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Sonicularity

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  1. Technically, unbalanced is superior to balanced with shorter connections where noise is not audible.
  2. I've been using balanced interconnects between my DAC and amp whenever possible, and placing an Intona USB isolator device between my source and DAC so that I could basically use most laptops as a source without having to worry about interference from electrical signals. It was simply a matter of practicality. My DAC and amp could last decades, but I swap computers quite frequently, and I can't trust the build quality, so I only look at specifications with regards to performance versus cost. I most likely would never have gone the USB route if more inexpensive options were available with laptops and similar sources.
  3. Yet nobody provides any definitive proof that silences the naysayers.
  4. That is a very logical assumption I would agree with in the context as stated. Though, audible differences between lossless and a lossy format converted with care from a good source are not particularly obvious, regardless of the generation doing the listening. The problem is that well-encoded, higher bit rate lossy formats are often conflated with poorly converted lossy versions when discussions arise about differences among them. One of the issues I've personally noticed with higher bit rate lossy formats from popular streaming options is occasional clipping from inter-sample peaks. I can take the same lossless version of that song and create my own lossy conversion, ensuring that the clipping is not present, and the differences vanish when performing my own ABX testing. Apple's 256 kbps AAC is really good for the file size. Generally speaking, there isn't a lot of music out there where anyone can consistently identify differences using their ears between that format and a lossless version at any bit rate.
  5. Yes, they don't know the cause for any difference, yet if a listener trains for "something" that apparently is related to this unknown cause, the stats indicate there is a small improvement in detection. This was brought up in the comments section on AES and Dr. Reiss spun it up at great length to explain this in more detail. It seems like a jump to a conclusion, but I'll admit there probably is a difference, just not convinced any difference is a clear improvement on any system.
  6. In one of the tests used in that same meta-analysis there was also a small but statistically significant ability of test subjects to prefer mp3. Taking a bunch of unrelated tests, assigning an arbitrary weight for each of them, excluding other tests outright that would mar the intent of the paper, and we have a somewhat confusing and still contested result that does little to provide any solid evidence for high resolution being audibly different or preferred by any rational margin.
  7. Does Tidal have Hi-Res? Would MQA qualify for a Hi-Res Audio sticker? I only see lossy MQA and 16/44 on Tidal.
  8. It would be interesting to try and technically resolve whatever differences, if any , that Marv is able to identify. On the surface, the claims being made are quite ludicrous, and certainly require more investigation.
  9. Every version I have been able to play sounds the same today. It seemed different to me when I was hearing it the other day, and it still seems different to me. What is odd is that it is one of the 60 or so songs that I had given a thumbs up rating in my Google Play Music library, but it was missing when I checked. The song came up while shuffling my albums in Roon that is connected to both Qobuz Studio Premier and Tidal HiFi. It seemed off from the beginning, and especially in the part of the song around 1:07-1:19 where the lyrics go "He was gone in the early morning" into the next verse that has an unusual pause before it begins "And he said, he wouldn't be long." I was immediately struck by the idea that this was not the same version I had heard many times before. All of my searches in Roon using Tidal and Qobuz resulted in the same odd results. What is strange is that this album has been in my library since 2012, and this particular song was a rare title I considered to be a favorite of mine. With Google, I can sort every song in my library by number of plays, and this song and the artist where missing completely, which is crazy. They are one of my top 20 artists. This means that whatever I was listening to before, has been removed. Maybe what I was listening to before was the unicorn? I have to admit that the current version is most likely superior in quality with regards to the overall mix and mastering, but I am still extremely curious to know if there actually was a difference or whether my mind is just being fooled and I am mistaken about there ever being any difference. I know there are 2 version of the anthology album, one is US and the other is Japan, but Discogs claims that these titles are taken from the same album, and they would essentially be identical. It just seems too weird that every instance now sounds the same and it was just Google Music that was using this one different version that I was hearing over 40 times according to my Last.FM scrobbles. Especially since Google owns YouTube. I got one of the CD versions being delivered in the next few weeks. If this sounds the same, I will track down the other version and have that delivered as well. In the end, if I can't find this "other" version of the song, I will concede that my memory and hearing perception were tricked, which is VERY common. I will say that I got it wrong. You can't trust your ears if you have not made an attempt to isolate them in any sound evaluation. In fact, you are not trusting your ears if you don't try to remove bias, as there are so many other factors that can sway your opinion.
  10. It is going to be interesting to see how things go with the various streaming services. Who will be next to provide lossless, is there enough space in this market for all of the available choices, will there be some intriguing mergers? Will Apple or Google care enough to change?
  11. Yes, sorry, Feb 2019. I changed my subscription to the new Studio Premier and opted to pay now with my credit card on record for the annual plan. It automatically discounted the amount I had remaining on my $249.99 Studio annual plan that was already paid in full.
  12. Love it! I now pay $149.99/yr for Qobuz Studio Premier, $11.99/mo with military discount for Tidal HiFi, $7.99/mo for Google Play Music at a grandfathered discount rate for joining early, and I get Apple Music as part of my Verizon Beyond Unlimited plan. In my past is Rhapsody, MOG, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, and a few others I can't recall that I free-trialed or joined for a month or two. I'm a streaming music fool. Or just a fool.
  13. In February 2018 I paid $249.99 for Qobuz Studio. I changed my subscription to this new Studio Premier, which from all references appears to be identical to what I already was using but $100 cheaper. I opted for the annual pay at $149.99, but I was pro-rated the difference in the remainder of my previous annual payment, making it $85 for another 12 months of service. I hope this is right and I didn't downgrade. Currently streaming a Qobuz track at 24/196, "Don't Keep Me Wondering" by The Allman Brothers Band with Roon. So far so good.
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