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one converted 44.1/16 to 44.1/12?
This naturally depends on the quality of the treble production from the system this stuff is being fed.
If top notch, the treble crap should drive one out of the room.
If an old boom box.. it may still sound just fine. LOL
That depends on whether it was a dithered (noise added) conversion or a truncation (simple chopping off) of the 4 LSBs. You may not readily notice any difference should you not be told to listen for one. Dithering to 12-bits will deliver about the same SNR (72dB) as a fairly good vinyl LP. Dithering adds random noise, while truncation increases measured distortion.
That said, have long ago listened to files where what you propose was done, with the various audio tracks made available for download from some website which I no longer recall. The resolution reduction included versions taken all the way down to 4-bits per sample, as I recall. My subjective assessment was not what I had expected. I preferred the sound of the truncated tracks until the resoution was reduced close to minimum. My ears perceived dither noise as a annoying distraction from the intended audio content. The truncated track of the same low resolution had obviouse anomalies (audible distortion), yet I found those anomalies to distract less from the intended audio content. As the bit-resolution was made minimum, dither did improve the intelligibility of the audio, particularly with human speech, over the truncated version.
I know a person who is designing/building an r2r (NOS) ladder dac, and he's trying to figure out why it sounds better to him and his friends at 12bits than at 16.
But I am no expert at anything digital and he is.
There could be a number of reasons for that. The first place to look is at how your friend's self-designed handmade r-2r converter measures at 12-bits, versus 16-bits. Designing and building high-resolution, consistently high-performance converters is not a trivial task. For just one example, the converter may be non-monotonic below 12-bits, making possible that it produce more distortion at 16-bits than it does at 12-bits. The bit-resolution does not determine the distortion. 1-bit converters, such as are used for DSD, inherently exhibit excellent distortion performance.
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