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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 9

post #121 of 2871
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Edited by Prog Rock Man - 7/15/10 at 4:09am
post #122 of 2871

How about the 128kbps vs. lossless one on our very own forum? There's lots of passes but also lots of failures, evidence enough that lossy isn't always as bad as audiophiles say. By now a lot of people are just waiting on the OP's reveal to see if they're right or wrong.

post #123 of 2871
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There are loads of such tests here and other forums. The conclusions are that like kit, many claims are made, people in blind testing many cannot back up those claims. I thought I would stick to the less common blind tests of equipment.

post #124 of 2871
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Previous post self deleted and apologies to anyone who read it and saw it as an attack on them.


Edited by Prog Rock Man - 7/15/10 at 4:10am
post #125 of 2871

Hello Prog Rock Man,

 

In case you're interested, I have just updated the french ABX list with 19 new links : http://chaud7.forumactif.fr/tests-abx-f8/post-it-annuaire-des-tests-abx-t5.htm

 

I still plan to translate that list into english one day.

 

Many interesting double blind tests were organized in France recently.

 

Especially the Kangaroo series : 6 gatherings so far, with amplifiers, cables and DAC tested, with test conditions becoming more and more reliable everytime (double blind, level matching, balance matching..)  http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1037&t=29915556

The Chez Jalot gathering, with spectacular influence of the level and balance matching : http://www.forumcabasse.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3396

Denis31's amplifiers test, with night and day differences heard just before the ABX started... that eventually completely disappeared during the test (quote : the operator : "Wanna hear the references again ?" the listeners (together) : "No use, sir, that's so obvious !") : http://chaud7.forumactif.fr/tests-abx-f8/abx-d-amplis-yamaha-rvx657-vs-bgw-750a-t476.htm

 

Besides these ABX on hardware, I got some more general results.

Successful ABX for a 0.25 dB level difference, which confirms the need to match the levels with a better accuracy than that : http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/477613/a-proposed-optical-digital-cable-test/120#post_6567206

Successful ABX on a simulated frequency response resulting of the removal of the oversampling filter of a DAC, which shows that non-oversampling DACs (like many very high end DACs) introduce objectively audible distorsion in the signal : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1037&t=29842033&start=60#p170435302

post #126 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

How about the 128kbps vs. lossless one on our very own forum? There's lots of passes but also lots of failures, evidence enough that lossy isn't always as bad as audiophiles say. By now a lot of people are just waiting on the OP's reveal to see if they're right or wrong.


When 128 or even 192kbps fail to deliver, it's really quite clear and detrimental to my enjoyment while listening on my home setup.  With my iPod and SE530's at the beach, it's not that important.  OTOH, at 256Kbps, the incidence of a detrimental effect is impressively not so common.  However, when it happens, it can audible enough that it irks you enough to prefer the lossless version.  Effects I hear would be for example, exaggerated reverb on vocals or harshness and brittleness in upper mids to highs.  Sometimes there's a loss of dynamics.  Because of the hit and miss affair with 256kbps, I prefer lossless or even 320kbps if I'm doing new rips off CD's.

 

It's no surprise that there's so much contention about whether or not one really hears a difference between lossless and lossy:

- we have varying resolution equipment and cans.

- we listen to different music (some recordings are more sensitive to lossy encoding than others)

- we listen to different aspects of music in that we pay close attention to different aspects of our music.  From my own listening, I'm not convinced that lossy encoding affects all aspects of HiFi music reproduction.

- we believe that if we can't hear something, then others can't.  Not to mention that this fuels the acquisition of the huge HAMMER in the form of placebo effect or imagination.  Every disparity in experience is seen as a nail to HAMMER on.

 

I could easily be referring to cables as well.

post #127 of 2871

My concern with most of the audiophile gear tests that I've read about is that people are brought in to listen to entirely unfamiliar systems and music.  If I were to listen to a pair of Avalon Indras powered by cheap and expensive amps, my brain would probably be too busy tuning into the speaker signature to notice even large changes brought about by different amps.  On the other hand, I would happily submit to any blind test involving the swapping of amps in either my headphone or speaker setup.  I’m intimately familiar with the way each sounds, so small changes seem much more significant.  When the JH-13s first came out, I thought it was interesting that many experienced listeners were totally captivated by plugging them straight into their iPhones.  I don’t think any of them do now though.

post #128 of 2871

Unfamiliar systems, that's right. But often, listeners perform the ABX with their own CDs.

