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Blind Test - Take Now! - Page 2

post #16 of 88

 

That Foobar ABX is pretty cool. Got 9 out of 10.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Though if googleborg is indeed correct, I got the identification wrong when I said A was lossless.

se

 

post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

That Foobar ABX is pretty cool. Got 9 out of 10.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Though if googleborg is indeed correct, I got the identification wrong when I said A was lossless.

se

 


Even if we are in disagreement about which one is lossless, I think that it is definitely worth some weight that you can tell a clear difference between the versions.

 

The first question we must always answer is: Is there a difference? If so, then we can move the next question which is even more subjective in nature: Is the difference better?

 

We assume lossless=better. Is there anyone that based their decision by another means?  One thing is the audio world is very certain, and that is that we all have different tastes of what is better. What is better to one ear may be different to another.

 

IMO, that is one of the biggest flaws assiciated with the "science of sound."  When comparing sample rates, interconnects, power cables, etc we should always ask ourself if there is a difference (for better or worse) rather than dismiss something just because it doesn't sound "better."


Edited by dmac03 - 10/19/10 at 10:42am
post #18 of 88
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all.  Keep them coming in.

 

I personalty cannot tell the difference at all.  Maybe some people can, but I think it is clear that the difference is (dare I use the word) small.  Most people even with good equipment would not be able to hear the difference.  Critical audiophiles with 3000 dollar rigs... ok. smily_headphones1.gif

 

I like good sound.  Listening to music in my car or anywhere else is just not the same as on my Sennheisers.  But for me, good sound ends at about $300. 

 

- Jumping from ibuds to the HD580 is massive

- Jumping from 64kbps mp3 to 128 kbps is massive

 

But despite my pursuits, I don't see it purposeful pursuing this hobby past that.


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 10/19/10 at 12:25pm
post #19 of 88

i based my decision almost entirely on the palm muted? strumming passage that starts at about 16 seconds in.

 

doing an abx in foobar just, hmmm, 8/10, am struggling to tell the difference, A was X 6 times in a row too, ha.

 

i'll try again past midnight, see if what i think is there becomes any clearer when my head has settled down.

 

i also love the drumming biggrin.gif

post #20 of 88

I'm pretty sure that B is the flac.  The main difference I heard was in the drumming in the background.  It sounded much more real in B than A. I could also hear more details in B.

 

@Crazy*Carl Could you PM me if I got it right?

post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

B is lossless.  I hear the guitar on the right distort a little at the end of that loud note right at :30 sec...other than that they sound similar.

I'm not audiophile, but I heard the distortion on both, I don't know which one is lossless, I prefer 1_B, because it sounds slightly more extensive than 1_A when I focus on the second guitar.
 

post #22 of 88

Just use the spectrum on foobar2000 haha. Look at the difference in high frequency extension. 

post #23 of 88

B should be the lossless. It only took a few seconds to notice a lack of high end, dynamics, and overall space in the recording. This is listening through my cheap Mbox Pro and DT880's.

post #24 of 88

I kept going back and forth, but I'm pretty sure that...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

B is lossless.

Though if I wasn't closely listening, I probably wouldn't notice, and at 320, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference at all. Can you PM me the answer?

post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

B is lossless.  I hear the guitar on the right distort a little at the end of that loud note right at :30 sec...other than that they sound similar.


 

Unfortunately there is distortion there in the MP3 version.  Bummer.  That could be used to ABX the two much like focusing in on artifacts for cymbal hits to aid an ABX comparison.

 

If you load the two files in Audacity you can zoom in on the 30 second mark to the 31 second mark and look at the waveform for each file.  The lossless version gets very close to the max digital level a few times and does flatline or clip a few times.  The lossy version flatlines or clips multiple times in that 30-31 second range.  Unfortunately the song (and album) is mastered louder than it should be.  Even the lossless version clips a few times.  But the MP3 version is clipping more often, quite a bit more often. 

