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How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Formats and Love the Music


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We're all too familiar with the healthy debates regarding the various digital music formats and I think it's a very interesting subject when it isn't just philosophical and theoretical. So to that end I visited the Test Bench HD Audio Files section of 2L.no and downloaded the public (free) test tracks from this album to compare and evaluate:

 

https://shop.klicktrack.com/2l/34188

[TABLE=width: 832]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Album:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]DIVERTIMENTI[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Released:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]6/3/08[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Catalogue #:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]2L-050[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Genre:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Art Music / Classical[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Copyright:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]2008 2L (Lindberg Lyd, Norway)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Label:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]2L[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Track #:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]1[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Track:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]BRITTEN Simple Symphony, Op 4: I. Boisterous Bourree[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=colspan: 2]Duration:[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]3:01[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

TrondheimSolistene04.jpg

 

This performance was recorded in DXD (24/352.8). I downloaded this file, as well as the 24/192, 24/96 FLAC and DSD64 and DSD128 files. From the master DXD file I used XLD to create create the 16/44.1 CD quality files, to make ALAC versions from the FLAC files, and to create 320, 128, 64, and 32kbps LAME .MP3 files.

 

So here we have a pretty complete set of digital files derived from DXD that allows us to take a closer look at the numerous possible flavors of digital audio files that currently exist. The link to the various file formats is listed below in the file summary:

 

Test Set.jpg

 

Beginning with the DXD master file (if you are privileged enough to play natively) and going down to 24/192, 24/96, and 16/44.1 where can you begin to perceive a loss in quality? Where is the point at which you can maybe tell but it is clearly diminishing returns and it's Goldilocks or "good enough" especially when cost, bandwidth, and storage are taken into account. What about PCM vs. DSD? Is 320kbps satisfactory, and it is easily discernible from CD quality or hi-res PCM? At what point in the MP3 series do you feel the quality became objectionable?

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. It's just a data point, and perhaps the media is not the most complex but at least we have something presented in an reasonably apples-to-apples manner. It should be noted, however, that the DSD files were created from DXD PCM and may not represent the best possible case for DSD. Obviously, not everyone can play DXD, DSD, or 24/192, and we all have different gear, ears, and tastes, but let's see if there is anything we can take-away from this data set. And I'm game if anyone wants to ABX, or present some form of regression analysis we can look at. Objective and/or subjective is good for me. Thanks!

 

[TABLE=width: 397]

[TR]

[TD]Format[/TD]

[TD]Type[/TD]

[TD]Size[/TD]

[TD]URL[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/352.8[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]250.1 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/oADcYLzw[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/352.8[/TD]

[TD]ALAC[/TD]

[TD]250.9 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/eqSvO0P9[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/192[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]111.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/mLEs68tU[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/192[/TD]

[TD]ALAC[/TD]

[TD]114 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/8rC1jxz9[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/96[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]53.9 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/18jtqULP[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/96[/TD]

[TD]ALAC[/TD]

[TD]55.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/7z1z4VpN[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16/44.1[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]13.8 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/MvACvUoh[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16/44.1[/TD]

[TD]ALAC[/TD]

[TD]13.6 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/CeQ2Y8dG[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]DSD128[/TD]

[TD].DSF[/TD]

[TD]256.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/2XKOeZsP[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]DSD64[/TD]

[TD].DSF[/TD]

[TD]129.1 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/wDiGtoiM[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]320 kbps[/TD]

[TD].MP3[/TD]

[TD]7.3 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/0MOfyMPB[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]128 kbps[/TD]

[TD].MP3[/TD]

[TD]2.9 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/MD9lqFuB[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]64 kbps[/TD]

[TD].MP3[/TD]

[TD]1.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/WbwoXLlu[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32 kbps[/TD]

[TD].MP3[/TD]

[TD]732 KB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/hcBsS4az[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

peter-sellers-as-dr-strangelove.jpg

 

2L050_box.jpg

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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And this is what Morten Lindberg from 2L had to say regarding digital formats in Janurary 2009:

 

Digital reproduction of analogue sound

At venue recording sessions our analogue to digital converters can do both the one-bit DSD and the multi-bit PCM formats. We can also listen directly to the analogue output from the microphones. Digital eXtreme Definition is a professional audio format that brings “analogue” qualities in 24 bit at 352.8 kHz sampling rate. DXD preserves 8.4672 Mbit/s (3 times the data of DSD) per channel. This leaves headroom for editing and balancing before quantizing to DSD for SACD or PCM for Blu-Ray.

