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Got bored and a/b'd flacs and mp3s

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Got bored and decided to a/b some flac and mp3. Right well, i only really tested 3 songs and took a few minutes on each song. One song.. it was about 50/50 (i believe this song to be the lowest quality recording, audible hiss is present).

Currently using Winamp with ASIO drivers with: K701, Musiland Monitor 02 US (DAC) and Shanling PH100 (amp) with some inexpensive audioquest diy cables. Everything else is stock cables (USB, headphone).

The other two were from Porcupine Tree's recordings which on one song i picked the 320kbit mp3 over the flac a large majority of the time (over 85%?) and the other i picked flac 7/8 times. I'm not sure if this is statistically significant but I now believe there is a very slightly audible difference between the two.

Conclusion: Just the fact I had to spend more than an instance telling the difference is enough for me to say flacs aren't really worth it in my setup. Perhaps it'd be better with a better amp/dac but yeah..

I really wasn't expecting any audible difference whatsoever. I'm gunna try listen to only flacs for the next few days or so then go back to mp3 and see what happens
post #2 of 12
Well, the more high-end gear you have, the more you'll get the difference.
Hey, people around me are listening to ALAC using iPod included buds.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, i've been thinking about upgrading but just don't have the money to right now. The amp is okay, soundstage is narrow and the DAC is also pretty average. Its an alright combo for the K701 i'm finding but.. There'll always be better :P lol.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Edit: Double Posted

whats with all my double-posts lately :\
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninkul View Post
Edit: Double Posted

whats with all my double-posts lately :\
you've got jitter problems. gotta get a super expensive external clock.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post
you've got jitter problems. gotta get a super expensive external clock.
Don't forget the interconnects!
post #7 of 12
There you have it, you can hear an audible difference as well..
If lossless is worth the increased file size is a different matter of course.

By the way, you do not mention which MP3 encoder you used. There are good and horrible ones out there, so you may want to look into that as well.
post #8 of 12
IMO ,if you can hear even the slightest different it is well worth it.
I also think that if you DO NOT hear any difference at all,it is worth it as well,because others can and have noticed the difference.
also,I think that even if anybody can't detect the different it is still the right way to go, and that's because the fact that you can't detect something is not meaning that it doesn't exist.

the difference exists...no matter if we can hear it or not...so it is better to leave the files as closer to the original,unless you have a space problem and must use loosy files,that's why they are exists.
use lossless people! it doesn't cost money. that's the way I see it.
I use only lossless and never even tried to AB mp3 and flac.
post #9 of 12
^Well isn't that logic like saying to get a high powered car even if you're just going to go the speed limit? I can understand maybe getting lossless if you can perceive a little bit of a difference but if you can't tell... the lessened battery life along with decreased storage are negative trade-offs for.... no positives.

I don't understand :/
Now I'm not saying that I wouldn't do this because of possible future upgrades but IMO that logic is flawed.
post #10 of 12
Of course this was a blind test? And importantly with a recent LAME encoder?

If yes to both, then I would recommend you getting in contact with the developers of LAME so they can have you on-board as a tester for future iterations of the LAME codec.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninkul View Post
The other two were from Porcupine Tree's recordings which on one song i picked the 320kbit mp3 over the flac a large majority of the time (over 85%?) and the other i picked flac 7/8 times. I'm not sure if this is statistically significant but I now believe there is a very slightly audible difference between the two.
Statistically a minimum of 10 trials is better and 20 is best if you can stand it, it helps get rid of lucky runs, your results show a 'maybe' rather than a definitely, but still interesting.

Quote:
I really wasn't expecting any audible difference whatsoever. I'm gunna try listen to only flacs for the next few days or so then go back to mp3 and see what happens
Won't help. The benefits of long term listening for fine discrimination purposes are largely unfounded, whenever long term tests have been properly compared against rapid switching tests the rapid switching tests are better for picking out differences - see Tom Nousaine's "Flying Blind" for instance or Sean Olive at JBL.
post #12 of 12
Go to the gym, find a second job, help out a charity - I dunno. there are lots of things to do to avoid boredom. Didn't think doing something boring would ease boredom.
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