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Can you hear the smartphone recording?


esldude
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Which file is the smart phone recording?  

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Here is a simpler poll. Will take very little time. Once downloaded you could literally do this in 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Download this zip file. It will unzip into a folder with three 30 second snippets of a Fiona Apple song. Two of these are the original digital file. One is a recording from the headphone jack of a Nexus 6P phone.

 

Here is the complete song on youtube.

 

So vote in the poll above and pick which one is the odd man out.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xoxkr92n0505xd4/Fiona%20Apple.zip?dl=0

 

Alternatively you can download this file which is set up the same way. Two original digital files and one smartphone recording.

 

This is a Hyperion Knight piano solo recorded by Wilson audio using all Spectral electronics. Playing a bit of Mussorgsky.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8f4yki1huft7hns/Hyperion%20Knight.zip?dl=0

 

You can purchase the Wilson recording in hirez here:

Pictures at an Exhibition available here:

http://www.prostudiomasters.com/album/page/4691

 

Hoping for more participation as this is simple, and quick.

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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If you downloaded the files before now, I had a mistake in them. Please download them again for the corrected version.

 

I should have done this another day with all the mistakes made.

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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Okay, no poll, no listening, just questions to elicit opinions.

 

There have been hundreds read these posts. Will a few of you give a short reason you wouldn't bother to do this little listening exercise? I would think it might be a little bit interesting.

 

In this particular case I intended for it to be a little bit of a challenge as in "come on show me you can pick the smartphone from the three choices". It was all in good fun however.

 

First, I expect doing this might be more difficult than most of you are thinking it would be. That was part of why I put this up.

 

However, it also is possible to audibly discern these unsighted. Or at least it is for me. I don't have SOTA gear or SOTA hearing so I think most of you could manage it. The short cuts of music were chosen with care so that some aspect of it allows discerning the smartphone from the original files. And if you're who someone couldn't hear a difference, nothing wrong with simply saying that.

 

So I am curious as to why the near total lack of response from hundreds that read the OP.

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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Okay, you have managed to fill most of the top slots in the forum here with polls, which I suspect a minority, at best, care about. Please give it a break.

 

JC

 

Oh you haven't see the worst of it. esldude and his polls are welcome any day.

 

The "DSD is better", "PCM sucks" and "I hate Schiit" polls I'd rather never see again.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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The depressing part of doing these tests is the realization that there might only be the tiniest of improvements between a $500 piece of equipment and a $10,000 piece of equipment. When we listen to those two pieces of equipment side by side our brains do a lot to convince us that the more expensive equipment is really much, much better (even when the real difference is minute but there). When I listen to your test and ask myself "would you spend $5,000 more to get this level of improvement" the answer is likely to be "no way!"

 

But, the difference between the smartphone version and the original might not be any less than the difference between a poor and a great USB cable, or putting a Regen into your system, or the difference between HQPlayer and other software players. I'd much rather just keep adding all of those tiny improvements and convince myself that the end result is stunningly better than where I started, than to think about the fact that each of those purchases made as much of a difference as exists between your recordings.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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The depressing part of doing these tests is the realization that there might only be the tiniest of improvements between a $500 piece of equipment and a $10,000 piece of equipment. When we listen to those two pieces of equipment side by side our brains do a lot to convince us that the more expensive equipment is really much, much better (even when the real difference is minute but there). When I listen to your test and ask myself "would you spend $5,000 more to get this level of improvement" the answer is likely to be "no way!"

 

But, the difference between the smartphone version and the original might not be any less than the difference between a poor and a great USB cable, or putting a Regen into your system, or the difference between HQPlayer and other software players. I'd much rather just keep adding all of those tiny improvements and convince myself that the end result is stunningly better than where I started, than to think about the fact that each of those purchases made as much of a difference as exists between your recordings.

 

I'll go to the extreme of what you are suggesting. Considering the large measurable differences between the smartphone and the original yet the audible difference is not clear cut or certain. How likely is it to be even audible with one of my better really good measuring DACs (that cost about $400)? So perhaps one of the $400 jobs vs one at any price even $100k is audibly zero difference. That is the thought many don't wish to even consider.

 

How big a difference when you see the gear sitting in your equipment stand and know the price of each?

 

I'll go ahead and risking alienating some other people with a hypothesis I have. It is only a rough hypothesis and not one I would be overly vigorous in defending. However just for your consideration.

 

Common the few times I have done things like this, record something or alter it and post for download I get the response, "well your file(or your gear) is at best mediocre. If this is what you are listening to you need to upgrade to something good". Yet in these recent polls and the associated files, I included some version of the original file. My equipment didn't enter into it. If the gear is so mediocre the difference vs the original file should be glaring. Yet it appears not to be by the response received at this point. How can that be?

 

When you put together your system, you compare side by side, you listen, you make choices, you reinforce some of those choices as good etc. etc. You have built up psychological capital of the quality in your mind beyond just what the gear and the sound are. I do it too. It seems unavoidable. So then I come a long and send you a file with no attachment to anything physical, no experience with it vs gear in your mind, it is without anchor without support to have a place of high quality in your mind. You listen to my recorded files and think, "hmmm, that isn't particularly good", because you have no investment in the quality it represents.

