Upsampling CDs

To S. Andrea Sundaram,

In Vade Forrester's review of the Aurender S10, he relates that he rips CDs to a hard drive using dBpoweramp software in uncompressed FLAC mode and then copies the file to the Aurender.

dBpoweramp also allows you to rip a Red Book CD (16-bit/44.1kHz resolution) in uncompressed FLAC and, additionally, to a higher bit rate (24 bits) and to a higher sampling rate up to 192kHz. Have any SoundStage! Network writers tried this and, of course, does it have any sonic benefits over a standard Red Book rip?

Michael G.

There are a number of programs that can be used to upsample Red Book standard -- 16/44.1 -- files to greater bit depths and higher sample rates. It's important to remember that upsampling algorithms can't add information that isn't there in the original file. Additionally, almost all modern DACs have some manner of upsampling or oversampling built into them to smooth the output signal. It is possible that a software-upsampled file may sound better than playing back the original 16/44.1 source -- for example, if you are using a DAC that converts all inputs to 192kHz and the software upsampler introduces less distortion than the one implemented in the DAC's hardware. In most cases, storing CD-quality data in any higher resolution just wastes hard-drive space, but I don't see any harm in trying. . . . S. Andrea Sundaram