Debate Thread: Scott's Hi-res Audio Test - Page 77 - AVS Forum
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post #2281 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 01:10 PM
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As it turns out some fool will pay $20 extra for a minute audible difference that turns out to be tiny amount of Intermodulation distortion after all.
And $30 extra if the even more foolish audiophile downloads a dsd file with even more IM from the very high rising noise floor.


http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3264
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post #2282 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 01:16 PM
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You never know what you're going to hear in a sub.

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post #2283 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 02:18 PM
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Now that's Talent.

I'll be back later...



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post #2284 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 02:39 PM
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post #2285 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
As it turns out some fool will pay $20 extra for a minute audible difference that turns out to be tiny amount of Intermodulation distortion after all.
And $30 extra if the even more foolish audiophile downloads a dsd file with even more IM from the very high rising noise floor.

http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3264
It is ironic that you linked to that article that is written by none other than Mark Waldrep who with Scott created the high-res test that spun off this thread! He is being critical of other sites charging a premium. But he himself is not:

"The new downloadable sampler from AIX Records will have 18 full length tracks and be available as a 96 kHz/24-bit PCM WAV or FLAC file. It will be priced at $11.00 and come with a PDF booklet.

My 41-track Blu-ray HD-Audio Sampler 2013 with three different mixes and HD-Video of every track can be purchased at the AIX Records site for $25.00. I know the quality of my tracks and I want people to experience them. In fact, I give the sampler away for free with any purchase of $50 or more."


Have you listened to the new files from Scott? If you heard a difference, does it sound like "IM distortion" to you?

Where is the IM distortion in the 32 Khz vs 44 Khz that you also passed? Your system can produce 16 Khz fine but not 22 Khz as to create "IM distortion?"

I think we are better off believing in UFO abductions if this is the level of proof we need for our audio assumptions .

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post #2286 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post
Of course, any mfr, Harman included, could reap huge brownie points if they simply published results in a reputable journal showing that people can hear improvement wholly attributable to 'high rez', during normal listening to normal musical signals at normal levels, without needing special training or test signals or special gear other than DACs that reliably output the true formats.
"Normal listening to normal musical signals at normal levels?" You want to tell these guys to turn it down?



I don't think so.

BTW Scott's tracks were not test signals. As to brownie points, those of us who could hear the differences with just a stock laptop that others could not, have not received any.

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Originally Posted by krabb
Not from Sony, not from Phillips, not from Meridian. Nor from Madrona, though I daresay the future is long and there is much dancing still to do.
It is a happy dance. Let us have our moment. It is not everyday that folks are hung with their own ties, after claiming for years in thousands of threads that no "level match DBT could show a difference." Well, it did. Over and over again.

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post #2287 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:16 PM
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Without due respect.


Yes I did listen to the new files. Mentioned it in a post you must have missed. Prior to abx those files I selected the files I thought to be the hires versions for having a *slightly* cleaner sound and it turns out I selected the 'lo res' versions in all three cases.
At that point I listened throught the Oppos headphone output.
Now I know that the Oppo had IM distortion in the hires file and that could well be the cause of the differences I heard.


I didn't do a 32kHz versus a 44.1. I did a 96k versus 32 successfully and a 96k versus 44k. With the latter I failed to ABX successfully.


I see an attempt to discredit other peoples findings.


It turns out that all *your* findings are worthless as you so far didn't do the IM test. You demanded controls and so far you are evading to do one critical control.
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post #2288 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post
So the results of this test are going to be published?
Without results of IM tests by everybody who ran ABX tests, my only alternative at this point would be to throw away the results from everybody who declined to report their results from the IM tests.

My knowledge of human behavior suggests that most if not all of the IM tests that have not been reported are being held back because they were failures.

That does not leave a lot of data to report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post
I was hoping at best to see Scott and Mark give us the results in the test thread. To be honest, it seems to me this thread has run its course except for bragging rights (which I didn't even know was the purpose of the test).
I'm going to give the situation some time to percolate. No wine before its time and all that.
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post #2289 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:21 PM
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Ironic?





