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Difference between "revealing" and "detailed"?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

Hi I'm new to this sound science forum. Glad I found it. 

 

One of many questions I have is the question of my title. My HD598 shows the difference between 160-320 kbps files and lossless files. Others have testified to this, remarking on the HD 598's ability to reproduce its source accurately. However, others say the HD 598 isn't as "detailed" as other headphones. What's the difference? 

post #2 of 55
Those descriptive terms are relatively vague and don't really refer to specific aspects of sound. They mean different things to different people.

All MP3s aren't created equal. Some encoders do a better job than others. I found I could barely tell the difference between a 320 MP3 encoded by itunes, but not a LAME MP3 of the same bitrate. AAC (and similar codecs like OGG) are better than MP3 at encoding transparently. If you're looking for the best sound quality for compressed audio, you should look into those.
Edited by bigshot - 7/20/12 at 5:13pm
post #3 of 55
Detail is revealing
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Those descriptive terms are relatively vague and don't really refer to specific aspects of sound. They mean different things to different people.
All MP3s aren't created equal. Some encoders do a better job than others. I found I could barely tell the difference between a 320 MP3 encoded by itunes, but not a LAME MP3 of the same bitrate. AAC (and similar codecs like OGG) are better than MP3 at encoding transparently. If you're looking for the best sound quality for compressed audio, you should look into those.

Ah sorry I meant to say that the HD 598 is GOOD at showing the difference between different bitrate. Some headphones like the HD 600/ 650 are apparently good at making bad bitrate ("taming") sound good. 

 

Isn't AAC like a Mp4?At least that's what I've heard. 

post #5 of 55
Yes, AAC is a generation beyond MP3. Much better.
post #6 of 55

The way it's used on this forum, revealing generally means tons of treble and not very much bass.  The more treble, the more revealing, and the worse recordings will sound.  (it's not used very accurately on this forum).  Revealing in the real world should mean uncolored and showing you what upstream actually sounds like.  Making recordings sound worse than they actually are is not actually revealing.  That's ruthless coloration.  Same goes for encoding. 

 

Detail is synonomous with bright on this forum most of the time too.  But detail means actual, real detail extraction, not boosted FR for clarity coloration.  A warm headphone can be just as detailed as a bright headphone.  And a bright headphone can be just as dull as a warm one.  Though you'd find that hard to believe looking at impressions. 

post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

The way it's used on this forum, revealing generally means tons of treble and not very much bass.  The more treble, the more revealing, and the worse recordings will sound.  (it's not used very accurately on this forum).  Revealing in the real world should mean uncolored and showing you what upstream actually sounds like.  Making recordings sound worse than they actually are is not actually revealing.  That's ruthless coloration.  Same goes for encoding. 

 

Detail is synonomous with bright on this forum most of the time too.  But detail means actual, real detail extraction, not boosted FR for clarity coloration.  A warm headphone can be just as detailed as a bright headphone.  And a bright headphone can be just as dull as a warm one.  Though you'd find that hard to believe looking at impressions. 

I can see how brightness can lead to the perception of "revealing". Would you consider the Sennheiser headphones to be detailed? Most people don't think so, at least compared to the AKG and Beyerdynamic lines. 

post #8 of 55

Speaking of revealing, normally which part of the FR is considered "revealing"? Some say good treble response, some say most of the "details" are in the mids. I wonder what encompasses "details"?

post #9 of 55

I always read revealing as the ability to show flaws in your gear. For example if you have revealing headphones then you'll easily tell apart 320 MP3 from FLAC. What happens is detail is a huge part of the quality revealing (another important aspect would be extension in both ways), so they end up being almost synonimous here.

post #10 of 55
I don't think most people who use terminology like that know what they're talking about, or what makes equipment "revealing".
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 

SIGH the subjectivity and inconsistency of the audio world. 

post #12 of 55
Here is a simple breadcrumb for you to chase down... Google "frequency masking". That will tell you a lot about what makes sound detailed.
post #13 of 55

Fascinating, thank you!  However, from what I'm understanding via my reading (aka wikipedia only), this does NOT explain "what makes sound detailed."  Rather, it explains what makes sound seem detailed, while in reality they are showing far less detail. 

 

That is to say, a screwy FR can make some sounds "pop out" of the mix which would ordinarily be unheard, giving a false sense of detail, while in actuality you are losing the reality that these sounds should not be existing - in that real orchestra, the piccolo really is being masked by the clarinet, and you're not supposed to hear it super clearly. 

 

 

Is my thinking based in reality at all, or am I completely misunderstanding what masking is, and its effects? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Here is a simple breadcrumb for you to chase down... Google "frequency masking". That will tell you a lot about what makes sound detailed.

Edited by El_Doug - 7/22/12 at 12:35pm
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardKing1 View Post

I always read revealing as the ability to show flaws in your gear. For example if you have revealing headphones then you'll easily tell apart 320 MP3 from FLAC. What happens is detail is a huge part of the quality revealing (another important aspect would be extension in both ways), so they end up being almost synonimous here.

 

Yes but a stock HD800 has this quality, but it makes recordings sound worse than they are.  Peaks in a headphone combine with a peak/problem in a recording to form a kind of "perfect storm".  Yes, you could call that revealing, but you could also say that the recording is revealing flaws in the HD800 just as easily as you could say that the HD800 is revealing flaws in the recording. 

 

Revealing on this forum means colored. 

post #15 of 55
El Doug... Think of it like this... An instrument in an orchestra has a fundamental tone and harmonics. If there is masking going on, the main harmonic can be blocked, making the instrument lack character. It just sounds like a pure note. When the frequency response is corrected, all those missing harmonics come back and instead of everything mushing together into a chord, you can hear the character of each individual instrument that makes up the chord. It reveals detail.

A balanced frequency response doesn't add detail, but an imbalanced one can hide it.
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