A desktop CD player to use w/ Grado SR-125 (about $150) headphones or ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 107 Old 09-05-2013, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for suggestions on a descent CD player, that can also do MP3s (or ?) to use while sitting at my desk working.
I have used the SR-125s with an older DVD player that died, and heard people chatting in the background during quite spaces in the music. So there is more to be heard than my home stereo can do. I know the laptop CD drive I tried in the past did not sound as good, I recall being told the mixer chips have very poor SNR.
I have a new Toshiba laptop on order (with internal multidrive DVD drive) and if they are now about as good for headphone listening as a regular player then that is an acceptable answer too. Another good answer might be; use the new laptop to create FLAC files, and listen to those on...
Or if there is a reasonable priced ($200 or less) new or reasonably used player I should consider, I would appreciate your insight.
Thank you.
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post #2 of 107 Old 09-06-2013, 05:04 AM
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I recommend you use a blu ray player for the purpose. Not only is it more flexible for other purposes but it will cost much less than buying the obselete technology of a dedicated CD player. Blu Ray players benefit from economies of scale and are a much better value because of that. They play CD's as well as any dedicated CD player.
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post #3 of 107 Old 09-06-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyA View Post

I'm looking for suggestions on a decent CD player, that can also do MP3s (or ?) to use while sitting at my desk working.

CD players are so 1980s. I went to the Best Buy site and searched on CD players. After I threw out the portables, boom boxes, car audio, and DJ oriented players there was almost nothing left.
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I have used the SR-125s with an older DVD player that died, and heard people chatting in the background during quite spaces in the music. So there is more to be heard than my home stereo can do.

What you were hearing there was primarily due to headphone listening, which provides more low level detail. It probably was not due to technical problems with the electronics in your home audio system. If you could safely and technically properly plug your headphones into the speaker terminals of your receiver, you would hear the same things. I know this for sure because back in the day headphone jacks were rare, portable players didn't exist and we had adaptor boxes that let us hook our headphones to the speaker terminals of our vacuum tube amps. Same experience - rafts of low level detail,
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I know the laptop CD drive I tried in the past did not sound as good, I recall being told the mixer chips have very poor SNR.

The audio sections of PCs lagged home audio for the longest time, but you have a pretty good chance of good sound from your laptop with a modern mainstream PC.
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I have a new Toshiba laptop on order (with internal multidrive DVD drive) and if they are now about as good for headphone listening as a regular player then that is an acceptable answer too. Another good answer might be; use the new laptop to create FLAC files, and listen to those on...
Or if there is a reasonable priced ($200 or less) new or reasonably used player I should consider, I would appreciate your insight.

Under the conditions, if that laptop is winging your way right now, you would probably do well to plug your headphones into it and take a critical listen before you spend more money for what you might already have.
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post #4 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 08:47 AM
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Get an used CD player from eBay or from local cash-converter/thrift store. IMO, the best ones are the ones that have true multibit DAC chips inside, before the companies cheapen all of them with delta-sigma designs (that look good on paper but don't sound as good in practice). Some newer delta-sigma DAC chips are slightly better and can hold their own to a multibit (to a point), but all in all... you can get a good CD player for cheaper than you think.

A compiled list with CD players and their DAC's (and lasers, digital filters) can be found here:
http://vasiltech.nm.ru/CD-Player-DAC-Transport.htm

Some individuals here will tell you that you cannot possibly hear the difference and you are hallucinating because you see those players (and that by magic, screws up your hearing). But, as you personally found out, those Grado cans can resolve the subtle differences between your old CD player and the PC crappy on-board DAC.
At the minimum you can look into getting a better USB connected sound card - E-MU series are very good (because they use dedicated clocks for each sampling rate family and they use higher end DAC's - even if the are still Delta-Sigma).
At any rate, don't get in to mp3's (lossy compression). Even if same people would tell you that there is no audible difference, if you listen to some FLAC files (lossless) with your Grado's, you will be able to tell the difference.
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post #5 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

but don't sound as good in practice).
Which comparison method did you use to discover that?
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post #6 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 11:26 AM
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OP beware of the so called advice in post #4. That particular poster likes to make claims that he cannot and will not support with scientific evidence. You are better served by those who's claims can be supported, and the ones making these claims can and will provide info that supports their claims.

