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Double-blind test of SACD and DVD-A vs. Redbook 16/44 in JAES Septembe, (hint: no surprises!) (bumped from 2007 in post #35)
Axon
post Sep 20 2007, 00:42
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Thank you for replying (and hopefully you'll stick around!)

QUOTE (david moran @ Sep 19 2007, 16:15) *
These are not good criticisms. Just pro-forma nitpicking, so it appears something is wrong with the experiment. (There has to be, right?) There is nothing wrong with it. We used more than one hi-rez player. The noise floor of the venue was incredibly low. The loud levels were very loud. The source material --- lots of it, the widest range we could find, samplers, special demo cuts --- was extremely quiet in its noise floors.
Well, duh! Of course it's nitpicking. That point isn't evidence of anything actually being wrong with the experiment - but it seems to me like it could potentially obscure real issues. Or, at the very least, the information is useful if another blind test would be attempted, in order to meet or exceed the technical specifications of the original test. (I'm not saying that I'd be doing it, but again, nice to know.)

QUOTE
It does not matter what we used, since we degraded a hi-rez system and no one heard any difference, ever, regardless. We could have used an even better-quality 16/44 loop. But perhaps a genuinely compelling reason will arise and we will list the gear. The experiment was expanded to several other venues, including serious tweak systems, recording studios, and the like. No difference in the ability of the listeners to hear the "degradation."
Why would you wait for a reason to arise before listing the gear? That isn't a rhetorical question, and I'm not trying to be confrontational. I just don't understand. A lot of the individual ABX tests conducted here have pretty detailed gear descriptions associated with them, so I figure an AES paper would do the same thing...

QUOTE
What could this mean? Of course we spoke to statisticians, who were unanimous in saying it was a straightforward test of detectability, yes or no. Either some listeners heard a difference or not. No one did. No one came close. Any listener, any venue, any material. We did go over the results sorting by hearing bandwidth, sex, age, and experience. You will have to read the paper to be convinced, or not. If you really cannot afford to buy it, email me at drmoran@aol.com.
I already emailed you (and Mr. Meyer) 3 days ago, actually. And I posted here when I first saw the complete article in the online JAES.

You're allowed to drag me back to the woodshed and beat me for calling the statistics "shoddy", if you want. Heck, I think I may have the least statistics experience of anybody commenting in this thread. What I meant to say was that the paper violated my expectations of how much detail is supposed to exist in the results/analysis. Based on other blind tests I've read, I would have expected to see clearly defined null hypotheses, the full listener responses, numerical analyses thereof, etc. Maybe some lip service to estimating the proportion of discriminators (which, honestly, really ought to be 1 anyway - but still, it's a subject worthy of debate, and I'd figure it's worth commenting over).

The results as they stand in the paper seemed to breeze through a lot of this very quickly, which surprised me. That doesn't diminish the results any - they are shockingly conclusive. They're just, well, short. And I think many audiophiles are using that as an excuse to ignore them completely. (Granted, though, most of them would probably ignore the paper anyway.)

QUOTE
Not so --- just not enough detail for some who simply cannot believe the results.
Alas, you're confusing me for somebody who doesn't believe the results.

I really do. They match my personal evaluation of SACD/DVD-A, they match my understanding of audio engineering and psychoacoustics, and the obviously large amount of work that went into the setup and listening, combined with the large number of listeners, makes them extremely compelling. And as the rest of this thread indicates you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody else here who would not agree. Enough of us have done our own personal ABX tests to understand how much effort goes into them, and what kind of results one can draw from them.

But when such a compelling result is established, why be stingy with so much information? You state that the ball's now in the pro-highres camp to show any sort of proof of audibility, but it seems like if anybody actually attempted another test like this, they'd want to know all of these things, in order to try to strengthen the sensitivity of the test. You spend a considerable amount of effort in stating that so many of these factors were carefully eliminated with the best testing conditions, and yet you don't actually say how you do it. "Trust us" is not a valid argument!

