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Thread: Dynamic range of vinyl recordings

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    It's not 'my argument'. It's a fact that in all the trials conducted no-one was able to distinguish the difference between 'hi res' music and the same at 16/44.1
    Ok, please state the source(s) of your information, by linking to details of the trials concerned (but specifically only to what you consider are the most relevant bits), and moreover, which you believe support your argument here as fact, so that others, such as myself, can judge whether that's the case or not

    I think you need to get away from the idea that arguments I present are something I dreamed up myself. They are based on considerable amounts of study of the existing research, all of which was done with an open mind and with no bias.
    That's NOT what I'm saying. However, with respect, based on previous experience of how you often put forward arguments on these subjects, you have the tendency to apply factual information that is arguably out of context, and present it rather authoritatively as 'proof' that you're right, when that's not necessarily the case.

    There is no 'I want to believe' with me, and I don't have any horse in the race or any axe to grind. I'm only interested in the truth of the matter, whatever that turns out to be.
    Exactly the same here, but I've just got a different way of going about it

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    It's not 'my argument'. It's a fact that in all the trials conducted no-one was able to distinguish the difference between 'hi res' music and the same at 16/44.1 - Unsurprisingly these results correlate perfectly with all of the other research done over the past 100 years into the limitations of human hearing.

    I think you need to get away from the idea that arguments I present are something I dreamed up myself. They are based on considerable amounts of study of the existing research, all of which was done with an open mind and with no bias. There is no 'I want to believe' with me, and I don't have any horse in the race or any axe to grind. I'm only interested in the truth of the matter, whatever that turns out to be.
    The only real truth is what you experience yourself, not what always what is written.

    I have done the evaluation myself blind with hi res material 24bit /DSD and 16 bit and I could hear the difference but I was not always aware which one was which. I had to guess which one i was listening too! So what does this tell you about Hi res? In the end it is which one you prefer and in many cases I chose 16/44 material. All the material was FBA.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    The only real truth is what you experience yourself, not what always what is written.
    Exactly! But unfortunately, Martin seems too easily influenced by what he reads, especially if it's from what he considers is an 'expert source'.

    Marco.
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    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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  4. #94
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    You don't seem to understand that audio is science and is treated like science. Hypothesis are generated, experiments with suitable protocols and controls are conducted, results are tabulated and then subject to peer review. This is not a process without flaws, it is, nevertheless, of more use than someone on a forum claiming that they heard it so it's true.

    I will dig you out some links to proper trials of high rez audio when I am back home this evening.
    Martin



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  5. #95
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    '"What is truth?" said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of menís minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?' (as Francis Bacon put it)

  6. #96
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    The only real truth is what you experience yourself, not what always what is written.

    I have done the evaluation myself blind with hi res material 24bit /DSD and 16 bit and I could hear the difference but I was not always aware which one was which. I had to guess which one i was listening too! So what does this tell you about Hi res? In the end it is which one you prefer and in many cases I chose 16/44 material. All the material was FBA.
    In all cases where differences have been noted the reason was that the mastering was not identical. This is even true for packages that contain the 16/44.1 version and the 24/192 version although they purport to be the same thing. So this is the most likely case.

    All trials take a 24/192 recording and reduce it to 16/44.1 for the comparison, thus guaranteeing that any difference will not be due to mastering. If you didn't verify this then your comparison has no value. If you did then you have made a breakthrough that would create some serious waves in the audio science community.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    You don't seem to understand that audio is science and is treated like science. Hypothesis are generated, experiments with suitable protocols and controls are conducted, results are tabulated and then subject to peer review.
    Yes, but the results of the science currently applied to it aren't always conclusive. If they were, we'd be able to prove the existence of everything in audio that we can *genuinely* hear - and since that isn't (yet) the case, then it strongly suggests we've still got more to learn. And I believe that the subject under discussion here is a case in point, as my experience mirrors that of Jim.

    Moreover, I feel that what's being claimed, in reference to high-resolution music files, is being wrongly dismissed out of hand by evidence that doesn't conclusively disprove it, which is why I think further investigation into the subject is required, over and above that which has so far been carried out, before any proper conclusions can be reached.

    This is not a process without flaws, it is, nevertheless, of more use than someone on a forum claiming that they heard it so it's true.
    Well, the fact is BOTH are flawed, to varying degrees, therefore by definition, neither can be used (as you're doing) as *conclusive proof* to win an argument!

    I will dig you out some links to proper trials of high rez audio when I am back home this evening.
    Please do, as that would be interesting, but I sincerely doubt it will act as evidence to *conclusively disprove* what Jim, for example, is claiming. It will only likely act as evidence, which on the surface, appears to support your argument. - no more than that, in my book.

    The big difference between you and I, is just because I've read somewhere that something is true [even if the information concerned has come from a supposedly 'expert source'], doesn't automatically make it so - *especially* if I'm suitably convinced that what I've experienced to the contrary (and have tested for numerous times, using my own judgement criteria) is real.

