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Beosound 5 and HD music files

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VANTAGE
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VANTAGE posted on Wed, Jun 6 2012 6:52 PM

 

Hi all,

I am confused and hoping that somebody here can give me a bulletproof answer ;-)

I am the happy owner of a BS5/BM5 combo. All my music is in lossless-format, ie. in at least CD quality (16 bit-44.1 KHz), sometimes above (typically 24 bit-96 KHz). Regardless of quality or format (FLAC, WMA…) everything plays well on my system.

Here’s the question: on a well-known Danish B&O forum, I have read that BS5/BM5 does not play above CD quality, ie. if a file is provided in a higher quality (FLAC 24 bit-96 KHz for instance), it is “downgraded” to 44.1 KHz before being played. In an e-mail I have received today from Struer, I am even told that any FLAC-file above 48 KHz needs to be converted to 44.1 KHz before it can be played: that’s just plain wrong, as I haven’t touched the high resolution music files that I have bought, and they all play correctly. B&O also tells me that having BL5s (with digital cables and with BL5 selected as speakers in the BS5 menu) does not change things one bit: it will still be CD quality (44.1 KHz), no more.

Now maybe I got things completely wrong, but here on Beoworld I have read that the BS5 Encore can play up to 96 KHz and the BS5/BM5 combo, up to 192 KHz.

To sum things up: I know for a fact that my system DOES play files that are above 44.1 KHz or even 48 KHz. The question is whether it is playing them at the original high frequency, or not? Am I wasting money buying the more expensive HD music files? I mean it’s pretty pointless buying HD files if they get downgraded to CD quality anyway, right?

Can anybody here confirm FOR A FACT that BS5 / BM5 plays HD files correctly, at the appropriate original high frequency?

Many thanks for your support and guidance on the matter Smile

VANTAGE

 

 

Beovision Eclipse 65 -  BL5 - BL3

McIntosh MC601 x 2 - McIntosh C50 - McIntosh D100 -  McIntosh MHP1000 - Focal Scala V2 Utopia - McIntosh McAire

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mbee
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mbee replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 9:02 PM

On some tracks, I can hear a huge difference between the CD converted in FLAC and the same song bought on Qobuz in 24/96. And I'm sure it's not a placebo effect, as I've invited some friends to tell the difference between files, and they were never wrong, always prefering the depth of the 24/96 files.

So I'm sure that I hear the difference between CD and HD, but I'm quite sure that what I'm hearing is the difference between 24 and 16bits, and not the difference between 44,1 and 96kHz sampling rate, but that's personnal, maybe some people here can hear the difference.

So I can assure you that 24bit files are played as 24bit files.

On my Encore, all sampling rate are read between 44,1 and 96kHz, but not higher. That also seem to indicate that the Encore actually reads the file as it should, not downgrading to 44,1kHz, because if it was doing that, why not doing it on 192kHz files?

If you want to test with some files, don't hesitate to download the free frequency test album from Qobuz : if you already have an account, enter the qbzfreq2 gift code. (and if you don't have an account, why not being sponsored by me with this link ? it gives you 5% on your first order)

VANTAGE
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Thanks a lot for your input Mbee. I have also made some comparisons and do think that HD files sound better compared to CDs. I was just worried that it might be a purely psychological thing! I'm glad your experience tells you the same, also with the 'blind tests' you have conducted with your friends.

As for Qobuz, I am a big fan! I have used this website quite a few times already, here's hoping that they will extend their HD catalogue even further!

Cheers, VANTAGE

 

Beovision Eclipse 65 -  BL5 - BL3

McIntosh MC601 x 2 - McIntosh C50 - McIntosh D100 -  McIntosh MHP1000 - Focal Scala V2 Utopia - McIntosh McAire

Barry Santini
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The Absolute sound had a series of 4-6 articles discussing the all-about computer audi, formats, bit rates, mastering, ripping, storing, cabling, powering, etc., in the last 6 months. I personally found it to be fascinating. Look at issues 11/11, 12/11, 01/12, 02/12, 03/12 and 06/12 (especially revealing about what goes on/goes wrong before you get tat CD or computer file. Very technical, but not behind most here.

Does anyone know where I can get a definitive listing of the exact audio formats supported at present by the BS5/BM/5? I am especially interested in if WAV files of 176.4/24 bit are supported.

B
VANTAGE
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Thanks for the tip!