Already a lot of audiophiles (not me!) are using the lack of information in this paper to justify some sort of AES cabal that does not actually engage in peer review. Like krabapple said - why try and settle the matter for good, when you've thrown them such a juicy bone to chew on at the same time? Unless the paper was meant only for AES readers, not for audiophiles.

As far as I'm personally concerned, all of those issues are really of omission than of actual error. I just want to know the information. Or, I just want to know why it's not there. It's mainly because I'm curious. I'm not expecting to find any flaws in it. And I had the expectation that asking for information like this is an extremely reasonable request.

This post has been edited by Axon: Sep 20 2007, 05:22
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dekkersj
post Sep 20 2007, 20:58
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I contacted the authors and they replied that they used most of the time a Yamaha DVD-S1500 (but not only that particular player) and the cd recorder was a HHB CDR-850.

Although it is a pity that they didn't specify exactly what they have done and so on, it is a strong indication that frequencies above the Nyquist frequency of the cd format are not needed in a strict sense. Also the increased resolution (dynamic range) of sacd or dvd-a is not a must have.

The burdon of proof is shifted I would say.

Regards,
Jacco


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david moran
post Sep 20 2007, 22:40
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Okay. Thank you all for your thoughtful responses, and I apologize for misinterpreting or impugning anyone here. (Or indeed anywhere.)

Rightly or wrongly, the chief reason we did not provide details was to preclude, or try to preclude, being nitted to death over the details. Which surely would have happened. The hi-rez players sucked, your amp and preamp suck, your speakers suck, so of course you could not hear anything. Etc. etc. Quite apart from the other venues and the number of listeners and trials.

So, as I say, rightly or wrongly. Y'all will observe that none of the AESJ editors or reviewers felt the lack of specifics was of any import whatsoever. No one mentioned a thing, not even once. We were asked for some more breakout of the results, which we provided.

Nonetheless, since we are receiving almost exactly the same flak as if we had given all the specifics, I am sure at some point, soon, we will post it all somewhere, perhaps on the BAS website.

Thanks for your modulated reading and responding.

David Moran
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dekkersj
post Sep 20 2007, 22:49
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Thanks David,

Good to talk to you this way smile.gif

I think you did a great job by doing this experiment and if it was really true that there is a big difference between 44k1/16bits and high resolution, this should have been the outcome of your work. If it is that hard to differentiate, one could ask themselves the question what good it is in the first place to make such a big fuss about high resolution formats for consumer applications.

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Jacco


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krabapple
post Sep 22 2007, 06:48
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QUOTE (david moran @ Sep 20 2007, 17:40) *
Okay. Thank you all for your thoughtful responses, and I apologize for misinterpreting or impugning anyone here. (Or indeed anywhere.)

Rightly or wrongly, the chief reason we did not provide details was to preclude, or try to preclude, being nitted to death over the details. Which surely would have happened. The hi-rez players sucked, your amp and preamp suck, your speakers suck, so of course you could not hear anything. Etc. etc. Quite apart from the other venues and the number of listeners and trials.

So, as I say, rightly or wrongly. Y'all will observe that none of the AESJ editors or reviewers felt the lack of specifics was of any import whatsoever. No one mentioned a thing, not even once. We were asked for some more breakout of the results, which we provided.

Nonetheless, since we are receiving almost exactly the same flak as if we had given all the specifics, I am sure at some point, soon, we will post it all somewhere, perhaps on the BAS website.

Thanks for your modulated reading and responding.

