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Better mastered music could be on the way!

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SteveR750's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:

If they really do sound different there must be some other reason. They wouldn't sound different due to the compression used at those high bit rates.

How very final - being so sure, must be very comforting!  Wink

Yes it is comforting not worrying about something that doesn't make any audiable difference to the sound. Smile

I've converted high rez 16 and 24 bit audio files to 320kbps MP3 several times and I've never heard any difference. Sony and Apple have also done comprehensive reasearch into music compression and found that nobody can hear the difference between a lossless file and a properly encoded 256kbps MP3 or AAC file.

Are you willing to try converting the 24 bit track into a 320kbps MP3 yourself to see if you can hear any difference? If you do I bet you couldn't pass a blind ABX test 10 times in a row.

Go on Cno. I challenge you (or anybody else) to try it.

 

The you are coloquially speaking simply deaf, or just blessed with "lead" ears?

I'm with CNo here, the difference between 16/44 and 24/48 is easily detectable on my system in my lounge. Cables, nope; but source files yep. When I do the comparison it's absolutely obvious blinfolded, sober, very unsober etc etc.

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chebby's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Mirren Boy wrote:
chebby wrote:
Lets hope that you are doing regular backups to an external drive (or two) now you have no CDs to rip again if your NAS goes kaput.

Sometimes hifi forums are highly amusing in the fact everyone think they are an expert in the field.

No, but i've become 'expert' in reading posts from people who have lost their music collections...

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/computer-based-media/ripping-from-scratch-help

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/mp3-mp4/iphone-music-problem

(Just two examples out of many here over the years.)

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:

Go on Cno. I challenge you (or anybody else) to try it.

Talking of challanges.....try mine. Download that track as described and see for yourself.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Electro wrote:

Mirren Boy wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

Mirren Boy wrote:
Many experts in the field will tell you playing a CD then switching over to the equivalent SACD stereo track sounds better on SACD 24bit.

SACD isn't 24bit.

Why do I keep coming back to this thread. Yes you get 24bit recordings on SACD please go do your home work.

I always thought SACD was 1 bit Smile

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug04/articles/qa0804-4.htm

So 24 bit recordings would have to be converted to I bit DSD to be put on to a SACD disc .

Correct, in terms of bitrate it's roughly equivalent to 20-bit 88kHz recordings.

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Electro wrote:

I always thought SACD was 1 bit Smile

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug04/articles/qa0804-4.htm

So 24 bit recordings would have to be converted to I bit DSD to be put on to a SACD disc .

That's was my understanding.......but it has a much higher sampling rate of 2822.4 khz.....I'm not technical enough to know how that compares to 24/96, 24/88.2 or 24/44.1

Anyway, it's all above my pay grade.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

SteveR750 wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:

If they really do sound different there must be some other reason. They wouldn't sound different due to the compression used at those high bit rates.

How very final - being so sure, must be very comforting!  Wink

Yes it is comforting not worrying about something that doesn't make any audiable difference to the sound. Smile

I've converted high rez 16 and 24 bit audio files to 320kbps MP3 several times and I've never heard any difference. Sony and Apple have also done comprehensive reasearch into music compression and found that nobody can hear the difference between a lossless file and a properly encoded 256kbps MP3 or AAC file.

Are you willing to try converting the 24 bit track into a 320kbps MP3 yourself to see if you can hear any difference? If you do I bet you couldn't pass a blind ABX test 10 times in a row.

Go on Cno. I challenge you (or anybody else) to try it.

 

The you are coloquially speaking simply deaf, or just blessed with "lead" ears?

I'm with CNo here, the difference between 16/44 and 24/48 is easily detectable on my system in my lounge. Cables, nope; but source files yep. When I do the comparison it's absolutely obvious blinfolded, sober, very unsober etc etc.

+1

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:
Talking of challanges.....try mine. Download that track as described and see for yourself.

I'm don't like wasting money but if you're willing to credit my PayPal account with the £3.48 that it costs to download the tracks I will be happy to take you up on your challenge.

But as I've already said I've already tried converting 16 and 24 bit music to 320kbsp MP3s before (so have Sony and Apple!) and it makes no audiable difference to the sound quality. To anyone reading this who doubts me I urge you to prove it to yourselves at home.

 

Rip a CD track to a lossless WAV file.

Convert the WAV file to a 320kbps MP3 using LAME.

Use Foobar with the ABX plugin to test yourself to see if you can hear any difference between the original WAV file and the MP3 file.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Well hi res (24/96) to me does sound different!

It sounds like vinyl........which is a good thing....a very good thing!

Kate Bush 50 words for snow in 24/96 sounds far superior to the red book CD, a lot smoother with plenty of detail - I love it, just damn cant afford it!

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Mirren Boy's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

stevebrock wrote:

Well hi res (24/96) to me does sound different!

It sounds like vinyl........which is a good thing....a very good thing!

Kate Bush 50 words for snow in 24/96 sounds far superior to the red book CD, a lot smoother with plenty of detail - I love it, just damn cant afford it!

+1

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

SteveR750 wrote:

The you are coloquially speaking simply deaf, or just blessed with "lead" ears?

I'm with CNo here, the difference between 16/44 and 24/48 is easily detectable on my system in my lounge. Cables, nope; but source files yep. When I do the comparison it's absolutely obvious blinfolded, sober, very unsober etc etc.