All audio formats on The Nordic Sound are sample rate converted from the same DXD master. Comparing them in our studio we find only subtle differences from DXD down to 192kHz and 96kHz. The obvious degeneration is from 96kHz down to 48kHz. We find DSD, as used in the SACD format, somewhat different in colour from PCM; in some mysterious way DSD is softer and more beautiful but slightly less detailed. In DXD we find the shimmering brilliance from the original analogue source as directly from the microphones. Linear PCM is offered in addition to DTS HD Master Audio on this Blu-ray with the purpose of convincing audiophiles of the true lossless qualities of commercial encoding. The stereo layer of the SACD and the LPCM 2.0-stream on the Blu-ray are both full resolution mix from the original microphones. Mostly we find that the microphone placements used for the surround make a fine stereo. Occasionally we put up extra microphones dedicated for the stereo stream.

I personally prefer extremely high resolution PCM over the DSD and I would claim that DSD is not transparent. But it all comes down to what the sound from your speakers can do to your body and mind. I find that the placement of microphones has an infinite more important role in the final experience of music, than the difference between HiRes PCM and DSD. Sometimes a lie can be more beautiful than the truth!

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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This is exactly the kind of task I proposed on a different CA forum where audiophile discussion about different DSD conversion types is going haywire (as to my opinion). Apples are compared with oranges in that different audio media of "the same" album are compared without knowing about potentially different mastering, pre-mastering or even studio editing on the particular media. Everybody anticipates "more airiness" or even "better soundstage" when listening to HD media even if this objectively cannot be the case because, e.g., some SACD was produced using the untouched 44.1 kbits/s CD master of a recording. As I found out this is not very unlikely with HD re-issues of top-selling CD albums, - shame on the recording industry. I did find this either on SACDs and HD downloads selling at a 4 times premium to the CD.

 

I will explore your sound samples as far as I am able to directly reproduce them with my equipment (without format conversion), but I am sure this will take some time. If there are many skilled persons doing the same in their listening environments this might create some more insights into different things, but I don't believe it will make a foundation regarding the original question, because there are too many individual parameters involved. The most prominent of them are different listening rooms and amp-speaker-configurations with totally different characteristics. I am not sure that there is a linear function between the audio quality of a configuration versus audio format/resolution. There is even no measure for audio quality.

 

Since I have close connection to scientific audio community I will discuss the topic, anyway, because I feel we urgently need statistically valid statements about the discernability and characterization of different digital consumer formats. As long as the scientific audio community is not able to deliver here digital audio myths will spread like in the analogue domain. I feel it even may have started with the introduction of DSD...

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Thanks for your input. I'm a bit in the same boat, as I am waiting for the SuperDuper Geek to ship and am currently limited to 24/96 from my computer headphone jack (sounds not bad into the Pass though I have to be honest...). Hopefully, I'll be able to give these all a listen here within a month or so.

 

I wasn't sure if I should have included both ALAC and FLAC but decided to do so for users who use iTunes for file management. One could review either the ALAC series or the FLAC series. And I dipped way down into the the low bitrate MP3 stuff to make sure we has some poor quality material. Gotta think this would be verifiable... :/ They start having limited high-end frequency response (Nyquist). But yeah the ultimate limit would depend of you ears, room, gear, preferences, etc assuming the same 2L source file.

 

Still I think we should be able data mine this to statically derive a correlation...at least up to a point. And even if we can make a gut check here, I would be interested in what others are hearing for a baseine. Let's just hope my ears aren't so shot that I confuse 32kbps MP3 with DXD... :.(

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

Link to comment

Another thing I noticed when putting together this file list was the PCM vs. DSD file sizes. Conventional wisdom is that DSD is more bit efficient due to the aggressive noise-shaping, but as far as I know there is no lossless run-length encoding (RLE) scheme with DSD. It ends up with DSD128 being larger than DXD, and DSD64 being larger than 24/192 FLAC/ALAC (with that ~2:1 compression ratio). Hmm...

