Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AIX Records, Revel Speakers, Benchmark Audio 5.1 High Resolution Demo

AIX Records with Benchmark,

Oppo Revel and JVC


Mark Waldrep of AIX records assembled this room with

much care.  He wanted to show how good

music can sound that was recorded in actual high resolution, not just digitized

into a high resolution file.  To do that,

he had to use equipment that was able to play back the recording with the same

frequency response and dynamics as it was recorded.  To make matters more difficult, he wanted to

play this back in surround sound as well as stereo.


Waldrep really likes the sound of the Benchmark DACs and their new AHB2 amplifier is said to have some of the best

dynamic range and signal to noise ratio specs in the business.  He wanted a full-range speaker with the

ability to resolve any passage in his recordings, so he used the Revel Salon 2 speakers. Dr. Waldrep decided on using a  Blu-ray player with normal remote control navigation, so he chose an Oppo BDP-103 as his source. He had to

get some help from Oppo to modify it so that it would output digital (SPDIF) to

feed the Benchmark DACs. His Blu-ray discs also contain HD Video of the

recording sessions, so he had a JVC projector in his room as well.  If you are following closely, here is the

audio chain:


player - SPDIF - 3 Benchmark DAC2 AGC DACs - 5 Benchmark AHB2 Amps

- 5 Revel Salon 2 speakers

Oppo and Benchmark Audio 2

Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray with Benchmark Audio DAC's 


room was very large and had more seating than any other room at the show. He

played back a variety of recordings in stereo as well as a 5 channel mix from

the audience perspective and a 5-channel mix from the musician's stage

perspective.  Dr. Waldrep made a

compelling case for both recording in real high resolution as well as

supporting surround sound.

I did see quite a few

people peek in the door and leave when they saw both a projector and more than

2 speakers in the room.  This is

unfortunate as they missed a real treat. 

There were many WOW moments during the presentations and the people who

did enter were transfixed.

SV SACD Audiophile posts on May 22, 2015 03:28

Yes, there are differences. I have recorded low bit rate MP3s as well as high bit. I own CDs, HDCDs, BSCD2s, SACDs, and SHM-SACDs. The range of timbre and spatial properties change.

gene posts on May 15, 2015 13:10

AIX Records, Revel Speakers, Benchmark Audio 5.1 High Resolution Demo

What do you get when you combine five Revel Salon2 speakers, audio equipment from Benchmark Audio and Oppo and music from AIX records? A state of the art multi-channel surround experience that will satisfy even the most critical audiophile. AIX Records put on quite the demo at AXPONA 2015 that even diehard two-channel audiophiles had to take pause for a listen. Check out what we thought about this demo experience.

Read the Demo Report

Archimago posts on May 08, 2015 18:56

Well, over the years, I ran 2 sets of Internet "blind" tests on this.

Back in Feb 2013, I did high-bitrate MP3 vs. FLAC - no significant preference among 151 respondents.

June 2014, comparison of 24/96 vs. straightforward dithered 16/96 - 140 respondents again no significant preference.

These comparisons are all done in the tester's homes using their own equipment, with the test "advertised" on audiophile websites over 2 months. Music files used were of good dynamic range and "true" 24-bit source (for the 16-bit vs. 24-bit test). Furthermore, I looked at age stratification and did not see evidence of ability to identify a difference.

Despite all the subjective claims, there really has not been good evidence than perhaps other than in a lab environment with specialized test tones, that in "real life", there is a significant difference between high-bitrate MP3 encoding and the same source 16/44 lossless. Nor is there evidence that 24-bit imparts any special quality over a reasonably dithered 16-bit version of the same thing.

(Tests and results on my blog: archimago.blogspot.ca)

Motrek posts on May 08, 2015 01:49

gene, post: 1082491, member: 4348

Why can't people just appreciate the demo and not have to over analyze? We don't know whether or not the participants knew what they were listening to at the time. Perhaps they just called it Demo A vs B vs C and then told them at the end.

Blind tests are NOT without their own flaws and biases so let's not pretend that ALL blind tests are better than sighted tests. I've participated and hosted both and found them to be fun, enlightening, and a lot of work.

Indeed, if it wasn't billed as a scientific, double-blind study, then there's no reason to be disappointed that it wasn't one.

No harm in demo'ing something you find interesting.

hawkster posts on May 07, 2015 16:29

Last summer an AVS forum member set up a test with three complete tracks, each in "high-rez (192)" and "CD (44.1)" quality. Participants were able to download the files and play them on their own equipment. No clue was given as to which file was high-rez, and which was CD; the poster even went to the trouble to make the file sizes identical. On my system I only identified one of the the high-rez tracks correctly. This led me to conclude there is no reason for me to be buying high-rez tracks for $25 when used CDs are available all over the interwebs for a buck. You may have a nicer system or better (younger) ears than me, but on my system, high-rez just ain't worth it. Unfortunately, the poster never revealed the full results of the experiment, he just let me know how I did.

Onkyo 5508

Adcom 5500

Adcom 5503

Klipsch Forte II

Oppo BD-103


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