You are here

Log in or register to post comments
bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 26 min ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
44.1khz sampling rate for 2 channel audio

I recently switched to processing my CD player signal via an external DAC vs RCA cables into my Integrated Amp.  I saw a noteworty inprovement in audio quality.  I was quite shocked at how obvious the difference was.  What I found interesting that the DAC said that it was a 44.1khz signal.  This is newer equipment and the TosLink connection on the DAC supports 192khz signals.   

My CD player is a Marantz CC4003 (5 disc player) and according to their site, all Marantz CD players evidently sample at 44.1Khz, not just this 5 disc changer.  I did some external searches and this seems to be the consumer audio standard.  At least Marantz publishes the sampling rate.  I searched a few other manufacturers web sites and couldn't find it. 

My question is, for 2 channel audio using regular CDs, do I care if I have a higher sampling rate?  Am I bumping up against the quality limitations of an average CD? 

What other issues might I be facing?  I am aware the carousel is a less than optimal transport but I really like the convenience of it, especially when we have guests. 

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 6 hours ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
all cd players

All CD players (not just Marantz) output a 16bit/44.1khz sampling rate signal.  therefore, regardless of the DAC capabilities, your digital output from the CD (via Toslink or digital coaxial) will be 16/44.1.  Your external DAC is likely superior to the CD player's internal DAC, so yes, you get better sound.

Your DAC will decode higher sampling rates (such as 88.2, 96, and 192) when presented with those inputs.  They may come from a DVD-A or DVD player, or computer files, or a universal disc player that plays CD's but also higher rate files.

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Redbook Standard

When Sony and Phillips designed the audio CD, and put forth the Red Book, which lists all of the technical specifications of the audio CD, the sampling rate was set at 44.1 Khz. It has remained so. Every CD uses it, so that is that.

Oddly enough, this sampling rate was chosen due to the fact that the initial mastering of early CDs was to be done using the 3/4" Sony U-matic tape recorder, and 44.1 Khz was chosen based on the tape scanning rate of the U-matic. 

Stereophile published an article detailing the history of that a couple of years ago.

There is no need for a higher scanning rate. Scanning at a multiple of that frequency allows for "overscanning". This allows each 16-bit sample to be read more than once, which allows comparison of the multiple readings to determine processing errors. That is one way to try to correct for DAC inaccuracies.

Most DACs in most CD players do not do a very good job of processing the data coming off of the disc, resulting in distortion. Engineers have spent the last 30 years trying to design inexpensive chips to eliminate the distortions, with limited success.  

5-disc players seldom have very good DACs; pretty basic stuff. I used a Yamaha 5-disc player for years, and used a Theta DAC to process the bitstream from it, which made a huge improvement over the analog output of the Yamaha. The Theta used huge amounts of processing power and several microprocessors to do the job, which is why it cost over $2000.

The OPPO BDP-95 and BDP-105 have SABRE DACs, which are some of the best at any price. Get one of those and you will hear an amazing improvement in sound quality. They are so good that IMO every player costing over $1000 has been rendered obsolete.

I think that a lot of people at a lot of high-end companies are really sick, knowing that their $4000 or $7000 player has been bested by a $1200 player. I think a lot of them will just quit making players. Thay ceratinly aren;t going to sell many now.

What is kind of funny to me is that the Sony engineers who designed the CD did not realize that it would take 30 years for the player technology to catch up with the thing they had created.

"Perfect Sound Forever" may be what you can put on the disc, but intil these new OPPOs showed up, it was damned hard to get it off without significant distortion.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 26 min ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Thank you for the explanation

I expected an improvement moving to an external DAC, I just didn't expect the difference to be so dramatic.  I left the RCA conenction attached to the integrated amp and and was able to switch between the DAC and CD player and the difference was shocking.  When I saw the 44.1khz sampling rate, I was curious if I could do better. 

I do plan to step up to that Oppo BDP105, but given that I just bought a new set of speakers, my wife would be displeased if I spent another $1000 on stereo equipment. 

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Waves

Yes, one must be careful not to make waves on the placid sea of marital happiness.

