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LAwLz

AAC vs Vorbis vs FLAC blind test (can you hear the difference)

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The main problem with CDs is that they have been the same since launch and even the improvements only help the consistency of the disc not the actually audio quality on them. There are DVD and BD audio disc's but their not very common but do sound amazing an some even have surround. Man i wonder who has a proper surround audiophile setup, I can only imagine how expensive it must be.

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A lot of people still use that, sadly. The Scene quite recently changed to H.264. They are like 5 years behind technology wise.

 

 

Well some people like vinyl. It's inferior to CD but some people like the preparation it takes to listen to it, makes it more of an event. Vinyl sometimes have a different master compared to the CD as well, since the master used for the CD version were much louder and thus had less dynamic range (and sometimes even had clipping).

 

How is vinyl inferior to cd? Clarity might not be as high with vinyl but there is no analogue to digital conversion so you are getting 100% of the signal as opposed to a digital sample (well this was true when all the equipment used to record was analogue also). I think that is the reason some people prefer vinyl. And clarity isn't everything. It can give music a clinical feel while vinyl just has something special about it. 


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I downloaded Africa and I couldn't tell the difference, not even going to guess.

 

Thats the one I did listen to the high end. Start about 2/3 of the way though.

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Most of my music are MP3s with bitrates from 128kbps to 320kbps. However, if I come across the CD in my house or for cheap I grab it and RIP it as FLAC.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

How is vinyl inferior to cd? Clarity might not be as high with vinyl but there is no analogue to digital conversion so you are getting 100% of the signal as opposed to a digital sample (well this was true when all the equipment used to record was analogue also). I think that is the reason some people prefer vinyl. And clarity isn't everything. It can give music a clinical feel while vinyl just has something special about it. 

Hydrogenaudio.org has a good article on this so I'll just copy/paste what they have to say.

 

The Nyquist-Shannon sampling theory states that continuous-time (analog) signals and their corresponding discrete-time (digital) signals are mathematically equivalent representations of any bandwidth-limited signal, provided the sample rate is higher than 2X the bandwidth. All relevant advantages and disadvantages result from implementation details rather than analog versus digital signal representation method per se.

PCM encoding (used on CDs and DVD-A) records audio data in a quantized format. Analog formats do not have a measurable time or signal resolution.

PCM is sometimes characterized as producing a jagged, "stair-step" waveform. This is only partially correct; analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) does indeed use a sample-and-hold circuit to measure an approximate, average amplitude across the duration of the sample, and digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) does the same kind of thing, generating a rectangular-ish waveform, but this output is always then subjected to additional filtering to smooth it out. Effectively, the ADC output sample values are interpreted as a series of points intersected by the waveform; the DAC output is a smooth curve, not a stair-step at all. Additionally, modern ADC and DAC chips are engineered to reduce below the threshold of audibility, if not completely eliminate, any other sources of noise in this conversion process, resulting in an extremely high correlation between the input and output signals. (Perhaps a better explanation: xiph.org's "Digital Show & Tell" video)

The most significant impact of finite sample rate is finite bandwidth. The only analog signal that can exist 'between the samples' of a CD is rare supersonic signal components and random noise. Both are deliberately filtered out in vinyl and CD recordings. Another impact of finite sample rate is the possibility of jitter in the sample clock. If the clock is not exactly on time, the jitter causes distortion. Jitter error is unique to digital, and vanishingly miniscule.

PCM can encode time delays to any arbitrarily small length. Time delays of 1us or less - a tiny fraction of the sample rate - are easily achievable. The theoretical minimum delay is 1ns or less. (Proof here.)

The most significant impact of finite quantizing resolution is finite dynamic range. As implemented, CD and DVD digital audio formats have higher dynamic range than vinyl. The only signal that can exist 'between the bits' of a CD is drowned out by random noise from the vinyl surface grain. Another impact of finite quantizing resolution is systematic rounding and truncation error. The process of ignoring anything too small to be measured can lead to distortion of small signal levels if not splitting the difference exactly between quanta. This is the 'quantization distortion' most often referred to. It is another source of error that is unique to digital.

