My two peneth,
Intresting thread, one of the few I managed to read all the way through.
There is a lot of chatter, here about abx, bit rates, artifacts, figures, etc, most of you are applying mechanical/statistical testing-measuring techniques to an organic instrument (the brain!)
The two do not sit happily together.
I've recently re-ripped my entire iPod to 320 cbr
(from 192 vbr) because I had accidently ripped a favorite album to 320 cbr and was stunned by the difference. However, I am working away at the moment and am able to listen to music a lot more critically.
I use a 5.5g iPod, silver LOD, mini^3 amp , Denom iems
I can no longer listen to 128cbr. This rate sounds dead/wooden, artifical
192vbr is good, but does not stand up well to critical listening.
320cbr sounds very good and is approaching my limit wrt lossless.
I would use lossless but my iPod is only 30gb
I remember when I built my amp, I looked around for opinions on the subjective sound quality improvement I could expect . The one Answer that stands out was from somebody who said "rather than an immediate effect on sq, he found that he would "miss" the amp if he went back to hp out.
Same thing for bit rates, listen to a full album with effort with the rip rates you want to compare for a more personal result
Audio is more subtle and organic than numbers and figures can describe
But I will say this, for those who cannot hear improvement above 128 cbr, either visit the quacks, go shopping, or take the wrapper of the speakers
But I will say