Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers

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Desertpilot

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Hi All,

I spent a good deal of money on my X3s, ExaSound DAC and Parasound amp a little over a year ago.  It has always been my practice to purchase downloads in the original recording format.  Sort of like getting the original master file.

Background:
-- There are many articles and videos that argue anything above CD (16/44.1) quality is a waste of money as the increased resolution cannot be heard.
-- If you want a multichannel (surround) recording, you necessarily need to step up to 24/96 or buy an SACD (DSD 64).
---- Chandos records offers surround downloads in 24/96 (this is their typical recording format)
---- BIS records through eClassical also offers surround downloads in 24/96 (again, this is their typical recording format).
---- All other record companies, such as TRPTK, Sound Liaison, Channel Classics, etc., will offer just about any resolution you want, either on its own website or through Native DSD (which is my choice for downloads).

Current Practice:
-- Many recording studios are migrating to recording/mastering in DXD (32/352.8 ).  This is usually offered on the studio's website (WAV format only) or at 24/352.8 (FLAC format) through Native DSD.
---- WAV format is okay but, as I understand it, 32 bit processing requires "floating point" calculations by your music server.  Also, tagging WAV files is more challenging.  I have a few of these recordings and have not had a problem.
---- Instead, I usually opt for FLAC 24/352.8 format.  Sure, your music server must decode FLAC but I have never had a problem as most all of my music files are in FLAC format.

Having said all that, what are you feeding your Spatial speakers?  I know "they" say that no difference can be heard.  But, for me, DXD 24/352.8 offers me clarity and precise playback that is lacking in lower resolutions.  I do not upscale or downscale.  I purchase the "original" recording format and "bitstream" it via USB to my DAC.  My DAC can decode up to 32/352.8 or up to DSD 256 in multichannel.  This, again for me, works out the best.

What's your preference?

Marcus
« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2022, 07:10 pm by Desertpilot »

Tyson

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jul 2022, 06:22 pm »
People that can’t hear a difference above 16/44 simply don’t have a resolving enough system.  The differences are pretty obvious with speakers like the Spatials, especially when well placed in the room and with some room treatments.

For me, I have a ton of DSD files as well as 24/192, 24/96, 16/44, etc…  I also listen to everything “native”, without upsampling.  It just sounds better on my system this way.


consttraveler

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jul 2022, 09:00 pm »
@desertpilot;  I'm at the same end point as you.  I get there ripping to FLAC by way of dBpoweramp from mostly redbook CD's, to a 5T hard drive to my DAVE DAC.  From there the music is sorted to the correct outlet by my Mark Levinson 380-s Preamp and down to my AGD Audion Mono Blocks.  When the recording is good (and most of mine are, thankfully) the X-5's love it and so do I.

Dave

Mr. Big

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jul 2022, 12:05 am »
Direct formats sound better to me be it vinyl or CD when they both have been well mastered. I tried burning, streaming, and even at my dealers 100% of my CD sounds as good or better than the streaming format no matter what they use at the dealer. There is something about direct. Like watching HD on streaming then putting the same movie on from a blu-ray 4K player it looks better and sounds better. If all you watched is streaming movies then it is good enough but that is only because you don't have the Blu-ray DVD to watch, if you did you know how much quality you are losing, but then you cant just click and start the movie either from your chair, my god you have to get up, pull the movie from your cabinet, walk to the TV, load the movie and push play, I am already worn out...smile! having said that streaming is easy, with lots of music at your fingertips and you can pick and choose your DACs and streaming unit to meet your needs. So that is good. But reading all the stuff folks go through the gear on top of gear to get the streaming to sound good, DSP adjustments to the incoming signal and speakers, and on and on, it sounds super complicated to just listen to a recording along with constant changes of streamers and DAC's. And everything thing you add or change does alter the sound, so the more you play with speakers and signals the further away you go from the recording as is. Speakers designers know how their speaker sounds without outside alterations to change what they designed. A computer cannot tell me what I enjoy only I can by my taken the time to learn to setup my system and cabling that works best with my system.