With a correct implementation using dither, signal quantization (ie 16-bit or 24-bit) only adds wideband noise to the signal, not quantization distortion. If this dither noise is well below the already-present noise floor, it is inaudible.

In inexpensive 1-bit converters, quantization can also cause spurious low-magnitude tones. This is yet another error unique to digital. Understanding of spurious tones is limited, but fortunately some techniques of reducing them have been developed, and 1-bit converters are now in widespread use.

Analog encoding has many measurable and audible faults, potentially including harmonic distortion, noise and intermodulation distortion. These distortions have invariably measured higher than for digital formats, including CD.

Tracking error is due to the use of analog encoding with a stylus that contacts the medium, manifesting as distortion and possibly also cyclic wow with subsonic noise if the pressing is off center from the spindle hole. Wow, flutter, footsteps and feedback are other errors due to the transport mechanism and transducers used with vinyl. Digital storage has none of these errors.

In addition to its advantages for audio storage, digital also has advantages for audio production. When a large number of individual audio sources are sampled from source into 24 bits at high sample rate, then digitally processed with effects and mixed into a standard multichannel format, the resulting mix is superior in dynamic range and harmonic distortion to what could be achieved with legacy analog processing and mixing, due to the elimination of thousands of noise-producing and distortion-producing analog components such as potentiometers, resistors, and transistors. Some digital effects such as lossy codec compression to reduce overall bandwidth (thus reducing storage space) without sacrificing psycho-acoustic realism are impossible to implement in analog, and require a digital format anyway.

Audio DVD or A/V Blu-ray medium is used in order to preserve the fidelity and channel grouping of modern multichannel recordings. Audio CD can also be used for such digital mixes, but at lower dynamic range and sample rate, and with only two discrete channels, with no lossy compression to reduce storage space. A third alternative is to rip to data disc and play back on computer via digital bus to a multichannel home theater receiver or equivalent.

In any of these preceeding three use cases, digital is superior to analog at both mastering and end-user stages, and represents an advance in the total sound production signal path rather than simply storage improvement.

 

That does not even mention that while a CD will either play flawlessly, or not at all, a vinyl disc will be worn out over time and thus degrading the audio quality. The reason why some prefer vinyl is one of these:

1) Listening to a vinyl feels more satisfying. You have to basically do a little ritual before you can hear the sound. It adds to the experience.

2) The vinyl version sometimes has a different mastering, and some people prefer that. The reason why they have different mastering is because vinyl is incapable of the high audio levels as CDs are (Google "loudness war" if you want to know more about that whole thing).

3) They like the big vinyl covers.

4) They are hipsters and think it's cool.

 

Can't really think of any other reason than those 4.

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The main problem with CDs is that they have been the same since launch and even the improvements only help the consistency of the disc not the actually audio quality on them. There are DVD and BD audio disc's but their not very common but do sound amazing an some even have surround. Man i wonder who has a proper surround audiophile setup, I can only imagine how expensive it must be.

 

Sound reproduction is about getting it to reproduce as close to the original as possible, hence the term high fidelity. With a cd the resolution of the information is so high it is difficult to create new medium that provides a higher resolution that is noticeable to the human ear.

 

With regard to who has a proper audiophile setup, well I hate shit sound, so I have a custom built listening room and theatre. My missus has pig shit ears, she can barely tell the difference between laptop speakers and a tuned listening room.  My take from this is that sound quality is objective and thus why there are as many different opinions on good headphones or speakers etc as there are listeners. This is also why we are subject to BS terms like "soundstage" and "transparency".


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Hydrogenaudio.org has a good article on this so I'll just copy/paste what they have to say.

 

The Nyquist-Shannon sampling theory states that continuous-time (analog) signals and their corresponding discrete-time (digital) signals are mathematically equivalent representations of any bandwidth-limited signal, provided the sample rate is higher than 2X the bandwidth. All relevant advantages and disadvantages result from implementation details rather than analog versus digital signal representation method per se.

