Sorry, I didn't see this reply earlier. I appreciate the detailed response!
"Yeah, that's the now infamous "Human Hearing Beats the Fourier Uncertainty Principle" paper. The title is mostly what's wrong with it, it's quite misleading and sensational. The paper sheds no new light, however, and contrary to what the title seems to imply, the paper does not "prove" that humans can hear things that can't be measured. The guys a hydrogenaudio have pretty much cleared this up already."
As in other references here and on other forums, I personally don't consider forum comments as authoritative in refuting peer-reviewed journal-published empirical research. No doubt there's plenty to learn on forums (I'm learning a lot here), but it's just a matter of how research is conducted and vetted. I very much appreciate the AES's publication record of ongoing research in this area. I agree about the title (journal editors LOVE a catchy title)--after reading the paper, I would have thought something long and awkward like "This Aspect of Human Hearing Is Not Subject to the Constraints of the Fourier Uncertainty Principle When Considered In This Context".
"As I think about how to respond, I've decided to simply ask what you mean by "time domain of sound", and how you're applying it to D/A processing, resulting in "time-shifting and blurring". This is mainly a reaction to the comments which always pop up first in discussions of digital audio sample rates, which revolve around the inaudibility of frequencies beyond 22 kHz (for me personally, more like beyond 18 kHz, looks like). But the digital signals don't just represent frequencies--they arrive at particular times, and artifacts like pre- and post-ringing can change the signal-onset point in time. And of course, multiple signals arrive at the ears at different times, subject to very fine discrimination by human hearing. In re Stereo, what I'm wondering about is how accurately different sound playback chains replicate the stereo timing of the source signals. References always welcome, of course.
On "temporal resolution cues", I freely admit as always that my own little foobar tests have no consequences for the science of psychoacoustics nor audio engineering. However the foobar results I've seen were actually obtained, I can say that I always fail to get anywhere in the neighborhood of significant results when I try to listen for frequency content: timbre changes, tonal changes, EQ differences of any kind. I do obtain significant results when I'm listening to the reverb, the room ambience, the apparent soundstage size and depth--features which depend at least in part upon when sounds arrive, as opposed to just their perceived timbre when they do arrive.
"I would advise extreme caution when drawing conclusions based on auditioning up-sampled files against their original. True ABX testing is very difficult to do because of hardware limitations. It's also impossible to isolate the effects of up-sampling from the effects of DACs being asked to perform an entirely different task in terms of filtering, the specific up-sampling algorithm, etc. Up-sampling doesn't add any information, of course, so to tune in on what the "difference" is, we'd need to know a whole lot about the DAC, how it operates, what changes with a rate change, and most important, accomplish a DBT. That would take two identical sets of hardware, playback sync (the hard part), and a true ABX comparator. If we don't do the test that way, the observations are so polluted with bias that there can be no reliable conclusion."
I agree completely, and in detail. My own subjective experience has no consequences for the science--as you say, no reliable conclusions may be drawn. And in fact, I do suspect, without having anywhere near the equipment or circumstances to follow through, that "the effects of up-sampling from the effects of DACs being asked to perform an entirely different task in terms of filtering, the specific up-sampling algorithm" are precisely where the differences I experience do actually lie. My interest is primarily practical, and limited to my specific listening circumstances and tastes: I have some CD's; they sound better to me when upsampled; I have no meaningful reason NOT to do it.
Edited by UltMusicSnob - 8/21/13 at 8:26pm