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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 18

post #256 of 3201
Thread Starter 

Have any of you blind tested any of the products you are comparing? That is what this thread is about.

post #257 of 3201

I think his point had been in laptops. The built in audio has issues. I can't tell you if they are the DAC or intereference in the pre-stage (there's a lot of RF in there)

post #258 of 3201

I am not sure if my post was posted so here it is agian... :)

 

Has anyone seen any results from blind tests on mp3 vs. CD?

 

My ears tell me there is a difference but this could be placebo.

 

 

 

post #259 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipm View Post

My ears tell me there is a difference but this could be placebo.


I once gave an audiophile friend a blind test of MP3 versus CD. He insisted he can always tell MP3 degradation, so I ripped a solo classical piano track he chose and converted it to MP3 at 128, 196, and 256 kbps, and played those plus the original extracted Wave file. I switched among all the tracks while he listened. The first time he got all four tracks right! But the second time he got them all wrong, choosing 128 kbps as the original Wave file, and choosing the original as 128 kbps.

 

I can hear a slight loss at 128 kbps on some types of material, mostly stuff with lots of treble like violins or cymbals. But higher bit rates can sound as clean (to me) as the original.

 

--Ethan

post #260 of 3201

 

Interesting. My ears tell me that the differences are in losses in some highs/mids as you say, and in the subjective 'soundstage' as well. The latter in particular could be a farce on my part. I would like to get more information on this if a credible source exists. Perhaps it’s up to more listening experience etc, I am not sure.


Edited by ipm - 12/31/10 at 11:09am
post #261 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

 
Isn't that the point of this thread, that people see rather than hear the differences? Now's the time to post about this old messy affair: http://gizmodo.com/315250/pear-cable-chickens-out-of-1000000-challenge-we-search-for-answers

 

The parties involved could quible all they want about the ground rules but utlimately both audio reviewer and cable company knew it was a lose lose proposition.
 

post #262 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipm View Post

I would like to get more information on this if a credible source exists.


The most credible source is your own two ears. Rip a few types of music to MP3 at various bit-rates, then set up a blind test for yourself using a multi-track audio program. Do you have SONAR or Cubase etc? Or have someone else test you.

 

--Ethan

post #263 of 3201

Or use the foobar ABX plugin.  I think that's the best way.  It will give you the best chance to hear any difference, and if you can't tell them apart under those circumstances then you never will with that same equipment.

post #264 of 3201

Thanks for this...

 

After snooping around head-fi for a while, I was beginning to think I actually have hearing loss not being able to tell the difference between different types of cables and certain encoding options.

post #265 of 3201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabacaru View Post

Thanks for this...

 

After snooping around head-fi for a while, I was beginning to think I actually have hearing loss not being able to tell the difference between different types of cables and certain encoding options.


You are welcome tabacaru. I wonder how many others have been put off hifi by not being able to hear the 'differences' and worrying they do not have the 'necessary' hearing to appreciate good hifi?

post #266 of 3201


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by tabacaru View Post

Thanks for this...

 

After snooping around head-fi for a while, I was beginning to think I actually have hearing loss not being able to tell the difference between different types of cables and certain encoding options.


You are welcome tabacaru. I wonder how many others have been put off hifi by not being able to hear the 'differences' and worrying they do not have the 'necessary' hearing to appreciate good hifi?


It's a double-edged sword wink_face.gif

 

I try to approach it without preconceived notions. The testing that I have done myself (ABX and non-) has proved to me that there is a point that it doesn't matter. BUT, it has also helped me to understand my abilities to hear some differences with different material/gear. Which has caused me to spend more money than I would have (in certain cases.)

post #267 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipm View Post

I am not sure if my post was posted so here it is agian... :)

 

Has anyone seen any results from blind tests on mp3 vs. CD?

 

My ears tell me there is a difference but this could be placebo.


 

Absolutely and scientifically speaking there is a difference (unlike DACs and amps of well-built and acceptable standard, where there are no differences when the units being compared are properly level-matched) between MP3 and CD.

 

But these differences are generally beyond my hearing. Usually 192kbps+ is my worry-free target.

post #268 of 3201

I'm very suspicious of blind testing. It introduces stress and totally changes the way people listen to music. Suddenly they are stressing over small differences rather than just relaxing and feeling the music. Sometimes test conditions change the very things they seek to measure. Moreover, there's no comparison between a test running only a few hours and living with something day to day when you really have time to notice differences. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between my RBCDs and SACDs in a blind test. I do know that in day to day listening I much, MUCH rather listen to SACDs. When I play regular CDs they can even sound great at first, but eventually something seems missing and I always go back to SACD. ALWAYS. 

 

Finally, if the stuff about the amps is accurate and there really is no difference between amps that meet a certain minimum quality, then what are we to say about the many posts and reviews where people compare amps and hear all sorts of differences in terms of treble, bass, width, depth, soundstage, airiness, graininess, etc.? Are these people just crazy?

post #269 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post
...

Finally, if the stuff about the amps is accurate and there really is no difference between amps that meet a certain minimum quality, then what are we to say about the many posts and reviews where people compare amps and hear all sorts of differences in terms of treble, bass, width, depth, soundstage, airiness, graininess, etc.? Are these people just crazy?


Nope, just human.

post #270 of 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post

I'm very suspicious of blind testing. It introduces stress and totally changes the way people listen to music. Suddenly they are stressing over small differences rather than just relaxing and feeling the music. Sometimes test conditions change the very things they seek to measure. Moreover, there's no comparison between a test running only a few hours and living with something day to day when you really have time to notice differences. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between my RBCDs and SACDs in a blind test. I do know that in day to day listening I much, MUCH rather listen to SACDs. When I play regular CDs they can even sound great at first, but eventually something seems missing and I always go back to SACD. ALWAYS.


If you can't tell the difference from sound alone (i.e. blind)  then how can you say they sound better?

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