Friday, 30 September 2011

Hi Resolution Audio

Just a few more notes about my research into higher resolution audio than the standard 'Red Book' CD of 44.1 kHz at 16 bit. Reading a little about SACD/DSD, implies that the maximum possible with that format is around 20 bits, 96 kHz. But given my desire to run everything from the computer, means it is not really part of my audio landscape. Looking at a few HD audio websites, primarily HD Tracks, appears that 96 kHz at 24 bit is readily available. There was limited offerings at 24 bit 192 kHz. However, the range of music available is still limited, and only a few of the artists that I like to listen to are available. It would be interesting to see if the 192/24 becomes more readily available with a larger selection of artists, otherwise, it would seem moot at this point in time, to invest in hardware and tracks in this much higher resolution.

Again, my choice in the Calyx Coffee, which is limited to 96/24 would be a good choice for the short and perhaps medium term. The next step is to make available some of this high resolution tracks, and compare that against the standard Red Book versions.

The other question of over sampling is coming up. I am pretty sure that the Calyx oversamples 44.1/16 into its native resolution, due to the Block diagram with a component "Oversampling Filter". This would suggest that whatever sampling frequency is fed into the DAC, is samples it into its native frequency. Which I would presum is 96 kHZ. Again, going back to various historical threads, people seem to say a lot of positive things about Non oversampled DAC. Perhaps this is an area to do some more reading on.

Another reason why I chose the Calyx is because it used an ESS chip. As I have a full Twisted Pear Audio kit for the Buffalo II (using the ESS9018) along with the Legato and relevant PSU, I'd like to sample the audio signature of the ESS chips before I embark on the build. Given my limited time and space, I'd like to know whether this is something that I can live with, or live without. Hopefully, I can get a decent session tonight, and provide some more thoughts.

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