David Moran



Good job. If you post the specific, then it's up to the naysayers to prove they weren't sufficient to the task.
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Kees de Visser
post Sep 22 2007, 08:52
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QUOTE (david moran @ Sep 20 2007, 23:40) *
So, as I say, rightly or wrongly. Y'all will observe that none of the AESJ editors or reviewers felt the lack of specifics was of any import whatsoever. No one mentioned a thing, not even once. We were asked for some more breakout of the results, which we provided.
IMHO it's a pity that the AES doesn't provide any standards or even guidelines regarding subjective listening tests. The AES technical committee on Perception and Subjective Evaluation of Audio Signals (PSEAS) doesn't seem to be of much help in this respect. Anecdotal evidence is still widely accepted in the pro audio community. A possible reason could be that most engineers don't know how to set up and conduct a proper listening test. An often used excuse is that it involves a huge budget and lots of time and therefore can only be done by large companies and institutions.
AFAIK Perceptual Coding is the only area where subjective evaluation is used methodically. This forum is a good example of that.
I do hope that the AES (or another organisation of equal importance) will provide standards or guidelines and make an effort in promoting them.

Kees de Visser

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spockep
post Sep 22 2007, 13:37
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QUOTE (david moran @ Sep 20 2007, 17:40) *
Okay. Thank you all for your thoughtful responses, and I apologize for misinterpreting or impugning anyone here. (Or indeed anywhere.)

Rightly or wrongly, the chief reason we did not provide details was to preclude, or try to preclude, being nitted to death over the details. Which surely would have happened. The hi-rez players sucked, your amp and preamp suck, your speakers suck, so of course you could not hear anything. Etc. etc. Quite apart from the other venues and the number of listeners and trials.

So, as I say, rightly or wrongly. Y'all will observe that none of the AESJ editors or reviewers felt the lack of specifics was of any import whatsoever. No one mentioned a thing, not even once. We were asked for some more breakout of the results, which we provided.

Nonetheless, since we are receiving almost exactly the same flak as if we had given all the specifics, I am sure at some point, soon, we will post it all somewhere, perhaps on the BAS website.

Thanks for your modulated reading and responding.

David Moran


Thanks for your well thought out response and attention to this issue. Unfortunately the AESJ study would have been nitted to death on internet forums regardless. It's best to take things written on forums with a grain of salt. In the end the great majority of people believe what they want to believe. I hope to see more well designed and performed studies in the future.
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Axon
post Sep 23 2007, 04:01
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What they said. smile.gif Thanks for responding.

Clearly if there's a disagreement here, it's only in how much test detail in a paper is considered reasonable. And I can totally understand your position.

For everybody else here, Meyer has posted a number of extremely informative posts on AA, at least until the test details are released.
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2Bdecided
post Sep 24 2007, 11:39
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 23 2007, 04:01) *
For everybody else here, Meyer has posted a number of extremely informative posts on AA, at least until the test details are released.
I like those responses. It will be interesting to hear which recordings were considered "the best commercial recordings we've ever heard" - and how they could easily sound just as good on CD, but apparently don't (presumably due to mastering, or non-availability).

Cheers,
David.
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usernaim
post May 28 2012, 18:43
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I'm not an advocate of hi-rez, but I wanted to revisit this test in light of what we now know.

The simplest reason why the test would get a null result if if the hi-rez material were not actually. And what we know now is that many commercial SACDs and recordings sold on HD Tracks (many dervied from SACD masters) are not high resolution. Bruce at Puget Sound, who does a lot of the transfers, has said that they have to reject 30% of what is submitted by labels (now that they have been stung, they check every track but that was not always the case). And many SACDs with spectral content above 24 kHz have merely been upsampled after previously being downsampled to 44 or 48 kHz.

Looking at the list of sample tracks (http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/explanation.htm), I know at least Steely Dan Gaucho is not a legit high res transfer. Has anyone checked the spectrals on these samples?

So, how many of these tracks aren't what they purport to be? Who has the disks and can look at spectrals?