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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Although I agree with your overall position; let me pose this conundrum: Over the past three years I have been actively making a series of small tweaks in a) my listening room, b) my playback software, c) my hardware equipment, d) vibration isolation and e) my associated computing equipment, network, NAS and power supplies. With each change I tried to figure out whether I could actually hear any kind of meaningful improvement. On some days I could convince myself a change made a really noticeable difference; on other days, not so much...

 

The changes that felt like they continued to be noticeable a week or two later stayed in the system, others got put back on the potential upgrade list. At this point it is impossible to run an A/B test with and without all the aggregate changes -- so I don't really know that their sum total is beneficial.

 

I certainly believe the overall system sounds much much better than it did, but that's also what I'd like to believe. I can say that people who listened to my system a couple of years ago and said "sounds really nice" today listen to it and say "wow, how did you get this system to sound this real?" As a result I'm inclined to believe that all those little changes do somehow add up to something that is immediately noticeable, but it's virtually impossible to prove empirically.

 

My guess is that the combination of the uncertainty and the constant ability to believe there is room for improvement is what makes the audiophile hobby both so frustrating and so profitable for those seeking to sell us that next upgrade...

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Bump poll to get a few more poll takers.

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 will just speak my mind here. I believe lots of you "audiophiles" were afraid to risk choosing the smartphone. This lead to only two votes in the poll. I am sure many will now claim the smartphone was so obvious there was no point. I believe the reverse, when the smartphone wasn't obvious some folks didn't want to risk picking incorrectly.

 

To our two brave voters, thank you for doing this, your picks are respected and admired.

 

As the poll is over I will reveal that file B was the smartphone.

 

The phone has an SNR of about 75 db. A tiny response droop at the low end (which probably isn't meaningful with 99% of music). It has distortion around -90 db which is inaudible. It has an interesting frequency response. It is almost fully flat until right about 15 khz. It then rolls off to -10 db by 20 khz. Likely uses one of those half band reconstruction filters. This also is likely inaudible to the mostly middle-age clientele of CA.

 

I believe had I posted just the spec's and asked if this would be an audibly undetectable device the group verdict would have been it was of too low a quality not to be heard. The low response to the poll isn't sufficient to contradict that verdict. But I find the low response suspicious in what it might mean.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a bump so this is visible with the other polls I recently had end.

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 missed this poll but would like to add to the missing frequency above 15khz.

 

I have also posted in another thread comparing the original recording and one recorded off my Sound Lab speakers. Clearly, frequency above 16khz dropped drastically. Wonder, what good the HiRez would do?

 

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I missed this poll but would like to add to the missing frequency above 15khz.

 

I have also posted in another thread comparing the original recording and one recorded off my Sound Lab speakers. Clearly, frequency above 16khz dropped drastically. Wonder, what good the HiRez would do?

 

 

I commented on your other thread. The smartphone was flat to 15 khz and down -10 db at 20 khz. It wasn't obvious. I think three things account for that. First many of us on CA are middle aged and 15 khz is about as high as we hear. Recordings in general don't have lots of high frequencies at high levels. And even those who hear to 20 khz have very high thresholds at the upper frequencies. So those upper frequencies don't often make much difference to us listening to music.

 

What good from HiRez? In my opinion, other than the chance for superior mastering, it doesn't do any good.

 

About your video, so was that made using microphones on the Zoom recorder or others?

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 commented on your other thread. The smartphone was flat to 15 khz and down -10 db at 20 khz. It wasn't obvious. I think three things account for that. First many of us on CA are middle aged and 15 khz is about as high as we hear. Recordings in general don't have lots of high frequencies at high levels. And even those who hear to 20 khz have very high thresholds at the upper frequencies. So those upper frequencies don't often make much difference to us listening to music.

 

What good from HiRez? In my opinion, other than the chance for superior mastering, it doesn't do any good.

 

About your video, so was that made using microphones on the Zoom recorder or others?

 

 

+1. I couldn't agree more.

 

p.s. Mostly, ZoomH1 with Roland CS-10EM.

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I will just speak my mind here. I believe lots of you "audiophiles" were afraid to risk choosing the smartphone. This lead to only two votes in the poll. I am sure many will now claim the smartphone was so obvious there was no point. I believe the reverse, when the smartphone wasn't obvious some folks didn't want to risk picking incorrectly.

 

To our two brave voters, thank you for doing this, your picks are respected and admired.

 

As the poll is over I will reveal that file B was the smartphone.

 

The phone has an SNR of about 75 db. A tiny response droop at the low end (which probably isn't meaningful with 99% of music). It has distortion around -90 db which is inaudible. It has an interesting frequency response. It is almost fully flat until right about 15 khz. It then rolls off to -10 db by 20 khz. Likely uses one of those half band reconstruction filters. This also is likely inaudible to the mostly middle-age clientele of CA.

 

I believe had I posted just the spec's and asked if this would be an audibly undetectable device the group verdict would have been it was of too low a quality not to be heard. The low response to the poll isn't sufficient to contradict that verdict. But I find the low response suspicious in what it might mean.

 

 

Despite knowing the answer, I still think C sounded less bright than the rest. I would have picked C. Anyway, I used Sennheiser MX400 with the HP PC. Not sure how much the FR of the earphone influenced my choice.

 

74afeab5652dd8044ec2e7536c2994b5.png

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