And how was the file downsampled?  Did you do it yourself using something like Audacity?  Did you downsample, filter and apply the correct dither?  Because if you did then I'm not sure I believe you could prove you could hear the difference using an A/B-X test.  That's the biggest issue I have with claims that there is an audible difference, you have no way of knowing if a site with a vested interest in you hearing differences has done it correctly, and if you do it yourself it has to be done correctly.  When downsampling is done, errors are created, if efforts aren't taken to move them to where you can't hear them, then they could easily be audible.

 

I have a handful of albums I've downsampled from 24/96 and 24/88.2 to 16/44.1 and, after spending time to learn how to do it properly, I can't tell the diffeence.  Of course I might be deaf, but as I can hear the difference if I just let iTunes do the downsampling 'on the fly', I'm inclinded to think I'm not stone deaf just yet.  Incidently, I downsampled them because I use Airplay which changes the audio anyway, I can also hear a slight difference between Airplay and optical from my Macbook, but that's all it is - a slight difference and I wouldn't describe one as better than the other.

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Craig M.'s picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

stevebrock wrote:

Kate Bush 50 words for snow in 24/96 sounds far superior to the red book CD, a lot smoother with plenty of detail - I love it, just damn cant afford it!

You could afford to buy your stereo, but you can't afford the 15 quid for that?

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

Kate Bush 50 words for snow in 24/96 sounds far superior to the red book CD, a lot smoother with plenty of detail - I love it, just damn cant afford it!

You could afford to buy your stereo, but you can't afford the 15 quid for that?

....but that would get you 25 tins of beans!  twisted

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

SteveR750 wrote:

The you are coloquially speaking simply deaf, or just blessed with "lead" ears?

I'm with CNo here, the difference between 16/44 and 24/48 is easily detectable on my system in my lounge. Cables, nope; but source files yep. When I do the comparison it's absolutely obvious blinfolded, sober, very unsober etc etc.

And how was the file downsampled?  Did you do it yourself using something like Audacity?  Did you downsample, filter and apply the correct dither?  Because if you did then I'm not sure I believe you could prove you could hear the difference using an A/B-X test.  That's the biggest issue I have with claims that there is an audible difference, you have no way of knowing if a site with a vested interest in you hearing differences has done it correctly, and if you do it yourself it has to be done correctly.  When downsampling is done, errors are created, if efforts aren't taken to move them to where you can't hear them, then they could easily be audible.

 

I have a handful of albums I've downsampled from 24/96 and 24/88.2 to 16/44.1 and, after spending time to learn how to do it properly, I can't tell the diffeence.  Of course I might be deaf, but as I can hear the difference if I just let iTunes do the downsampling 'on the fly', I'm inclinded to think I'm not stone deaf just yet.  Incidently, I downsampled them because I use Airplay which changes the audio anyway, I can also hear a slight difference between Airplay and optical from my Macbook, but that's all it is - a slight difference and I wouldn't describe one as better than the other.

 

So everyone is wrong and you are right ?

I have three versions on the current Muse album. Vinyl – 24bit down load – My daughters CD put on to the Naz

Vinyl – By far away the best sounding of all the formats , just sounds deeper and warm.

24bit down loaded FLAC to bppoweramp which automatically transfers to the NAZ – Good sounding with a wider stereo image than the CD throws up thus giving better separation to the instruments.

CD – Has a harsher overall sound in the highs and not as wide stereo imaging. Still crystal clear just not as good as the other formats. That’s back to back test in my own system. Funnily I mentioned nothing to my daughter who also sat throw the three formats , her conclusion was the same as mine.

As I wrote further back het yourself out to a hi fi shop for an audition on the latest streamers with back to back tests with CD and and 24bit. Or do you live in tunnel vision meaning your way or no way ?

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Maybe someone should start a thread about the difference between 16bit/24bit on various speaker cables & interconnects. Now that would really put the cat amogst the pigeons Smile

Over on the sound on sound thread there is a link to this article by Hugh which is worth a read:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/digitalaudio.htm

He seems to have a gift for being able to articulate the technical down into (almost) understandable laguage for poor people like me.

For me there seems to be two key points in this discussion:

1) Most importantly, the mastering process itself & the variances in this. 24bit seems more to be a tool for engineers to cope with frequency extremes. You would hope that with greater awareness, an improvement in technology & a uniform approach to levelling, mastering for new albums will be of a high enough standard?

2) You can not overstate the power of expectation. If you know that a file is 24bit before you listen to it then it must be really difficult to not think that it must be better (subjectively). I'm not saying that it isn't, who's to say anyone is more right or wrong, but it is a factor for sure. So to take Cnos challenge, you would have to get someone else (or fubar? havnt used this) to play the tracks for you in a random order, other wise you will hear what you expect to hear. Or at the very least you cant completely rule this possibility out of the equation.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:
To anyone reading this who doubts me I urge you to prove it to yourselves at home.

I don't need to do that, I've proved the difference to myself from the perspective of someone who creates music not just consumes it.  I'm an amateur musician with my own little home-based studio. I can sit in front of a mix for hours if not days, trying to get it sounding just right (then listening-fatigue sets in and I have to go away from it for a while because I can't tell if the changes I'm making are better or just different). Then when I've finished, I'll export the final mix and listen again.  Then, sometimes I'll convert it to MP3 to email it to family and friends. All that intense concentration makes you hyper-sensitized, and when I listen to the converted MP3, there's absolutely no question that it does not sound as good as the original uncompressed file, no matter what LAME encoder I use. No ifs, no buts, and no ABX test needed.

I'm happy for all the people who find lossy compression acceptable, hey it's not exactly admitting to some kind of national disgrace or conceding that you're deaf, but those of us who can hear a difference are not deluded idiots.

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