Neil Young’s 24 bit/192kHz ‘PonoMusic’ project is a very silly boondoggle

Last week, Neil Young introduced his ‘PonoMusic” Kickstarter project which promises to deliver uncompressed music downloads up to 24 bit/192kHz.

“Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young’s group several months ago,” Chris “Monty” Montgomery, the creator of the Ogg Free Software container format and Vorbis audio codec and others, writes for Xiph.org. “Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space. There are a few real problems with the audio quality and ‘experience’ of digitally distributed music today. 24/192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we’re not going to see any actual improvement.”

“Why push back against 24/192? Because it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, a business model based on willful ignorance and scamming people,” Monty writes. “The more that pseudoscience goes unchecked in the world at large, the harder it is for truth to overcome truthiness… even if this is a small and relatively insignificant example.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To date, Neil Young has raised $3,755,213 via Kickstarter for a project that is rather pointless and, contrary to its stated raison d’être, actually delivers slightly inferior sound!

Young should immediately cancel his PonoMusic boondoggle and return the over $3 million already raised to project backers.

Related article:
Neil Young unveils new music media ‘ecosystem,’ PonoMusic – March 12, 2014

140 Comments

  1. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48

    No it’s not. Liar. Well, either liar or idiot.

    I’ll stick with the science of the matter,
    not your brain dead chatter!

    There is, of course, a point of sampling over-kill. But it is NOT 44MHz 16 bit. Never was, never will be.

    Flame me if you will.
    I’m no media oligarchy shill.

    1. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we’re not going to see any actual improvement.

      Total rubbish, unless of course this guy is high frequency deaf, in which case he’s only speaking for himself.

      ME: I’d be happy just to double the current sampling frequency in order to represent the top end of the human hearing range adequately, which 44.1 MHz (to be accurate) can never, ever do. I’d settle for 96 MHz sampling rate at 24 bit. I’ve verified that I, subjectively, can damned well hear THAT difference. So there. 😀

      1. Spot on Derrick , the sound of a violin playing a note is a combination of the fundamental frequency say, 440Hz and it’s harmonics which go way past human hearing. This why a trumpet playing the same note sound very differ not the violin.

        The Niquest Theorem states that the sampling rate must be at least double the highest frequency that is to be captured.

        The CD standard was agreed upon by the manufactures as 44.1KHz/16bit. This gives a upper limit at 22.05KHz. All frequencies above 22.05KHz are filtered off thereby changing the shape of the fundamental and hence the accuracy of recording.

        I have been recording sound for over 40 years starting with an old Pye mono tape recorder when I was 8 till now where I have a Logic Pro X based system with a FireWire connected 24 I/O channel 172KHz 24bit Apogee converter. My speakers are a pair of KLH active studio monitors run directly from the master stereo pair of the A/D/A converter. Also a crap boom-box to check how it sounds over a shit stereo system.

        172/24 is clearly superior than 44.1/16 while 96/24 lies somewhere between these 2 standards.

        Never, not once has anyone said they couldn’t hear the improvement. Even drummers 😎

        Anyone who claims that “science” proves that more than 44.1/16 is inaudible are simply wrong. In fact the opposite is true (see above).

        1. I’d enjoy chatting with you! At one point I had the ambition to be a sound engineer. I had fun visiting sound studios around London, UK circa 1979-1980. I was offered couple jobs, either which I wish I had taken, but I was picky dummy about what I wanted to do, and the tea boy apprenticeship system over there was not one of them.

          Kewl post! Thanks.

          1. Thanks for the compliment Derek. I would also enjoy a chat with you as well. You, Hana and Thelonius always make sense and are well thought out and to the point. The amount of bullshit that many post is so juvenile.

            I am registered here but I’ve put a lot of effort into being practically invisible on the internet. If someone has my real name and some other info like my DOB they will find bugger-all except a LinkedIn account that hasn’t been updated in years. It was also set up with a dummy ID. I played around with FB and other social thingys but closed them all years ago. Even my IP address can’t be used to track me as I travel a lot and it changes every few days. I also use the TOR browser.

