AVS/AIX High-Resolution Audio Test: Take 2 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 97 Old 07-27-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mekduk View Post
Am new here and immediately joined/followed up after watching Scott's conversation with Michael Fremer on the back episode of Home Theater Geeks vidcast. So the results are going to be sent to the individual concerned or will it be published on this thread?
I'm about to post the results so far in general terms. How well each participant did will be sent to them individually. I won't reveal which track is which publicly for another two weeks at least; I want to give others a chance to participate.

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post #32 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mpls-Sound View Post
I could easily determine the high res version for the Mosaic and On the Street Where You Live files. Just My Imagination was a toss up though and I guessed wrong on that one.

My set up was a Mac Pro Quad-Core Tower, a MusicStreamer II DAC, a Yamaha HTR-5550 receiver and Pioneer SP-B22 speakers.
Edit : Pretty good on Pioneer SP-B22 speakers lots of folks like those , have you tried phones if so how did that work out ? .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #33 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 03:06 PM
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I Just played both of the Just My Imagination and also Mosaic A2 ,B2 downloaded files (exactly level matched)in a sound editor reading unzipped WAV files directly from HDD rather than importing them as a project to assure they remained unaltered.

I switched back and forth without knowing which rez was playing from the 2:00 min mark to the 3:00 min mark on each file repeatedly on this playback chain PC >Xonar STX 192 kHz amplified sound card> into Sennsheiser studio phones that can resolve 27 kHz with ofc no added EQ or effects .

FWIW or not (at this point ) IMO I could not reliably discern any difference in playback . I might try these files in the studio on the same phones on a pro external audio interface and see what shakes out .

I also tried samples on a different very flat and accurate pair of studio tracking phones same opinion , also from the 1 to 2 minute marks in addition to the 2 to 3 min marks same opinion both ways .

As a consumer I would want any differences to be readily apparent on an ordinary playback chain that is capable of resolving these resolutions .

One should keep mind ultimately consumer opinions are what matters in the marketplace not necessarily mfr marketing advertisement , commercial website or enthusiast/hobby magazine reviews .

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?"
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post #34 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 03:57 PM
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Precise level matching is very important in any comparative analysis or differential testing of this type .

To better facilitate evaluation One could Play them in Audacity or another sound editor not WMP that will allow precise level matching ,you can usually drag and drop the unzipped downloaded WAV or any supported files straight in and read them directly from the hdd rather than importing them as a project ensuring no alteration of the original files

OTOH for testing purposes I'm not so sure you could use the Foobar 2000 ABX comparative facility in this way unless Audacity supports the plugin also. Maybe some one could enlighten us ? ( I know I'm being lazy ☺☺)

Unless those in the know feel that the playback gain settings in Foobar 2000 are sufficient ?
IMO In any event WMC or most players should probably not be used to evaluate and or test for differentials.
without level matching in the playback chain to arrive at a valid conclusion or opinion .

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 #35 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
One should keep mind ultimately consumer opinions are what matters in the marketplace not necessarily mfr marketing advertisement , commercial website or enthusiast/hobby magazine reviews .
And this consumer (i.e. me) has managed to tell the differences reliably in double blind ABX tests.

I suspect vast majority of people won't be able to tell the difference which is fine. They should not spend the money if they can't hear the difference (assuming they believe they never will). This is no different than other things in life. You may not be able to tell the difference between a $20 steak and $10 in which case, save the money and buy the $10 one. Just be careful that you don't dictate your discrimination in this regards to others.

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post #36 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
And this consumer (i.e. me) has managed to tell the differences reliably in double blind ABX tests.

I suspect vast majority of people won't be able to tell the difference which is fine. They should not spend the money if they can't hear the difference (assuming they believe they never will). This is no different than other things in life. You may not be able to tell the difference between a $20 steak and $10 in which case, save the money and buy the $10 one. Just be careful that you don't dictate your discrimination in this regards to others.
Amir Amir, some $10 steak taste better than a $40 one. It all depends who and how and where it was cut.

We cannot generalize on people's taste differentiation, and we certainly cannot recommend taste. Not only it is a personal choice but the variables from all the various quality recording studios in one or the other hi-res audio format is not enough in itself to draw any abso!ute conclusion. There is a reality out there, and it is much more complex than @ the surface of scientific measurements.

