So how many of you can tell the difference...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jack*Mains, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Jack*Mains

    Jack*Mains Stunt Coordinator

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    Between a CD and MP3.

    I know there has been much debate on this, I'm just curious how many people on an actual audio forum can tell the difference.

    And I'm not talking about 128kbps stuff, im talking 320kbps LAME encoded Mp3s.


    For me, I prefer CD's / DACD for 'dedicated' listening, but can't really tell the difference between a CD and a well encoded Mp3.

    For casual listening, It's just more convenient playing Mp3s through my HTPC [​IMG]

    How about you?
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Anyone who claims they can tell the difference, I say, prove it on an ABX test. I have been able to pass the test at 160, above that, not with any statistical significance.

    www.hydrogenaudio.org has lots of info on testing various codecs. I think there's an AAC 128 test going on right now.
     
  3. TerryHub

    TerryHub Stunt Coordinator

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    I did some of my own subjective listening tests about 6 months ago when I got all geeked up about getting an Audiotron. I wanted access to my music collection that would be easier than the Sony 300+1 changer I had at the time. The Audiotron was definately the answer.

    My test was done with a few tracks that I was very familiar with (Jean-luc Ponty and Foreplay stuff). I used a good pair of headphones to listen. What I found was:

    At 128 kbs (CBR), symbols sounded like they were made of aluminum and being played with a plastic stick (relatively speaking). Midrange sounded thin and less real.

    At 192 kbs (CBR), things were much better, but I could still hear a difference between the original CD and the MP3. Symbols would drift off quicker and on tracks where you could discern the type of materials (i.e. wooden block) being played, I could still hear something was missing.

    At 256 kbs (CBR). this is where I could not tell a difference with my source material and the MP3.

    So I made the decision to encode my collection and purchase the Audiotron. I ended up using Exact Audio Copy to rip and Lame to encode MP3 using VBR at 256 kbs average bit rate. I couldn't be more pleased with the results and the Audiotron has been everything I could have hoped for.

    Of course this is just my opinion, but I'm stickin' to it...
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    For the most part, I agree with Terry. A good 192K track is close, but the difference is still there. At 256, I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.
     
  5. ernie.bin

    ernie.bin Stunt Coordinator

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    at 256kbps LAME, I can't tell.

    with either my grado sr-60s or my paradigm studio60s.

    Even at 192kbps, I've got to be paying really close attention.
     
  6. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I think it also depends a lot on the play back device.

    Playing MP3 CDs/DVDs on my Pioneer 563a...at 256, it undistinguishable...but through my Linksys Wireless Media Adapter(a great thing by the way), I can tell the difference, but the quality is still very good.
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    As mentioned above, there are forums like HydrogenAudio filled with folks obsessed with... um, strike that... dedicated to this particular issue.

    Most folks find mp3 at 256-320 kps to be transparent.

    Other codecs--like WMA, AAC and Ogg Vorbis--have their fans who claim transparency at lower bit rates (and smaller file size) than mp3.
     
  8. Steve Crowley

    Steve Crowley Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought I would like MP3 when it came out so I could compress my collection. After various attempts at different bit rates I found that with my headphones I could tell the difference no matter what rate I used. But when I used the speakers in the 2 channel system the only noticable difference was in the high frequencies such as piano and piccolo. Other than that it was a great way to listen on my PC because the speakers are a far cry from the home system.

    One thing I found is that I can play a CD or album faster than going to the PC and mulling around for a particular track. I guess I got tired of changing my collection to MP3 and just figured it would be easier to just listen to the original. It is great for the car if you just want to listen
    to your kind of music like I do cause radio just sucks anymore.
     
  9. luke_ha

    luke_ha Stunt Coordinator

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    well i ripped all my cd's(about 350) to a couple new harddrives on my computer. left them as wma and I like it like that especially since i have the organization i want. Since many CDs have multiple types of music on em i.e. The Love Below by Andre 3000. Ran my computer to my reciever and once i get my new speakers i will be one of the happiest people on earth. Computer just makes everything smaller especially when i am trying to go through 300 cds.
     
  10. Keith Hyde

    Keith Hyde Stunt Coordinator

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    I love mp3, but to have the liner notes... You can research various recording parties, go look them up, etc. Read the lyrics. Something about having that album. I've got plenty of ripps, but I'd rather have a wallfull of Jewell cases.

    Not to shanghai a thread - this is very related - I'm thinking of a computer purchase, and since its been a while without one for me, I'm wondering what kind of hard drive space I may need to encode a collection of, for example, 400 CD's? At the 256 rate. My use for this computer would be mainly CD duplication and mix CD burning, working with Adobe GoLive, Illustrator, and Photoshop, and the other non-memory essential things like internet and word processing. Any comments?

    In relation to the thread, I can't tell significant difference myself between 256 and source. Anything more is a waste of space (and takes to long to get across FTPs - a few years ago when I was still doing that of course).
     
  11. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    An 80 gig should do it with room to spare, but I'd probably get a 120 just in case. Hard disks are cheap. If I had to do it again, I probably would go with 5400 rpm drives, quieter than the 7200 drives that are common today.
     

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