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Re: Upsampling? Interpolation?

All the technically relevant stuff has already been covered in the earlier thread further down this page. It appears that the oversampling craze has derailed into the usual hype marketing we remember from the Japanese receiver wars. Numbers sell and more is better.

As an owner of Zanden's digital, I can unequivocally say that an 1985 16/44 Philips chip (which can't even lock to an upsampled data stream from, say an Ensemble transport that upsamples prior to the outbaord DAC) without the "benefit" of any subsequent "number wizardy" run into a proprietary analog reconstruction filter is fully competitive with all the whizbang latest/greatest oversampling and DSP-driven interpolation engines. I think it actually sounds better than most of those but that's a different subject.

Not to say that "number's wizards" can't sound very good. They can and do. They're just not inherently superior nor do they recover "any more information" that would elude the pathetic 20-year old chip used by Zanden (and older Revox machines and others).

The information encoded on the disc is what it is and no subsequent signal manipulation can *add* to that. Oversampling simply allows conversion artifacts to be pushed up into ultrasonic frequencies to allow the subsequent lower-order filters that will inflict less phase shift on the converted signal.

Now add into this debate the "no filter" brigade a la Audio Note, 47 Labs, iLungo, Audio Zone, Scott Nixon, ACK etc. Those products *should* be technically so inferior and "broken" if the "digital marketing campaign" was correct in its implications. Many listeners who own such non- up/oversampling machines would vehemently disagree, of course.

So where does that leave us? Those far more technically astute than I would be in a better position to weigh in there but it seems that the old "implemention rules" adage holds true here as well. Good-sounding products can be made in any number of different ways and the specs and numbers don't tell the whole story by a long shot. No "magic bullets" or miracle cures...

Is it not also true that when upsampling was first introduced by dCS, its engineers admitted they didn't know *why* it made a difference since theoretically, it shouldn't have? There was never any talk about "more information" then...


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