Audio is not created equal for everyone and from everyone.
Some recording engineers are master in their art @ putting quality music recordings on CDs, others are not, and the same for deeper bit rates and higher frequency rates, from various music recording engineers (in their studios with their recording/mixing/upsampling machines).

Too many variables so little time.

I already anticipate your reply, and I agree. ...But consider what I just said.
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post #37 of 97 Old 07-28-2014, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin
And this consumer (i.e. me) has managed to tell the differences reliably in double blind ABX tests
Perhaps That means I will not be buying a new hires player and you might ? Not to worry my PC (s) and PS3' can do that just as well and the one in the studio likely much better .

Quote:
Originally Posted by armin

I suspect vast majority of people won't be able to tell the difference which is fine. They should not spend the money if they can't hear the difference (assuming they believe they never will). This is no different than other things in life. You may not be able to tell the difference between a $20 steak and $10 in which case, save the money and buy the $10 one. Just be careful that you don't dictate your discrimination in this regards to others.

Yes Armin you have stated that you can hear a difference on many occasions it does not prove or disprove anything to me (maybe others ?) I never disputed that but I am free to form my own suppositions and opinions and freely express both . Did I hit a sore nerve or something none my post's in this thread were directed at you
shouldn't have ?

Remarkable laptop you have there is it an HP Beats model by chance ? Seems odd my quite possibly superior (than many laptops) playback chain (s) can not resolve a difference no?..................perhaps not.

On the steak thing ........... depends on where you buy it and how it is prepared I've had bad restaurant steaks that cost well over $20.00. and very decent $9.00 BBq rib eyes prepared at home properly ( not too many at that price lately though beef has gone up a lot in case you haven't noticed or perhaps beef isn't in your regimen .)

I believe there is also a difference in perceiving something is different by differential testing with extraordinary scientific methods or otherwise just listening is much different than 'proving that difference in the marketplace ' as small as it may be is as an added value to the ordinary average consumer or enthusiast . Hires may be a fine niche market for those few that imagine or maybe hear *some differences whatever they may be* . Markets are full of similar things nothing new.


Lastly on the " dictate your discrimination in this regards to others." You might want to to look up the definition of "dictate" as opposed to expressing an opinion in free discussion .

No offense but I believe I do not need your advice as to what or how to post or not here at AVS they have crawl bots and moderators for that thank you .

Unless you bought the Forum and now dictate forum rules here or otherwise have repealed our first amendment freedom of speech protections we are both free to continue to express our opinions ,suppositions and unproven hypothesis (s) ,facts , or whatever 'test results' we care to as fact here likewise ....................... maybe nobody told you that ...........?

No statute laws,common law torts or any other laws broken when expressing opinion or hypothesis (s) or supposition .
Is a J.S. among your many remarkable accomplishments perhaps ? I studied some of that in college as an undergrad.

We should remember this is not your forum (or mine ) and we don't make the rules here but rather we should abide by them like everyone else.

Arnin, Maybe this discussion you felt the need to initiate should be in the appropriate hires debate thread rather than this one that is only soliciting opinions either way (like mine ) and no test results (either way ) not argumentative debate
You could have stopped at the end of first sentence or just let your opinions be known as did I ,you know that would IMO have been more appropriate in this thread.

Let's not turn this thread into and argumentative C./F. like the hiresdebate thread becomes every now and then
(if you know what I mean ) but continue to freely express our opinions as I have going forward as is the stated intent of this thread.

further might I suggest if you feel the need to reply to this post let's first quote it to the appropriate hires debate thread and if you feel the need we can resume this discussion there although I don't see the need . thank you.

@ Scott Wilkinson ,Sorry for my part that being limited to this post . .

PS Armin : I'm sure many us will be looking forward to seeing some new JAES or AES hires papers . Please let us know if you hear of any .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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- David Sarnoff's associates at RCA the 1920's -

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post #38 of 97 Old 07-30-2014, 12:42 AM
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Dropped the on the street where you live unaltered WAV files into Audacity instead of importing them to avoid alteration
hoping that some small amplitude variations might be a tell for any differences or maybe which was which. I couldn't view any difference with a cursory look . I suspect that may only prove they are expertly level matched though and nothing beyond 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 #39 of 97 Old 07-31-2014, 02:35 PM
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From my Youtube video's notes:

I thought it might be useful to some of our AVSforum readers to share with them the same visual aid that some of us already benefit from, namely an ultra high frequency spectrum analyzer, to help hone in on the specific parts of the hi resolution test tracks which might make identifying them easier, so as to then later focus on that specific part of the track, in comparison to the lo-res version.

