Big mistake in my post.... make that MB rather than GB. Dufus attack.
Not sure about Public Listening tests. I couldn't find one in google, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
The entire topic is subjective, that's what makes the discussion fun. I simply posted my experiences, reasons, and beliefs.
As you know it's all about the source. My FLAC music is made from original master tapes with the goal of sounding exactly what was picked up in the recording session by the tape machines. Mostly old music. HD Tracks usually has a write up for a given album on the the process that was used to create the FLAC file. In some cases the engineers try to find the same make/model of the equipment used to make the original.
It's not made from another file and it's not made from a CD. Again, IMO, these recordings sound better than a CD..... To me. Perhaps psychosomatic.
That said, I'm not in love with every album. Creedence Clearwater Chronicle 20 sounded only a bit better... on some cuts. Same case with Beach Boys Pet Sounds. The chimes are crystal clear with resonance but I expected more with a 192kHz recording of the #2 Rolling Stones top 500 album. Like Creedence the album didn't have the dimensional sound staging as other FLAC's I've purchased.
R.E.M. Automatic for the People...epic.
Elton Madman Across the Water....epic
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman.... epic
Buddy Guy & Jr. Wells, Alone & Acoustic 1991..... epic
Buddy Guy & Jr. Wells, Drinkn' TNT N' Smokin' Dynamite 1982 ... amazing
Hound Dog Taylor & the Houserockers, Beware of the Dog 1976 ...... immense amount of fun.
This is the music I play and I play it on very nice gear.
Since the FLAC files are only on my dedicated Mac Mini in my equipment closet it's hard for me to comfortably test it with head gear.
I have not done this, as I'll either need to stand there, use a very long cord, or get WiFi phones.
Is it like being a wine snob, or some other over-the-top passion? Maybe.
btw. If you like metal, Give Hound Dog a spin you might be surprised. Be sure to turn it up.