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Audigy 2 and 16/24 bit modes in Foobar
Zepplock
post Mar 17 2011, 21:53
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I have a FLAC library that I play using Foobar on Windows 7 through WASAPI.
The audiocard is Audigy 2.

The problem I get is that when I tell Foobar to use 24bit I get the best sound but some clipping/chirping.
When I use 16bit setting, I get a clean sound but it is very "boring", lacking bass/highs and very narrow.

I have all kind of equipment (AKG 701, AKG 271 headphones, Totem Speakers, couple external DACs) for experimentation but that 16 bit 24 bit setting is what affects sound most.

Is that normal for Audigy 2 to have clipping sound in 24bit mode? Note that I get the same quality degradation even if I play Windows test sound in anything other than 16bit/44100hz.
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DVDdoug
post Mar 17 2011, 22:42
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QUOTE
The problem I get is that when I tell Foobar to use 24bit I get the best sound but some clipping/chirping.
biggrin.gif Now, that's funny! biggrin.gif ...I'd probably say it sounds worse with clipping & chirping. You might have a driver problem.

QUOTE
When I use 16bit setting, I get a clean sound but it is very "boring", lacking bass/highs and very narrow.
The bit depth does not normally affect frequency response, so either you're getting the placibo effect or there's something very wrong with your hardware or drivers. (I don't know what you mean by "narrow".)

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Mar 17 2011, 22:47
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Zepplock
post Mar 17 2011, 23:58
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 17 2011, 14:42) *
QUOTE
The problem I get is that when I tell Foobar to use 24bit I get the best sound but some clipping/chirping.
biggrin.gif Now, that's funny! biggrin.gif ...I'd probably say it sounds worse with clipping & chirping. You might have a driver problem.

QUOTE
When I use 16bit setting, I get a clean sound but it is very "boring", lacking bass/highs and very narrow.
The bit depth does not normally affect frequency response, so either you're getting the placibo effect or there's something very wrong with your hardware or drivers. (I don't know what you mean by "narrow".)


Well the fact is that the music sounds better in 24bit mode, but with some artifacts (very close to vynil cracks, hehe).
Funny thing is that my Sound Blaster X-Fi at home is playing same quality (good, no artifacts) in both 16bit and 24 bit

Also this is Audigy + Windows 7 problem, possibly drivers and not Foobar, so please move it back to hardware forum ;-(
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TangoTiburones
post Mar 19 2011, 01:12
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QUOTE (Zepplock @ Mar 17 2011, 13:53) *
I have a FLAC library that I play using Foobar on Windows 7 through WASAPI.
The audiocard is Audigy 2.

The problem I get is that when I tell Foobar to use 24bit I get the best sound but some clipping/chirping.
When I use 16bit setting, I get a clean sound but it is very "boring", lacking bass/highs and very narrow.

I have all kind of equipment (AKG 701, AKG 271 headphones, Totem Speakers, couple external DACs) for experimentation but that 16 bit 24 bit setting is what affects sound most.

Is that normal for Audigy 2 to have clipping sound in 24bit mode? Note that I get the same quality degradation even if I play Windows test sound in anything other than 16bit/44100hz.


Have you tried adjusting the buffer length. If you're pushing something (the card maybe?) too hard it can cause it to miss and pop. Increase the buffer length in foobar and see if it helps. Also on some sound cards I've seen where the soundcard wanted you to exactly match the buffer length, sample rate and bit depth on the hardware as well as in the DAW (in that case it was 96k/24) and if you didn't it would complain by skipping and crackling between short stretches of nice audio as you are describing. Two things to try at least. Hope it helps!
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eevan
post Mar 19 2011, 14:50
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I use Audigy2 ZS with kX Audio Driver on Windows 7 x86 and 24/96 device works perfectly.

Cheers


--------------------
If age or weaknes doe prohibyte bloudletting you must use boxing
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Zepplock
post Mar 21 2011, 19:19
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QUOTE (eevan @ Mar 19 2011, 06:50) *
I use Audigy2 ZS with kX Audio Driver on Windows 7 x86 and 24/96 device works perfectly.

Cheers


Thanks! That helped. Kx drivers have one funky user interface but it is working, 48khz, 24bit. Noticeable difference vs 16bit.
Now I need to experiment with different resampling plugins for foobar.
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dhromed
post Mar 22 2011, 09:53
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Poor resamplers may cause audible articfacts in 16-bit that are not present in 24-bit output, and the 24-bit edition of an album may simply be a better master, but these are corner cases and the two bit depths are generally not even slightly distinguishable. Many people claim to hear a big difference between quality modes, using the exact same sort of words you're using ("boring", "narrow"), but it's nearly always bunk and placebo and unsupported by experiments.

You may want to make sure, especially here, that you're really hearing what you're hearing by doing some blind tests.

This post has been edited by dhromed: Mar 22 2011, 09:54
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Zepplock
post Mar 22 2011, 17:39
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Mar 22 2011, 01:53) *
Poor resamplers may cause audible articfacts in 16-bit that are not present in 24-bit output, and the 24-bit edition of an album may simply be a better master, but these are corner cases and the two bit depths are generally not even slightly distinguishable. Many people claim to hear a big difference between quality modes, using the exact same sort of words you're using ("boring", "narrow"), but it's nearly always bunk and placebo and unsupported by experiments.

You may want to make sure, especially here, that you're really hearing what you're hearing by doing some blind tests.


By no means listening to 16bit music in 24 bit foobar configuration makes a better quality ;-)
The thing is that Audigy 2 has a separate 24/96 chip that can be enabled with kx drivers. You can configure it to bypass the internal DSP which is always 16/48 I think.
I think the sound quality difference I had is a pure Audigy 2 driver issue on Windows 7. I have another Audigy 2 at home and it works fine.

Thanks to Hydrogenaudio community for help!
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