FWIW you got really good advice in the first couple of replies, anything else could lead you down the path of voodoo claims.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #7 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 11:39 AM
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voodoo claims.biggrin.gif
ha ha thats good I agree first couple of replies make a lot of sense stands to reason a Blue ray player would play CD well
considering the dynamic range of some BD soundtracks they probably have more than enough for a CD Never played a CD in PS3 BD movies sound just fine seems. FWIW seems like the ODD's in my newer computers are much better than the older ones were
also on board PC audio is getting better .

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post #8 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

OP beware of the so called advice in post #4. That particular poster likes to make claims that he cannot and will not support with scientific evidence. You are better served by those who's claims can be supported, and the ones making these claims can and will provide info that supports their claims.

FWIW you got really good advice in the first couple of replies, anything else could lead you down the path of voodoo claims.

Your whole post was just off-topic, an attack on my statement, you didn't post nothing in relation to original question. As usual.
BTW, I am still waiting to see YOUR 'scientific' results to prove me wrong... Because until now you are just good at insults.
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post #9 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 05:25 PM
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I use my 'Marantz CD5004 for CDs. Has a very nice built in headphone amp. Plays mp3 data discs, too. The newly released CD5005 adds a USB port.

AT&T U-Verse Northeast Ohio

Denon x4000, Samsung LED TV, B&W 704 mains, two M&K subwoofers, Oppo 103, etc.
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post #10 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 06:17 PM
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BTW, I am still waiting to see YOUR 'scientific' results to prove me wrong... Because until now you are just good at insults.

I didn't respond to post #4 because it did not seem to state its claims clearly enough to merit a scientific response.

With a little speculation, I can guess that perhaps it is based on the false idea that Delta Sigma DACs have clearly audible failings, which of course is both false and unproven (because it can't be proven because it is false).

It is your hobby horse, so it is up to you to provide the scientific evidence to prove it. It is not my job to disprove it, since that would be like proving a negative hypothesis. However, there is very little audio in this world that does not pass through one or more sigma-delta converters.

For another example your reference:

"A compiled list with CD players and their DAC's (and lasers, digital filters) can be found here:
http://vasiltech.nm.ru/CD-Player-DAC-Transport.htm "

Does not seem to contain directly useful information of the kind you seem to be claiming. In some cases I checked it mentions only the DAC, when there is an indeed an external filter. It is just plain incomplete and in error. Example: CDP 101.

It doesn't give any acutal information about the DACs and filters, leaving any hapless reader with a monumental research project - merely look up the spec sheet on every chip mentioned (seems like a thousand or more) to see what technology it uses.
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post #11 of 107 Old 09-08-2013, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

With a little speculation, I can guess that perhaps it is based on the false idea that Delta Sigma DACs have clearly audible failings, which of course is both false and unproven (because it can't be proven because it is false).
Since you stated that you KNOW that is false, do you have the testing support to prove it? Please provide a link. Or is just your guess that you call "science"?
It's your affirmation that you KNOW, therefore YOU need to support it! Otherwise you can say you don't believe is true, and that's something you don't have to prove, since is a BELIEF, not a FACT.

For your information, manufacturers realized the shortcomings of D-S design right after they dumped the multibit ones (mainly for cost reasons) and tried to improved them back to the original quality. From single bit D-S, they upgraded to 8 levels, and now we have multilevel D-S up to 64 levels, to eliminate the faults. On paper, they all are 'the same' but their testing (with human subjects) revealed otherwise, that's why they invested in R&D of future S-D models that got closer and closer of multibit.
There are papers that describe very well those shortcomings (I already posted links), but those are not 'real science' to you. For you only your agenda is 'science'. You sit on your chair and claim that 'everything sounds the same and I don't need to prove it, because I can't prove the negative'.
Sure you can. That's your faulty logic again, hiding behind words.
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post #12 of 107 Old 09-09-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

With a little speculation, I can guess that perhaps it is based on the false idea that Delta Sigma DACs have clearly audible failings, which of course is both false and unproven (because it can't be proven because it is false).
Since you stated that you KNOW that is false, do you have the testing support to prove it?

I'm tired of providing peer reviewed papers supporting my claims and then being hectored for the evidence I just provided.
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post #13 of 107 Old 09-09-2013, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

OP beware of the so called advice in post #4. That particular poster likes to make claims that he cannot and will not support with scientific evidence. You are better served by those who's claims can be supported, and the ones making these claims can and will provide info that supports their claims.