PCM encoding (used on CDs and DVD-A) records audio data in a quantized format. Analog formats do not have a measurable time or signal resolution.

PCM is sometimes characterized as producing a jagged, "stair-step" waveform. This is only partially correct; analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) does indeed use a sample-and-hold circuit to measure an approximate, average amplitude across the duration of the sample, and digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) does the same kind of thing, generating a rectangular-ish waveform, but this output is always then subjected to additional filtering to smooth it out. Effectively, the ADC output sample values are interpreted as a series of points intersected by the waveform; the DAC output is a smooth curve, not a stair-step at all. Additionally, modern ADC and DAC chips are engineered to reduce below the threshold of audibility, if not completely eliminate, any other sources of noise in this conversion process, resulting in an extremely high correlation between the input and output signals. (Perhaps a better explanation: xiph.org's "Digital Show & Tell" video)

The most significant impact of finite sample rate is finite bandwidth. The only analog signal that can exist 'between the samples' of a CD is rare supersonic signal components and random noise. Both are deliberately filtered out in vinyl and CD recordings. Another impact of finite sample rate is the possibility of jitter in the sample clock. If the clock is not exactly on time, the jitter causes distortion. Jitter error is unique to digital, and vanishingly miniscule.

PCM can encode time delays to any arbitrarily small length. Time delays of 1us or less - a tiny fraction of the sample rate - are easily achievable. The theoretical minimum delay is 1ns or less. (Proof here.)

The most significant impact of finite quantizing resolution is finite dynamic range. As implemented, CD and DVD digital audio formats have higher dynamic range than vinyl. The only signal that can exist 'between the bits' of a CD is drowned out by random noise from the vinyl surface grain. Another impact of finite quantizing resolution is systematic rounding and truncation error. The process of ignoring anything too small to be measured can lead to distortion of small signal levels if not splitting the difference exactly between quanta. This is the 'quantization distortion' most often referred to. It is another source of error that is unique to digital.

With a correct implementation using dither, signal quantization (ie 16-bit or 24-bit) only adds wideband noise to the signal, not quantization distortion. If this dither noise is well below the already-present noise floor, it is inaudible.

In inexpensive 1-bit converters, quantization can also cause spurious low-magnitude tones. This is yet another error unique to digital. Understanding of spurious tones is limited, but fortunately some techniques of reducing them have been developed, and 1-bit converters are now in widespread use.

Analog encoding has many measurable and audible faults, potentially including harmonic distortion, noise and intermodulation distortion. These distortions have invariably measured higher than for digital formats, including CD.

Tracking error is due to the use of analog encoding with a stylus that contacts the medium, manifesting as distortion and possibly also cyclic wow with subsonic noise if the pressing is off center from the spindle hole. Wow, flutter, footsteps and feedback are other errors due to the transport mechanism and transducers used with vinyl. Digital storage has none of these errors.

In addition to its advantages for audio storage, digital also has advantages for audio production. When a large number of individual audio sources are sampled from source into 24 bits at high sample rate, then digitally processed with effects and mixed into a standard multichannel format, the resulting mix is superior in dynamic range and harmonic distortion to what could be achieved with legacy analog processing and mixing, due to the elimination of thousands of noise-producing and distortion-producing analog components such as potentiometers, resistors, and transistors. Some digital effects such as lossy codec compression to reduce overall bandwidth (thus reducing storage space) without sacrificing psycho-acoustic realism are impossible to implement in analog, and require a digital format anyway.

Audio DVD or A/V Blu-ray medium is used in order to preserve the fidelity and channel grouping of modern multichannel recordings. Audio CD can also be used for such digital mixes, but at lower dynamic range and sample rate, and with only two discrete channels, with no lossy compression to reduce storage space. A third alternative is to rip to data disc and play back on computer via digital bus to a multichannel home theater receiver or equivalent.

In any of these preceeding three use cases, digital is superior to analog at both mastering and end-user stages, and represents an advance in the total sound production signal path rather than simply storage improvement.