 

[TABLE=class: cms_table, width: 397]

[TR]

[TD]Format[/TD]

[TD]Type[/TD]

[TD]Size[/TD]

[TD]URL[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/352.8[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]250.1 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/oADcYLzw[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24/192[/TD]

[TD]FLAC[/TD]

[TD]111.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/mLEs68tU[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]DSD128[/TD]

[TD].DSF[/TD]

[TD]256.5 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/2XKOeZsP[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]DSD64[/TD]

[TD].DSF[/TD]

[TD]129.1 MB[/TD]

[TD]https://db.tt/wDiGtoiM[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

Link to comment

You cant use flaac to compare as Flac is lossless compression. Use Wav or AIFF and compore those to DSD.

 

The bit efficiency of DSD refers to the fact that the info stored just gives the change from the last bit as reference, while PCM has the info of the last refernce, plus the change.

 

However, they really acnt be compared as the differnces in operation are fundamental. PCM is potentially more dynamic as it can specify the full dynamic range in one bit, while DSD will take several bits to do the same. In practice, there is not a lot of performance differences, more like flavour differences.

Link to comment
You cant use flaac to compare as Flac is lossless compression. Use Wav or AIFF and compore those to DSD.

 

Why is this Winson? With "memory play" the process is lossless and bit-perfect when decompressed before playback. Just like sending a .zip, and decompressing before file opening, no?

 

In any event, even in there was an ALAC/FLAC vs WAV/AIF difference all files in the PCM series are in the same ALAC/FLAC format which is by far the most common.

 

Also, regarding the various file sizes this is what Andreas Koch says about the file size in his whitepaper, "DSD - The New Addiction":

 

As the sample rate is increased beyond 96kHz PCM formats creates relatively large files sizes that take quite long to download. The file size and download time for DSD on the other side are comparable to 24/96kHz PCM, yet offer greater performance as we saw in Fig. 2.

 

Bit Rate.jpg

 

In my files above 24/96 FLAC/ALAC is less than 1/2 the file size of DSD64 (42%). However, when I zipped the DSD64 file its size was reduced from 129.1MB to 87.2MB, a 22.5% (1/5th) reduction in file size. 87MB (DSD ZIP) vs. 54MB (24/96). Not as much as I would have expected.

 

DSD - the new addiction - v2.pdf

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

Link to comment

Hello everyone. The coincidence makes that I've been asking myself he same questions for the past few days, since it came into my possession some 24/96 Flac albums: "where can you begin to perceive a loss in quality objectively?". To be objective, you should "test" yourself without know which file are you listening to. I was a music lover since I can remember and always was sensitive to audio quality and when through all the stages vinyl collection > CD collection > Computer collection. These days, my setup is not the best but an acceptable:

 

Flac -> JRiverMC -> WASAPI (event style) -> Arcam rDAC (USB) -> Marantz PM7200 -> PSB Image T6 Towers.

 

I did something similar, testing various lossless and lossy formats at different bit rate:

 

#1 FLAC-24/96

#2 FLAC-16/44.1

#3 MP3-320 kbps - 16/44.1

#4 MP3-128 kbps - 16/44.1

 

To my surprise, the difference could be heard ONLY when comparing #1 to #4. But even here the results were mixed. Sometimes I could hear the differences, sometimes not, depending on the part of the song that could put into evidence the differences.

 

However, comparing #3 to #2 and #1, no difference whatsoever. There was no way of differentiating those from one another. I didn't stope here, so I've encoded other samples, using songs that I have listened to for a very long time, way before owning their 24/96 version. Same result. Then the obvious step was to listen to those using more accurate equipment, so I headed to a hi-fi store. There, I know someone and can often stay for hour listening to different equipment. So the test was done using a Hegel H20 DAC -> NAD Master series combination (don't remember the exact models, some older silver huge bulk ones) -> PSB Synchrony speakers. After listening, I draw three conclusions from all this:

 

1) Nor I or my friend who's a consultant there were able to distinguish from #1-#2-#3. The #4 "sometimes" stood out as somewhat different.