FWIW you got really good advice in the first couple of replies, anything else could lead you down the path of voodoo claims.

Your whole post was just off-topic, an attack on my statement, you didn't post nothing in relation to original question. As usual.
BTW, I am still waiting to see YOUR 'scientific' results to prove me wrong... Because until now you are just good at insults.

Show me what in my post was insulting to you and off topic to the OP. As I recall I received a positive reply from the OP regarding my earlier post.

I didn't respond to your question from the other thread because by the time I got back to that thread the mods asked us all to move on. I did, did you? In my experience on avs, it is not wise to ignore a suggestion from a mod. If you really want to discuss what evidence I may have or others evidence, why don't you start a new thread topic so we could all freely discuss the merits of what is audible and what is not regarding dacs.

I also would like to point out that I have at least provided an answer to your question, unlike your past history when you have been asked questions by myself and others where you blatantly ignored the question.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #14 of 107 Old 09-09-2013, 09:31 AM
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Since you stated that you KNOW that is false, do you have the testing support to prove it?
Sure we do. With the rare "exceptional" design (e.g., NOS DACs), all DACs exhibit distortion levels orders of magnitude lower than known audible thresholds. For distortion levels, see any spec sheet or independent measurement (e.g., Stereophile's). For audible thresholds, see a psychoacoustics text like Zwicker and Fastl.

Note that the scientific evidence does not rely on listening tests of DACs, so your bogus objections to them aren't even relevant.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #15 of 107 Old 09-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post


For your information, manufacturers realized the shortcomings of D-S design right after they dumped the multibit ones (mainly for cost reasons) and tried to improved them back to the original quality. From single bit D-S, they upgraded to 8 levels, and now we have multilevel D-S up to 64 levels, to eliminate the faults. On paper, they all are 'the same' but their testing (with human subjects) revealed otherwise, that's why they invested in R&D of future S-D models that got closer and closer of multibit.

That would be revisionist history to say the least. All mainstream DAC manufacturers continue to build D-S DACs and sell them for mainstream audio products.

The purpose of building multibit DACs at this time is to overcome current chip speed limitations while producing products for the perfectionist market that vastly surpass psychacoustical needs.
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There are papers that describe very well those shortcomings (I already posted links), but those are not 'real science' to you.

You seem to put peer reviewed papers from recognized scientific journals in the same category as white papers from high end producers with questionable credentials.
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For you only your agenda is 'science'.

Huh? Please remind me again when you successfully cited a relevant scientific paper from a recognized peer review journal.

Where are the results of your scientifically controlled listening tests? If you want to wave the word science around don't you think you should walk the walk?
Quote:
You sit on your chair and claim that 'everything sounds the same and I don't need to prove it, because I can't prove the negative'.

With the quotes that would be a false claim, a made-up statement that cannot be quoted from something that I actually wrote.
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post #16 of 107 Old 09-10-2013, 03:07 PM
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To tell the truth many modern DACs aren't that bad any more there are also plenty of equally important things in the Audio chain to consider. You can buy a decent ,Burr Brown /TI or
Wolfson high end DAC chip for less than $10.00 now (at retail) ,decent Panasonic or Nichicon low ESR caps for less than a dollar all three are largely commodities anymore Same thing for ADC chips,ASIC's and decent low level/line level packaged Op amps . You can get a breadboard and a box and make something pretty decent cheap now some of the DIY designs are very good now.

Some of the older CD players sounded pretty good to be sure but more of them did not than did . A decent PC/MAC ODD with a decent dedicated sound card or external interface
is fine these days (for some) or a reasonably priced external DAC /hp amp or DAC + hp amp or even pass through with a decently revealing system as is 16/ 14 gauge zip cord or Belden wire for most speakers . Decent Modern DAC , ADC ,ASIC chips and op amps are
amps are often put in a nice box and sold to the unsuspecting for a lot more than they should be there is as much or more snake oil if you will in the Audio industry as anything else some it quite entertaining especially oxygen free cables . I would advise the Op to see how the ODD in his laptop sounds and only then if need be maybe get a reasonably priced
USB Dac/hp amp or DAC + HP amp . For sure on board PC audio at other than PCM output is not usually that good .

