Zp 24/96



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Userlevel 2
Like to add another vote for 24/96 - let us audiophiles choose our DACs and auxillary gear. We can use the cullen mod units of this world for better sound quality but it all starts at the source. Also alot of people are now digitising records at this format so another reason to go this way.
Vote 24/96!
BTW Logitech just announced a new touchscreen squueeze box with 24/96 which has me tempted as I haven't invested in sonos yet.
ugh. just when i think im ready to go for sonos another gotcha like this pops in that puts me back on the fence.
Userlevel 2
I wonder if someone help with a fairly basic and possibly dumb question concerning the ZP-80/90 with the Cullen mod.

I'm assuming that the mod provides a 96/24 output through the SPDIF output only, which would be fine for my purposes since I have an all-digital 96/24 Meridian system to pipe it into. But what I am confused about is how the Sonos software, which would otherwise refuse to play the file, it being an unsupported format, now decides it's OK to do so. Is this something the Cullem mod takes care through new firmware or does it happen through some behind-the-scenes magic?
I wonder if someone help with a fairly basic and possibly dumb question concerning the ZP-80/90 with the Cullen mod.

I'm assuming that the mod provides a 96/24 output through the SPDIF output only, which would be fine for my purposes since I have an all-digital 96/24 Meridian system to pipe it into. But what I am confused about is how the Sonos software, which would otherwise refuse to play the file, it being an unsupported format, now decides it's OK to do so. Is this something the Cullem mod takes care through new firmware or does it happen through some behind-the-scenes magic?


It doesn't magically allow the Sonos software to play 96/24 files, it takes files that can be played through Sonos and up-converts them to 96/24.
Userlevel 2
Well thank you for that but it doesn't really answer the question. I'm not interested in 'up-converting' CD quality (44.1/16) files to 96/24 but in playing 'high-res' files that are already in that format through the ZP.

Can anyone confirm that the Cullen mod actually enables that functionality?
Well thank you for that but it doesn't really answer the question. I'm not interested in 'up-converting' CD quality (44.1/16) files to 96/24 but in playing 'high-res' files that are already in that format through the ZP.

Can anyone confirm that the Cullen mod actually enables that functionality?


I did answer the question. The Cullen mod does not allow the ZP to play 'high-res' files already in that format through the ZP, it only upconverts.
Userlevel 2
Thank you so much for the clarification. You have saved me from spending $550 on a useless upgrade.
jgatie.... Peter is right. I have the Cullen mod. it basically puts in a better clock and an upsampler board. It's worth the money. Take a look at the website. Mr Cullen is also very helpful in answering questions as well...it will only play 16/44.1 files like a regular ZP.

Don't forget there are heaps of DAC's out there that upsample like this as well, but alot of owners don't even realize it! :D

If you want just 16/44.1 get the empirical mod...
ugh. just when i think im ready to go for sonos another gotcha like this pops in that puts me back on the fence.

Chris. Don't neglect the ease of use factor...:)
jgatie.... Peter is right. I have the Cullen mod. it basically puts in a better clock and an upsampler board.

Upsampling is primarily done to make the filtering of "aliasing" noise easier/better. When performing a D to A conversion, you get a lot of high-frequency "copies" of the waveform. These are known as "aliases". Traditionally these are filtered with an "anti-aliasing filter" out to prevent them causing problems elsewhere. The view is they aren't audible and might cause problems further along the signal chain.

With "upsampling" the you are increasing the effective sampling rate which shifts the aliases further out. This allows the filter to be less abrupt, which is easier to do well. In general most people agree that the primary audio benefits of upsampling are because of the different characteristics of these filters compared to native sampling rate ones. Some people ascribe the benefits of oversampling to this too.

One theory behind this is that the characteristics of the upsampled filtered signal can reduce the impact of non-linearities in the DAC by averaging these out.

The view is the less-strict filters also allow some of the high-frequency alias spectrum through and that, in modern multi-bit DACs, the alias signals actually help the DAC to average out some of the non-linear distortion, due to the way they work (exactly how is never specified that I have seen, so I'm a little sceptical).

I'm not familiar with what the Cullen mod does exactly, but I'm assuming that the 96k upsampled output specifically has these additional frequency component "aliases" present (as allowed for by the increased audio bandwidth available) which an external DAC can use. Presumably this also has a similar benefit to the Sonos internal DAC.

I have seen suggestions that this sort of upsampling is actually more beneficial than having real 96k data. The reasoning behind that is because beyond 22kHz (44kHz sample rate) the frequencies really are inaudible (although some argue that the non audible stuff has a beneficial effect on the audible stuff... I'm personally not convinced on this). The problem is that with a 96k native rate, the aliasing is much higher in frequency and you don't get the benefit of the averaging which reduces the non-linear distortion. The summary of this is that (apparently) whilst there is more musical information in a native 96k signal, most of the additional information is inaudible and, therefore, of no audible benefit but you still have non-linear distortions in the audible range. With a 44.1k upsampled signal, you get the benefit of the reduction in audible distortion. Personally I think this sounds a bit hooky.

Cheers,

Keith
Part of the digital encode/decode process creates some extra high frequency energy -- it is part of the physics.

On the analog to digital conversion side we have an "anti-alias" filter to prevent high frequencies in the input signal from causing the creation of extra inband (clearly audible, non musical trash) signals.

On the digital to analog conversion side we use a "reconstruction" filter to remove another set of signals that can potentially cause trouble for the follow on amplifiers, speakers, and humans. Again, these signals are introduced as a result of the physics.

There are always some side effects with filters, obviously some high frequency information is removed and there are phase changes.