            I do have email but under dummy names and other details. If you can suggest a way to communicate privately I’d like to know.

            1. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to be anonymous on the net these days. Of course, the balance is ruined when it’s a troll/hater/misery monger who does it anonymously. I wish it the personal anonymity tools for the Internet were easier. Sometimes I consider writing up articles to help folks use them, then I realize I’m preaching to the choir and the grannies are going to run away screaming no matter how simply I try to teach the subject. (My mom is a terrific ‘granny meter’).

              If you would like to chat, I’m always around at:
              derekcurrie-at-mac-dot-com
              Apparently the spam spiders don’t bother turning obfuscated email addresses into actual addresses, yet.

            1. Ha, as you see I had it wrong as well. But I did remember the sound of the name from a long-ago class in signal processing. Sounds, like odours, are long in human memory

        2. Absolute nonsense! I was a partner in a company designing and building professional audio gear. I’ve also done recordings with the Boston Symphony and London Records. I know a little about this.

          Having an expensive audio system myself, and belonging to several audio groups, I have done a number of tests over the years with people totally convinced that they could hear these differences. Nine has even been able to reliably do so. I doubt you could either.

    2. “There is, of course, a point of sampling over-kill. But it is NOT 44MHz 16 bit. Never was, never will be.

      Don’t you mean 44.1Khz not Mhz?

      I agree with you though. Of course this guy would be against higher bitrate/sample rate files. He’s the creator of a compressed audio file container.

      1. Indeed! Thank you! That blunder deserves one star, erasing my snark below. Apologies for being too spontaneously blustering. Caffeine is currently infusing my brain, so I should be all better soon.

        I’ll have to look this guy up as I have never followed Ogg, just used it on rare occasions. I got tired for the explosion of audio and video formats real fast.

        1. “Caffeine is currently infusing my brain, so I should be all better soon.”

          Hmmm, ever consume caffeine while you listen to music Mr. Perfection? Maybe you should stick to live music only.

      2. “I agree with you though. Of course this guy would be against higher bitrate/sample rate files. He’s the creator of a compressed audio file container.”

        Ogg is a container. It’s compression agnostic. While it does support lossy formats, Xiph.org also offers not only lossless codecs for Ogg: FLAC (audio), Dirac (video), but also supports uncompressed formats: OggPCM (audio), OggUVS (video).

        I’m not a big Ogg fan myself, but Monty speaks the truth and really knows his stuff.

          1. Sigmund Freud preferred the hyphenated form. He also preferred the form ‘jackass’ applied to persons free of neurosis but behaving in a like manner to unproductively (either playfully or maliciously) disturb a serious discussion by introducing a picayune and irrelevant distraction; this form took shape in the early 19th century and finds its purest expression in the satire of Mark Twain.

    3. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48

      People are misinterpreting what this means.

      At issue is That is while human hearing range is 20Hz to 22KHz, which is representable with 44.1KHz 16-bit, the ability to hear at the the upper end of that frequency is dependent on the sound being extremely loud.

      If you go into a sound proof lab and have your hearing checked, they pump out a frequency and you may hear 22KHz, but that’s at a crazy loud volume. If they weren’t isolating that frequency but instead including it within a song, the volume of the song for you to be able to hear that frequency would blow your ear drums out.

      So what’s wrong with exceeding human hearing levels if the sound isn’t cranked up that high?

      The problem is that you’re forcing the whole system to deal with these inaudible frequencies all the way from where the file originates to the speaker system. By pushing the system to deal with this wasted data, you’re increasing the likelihood for errors and introducing artifacts at the final analog stage of delivery.

      This isn’t to say that there isn’t a reason to record, edit and apply filters at higher resolutions, just that playback fidelity is inferior at rates that higher than the human hearing range of 20Hz to 22KHz.

    4. Hard to understand how it would be inferior. I’m not interested myself, but it seems that if you use good ADCs, DACs and amps this should provide higher fidelity. Whether this is worth it to many people is another question.