To be sure It might be true if the OP gets lucky at a re seller he might be able to find a decent (above mid level player ) for cheap and it might indeed provide very excellent sound at a bargain price that is if he gets the right one in proper working order .OTOH a decent BD player should as well .

Even better than fooling around with ODD just get an external storage drive and rip all CD's to.flac . I will have to admit that mp3 murders music I try to avoid it although I do have a Pandora acct and have used MOG they are both almost equally bad sound quality . just saying there is more than one way to skin a cat that's all . ofc there is always Vinyl also .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #17 of 107 Old 09-10-2013, 06:14 PM
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I will have to admit that mp3 murders music

My 256K MP3's are indistinguishable from the CD's from which the were ripped in a bias controlled listening test. What sort of murdering have you encountered? Or are you just stating opinions?
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post #18 of 107 Old 09-10-2013, 06:58 PM
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My 256K MP3's are indistinguishable from the CD's from which the were ripped in a bias controlled listening test. What sort of murdering have you encountered? Or are you just stating opinions?
Because you listen them on a system that cannot make a difference, it doesn't mean that there is no difference. Your 'controlled test' has no controls over playback devices. Or sources quality - most modern CD's are mastered for mp3 audition (over-compressed).
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post #19 of 107 Old 09-10-2013, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for several pieces of good advice.
I do plan to consider the laptop / ODD as the possible answer, if it ever gets here.
Ever notice those with impulse control issues are rarely also patient people...

I also plan to rip the CDs to FLACs and archive on HD, they are mostly 20yrs old so perhaps not over compressed as someone mentioned. (Vintage CDs, who would have thought it)
The rest were previously ripped to mp3 or WMAs and the actual disc disposed of, so that ship has sailed.

It would be useful to know specifically what are considered a few of the better performance / value choices for BD and alternative hardware.
Be that CD player or USB / DAC / Filters / Amp (hmm this one may be more complicated than I care to dive into).
Other readers may benefit from the suggestions even if I get lucky and the laptop does the job.
Thank you again for taking the time, sharing your knowledge and insights.
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post #20 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
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My 256K MP3's are indistinguishable from the CD's from which the were ripped in a bias controlled listening test. What sort of murdering have you encountered? Or are you just stating opinions?


Not likely that mp3 is indistinguishable from RedBook CD Seems like I'm not the only one that knows this fact.
You would do well to read something like this (link below) before you make blind or should I say deaf assumptions .Perhaps the blind listening test you speak of had hard of hearing subjects as as well? Did they have their hearing tested by an audiologist before the test?
Was it done with a resolving system or average consumer gear? What about room effects ? You may try to convince yourself mp3 sounds the same but the potentials and real word results are vastly different.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr12/articles/lost-in-translation.htm

Anyway most blind listening tests are just that (blind) due to Psychoacoustic phenomenon and short audio memory they are are largely discounted these days because of this as a viable data set.


We have a recording /production studio with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in a dedicated acoustically treated environment .Ofc we work with all the most common digital formats and sample rates and analog as well. I am Keenly aware of what the various formats and sample/bit rates can and can not do.The studio equipment is very unforgiving .
For example If it sounds bad it is bad. I don't pretend that mp3 sounds as good as Redbook 16/44.1 (CD)


.mp3 is the modern equivalent of a 1963 transistor pocket radio . but it sounds a little better than the old school pocket radio .

Think of mp3 on a revealing set as like 720p or more accurately like
480i/480p on a 55"- 65" screen there is a lot of dithering going on by the scaling algorithms just like mp3 and you can see the loss of detail, poor color saturation /contrast maybe artifacts and jaggies and if they are processed out ,the picture is soft not as sharp as 1080p at a high bit rate.

.mp3 is at best Ok on background music and un revealing systems but not the same as lossless.
or decent analog.

It's OK for casual listen but not for serious enthusiast or professional.
You might want to think about an external storage drive and rip CD into lossless
.Flac or something with maybe Audacity /Lame (it's very good and free also )lame encodes .flac real well when you export your project it will do .wav .mp3 .aac and most others also. .flac is smaller than .wav yet still lossless that's what the audiophiles are using these days .

