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Old 11 October 2016, 14:26   #25
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Originally Posted by paul1981 View Post
You think 11-12 bit audio sounds the same as 16-bit audio to the average user?
More or less yes - nowadays 1 bit audio converters deliver over 100dB linearity - (remember that i'm referring to DAC linearity/accuracy not resolution) - bits if properly used are not so important.

Originally Posted by paul1981 View Post
I'd say this very much depends on the users' hifi system (or lo-fi system if one can't tell the difference between 12-bit audio and 16-bit). I tested 14-bit audio 20 years ago on the Amiga and it was 14-bit then, and it still is now! Listen to song fade outs or quiet sections or classical music (being as classical music is the most dynamic music available) and you'll plainly hear the extra resolution which is leaps and bounds beyond 8-bit....sounds a lot like 14-bit to me. Of course, I'd expect a proper calibration to have taken place first which takes about 30 or more minutes to do properly. It really is quite exciting to hear the better quality audio from good ol' 1985 Paula ;-)
I can tell you only one thing - adding real 2 - 3 bits is more than necessary to dramatically improve perceived audio quality as quantization noise level drop bellow normal auditory threshold (normal listening environment conditions). 8 bit system has relatively high level of quantization noise and if you add to this sub-Nyquist sampling rate then you realize that Paula sound is not even close to HiFi type.

Slightly modifying Paula (introducing for example sample interleaving will first reduce amount of DAC's - from 4 to 2, secondly it will allow for increased sample rates by using two folded/time interleaved channels - this with proper dithering+noiseshaping even on 8 bit Paula will push quality close to 14 - 16 bit system without any or almost any CPU load - in theory 4 times oversampled, 8 bit PCM DAC is capable to beat DSD so high end, high resolution modern audio format).

Originally Posted by paul1981 View Post
In real life there's less than 16-bits in 16-bit audio unless the signal is a constant full peak sinewave, so for 14-bit it's going to be less still, but it doesn't change the fact that the resolution capability still 16-bit respectively and 14-bit respectively.
I strongly disagree - you should check Gerzon-Craven theorem - modern audio system with 16 bit DAC may easily have more than 120 - 130dB dynamics with noiseshaping matching human ATH (personally tested signals with level -140dBFS in 16 bit PCM but in theory you can easily put lower levels - limit is only Gerzon-Craven theorem).

Last edited by pandy71; 11 October 2016 at 14:32.
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