Where does Hi Res audio originate?

Yes, I can see it, but can I hear it?

Sorry - that album isn’t released yet.


Juliet Wood’s Sconsolato
Ikumi Koyama’s Album
Alban Claret & Evan Clegg’s Album

are all recorded in 96/24 too.

Happy to post another spectrum of something you can buy!

If you can hear anything, it’s probably intermodulation from breakup modes on the tweeter getting excited…

What’s the x-axis?

Time I think. It’s basically a collection of spectra taken at regular intervals, whose magnitudes are color-coded.

True. To get it right, the DAC would have to have a non-leaky interpolation filter and all analog components after the DAC would have to be linear well over 20kHz, including speakers. Even so, the contribution of ultrasonic content would be so quiet, you’d have to pump up the volume way over normal listening levels.

I guess I can try it some day. I know I have a mic that gets that high.

So I can record playback in the studio and record it to see for the > 20k gets through the amp and speakers.

I can’t even hear 17k myself!

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Is the B&O mic stereo?

Me neither, but at least I have good test subjects: my teens! I know for a fact my daughter can hear 17kHz and over. She once complained about a “loud” sound when we got off the car in an underground parking lot. I couldn’t hear a thing, so I used a spectrum analyzer phone app to see what was going on. Sure enough, there was a continuous up-and-down frequency sweep between 16kHz and 18kHz (or around those numbers). I found out later it was to repel mice. It also seemed to repel teens. A few days later at home, I played a 20kHz tone on the headphones and she said it was “like that sound”. She couldn’t hear 22kHz though. So I decided to use her to test Ruper Neve’s claim that a square wave with 2nd harmonic beyond 20kHz sounds different from a sine wave with same fundamental. She couldn’t tell the difference. Myth busted.


It is stereo.

Two ribbons, one above the other, with a pivot between them (which I usually set to 90 degrees)

I like it a lot as a drum overhead. It”s easier than a pair of mics to position, and also easier to adjust stereo position when mixing.

It also sounds great!

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I don’t think I’d want to feed ultrasonics to my main speakers anyway - 34mm aluminium dome tweeters that get a bit unruly above 19kHz…

Thank you all for the information. With well recorded music, high res audio from Qobuz sounds amazing in my system. Red Book… also amazing! So I’m not going to sweat it.


… out of reach of the drummer? :wink:

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Do you avoid playing high res content?

I should try this at some point with a few different speakers

The studio PMCs have soft dome tweeters

I also have some Rogers Studio 1a with aluminium tweeters (which will likely behave as you say)

And some electrostatics (Audiostatic) at home.

Of course also hard to know what the different amps will do over 20k, and how much power they will provide.

Of course I think most people who prefer high res audio do this because they think it treats the 20-20k frequencies better. The ultra-sonic is really just of interest to prove it was a high sample rate recording - not just an upsampled lower sample rate recording.

I don’t avoid it… it’s never been an (audible) problem.

Oddly, the speakers are Rogers Studio 1a, driven by Naim. I think Naim are pretty careful to control the bandwidth through their amplifiers, so maybe very little ultrasonic energy reaches the speakers. It might be a different result with different amplification.

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How funny we have the same Rogers.

Mine arrived two weeks ago from an old friend who doesn’t have roon for them. They were bought new many years ago by his wife - who was a BBC sound engineer.

Even with the Quad 521f in the studio they sound really good.

Mine have been here rather longer…

There must be something about BBC derived loudspeakers. I occasionally wonder if there’s a better alternative, and technically I’m sure there is, but haven’t heard much I’d actually want to listen to that isn’t silly money. It’s all a personal value judgement of course.

Mrs Gipsy moans about the notifications that pop up on our Alexa as there is a continuous background sound until you listen to it. I didn’t know it existed as I can’t hear it at all.

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With regard to older music now available for streaming…

You won’t find much information on the actual provenance of how these services got the files we end up hearing. I do not think there’s any super-reliable way to suss out that, at some point, they were not upsampled from a ripped CD. I don’t believe that is the case for the most popular older re-releases from major labels these days. 5 years ago? I think it was a different story.

We are hoping. We’re pretty sure the OG files provided by the label really are, probably, “hi-res”, but not much is there by way of proof. Sure, you can run it through spectral analysis, but that really doesn’t prove much, especially with older music.

MQA and it’s little light is, I think, an attempt at providing some of this, but, well, others have commented on MQA

Now, for any music recorded in the last 10+ or so (?) years, maybe a little more, its almost a certainty it was recorded/produced at 24/48 or higher.

So, good news if you really like Taylor Swift and Drake.

Can you hear any difference between this and CD? I’m not commenting on that.

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Since older music was recorded on tape, any digital master must have been obtained by digitizing tape. One would think labels used the same resolution for that as they used for live recordings, but what do I know?

The provenance is what I was getting at and I agree, it’s AFAICT typically unknowable.

Interestingly (maybe!) my original post was prompted after getting an email from HDTracks re high res Amy Winehouse Back to Black. My first thought was “who would buy that”? Does it clip more pleasantly? Then I started thinking about where these HD recordings come from and my limited experience trying to hear a difference. (In some cases I heard a difference but am not sure the recordings came from the same master).

@Trian_Boldea hit it on the head re: mastering and recording are more important than sample rate/bits per sample. I still would be interested in doing an A/B test of a HR and Red Book release of a quality recording. But, not so interested that I’m willing to take away from my limited listening time budget to do such a test!