How far can mp3s go in terms of SQ?
Mar 22, 2006 at 7:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

forsberg

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ok, so I've got my startup rig now with pa2v2 and super.fi 5 pro's for my ipod and the sound is pretty good.

If eventually one day I upgrade to SR71 + RS1's will the music be at another level?

Then what if I look up the ipod to a $100k home audio system? Will the mp3s be outta this world?

So my question is, how far can the sound quality go for mp3s? Is there a limit where no more $ will ever squeak out more SQ out of mp3s (192 - 320kbps)..
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:38 PM Post #2 of 14

bigshot

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It isn't a matter of sound quality as much as it is the error rate. The better the system you play your mp3s through, the more likely compression artifacts are going to be apparent. If you use your iPod in your home stereo, use higher bitrate settings. 320 LAME should be plenty. If you only listen to your MP3 player through portable headphones, you'll be able to get away with 192.

The quality of the music is entirely dependent on the musicians and engineers who created the music. No amount of equipment will improve that.

See ya
Steve
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:40 PM Post #3 of 14

GreatDane

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At exactly $2,468 USD worth of preamp/2 ch.amp and 2 bookshelf speakers...preferably Outlaw and Paradigm.
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Mar 23, 2006 at 5:04 AM Post #4 of 14

hembergler

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I tried playing a few mp3s through my dad's stereo, and honestly it wasn't that bad. It lacked dynamics and involvement, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. I was expecting to hear noise that hardly resembled the song that I was playing, but instead I was just greeted with a song. And that's about it. Wallpaper music for the most part.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 6:37 AM Post #5 of 14

K2Grey

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Depends in large part on how it's encoded, not just the bitrate (mp3 is psychoacoustical, large amounts of information are lost, the trick is to lose the right information). You'd probably find it very hard to ABX highest quality mp3 vs lossless.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 6:39 AM Post #6 of 14

bigshot

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At 320 the dynamics are going to be pretty much identical. As for involvement... that's up to you, not your DAP.

See ya
Steve
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 8:18 AM Post #7 of 14

mnhnhyouh

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If you think you can tell the difference between 192k vbr lame and CD quality then the guys at hydrogenaudio.org want you talk to you.

Mind you, they will insist on abx testing before they accept your claims. See if you know what you are listening to it is easy to detect difference. But if you dont, then it is much harder.

They have some people there who work on improving the codecs, people who are very good at hearing compression artifacts as they have trained in hearing them. Nearly all of them *cannot* hear artifacts with -v2 vbr LAME (about 192kbps) in a blind test, and they use *very* good gear.

h
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 10:20 AM Post #8 of 14

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mnhnhyouh
If you think you can tell the difference between 192k vbr lame and CD quality then the guys at hydrogenaudio.org want you talk to you.


Heh... I've been a member of HA since early '02, and all I can say is... they might want to talk to me, but I wouldn't particularly want to talk to them
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. Talk about a boring forum... not to mention if you cross any of the moderators even slightly, you're in serious trouble. Uggh...
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 4:15 PM Post #10 of 14

forsberg

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Last night I burnt some 320kbps mp3s onto an audio CD and played it on the following home stereo rig:

Monitor Audio Studio 20 speakers
Assemblage (dunno what model) d2d and dac combo
conrad johnson preamp (dunno what model)
sumo power amp.. andromedia series??

then i played the same songs using the real CD....

I couldn't tell any difference at 320 (playing norah jones come away with me). at 224kbps, there was a SLIGHT difference (playing kari bremnes lover in berlin).

...and this is after around 5 tries blind test.

I dunno how ppl on these boards can claim its a day and night difference for a 320kbps mp3 vs. apple lossless/flac...
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 6:50 PM Post #11 of 14

redshifter

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i only notice a difference between say 320mp3 and flac when listening to classical with good headphones and an amp. rock, i can't tell.

a little known encoding tag is freeformat, which allows mp3 encoding up to 640 kbps i believe. you may as well use lossless, but freeformat is the highest sq mp3 can get.

btw, freeformat plays on iaudio m3 players.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 7:02 PM Post #12 of 14

parrot5

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Quote:

Originally Posted by redshifter
i only notice a difference between say 320mp3 and flac when listening to classical with good headphones and an amp. rock, i can't tell.


I find that the cymbals in rock music can "give the identity away" better some classical music. 320mp3s have less "air" in them, and the cymbals sound a bit muted. Just my own experience
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Mar 23, 2006 at 7:15 PM Post #13 of 14

redshifter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by parrot5
I find that the cymbals in rock music can "give the identity away" better some classical music. 320mp3s have less "air" in them, and the cymbals sound a bit muted. Just my own experience
biggrin.gif
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i've been listening to classical (records) since i was a kid, so i think my ears are a little better tuned to that type of music. i did extensive testing (not dbt) of 320 mp3, ogg, and flac for my classical collection. the mp3 sound was all surface, and not enough texture, air and decay. the ogg sounded better, but there was strange detuning to the sound. flac had the right texture and air. to my ears there wasn't any doubt, the difference was very audible.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 7:43 PM Post #14 of 14

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mnhnhyouh
If you think you can tell the difference between 192k vbr lame and CD quality then the guys at hydrogenaudio.org want you talk to you.

Mind you, they will insist on abx testing before they accept your claims. See if you know what you are listening to it is easy to detect difference. But if you dont, then it is much harder.

They have some people there who work on improving the codecs, people who are very good at hearing compression artifacts as they have trained in hearing them. Nearly all of them *cannot* hear artifacts with -v2 vbr LAME (about 192kbps) in a blind test, and they use *very* good gear.

h



I don't know about 192 VBR Lame(I dont think I have a single song in this format), but I can tell the differerence of 128KBPS and under with ease.(This obviously depends if the original recording was recorded at high quality) It starts to get very blurry once it gets above 128. I'm absolutely sure I can't tell the difference between the ~220 KBPS with my current hardware.

So while I dodged the 192 VBR Lame issue entirely ^^, I felt that some input from my testing experiences might help someone.
 

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