There are several very important things to know before you use my video as a visual aid:

#1. It is impossible to cheat in an ABX test by using this (particular) analyzer, even if you download it yourself, because the option to use it is blocked during actual foobar ABX testing, so I'm not introducing a new "cheat method".

#2. This is for demonstration and educational use only. Always use proper safety precautions and don't listen to the files at loud levels.

#3 The audio portion of the video is low quality and compressed by Youtube, so it is therefore NOT hi-res. To use this video properly you must synchronize its playback to your external hi resolution audio (HRA) playback system. Barring that, you can simply denote the time stamp (displayed on the bottom of the video image itself, not the outer Youtube window) to then later focus on that particular song passage after watching the video.

The video is made of three, hi resolution only tracks, played sequentially. The first and last track are the same: AVSforum member ArnyK's "keys jangling full band 2496 test tones f3.wav" [The f3 part denotes it is his newest, third attempt which makes some slight alterations, and fixes some minor bugs.] He provides a download link to both it and a low res version to compare it to, at the bottom of post #2498 , or so, in the thread : Debate Thread: Scott's Hi-res Audio Test

The 2nd high resolution track, sandwiched between identical tracks #1 and #3, is the pristinely recorded song "Mosaic", kindly provided by Mark Waldrep, founder and chief engineer of AIX Records. The track selected is the current front runner for "most favorite" by people who have submitted their test results to Scott Wilkinson's thread "AVS/AIX Hi-Resolution Audio Test: Take 2", where the track is offered for download in the opening post, both in standard and Hi-Res forms [but with only letter codes so as to not divulge which is which, for testing purposes]. This and his other tracks were selected both for their extended dynamic range and extremely high frequency content, which exceeds the capabilities of the CD format.

The "Mosaic" cut needs no introduction. It is simply one of the best, most finely crafted audio recordings I have ever heard, even through my rather modest audio system. Although both the dynamic range and high frequency extension is clearly apparent, it is done without exaggeration and is completely natural.

The jangling keys sound, on the other hand, can be a little annoying [even though I'm sure Arny's recording is spot on accurate with his use of high-end, B&K 4006 mics] and are known to have more acoustical power in the ultrasonic range than any conventional musical instrument, so as you'll see, the bouncing bar graphs show a very strong signal up there. After 12 seconds of this there is a "training tone" at 4 kHz which prompts the listener as to what to listen for should their system be plagued by IM distortion in the next, brief test tone section. Hearing uniform clicks after this tone is expected, however if you hear faint 4kHz tones after this first one, or other noises (besides the clicks common to both the normal and hi-res versions), you unfortunately have an IM problem.

The last 12 seconds of Arny's track demonstrates what the ultrasonic frequencies sound like when played in isolation from the lower, CD quality only range (which might otherwise mask the ultrasonics from our perception). He has kindly filtered away for us the lower frequencies so we can attempt to listen to just these pure, ultrasonic only sounds as a learning tool.

[I recommend double clicking the video, once it starts playing, to see it full screen. Your browser must allow pop-ups for that to work, I believe.]


In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..


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post #40 of 97 Old 07-31-2014, 03:37 PM
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m. zillch,

Nice job I will have to play it with the orig downloaded WAV files as you kindly suggested.

......... What if all the music files here are same same res and we are getting hosed ?.......... just kidding .