 

Sometimes, listeners say that the system used is better than what they have at home.

 

Also, unfamiliar systems is only a problem with tests where listeners can't hear a difference to begin with. But in many tests, the listeners can hear the difference before starting the ABX.

post #129 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnotis View Post

My concern with most of the audiophile gear tests that I've read about is that people are brought in to listen to entirely unfamiliar systems and music.  If I were to listen to a pair of Avalon Indras powered by cheap and expensive amps, my brain would probably be too busy tuning into the speaker signature to notice even large changes brought about by different amps.  On the other hand, I would happily submit to any blind test involving the swapping of amps in either my headphone or speaker setup.  I’m intimately familiar with the way each sounds, so small changes seem much more significant.  When the JH-13s first came out, I thought it was interesting that many experienced listeners were totally captivated by plugging them straight into their iPhones.  I don’t think any of them do now though.



In one of the lnks that PIO2001 points to a listener cannot distinguish his own beloved Bryston amp from an Onkyo cheapy, he thought he was listening to the Onkyo and heard it as a crap amp, the amp never changed and his own biases were enough to make his own good amp sound rubbish. Similarly in "Do all amplifiers sound the same" most listeners heard a difference sighted and many described the differences in great detail, yet when done blind the same listeners could not hear differences between a $230 receiver and $12K monoblocks. if unfamiliarity was a big issue nobody would ever pass DBTs but there are loads of positive DBTs, wwe have over 90 years of psychophysics research which has plotted our powers of discrimination, yet the listener in the first case was completely familiar with his own amp and still could not hear it was his own ! When he was randomly blind tested with his amp and the onkyo, i.e biases removed he stll could not tell which was which.

 

Now, if we are talking about practice/training that is a different matter. B and G found strong training effects in their jitter tests and anecdotally when I do DBTs I sometimes do better after a few trials going back and forth over the same section finidng an artifact that is different on one sample after a while it seems to just click and if you keep to the same segment you can keep hearing it, but it is not familiarity in the same sense as being familiar with  whole piece of music.


Edited by nick_charles - 7/16/10 at 7:13am
post #130 of 2871
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pio2001 View Post

Hello Prog Rock Man,

 

In case you're interested, I have just updated the french ABX list with 19 new links : http://chaud7.forumactif.fr/tests-abx-f8/post-it-annuaire-des-tests-abx-t5.htm

 

.......


Many thanks Pio2001. I have added the links I have not already got and that I can follow that are in English.

post #131 of 2871

Any A/B's between headphones, IEMs, and bitrates? Those would be good too.

 

The ones on amps and even large set-ups showing little to no differences were eye-openers.

post #132 of 2871

Not between headphones or IEM that I know of.

 

But the measurements made with artificial heads make clear that ABX test would succeed.

 

What do you mean with bitrates ? High resolution or lossy compression ? Mp3, aac, Vorbis, something else ? CBR, VBR, ABR ?

post #133 of 2871
Thread Starter 

Pio2001, what do you mean by "But the measurements made with artificial heads make clear that ABX test would succeed."? How does that work? Why?

 

So many questions, so little time......

post #134 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Pio2001, what do you mean by "But the measurements made with artificial heads make clear that ABX test would succeed."? How does that work? Why?

 

So many questions, so little time......


Refer to the headphoneinfo.com link I gave on the cables discussion thread - it outlines the Heads and Torso System (HATS) they use to 'review' headphones without any human testing. The results are astounding to say the least.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pio2001 View Post

Not between headphones or IEM that I know of.

 

But the measurements made with artificial heads make clear that ABX test would succeed.

 

What do you mean with bitrates ? High resolution or lossy compression ? Mp3, aac, Vorbis, something else ? CBR, VBR, ABR ?


The measurements by electronics like HATS, and by people differ on a large scale.

 

For bitrates, yes, like what you've mentioned. It is very difficult for most people to differentiate hearing between 320kbps and lossless, for example.


Edited by K.I. Unlimited - 9/6/10 at 12:16am
post #135 of 2871
Thread Starter 

Sorry K.I. Unlimited and Pio2001, I am still unsure. Do you mean that different headphones, if subjected to blind testing would easily be differentiated and that the testing of headphones with the HATS gives a totally different result from subjective reviews?

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