      1. Over many years, I was able to cobble together an excellent sound system at home, including a subwoofer to shake the house down. With age, the high frequency sensitivity has dropped, but surprisingly slowly for me. Just 5 years ago I was able to detect the 18 KHz ring tone the youth culture was using during school classes to avoid the wrath of their teachers. That’s gone. But I still appreciate the better quality of 96 KHz sampled audio via my home system.

    5. You don’t understand this issue at all, do you? Apparently, you didn’t even bother to read the actual article, or you didn’t understand that either.

    6. The bottom line is that downloaded music is most often played through headphones, car speakers, or other speaker systems which will never be able to distinguish such a high quality recording. And that’s the same for 24/192, 16/44.1, or 16/48. So it’s really a very niche service for people who have ultra-high end systems.

  2. Neil should stop smoking the sweet stinky. Overpriced niche product. He should concentrate on integrating the software into already common hardware devices. Ridiculous waste imo

      1. Sadly, I cannot provide evidence. However, the DVD-A specification does call for 24/192 audio I believe.

        The issue here is whether or not the listener has the hardware to reap the benefits.

      2. That a higher than 44.1 KHz sampling will improve the representation of highest audible frequencies?

        Ever seen a sawtooth wave? Look it up. That’s just about all you get from a 20 KHz sine wave. Isn’t it. I’d be surprised if there were ANY peer-reviewed studies refuting that fact. They’d be laughed at by their peers before it was even published. Instead, go find me any peer-reviewed studies that DISPROVE this point. You won’t find any.

        1. People who don’t understand digital sampling theory naively assume that if relatively few points on a high frequency sine wave are captured, then the undistorted sine wave can no longer be faithfully reconstructed. But if the Nyquist criteria is satisfied (ie: the input signal is properly band limited to less than half the sample rate), then a sine wave will be perfectly reproduced, as it is the only in-band signal that could possibly incorporate all the sampled points.

          The errant “sawtooth wave” you refer to would have to be obtained by plotting the discrete data as a continuous wave, which is not a valid operation, and certainly not how sampled audio is actually reconstructed. Such a waveform would necessarily contain harmonics well beyond the passband, and would never be output as such.

          You may have noticed and wondered why the transversal filters used in reconstruction of digital audio seem to exhibit ringing artifacts in their impulse response. Realize that an impulse has infinite harmonics thus and violates the sampling criteria, so doesn’t represent a real world audio signal. Ringing would never be added to a properly band limited signal. But it does give a clue as to how the converter is able to smooth the glitchy “sawtooth wave” back into a proper sinewave.

          Sampling theory is well understood and accepted by mathematicians and audio engineers.

          Watch the videos here and become enlightened:

          http://xiph.org/video/

          1. But if the Nyquist criteria is satisfied (i.e.: the input signal is properly band limited to less than half the sample rate), then a sine wave will be perfectly reproduced

            Which of course, from my perspective, is total nonsense. I’ve never held by that theory, which of course is only a theory. Actual listening, as I always point out, proves it wrong. Then there is the logical aspect of sampling: You’re given two points from a wave of some sort up at the highest end of the spectrum. You certainly can ‘expect’ its not going to be a sawtooth wave and lay a lovely sine wave on top. But what if it really is a sawtooth wave OR it’s a square wave, or gawd forbid it’s actually something complicated. What you end up with is a fudged FAKE.

            I happily take the flames for pointing this out to folks. I don’t care about the counter-claims and never will. I know how sampling works, despite your claim. I can draw the graphs. But even better, I can HEAR the superior quality of 96 KHz sampled audio over mere 44.1 KHz sampled audio. I’m equally partial to 320 Kbits/second MP3s over 128 Kbps. I can hear the difference. Good for people who can’t! But there is a difference, if only using my set of ears.

            BTW: I’ve been working with audio, among other technologies, since I was a kid of 10. I learned the technical end of it at age 19 and never stopped keeping in touch with what meagre tech advances it has had since then. So flame away. But I’m sticking by all of my points!