Patricia Barber – Nightclub (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2004)
Chesky: Various -- An Introduction to SACD (SACD204)
Chesky: Various -- Super Audio Collection & Professional Test Disc (CHDVD 171)
Stephen Hartke: Tituli/Cathedral in the Thrashing Rain; Hilliard Ensemble/Crockett (ECM New Series 1861, cat. no. 476 1155, SACD)
Bach Concertos: Perahia et al; Sony SACD
Mozart Piano Concertos: Perahia, Sony SACD
Kimber Kable: Purity, an Inspirational Collection SACD T Minus 5 Vocal Band, no cat. #
Tony Overwater: Op SACD (Turtle Records TRSA 0008)
McCoy Tyner Illuminati SACD (Telarc 63599)
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon SACD (Capitol/EMI 82136)
Steely Dan, Gaucho, Geffen SACD
Alan Parsons, I, Robot DVD-A (Chesky CHDD 2003)
BSO, Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony SACD (RCA 82876-61387-2 RE1)
Carlos Heredia, Gypsy Flamenco SACD (Chesky SACD266)
Shakespeare in Song, Phoenix Bach Choir, Bruffy, SACD (Chandos CHSA 5031)
Livingston Taylor, Ink SACD (Chesky SACD253)
The Persuasions, The Persuasions Sing the Beatles, SACD (Chesky SACD244)
Steely Dan, Two Against Nature, DVD-A (24,96) Giant Records 9 24719-9
McCoy Tyner with Stanley Clark and Al Foster, Telarc SACD 3488
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post May 29 2012, 15:37
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QUOTE (usernaim @ May 28 2012, 13:43) *
I'm not an advocate of hi-rez, but I wanted to revisit this test in light of what we now know.

The simplest reason why the test would get a null result if if the hi-rez material were not actually. And what we know now is that many commercial SACDs and recordings sold on HD Tracks (many dervied from SACD masters) are not high resolution. Bruce at Puget Sound, who does a lot of the transfers, has said that they have to reject 30% of what is submitted by labels (now that they have been stung, they check every track but that was not always the case). And many SACDs with spectral content above 24 kHz have merely been upsampled after previously being downsampled to 44 or 48 kHz.

Looking at the list of sample tracks (http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/explanation.htm), I know at least Steely Dan Gaucho is not a legit high res transfer. Has anyone checked the spectrals on these samples?

So, how many of these tracks aren't what they purport to be? Who has the disks and can look at spectrals?


A little quickie searching of Wikipedia and Amazon comes up with the following release dates:

Patricia Barber – Nightclub (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2004) Original Release Date: September 26, 2000

Chesky: Various -- An Introduction to SACD (SACD204) needs track by track analysis

Chesky: Various -- Super Audio Collection & Professional Test Disc (CHDVD 171) needs track by track analysis

Stephen Hartke: Tituli/Cathedral in the Thrashing Rain; Hilliard Ensemble/Crockett
(ECM New Series 1861, cat. no. 476 1155, SACD) Audio CD (November 18, 2008)

Bach Concertos: Perahia et al; Sony SACD Audio CD (March 12, 2002)

Mozart Piano Concertos: Perahia, Sony SACD Audio CD (October 25, 1990)

Kimber Kable: Purity, an Inspirational Collection SACD T Minus 5 Vocal Band, no cat. no audio CD equivalent found

Tony Overwater: Op SACD (Turtle Records TRSA 0008) Audio CD (March 18, 2008)


McCoy Tyner Illuminati SACD (Telarc 63599) Audio CD (June 22, 2004)


Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon SACD (Capitol/EMI 82136) Audio CD (March 1973)

Steely Dan, Gaucho, Geffen SACD Audio CD (1980)


Alan Parsons, I, Robot DVD-A (Chesky CHDD 2003) Audio CD (1977)


BSO, Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony SACD (RCA 82876-61387-2 RE1) Audio CD (July 5, 1991)


Carlos Heredia, Gypsy Flamenco SACD (Chesky SACD266) Audio CD (February 15, 1996)


Shakespeare in Song, Phoenix Bach Choir, Bruffy, SACD (Chandos CHSA 5031) Audio CD (September 21, 2004)

Livingston Taylor, Ink SACD (Chesky SACD253) Audio CD (September 23, 1997)

The Persuasions, The Persuasions Sing the Beatles, SACD (Chesky SACD244) Audio CD (February 26, 2002)

Steely Dan, Two Against Nature, DVD-A (24,96) Giant Records 9 24719-9 Audio CD (May 2, 2006)

McCoy Tyner with Stanley Clark and Al Foster, Telarc SACD 3488 Audio CD (January 25, 2000)

I would suggest that anything released prior to 1997 would have been originally tracked, mixed and/or mastered in what we would call now a legacy format, either 15 ips analog tape or 44-48-50 KHz sampled digital.

