Except for a few of my audiophile customers, none of the people that I have worked with care about audio cables and audio tweaks. I do, but mostly because Its a hobby and I enjoy it.
That being said, I’ll say it again, a few basic rights and wrongs and you’ve got most of what you need to accomplish with cables taken care of.
I’m not convinced
Boy oh boy, my simple post about our lunchtime conversation concerning cable elevators has once again let all the worms out of the can.
Of course, the controversy is to be expected. Anything involving cables, tweaks, isolation bases, fuses, and whatever manner of heresy I write about will naturally draw ridicule. And that’s alright. I can remember when the notion that electronics sound different or the idea that CDs sound different than vinyl were thought to be subjects worthy of burning one at the stake. Today, that’s mostly accepted.
What truly tickles me is when I get notes from readers announcing they are not convinced. That my words and opinions did not sway their opinions. Thank you for those comments. Anytime someone reaches out and connects it’s welcome.
Here’s the thing. I am not attempting to sway opinion or convince anyone of anything. What I do is to openly share my thoughts with you, our HiFi Family—our community. Think of it like standing at the bar of our local pub, mug of frosty white in hand, chewing the fat about what we believe and why.
We’re community. Family. Friends. I am not out to change the world nor sway others to my thoughts.
Mine is about sharing.
More than bit depth, to me, the type of digital file and how its delivered to our DAC’s make the biggest difference. I compared a FLAC file via Qobuz vs a ripped WAV file of a Lee Ritenour 16/44.1 CD last night and there was no contest. Qobuz is great, but just not nearly as good sounding as music ripped from a standard CD and off of my hard drive. No contest.
There sure is a lot of controversy over bits and depth. One group feels that dividing 96dB of dynamic range into 65, 535 slices (16 bits) is enough, while others are more comfortable dividing 120dB into 16,777,215 slices (24 bit).
Bit depth: the difference between the softest and loudest captured sound. How important is it?
We know that CDs have a dynamic range that blows the doors off analog recordings of any kind. And we know that we’re not limited to just Red Book standards, that it’s trivially easy to get better.
Does it matter?
Of course, the arguments fly as fast as manure at a political rally. The truth lies somewhere in the middle (doesn’t it always?).
It’s all in the hands of the recording and mastering engineer, not the technology. If the engineer decides to use 24 bits but then shoves all the audio in the upper 16 bit space, ignoring the lower 8 bits, then nothing’s been gained other than a marketing advantage when they print “24” on the label. So, it’s rarely the technology at play and more in the hands of the engineer.
Which is a shame because most engineers aren’t interested in the highest fidelity.
We have the means, just not the will to use it.