 

2) The overall sound was unmistakably better than my current setup. The DAC, speakers and AMP are way more important than the file itself, if that is a 320 kbps MP3 or above.

 

3) The price of the equipment is not linear scalable into the increase in sound quality. Sure it sounds better, maybe twice as better...but the price is may more times higher.

 

I don't know if the equipment is not sensitive enough to put into spotlight the differences or if my ears are too old (c'mon I'm only 37) but I couldn't be convinced that there's a distinguishable difference once you go MP3 320 kbps and above. It couldn't be heard, nothing.

 

I went back to the store, bringing my Arcam rDAC there and we switched various combinations of speakers and amps (Dynaudio Confidence, Harbeth, B&W, NAD's). I've noticed that that the speakers and on the second place the amp, will have the most impact on sound quality if your digital files are decent enough. Now I realized how good my Arcam sounds. :)

 

What do you guys think? How much does the placebo effect comes into place and how much subjectivity there is going on?

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^ Good post. Thanks!

 

For my own testing I want to think of a way to just flick back and forth between 2 formats in near real time to not corrupt my testing with short-term audio memory - too complex of a data set to stop in the middle IMHO. (AB)n. Another consideration is to play material with some very quiet passages when 16 bit quantization error should be the worst that than DR6 "wall of sound" stuff.

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

Link to comment
Hello everyone. The coincidence makes that I've been asking myself he same questions for the past few days, since it came into my possession some 24/96 Flac albums: "where can you begin to perceive a loss in quality objectively?". To be objective, you should "test" yourself without know which file are you listening to. I was a music lover since I can remember and always was sensitive to audio quality and when through all the stages vinyl collection > CD collection > Computer collection. These days, my setup is not the best but an acceptable:

 

Flac -> JRiverMC -> WASAPI (event style) -> Arcam rDAC (USB) -> Marantz PM7200 -> PSB Image T6 Towers.

 

I did something similar, testing various lossless and lossy formats at different bit rate:

 

#1 FLAC-24/96

#2 FLAC-16/44.1

#3 MP3-320 kbps - 16/44.1

#4 MP3-128 kbps - 16/44.1

 

To my surprise, the difference could be heard ONLY when comparing #1 to #4. But even here the results were mixed. Sometimes I could hear the differences, sometimes not, depending on the part of the song that could put into evidence the differences.

 

However, comparing #3 to #2 and #1, no difference whatsoever. There was no way of differentiating those from one another. I didn't stope here, so I've encoded other samples, using songs that I have listened to for a very long time, way before owning their 24/96 version. Same result. Then the obvious step was to listen to those using more accurate equipment, so I headed to a hi-fi store. There, I know someone and can often stay for hour listening to different equipment. So the test was done using a Hegel H20 DAC -> NAD Master series combination (don't remember the exact models, some older silver huge bulk ones) -> PSB Synchrony speakers. After listening, I draw three conclusions from all this:

 

1) Nor I or my friend who's a consultant there were able to distinguish from #1-#2-#3. The #4 "sometimes" stood out as somewhat different.

 

2) The overall sound was unmistakably better than my current setup. The DAC, speakers and AMP are way more important than the file itself, if that is a 320 kbps MP3 or above.

 

3) The price of the equipment is not linear scalable into the increase in sound quality. Sure it sounds better, maybe twice as better...but the price is may more times higher.

 

I don't know if the equipment is not sensitive enough to put into spotlight the differences or if my ears are too old (c'mon I'm only 37) but I couldn't be convinced that there's a distinguishable difference once you go MP3 320 kbps and above. It couldn't be heard, nothing.

 

I went back to the store, bringing my Arcam rDAC there and we switched various combinations of speakers and amps (Dynaudio Confidence, Harbeth, B&W, NAD's). I've noticed that that the speakers and on the second place the amp, will have the most impact on sound quality if your digital files are decent enough. Now I realized how good my Arcam sounds. :)

 

What do you guys think? How much does the placebo effect comes into place and how much subjectivity there is going on?