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 #41 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Amir Amir, some $10 steak taste better than a $40 one. It all depends who and how and where it was cut.
Reminds me of the McDonald's comparison. Just because they sell BILLIONS, doesn't mean it's the best either. But to a child, it's the BEST hamburger in the whole wide world. :-) What's popular isn't always an indication of the best either. Would you think that because the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles, that they are a better band? Or how about a Bugatti Veyron vs a Camaro? In terms of steaks, yeah, take a $40 cut and freeze it and then thaw it out in a microwave and compare to a properly aged $10 cut without being frozen/thawed in a microwave. :-)
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post #42 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 08:16 PM
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I love the idea of the test, but i would like to warm everyone.
Make sure you don't play anything too loud and don't try to hard to distinguish the differences.
I spent a lot of time on testing and trying to catch the differences between different audio files.
few months ago I could hear up to 18400hz which is pretty good as all my friends were around 14000-15000hz.
Above 16000hz it was very difficult to feel any difference. The details are so detailed that you really need to be good to tell the difference.
I could hear supersonic sound generated by audio generator but in music it was hard to hear any differences above 16000Hz.
Long story short, after all the testing i ended up with ringing in the ears.
Now i live with constant freq at around 17000-18000hz.
Trust me, you dont want this. It will ruin your life.
Please be cautious when doing all there tests.
Never go above 75-80DB to hear the difference.
If you cannot hear it at that level there is none or you just cannot perceive it.

I listened to your songs. Sometimes i feel difference sometimes i dont,
I am not sure yet.
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post #43 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
... The last 12 seconds of Arny's track demonstrates what the ultrasonic frequencies sound like when played in isolation from the lower, CD quality only range (which might otherwise mask the ultrasonics from our perception). He has kindly filtered away for us the lower frequencies so we can attempt to listen to just these pure, ultrasonic only sounds as a learning tool.

_________________

[I recommend double clicking the video, once it starts playing, to see it full screen. Your browser must allow pop-ups for that to work, I believe.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOeCt8EL-9E
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post #44 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 09:33 PM
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^Hearing that part my dog stands up, cocks her head [cleverly, she knows she has better HF sensitivity on-axis] and goes into some sort of mesmerized trance. Me? I don't hear zip then, which I'm confident is true of anyone older than their teens.



Ten points to the first person who can name not just this c.1900 dog, but also his puppy, first introduced 91 years later in TV ads. No cheating.


Wikipedia:
"For sound localization in the median plane (elevation of the sound) also two detectors can be used, which are positioned at different heights. In animals, however, rough elevation information is gained simply by tilting the head, provided that the sound lasts long enough to complete the movement. This explains the innate behavior of[vague] cocking the head to one side when trying to localize a sound precisely. To get instantaneous localization in more than two dimensions from time-difference or amplitude-difference cues requires more than two detectors"

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..


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post #45 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blwegrzyn View Post
I love the idea of the test, but i would like to warm everyone.
Make sure you don't play anything too loud and don't try to hard to distinguish the differences.


Long story short, after all the testing i ended up with ringing in the ears.
Now i live with constant freq at around 17000-18000hz.
Trust me, you dont want this. It will ruin your life.
Please be cautious when doing all there tests.
Never go above 75-80DB to hear the difference.
If you cannot hear it at that level there is none or you just cannot perceive it.
Agreed; safety first.
Ringing in the ears, tinnitus, is sometimes temporary, sometimes not. Let's hope yours is temporary.


http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/u...innitus-basics

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..


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post #46 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 10:30 PM
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Victor (both, last name)?

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post #47 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 10:36 PM
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post #48 of 97 Old 08-06-2014, 11:15 PM
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NorthSky wins 10 points!
http://www.nipperhead.com/old/nipper.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Master's_Voice

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Right on!

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post #50 of 97 Old 08-10-2014, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blwegrzyn View Post
I love the idea of the test, but i would like to warm everyone.
Make sure you don't play anything too loud and don't try to hard to distinguish the differences.

Long story short, after all the testing i ended up with ringing in the ears.
Now i live with constant freq at around 17000-18000hz.
Trust me, you dont want this. It will ruin your life.
This is a good point! I've seen posts indicating folks doing such tests can hear surprisingly high frequencies. I suspect they may be turning up the volume too high, which can cause hearing damage. Testing should be done at normal listening levels. For example, if you hear a 1kHz tone clearly but hear nothing at 16kHz, don't turn the volume up till you hear something or till the cows come home, etc. After all, a speaker will reproduce sounds beyond its specs (response is usually measured in cps high or low until the level drops below 3db), if you turn it up loud enough.
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post #51 of 97 Old 08-10-2014, 11:00 AM
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Sent a PM to Scott with my selections of these latest files.