Try that or something similar ditch the iTunes if you have it you might be pleasantly surprised at what you hear. J river and Foobar 2000 make good players nothing wrong with WMP/WMC though .
If you are playing electronic dub step or rap/ hip hop unfortunately a lot of that is mixed and mastered for loudness without much concern for sound quality. although we have made an effort to produce quality results with all of our music. If that was the case in your test then maybe not much difference was heard.


The difference is huge between 256kbps mp3 vs 16 bit 44.1 Redbook (Cd) and with all other things being equal it is painfully obvious on revealing system or phones in general.

I wish mp3 did sound as good as 24/48.or 16/44.1 that would significantly reduce our storage and backup raid storage expense by at least ten fold if not more.

To give you an idea what lossy compression throws out lets compare 256kbps mp3 file size to
16 bit, 44.1 KHz (Redbook CD )

mp3 256 Kbp =32 KB per second data for mp3 file size

OTOH 16 bit, 44.1 KHz = 96 KB per second PCM data file size huge difference
mp3 algorithms and dithering cannot replace lost data they can just make a guess like a big tv with a little signal .

mp3 was invented to allow lossy compression of audio files for storage optimization (small file size) on portable devices and reduced bandwidth transmission hence Napster and iTunes .
Lossy audio encoding, such as creating an MP3 file, results in a trade-off between the amount of space used and the sound quality of the result.

Not to say that they threw out the baby with the bath water with mp3 but for sure at least 2/3 of it!

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #21 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 04:00 AM
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double post please remove

I hate it when it does that!

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
- David Sarnoff's associates at RCA the 1920's -
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post #22 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 04:16 AM
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@ BobbyA

In case your PC doesent quite cut it you can still use PC ODD and one of these inexpensive but decent headohone AMP /DAC it plugs in to PC mini usb then plug phones in it's cheap easy to use only 2 connection 1 mini usb and one to headphone a very good starter desktop amp/dac http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E10-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B005VO7LG6
This one is more features both are in your budjet http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E17-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0070UFMOW/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1378893916&sr=1-1


E10 uses TE2077 + WM8740 + AD8397 not a bad chipset combination especially at the price. it would probably beat the heck out of your onboard maybe realtek chip .
I'm sure E7 uses just as good or same . I have used the Wolfsonmicro 8740 DAC B4 it is a good performing chip usually way better than what comes in PC often used in gear that costs many hundreds of $$$ . I'm using Wolfsonmicro 8742 now but both are real decent DAC and almost identical.
also you can plug external stereo in to the other provided outputs if want.
reviews

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57381659-47/fiios-tiny-and-extraordinary-sounding-headphone-amplifiers/

http://www.headfonia.com/the-latest-must-have-the-fiio-e10-usb-dacamp/

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #23 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 06:59 AM
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My 256K MP3's are indistinguishable from the CD's from which the were ripped in a bias controlled listening test. What sort of murdering have you encountered? Or are you just stating opinions?

Not likely that mp3 is indistinguishable from RedBook CD

Actually indistinguishablity is very likely at bitrates of 256k and above. You talk like someone who has never done any bias controlled listening evaluations.
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Seems like I'm not the only one that knows this fact.

You also seem like a person who thinks that scientific truth is established by popularity contests among the general public. Why have scientists, anyway?
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You would do well to read something like this (link below) before you make blind or should I say deaf assumptions .Perhaps the blind listening test you speak of had hard of hearing subjects as as well? Did they have their hearing tested by an audiologist before the test?
Was it done with a resolving system or average consumer gear? What about room effects ? You may try to convince yourself mp3 sounds the same but the potentials and real word results are vastly different.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr12/articles/lost-in-translation.htm

Key sentence

"At 320kbps, AAC is clearly the winner, but the sound will be different from the raw PCM format — things will just not quite sound the same, and the stereo image will probably not be as clear, defined or wide as it should be."

This guy sets himself up as someone who also relies on sighted evaluations. The first tip off is the overly-broad, vague description of the problems he hears:
"...Things will just not quite sound the same, and the stereo image will probably not be as clear, defined or wide as it should be."

If you talk to experienced coder developers about this they will tell you that the world is full of 320K AAC files that are indistinguishable from .wav files, but that there are a few pathological pieces of music that can still be distinguished, at least if you strategically select short snippets to compare. And, they can give you specific things to listen for.
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Anyway most blind listening tests are just that (blind) due to Psychoacoustic phenomenon and short audio memory they are are largely discounted these days because of this as a viable data set.