 

I think what you did was excellent. And it is what serious testing by other people indicates would be the case. Placebo is a significant effect. You had the chance to do this not just with your system where you might wonder if your system wasn't revealing enough. But also at a store with plenty of other good gear. You got the same result either way.

 

So think about this. Your home system should be plenty good. And some of the equipment in the store even better. Even if there are some people who could tell some difference under some circumstances and with some listener training with how to hear the effects how big is the effect we are talking about? The obvious answer is it must be a tiny, tiny effect if there even is one between the different formats (excepting the low bit rate one of course). Just as you discovered the speakers, the amp and the DAC all make a difference. Whatever difference there is in the formats is truly trivial. So don't sweat it, spend time and resources where it matters.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I think what you did was excellent. And it is what serious testing by other people indicates would be the case. Placebo is a significant effect. You had the chance to do this not just with your system where you might wonder if your system wasn't revealing enough. But also at a store with plenty of other good gear. You got the same result either way.

 

So think about this. Your home system should be plenty good. And some of the equipment in the store even better. Even if there are some people who could tell some difference under some circumstances and with some listener training with how to hear the effects how big is the effect we are talking about? The obvious answer is it must be a tiny, tiny effect if there even is one between the different formats (excepting the low bit rate one of course). Just as you discovered the speakers, the amp and the DAC all make a difference. Whatever difference there is in the formats is truly trivial. So don't sweat it, spend time and resources where it matters.

 

Agree. And.....check this out. I've started to these tests (High Frequency Hearing Loss Blind Listening Test) and I've failed at the <14kHz one. I can't hear a damn difference after 14kHz :( . It would be interesting to start a poll.

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Nice post. The question it brings to mind for me is, we're you listening to the music or the equipment? My guess is the former. You almost have to ignore the music to hear equipment or file format/sample rate differences. Which is the total exact opposite of listening to different masters, where you listening for differences in the sound of the music. Listening to the equipment is kind of not the purpose many people listen in the first place, of course. It is not only difficult to listen that way, it is work. And work of course is the antitheses of listening to music. :)

 

I personally am starting to come to the opinion the the differences in file format and sample rate are not always that important, unless the mastering engineer and producer have taken very special care with the music.

 

Note- that is different from the people crusading to say there is no difference, because in my experience, I certainly can hear those differences in many cases. I also seriously doubt the quality of your equipment is lacking in any way. :)

 

Paul

 

 

Hello everyone. The coincidence makes that I've been asking myself he same questions for the past few days, since it came into my possession some 24/96 Flac albums: "where can you begin to perceive a loss in quality objectively?". To be objective, you should "test" yourself without know which file are you listening to. I was a music lover since I can remember and always was sensitive to audio quality and when through all the stages vinyl collection > CD collection > Computer collection. These days, my setup is not the best but an acceptable:

 

Flac -> JRiverMC -> WASAPI (event style) -> Arcam rDAC (USB) -> Marantz PM7200 -> PSB Image T6 Towers.

 

I did something similar, testing various lossless and lossy formats at different bit rate:

 

#1 FLAC-24/96

#2 FLAC-16/44.1

#3 MP3-320 kbps - 16/44.1

#4 MP3-128 kbps - 16/44.1

 

To my surprise, the difference could be heard ONLY when comparing #1 to #4. But even here the results were mixed. Sometimes I could hear the differences, sometimes not, depending on the part of the song that could put into evidence the differences.

 

However, comparing #3 to #2 and #1, no difference whatsoever. There was no way of differentiating those from one another. I didn't stope here, so I've encoded other samples, using songs that I have listened to for a very long time, way before owning their 24/96 version. Same result. Then the obvious step was to listen to those using more accurate equipment, so I headed to a hi-fi store. There, I know someone and can often stay for hour listening to different equipment. So the test was done using a Hegel H20 DAC -> NAD Master series combination (don't remember the exact models, some older silver huge bulk ones) -> PSB Synchrony speakers. After listening, I draw three conclusions from all this:

 

1) Nor I or my friend who's a consultant there were able to distinguish from #1-#2-#3. The #4 "sometimes" stood out as somewhat different.

 

2) The overall sound was unmistakably better than my current setup. The DAC, speakers and AMP are way more important than the file itself, if that is a 320 kbps MP3 or above.