What is this 44k tone in one of the so called hi res files from Mark Waldrep?
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post #2290 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13 View Post
...
I could hear 19KHz flyback in tv before USAF. ....
Small correction to this. Not sure you are ready though.
The flyback was 15750kHz, 262.5x60.
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post #2291 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
Here is what I get for the last 4 seconds:
Oppo 105D - Headphone :
44k file testtone - soft click -silence -loud click - silence - soft click
96k file testtone - soft-click -4kHz +noise* - loud click - silence - softclick
*Noisy rough sounding 4kHz pitch tone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oppo 105D - Hdmi2spdiff -> Denon AVC A1SE +upgrade -> Power Amps -> Speakers (Thiel CS3.7)
44k file testtone - no click -silence -loud click - silence - soft click
96k file testtone - very soft click - low level 4kHz tone*- loud click - silence - soft click


*very faint fairly clean sounding 4kHz tone only observed on axis of the tweeter ( 1 or 2 feet) but nothing off axis on the listening position (9..10 feet)
Volume setting is at "-9dB" This is almost live concert level with music content.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SoundBlaster Xfi -> Dell Monitor soundbar speakers
44k file testtone - soft click -noise -loud click - silence - soft click
96k file testtone - soft-click - 4kHz + noise - loud click - silence - softclick
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SoundBlaster Xfi -> Dell Monitor soundbar headphone output using AKG K271studio
44k file testtone - soft click -silence -loud click - silence - soft click
96k file testtone - soft-click -silence - loud click - silence - soft click
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does this indicate a "tell" someplace that would aid in differentiating and not related to content?
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post #2292 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Without results of IM tests by everybody who ran ABX tests, my only alternative at this point would be to throw away the results from everybody who declined to report their results from the IM tests.

My knowledge of human behavior suggests that most if not all of the IM tests that have not been reported are being held back because they were failures.

That does not leave a lot of data to report.



I'm going to give the situation some time to percolate. No wine before its time and all that.
Well, I like good aged wine so carry-on:-)
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post #2293 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
OK, here's my first shot at an IM test.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5xk18jgqmu...st%20tones.zip

There are two files in the zip file - both 2496, both containing the usual keys jangling sound, but at the end are 4 seconds of test tones.
Downloaded 'em. Playing 'em back with BIAS Peak Pro on a Mac, sending USB data to a Meridian Prime D/A headphone amp and Audeze LCD-X headphones. Playback sample rate is correctly set to 96kHz. No Foobar on a Mac so I just listened to the test tone segments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
The contents of the last 4 seconds of the file should sound like a -30 dB 4 KHz tone (not at all ear splitting), followed by a click, 1 second of silence, a click, 1 second of silence, a click, 1 second of silence, a click and end, whether you listen to the 2496 or the 1644 version . . . You do not need to ABX the test tone segments, just do sighted listening and report your subjective impressions.
That's exactly what I hear with each of the two files. No intermodulation. And now to ABX the keys - what is a good program for the Mac?

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post #2294 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
It is a happy dance. Let us have our moment. It is not everyday that folks are hung with their own ties, after claiming for years in thousands of threads that no "level match DBT could show a difference." Well, it did. Over and over again.
Are we still debating or going to the prom.

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post #2295 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Without results of IM tests by everybody who ran ABX tests, my only alternative at this point would be to throw away the results from everybody who declined to report their results from the IM tests.

My knowledge of human behavior suggests that most if not all of the IM tests that have not been reported are being held back because they were failures.

That does not leave a lot of data to report.