            1. You realize that a 20 KHz sawtooth or square wave contains harmonics well above the audible range (2nd harmonic = 40KHz, 3rd harmonic = 60KHz, etc.). I seriously doubt that even you can hear frequencies this high. These harmonics would all be (indeed must be) removed by the input antialiasing filters so that the digitally sampled stream would not even contain them. In this case, all that would get through is the 20KHz sinusoidal fundamental. That is as is it should be.

              The point is that a well designed PCM chain can faithfully reproduce audio as long as it conforms to the Nyquist criterion.

              There may be people whose hearing range extends slightly past 20KHz, but they are few, and you may even be one of them, but most lose the ability as they age. Have you actually had your hearing tested by an audiologist? It is very easy to be fooled by confirmation bias when doing your own A/B tests.

              There are people who buy $10,000 cryogenically treated solid silver AC line cords, suspend their speaker cables on trestles, and place wooden pucks (blessed by monks) on top of each piece of audio equipment who swear that the improvement is sound quietly is unmistakable. To each his own.

              I will not defend lossy compressed formats. That is not the issue. Just give me a properly recorded and mastered CD (increasingly rare these days) and I will be happy.

            2. I certainly agree with you about the problem of NOT properly recorded and mastered CDs. My favorite example of a ruined mastering job is The Killers “Sam’s Town.” I like the music but would like to shoot the engineer through the nether region.

              I’ve also experienced folks who go obsessive about their sound systems. I’ll skip the OCD details.

              But I will never comprehend why anyone wants to settle for what is clearly not adequate digital representation of analog audio. None of the arguments here against doubling recording resolution hold any water. I’ve made this clear to the point of going OCD myself. But it’s that clear to my ear. Apparently, I get to repeat myself endlessly if only to make it clear I HEAR the difference. I’m sorry you don’t. I’ve also been TRAINED to comprehend this issue, whereas I’m reading what can only be very amateur rants in opposition. If there is a gray zone of folks who insist that meeting the Nyquist standard is adequate: Have fun with that. I don’t and never will.

              Also: Why is it such a big deal that I have my opinion based on fact and it MUST be ‘wrong’? My point is never to be THE BOSS OF anything, or to be some mastermind of anything. I’m simply being me, someone with a few science degrees and a lot of personal experience in the field.

              It’s OK to disagree. But it’s not OK to ignore obvious facts.

            3. I don’t want to get sucked into a flame war and I don’t have time for an argument, but my conscience won’t let me not weigh in on this. Simply put, you’re very, very wrong about almost everything.

            4. And you want to drag me back into caring about this argument after all the idiotic flames of insistent ignorance? Nope! Just observing now. Have at me. There’s a point where I can only laugh.

            5. You just denied a whole bunch of (very real) mathematics/science/engineering. Real, irrefutable knowledge. Which is a bit dumb. I’m not denying you can hear a difference, which could be due to a bunch of factors, not least that imperfect equipment (everything is imperfect, particularly speakers) produces different results than other equipment. Or the same equipment may sound different with different source formats (you don’t think audiophile equipment is above a little intentional or accidental bias?). What I know for sure is that when you spout drivel everything else you say is colored by it 🙂

            6. I think I’ve adequately covered the subject. I’m all done now! I’m sorry about all your own ‘drivel’. It makes me sad that you settle for inferior audio standards. That’s about all this argument is worth. Bye-bye now!
              (^_^)/

      3. I’m so tired of the “peer-reviewed study” meme. Reality isn’t something you vote on. It just is. Ask Galileo and Copernicus about “peer review” of their works.

        1. Those men had no peers. Their work was performed at the dawn of science, when bishops and cardinals had teeth and theorems needed to be disguised as holy paeans. The peer review process of today is no less perfect than any system devised by fallible men, but it beats 1632 and the iron maiden.

