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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It 100% does not, and I'm not experiencing a placebo effect either. I have my OPPO BDP83 hooked up to my Onkyo TXSR707 and when I bitstream the audio to the receiver it sounds noticably louder at the same volume and clearer almost as if there's a slight filter over the audio when you let the player decode. Does anyone else feel the same as I do or am I alone because this isn't an opinion I hear it, and it's fairly noticable.
 

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Measurements have indicated that bitstreamed audio typically is 4db louder than LPCM when playing the same disc through the same audio components. Once you've compensated for that, they should sound the same.
 

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Over the last six months I've done many bitstream vs lpcm comparisons. With an Onkyo 885 processor, bitstream came out 3 dB louder. With an 886, bitstream was nearly 6 dB higher. When I compared player vs amp decoding, I compensated for these differences, and still found bitstreaming better. I also did a sensitivity test, and set LPCM 1 dB higher, which made no difference to the outcome. These were my own, sighted, observations. Since everyone assumes sighted comparisons are invalid, I did a few blind comparions on various people, without telling them what they were listening to. All were able to hear the difference, and preferred bitstream. As far as I'm concerned its a done deal.


There are lots of variables that come into play though. The difference is smaller with high-end players, amplifiers and processors. There's a significant difference with Onkyo processors , but a very small difference with recent Pioneer receivers and Arcam processors (presumably with Classe as well).


These are neither large differences nor imaginary differences, they are real and they're worth having, but not worth losing sleep or friendship over.


All IMHO of course, Nick.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by welwynnick /forum/post/18306616


Over the last six months I've done many bitstream vs lpcm comparisons. With an Onkyo 885 processor, bitstream came out 3 dB louder. With an 886, bitstream was nearly 6 dB higher. When I compared player vs amp decoding, I compensated for these differences, and still found bitstreaming better. I also did a sensitivity test, and set LPCM 1 dB higher, which made no difference to the outcome. These were my own, sighted, observations. Since everyone assumes sighted comparisons are invalid, I did a few blind comparions on various people, without telling them what they were listening to. All were able to hear the difference, and preferred bitstream. As far as I'm concerned its a done deal.


There are lots of variables that come into play though. The difference is smaller with high-end players, amplifiers and processors. There's a significant difference with Onkyo processors , but a very small difference with recent Pioneer receivers and Arcam processors (presumably with Classe as well).


These are neither large differences nor imaginary differences, they are real and they're worth having, but not worth losing sleep or friendship over.


All IMHO of course, Nick.

Sure, but there must be an identifiable cause and effect for anthing to be scientifically valid, otherwise it is a statistical anamoly. I work in the healthcare field - it does not matter how compelling the empirical evidence, there must be a credible physiological explanation attached before a drug can be approved. But then again, many aspects of this hobby are not science.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Forget the db thing. It also sound just less clear if that makes any sense. I have very sensitive hearing and I hear a fairly decent difference. It's not just db difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by welwynnick /forum/post/18306616


Over the last six months I've done many bitstream vs lpcm comparisons. With an Onkyo 885 processor, bitstream came out 3 dB louder. With an 886, bitstream was nearly 6 dB higher. When I compared player vs amp decoding, I compensated for these differences, and still found bitstreaming better. I also did a sensitivity test, and set LPCM 1 dB higher, which made no difference to the outcome. These were my own, sighted, observations. Since everyone assumes sighted comparisons are invalid, I did a few blind comparions on various people, without telling them what they were listening to. All were able to hear the difference, and preferred bitstream. As far as I'm concerned its a done deal.


There are lots of variables that come into play though. The difference is smaller with high-end players, amplifiers and processors. There's a significant difference with Onkyo processors , but a very small difference with recent Pioneer receivers and Arcam processors (presumably with Classe as well).


These are neither large differences nor imaginary differences, they are real and they're worth having, but not worth losing sleep or friendship over.


All IMHO of course, Nick.

As we've seen in the Upgrade Company thread, your hearing seems to be particularly acute since others hear no such thing.
 

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In the past I have had my fat 80gb PS3 sending PCM for blu ray audio to my Onkyo TX-SR805, which sounded fine. I just got a 250gb PS3 slim and sent blu ray audio via bitstream to my Onkyo and let the receiver do the decoding and I like the sound better with the receiver doing the decoding. The voices seem a bit louder from the center channel and the surrounds also seem to sound better.Most have said that there is not supposed to be a difference but I have noticed a slight difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18308022


Forget the db thing. It also sound just less clear if that makes any sense. I have very sensitive hearing and I hear a fairly decent difference. It's not just db difference.

Then one of your devices is broken. You should get your equipment serviced.


Expecting different results from one device decoding a lossless compression format as compared to another device is like expecting to get different results opening a .ZIP file on your computer using 7-Zip or WinRAR instead of WinZip.


