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Whatever happened to the Audiophile?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/05/134256...the-audiophile

What do you think about this story? I have heard people say that they use flac files to help with the lower quality mp3 files. I know that you can get a lot of songs to hear digitally, but I still think that a compact disc sounds better. I admit that I listen to mp3 files sometimes though on the computer, or on cdr in my stereo. I feel like some mp3 files don't have as good of a bass response then a regular compact disc.
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Is it true that a lot of audiophiles are becoming videophiles like the story says? Are most if you into movies a lot, or a lot 2 channel music mostly?
post #3 of 8
I thought you were talking about Audiophile the little magazine, boy u read that thing and people used language like judging fine art or something.

MP3, portability, convenience trumped sonic purity.

Finding fault with MP3? DUH! U don't get that high compression for nothing.

Next question.
post #4 of 8
Converting an MP3 to FLAC won't change the fact that the source file is MP3. FLAC will not gain back the full resolution information from a lossy compression format like MP3. FLAC is typically used to compress down WAV and other full-resolution file formats, while still being able to convert back to the original full-resolution file.

The whole reason why compression (like MP3) was created was due to storage space on portable music players (ipod and so forth) and to expedite download times. When/if bandwidth speeds increase, and storage space increases on both computer and portable media players, the compressed formats will go away.

I think anything less than CD quality or lossless CD quality (FLAC, ALAC) is a waste of time, even with portable players. While a number of albums I have on my 160 GB ipod are at 320k AAC, a great number of them were ripped at full resolution (converting to Apple Lossless). I also have at least two dozen albums that I have at 24 bit resolution. (some were downloaded, some were ripped off of DVD-A disks and then converted over to AL).

I would say that 99.9% of the population would never go down the route that I have. Most do not care at all.
post #5 of 8
I've noticed the same thing that is mentioned in that article when it comes to listening to music. It seems like most of my friend listen to background music when having parties or they listen to music while doing other activities. I don't know a lot of people who really sit down and just listen to music like I do.
I have compared back and forth between MP3 and CD and I can't tell a difference with 320kb MP3s. Even 256 were pretty much indistinguishable. I still rip to apple lossless sometimes but most of my stuff is 320 Mp3s. I don't listen to Orchestra music so maybe that is where people start to tell a difference but I used Jazz for most of my comparisons. I do have Paradigm Studio 20s which I don't think reveal as many flaws as some other speakers. I have heard that the Paradigm Sig series does show more of a difference between high quality sources and MP3s but I haven't been able to test it myself.
post #6 of 8
What's an "audiophile" to begin with? You could prolly ask a dozen on AVS and get ten distinct responses.

I love, love, love, love music and I love love love audio gear, but I'm also not insane. If I cannot discern a difference between DAC's I'm not going to spend another dime, while I'm INFINITELY convinced there are PLENTY of "audiophiles" who would and do. Go figure.

This is all before I read a sentence of your linked article- which I will btw- just wanted to throw that out there.

The fact is, with a well produced/engineered recording, a decent CD/media player, AVR, and an excellent pair of stereo speakers in a good room, you can prolly reach the 95+% of audio nirvana CHEAPER than ever...which the typical "audiophile" really disdains, lol.

I was recently able to pick up a fantastically priced SACD player, so I'm going to start re-visiting and even purchasing some new discs to compare against my lossless and 320 rips...and while I'm very skeptical that I'll be blown away, it will be fun, nonetheless.

James
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpearce023 View Post

I've noticed the same thing that is mentioned in that article when it comes to listening to music. It seems like most of my friend listen to background music when having parties or they listen to music while doing other activities. I don't know a lot of people who really sit down and just listen to music like I do.
I have compared back and forth between MP3 and CD and I can't tell a difference with 320kb MP3s. Even 256 were pretty much indistinguishable. I still rip to apple lossless sometimes but most of my stuff is 320 Mp3s. I don't listen to Orchestra music so maybe that is where people start to tell a difference but I used Jazz for most of my comparisons. I do have Paradigm Studio 20s which I don't think reveal as many flaws as some other speakers. I have heard that the Paradigm Sig series does show more of a difference between high quality sources and MP3s but I haven't been able to test it myself.

I moved up to the Sig line from a pair of v4 Studio 40s a couple of months ago. I find myself gravitating towards flac (both 16/44 and 24/96). 320 mp3s still sound good but when I sit down to do some listening my choice is high rez flac.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
mjpierce I like Jazz also. If the cd was re mastered, but available as a mp3 to buy would it sound horrible? I have heard that re mastered music loses quality because of the loudness vs quality war? Would something like this sound good as a mp3 compared to cd?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSY4Yi2ypno
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