        2. Actually it was received well by their peers, it was just the catholic church who had issues (and actually not with Copernicus), and likely not for the reason you think. In the end it was not his theories (of a sun centered solar system) that got him in trouble it was his repeated statements that of the (catholic) church’s interpretation of scripture and science differed perhaps it (the churches interoperation) should be questioned.
          The catholic church was still reeling from the protestant schism and was not about to hand over the interoperation of scripture to “scientists”. He was actually warned repeatedly to treat and refer to Copernicus’s (which the church had been very accepting of, and even enthusiastic about) work as a theory and not as “fact” (and keep in mind that Cuponicus was a catholic cannon and that the pope (at the time of the inquisition) was actually a personal friend of Galileo’s. which emboldened him (Galileo) to continue making “heretic” statements about the church’s (mis) interoperation of scripture even after he had been repeatedly warned not to (the churches interpretation was/is considered sacred because the Pope’s word was considered to be directly inspired from God)

          If you actually read some history you will find that the actual facts differ greatly from the popular view (mostly gleaned from (fictional) movies like the the divimci code and angels and demons) and a visit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_scientist-clerics
          Will show that a number of clerics were actually instrumental in scientific breakthroughs (even into the last century, as Georges Lemaître (a Catholic Priest & Physicist /died in 1966 ) was the originator of the Big Bang theory.)

          (Disclosure: I am not and have never been a Catholic)

          1. While I have read a great deal of actual history I don’t feel like repeating it word for word. Perhaps Galileo and Copernicus were poor examples to cite. But my point is that “peer review” is nothing more these days than thought control via consensus. People such as AGW advocates routinely devolve into the “was this peer reviewed” meme when cornered with indisputable science that contradicts their belief system. They know perfectly well that the “peer review” process in the AGW field is controlled by a handful of AGW advocates. The line of reasoning goes that if research was performed by a “denier” then it’s invalid. A “denier” is anyone who doesn’t agree with the consensus “peer reviewed” opinion. This line of reasoning is now beginning to spill over into other fields of scientific endeavor. It’s time to discredit this idea that reality is determined by the majority opinion.

      1. If you think I EVER consider myself to be absolutely correct, you’re not reading what I write. Instead, you’re shoving some abstracted misrepresentation of myself that you invented into some box you invented.

        I don’t fit in anyone’s box. That’s very deliberate on my part.

        For newbies, here is my mantra:
        We never know everything about anything.

        But if we don’t express our opinions while we climb the countless learning curves, we’ll never reflect upon where we’re going.

        Oh, and gotta love your status as an anonymous coward, ‘You’re My Hero’. Go flagellate yourself some more, but do it in private please.

          1. Coward, Thanks SO much for your insightful contribution. Your thinking is like a laser, cutting to the heart of the matter, illuminating the issues like a veritable ray of wisdom. I’m sure everyone has been persuaded by the devastating logic. Your eloquence, and command of the more subtle aspects of the English language astound me, I’m almost speechless with admiration.

    1. You are being downvoted because you are wrong and proud of your ignorance.

      Playing ultrasound through speakers causes intermodulation distortion that degrades the sound. 96 kHz is better than 44.1 kHz for recording, but 96 kHz is WORSE than 44.1 kHz for playback.

      1. Why always the insults when I bring this up? It leads me to believe the analog is superior argument is weak at best, so the insults come out to beat me into a pulp. I am not a glutton for punishment, so if you disagree with me, do it in a respectful and logical way. Analog must be your religion.

          1. I was commenting in reference to the article. I felt is was representing what I was saying or thinking. So I asked if anyone else thought the same. I received a response, unfitting to my question. It could have said no, but instead it was an insult. I am not playing or being dumb. I am trying to be realistic about technology and the human experience. Seriously, the majority of limitations to listening to any audio in the average home, are the speakers.

      2. “more bits is better”. No, a balance of features is better which is why Apple doesn’t go nuts on camera specs, but works on lighting, blur removal, etc.

