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Lossless vs 128kbps mp3 vs 320kbps mp3 blind test

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by chewy4, Jan 15, 2013.
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  1. dakanao
    Hey guys, I have noticed something about FLAC files. Is it just me, or do FLAC files push the vocals of songs behind the rest of the music? I tested out 2 FLAC files vs the same 320kbps mp3, and I could swear the mp3 had more forward vocals.
     
  2. bufferoverflow
    You have it all backwards ( or upside-down) :
    FLAC does not change ANYTHING but the size of the resting file, by compressing it .
    MP3 on the other hand works by data-reduction, ie throw away all the stuff you can't hear anyways -
    Except that you apparently can hear the difference :)
     
  3. dakanao
    I'm definitely noticing more clarity with FLAC files than with 320 kbps mp3's...
     
  4. KamijoIsMyHero
    Then abx them and show your results :)
     
  5. dakanao
    Group 1A=FLAC file Group 1B=320 kbps mp3
    Group 1C=128 kbps mp3
     
    I didn't notice a lot of difference between A and B, only that A was slightly more clear sounding. I did however notice a clear difference between A and C. C was just a bit muddier in comparison to those other 2.
    Am I right?
     
  6. KamijoIsMyHero
    The result is on OP
     
  7. dakanao
    But im noticing the difference between 320 kbps mp3 and flac clearly with my own music. Flac sounds more clear and also slightly better detailed than mp3
     
  8. Brooko Contributor


    What you are likely comparing is either two different masterings - OR improperly volume matched files. When transcoded - there is often a volume difference introduced between the original and the output.

    If you are really interested in testing yourself (blind abx so that you can take placebo out of the equation) - have a read through this link .....
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding
     
  9. dakanao
    Well, maybe you're right, and I'm listening to differently remastered music. BUT what I found weird is that EVERY FLAC song I replaced with my 320 kbps songs, just sounds cleaner. And I know it's not my imagination, because I listened to those songs for over 100 times.
     
  10. Brooko Contributor
     
    Again - if they weren't from the same source - then you're listening to different masterings.  Follow the link I left you.  The software is all free.  All it takes is time.  The truth is there is you really want to find it [​IMG] 
     
  11. AnakChan Moderator
    The following is kinda related to this thread but not specific to MP3's. In my case, what I've found is that with my early ripped iTunes 4.x lossy 160kbps are (almost?) indistinguishable from a re-rip of the very same set of CDs on iTunes 11 at lossless. The reason why I'm specifying the iTunes version is because somewhere along the lines around iTunes 7 (or possibly 5 or 6?) it seems the algorithm changed that iTunes v7.x->11.x lossy 160kbps does sound worse than lossless as we expect.
     
    I have my highly subjective conspiracy theory that somewhere along the lines of iTunes 5 or 6 onwards, lossy algorithms was purposefully redesigned to make room for online sales of 256kbps music.
     
    I had a few of my HF friends in Tokyo even compare the 2003 160kbps iTunes 4  ripped vs the latest re-rip of the same CD at lossy and they were hard-pressed in hearing the difference. But iTunes v7.x->11. lossy 160kbps they could tell pretty much right away. (NB: Gear used was my Invicta DAC feeding to both my ZD & AD's, and Electra & SR-009/007Mk1).
     
    In other words at least in the AAC world, it's my personal belief lossy doesn't always mean it's bad and wish Apple could bring back the old algorithm used in iTunes 4.0.
     
  12. shaolin95
    So good to read stuff like this...its sickening to read about people that feel they are super humans able to hear things nobody else can yet when tested they completely fail and of course, they blame the test procedure :wink:
    Good stuff!
     
  13. ljhhh
    This test perhaps has concluded some results but it is still pretty much inconclusive, mathematically and physically wise.
     
  14. skyd171
    Lol. Shure SE 846's with a DAC/AMP and addons galore...couldn't tell the difference between any items in group one. I actually thought the 128 was the lossless and the lossless was the 128. Quite funny.
     
  15. luberconn
    i got them all right.  what do i win?
     
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