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ABX Test of 320kbps VS FLAC - Results - Page 4

post #46 of 66
OK i didn't want to start a new thread so i'm just gonna ask it here.

I was getting worried that perhaps it is possible some of my "flac" files were mp3 to begin with. so I tried converting an mp3 file to ALAC and it works. the file was identified as apple lossless and the file size was almost the same as the proper alac file.

question is. how do you tell if the files you've got were once mp3 and then converted to flac?
post #47 of 66
Uh, you rip them yourself ^^ I guess you could try Accurate rip checking the file but I don't have a clue if that would be effective. If you're buying online, just make sure you trust the outlet. There's aren't really many reasons someone would do that, except if they were horrendously ignorant, or just trying to be jerks. I've heard about certain online sellers sabotaging their lower bitrates though to encourage people to pay more for 'premium' files.
post #48 of 66
I have a question, I don't want to change this thread's subject but I also don't want to open a new thread just for this,so here's a quicky:
is there a better lossy format than mp3 320 soundwise? I am considering moving to loosy format because my sansa clip+ runs out of battery too quickly,so I want to know what is my best option.
what is the absolutely highest quality lossy format (and in what bitrate) that exist in the market? what would be the lossless of the lossy?
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by plonter View Post
I have a question, I don't want to change this thread's subject but I also don't want to open a new thread just for this,so here's a quicky:
is there a better lossy format than mp3 320 soundwise? I am considering moving to loosy format because my sansa clip+ runs out of battery too quickly,so I want to know what is my best option.
what is the absolutely highest quality lossy format (and in what bitrate) that exist in the market?
Ogg Vorbis -q10 500kbps
Nero AAC -q 1.0 ~400kbps
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip N' Burn View Post
Ogg Vorbis -q10 500kbps
Nero AAC -q 1.0 ~400kbps
thanks. I also read in other places that ogg supposed to be better than mp3.
post #51 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by plonter View Post
I have a question, I don't want to change this thread's subject but I also don't want to open a new thread just for this,so here's a quicky:
is there a better lossy format than mp3 320 soundwise? I am considering moving to loosy format because my sansa clip+ runs out of battery too quickly,so I want to know what is my best option.
what is the absolutely highest quality lossy format (and in what bitrate) that exist in the market? what would be the lossless of the lossy?
MP3 LAME VBR V2 usual in the neighborhood of 200kbps

But listen to your ears. These supposed things you read are probably minuscule differences. Especially with a portable player and headphones, I wouldn't expect to hear much of anything different.
post #52 of 66
Big props to the OP, I've been saying it for years.

I will add though, in agreement with a few others, that if you use better gear, you will be able to discriminate better.

Also, when I listen for differences like this, I don't really listen hard to the music. What I do is listen in a relaxed way, and observe carefully my feeling w/regard to the music. In other words, I just let myself experience the music, and I carefully evaluate my response to it. I don't carefully evaluate the music itself.

Sounds odd, I know, but give it a try.
post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens View Post
I will add though, in agreement with a few others, that if you use better gear, you will be able to discriminate better.
This being the "critical" subforum I would like to challenge this.

Whilst I agree that any really crap system will be so riddled with noise and distortion so as to make any discrimination task difficult to impossible, beyond a certain point of technical competency I would imagine it is human abilities that are the limiting (and well known after 100 years of psychophysics research) factors.

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a single set of controlled DBTs that has ever tested your assertion, i.e that has given listeners the same controlled blind discrimination task and changed only the test kit and described the results, I am open to being proven wrong !

Anecdotes need not apply
post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Whilst I agree that any really crap system will be so riddled with noise and distortion so as to make any discrimination task difficult to impossible, beyond a certain point of technical competency I would imagine it is human abilities that are the limiting factors
See? We agree.

post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens View Post
Big props to the OP, I've been saying it for years.

I will add though, in agreement with a few others, that if you use better gear, you will be able to discriminate better.

Also, when I listen for differences like this, I don't really listen hard to the music. What I do is listen in a relaxed way, and observe carefully my feeling w/regard to the music. In other words, I just let myself experience the music, and I carefully evaluate my response to it. I don't carefully evaluate the music itself.