Slip it into the next credit card cycle and install it when she is out shopping...lol.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Oppo 105

The real complaints will roll in when she sees the bill for analog and digital mods to the Oppo 105 including the OPPOMODS power supply with big honking toroidal transformer.

 

geoff kait

machina dynamica

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
GILDING THE LILY

When something is already a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10, one would have to be a bit loopy to modify it in any way.

I have no plans to modify my Vandersteen Treos or my Audio Research LS-26 preamp, either...lol.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 26 min ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
I need to wait a few months

I just bought those Revel Performa3 Speakers.  Two +$1000 purchases in back to back months would get me a very cranky wife. 

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Commsysman wrote, "When

Commsysman wrote,

"When something is already a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10, one would have to be a bit loopy to modify it in any way.  I have no plans to modify my Vandersteen Treos or my Audio Research LS-26 preamp, either...lol."

Having been through the whole upgrade thing with my Oppo 103 this past year, including OPPOMODS power supply, Audio Magic Pulse Gen ZX and a bunch of WA quantum Chips, I think I can say without fear of contradiction, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." 

 

Cheers, geoff Kait @ machina dynamica

 

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
OPPO 105

I will bet you it still does not sound as good as a stock BDP-105.

Tacking on mods seldom will equal a superior design. The SABRE chips in the 105 are amazingly good.

 

geoffkait wrote:

Commsysman wrote,

"When something is already a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10, one would have to be a bit loopy to modify it in any way.  I have no plans to modify my Vandersteen Treos or my Audio Research LS-26 preamp, either...lol."

Having been through the whole upgrade thing with my Oppo 103 this past year, including OPPOMODS power supply, Audio Magic Pulse Gen ZX and a bunch of WA quantum Chips, I think I can say without fear of contradiction, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." 

 

Cheers, geoff Kait @ machina dynamica

 

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Modded Oppo

Commsysman, of course my point is that the stock Oppo 105 is a long way from a modded Oppo 105.  Everything is relative.  Isolation of the printed circuit boards in the Oppos is something that Oppo should address as it is currently a significant problem.  Everything is relative.  More to the point, how could the 105 be a 10 when it can be improved by 50-100%?  

Cheers,

 

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 26 min ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
So I did some experimenting

Since I got my new Revel speakers, I was getting a touch bummed out by the Sunfire's in my home theatre and was thinking that in comparison, they were awful.  I made other switches moving my better CD player and turntable to the room that has the Revel's.  The home theatre till sounded great for movies but awful for music and I thought it might be the speakers stunk for music.  

It was the CD player.  I loaded a CD into my PS3 which I use as the Bluray player and it made a massive difference.  I then found the right setting to tweak and sent 176.4khz signal instead of a 48khz signal and what a change.  I am just using the DAC in my Marantz pre/pro and it is a massive step forward.

My question is, how much better will that Oppo BDP105 be compare to the PS3 and the DAC in my Marantz pre/pro be?

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
OPPO 105
geoffkait wrote:

Commsysman, of course my point is that the stock Oppo 105 is a long way from a modded Oppo 105.  Everything is relative.  Isolation of the printed circuit boards in the Oppos is something that Oppo should address as it is currently a significant problem.  Everything is relative.  More to the point, how could the 105 be a 10 when it can be improved by 50-100%?  

 

I think it is very unlikely that it can be improved by 10%.

I had the $6000 Ayre C5xe/MP for 5 years, and it was THE A+ rated player in Recommended Compononts for all that time.

When I heard the 105 I immediately bought one and sold the Ayre for twice what the 105 cost. It was a major improvement.

I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
OPPO 105
bierfeldt wrote:

My question is, how much better will that Oppo BDP105 be compare to the PS3 and the DAC in my Marantz pre/pro be?

IMO, it would be a huge improvemnt.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Modded Oppos

Commsysman, everything is relative.  That's the beauty of the audio hobby.  Of course, the other thing to consider is that I have the advantage of a year and a half's experience with modding zee Oppo. At the risk of being a little bold, can I say not only is there 10% available for improvement but probably more like 100%?