    The fact that it doesn't appear to tally with the supposed 'truth', won't cause me to dismiss my experience as imaginary. That is how intelligent (free-thinking) people think and also learn, and how for centuries mankind has evolved and will continue to do so, if we place due faith in our senses - and aren't afraid of challenging what is deemed as 'the truth' by a supposedly higher authority.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  8. #98
    Join Date: Nov 2011

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    The big difference between you and I, is just because I've read somewhere that something is true [even if the information concerned comes from a supposedly 'expert source'], doesn't automatically make it so - *especially* if I'm suitably convinced that what I hear (and have tested for numerous times, using my own judgement criteria) is real.

    The fact that, on the surface it appears to contradict the supposed 'truth', won't make me simply dismiss my experience as erroneous.

    Marco.
    I have read many papers and articles on this subject over the last ten years, mainly because I was concerned with the lack of quality I perceived(that word again) when listening to so called hi-res MP3's and some CD's (I would emphasis this process was done on a system known to me and stable for several years, which we can call my testbed).

    This all came about when a friend sent me some mp3 files of world music from the far east, the type of which I had not heard before and some instruments I would not have heard before. I put it on with excitement as he often found interesting stuff. What a shock it just sounded awful and weird, so I downloaded the same, and still the same. So I contacted my friend and asked if he was having a joke, a firm no came and he sent me a direct copy CD, on it went and hey ho it sounded quite different and was now listenable. This prompted me into doing some investigation of my own as I had actually digitised all met CD's to mp3 or equivalent, foolishly as I discovered.

    I selected a well known piece of music to me that I had not listened to for some time, Led Zeppelin I and played it using MP3 I had and it sounded quite dull and lifeless really not at all how I remembered it. Then on with the CD and presto the life was back into it, but not quite as I remember it on vinyl, so then I listened on Vinyl and yes it was how I recalled it in my minds EAR. Intrigued I did some more investigation and the master for the mp3 and CD were the same the vinyl was different being from the original master. So I then found a 24/96 version and downloaded, this did actually sound different and after some investigation I resolved it was a remix of the original master, hence why timbre had change, nothing to do with the bit depth or the frequency.

    So I then went off to find Vinyl, MP3, CD and SACD and 24/96 or 24/192 of the same music. One of my favourite albums of all time is Supertramp - Crime of the Century, and I had Vinyl, standard CD and and MFSL copies from the original master tapes, so I then purchased MP3 and 24/192 of the same. What I wanted to obviously ascertain was could I actually hear any difference and if so what.

    So I have repeated the listening to these many times myself and an audiophile friend, it involves putting on at least 3 of Vinyl, MP3, CD and MFSL or 24/192 at any one time and them cueing each track simultaneously and the other person in the room randomly switching between them and each time it changes writing down what the listener thinks it is and the switcher writing down what it actually is. The results were as so, MP3 was relatively easily identifiable and hardly ever missed, pure 16/44.1 CD was identified at least 50% of the time. When CD quality was not identified for what it was, what actually was playing was the MFSL CD or the 24/192 Flac. Conversly the same was true with the MFSL CD or the 24/192 FLAC, this is to say that at about 50% of the time these were thought to be the CD playing. Finally vinyl was identified from digital most of the time at least 95%. We repeated the tests many times to try and get a good result.

    So my point is that in my experience and that of my friend if all the formats are derived from the same master then differentiating aurally between CD 16/44.1 and any higher quality digital is virtually impossible, in fact it is down to guess work.

    Based on the above and various articles I would have to say that from an aural resolution perspective anything beyond 16/44.1 makes no difference aurally to us mere human beings, and as I understand it that is why it was chosen by engineers originally for CD's to sound the same as the original recording.

    On the same point I and my friend recently both identified a rather expensive SACD as sounding odd when compared to an earlier CD and the Vinyl version, in fact it had been produced from a inferior quality master.

    So it is all not clear cut and is I am afraid a can of listening worms, if it sounds odd or poor then it probably is and comes from some inferior re-master irrespective of the resolution CD or above.
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  9. #99
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    Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences in this area - most interesting

    The important thing here, I feel, is that rather than simply accepting as fact the relevance to this argument of tests you've read about (no matter how seemingly 'expert' or scientifically credible), but which you yourself weren't involved in, you instead carried out your OWN tests and subsequently used *your* judgement criteria to decide the outcome - and that's the type of intelligent (free) thinking we promote on AoS. Ultimately, it's what YOUR senses (or conclusions) tell you, on any subject, that counts!

    My own experience in this area concurs largely with yours, with perhaps the exception that when comparing recordings, all else being equal, including mastering, then in my view high-res 24-bit (done well) consistently produces a discernibly superior sound, to CD quality 16/44.1, and certainly MP3.