 

3) The price of the equipment is not linear scalable into the increase in sound quality. Sure it sounds better, maybe twice as better...but the price is may more times higher.

 

I don't know if the equipment is not sensitive enough to put into spotlight the differences or if my ears are too old (c'mon I'm only 37) but I couldn't be convinced that there's a distinguishable difference once you go MP3 320 kbps and above. It couldn't be heard, nothing.

 

I went back to the store, bringing my Arcam rDAC there and we switched various combinations of speakers and amps (Dynaudio Confidence, Harbeth, B&W, NAD's). I've noticed that that the speakers and on the second place the amp, will have the most impact on sound quality if your digital files are decent enough. Now I realized how good my Arcam sounds. :)

 

What do you guys think? How much does the placebo effect comes into place and how much subjectivity there is going on?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

Link to comment

"How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Formats and Love the Music "

 

That reads like something out of a 12 step, self help or bible study group...

 

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see your results- or are you suggesting that they all sound the same to you?

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

That was snarky of me, I am sorry. I noticed this thread and it took me off guard.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

These are excellent posts, but one thing I am starting to buy into is the "Try for 30 days" style tests.

 

i.e. Try a brand of coffee for 30 days and switch back to your regular stuff.

 

How this relates to audio, while you may not provide a meaning full difference in the instance of the test**, the pattern of the test results over time may indicate that the true value lies in some kind of interval. After 30 days you will know the differences between the two coffee brands. You will know the difference between the file formats*.

 

 

 

See this article for more. The Problem with A-B'ing and Why Neil Young is Right about Sound Quality. | Tape Op - the Creative Music Recording Magazine

 

 

*Methodology? unreasonable, but Perhaps take 3 different songs (less than 22 minutes in total) that are all available at 24/192 an DSD, use a high quality encoder and bring them down to 16/44. The test: listen to 24/192 or DSD for every day for 30 days, and then switch to 16/44 for 30 days. OR simple listen to nothing but DSD or 24/192 for 30 days, and then go back to 16/44.

 

** I also have some thoughts about testing anxiety, where the subject whether mechanical or human can't necessarily produce expected results, because the test never truly models real world conditions. In other words the model or the measurement is always a lie.

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That was snarky of me, I am sorry. I noticed this thread and it took me off guard.

 

Don't worry, be happy. The best is yet to come: The PF (Placebo Format)...!

 

Roch

 

PS/ I wonder if some "high frequency noise" come from the recording itself, or from some DACs filters (or no filters at all)...?

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... *Methodology? unreasonable, but Perhaps take 3 different songs (less than 22 minutes in total) that are all available at 24/192 an DSD, use a high quality encoder and bring them down to 16/44. The test: listen to 24/192 or DSD for every day for 30 days, and then switch to 16/44 for 30 days. OR simple listen to nothing but DSD or 24/192 for 30 days, and then go back to 16/44. ...

 

You missed a step. You aren't allowed to know which version you're listening to for each 30 day period.

"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

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Hi guys,

 

I've found another interesting article on Tom's Hardware "What Does It Take To Turn The PC Into A Hi-Fi Audio Platform?" shorten (Audiophile PC Sound - The Real Cost of Hi-Fi - Tom)

Bare in mind this is not the most perfect test either but they say they'll have a second one coming up.

 

I don't understand this test. I swapped out an AudioEngine D1 DAC for a Cambridge Soundworks DAC for my 83 year-old Dad who wears two hearing aids and he said, "Why does this sound better?"

 

He didn't know I'd made the swap.

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  • 1 month later...

No testing... I'm surprised. Well actually, I'm not. This is kind of what I expected but wasn't sure. My takeaway is that ABX is just used as a theoretical pseudo science wildcard ("The ABX Bomb") but that in actuality no one really cares enough to roll up their sleeves and do any legitimate testing with their own gear and ears to generate stastical data. It's just an anecdotal echo chamber with a lot of mindless parroting going on.

 

Well I have my Geek 1000 now. Time to get to work... I'll starting going through these files to see what differences I can hear... :) Does the emperor have any clothes?

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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  • 2 weeks later...

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