How do you compare recordings without relying on audio memory?
Quote:
We have a recording /production studio with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in a dedicated acoustically treated environment .Ofc we work with all the most common digital formats and sample rates and analog as well. I am Keenly aware of what the various formats and sample/bit rates can and can not do.The studio equipment is very unforgiving .
For example If it sounds bad it is bad. I don't pretend that mp3 sounds as good as Redbook 16/44.1 (CD)

.mp3 is the modern equivalent of a 1963 transistor pocket radio . but it sounds a little better than the old school pocket radio .

No, a well made MP3 sounds so much better than a 1963 transistor radio that there is simply no comparison. I was there in 1963, and in those days portable sound was terrible.
Quote:
Think of mp3 on a revealing set as like 720p or more accurately like 480i/480p on a 55"- 65" screen

I wish you'd make your mind up. 720p is one thing and 480i/480p is quite another. By conflating them, you reduce your credibility in my eyes.
Quote:
there is a lot of dithering going on by the scaling algorithms

Actually, dithering and scaling are two different things. Dither is not about scaling, its about the grey scale. Again, you tip your hand - you conflate a lot of things that are really different.
Quote:
just like mp3 and you can see the loss of detail, poor color saturation /contrast maybe artifacts and jaggies and if they are processed out ,the picture is soft not as sharp as 1080p at a high bit rate.

Seeing and hearing are two different senses and it is the rare writer who can compare them and still make sense. Please keep your day job! ;-)
Quote:
.mp3 is at best Ok on background music and un revealing systems but not the same as lossless.
or decent analog.

That's interesting because really good MP3 is conditionally sonically transparent if you keep the bitrates high,use good coders, and avoid a few pathological musical selections. Analog, both vinyl and tape are never sonically transparent - they can always be detected by a skilled listener in an ABX test.
Quote:
It's OK for casual listen but not for serious enthusiast or professional.

Virtually everything you hear via video, TV, or radio has been coded with MP3, AAC or something like it.

A very high proportion of video DVDs are encoded with AC3 which was the father of AAC (and therefore less transparent) but we hardly ever see it blamed to bad sounding DVDs.
Quote:
The difference is huge between 256kbps mp3 vs 16 bit 44.1 Redbook (Cd) and with all other things being equal it is painfully obvious on revealing system or phones in general.

... right up until the day someone calls you out and gets you do to a level-matched, time-synched, DBT.

BTW actually doing DBTs can be a do-it-yourself project. You need a windows audio player called Foobar2000, the ABX plug in for it, and some computer audio production skills as well as access to some pure .wav files and the encoder you want to test.
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post #24 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 11:57 AM
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The problem here, tubetwister is that your argument is based on numbers. I already understand that MP3's have different numbers. You may have misunderstood me. I didn't say red book CD and 256 MP3 were the same. I said they were indistinguishable from one another in a blind listening test. In other words, they sound the same. You can prove that to yourself quite simply since you have all that exotic equipment. Do a true bias controlled test. Use headphones or speakers and all the pairs of ears you like. You will discover that I'm right and that "common industry opinion" is not always correct. Give it a shot. How can it hurt?
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post #25 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 01:29 PM
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So... you don't have any equipment to do a serious testing. But still you claim that 'there is no difference'. Like I said, you need to improve your testing devices.
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post #26 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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So... you don't have any equipment to do a serious testing. But still you claim that 'there is no difference'. Like I said, you need to improve your testing devices.

I have every piece of equipment that it takes to prove the utter ridiculousness of the false claims you have been making here lately.

However, I know how people like you work - I do the work and then you just wave your hand and dismiss it.
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post #27 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 02:20 PM
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I have every piece of equipment that it takes to prove the utter ridiculousness of the false claims you have been making here lately.
Ture, but also irrelevant, because even if you lacked such gear, others did not. Codecs like MP3 have extensively tested according to international technical standards, and the findings are clear. At higher bit rates, only the rare sound file will allow you to hear a difference between the codec and its uncompressed source, even using the best audio reproduction gear on the planet.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #29 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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@tubetwister
"To tell the truth many modern DACs aren't that bad any more there are also plenty of equally important things in the Audio chain to consider. You can buy a decent ,Burr Brown /TI or
Wolfson high end DAC chip for less than $10.00 now (at retail) ,decent Panasonic or Nichicon low ESR caps for less than a dollar all three are largely commodities anymore Same thing for ADC chips,ASIC's and decent low level/line level packaged Op amps . You can get a breadboard and a box and make something pretty decent cheap now some of the DIY designs are very good now."

Have some hardware hanging about, a couple mid 80s 16 bit ladder DACs (AD DAC71-CSB-V) and more AVX low ESR caps than I will ever use, probably a few other needed parts as well.
But I'm just not interested in a DIY audio project right now. Amusing myself currently with building Halloween props and some photography when I find the time.

The FiiO USB DAC Amps seem interesting.

I'm still trying to determine what audio hardware is in the laptop. ERRR! SRS Premium sound is NOT an answer... I may have to open it up to find out what audio hardware is in it.
At least I received the tracking number for it today.
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post #30 of 107 Old 09-11-2013, 11:52 PM
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The reason I can hear the difference betweem mp3*** and 1644/1 or better is precisely because I do have good equipment that is why I can hear the difference.it is also very apparant to me and others including musicians on decent headphones .

OTOH on a jambox ,sounddock Bose surround system or HTIB or mp3 dock or best buy Samsung sound bar ,HTIB I probably wouldn'tbe able to hear much difference ether


@Arnold,
As for the TV thing it wasn't a direct comparison but a reasonable analogy not hard to understand?
Yes sight and sound are different but if your shiny new HDTV gets low res signal you can't make out the details as well .
OTOH if you are listening to mp3** on decent revealing speakers as well it might not sound mostly undistorted or as good as 16/44.1

@ Arnold
Digital TV's and as you probably know and all display panels dither some be it from grayscale (you are correct)or pixel scaling it doesent matter they still dither (try to guess what to display if you will not unlike lossy music processing ) so do PC monitors .Even the Plasma in the HT here dithers.

The TV formats I mentioned ....you could think of 480i/p as maybe 56/128kbps mp3 and 750p as maybe 256/320kbps and 1080p blue ray as 16/44.1 if that floats your boat works for me not to hard to understand the parallel to the mp3 vs 16/44.1 argument. As far as my credibility in your opinion ..... don't worry I won't be loosing any sleep over that LOL.

@ Arnold,
I was there as youngster in 1963 also, granted almost anything sounds better than a pocket radio but maybe not mp3 on cell phone speaker ever heard one ?LOL.
OTOH if we state we cannot hear what other what others clearly say they can. I for one would be concerned if that were the case.
I'm probably not the only one posting here that would agree with that .

I work with this stuff almost every day I don't prefer to waste waste my time doing dbt's to find out or not what I already know. otherwise why would I have have an opinion based on valid experience? ofc you or anybody are welcome to disagree and maybe contribute some valuable personal insight that we can all relate to?


@Arnold
I don't need an article or peer approved scientific white paper or wikipedia to tell me that what I and many others can and cannot hear regardless of placebo science .ofc maybe some can not hear the difference then they are happy with mp3 and thats fine for them but does not convince me.

You asked Why have scientists, anyway? I will answer that with a question Do you mean placebo scientists? like the ones that work for big pharma?
plenty of scientists have been discredited there. Is their placebo science and sometimes rigged testing any more or less valid than placebo science in audio or not ?
If science were absolute things might be different it seldom is in audio especially depending on who is funding the science in any field for that matter science right or wrong is bought and sold every day. Ever heard a doctor say medicine is not an exact science how many times have they revised Moore's law? They also once that amphetamines were a miracle drug.
Remember also once they thought the earth was flat and that bloodletting was sound medical treatment . Do we know how exactly the pyramids were built ? OTOH Murphy's law seems to be constant,so does gravity.
so nothing wrong with a healthy dose of scepticism now and then.