I'm going to give the situation some time to percolate. No wine before its time and all that.
Do you have data how many downloaded that IM test?
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post #2296 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post
And now to ABX the keys - what is a good program for the Mac?
Here are two options. I have no clue about them, just did some checking around:

Option 1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abxt...27554135?mt=12

Option 2
According to http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/ind...dpost&p=797762

Referencing http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

Download:

http://images.apple.com/itunes/maste...ring_tools.zip

1) Download the Audio Mastering Tools and the AU Lab application from the apple website and install them on your Mac.
2) Open AU Lab and setup an output device.
3) Select "Add Audio Unit Generator" from the Edit menu, choose "AUAudioFilePlayer" and hit OK.
4) Click on the AU Generator panel to select it and select "Edit Selected Generator" from the Edit menu.
5) Select an audio file to play by either clicking the Audio Files +... or drag/drop a file from the finder. Then click the Play button. You should be able to hear something now.
6) In the Master Out panel of the mixer, click on the grey triangle just under Effects and select Apple-AURoundTripAAC. Here you can switch between source and codec and do an ABX test.
7) Save your AU Lab setup for future use.
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post #2297 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Do you have data how many downloaded that IM test?
No. Dropbox does not keep download stats.
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post #2298 of 2920 Old 07-22-2014, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
Ironic?





What is this 44k tone in one of the so called hi res files from Mark Waldrep?
Bad news. Something went wrong during production.
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post #2299 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Does this indicate a "tell" someplace that would aid in differentiating and not related to content?

The 48kHz bandwidth could result in more in band modulation distortion in comparison to the 20kHz bandwidth.
The intermodulation could result in an audible tell simply because there could be more of it with hires.
But it depends on the amount of hf in the content and is subject to masking by audible content.
On top of that is that amplifiers often show rising distortion levels for higher frequencies.


Anyone audiophile claiming to hear 'night and day' differences should check the listening chain for intermodulation distortion.
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post #2300 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Does this indicate a "tell" someplace that would aid in differentiating and not related to content?
Absolutely.

The test is composed of a nice quiet little 4 KHz tone to train listeners what to listen for.

It is followed by twin tones 1 second duration each, with frequencies of 22+27 KHz, 32+36 Kz, and 38+42 Khz.

These are naturally missing from the downsampled versions of the file.

When listened to, all of the tones but the initial 4 KHz training tone should be inaudible, which means that unless the full bandwidth and downsampled versions sound the same, there is audible nonlinear distortion in the monitoring path.


There were two major unexpected things that happened during the actual use of the test tones:

(1) Distortion products other than a 4 KHz tone was heard in a number of cases. Often the distortion products sounded like broadband noise or a kind of roughness.

(2) A lot of hardware that one might think would be very linear such as the headphone jack on a highly regarded BD player and some transducers turned out to have audible IM.

Well, that is part of the fun of science, unexpected things happen! ;-)

These test tones are simplified stand ins for the complex collection of tones that make up all music, natural sounds and even artificial sound EFX.

Any nonlinear distortion or clipping of the test tones will result in the production of distortion at 4 KHz and a number of other frequencies.

Any clipping or nonlinear distortion of natural sounds or music will similarly create distortion in the audible range even if the distortion is only effective outside the audible range.
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post #2301 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Absolutely.

The test is composed of a nice quiet little 4 KHz tone to train listeners what to listen for.

It is followed by twin tones 1 second duration each, with frequencies of 22+27 KHz, 32+36 Kz, and 38+42 Khz.

These are naturally missing from the downsampled versions of the file.

When listened to, all of the tones but the initial 4 KHz training tone should be inaudible, which means that unless the full bandwidth and downsampled versions sound the same, there is audible nonlinear distortion in the monitoring path.


There were two major unexpected things that happened during the actual use of the test tones:

(1) Distortion products other than a 4 KHz tone was heard in a number of cases. Often the distortion products sounded like broadband noise or a kind of roughness.

(2) A lot of hardware that one might think would be very linear such as the headphone jack on a highly regarded BD player and some transducers turned out to have audible IM.

Well, that is part of the fun of science, unexpected things happen! ;-)

These test tones are simplified stand ins for the complex collection of tones that make up all music, natural sounds and even artificial sound EFX.

Any nonlinear distortion or clipping of the test tones will result in the production of distortion at 4 KHz and a number of other frequencies.

Any clipping or nonlinear distortion of natural sounds or music will similarly create distortion in the audible range even if the distortion is only effective outside the audible range.
FWIW I also hear the distortion tones on my laptop/headphones combo.

