Originally Posted by glangford
I'm not on either side of this debate,
Really? I think you may then be presenting an image that you don't want because using the OOhashi tests as the gold standard by all others must be judged is what high rez advocates do. Those tests are wildly asymetrical with regular music listening and are completely discredited in most objective learned circles.
I'm just pointing our dissenting opinions and disagreements with the cited reference.
No, you're advocating diagreement with factual results.
I have a smattering of sacds, mostly RCA living stereo SACD reissues that I remember my parents having as LPs. at 8 bucks a piece, I was fine with that. I avoid rock generally in sacd or any hi-rez format. What's the point of 9 in Nails in hi-rez?? I have some jazz (Dianna Krall) and others as well as classical on sacd or flac downloads. I have hundreds of cds. The hi rez stuff is more of an experiment since I got my Oppo-bdp-95.
So, you've got a vested interest - a $$kilobuck$$ investment in a wildly overpriced optical disc player that appears to full of essentially useless features from the scientific viewpoint.
I can see one side where in acoustics (string and wind) the harmonics (overtones if you will or the mathematical term fundemental frequencies like the solution to the problem of a vibrating string) could have an effect on tonal qualities in sound, but I can also understand that it may be one thing in a classical live performance in a concert hall and questionable if its dectable in a recording of varying bit depth and sample rate.
Besides ignoring the strongest influences that lead to an absence of ultrasonic overtones in live performances which are acoustic, you're also implicitly advocating the idea that amounts of ultrasonics that are detectable with test equipment are always subjectively important.
As far as why why didn't reviewers call out these releases when issued. Well many do.
Really? I properly cited a source that was publicizing this problem in 2003. Where are your cites and do any of them predate that publication at an highly inflential international audio conference? If they are derivatives, then they may be just copycats with a subjective twist.
Many discs have been exposed as upsampled content in various reviews.
Exposure is only a halfways measure. How many of the exposures gave a credible account of the actual sonic problem that related to the lack of ultrasonic content?
Norah Jones for example was called out. Others in the sited study are as well. From SACD.net:
The Meyer / Moran paper proceeds by theoretically starting with:
(a) a high-rez SACD, and then
(b) downsamples that to CD quality,
and then plays both (a) and (b) to audiences.
I disagree with the above terminology. Its grotesquely flawed in ways that should get a high school student in trouble with his physics project. The above is not a theoretical approach. A theoretical approach would probably start out with the fact that human ears lack the basic sensory means for detecting ultrasonic content. What is described aboev is an experimental design, which is a very practical thing. So much for the expertise on this advocacy group devoted to a dead format - SACD.
The difference between (a) and (b) should be:
(i) the loss of high frequency information above 20kHz (CD only supports up to 20kHz,
A little discrepancy here - the actual extent of the CD format is 22 KHz, not 20 KHz. A CD can properly and accurately reproduce 22.00 KHz signals with full fidelity of both amplitude, freqeuncy, phase, and dynamic range.
whereas SACD theoretically supports uo to 100kHz and practically 50kHz after filtering).
Another little discrepancy - the SACD format suffers from a massive reduction in dynamic range above about 20 KHz. In comparison DVD-A with 176 Khz sampling may stop responding at a few KHz lower frequency, but it does not necessarily degrade dynamic range above 20 KHz.
Even though the human ear does not hear above 20 kHz, the interplay of harmonics etc can effect frequencies which we do hear.
That might be a candy coating of the real problem. The real problem has been around the high fidelity art since no later than the 1950s. The basic concept is that "The wider you open the windows, the more trash flies in". Most of the strong signals that one sees > 20 KHz in real world recordings are irrelevant to the music. They are things like the harmonics of LCD display power supplies and switchmode power supplies for audio gear and other electronic equipment which are endemic these days.
(ii) increased quantisation, loss of information etc from downsampling from hi-rez DSD resolution (say effectively 20 bit 192kHz) to CD quality resolution (16 bit 44.1 kHz).
