Originally Posted by xnor
You described B as the worst and A as the most natural, yet A and B are identical except for the reduction of bit depth to 16 bits for A.
Information below ~21 kHz was preserved in both cases and no lossy compression was used.
IIRC, B 96/24 has information above about 21 khz replaced with white noise - therefore not the same as A which is CD 44,1/16 quality, with nothing past 21 kHz or so.
B sounded wrong on first and all subequent listens - very flat and grainy to my ears. Never heard such a manipulation, as I always strive to preserve the most of the master best as I can and not do any manipulation if possible. That I did chose A over C goes to the fact that, like it or not, lots if not majority of listening is nowadays to CD - I listen a lot to FM radio and there is mostly CDs played or digital or digitalised analog recordings - even live broadcasts are now mostly digitized and not bradcast in analog. As much as I prefer analog, I prefer music over sound - can not play my LPs over and over again exclusively and neglect everything else just because it is digital. I also do not play LPs for casual listening while doing chores around the house - and presto, after being exposed to so much basically CD, I chose it perhaps not as "best" but "most accustomed to". Good lesson.
Although you did exactly the kind of thing I am most against ( the whole B business ), I must admit you did it well. But ask yourself - would you do it after taking the trouble of making a 96/24 or better digital recording with microphones good say to 50 kHz and then remove everything above 21 kHz and replace it white noise - no matter how painstakenly done to best resemble the real thing ? It is good to know that such techniques exist - another thing is to use it in order to prove that it does not matter if content above 21 K or so is original or replaced with white noise. In that regard, test failed to prove it for me - I had absolutely no doubt - B was not good no matter what. It sounds shrunk in width, it has very little if any depth, it is grainy - it sounds artificial. A or CD is what it is but at least it is honest CD quality which would also be present in a good commercially available CD.