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RE: Interesting Video Audio Myths

" looked at a 16K sign wave at -90 I don't think it would exist. Not enough bits.....this is why 24 bits is necessary."

I have sympathy for your general argument but a 16 bit system would allow a -90dB 16K sine wave signal to be reproduced with a little to spare (it has a dynamic range of 96dB), at least it would still exist, this being your point. However that is a text book kind of argument and assumes a perfect 16 bit device. In practice as you have realised it isn't quite that straightforward. However 24 bit systems are way over the top for music reproduction and, as the engineers at Decca pointed out way back in the 1980s, a 20 bit system is perfectly adequate for all of our needs.

BTW, a processor that can deal with a 24 bit word length is not the same as an audio system that can utilise the consequences i.e. to fully exploit 24 bits means a system with a S/N ratio of 144dB. And of course listening in a room with ambient noise at -144dB. Even if you had this the changes to sound at lower levels would still be inaudible as they would be masked by the sound of your own blood flow through your ears.

Digital audio has brought us another "specmanship" race. In the 1970s it was based on ever diminishing distortion figures ( Your amp has 0.0001% distortion, ours is better as it has 0.00001%), now it's word length and sample rates. When I read of 32bit/768Ks/s for audio I laugh. No, cry.


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