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post #2302 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
FWIW I also hear the distortion tones on my laptop/headphones combo.
Based on my various experiences, I've found that laptop sound systems are on the average more prone to be lower in fidelity than desktops or even quality smart phones and tablets.

I think that a lot more people use their smart phones and tablets as digital music players than laptops.

I have a laptop that sounds like p!$$. A Behringer UCA 202 helps a great deal.
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Based on my various experiences, I've found that laptop sound systems are on the average more prone to be lower in fidelity than desktops or even quality smart phones and tablets.

I think that a lot more people use their smart phones and tablets as digital music players than laptops.

I have a laptop that sounds like p!$$. A Behringer UCA 202 helps a great deal.
I rarely listen through my laptop. I used it because Amir heard a difference when he performed tests through his laptop.

For what it's worth, my Sony laptop actually sounds quite good, partly because it uses a SSD, so there's no interference from the hard drive.

Here's what's crucial... playing the same file (with the test tone) through my Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 using Neutron player, the tones resulting from distortion were way louder... in fact it was about as loud as the first test tone. Compared to that, the tones I heard on my laptop and on my home stereo were mere whispers at a rock concert. The difference was rather profound.

Furthermore, with the tablet, I could "hear" keys jangling in the file that had all the sub 20,000 Hz content stripped from it, presumably a shadow of the ultrasonic content made up entirely of IM distortion? On my laptop and my stereo I hear nothing but silence during the key jangling segments, when I play that file.

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post #2304 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
OK, here's my first shot at an IM test.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5xk18jgqmu...st%20tones.zip

There are two files in the zip file - both 2496, both containing the usual keys jangling sound, but at the end are 4 seconds of test tones.

(2) Now move on to listening to just the last 4 seconds of the files. The contents of the last 4 seconds of the file should sound like a -30 dB 4 KHz tone (not at all ear splitting), followed by a click, 1 second of silence, a click, 1 second of silence, a click, 1 second of silence, a click and end, whether you listen to the 2496 or the 1644 version. Please report what you hear for both files. Do not change your volume control between the keys jangling ABX listening and an the test tone listening. You do not need to ABX the test tone segments, just do sighted listening and report your subjective impressions.
OK, I am finally home and here are my results. Remember though, if anything I say is wrong, I will be blaming it on the dogs!

96 Khz: it is as you say.

44 KHz: All there except the last click is exceptionally quiet. I had to significantly turn up the volume to hear it.

Let's investigate the difference. Here is the last part of the 96 Khz file:



Look where the red vertical line is, and to the right of that you see the last audio sample represented by a dot. Eyeballing it is at -4 db. Remembering that 0 db is full amplitude, this is way, way up there as far as amplitude. Since there is no other sample after that, you go from -4 db to -infinity (or the noise floor of the system) which creates an absolutely sharp vertical line. This is a classic "impulse" which means it has infinite bandwidth (limited by the sampling rate) and will sound like a click or pop as Arny mentions.

Now let's look at the down sampled 16/44:



I have zoomed in more on this waveform but otherwise it is the same as the 96 Khz one.

Again, look at the last audio sample on the right. The value is now is at -50 db. We once again go to silence after that since there are no more audio samples. But there is a big difference here with respect to the 96 Khz file: our impulse/sharp drops from -50 db to 0 as opposed to -4 db. We still get our full spectrum of waveforms as a result of the impulse but the total energy is far, far lower in the 16/44 file. It is like pushing a swing with your little finger versus your whole body. The former will not move the swing nearly as much as the latter would.

At the same level that I was listening to for the 96 Khz file, the click at the end for the 44 Khz one was not audible to me. I had to boost the levels to max to hear it. The above is the reason.

Now, turns out you could hear a much louder pop in the 16/4 than what you should have. When you play an audio file and you get to the end, the audio channel is "closed." What the sound hardware does at that point is "undefined." Ideally you would want it to go to silence as mine did but it may not. It may actually change the electrical (DC) characteristics of the DAC and cause a pop by itself. So if you are hearing a loud pop, that is the reason. It is not due to the two waveforms being similarly situated.