From a physics standpoint the filters are required to prevent obvious problems. We don't need a set of super human audiophile ears to hear the side effects resulting from skipping the filters. Audiophiles react emotionally to filters and declare that any limits on the signal bandwidth ruins everything. In reality the filters are very beneficial.

Audiophile grumps aside, as the sample frequency is raised, the filter frequencies move up too. At a 44.1KHz sample rate, we need very sharp anti-alias filters that will remove everything in the input signal above 22KHz. Unfortunately, part of the physics of filters causes them to have some effects below their "cutoff" frequency. Different types of filters each have their own damage fingerprint. Inexpensive or poorly designed anti-alias filters can cause damage that will be audible by quite a few individuals. Increasing the sample rate, raises the required filter frequency and pushes the filter side effects farther and farther above the human's audio operating range.

Note that, we at home are stuck with the sample rate and filters that the digitizing crew used.

On the playback side we need another 22KHz "low pass" filter to remove the extra digital junk. Although it might be tempting to skip this filter, the high frequency energy is likely to cause the follow on equipment to misbehave.

Although for CD's we are stuck with the original sample rate and filters, we can play some tricks in the digital domain and "over sample" (create some extra "samples" using some math). The advantage is that the digital to analog reconstruction filter frequencies move up too. As a design choice, we can use gentler, less obtrusive, filters to remove the digital artifacts. It becomes more difficult for the audiophiles to prove that a 192KHz reconstruction filter removes or damages a significant portion of the music.

The bit depths (16-20-24-whatever) all require similar filters. However, I don't think that I would care to be on the team tasked to design an anti-alias filter for a 44.1 KHz/24 bit system).
Userlevel 2
I love my Sonos, but having 24/96 support would make it perfect for my set up. I would hate to go to another company to get this capability for my two channel set-up. Right now I'm using the Sonos with a DAC magic going into an NHT XD.
Chris. Don't neglect the ease of use factor...:)

Thanks, still my number one choice, just wish it was in there, or in development at least.
Userlevel 2
I add my support for Sono supporting 24/96. Disappointed to find out it doesn't. Would of looked to another product if i knew they did'nt. Come on SONOS get with it!!
Userlevel 2
Throwing my vote in for 24/96 support as well.. I have several hundred tracks ripped from my DVD-As and SACDs, as well as some vinyl rips.

Heck, even if Sonos merely downsampled from 24/96 or 24/88.2 to 16/48 and 16/44.1 respectively, this would still be a plus since it would rid me of the need to painstakingly create and maintain two versions of data on my system.
Userlevel 2
Surely it has to happen soon - esp with Logitech stepping up the game with the touch!
Userlevel 2
Throwing my vote in for 24/96 support as well..
...
Heck, even if Sonos merely downsampled from 24/96 or 24/88.2 to 16/48 and 16/44.1 respectively, ...


Downsampling is a nogo.
I vote for 24/96 mainly because it allows me to play DTS tracks wrapped in the wav format (just like DTS cd's).
Fooling around with resampling corrupts the coded bitstream and kills the tweeters with white noise.

It is still a bit tricky though as the Sonos volume must stay at 0 dB 100% off the time and then regulated via the amplifier. But the again, who would play the dts tracks in the kitchen anyway.

Best regards,
Jens
But the again, who would play the dts tracks in the kitchen anyway.

who WOULDN'T is my question. 😉
Userlevel 2
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The following mods are available....

Cullen Curcuits...Basically a hardware upsampler board mod. Turns a ZP90's output to 24/96 or

Empirical Audio. Jitter reduction mod. Used with their pacecar. Keeps it a 44.1 hz.

I have one of each.:)


Yes, but neither allows you to play any files with higher resolution than Redbook on a Sonos system
Userlevel 2
Just downloaded some 24-bit stuff from Bowers & Wilkins and 😞 and no go on my new speakers. I have two ZPs and I would to like to listen to HiRes music everywhere now that I have B&W speakers everywhere (well except the patio).
Userlevel 2
24/192 audio in all it's glory, not just 16-bit.

Squeezebox does it, Naim does it, Linn does it, Sonos next PLEASE!! 😃
Userlevel 2
This topic has been going since 2007, and I as a Sonos customer find it quite amazing that Sonos have not made one single comment about the 24 96 issue. I have heard about their policy of not announcing anything until it happens, but if they have no intention of ever supporting 24 96 then why not just post a reply to say so. I have 3 zones going in my house, and with 24 96 downloads now becoming very feasible, one would like to know what the future holds before considering expansion. If Sonos are concerned about losing sales because they are not going to support 24 96, then let us know. I feel their lack of comment only serves to invite hope, real or false, and this is unfair to their customers!
I have heard about their policy of not announcing anything until it happens, but

and that's what is in effect here. I am not arguing the desire..i also would love to know some things about the future... however, until it changes, the current policy is that they don't talk about the future. and "just tell us if you will support xyz" is precisely that very thing. you "only" want to know about this one thing...but 72 other people "only" want to know about 72 other things...obviously its a slippery slope.
you "only" want to know about this one thing...but 72 other people "only" want to know about 72 other things...obviously its a slippery slope.

Absolutely! And making a statement about this feature request and not the other 72 would really be unfair on their customers.

Expecting or demanding this sort or priority treatment is actually quite selfish IMO.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
Whoa! Does a person have no right to express his opinion about the issue he feels strongly about? Is that not what forums are for? I am not denying the existence of 72 other issues - I just feel strongly about this one. If I address 1 issue, must I also address all 72 others? Calling this selfish is a bit of a cheap shot!

By the way, I addressed a this request directly to Sonos and here is their answer, after the usual 'do not make statements about future developments' intro: 'We can however assure you that there have been multiple requests for the product described by you and our product management is aware of it.' I'm an optimist, so I interpret this as positive.