 

Interesting that the MP3 version is clipping like that.  Some of the places where it is clipping the lossless version isn't *that* close to the max digital level (it's close but not that close).  The MP3 encoder seems to choose to overshoot and clip in those areas for some reason.  Maybe a higher bitrate for the MP3 encoder would avoid the clipping.

 

edit:

Here's one example where the MP3 version decides to clip where the lossless version does not.  I'd think that an MP3 encoder would try to avoid clipping like that where the source doesn't clip and isn't *that* close to clipping.  I rotated the image 90 degrees so it won't cause the thread to waste a lot of vertical space.

 

clipping02_rotate.jpg


Edited by Ham Sandwich - 10/20/10 at 9:05pm
post #26 of 88

Ham Sandwich, you might be confusing clipping with brickwall limiting. Many CD's are mastered with brickwall limiters, and will display flattened peaks. Generally those flattened peaks will be at whatever value the engineer set the output ceiling. This definitely effects the visual of the waveform, but doesn't always mean digital clipping.

 

post #27 of 88

In a general sense I consider a digital waveform that is chopped off and flattened like that to be clipped.  I know there are different types and degrees of digital clipping and limiting and if I was working in a studio I'd have to be more specific and know what is actually going on.  A chopped and flattened wafeform like that is distortion.  And there is something causing an audible distortion in the section of audio at about 30 seconds that happens to be where there's a bunch of flattened wafeforms.  Whether it is true digital clipping or not, I don't know.

 

I don't have the tools to find out the exact values of those sample points to find out if they are full scale or not.  I don't think Audacity can give you that info, at least I don't know how.  And I don't know how to analyze that section further to find out how badly it is clipping.

post #28 of 88



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post


 

Unfortunately there is distortion there in the MP3 version.  Bummer.  That could be used to ABX the two much like focusing in on artifacts for cymbal hits to aid an ABX comparison.

 

If you load the two files in Audacity you can zoom in on the 30 second mark to the 31 second mark and look at the waveform for each file.  The lossless version gets very close to the max digital level a few times and does flatline or clip a few times.  The lossy version flatlines or clips multiple times in that 30-31 second range.  Unfortunately the song (and album) is mastered louder than it should be.  Even the lossless version clips a few times.  But the MP3 version is clipping more often, quite a bit more often. 

 

Interesting that the MP3 version is clipping like that.  Some of the places where it is clipping the lossless version isn't *that* close to the max digital level (it's close but not that close).  The MP3 encoder seems to choose to overshoot and clip in those areas for some reason.  Maybe a higher bitrate for the MP3 encoder would avoid the clipping.

 

edit:

Here's one example where the MP3 version decides to clip where the lossless version does not.  I'd think that an MP3 encoder would try to avoid clipping like that where the source doesn't clip and isn't *that* close to clipping.  I rotated the image 90 degrees so it won't cause the thread to waste a lot of vertical space.

 

clipping02_rotate.jpg



 There is an easier way, in audacity just load the first few seconds into the spectrum analyzer, that is a dead give-away.

 

I too have found files where the mp3 encoding apparently takes the original signal from ~ 0db to above and creates clipping, I found this from one of my VBR 0 encodes ("Nobody wants to" by Crowded House) which is very very hot to start with, the added clipping (CEP shows a count of possibly clipped samples) makes it DBT'able in FooBar and really annoying as well. Worse still my media streamer also digitally boosts the signal on mp3 playback by about 1db (measured) for reasons I fail to understand, this makes it almost unlistenable...

post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by santacore View Post

B should be the lossless. It only took a few seconds to notice a lack of high end, dynamics, and overall space in the recording. This is listening through my cheap Mbox Pro and DT880's.



Thats also what i hear from my Denon D7k and HD800. The difference is very noticeble from first listening.

post #30 of 88

So when are you going to reveal the answer?  I think it's gone on long enough.

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