        “Analog is far better than digital.” You obviously have no signal processing background whatsoever because digital coding does not mean digital sound coming out of your speakers or necessarily any loss The sampling theorem is ancient math and relates digital-to-analog conversions and for any given frequency band (such as the frequency band humans can hear) the conversion can be perfect. Yes you read that right, perfect. This is where you need to actually know what your are talking about to have an opinion. Incidentally, analog recordings are notoriously difficult to keep perfect, as apposed to digital where copying does not degrade the signal at all.

        What is it about this website that attracts opinionated people with no idea what they are talking about? (Lots of good comments here too, but hooboy there are a lot of people who don’t seem to have any idea what they do or don’t know. Usually if you don’t know the math you don’t know, reality is generally not intuitive.)

        1. CD-quality digital music can not come close to the quality output of analog. You do need quality amplification and speaker to hear the difference, which, admittedly, most people don’t have. Higher bit digital recording comes close, but does not equal. You would know that if you knew anything about audiophile-quality music. What is it about this website that attracts opinionated people with no idea what they are talking about such as Nevermark?

          1. I didn’t say anything about “CD-quality”.

            I said digital encoding is not lower quality the analog. Obviously poor encoding, digital or analog, is poor. But good digital encoding is as good as analog because it can recreate the analog exactly, given any specific frequency requirements.

            This is signals processing 101. Get any introductory book to signals processing if you need to confirm this for yourself.

            Yes, I know what I am talking about on this subject. Apparently you do not.

            1. I have heard analog that made me swear the instruments are right in front of me. Not possible with digital. High end digital is close, but no cigar. I don’t read engineering articles, I listen.

            2. David, if you “don’t read engineering articles”, which can in fact be ready by anyone who is interested, then it is not surprising that you are misinformed or misunderstand.

              Having something recorded in digital does not mean you hear digital when it is played back. Springs are oscillating systems, like sound. If you bounce a spring and record its every movement you can do so with analog or digital recording. It is simply a fact that given a specific band of frequency, digital recording and be used to recreate the analog behavior EXACTLY. No loss.

              This is basic matrix algebra + differentiable equations. This is not super science or controversial. It is ancient mathematics now, having been discovered in 1933.

              To quote wikipedia (emphasis mine): “a bandlimited function can be PERFECTLY reconstructed from a countable sequence of samples if the bandlimit, B, is no greater than half the sampling rate.

              In either case you hear analog. No digital artifacts, clipping, or anything else which would distinguish the sounds.

              Perhaps you are confused because digital can be compressed. Depending on compression digital signals can lose the ability to perfectly reconstruct the analog sound. But the problem is not DIGITAL, or DIGITAL COMPRESSION, it is LOSSY DIGITAL COMPRESSION. Lossless compression retains perfect reproducibility.

              For obvious reasons, nobody disputes that lossy compression results in a degraded signal.

              Anyway, sorry for jumping on you, but this site gets so many comments which try to make a case for things which are not just not true, were debunked in the article above, and but have been known to not be true longer than most people live. It seems that widely available knowledge is not enough for many people to be curious enough to set aside their impressions and experiences and actually learn from either experts or for themselves. People just want to maintain their opinion however wrong or uninformed.

              Perhaps you do not typically do that, but I happened to snap at you. Apologies. I hope you keep an open mind to how much people have learned about many subjects and how nuanced most things are, and magnify your intelligence by holding back from strong opinions where you are not willing to “read the X papers” on topics related to field X. And of course, everyone is an expert at something, even if it is just their home town, so strong opinions makes sense where each of us has real special knowledge.

          2. I have been to demos of very high quality analogue audio equipment, and I’ve had to leave after a few minutes because of the dreadful sound quality.
            Do not state that music sounds better because it’s analogue and worse because it’s digital, my ears say that’s bollocks.
            And I am referring to audiophile equipment, in this instance a Pink Triangle deck, Monitor Audio speakers, but I can’t remember now the amp and tone-arm, but the sound was horribly top-endy and harsh, everything that CD was accused of being at the time.
            And recordings are EQ’d, or compressed before the metal stampers are cut, because too much bass can cause transients that make grooves run into one another, thus making the stylus jump tracks; (I still can’t listen to ‘Go Your Own Way’ without expecting it to jump, because of a pressing flaw), and high frequencies are reduced to prevent ‘ringing’ which could cause the cutting lathe head to overheat.
            Which is why vinyl always sounds ‘warm’, the higher frequencies have been removed, EQ’d.

