filtering), was the 24/96 converted to 16/44.1 and then compared to the same recording recorded at 16/44.1 so you're comparing two 16/44.1 files where one was recorded at 16/44.1 and the other at 24/96, for example. The test cited in the link you've posted doesn't go into detail on exactly which discs were used. There are some SACD's where the DSD stereo track is simply the 16/44.1 source material encoded to SACD, like Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me". The new Analogue Productions SACD release of the same album however was not created from a Redbook CD master but the original analogue tapes. Many SACD in the pop/rock field were PCM sourced, and many DVD-A discs were subject to stupid amounts of drc.

That's not to suggest the results aren't valid, just pointing out one or two of the inconsistencies. In addition if you can't hear below 20Hz then you should not be able to hear the lowest pedal of a pipe organ. However if you have a subwoofer that accurately digs down at less than -3dB to 15Hz (or full range loudspeakers like the Evolution Acoustics MM3), then you can certainly feel it which triggers a physiological effect. Does your brain enjoy music more when you are feeling the additional frequencies and the harmonics even if you can't hear them? Oohashi's studies (the hypersonic effect), which aren't universally agreed upon, demonstrated a similar effect with high frequencies. While subjects couldn't consciously determine between bandwidth limited material (to 20kHz) and material with information up and above 24kHz, they did show different physiological responses within the brain. The responses were not there when ONLY the high frequencies were played, nor via headphones. It's an interesting theory.

I have no problem with CD, I often pick up 24K Gold releases from Analogue Productions not because they're done on gold (because I think material is snake oil, see SHM-CD's, Blu-spec CD's, etc.) but because I know the mastering by Kevin Gray or Steve Hoffman will be terrific. This is noted in the AES study, that when SACD and DVD-Audio sound better it's because they weren't as confined in their jobs by morons at major labels who think loudness is better.

I love multi-channel music, so for me the very obvious reason I prefer SACD and DVD-A and BD-A to CD is because CD cannot do surround sound! :)

That brings me back to the original topic, I can't play the 5.1 .flac downloads via CD even if they were 16/44.1 because they've got three times as many channels as CD supports.
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