 

That does not even mention that while a CD will either play flawlessly, or not at all, a vinyl disc will be worn out over time and thus degrading the audio quality. The reason why some prefer vinyl is one of these:

1) Listening to a vinyl feels more satisfying. You have to basically do a little ritual before you can hear the sound. It adds to the experience.

2) The vinyl version sometimes has a different mastering, and some people prefer that. The reason why they have different mastering is because vinyl is incapable of the high audio levels as CDs are (Google "loudness war" if you want to know more about that whole thing).

3) They like the big vinyl covers.

4) They are hipsters and think it's cool.

 

Can't really think of any other reason than those 4.

 

No. 2 is the only reason for me, But vinyl is capable of higher audio levels, it just comes at the expense of dynamic range or total run time. Plus it wears a lot quicker and will sound like shit in half the time.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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playing vinyls played in reverse can call spirits... not with CD's. 

 

Dam I hate when that happens..


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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playing vinyls played in reverse can call spirits... not with CD's. 

 

silly stairway to heaven


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Dam I hate when that happens..

 

what's why one needs to go back and forth... then... bingo.. this was discovered

 


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Sounds like I need to get into vinyl...

you do.

 

I will say quality is hit or miss.

I bought 2 brand new albums fairly recently.

 

first one, terrible on CD, terrible on vinyl,

another album, terrible on CD, great on vinyl

 

it really depends on who's pressing it.


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3) They like the big vinyl covers.

4) They are hipsters and think it's cool.

 

Can't really think of any other reason than those 4.

 

Cool disc colors...

 

I used to have the Prince purple rain single and it was purple   :ph34r:

 

Starting to regret throwing all them away...


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That's not a big enough test to prove without a doubt you can hear the difference

My test is attatched.

 

7/10.

abx.txt


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Sound reproduction is about getting it to reproduce as close to the original as possible, hence the term high fidelity. With a cd the resolution of the information is so high it is difficult to create new medium that provides a higher resolution that is noticeable to the human ear.

 

With regard to who has a proper audiophile setup, well I hate shit sound, so I have a custom built listening room and theatre. My missus has pig shit ears, she can barely tell the difference between laptop speakers and a tuned listening room.  My take from this is that sound quality is objective and thus why there are as many different opinions on good headphones or speakers etc as there are listeners. This is also why we are subject to BS terms like "soundstage" and "transparency".

 

They have been using higher that cd quality audio on DVDs and BDs since they existed. Saying CDs are enough is BS we were capable of better quality ages ago the main reason CDs are what they are is storage at the time they were created. The main issue now is getting something better than CD into the market which probably wont happen since no one buys them basically in the US also the fact that BD essentially tanked.

 

I meant proper surround audiophile setup. The DAC that can do it would be the most expensive part I would imagine, you may even need special software. I used ASIO and the 4 trs outputs on my older dac once to setup quadrophonic surround but that only worked with ASIO aware stuff and it sounded like shit because of the different speakers on being much better than the other. Man its great that youve got a listening room though I just wanted to put up acoustic foam on my walls and I got a big NO!

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you do.

 

I will say quality is hit or miss.

I bought 2 brand new albums fairly recently.

 

first one, terrible on CD, terrible on vinyl,

another album, terrible on CD, great on vinyl

 

it really depends on who's pressing it.

 

That's part of the reason I don't want to get into it. If they started mastering CDs with half the effort that went into a good vinyl.....

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Lel

o.o ?


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o.o ?

 

That's not a Statistical "C-", it's an "F".  You were guessing.

 

7/10 correct answers in an ABX test is equivalent to someone guessing and receiving an average of 5/10 and another 2 right by shear(Me) luck.  In order for the hypothesis that you can tell them apart to be proven would require that on any given step, within 10%, you can select the correct track each time, resulting in a "confidence interval" or a statistical level of certainty, of at LEAST 90%.  Thus, you need 9/10 or 10/10 to really prove it.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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That's not a Statistical "C-", it's an "F".  You were guessing.