JR
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post #52 of 97 Old 08-10-2014, 01:04 PM
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Hi,
I sent in my selections on AUG 6 but haven't received a reply. Wanted to make sure they were received.
Thanks.
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post #53 of 97 Old 08-11-2014, 04:30 PM
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Hello everyone,

This is really exciting stuff.
Thank you for the great work.

I have one question: My receiver just died and for right now, the best way I could compare these files is with my AKG professional headphones, which I've used in many recordings and my Oppo BDP-105, feeding the files via USB stick. Here's my concern though:
The only way I can control volume that way is via the Oppo's volume control. Does anyone know if this is internally regulating the volume digitally or through an analog circuitry? Would my use of this control invalidate my ability to tell the file sets apart consistently?

Thank you very much!

Gabe.
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post #54 of 97 Old 08-11-2014, 04:44 PM
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Oppo make good stuff. I wouldn't worry about it.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #55 of 97 Old 08-11-2014, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundPro69 View Post
Hello everyone,

This is really exciting stuff.
Thank you for the great work.

I have one question: My receiver just died and for right now, the best way I could compare these files is with my AKG professional headphones, which I've used in many recordings and my Oppo BDP-105, feeding the files via USB stick. Here's my concern though:
The only way I can control volume that way is via the Oppo's volume control. Does anyone know if this is internally regulating the volume digitally or through an analog circuitry? Would my use of this control invalidate my ability to tell the file sets apart consistently?

Thank you very much!

Gabe.
I did a bit of googling on this. People say that the headphone output of the 105 is driven directly from ESS Sabre DAC and hence, the volume control is digital in nature. The implementation in this DAC is 32 bit which is quite good (although the very best analog volume controls can beat it).

I used my laptop for my testing and used the digital volume control in Windows and managed to tell the files apart. So I would say it is good enough for this testing.

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post #56 of 97 Old 08-12-2014, 12:23 PM
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Would my use of this control invalidate my ability to tell the file sets apart consistently?
What invalidates everyone's test results is the now known 10 millisecond or so time misalignment (at least between songs Mosaic A2 and B2) which causes an audible difference should one ever hit their pause/stop button or re-listen to a certain song segment over again, clearly demonstrated by this guitar riff's lower pitched "CHA" sound at the end of this segment, versus a higher pitched "CHIP" version of it heard in the alternate file, using the exact same time code segments for both files:

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post #57 of 97 Old 08-12-2014, 09:39 PM
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Importance of rigour in preparation of the test samples

I don't like to be critical but I do find it astounding it was not possible to convert a high rez source to low rez and back up to high rez without changing the time alignment and the amplitude. I believe it is something that the free software audacity can do without difficulty. You decide on what length you want your test sample to be. You extract that length from the original hi rez file if necessary adding a fade in and/or fade out. You then do the double conversion, automatically maintaining the timing and the amplitude.

Given that the audible differences to be expected between 96/24 and 44.1/16 are so minute (at normal listening levels that do not reveal dither noise), even the slightest mishandling of the conversion process carries a strong risk of compromising the experiment. A 0.2dB difference in level (as originally provided, but then corrected) is fatal. The louder file will sound, subtly, "better".

A 10mS timing difference is fatal if anyone uses standard ABX software such as comes with the free software foobar as it permits exact comparisons based on time from the start of the file. 10mS at 5kHz is fifty cycles of the waveform. That is an eternity when comparing two files using exact starting and finishing times to establish whether there is a difference. Even using exactly the same source file but shifting the starting point by 10mS will make the files "different" to the ear, even though the audio is identical. Assuming the files with the different starting time offsets are actually different, then there is a 50% chance of correctly guessing which is which, in a single trial; but basing the guess solely on the timing offset.

Subtle differences when filtering for a 44.1kHz sample rate

Actually in converting to 44.1/16 there can be a very slight audible effect because of different choices available for the filtering. That is why some DACs include choices of filter. The effect is very subtle. A few years ago when I experimented with this, I found I preferred a gentler roll-off towards the Nyquist frequency of 22.05kHz, i.e. the frequency that is half the sample rate. [An option that used a more aggressive filter slope and extended the frequency response closer to 22.05kHz was less pleasant to my ears.]