But to each his own. I know what I say is not hip, but my ears tell me, and my ears I trust, and with 1,500 CDs many muti,  no way will I burn them for inferior sound FLAC and WAC I have tried hoping, or rebuy them again from a streaming service so I can say current trend. I am buying 20 new CDs this week. I grew up on vinyl and tubes. I own neither now. So that is that. I love my Spatial M3s Sapphires for what they are and I love my room and in no way would I like a DSP program to alter what I enjoy, I spend too much time learning how to set a system upright. Now you all can shoot me..smile! Now for another glass of wine.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jul 2022, 01:18 am »
I get what you are saying but the CD format is incredibly inconvenient and I found that I wasn't ever playing them because of having to store them and find what I wanted. Maybe it is an age thing but the same thing about DVDs. I can have a movie I love but I never watch it on DVD but, dang, see it on tv playing and I watch it. Makes no sense other than I am unwilling to make the effort that I used to do when there was nothing but records.

Mr. Big

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jul 2022, 03:38 pm »
I get what you are saying but the CD format is incredibly inconvenient and I found that I wasn't even playing them because of having to store them and find what I wanted. Maybe it is an age thing but the same thing about DVDs. I can have a movie I love but I never watch it on DVD but, dang, see it on tv playing and I watch it. Makes no sense other than I am unwilling to make the effort that I used to do when there was nothing but records.

Fully understand. Funny that what I find enjoyable walking up going through my CDs and my past vinyl, and pulling it from my shelves, and playing it. I cleaned my vinyl and today I clean my CD before use with a nice auto wax and doing either depending on the format really brought forth the best presentation possible from that recording. If I was starting out today most likely I stream also, but due to owning so much of the physical no way would I or even need to, I have more music than I can listen to in a years time if I played a recording one per day.

WGH

Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jul 2022, 06:46 pm »
But, for me, DXD 24/352.8 offers me clarity and precise playback that is lacking in lower resolutions.  I do not upscale or downscale.  I purchase the "original" recording format and "bitstream" it via USB to my DAC.  My DAC can decode up to 32/352.8 or up to DSD 256 in multichannel.  This, again for me, works out the best.

I have been exploring HQplayer for 3 weeks, the software upsamples flac, wav and DSD on the fly and bitstreams to a DAC. The results are amazing, 16/44.1 rips of all my old CDs have a new life, buried details are revealed, sound stage and imaging is enhanced without any added harshness. Some early CDs can't be helped but most benefit. DSD64 can be upsampled to DSD 256, 44.1kHz can be upsampled to hi-res PCM or DSD.

352.8kHz and DSD256 is the sweet spot for me. Initially a steep learning curve but all the settings make sense fairly quickly. I drag and drop albums using Jriver, individual songs can be stacked like a playlist, two different remote control options from a either a phone or a tablet include the jpg album cover for easy album selection .

At first the 21 inputs, 30 upsampling filters along with 20 noise shaping/dither choices seem daunting but many are optimized for specific sampling rates.
The GoldenSound Discord channel has an excellent explanation of input choices with recommended settings to get you started.




My music server has an Intel i7-9700 in a Streacom FC10 Alpha Fanless case. The processor is cruising while upsampling 44.1kHz to DSD256




I give the software 5 Stars and can no longer listen to music without it.

https://www.signalyst.com/consumer.html

Desertpilot

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Re: Conversation Starter - Music resolution for Spatial speakers
« Reply #7 on: 26 Jul 2022, 05:47 am »
HQ Player has a lot of devoted fans.  I looked at it (and may again).  Thank you for your detailed input.

Side note:  I am upgrading my music server and probably get it installed by this weekend.  If successful, I'll have plenty of computer horsepower to use HQ Player.

Thanks
Marcus!