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24bit 192khz Digital
Finally after 30 years chained to the 16bit 44khz standard we now have the possibility of music playback at 24 bit 192 khz.
Our CD collections are getting old. Many are no longer available. As much as we hated, in the 80's, being dragged kicking and screaming from vinyl and tape to CD music playback, we have since acquired a whole library full of music CD's that we want to preserve. It wasn't 'perfect sound forever' as promised.
Solution: rip the whole mess to a 1 TB hard drive, bit perfect and lossless (mp3 not welcome) which can hold about 1000 cd. Easy to access, easy to backup. CD's in boxes up in the attic; WAF high.
Also we now have, 30 years later, the prospects of truly breaking through the 16 bit barrier. Every extra one bit adds about 6db of dynamic range. So 24 bits allow 144db instead of the 16 bit 96db of dynamic range. It will be a while before circuits can exploit the full potential, but it's something to reach for. Recording engineers I've spoken to have lamented how the recording engineer needs to be very conservative with one hand on the compressor because, unlike analogue, just a hair over 0db and the recording is trash. Hopefully greater headroom will allow a more leeway and we can get recording with unfettered dynamics - just like the golden age of vinyl in the late 50's and 60's.
BUT it's not just the extra dynamic range - all those extra data bits potentially mean a much finer texture to musical sounds and closer to the live analogue world than 16/44 could ever get. Glare can be gone, ear biting treble and glassy bass can return to their natural state. Some 24/192 albums i've recently purchased are 10x the file size of typical CDs.
It also fits in with the way we buy now. More online shops exist with lossless downloads where we can listen to a sample before purchasing. Catalogues are expanding at a rapid rate and some big names are jumping in.
Lastly, our CD transports are about to pack it in. The massive good ones with stable mounting are rare. What's out there isn''t that great. But, ultimately, playback from an SSD negates all the hardware issues. Jitter and power supply can be dealt with on an electrical level. Perfect bit streaming of music data done right is just a matter of proper setup of software and bypassing the operating system together with some pcs of optimized hardware to interface with our carefully assembled hifi system.
The first step is to find a link from the computer USB to our DAC.
We offer the Morello, based on the Musiland but done right (see the Musiland report card here):
Computer USB connects to the Morello.
SPDIF out connects via 75 ohm BNC/RCA or TOSLINK to your DAC.
Then stream bit perfect music asynchronously using supplied ASIO drivers, bypassing the Windows playback system.
The Morello uses the Musiland 24bit/193khz module core functions, however extensively reworked with these enhancements to the power supply and digital signal path:
That for Level 1 in the standard Musiland case.
Level 3 adds: