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post #1 of 11 Old 01-17-2001, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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My brother (an audiophile) says he would never listen to MP3 because of its quality shortcomings over CD's (of which he has 1300). A web site I was on suggested that one cannot tell the difference. Which is correct?
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-17-2001, 09:20 PM
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Well, it depends! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

I ripped every cd I have onto my computer, as MP3's. (40+ gigs worth) Doing this I learned a couple of things.

1. The MP3's sound great in my car and on my computer. I like to burn discs (in cd format from MP3) and use them in my 12disc changer in the car.

2. They sound horrible in my main stereo system. I decided to do some tests and even 256kps recordings at the highest bit rate and such were still MUCH worse than the original cd. I tried better quality CD's and they still sounded bad. I then tried the same discs at work on equipment like Meridian and McIntosh and they sounded EVEN WORSE.

This goes back to the old story. Compression ruins everything. Even using the least ammount of compression possible will cause a song to loose its soundstage, depth and warmth. Its like the difference between FM radio and CD really. I could never listen to MP3's in my main stereo unless I was having a party, and then most of my friends could probably pick out the bad sounds.

Dan

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-18-2001, 11:43 AM
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Dan, try CD-RWs instead. CD-Rs have a very poor S/N ratio because of the dye used to created the pits. Standard CD players have difficulty playing them. CD-RWs have actual metal content.

I think the real comparison should be original CD's sound compared to the MP3 (320k VBR) played from a hard drive.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-19-2001, 07:30 AM
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I tried the test with original and playing back from the hard drive. I even used the transport in the computer and the same sound card and wire. The CD's still sounded _slightly_ better. I can tell you that the CD's sounded much worse on my computer connected to my stereo, than just using my transport to d/a.

I cannot take my computer in to do a demo, and unfortunately CD-RW discs don't work in many of the cd players I do demos's on either.

Thanks for the tip. I will try the CDRW's just for fun.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-19-2001, 07:56 PM
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CD-RWs work for me in (some) DVD players, too, that won't play CD-Rs.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-31-2002, 04:20 AM
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I am currently playing my CD's and MP3's out my PC through my purely music AMP. I haven't done experiments but I'm just thinking should I expect better sound from the CDs than properly encoded MP3's. There is probably quite a high S/N ratio in the computer for analogue output will the result be cummulative if I use MP3's or will this mask any other sound quality differance.

Martin
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-31-2002, 01:20 PM
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I've found the difference for me was how it was encoded, and I don't mean bits per second. I use MusicMatch to encode, and under it's advanced options it has a analysis quality setting. I found that a 256kbps MP3 encoded at Normal sounded terrible compared to a 160kbps MP3 encoded at the High setting. It takes a lot longer to encode, but it analyzes the music and produces much better sounding MP3's.

On my stereo, MP3's still lack the depth of CD, but it's very close. Close enough for everyday use. When I'm feeling picky, I pull out the original CD.

Greg
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-03-2002, 05:39 AM
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www.exactaudiocopy.de

I use it to rip and set my encoding using LAME 3.90. I also use a very good soundcard, an M-Audio 2496 for pc playback into my home theater receiver. My bet is your pc's souncard (likely a SB of some kind) mangles the sound and most computer speakers are of lesser quality then a cheapie stereo's. MP3 can sound very, very good if ripped/encoded correctly. And the encoding algorythums are improving on a monthly basis.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-04-2002, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrwilson
Dan, try CD-RWs instead. CD-Rs have a very poor S/N ratio because of the dye used to created the pits. Standard CD players have difficulty playing them. CD-RWs have actual metal content.
I had a friend who once told me that he worked at a drive-in theater. When the wind kicked up, he said, they would put up the wind guards to keep the picture from being blown off the screen.

My point is that a one is a one is a one is a one is a one. Whether reading from a CD-R or a CD-RW, the numbers are all either ones or zeros, so changing the media will not help your situation.

For my purposes, Windows Media is the answer. I use 128 Kbps and only occasionally hear the limitations of compression. I'm reproducing that audio through a Pioneer Elite THX receiver, and I've challenged people to find the impurities.

If you're worried about Microsoft's encryption, you can turn that off as I have (I cannot use encrypted files on my Audiotrons).

Lloyd Lawrence
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-22-2002, 12:13 PM
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A friend of mine uses VBR (variable bitrate) High-Quality with the Fraunhofer codec, it comes to between 200 to 300 kbps depending on the contents. He says it sounds better than 256kpbs CBR (constant bitrate) by far. Makes sense, since the codec can use the bits when it needs them and save them in other places.
///d@
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-23-2002, 11:38 AM
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The Fraunhoffer algorithm is superior to most others under current thinking. I use Fraunhoffer 192 VBR/high on my Ipod, and while I can tell the difference A/B'd with a CD on my main system, My main uses for MP3's is in the shower (hooked to a pair of computer speakers/sub) or in the car (using a line to cassette adapter), two environments where a bit of degradation isn't really noticeable. When I'm on my main system its usually sat audio channels from DISH instead of the Ipod, which has about the same drop in quality from CDs.

While there don't seem to be any artifacts, the bass doesn't seem as robust and treble seems a bit weak, and imaging suffers. Reverb tails seem a bit drier, too. But all of this is acceptable in the environments I use MP3's.

Other than the portability, the ability to shuffle between 700+ cuts (so far) is the great appeal of the Ipod to me, and I'm still amazed everytime it uploads an entire new CD in under 10 seconds.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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