 

7/10 correct answers in an ABX test is equivalent to someone guessing and receiving an average of 5/10 and another 2 right by shear(Me) luck.  In order for the hypothesis that you can tell them apart to be proven would require that on any given step, within 10%, you can select the correct track each time, resulting in a "confidence interval" or a statistical level of certainty, of at LEAST 90%.  Thus, you need 9/10 or 10/10 to really prove it.

... okay...


Console optimisations and how they will effect you | The difference between AMD cores and Intel cores | Memory Bus size and how it effects your VRAM usage |
How much vram do you actually need? | APUs and the future of processing | Projects: SO - here

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... okay...

 

I'm not saying that your ears suck or you failed, mind you.  There are some things mp3 compresses VERY well, and some things it's failed at terribly (although some of those are improving in the LAME encoder, recently).  Some of us know what to listen for, but those things have to be present in a song for us to even have a shot.

 

http://arstechnica.com/features/2007/10/the-audiofile-understanding-mp3-compression/

 

this is awfully in depth, but the jist is for each calculation it can compress frequencies and amplify others in each "granule", and totally smooth out sections with no tone change.  Thus, you'll want to listen for very quick frequency changes and hear if the notes are changing very "smoothly" or very "harshly".  For instance, a set of notes on a piano played quickly might run together a bit on an mp3, which is usually something the mind corrects for but if you listen closely, you can notice it.  Maybe.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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I'm not saying that your ears suck or you failed, mind you.  There are some things mp3 compresses VERY well, and some things it's failed at terribly (although some of those are improving in the LAME encoder, recently).  Some of us know what to listen for, but those things have to be present in a song for us to even have a shot.

 

http://arstechnica.com/features/2007/10/the-audiofile-understanding-mp3-compression/

 

this is awfully in depth, but the jist is for each calculation it can compress frequencies and amplify others in each "granule", and totally smooth out sections with no tone change.  Thus, you'll want to listen for very quick frequency changes and hear if the notes are changing very "smoothly" or very "harshly".  For instance, a set of notes on a piano played quickly might run together a bit on an mp3, which is usually something the mind corrects for but if you listen closely, you can notice it.  Maybe.

Hmmm... I am using LAME (a very recent version) and to be honest xD my audio setup could be better, much much much much better.


Console optimisations and how they will effect you | The difference between AMD cores and Intel cores | Memory Bus size and how it effects your VRAM usage |
How much vram do you actually need? | APUs and the future of processing | Projects: SO - here

Intel i7 5820l @ with Corsair H110 | 32GB DDR4 RAM @ 1600Mhz | XFX Radeon R9 290 @ 1.2Ghz | Corsair 600Q | Corsair TX650 | Probably too much corsair but meh should have had a Corsair SSD and RAM | 1.3TB HDD Space | Sennheiser HD598 | Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro | Blue Snowball

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They have been using higher that cd quality audio on DVDs and BDs since they existed. Saying CDs are enough is BS we were capable of better quality ages ago the main reason CDs are what they are is storage at the time they were created. The main issue now is getting something better than CD into the market which probably wont happen since no one buys them basically in the US also the fact that BD essentially tanked.

 

I meant proper surround audiophile setup. The DAC that can do it would be the most expensive part I would imagine, you may even need special software. I used ASIO and the 4 trs outputs on my older dac once to setup quadrophonic surround but that only worked with ASIO aware stuff and it sounded like shit because of the different speakers on being much better than the other. Man its great that youve got a listening room though I just wanted to put up acoustic foam on my walls and I got a big NO!

 

I think Cd's are enough because most consumers would not be able to tell the difference even if they had access to gear good enough to reveal it, let alone pay a premium  for it.

 

I don't know anyone with a setup good enough to be able to pick which source is a cd and which is from something with a higher bitrate. Mine certainly isn't.

 

EDIT: My listening room is mine, and I guard it with a big knife, the trade of is that the rest of the house is hers for however she wants it.

 

I have bass traps, absorption panels and curtains on 3 walls. :D


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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