The human brain interprets louder as better quality. You said yourself you are not level-matching the decoders. Get an SPL meter, match the levels, have somebody else switch back and forth between them so you don't know which one is which, then come back and tell us which one sounds better.
 

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All this thread proves is once again people think LOUDER IS BETTER



Long live subjectivity and the fact that upgrade companies COULD make $$$ of increasing the signal 6dB
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18308022


Forget the db thing. It also sound just less clear if that makes any sense. I have very sensitive hearing and I hear a fairly decent difference. It's not just db difference.

a decent measurement test for both would would show the difference if one existed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay /forum/post/18308637


Then one of your devices is broken. You should get your equipment serviced.


Expecting different results from one device decoding a lossless compression format as compared to another device is like expecting to get different results opening a .ZIP file on your computer using 7-Zip or WinRAR instead of WinZip.


The human brain interprets louder as better quality. You said yourself you are not level-matching the decoders. Get an SPL meter, match the levels, have somebody else switch back and forth between them so you don't know which one is which, then come back and tell us which one sounds better.

+1


The digital information is bit-for-bit identical in both cases, so any perceived difference has to be caused by the AVR. Plus, there are AVRs that handle MLPCM and bitstream very differently in terms of processing. Many AVRs are applying DRC to bitstream and not to PCM.


It seems that people will never accept that small differences in levels will alter perception of quality significantly.


I'd suggest a further test: rather than level matching, listen to the PCM at even higher levels than bitstream and see if your perception reverses.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes /forum/post/18308921


+1


The digital information is bit-for-bit identical in both cases, so any perceived difference has to be caused by the AVR. Plus, there are AVRs that handle MLPCM and bitstream very differently in terms of processing. Many AVRs are applying DRC to bitstream and not to PCM.

This is what I also concluded to cause the slight difference in sound between the two. Bitstream vs PCM. It is my AVR applying DRC with some blu ray bitstream audio codecs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel /forum/post/18309008


This is what I also concluded to cause the slight difference in sound between the two. Bitstream vs PCM. It is my AVR applying DRC with some blu ray bitstream audio codecs.

Players apply DRC, too, the same as receivers.



DRC is a user setting. It may be implemented or applied differently by the two devices (player and AVR). But, you can always even the playing field by turning off DRC in both places. In fact, if you want to compare lossless outputs, that's pretty much required. Using DRC in either place introduces a variable not related to decoding itself.


Besides, while DRC is a useful tool for specific situations, doesn't it run counter to the notion of lossless? DRC modifies the output. If you want to hear the track as it was mixed and recorded, it seems like you would need to turn off DRC and any other DSPs your processor offers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18308022


Forget the db thing. It also sound just less clear if that makes any sense. I have very sensitive hearing and I hear a fairly decent difference. It's not just db difference.

Level differences, regardless of how acute you think your hearing is, will bias any listener due to unavoidable physiological and psychological mechanisms.


If the difference in clarity is that obvious when there is also a difference in level, something is defective.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander /forum/post/18309253


Players apply DRC, too, the same as receivers.

Not universally, no.
Quote:
DRC is a user setting. It may be implemented or applied differently by the two devices (player and AVR). But, you can always even the playing field by turning off DRC in both places. In fact, if you want to compare lossless outputs, that's pretty much required. Using DRC in either place introduces a variable not related to decoding itself.

Again, this is not universal. Case in point is some Onkyo AVRs that apply DRC regardless of user settings to the contrary. DTHD and DTS-MA are a different animal in this regard, some AVRs are able to ignore DRC flags, some are not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes /forum/post/18309661


Not universally, no.

Please explain what you mean. I will grant that there are probably some players that lack DRC. There are undoubtedly some AVRs without it, too. I hope that's not what you mean.

Quote:
Again, this is not universal. Case in point is some Onkyo AVRs that apply DRC regardless of user settings to the contrary.

Some Onkyos default to the Auto DRC setting for TrueHD when powered up. (1) The user can still change DRC to Off, although that's hardly ideal. (2) But, more importantly, Auto means DRC is applied IF the disc is set to engage DRC when the decoder is set to Auto. To the best of my knowledge, Iron Man is the only disc with that setting. So, this whole business about some Onkyos applying DRC on their own is about as inconsequential as it gets and seemingly bears no relation to the comments from the previous poster re: DRC when bitstreaming. Is there something else here?

Quote:
DTHD and DTS-MA are a different animal in this regard, some AVRs are able to ignore DRC flags, some are not.

Please explain what you mean. Examples?


Also, I hope you'll put your reply in the context of this discussion: the previous poster blamed DRC in receivers for differences between bitstream and player decoding. I suggested that DRC is also applied in players - wherever the decoding is done - and that it should be turned off anyway when the goal is to compare lossless outputs.
 
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