This suggests that 7 of the 20 or so total sources are guaranteed to give random guessing in the tests they did.
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2Bdecided
post May 29 2012, 17:47
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ May 29 2012, 15:37) *
Chesky: Various -- Super Audio Collection & Professional Test Disc (CHDVD 171) needs track by track analysis
At least some of this is from 24/96 masters.

QUOTE
I would suggest that anything released prior to 1997 would have been originally tracked, mixed and/or mastered in what we would call now a legacy format, either 15 ips analog tape or 44-48-50 KHz sampled digital.

This suggests that 7 of the 20 or so total sources are guaranteed to give random guessing in the tests they did.

Oh come on Arny wink.gif - the whole point of Sony inventing DSD was to capture 15ips analogue tape in the best quality possible at the time. That's how it was presented at the AES: the best possible digital archive format for the Columbia archive they'd just bought.

Fans are/were forever wetting themselves about how these older recordings sound so much better on hi-res than CD.

The idea that 15ips analogue recordings don't sound better on hi-res than CD is only mentioned to try to debunk Mayer and Moran. Outside this specific purpose, fans of hi-res seem convinced that everything sounds better in hi-res than CD.

(but then, I know you know all this wink.gif )

Cheers,
David.

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Arnold B. Kruege...
post May 29 2012, 21:10
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 29 2012, 12:47) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ May 29 2012, 15:37) *

This suggests that 7 of the 20 or so total sources are guaranteed to give random guessing in the tests they did.


Oh come on Arny wink.gif - the whole point of Sony inventing DSD was to capture 15ips analogue tape in the best quality possible at the time. That's how it was presented at the AES: the best possible digital archive format for the Columbia archive they'd just bought.


"The best quality possible" is not the same as passing a DBT. Objectively speaking, in terms of pure technology, 24/96 and 24/192 are *better* formats for archiving *anything* than mere 16/44. The life's lesson to learn is that "Objectively better" does not always translate into "Sonically better". I can live with that!

QUOTE
Fans are/were forever wetting themselves about how these older recordings sound so much better on hi-res than CD.


"Sounding better" has as its prerequisite "Sounding different" There are very many things that objectively measure different that totally and utterly fail to sound different. This has been true ever since the HP 330 THD analyzer replaced the 300 (1958). ;-)

QUOTE
The idea that 15ips analogue recordings don't sound better on hi-res than CD is only mentioned to try to debunk Mayer and Moran. Outside this specific purpose, fans of hi-res seem convinced that everything sounds better in hi-res than CD.

(but then, I know you know all this wink.gif )


Again, they are confused and conflate measuring different with sounding different. ;-)
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2Bdecided
post May 31 2012, 10:17
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Arny, I'm on your side. The point is they claimed (still claim) hi-res copies of old recordings sound better than CDs. But then "excuse" the failed ABX by saying that there's no content in these old recordings beyond what can be stored on CDs.

It's a pointless argument anyway, because there were enough genuine hi-res recordings in that list (at least, recordings with real high frequency content above 22kHz) to allow people to ABX those if they were in any way special / sonically above what CD can achieve.

Cheers,
David.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post May 31 2012, 12:45
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 31 2012, 05:17) *
Arny, I'm on your side. The point is they claimed (still claim) hi-res copies of old recordings sound better than CDs.