    Like you, I'm in the position of owning, and thus being able to compare at length, many identical albums on various formats, some digital and some analogue, and if the difference is obvious (which as you say isn't always the case), then it's invariably the analogue recording on vinyl (given a pressing that has been produced from the original analogue master), or high-res 24-bit recording on digital, which is sonically superior.

    However, I do agree that, more often than not, recordings of CD quality are not easy to differentiate from high-res ones, but it can be done, and in some cases easier than you think.

    A point I'd l make, in reference to that, is the 'MASTER' quality recordings, available on the likes of Tidal, which for me virtually always sound superior (more detailed, open and dynamic) than even the best standard recordings within their music library (often including non-'MASTER' recordings of the same) - and I frequently notice this by accident, simply when going about my business listening to music (as I often do whilst working from home), and thinking to myself: 'Gosh, that sounds much better (or worse) than usual', depending on whether I'm playing a 'MASTER' quality recording or not.

    Now, bear in mind when making that observation, I'm not near the TV or computer screen, but simply listening to the music (I could be working in the kitchen or in any other room separate from where the system is), and so have no idea whether a 'MASTER' quality recording is being played or not. It's only when I actually look at the screen for confirmation of such, or otherwise, that I find out... And almost always, the difference is easily heard!

    I don't know precisely what criteria Tidal use for tagging certain recordings with the title 'MASTER' (perhaps someone who knows could say?), and therefore how they differ from standard recordings. However, it seems a bit too much of a coincidence that, unprompted and in the absence of any other variables, almost every time I hear one, it sounds better than the latter, through the exact same system.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  10. #100
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    I have read many papers and articles on this subject over the last ten years, mainly because I was concerned with the lack of quality I perceived(that word again) when listening to so called hi-res MP3's and some CD's (I would emphasis this process was done on a system known to me and stable for several years, which we can call my testbed).

    This all came about when a friend sent me some mp3 files of world music from the far east, the type of which I had not heard before and some instruments I would not have heard before. I put it on with excitement as he often found interesting stuff. What a shock it just sounded awful and weird, so I downloaded the same, and still the same. So I contacted my friend and asked if he was having a joke, a firm no came and he sent me a direct copy CD, on it went and hey ho it sounded quite different and was now listenable. This prompted me into doing some investigation of my own as I had actually digitised all met CD's to mp3 or equivalent, foolishly as I discovered.

    I selected a well known piece of music to me that I had not listened to for some time, Led Zeppelin I and played it using MP3 I had and it sounded quite dull and lifeless really not at all how I remembered it. Then on with the CD and presto the life was back into it, but not quite as I remember it on vinyl, so then I listened on Vinyl and yes it was how I recalled it in my minds EAR. Intrigued I did some more investigation and the master for the mp3 and CD were the same the vinyl was different being from the original master. So I then found a 24/96 version and downloaded, this did actually sound different and after some investigation I resolved it was a remix of the original master, hence why timbre had change, nothing to do with the bit depth or the frequency.

    So I then went off to find Vinyl, MP3, CD and SACD and 24/96 or 24/192 of the same music. One of my favourite albums of all time is Supertramp - Crime of the Century, and I had Vinyl, standard CD and and MFSL copies from the original master tapes, so I then purchased MP3 and 24/192 of the same. What I wanted to obviously ascertain was could I actually hear any difference and if so what.

    So I have repeated the listening to these many times myself and an audiophile friend, it involves putting on at least 3 of Vinyl, MP3, CD and MFSL or 24/192 at any one time and them cueing each track simultaneously and the other person in the room randomly switching between them and each time it changes writing down what the listener thinks it is and the switcher writing down what it actually is. The results were as so, MP3 was relatively easily identifiable and hardly ever missed, pure 16/44.1 CD was identified at least 50% of the time. When CD quality was not identified for what it was, what actually was playing was the MFSL CD or the 24/192 Flac. Conversly the same was true with the MFSL CD or the 24/192 FLAC, this is to say that at about 50% of the time these were thought to be the CD playing. Finally vinyl was identified from digital most of the time at least 95%. We repeated the tests many times to try and get a good result.

    So my point is that in my experience and that of my friend if all the formats are derived from the same master then differentiating aurally between CD 16/44.1 and any higher quality digital is virtually impossible, in fact it is down to guess work.

    Based on the above and various articles I would have to say that from an aural resolution perspective anything beyond 16/44.1 makes no difference aurally to us mere human beings, and as I understand it that is why it was chosen by engineers originally for CD's to sound the same as the original recording.

    On the same point I and my friend recently both identified a rather expensive SACD as sounding odd when compared to an earlier CD and the Vinyl version, in fact it had been produced from a inferior quality master.

    So it is all not clear cut and is I am afraid a can of listening worms, if it sounds odd or poor then it probably is and comes from some inferior re-master irrespective of the resolution CD or above.
    Excellent post Adrian and your observations regaring 16/44 and 24bit recording being only identified 50% of the time concurs closely with what I have found.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

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