Given the system dependent nature of this last pop, the better test would have been to fade to zero and have both waveforms have that zero value. If a click is desired, it could be inserted in a controlled manner from max amplitude to zero as opposed to where it happened to land in the current test.

Anyway, probably way more information than anyone wanted to read first thing in the morning .

As the soup nazi would say, "no IM distortion for you" in regards to my HP laptop.

Thanks as always for your hard work Arny.

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"Insist on Quality Engineering"


Last edited by amirm; 07-23-2014 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Can't spell again :).
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post #2305 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
The test is composed of a nice quiet little 4 KHz tone to train listeners what to listen for.

It is followed by twin tones 1 second duration each, with frequencies of 22+27 kHz, 32+36 kHz, and 38+42 kHz.

These are naturally missing from the downsampled versions of the file.
To be pedantically correct, the 22kHz tone is still there in the downsampled file.

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post #2306 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post
To be pedantically correct, the 22kHz tone is still there in the downsampled file.

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That is true and known. The digital filtering in Audition's downsampler is not perfect. An ideal 44.1 Khz would have let it pass through attenuated and that wouldn't have been particularly good.

I should probably remake the files with the first pair of frequencies start out a little higher.

First cut, right? ;-)
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post #2307 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
Anyone audiophile claiming to hear 'night and day' differences should check the listening chain for intermodulation distortion.

Anyone claiming that is probably experiencing a 'placebo' effect.

True 'night and day' differences in audio aren't going to come from upping the SR and bit depth beyond Redbook, no matter how sensitive your hearing is. They will come from nonmagical mastering differences...or simple, measurable output level differences between DUTs. Or something 'broken' versus something not.

It's just florid 'Absolute Sound'-speak to claim otherwise. Knowing that won't stop the torrent of bullsh*t from flowing, though, and it won't stop the dancers from dancing.
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post #2308 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 11:10 AM
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You know, instead of some ancient version of Cool Edit/Audition, SOX or SSRC might be a better tool for resampling....or Audiomuxer, which I think offers both.


Or perhaps use the newest version of Audition, which was recently released 'free' by Adobe.
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post #2309 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Absolutely.

The test is composed of a nice quiet little 4 KHz tone to train listeners what to listen for.

It is followed by twin tones 1 second duration each, with frequencies of 22+27 KHz, 32+36 Kz, and 38+42 Khz.

These are naturally missing from the downsampled versions of the file.

When listened to, all of the tones but the initial 4 KHz training tone should be inaudible, which means that unless the full bandwidth and downsampled versions sound the same, there is audible nonlinear distortion in the monitoring path.


There were two major unexpected things that happened during the actual use of the test tones:

(1) Distortion products other than a 4 KHz tone was heard in a number of cases. Often the distortion products sounded like broadband noise or a kind of roughness.

(2) A lot of hardware that one might think would be very linear such as the headphone jack on a highly regarded BD player and some transducers turned out to have audible IM.

Well, that is part of the fun of science, unexpected things happen! ;-)

These test tones are simplified stand ins for the complex collection of tones that make up all music, natural sounds and even artificial sound EFX.

Any nonlinear distortion or clipping of the test tones will result in the production of distortion at 4 KHz and a number of other frequencies.

Any clipping or nonlinear distortion of natural sounds or music will similarly create distortion in the audible range even if the distortion is only effective outside the audible range.
Thanks. So then, this is telling me that all the positive outcomes posted tests are questionable outcomes and due to system issues?
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post #2310 of 2920 Old 07-23-2014, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Thanks. So then, this is telling me that all the positive outcomes posted tests are questionable outcomes and due to system issues?
That would be the most logical conclusion. It would appear to be a case of hi-res doing more harm than good, unless you own (and use for these A/B experiments) gear that is expensive enough to avoid distortion-related problems in the first place, thus allowing you to hear dead silence when playing those ultrasonic tones.
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