Not only were they on high rez media, but they were often remastered. This business about remastering making recordings sound better is probably more a matter of taste than accuracy. Give the same master to 3 different mastering engineers, and you will probably get 3 different sounding recordings. Given them to someone who has an equalizer in their system and the number of reasonable permutations probably approaches infinity. ;-)

QUOTE
But then "excuse" the failed ABX by saying that there's no content in these old recordings beyond what can be stored on CDs.


The failed ABX did avoid conflating remastering with hi-rez. Excusing something is subjective. Whether or not downsampling to CD format is audible is a scientific fact.

QUOTE
It's a pointless argument anyway, because there were enough genuine hi-res recordings in that list (at least, recordings with real high frequency content above 22kHz) to allow people to ABX those if they were in any way special / sonically above what CD can achieve.


I think the most telling fact relates to how apparently all of the high end reviewers failed to detect the clear lack of resolution in the nearly 50% of all of the so-called hi rez recordings that were released. They can't argue that the blind testing procedure got in their way!
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SoNic67
post Jun 1 2012, 00:08
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I am a fan of SACD recordings. Not necesarelly because of the theoretic capability but because the fact that remasterings for this media are less prone to be compressed to coply with "loudness wars". They are recordings dedicated for the niche represented of people that can turn up the volume by hand, don't listen those discs in boomboxes or car subwoofers...

Anyway, I did test some SACD recordings of old masters (on analog domain) and they barelly pass the original CD bandwidth. This is because of poor quality of the originals ('70's, '80's).
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2Bdecided
post Jun 1 2012, 11:40
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QUOTE (SoNic67 @ Jun 1 2012, 00:08) *
Anyway, I did test some SACD recordings of old masters (on analog domain) and they barelly pass the original CD bandwidth. This is because of poor quality of the originals ('70's, '80's).
You can't really say "poor quality of the originals". You can say"restricted bandwidth of the originals". But given that the bandwidth is still more than most human ears appear to be able to detect, the quality (in that respect) is more than fine.

Cheers,
David.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jun 1 2012, 12:01
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jun 1 2012, 06:40) *
QUOTE (SoNic67 @ Jun 1 2012, 00:08) *
Anyway, I did test some SACD recordings of old masters (on analog domain) and they barelly pass the original CD bandwidth. This is because of poor quality of the originals ('70's, '80's).


Interesting. In the 70s and 80s it was possible to do recordings with 22-24 Khz bandwidth, sometimes up to 30 Khz. Your typical studio tape machine running at 15 or 30 ips could do that if it was properly aligned (IOW recorders aligned daily, and playack azimuth optimized for each tape played back).

QUOTE
You can't really say "poor quality of the originals". You can say"restricted bandwidth of the originals". But given that the bandwidth is still more than most human ears appear to be able to detect, the quality (in that respect) is more than fine.


Agreed.

Seems like a lot of people need to do DBTs of their favorite "HD" recordings brick-walled at 16-18 Khz and then upsampled to original format for a clean ABX. ;-) At worst they'd have to work harder than they expected to hear a difference, and at best they'd be fooled. ;-)
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SoNic67
post Jun 2 2012, 00:56
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jun 1 2012, 06:40) *
You can say"restricted bandwidth of the originals". But given that the bandwidth is still more than most human ears appear to be able to detect, the quality (in that respect) is more than fine.
Cheers,
David.

Everyone tells me that I can't hear past 18 kHz. Good... But I can hear the differences between 14kHz and 18kHz. This is how bad it is for some old recordings.
I can hear on the CD "The Police - Reggata de Blanc" things (cymbals) that are definitely not present into any CD or SACD of Pink Floyd (TOSOTM).
Run the audio via Foobar one can see that the spectrum over 16kHz is very reduced as "weight" compared with "The Police" disc. I use the free VST plug in from BlueCat for better resolution .
I have many other examples... good and bad.

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Wombat
post Jun 3 2012, 00:11
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 29 2012, 18:47) *
Fans are/were forever wetting themselves about how these older recordings sound so much better on hi-res than CD.