Sounds odd, I know, but give it a try.
I did that yesterday. Just laid down and thought about how the music made me feel. I don't do it often but I got goosebumps 5 times in one 18 minute song.
post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post
I did that yesterday. Just laid down and thought about how the music made me feel. I don't do it often but I got goosebumps 5 times in one 18 minute song.
this is the best way to listen to music, absolutely the opposite of analysing and consertrating. you need to really get in the music in order to get pure nirvana,but it doesn't happen often.

about lossless vs lossy,I DO believe everybody that say that hear a difference. I never did a direct comparison, but I think that the psycological aspect is not less important here than the physical aspect. what can we do?? we are human beings...and humans are effected by psycological things.
I will keep listening to lossless because i know that i am not compromising the music in any way, no matter if i can hear it or not,and also it maked me enjoy the music more...the same story as with burn-in.

it is like playing chess..there is a lot of books written about psychology in chess. where is chess and where is psychology?? chess is a 101$ mathematical thing...just like music, but because who plays the game is a human being, than the psychology starts to take place.
post #57 of 66
I was disappointed to discover that I too am unable to tell the difference between a lossless file and a good quality lossy equivalent. Neither can my friends. Although not all of them have got round to accepting it yet.

Like the OP I used foobar +foo - ABX, FLAC vs MP3 VBR V0.

I cheered up a bit when I found out that no one else can either. Not in a properly conducted test. So I believe. If anyone knows to the contrary I'd be pleased to hear.

I still try to keep lossless masters or vinyl of music whenever possible though. Like the poster above. It just feels better that way and you never know......
post #58 of 66
^ *Shakes your hand, nods head, then walks away*
That's what I'm talking about.

EDIT: RonaldDumsfeld: Hey man, just wanting to ask questions; when people AB or compare formats with themselves and friends I'm always urged to ask questions

Do the other people that you tested the files with have any experience in higher quality audio?
And what type of equipment did you use?

One of these days I'm going to do a blind test with friends to see if they can hear. The last time I did some sort of test was with my T51, RSA Tomahawk and UE Triple.Fi 10s. My friend couldn't' tell the difference between the LO to RSA or straight from the HO out.

I have a feeling this isn't going to end well lol
post #59 of 66
I dont have the best dac or anything and I listen through a tube amp, but for what its worth, if I recall correctly (its been over 4 years since that test), I couldn't really notice the difference between lame 320 vbr and lossless in most of my music either.

I recall one part of a song where I could though, multiple very sudden high notes crowding up on each other. There I got it almost every time.

That said, I prefer to store my music in flac simply because space is cheap and flac is transcodable to smaller bitrates while a 320 mp3 would loose more quality with each transcode. Plus I dream of a perfect amp and dac and headphone where it WILL make a difference ...
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Hey man, just wanting to ask questions;
Fire away I've got nothing to hide.

Like I said. I was amazed and disappointed when I first found out because I was a fully paid up member of the 'of course I can tell, it's easy' brigade.

Quote:
Do the other people that you tested the files with have any experience in higher quality audio?
Yes. We are all rather old and have been collecting hi-fi gear since the 7Ts.

One guy in particular has a Linn Sonn, 3xNaim, Linn Iso system from the late 8Ts. He has failed twice and won't do the test any more taking the attitude already expressed that he cannot tell when he is concentrating but can when relaxed.

Most have Linn Sons or Regas and middle market (~£1,000) amp and speakers except 1 guy who is an engineer and has known this all along. He wires the cheapest gear he can find together with regular house cabling.

Quote:
And what type of equipment did you use?
Foobar with LAME (3.98.2), MOTU UltraLite (same converters as RME) Soundcraft Spirit M4 and either Rogers A75 2 / Mordaunt-Short Pageant 2 (decent) or Kenwood KR-V7040 / TDL RTL 3 (loud) or M-Audio AV40 (desktop nfm).

I've also done the same experiment with mostly the same people using an MP3 CBR 320 and .WAV downloaded from Beatport, a commercial CD .WAV and a 12" vinyl original. All of the same tune.

Variety of cartridges inc. AT 440MLa, Stanton 500AL, Stanton TrackMaster & MC Denon DL-103 with Cambridge Audio 640P (which I'm not happy with btw got any suggestions that will not break the bank?).

The vinyl is easy to tell apart, of course, but not the digital files.

I think you might also be very surprised, I was, to find how difficult it is to tell the difference between a vinyl played direct and the same signal passed into the box via the MOTU and direct monitored out again after recording (Audacity).
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