All you highly critical listeners, teach me your ways.
Apr 26, 2006 at 5:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 46

Meyvn

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Okay, so I'm one of those people whose ears are still in training. I cannot hear the difference between different bitrates in sound files, I can't say, 'oh, anything below 256 Kbps is crap.' Someone want to give me tips on finding the flaws? What am I missing? Anyone have good, specific examples of recordings and parts of recordings that easily exhibit these flaws? I know this sounds like a stupid request, because of the whole 'ignorance is bliss' mantra, but honestly, I won't rest until I know the truth.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 5:25 PM Post #2 of 46

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meyvn
Okay, so I'm one of those people whose ears are still in training. I cannot hear the difference between different bitrates in sound files, I can't say, 'oh, anything below 256 Kbps is crap.' Someone want to give me tips on finding the flaws? What am I missing? Anyone have good, specific examples of recordings and parts of recordings that easily exhibit these flaws? I know this sounds like a stupid request, because of the whole 'ignorance is bliss' mantra, but honestly, I won't rest until I know the truth.


Practice your techniques on lying straight in someone's face

"Anything below 256 Kbps is crap" is a lie... or that person is disillusioned
You pick one.
1. Lie
2. Be out of touch with reality
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 5:28 PM Post #3 of 46

slinger1182

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Look for words with "s" in them. They tend to go "shh" progressively as the bitrates go down. Borrowing markl's statement, cymabals gp "phish" than "baassssshh". The flute loses it's clarity and definition. Acoustic guitar lose their extensions. etc etc.

*gets up to get coffee*

Edit: In short, the algorithms looks for softer sounds being played simultaneously with louder sounds and cut off the softer sounds. So the dynamics of the song suggers. So look for stuff in the higher treble region.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 5:28 PM Post #4 of 46

jagorev

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1. Listen with full focus, don't treat music as background ambience.

2. Follow and think about the structure and notes in the music.

Because I think the key thing is to start listening to music with the same amount of concentration you'd give to reading a good book. Once you do that, any apparent technical flaws reveal themselves quite easily.

It's pointless to try to differentiate between 256 kbps and 192 kbps - what matters is whether the music sounds natural and realistic or not.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 5:49 PM Post #5 of 46

devwild

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Just keep listening and trying different music and equipment. You will learn what you need to hear as time goes by. Forcing it will just make you unhappy in the long run, because you will pick out differences that don't matter to you, or worse, that don't even exist.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 6:01 PM Post #6 of 46

manchau

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meyvn
Okay, so I'm one of those people whose ears are still in training. I cannot hear the difference between different bitrates in sound files, I can't say, 'oh, anything below 256 Kbps is crap.' Someone want to give me tips on finding the flaws? What am I missing? Anyone have good, specific examples of recordings and parts of recordings that easily exhibit these flaws? I know this sounds like a stupid request, because of the whole 'ignorance is bliss' mantra, but honestly, I won't rest until I know the truth.


Improve your source. It depends on source and headphone as well. You have decent headphone and you don't need to focus between crap recording and decent recordings. IMO. difference must be immidiately audible for you.

If source OR headphone is crap then you wont notice difference immidiately.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 6:16 PM Post #8 of 46

granodemostasa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnum22
don't go lookin for trouble.

i'm lucky enough to hear the compression of my mp3's and not be too bothered by it. I'm more concerned with tone.



Same here...when A/Bing an amplifier i tend to listen to just one insurment's tone and see how that changes...i could usually tell.
When A/Bing different formats i tend to listen more to the detail/clarity of the ambient noise (especially if the performance has an audience).
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 6:16 PM Post #9 of 46

Meyvn

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I can't NOT go looking for trouble, I'm afraid. It's an addiction.

However, I am finally starting to notice some subtleties between encoded and CD. I took a play with my 160 Kbps AAC copy of Lateralus, and then put in the actual CD, and I'm finally starting to notice some minutia. Some of the very quiet vocal tracks near the sixth minute in the CD seem to actually jump out and grab me a bit more in the CD compared to the AAC in which I have to listen a bit harder for it. However, this is still nothing I would notice by even concentrating on the music for listening purposes; it took many plays to find and confirm the difference. So the consensus is, with a nice DAC, I'd be much more likely to hear the difference? Not sure I buy that, as some can tell the difference with $30 headphones and no amp.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 6:35 PM Post #10 of 46

Magnum22

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meyvn
I can't NOT go looking for trouble, I'm afraid. It's an addiction.


HAH. i understand you want some returns for those AKG's. I'd want to hear the difference too if i paid for some high end phones. In fact the reason i didn't buy is i was afraid i wouldn't enjoy, or even hear, the improvement. i bet if you put in for a killer amp to match it'll probably make it pretty easy to tell lossy from lossless.

good luck meyvn's wallet.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 6:41 PM Post #11 of 46

gradofan

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A really good way to compare different bitrates is to pick really well-recorded music. With most pop music, I can't tell the difference after about 192 kbps VBR (mind you, extracted with EAC and encoded in LAME), and sometimes, I don't notice anything after 160 kbps. However, my ears aren't that great for my age.

Anyway, look for well-recorded music such as most stuff by Telarc. I've compared 1812 from CD and different MP3 bitrates, and I think that soundstaging and separation of instruments is better as bitrates increase. Also, I think some female vocalists' voices sound less real and tend to mush up, e.g. Norah Jones.

The music section of this forum will probably have a lot of great suggestions.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 7:11 PM Post #12 of 46

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meyvn
Okay, so I'm one of those people whose ears are still in training. I cannot hear the difference between different bitrates in sound files, I can't say, 'oh, anything below 256 Kbps is crap.' Someone want to give me tips on finding the flaws? What am I missing? Anyone have good, specific examples of recordings and parts of recordings that easily exhibit these flaws? I know this sounds like a stupid request, because of the whole 'ignorance is bliss' mantra, but honestly, I won't rest until I know the truth.


There are no flaws if the brain can not perceive them.

Consider yourself lucky!!! Just enjoy the tunes!! Pick gear that grooves to the tunes... moves you makes you get up and dance.

Theres absolutely nothing wrong with this approach to music listening.

I always find acoustic instruments tend to highlight differences more than anything else. Learn to play an instrument. Learn what the instrument sounds like solo, in your bedroom or family room. Pick up a guitar and strum a few chords. Thats my point of reference, and thats why I prefer Grados.

Garrett
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 8:19 PM Post #13 of 46

Meyvn

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See, this is what's crazy, what I don't get; I play guitar and everyone in my family plays piano, I notice very minute details in songs through these headphones, details other headphones simply do not bring out; it's just this bitrate thing that's got my ears stumped.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 8:22 PM Post #14 of 46

rocktboy

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The quality of the recording of your music is the most under rated factor in deciding how good the final sound coming out of your headphone is. Some types of music just isn't all that sensitive to bit rates as low as 160 or 192. While others you can readily tell the difference. If the majority of the music you listen to you can't tell the difference between bitrates then consider yourself fortunate. Just enjoy the music.
eggosmile.gif
 

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