The idea that 15ips analogue recordings don't sound better on hi-res than CD is only mentioned to try to debunk Mayer and Moran. Outside this specific purpose, fans of hi-res seem convinced that

Indeed! This Patricia Barber, Nightclub is well regarded for its really impressive quality.
You will find nearly on every review a remark about the better sounding SACD layer even if there is not anything above 22kHz because the original recording was done on an old digital machine. So if MOFI didnīt mess up the CD-Layer this one should have been a pro HiRes one even without extended HF content. I bet so it goes for other releases listed also.
So i donīt think the reasoning of BW limited sources count at all. It would call all further praising reviews and listening reports about these records pointless, so the complete debate.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jun 3 2012, 00:27
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QUOTE (Sonic67)
Everyone tells me that I can't hear past 18 kHz. Good... But I can hear the differences between 14kHz and 18kHz. This is how bad it is for some old recordings.
I can hear on the CD "The Police - Reggata de Blanc" things (cymbals) that are definitely not present into any CD or SACD of Pink Floyd (TOSOTM).
Run the audio via Foobar one can see that the spectrum over 16kHz is very reduced as "weight" compared with "The Police" disc. I use the free VST plug in from BlueCat for better resolution .
I have many other examples... good and bad.


Are you trying to make technical judgements about media formats or the audibility of different frequency renges based on two different songs recorded by two different groups?

This post has been edited by Arnold B. Krueger: Jun 3 2012, 00:27
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bernlin2000
post Dec 20 2012, 10:44
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 9 2007, 21:11) *
"Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback". E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran. JAES 55(9) September 2007. It's worth noting that members of the BAS wrote the paper and performed in the tests. You'll need an AES membership to access the article, so no link.

Abstract:
QUOTE
Claims both published and anecdotal are regularly made for audibly superior sound quality for two-channel audio encoded with longer word lengths and/or at higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard. The authors report on a series of double-blind tests comparing the analog output of high-resolution players playing high-resolution recordings with the same signal passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz "bottleneck." The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.



The quote of the century: I'll have to cite this anytime someone suggests 24-bit music is the future...this is one of those unusual areas where technology can do no more improvements (narrowly talking about sound bit rate here)
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bernlin2000
post Dec 20 2012, 10:50
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 19 2007, 16:52) *
Believe it or now, most of us here are very much on your 'side'. Hydrogenaudio even has advocacy of blind tests built into it Terms of Use.

It's just regrettable if a paper on this perennial hot topic failed to provide extensive method detail, because every omission will be used against it. And thus a topic that should have been laid to rest years ago, will remain 'hot'.

Perhaps you could set up a 'supplementary materials and methods' webpage to provide those details?
This is common in journals where printed space is at a premium (e.g., Science, Nature).


Yeah, and religion is still a "hot" item...people will believe what they want, regardless of the facts. If people haven't already figured out that 24-bit sound is only useful for production, not for playback, than they likely never will. 44.1khz should be easy, though: we can't hear beyond 20khz, guys...
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DonP
post Dec 20 2012, 14:26
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One argument I would consider is that if any component in the chain wouldn't pass the higher frequencies of the hirez signal, then THAT would prevent the very golden eared from ABXing the difference. Getting good dispersion even up to 20 kHz is a notorious weak point for most speakers.

Playing the music at borderline painful levels may be ok for validating the noise floor, but I'd think triggering the ear's internal AGC (tensing up the ear bones) could reduce high frequency hearing (in the moment; not referring to the permanent damage it does.)

This post has been edited by DonP: Dec 20 2012, 14:27
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sawdin
post Jan 6 2013, 19:58
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If the BAS testing was so flawed, why haven't those who vociferously disagreed with the stated results stage 'better designed/implemented' ABX tests? If they have, please provide links. If they haven't, why not; Is it a question of expense and/or logistical concerns?

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