The first indication of a problem with the Meyer / Moran paper is that it is fundamentally inconsistent with the earlier results of
T. Oohashi, E. Nishina, M. Honda, Y. Yonekura, Y. Fuwamoto, N. Kawai, T. Maekawa, S. Nakamura, H. Fukuyama, and H. Shibasaki. Inaudible high-frequency sounds affect brain activity: Hypersonic effect. Journal of Neurophysiology, 83(6):3548–3558, 2000.http://jn.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/83/6/3548
And that is the exact point where you make this fundamentally flawed paper that has failed to survive a hailstorm of academic and technical criticism for the past dozen or more years, into your gold standard.
which finds that, for subjects in double-blind tests:
*** EEG monitoring of their brain activity showed statistically significant enhancement in alpha-wave activity in their brains when the high-frequency sounds were included,
Ignoring the fact that this paper is grievously flawed and widely disregarded by well-known academic and day-to-day engineers because of the many asymmetries between the test conditions and actual listening to so-called hi rez recordings by music lovers.
Thus, item (i) alone ... the high-frequency spectrum in SACDs (and other hi-rez recordings) ... should give rise to a statistically significant difference in the Meyer and Moran paper too.
Not true. Meyer and Moran did their listening tests using the kinds of audio gear that audiophiles use, the kind of people that audiophiles are, the actual recordings that audiophiles listen to, and based their results on the conscious perceptions of audiophiles. Oohashi et al missed out on every point.
This is before any effect from the quantisation downsampling is added in.
I guess that if you want to make your gold standard for subjective tests out of a 12 year old study that is widely, effectively and thoroughly discredited by experienced academics and practitioners from with impeccable credentials from around the world due to its obvious asymmetries with real world listening, you can. ;-)
The Meyer and Moran paper was an attempt to correct the obvious flaws of the Oohashi paper. It suffered from the widespread apparent fraud related to the careless vetting of material sold as high resolution recordings by the music industry that was known since 2003 as I have previously documented here.
And yet, Meyer / Moran fail to reference this paper, and fail to explain or account why they cannot reproduce the earlier results.
The fact that Meyer and Moran didn't reference the Oohashi paper, and yet was accepted by the AES review board for publication was exactly due to the low esteem in which the Oohashi et al paper is held. I'm surprised that you apparently know nothing about this.
Resolving Meyer / Moran
So why do Meyer and Moran fail to reproduce earlier double-blind tests?
They got bushwhacked by what is apparently fraud in the music industry. Low rez recordings were sold as high rez recordings. They sold gold plated base metal as if it were 24 kt gold.
And fail to find any differences?
By taking the music industry at its word, they ended up including a lot of dross as if it were gold.
It turns out that many of the recordings that Meyer and Moran selected to play their testers were NOT hi-rez to start with.
This provides the ridiculous situation that they start with CD quality recording, albeit sold on an SACD disc, and then 'convert/downsample' it back to CD. It almost beggars belief.
What beggars belief is the fact that the music industry continued this apparent fraud for the better part of a decade after being exposed in 2003. They were supported by audio's high end industry.
A listing of recordings used by the authors is provided here:http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/explanation.htm
For example, the Perahia Mozart SACD -- there is no hi-rez Mozart concerti recording by Perahia. There is one old analogue recording converted to DSD, and an early digital recording in the 80s that is basically CD quality to start with. Neither are appropriate to use in the test. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is also analogue, and would not contain high frequency sounds. Nor is it acoustic. Same goes for Alan Parsons project. The BSO, Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony SACD (RCA 82876-61387-2 RE1) is a 1959 recording.
Steely Dan, Gaucho is NOT Hi-rez: it is originally a 1980 LP /1984 RBCD release.
The Carlos Heredia, Gypsy Flamenco is not hi-rez either: it is a mid-1990s recording that pre-dates the entire SACD format.
Under the circumstances, it is difficult to find anything of interest or thought-provoking about the Meyer / Moran paper
What's interesting that nobody from the music industry wrote a letter to the JAES admitting that the Meyer Moran paper was flawed by the fact that it took the music industry's claims and product labeling at face value.
... The only real quandary is perhaps how this ever got published? The whole thing is frankly somewhat professionally embarrassing for all concerned.
The only people who need to be embarrassed is the music industry segment that executed this apparent fraud, and the high end reviewers who failed to blow the whistle on it for the past 8 or more years. I give the AES kudos for blowing the whistle in a way that protected them from litigation while exposing the effects of the fraud.