If you play mp3** and 16/44.1 same recording same mix all other things being equal on lets say a pair of JBL Everest speakers with ofc the appropriate equipment I don't think anyone with a good frame of reference with regard to quality audio would have any trouble telling the difference mp3**vs 16/44.1 ofc I doubt many would play mp3 on JBL everest but on crappy speakers you might not be able to tell.I can say there are many audio forums with knowledgeable professionals in the music and audio industry that agree that mp3** VS 16/44 that ofc 16/441 is th clear winner.Just like any argument folks will take one side or the other and resist the facts
nothing I'm loosing sleep over to be sure .I know if I spin up a .flac file instead if Mp3*** (same master) and put my phones on right now that the .flac will sound better .Not hard to do I have .flac/mp3/ 328kbs and .wav library's . we archive in all 3 formats for business and personal use.
we have plenty of professional software I have foobar 2000,Jriver,iTunes, etc on my personal daily driver

OUR studio equipment and phones have no trouble resolving the difference either even my PC in the bedroom with DAC + headphone amp and studio phones has no trouble
resolving Mp3 vs 16/44/1 We have plenty of both on raid storage HDD's not to mention Pandora has mp3 we use that for our smartphones it came with the phone service for only $5.00 a month .


DBT's are by nature subjective and therefore not usually an accurate measurement as opposed to electronic sound analysis the old saying holds true
"if it measures good and sounds bad you are measuring the wrong thing " mp3 inherently usually measures bad.

All that being said it's still what it sounds like in the end
that is important and that can and indeed does vary by individual.Some are happy with mp3
that's fine nothing wrong with that that does not mean it sounds as good to everyone or is as resolving,
revealing or as accurate as lossless format .

You can not replace information that is not there regardless of what some experienced coders say ( you can substitute what you think it was or should be but not replace it ) Recorded music reproduced in a room or studio is not the same as live music at a live venue regardless of format/media .That is why I would never pretend to say recorded music is indistinguishable from live music better ....maybe sometimes if it is edited/mixed well. at least subjectively all recordings analog or digital are approximations some being more accurate to the original than others .
more accurate overall? probably not .


I've listened to plenty of mp3 256kps ,320kbs and lower 320kbps has plenty of limitations and compromise it is only marginally better than 256kbps and can be be at times hard to tell the difference from 256kbs although 256kbps is much better than 128kbps IMO AAC is only very slightly better sounding if at all.


mp3 has low dynamic range VS 16/44.1 if you measure it. ofc granted a lot of popular music especially Hip Hop/Rap E-dubstep etc. intended
for digital distribution is often over compressed and mixed for loudness without high concern for sound quality as a priority
that also commonly happened with some vinyl also. if anyone would care to measure that for theselves there is a free software tool at soundforge to measure mp3 http://sourceforge.net/projects/mp3dra/

When we upload mp*** and 16/44.1 files for distribution ofc we have listened to them many times before that and have no truble at all hearing the difference in the studio.unless the final mix is severely over compressed before rendering/encoding in that case a comparison from mp3 320kbps and 16/44.1 might be closer.
so that would be one reason along with low fidelity system ,maybe also not optimal hearing ,listening environment etc. would explain why some say they can not tell the difference.and that may be legitimately true given the circumstance.

mp3*** is popular in the market more due to file size/low bandwidth transmission requirements and number of devices in the market place not because it sounds real good just like cassette tape in the 70's 80's did not usually sound that good . In fact that is another good analagy right there either cassette vs RTR /vinyl and mp3**vs 16/44.1 same thing .


As far as mpeg ** TV sound goes I never thought it was that great anyway
but that may have something to do with the content creators and content delivery .

Even from laptop, CD is still better whether you can perceive it yourself or not. Some people may perceive the difference and some may not. Personally, getting accustomed to very high end speakers system makes my perception quite different .
while quoting others and books,links ,and papers etc to re enforce their position instead of providing valuable personal experience for others
to evaluate as they may.

Ofc we could all argue and attack each other all day I don't think that is the intended spirit of AVS and having a lot of posts does not entitle
someone. Nothing wrong with spirited debate and argument but I find the the attacking as sign of one that may not be all that confident in their position
despite what they say .
So the tendency is to get defensive and revert to a back up style of attacking (psych. 101 ) while excessively quoting others and books,links ,and papers etc to defend their position instead of providing valuable personal experience and insight right or wrong for others to evaluate and discuss without personal attack . that's the whole point of free discussion. (phsyc101 ) I think it is an unfortunate personality trait some have and is best kept private or they may seem foolish .

That being said I think we (including myself) should Keep things civil and perhaps engage in some spirited free discussion.
While AVS attempts to be a science forum and the TV section is very good there are also things we can learn from one and other .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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