Old 22nd September 2013, 15:21   #1
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24/192 Vinyl Rip Playback--Questions/Clarification/Tips

I have some of my favorite classic albums in 24 bit/192 or 96 khz FLAC. The files always played back fine (using Winamp 5.63 pro with DFX 10.008), however it never dawned on me until today to change any settings to get the full quality playback possible from these files. I've Googled this morning about this and read some message board posts around the web but am not totally sure if I am doing this the best way possible.

I used to be under the impression that my soundcard would automatically output at the output format of the file played in Winamp, but today I thought to go into Playback Devices - Speakers/Headphones Properties - Advanced and changed the "Select sample rate and bit depth to be used when running in shared mode" to 24 bit, 192000 Hz (Default was 24/48000).

Is it my imagination that it sounds better or does Winamp playback at the output rate of the file automatically as I had originally thought? Also, are there any settings I should change or anything else I should do to get the most of this quality format?

Win 8 64
IDT High Definition Audio Codec
Internal soundcard output through 1/8 plug to red/white RCA plug cable into Ventura 5 CD Mini Hi Fi System
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Old 22nd September 2013, 17:09   #2
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Hi relyksnave,

Winamp will try to output what your source file is encoded for. Be sure that 24-bit is enabled in the General Preferences - Playback options (and Surround for multichannel files) or it will down-sample to 16-bit. Look on the status tab of the DirectSound output plug-in for confirmation that the file is being output as encoded (select the configuration button for the plug-in in General Preferences). Also check the plug-in's device tab to be sure the correct sound device is selected.

Windows (since Vista) will up-sample or down-sample to match what is set in it's control panel sound utility (which contains the range of settings that the sound card's, or mobo sound chip's, driver says the sound device is capable of).

I recommend always trying to keep everything matched up (from source to sound device) for best results. This allows Windows to just pass the sound thru without having to up-sample or down-sample anything.

Windows (since Vista) can also up-mix stereo to match multichannel speaker systems. This is simply mirroring the front channels to the back (and/or side) channels and combining channels for the center and sub. There are plug-ins for Winamp (I recommend "Matrix Mixer" which works with the DirectSound output plug-in) that allow for better control over what gets sent to the various channels, if you want to up-mix stereo and get closer to 'true' multichannel sound.

DSP plug-ins and equalizers are not magic. They can not add anything that is not in the source file to start with. Used carefully and sparingly, they can 'enhance' what is already there without causing distortion. A good speaker system is the final piece of the puzzle (it reduces the need, if any, for enhancement).

Winamp Pro v5.666.3516 fully-patched - Komodo X Touchscreen v1.0 by Victhor skin
Windows 10 Home 64-bit v1809 desktop - Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker system
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