AES Section Meeting Reports

Chicago - November 24, 2015

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With the introduction of the CD in the early 1980's and the evolution of digital audio technology, there has been an ongoing quest to improve what some called the "ultimate music storage format." This quest for such systems is not new and has been occurring since the invention of the Edison cylindrical disc. In general it has been felt that more bandwidth, more dynamic range, and less distortion is always better. Have we, however, reached a point of diminishing returns for even the most discriminating listener?

This presentation outlined a different approach to answering the above question by presenting three tests that are easy for individuals to implement (assuming they have capable equipment). The question was reframed as: "How sensitive is the combination of my listening acuity, and my various listening environments regarding two of the major aspects of High Resolution Audio - Dynamic Range and Bandwidth?"

By answering these questions, individuals can better decide for themselves as to the value and importance of acquiring high-resolution audio systems and recordings. In addition to these three tests, other tests were discussed regarding the hearable aspects of the various low pass filters used in digital audio systems. These tests were presented as a part of Workshop W20 at the 139th AES Convention in New York, which included a break-out room that allowed a number of individuals to take the tests. Following the formal presentation, several demo/test stations were available for interested attendees to take the tests.

A video presentation of the lecture portion of this meeting can be viewed at:

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AES - Audio Engineering Society