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Guidance For Playing 24bit (Non-experienced user)
Andrekreou
post Mar 3 2013, 23:29
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Hello, I am new in this forum and I wanted to ask you something. I just downloaded a 24bit audio album from HD tracks. I can play it on my PC but when I compare it to the standard CD 16bit format I found out that it sounds lower than that. I mean that I have to increase the volume in order to hear the music. With 16bit doesn't happen that. I searched across the web and I found that I need specific audio equipment to achieve the maximum quality possible. I don't have any special equipment. Just a sound card that says High Definition Audio in my Windows 7 control panel.

Please, can you tell why this "volume" thing happen and what equipment I need to get the maximum 24bit quality??? It's not necessary to suggest specific brands.

Thank you in advance!!!
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o-l-a-v
post Mar 4 2013, 00:10
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The volume thing is might related to difference in loudness rather than 16bit vs 24bit.

Most built-in sound cards supports 24bit these days. You just need to change the settings:
Right click on the speaker icon in down right (notification bar)
Then: Playback Devices -> Properties -> Advanced (Tab) -> And then in drop down menu, change default format to 24bit + the sample rate of the 24bit file. If 24 bit is not in the list, it's not supported by your sound card.
In that case i suggest you to buy a DAC (Digital Audio Converter)/ External sound card.
Audioquest DragonFly is a good DAC for beginners: http://www.whathifi.com/review/audioquest-dragonfly
Reviews of more DAC's: http://www.whathifi.com/reviews/accessories/dacs

For program i suggest Foobar2000: http://www.foobar2000.org/
Easy to use, many functions, clean interface etc.

This post has been edited by o-l-a-v: Mar 4 2013, 00:11
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Apesbrain
post Mar 4 2013, 00:12
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The situation you describe is not that unusual and you don't need to change hardware to address it. Get familiar with what ReplayGain does and find a software player that supports it. What software player are you currently using?
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db1989
post Mar 4 2013, 00:19
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QUOTE (Andrekreou @ Mar 3 2013, 22:29) *
I searched across the web and I found that I need specific audio equipment to achieve the maximum quality possible.
Nope. Any decent hardware that supports both bit-depths will be equally capable at reproducing either, and it is highly unlikely that you, or any other human, could hear a difference in any case.
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pdq
post Mar 4 2013, 04:09
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What you are hearing is probably a difference in mastering. The CD version was probably mastered to sound as loud as possible, but better mastering in the 24 bit version allows for greater dynamic range, so doesn't sound as loud.
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LithosZA
post Mar 4 2013, 06:58
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It sounds like your 24bit file might of been mastered better than the 16bit file. Be very happy in that case smile.gif
For a volume increase you could use ReplayGain.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Mar 4 2013, 17:24
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QUOTE
I searched across the web and I found that I need specific audio equipment to achieve the maximum quality possible. I don't have any special equipment. Just a sound card that says High Definition Audio in my Windows 7 control panel.


I sense that you are wisely skeptical of that advice. There is enough variety in audio gear that there are a number of collections of audio gear, some reasionably economical that are as good as anything.
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