[Tig] tig:Blu (e) Ray & HD Audio

Nick Johnson Nick at LipFix.com
Sat Jan 10 06:34:01 GMT 2009


You have to be a member of the AES to access the actual publication but this
link summarizes the paper published in the September 2007 issue of the
Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (Volume 55, Number 9):

www.theaudiocritic.com.

Click on Web 'Zine. Use the link at the bottom of the page that comes up.
Then scroll to the article posted in October 2007 (Redbook vs. Hi-Rez). 

The following is a copy of that synopsis:
 
Redbook vs. Hi-Rez
peteraczel | 17 October, 2007 10:19
Proven: Good Old Redbook CD Sounds the Same as the Hi-Rez Formats  
Incontrovertible double-blind listening tests prove that the original
16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard yields exactly the same two-channel sound
quality as the SACD and DVD-A technologies. 
In the September 2007 issue of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
(Volume 55, Number 9), two veteran audio journalists who aren't professional
engineers, E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, present a breakthrough paper
that contradicts all previous inputs by the engineering community. They
prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, with literally hundreds of double-blind
listening tests at matched levels, conducted over a period of more than a
year, that the two-channel analog output of a high-end SACD/DVD-A player
undergoes no audible change when passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz A/D/A
processor. That means there's no audible difference between the original CD
standard ("Red Book") and 24-bit/192-kHz PCM or 1-bit/2.8442-MHz DSD. 
Please note that this is not just a disagreement with the cloud-cuckoo-land
tweako audiophiles but also with the highest engineering authorities, such
as the formidable J. Robert Stuart of England's Meridian Audio and others
with similar credentials. That the Meyer-Moran tests leave no room for
continued disagreements is an occasion for the most delicious Schadenfreude
on the part of electronic soundalike advocates like yours truly. I stated my
suspicions that SACD was no improvement over CD seven years ago, in my
review of the first Sony SACD player, the SCD-1, in Issue No. 26 of The
Audio Critic (downloadable from this website). I could hear no difference
between the CD and SACD layers of the same disc when stopping the player and
switching over, instant toggling between the two layers being impossible. 
Now, Meyer and Moran are careful to point out that the new hi-rez formats
generally sound better than standard CDs, but not because the processing
technology is superior. The hi-rez discs are aimed at a more sophisticated
market, and therefore the recording sessions and production techniques tend
to be more sophisticated, more puristic, in terms of microphoning,
compression, editing, etc. The use of a standard 16-bit/44.1-kHz processor
as a "bottleneck" in the Meyer-Moran tests eliminated this concern.
Comparing the CD and SACD layers of the same disc also eliminates it. 
It should also be pointed out that more bits and a higher sampling rate in
recording are still a good thing because they permit a little bit of
unavoidable sloppiness, so that you can still comfortably end up with 16-bit
dynamics and 20 kHz bandwidth. Meyer and Moran do not say that 14 or 15 bits
in a truncated CD are just as good as 20. What they say is that spot-on
16-bit/44.1-kHz processing is as good as it gets, audibly. Finally, let's
not confuse the Meyer-Moran tests with stereo vs. surround sound
comparisons. All of the above has to do with the two channels, left and
right, of stereo recordings, nothing else. The musical value of additional
surround channels is something I have been wondering about lately, but
that's an altogether different subject. 


If you search the AES site their short synopsis of the research paper is:

Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio
Playback
E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran   775
Conventional wisdom asserts that the wider bandwidth and dynamic range of
SACD and DVD-A make them of audibly higher quality than the CD format. A
carefully controlled double-blind test with many experienced listeners
showed no ability to hear any differences between formats. High-resolution
audio discs were still judged to be of superior quality because sound
engineers have more freedom to make them that way. There is no evidence that
perceived quality has anything to do with additional resolution or
bandwidth.




-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Lingelbach [mailto:rob at colorist.org] 
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 3:49 PM
To: Nick Johnson
Cc: 'tig'
Subject: Re: [Tig] tig:Blu (e) Ray & HD Audio


On Jan 9, 2009, at 6:36 PM, Nick Johnson wrote:

> This double blind study I refer to was published in the September  
> 2007 issue
> of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (Volume 55, Number  
> 9). Two
> veteran audio journalists, E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, present  
> the
> breakthrough paper proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, with literally
> hundreds of double-blind listening tests at matched levels,  
> conducted over a
> period of more than a year, that the two-channel analog output of a  
> high-end
> SACD/DVD-A player undergoes no audible change when passed through a
> 16-bit/44.1-kHz A/D/A processor. That means there's no audible  
> difference
> between the original CD standard ("Red Book") and 24-bit/192-kHz PCM  
> or
> 1-bit/2.8442-MHz DSD.

where can we read about the above on the net?  Who were the  
participants in the study?

If they were not musicians with developed ears, can we trust the  
results?   I'm sure these
answers are covered in the study.

--
Rob Lingelbach
rob at colorist.org










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