    1. Analog is better for a variety of reasons for overall quality, but high sampling/bit rate gets very close. But most people do not have the hardware to hear the difference, or particularly if they listen in environments with background noise.

      I am a music teacher myself, and 16/44.1 is plenty good for me, though I know it barely covers the high end of our hearing range.

      1. So the problem is not just the data rate, but also the hardware. Which makes sense. The average person would never be able to experience this, without buying high end DSP hardware, wires, and headphones or stereo and speakers. So what’s the point? It just means you have to be both rich and motivated enough to reproduce the experience.

      2. Lots of good stuff in the article. Worth the read if you have the time. As I said, few people even listen in an environment where they could hear a difference one way or the other. So at best a waste of money, like monster cables.

      3. Doug, I think you missed one of the most important points of that article. That is while human hearing range is 20Hz to 22KHz, which is representable with 44.1KHz 16-bit, the ability to hear at the the upper end of that frequency is dependent on the sound being extremely loud.

        If you go into a sound proof lab and have your hearing checked, they pump out a frequency and you may hear 22KHz, but that’s at a crazy loud volume. If they weren’t isolating that frequency but instead including it within a song, the volume of the song for you to be able to hear that frequency would blow your ear drums out.

        1. I am aware of those facts, and since I have not had the benefit of a side by side comparison as was cited in the article I can not speak from any real experience.

          The point I have tried to portray across my posts is that if there is a noticeable difference, it won’t make a real difference without quality gear and a quiet environment.

          1. Why are so many people refusing to read this article?

            Frequency and volume are independent of each other…
            Hz vs dB

            He explains this in detail and even has pretty pictures that go with it. Look at the section titled, “Sampling rate and the audible spectrum”. Do you see on the right of the graph where it’s 20kHz and the threshold of hearing intersects with the threshold of pain at around 140dB?

            He even provides a really good analogy. Take your IR remote control. If you have “golden eyes” you might think you can see that IR light, but regardless of how dark the room is, you can’t see the remote… not even a little bit. In order for you to see the remote, the IR transmitter would have to be so bright that it would fry your eyes.

            The same is going on with audio. With sounds greater than 22kHz, it would have to be so loud, that you’d burst your ear drums.

    2. Hey, I had your back in the last article, and even linked to Chris “Monty” Montgomery post in the comments. It’s funny how people still aren’t getting it.

      1. I went back and reread the article. Basically CD-Audio is the whole capability of all human species hearing. Everything else is pure bunk, wishful thinking. I remember when the CD came out in the 80s. There was extensive documentation as to how it was designed and how it’s specification was made. Why is it that DVD audio didn’t replace CD-Audio? Because it didn’t fix anything that was broken.

  3. Sounds like Lincvolt redux. Promote a project of questionable technical merit. Spend a lot of money from the technical illiterati. Project goes nowhere. Oops.

  4. For me, the issue is moot.

    The vast majority of recordings available are lousy quality in the first place. What difference does it make how accurately they are re-produced?

  5. This article was fascinating. He eloquently rips apart so much pseudoscience about audio, and backs it all up with stunningly detailed collection of establish theory and verifiable facts.

    I’m now thoroughly convinced that trying to optimize audio systems beyond the physical abilities of human hearing has zero benefits (at the listening stage), and causes problems with cost and fidelity, and that most claims of extraordinary sound perception are as ridiculous as claiming to see x-rays or infrared red light.

  6. This article is right on and I have said it before on this site. Science is against this sampling overkill and bit rate. The weak link is our ears and for many here, what is between their ears. Please learn something of human physiology and capacity. Then learn something about Fourier analysis and signals.

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