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Ogg Vorbis 256 kbps: can you tell the difference?

Poll Results: Which is lossless?

 
  • 0% (0)
    A is lossless
  • 20% (1)
    B is lossless
  • 80% (4)
    I don't know
5 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Download: A.flac, B.flac

One of those files was encoded with Ogg Vorbis AoTuV (b6.03) at quality 8, resulting in a bitrate of approximately 256 kbps. Ogg Vorbis/AoTuV is said to be superior to MP3, so I'm wondering if you guys can tell the difference, especially those of you with high-end gear. At that bitrate, it's supposed to be transparent, so it's perfectly normal if you can't tell the difference. If you can, however, please post your impressions and what tipped you off in particular.

The clip is from Elton John's Bitter Fingers, from the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
Edited by skamp - 3/25/12 at 12:35am
post #2 of 10

Not hearing any noteworthy differences as expected, however if I was forced to pick, going by possible placebo or feeling or whatever I'd say B might/seems to sound better but I'm not even gonna attempt any ABX, my patience would run way too quickly and the difference, if any, is simply not big enough for it to be worth wasting time with it (would result in guessing rather than basing on auditioning :P). Doesn't make it easier that the track isn't very good one for finding SQ compression degradation.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/27/12 at 2:13pm
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I'd say B might/seems to sound better but I'm not even gonna attempt any ABX […] (would result in guessing rather than basing on auditioning :P)

Whether you're right or wrong, in this particular instance, I'd say it's a success for the codec smily_headphones1.gif I'm really curious to see if people with high-end systems get it right more often than the rest of us…
post #4 of 10

I just did an ABX with 15/15 success - but I still couldn't tell you which is compressed and which is not :D   I can tell you that the vocals in A seemed more prominent, while in B the vocals felt more pushed back into the mix.  Still, I can't tell if that means A was better mixed, or if the more prominent vocals were some kind of artifact :/  I could listen to either and be happy! 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I just did an ABX with 15/15 success

That's a perfect score. What ABX software did you use? In the future, please post ABX logs!
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I can tell you that the vocals in A seemed more prominent, while in B the vocals felt more pushed back into the mix.

That's interesting. Did you run the ABX test with your Stax headphones?
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I could listen to either and be happy!

That's encouraging smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by skamp - 3/27/12 at 9:03pm
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
While I'm at it, I want to ask you: have you ever heard differences between DACs? If so, how subtle were those differences, compared to the subtlety of the difference you heard in this particular test? Were they more obvious? Less? Comparable?
post #7 of 10

I took another listen today and at least to me B does sound a little better to me, it sounds like it's less compressed, dynamic range seems a little better, drums have clearer definition to them, the vocals seem slightly more detailed (microdetail). Would be interesting to know which is which.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/28/12 at 11:27am
post #8 of 10

It seems like both files have lossy compression.

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I just did an ABX with 15/15 success - but I still couldn't tell you which is compressed and which is not biggrin.gif   I can tell you that the vocals in A seemed more prominent, while in B the vocals felt more pushed back into the mix.  Still, I can't tell if that means A was better mixed, or if the more prominent vocals were some kind of artifact :/  I could listen to either and be happy! 

Same here. I'm not sure which is which, but can distinctly tell them apart. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

While I'm at it, I want to ask you: have you ever heard differences between DACs? If so, how subtle were those differences, compared to the subtlety of the difference you heard in this particular test? Were they more obvious? Less? Comparable?

That's a good question. I've been comparing 3 different DACs over the last few days and have been completely flustered. I really like the new Asus Xonar Essence One, but I can't reliably tell it from any of my other mid-fi DACs (Bifrost and LD DAC I). Maybe I have to jump up into the $1000+ range to be able to tell, something like the Reference 7, but quite frankly I'm very skeptical. I've had multiple-PhD engineers tell me that no human can reliably tell the difference between DACs as long as one isn't defective.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
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