Now getting a complete list of all formats supported by BS5 / BM5 might be tough, since my experience (see above) has told me that even B&O has got it wrong :-)

Vantage

Beovision Eclipse 65 -  BL5 - BL3

McIntosh MC601 x 2 - McIntosh C50 - McIntosh D100 -  McIntosh MHP1000 - Focal Scala V2 Utopia - McIntosh McAire

Carolpa
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BS5 up to 192kHz 24bit FLAC

BS5e up to 96kHz 24bit FLAC

BS5e: no down sampling of 192kHz files (any files above 96kHz), there is simply no sound to be heard

 

my own experience with both systems (ripped DVD Video/Audio, BR and SACD as well bought HD files)

 

 

see

http://archivedforum.beoworld.org/forums/p/41746/346373.aspx#346373 (post of Geoff Martin from Stuer)

VANTAGE
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Good stuff, thanks a lot Carolpa, you really made my day Smile

I will continue hunting HD files then...

Cheers, VANTAGE

Beovision Eclipse 65 -  BL5 - BL3

McIntosh MC601 x 2 - McIntosh C50 - McIntosh D100 -  McIntosh MHP1000 - Focal Scala V2 Utopia - McIntosh McAire

Fisp
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Fisp replied on Fri, Jun 8 2012 11:13 AM

(A question for Geoff Martin at the archived Beosound 5 forum (http://archivedforum.beoworld.org/forums/p/41746/346373.aspx#346373))

In this archived discussion you listed the specs. for the BS5 Encore. Do you know the specs for the BS5/BM5 combo?

I tried a 24bit 192kHz FLAC file on my BS5/BM5 system  but it didn't play. I asked about sound quality at the B&O support and this is their answer:

We recommend using FLAC files in CD quality, which is 16bit 44.1kHz, so in order to get it to work you must downgrade to 16 bit.

BeoSound 5 will be able to play all kinds of  FLAC formats, men formats above 48 kHz will be downgraded to 44.1 kHz

Regards.


Carolpa
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@Frisp

was the file a 24bit 192kHz 2 channel music file? Or was it a multichannel file? The multichannel file will not be audible!

 

the answer of B&o is in that way strange, that it is more complex to downgrade steaming music then put additional codecs in the system.

Note: the BM5 is build around a VIA board with HD capabilities/spec's.

Fisp
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Fisp replied on Fri, Jun 8 2012 1:33 PM

Frankly speaking, I don't know and I'm not sure I get the meaning of the last part Sad, except from the fact that it does look as if the BM5 is able to play HD files.

However, I have just tried a 24bit 192kHz file from the Linn site (http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-downloads-testfiles.aspx)

and it plays beautifully.

Thanks.

sjmcguckin
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Hi All,

I also can play HD tracks and use Flac. However I cannot get the album art to show. I put it in folder.jpg but nothing shows. Anyone been able to solve this?

Thanks

Carolpa
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Carolpa replied on Sat, Jun 16 2012 12:00 PM
I embedded the jpg in the flac file.

All pictures are shown on the BS5
Puncher
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Puncher replied on Sat, Jun 16 2012 12:36 PM

mbee:

On some tracks, I can hear a huge difference between the CD converted in FLAC and the same song bought on Qobuz in 24/96. And I'm sure it's not a placebo effect, as I've invited some friends to tell the difference between files, and they were never wrong, always prefering the depth of the 24/96 files.

So I'm sure that I hear the difference between CD and HD, but I'm quite sure that what I'm hearing is the difference between 24 and 16bits, and not the difference between 44,1 and 96kHz sampling rate, but that's personnal, maybe some people here can hear the difference.

 

But here you are assuming that is was exactly the same stereo audio master that was used to generate the FLAC file and the Qobuz file - this is certainly not guaranteed and it's very likely that whoever was commisioned to render the FLAC and Qobuz file did their own "mastering" before encoding.

It is therefore possible (if not even probable) that the differences you hear have nothing to do with the actually codec or encoding bitdepth/frequency.

Ban boring signatures!

Carolpa
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Puncher:
It is therefore possible (if not even probable) that the differences you hear have nothing to do with the actually codec or encoding bitdepth/frequency.

Interesting point of view! 

But in general I agree with Mbee. I converted a lot of DVDA, DVDV, SACD & BR in the digital domain to hi-res FLAC myself and there is most of the times a notable difference. But not always!?!

A nice example: the Beatles album collection on USB (official Apple release). Even despite they are "only" 44.1kHz 24bit, they are the best sounding Beatles around. 

sjmcguckin
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Sorry for being stupid, but how did you do this?

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