Perhaps that would be an interesting exercise: providing recordings at say 96/24 that have been down-rezzed to 44.1/16 but with slightly different filter choices, and then resampled to 96/24, and obtaining votes on whether people could hear any differences between the different filter choices, and which filters they preferred. [There are also choices available for dither but a good noise-shaped dither should be inaudible.] In addition for comparison there could be the 96/24 original.

The results could be expected to reveal only slight differences in the quality of the sound. It is only the top octave of human hearing that is involved and the sensitivity of our ears for those frequencies is not very high. Also we cannot distinguish harmonics of tones that have a fundamental so high in frequency. For example the 2nd harmonic of 12kHz is 24kHz. If you start with a pure 12kHz sine wave tone and add a 24kHz sine wave overtone, it will sound the same. (A lifeless tone, devoid of timbre.)

So my point is that by providing files in a 96/24 format that are exactly time aligned, and of exactly the same amplitude, and encouraging people to use precision ABX comparison software, listeners could provide answers as to which filtering they preferred for 44.1kHz sampling. The use of ABX software helps ensure that people are actually hearing the very subtle differences between different filtering slopes and it is not their imagination. And there would still be a pristine 96/24 version to compare with.

It is one thing to conclude that there is an audible difference between 44.1/16 and higher sample rates, it is another to be specific as to what type of filter slope in the conversion to 44.1kHz sampling causes concern for people listening extremely carefully and who still have good hearing in the top octave (10kHz - 20kHz). And then there is the question of subjectively quantifying the differences. Is the difference "just discernible" and "of no practical consequence" or is it "marked" and "detrimental to enjoyment of the music".

Other factors affecting the quality of the music listening experience


I myself find the quality of the musical performance, the acoustics of the auditorium where the recording was made, and the placement of the microphones to be all quite important matters and the precise filtering curve used for 44.1kHz sampling to be of relatively little concern.

Limitations in microphones

I'd point out that the frequency response curves of even professional recording microphones are typically not published much beyond 20kHz. It becomes a moot point whether you need to record and playback with a frequency response to just under 48kHz (for a sample rate of 96kHz) if your recording transducer is not rated much beyond 20kHz, and if your own ears cannot hear beyond 20kHz. Whilst one can say "just to be on the safe side" it would be "nice" to have a frequency response that exceeds human hearing, the sort of testing that this thread is about is apparently intended to test whether there is any difference in practice. I am not sure though whether the samples provided have been prepared with the clinical precision needed to draw any conclusions.

Drawbacks of turning up the gain

I'd also note that those people who have turned up the volume listening to some of the samples have not only risked damaging their hearing, possibly burning out the voice coil of tweeters, and disturbing dogs in the neighbourhood, but may well have invalidated the testing because it is trivial to hear dither noise associated with conversion to 44.1kHz and 16 bits if listening with an abnormally high gain, and provided the recording has very little background noise. At normal recording and playback levels, noise-shaped dither is inaudible.

The CD format of 44kHz 16 bits: a remarkable compromise

44.1/16 is remarkable. It has just enough bits for dither not to be noticeable at normal recording and playback levels. And it has just high enough a sample rate for the filtering in the top octave of human hearing to be a challenge that is surmountable with clever design. Despite that I think there are still subtle differences to be heard depending on the choice of filter. It's a long time since I experimented by listening to different filter methods. I wonder whether my hearing is still good enough in the 10 - 20 kHz range to detect differences...

Last edited by MLXXX; 08-12-2014 at 10:02 PM.
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post #58 of 97 Old 08-13-2014, 05:50 PM
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I'm about to post the results so far in general terms. How well each participant did will be sent to them individually. I won't reveal which track is which publicly for another two weeks at least; I want to give others a chance to participate.
I was wondering, have you posted the results somewhere as yet?

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post #59 of 97 Old 08-13-2014, 07:55 PM
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Whose bright idea was it to use a track named "Just My Imagination"?
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post #60 of 97 Old 08-13-2014, 08:13 PM
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BTW don't bother posting the 'results' of a 'test' where the participants are put in a test situation where it is easy to cheat and asked not to cheat. That is actually a test of a completely different phenomenon than the one you intended!
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