"Work on the premise that if something's almost impossible there must be some way to do it."  - Old audiophile adage

cheers,

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

rbbert
rbbert's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 days ago
Joined: Oct 18 2009 - 10:22am
Look a little harder
commsysman wrote:

...I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

Then you haven't looked very hard. Positive Feedback Online magazine has recommended two different ones, and users' anecdotal reports are all over the 'Net. If you go to an audio show you can compare Modwright's mod to a stock Oppo (Modwright only mods the stereo outs so the Front L/R outs are still stock). What will you say when Oppo brings out a successor to the 105 (which can't be improved)?

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
105
rbbert wrote:
commsysman wrote:

...I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

Then you haven't looked very hard. Positive Feedback Online magazine has recommended two different ones, and users' anecdotal reports are all over the 'Net. If you go to an audio show you can compare Modwright's mod to a stock Oppo (Modwright only mods the stereo outs so the Front L/R outs are still stock). What will you say when Oppo brings out a successor to the 105 (which can't be improved)?

You have my absolute guarantee that the OPPOMODS toroidal transformer power supply will improve the 105. I won't even get into isolating the transformer, damping the printed circuit boards, use of mumetal around the transformer and application of WA Quantum Chips on capacitors, semiconductors and the transformer.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
105
rbbert wrote:
commsysman wrote:

...I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

Then you haven't looked very hard. Positive Feedback Online magazine has recommended two different ones, and users' anecdotal reports are all over the 'Net. If you go to an audio show you can compare Modwright's mod to a stock Oppo (Modwright only mods the stereo outs so the Front L/R outs are still stock). What will you say when Oppo brings out a successor to the 105 (which can't be improved)?

You have my absolute guarantee that the OPPOMODS toroidal transformer power supply will improve the 105. I won't even get into isolating the transformer, damping the printed circuit boards, use of mumetal around the transformer and application of WA Quantum Chips on capacitors, semiconductors and the transformer.

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
wkhanna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 16 min ago
Joined: Jul 13 2007 - 1:46pm
this little piggy came up short.......
commsysman wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Commsysman, of course my point is that the stock Oppo 105 is a long way from a modded Oppo 105.  Everything is relative.  Isolation of the printed circuit boards in the Oppos is something that Oppo should address as it is currently a significant problem.  Everything is relative.  More to the point, how could the 105 be a 10 when it can be improved by 50-100%?  

 

I think it is very unlikely that it can be improved by 10%.

I had the $6000 Ayre C5xe/MP for 5 years, and it was THE A+ rated player in Recommended Compononts for all that time.

When I heard the 105 I immediately bought one and sold the Ayre for twice what the 105 cost. It was a major improvement.

I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

Nearly all the audio hardware out there (with a few $100k type exceptions) is built to a price point. Short cuts are taken, lower grade materials inserted, parts are shared across product line, all in order to make the required margin.

Very seldom are all of the engineer's best efforts incorporated into the final product that goes to market.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Price point
wkhanna wrote:
commsysman wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Commsysman, of course my point is that the stock Oppo 105 is a long way from a modded Oppo 105.  Everything is relative.  Isolation of the printed circuit boards in the Oppos is something that Oppo should address as it is currently a significant problem.  Everything is relative.  More to the point, how could the 105 be a 10 when it can be improved by 50-100%?  

 

I think it is very unlikely that it can be improved by 10%.

I had the $6000 Ayre C5xe/MP for 5 years, and it was THE A+ rated player in Recommended Compononts for all that time.

When I heard the 105 I immediately bought one and sold the Ayre for twice what the 105 cost. It was a major improvement.

I have never heard any reliable reports that there is ANY mod that can improve the 105; I tend to regard that as nonsense.

Nearly all the audio hardware out there (with a few $100k type exceptions) is built to a price point. Short cuts are taken, lower grade materials inserted, parts are shared across product line, all in order to make the required margin.

Very seldom are all of the engineer's best efforts incorporated into the final product that goes to market.

Certainly price is important, but what is a little more, uh, disturbing perhaps is the plain fact that these renowned designers of cutting edge electronics are completely unaware or oblivious to a lot of these tricks of the trade as it were. Like good fuses. That is what we call in the trade a no brainer. What designer who wishes to produce a state of the art product would think of overlooking the humble fuse. Nevertheless....

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading