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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)
Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 7 2013, 15:51
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QUOTE (sawdin @ Jan 6 2013, 13:58) *
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?


Most critics of Meyers and Moran also seem to have problems with ABX testing all by itself. After all, it tends to not reinforce their prejudices! ;-)

The first thing that most golden ears do when trying to replicate tests with results they disagree with is *improve* on ABX. The results are usually pretty funny (in a dark way) once the dust settles. Example that comes to mind: John Atkinson testing power amps for Stereophile with his own DBT procedure.

This post has been edited by Arnold B. Krueger: Jan 7 2013, 15:51
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drmoran@aol.com
post Jan 20 2013, 01:25
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 7 2013, 09:51) *
QUOTE (sawdin @ Jan 6 2013, 13:58) *
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?


Most critics of Meyers and Moran also seem to have problems with ABX testing all by itself. After all, it tends to not reinforce their prejudices! ;-)

The first thing that most golden ears do when trying to replicate tests with results they disagree with is *improve* on ABX. The results are usually pretty funny (in a dark way) once the dust settles. Example that comes to mind: John Atkinson testing power amps for Stereophile with his own DBT procedure.



+++

Have not been here for a long while, but I hasten to add (in response to assertions elsewhere) that Bob Stuart was not one of the auditioners (that would've been awesome, since it was his AESJ article bogoclaims which prompted the test in the first place; if I won a big lottery I would have all sorts of trip-paid challenges to tweakos). And second, we were not 'misled' by hi-rez manufacturers, at least not directly; we simply invited all listeners to bring their own favorite hi-rez material, which we listed, and much of it was Chesky direct, and not ever remasters of old stuff. Anyone who wants to redo our work should use lots of SACD and beyond, ultrahi-rez stuff, to see if that gets debunked too (whaddaya bet?). Our point was to be ample and capacious enough in all respects to give every chance for listeners to prove they could hear the RBCD bottleneck when switched in blindly. This led to a certain amount of suboptimal statistical hygiene. As a trained statistician and Journal reviewer put it, 'Given that your test was designed to allow participants every opportunity to demonstrate their ability to discriminate between A and B, you were more concerned that you not get a false positive conclusion than that there not be a possibility of reaching a false negative conclusion.'
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mzil
post Jan 20 2013, 06:01
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Dr. Moran, I think this test you used is brilliant! Thank you.

I pondered in another thread that this same methodology would be an excellent way to battle LP against CD. As you know, all other attempts to AB(X) test the two is pointless because of obvious pops and ticks (audible at least during the quiet sections of even the best LPs) acting as "tells" or "giveaways", as well as the fact that they use different master recordings, so it wouldn't be an apples to apples test even if there were no pops/ticks to contend with on the vinyl versions. Your test also conquers any synchronization problems since the LP and the A/D/A looped version from the CD recorder's output would always be matched, regardless of any speed drift with the turntable.

I don't know if you follow these things, but there is a huge contingent of young people who claim LPs are superior to CD, "As long as you can hear beyond the occasional pops and ticks" they typically claim. Sales for LPs are also at an all time high over the past 20 years!

Any chance we can see you apply this great A/D/A loop test of yours to vinyl records? Without your test there is no way to conclusively show the young folks that their preference for an LP over a CD is simply due to the different master recording that made it, or some LP distortion they "dig". [Oddly, for reasons that escape me, some recent LPs have a larger dynamic range to the CD version (due to the mastering), with some pop music, I'm told. This would also help expose that this fact is a mastering issue, and not inherent to the mediums themselves.]

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 20 2013, 06:46
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 22 2013, 19:02
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QUOTE (mzil @ Jan 20 2013, 00:01) *
Dr. Moran, I think this test you used is brilliant! Thank you.


Two words: Prior art.

The Meyer Moran test is basically a straight wire bypass test of the ADC/DAC combination they used to create the CD-response bandbass filter.

Here's an example of its use from over 23 years ago:

http://bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing.htm

Straight wire bypass testing was old 23 years ago!


QUOTE
Any chance we can see you apply this great A/D/A loop test of yours to vinyl records? Without your test there is no way to conclusively show the young folks that their preference for an LP over a CD is simply due to the different master recording that made it, or some LP distortion they "dig". [Oddly, for reasons that escape me, some recent LPs have a larger dynamic range to the CD version (due to the mastering), with some pop music, I'm told. This would also help expose that this fact is a mastering issue, and not inherent to the mediums themselves.]


The test in question has been done many times. It is fairly well known that if you burn a CD of a LP transcription it sounds just like the digital file that was originally created by the transcription process.

Yes, many of the things that people say they prefer about LPs is mastering, and it is almost certain that the rest is simply hype.
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mzil
post Jan 22 2013, 22:50
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 22 2013, 14:02) *
QUOTE (mzil @ Jan 20 2013, 00:01) *
Dr. Moran, I think this test you used is brilliant! Thank you.


Two words: Prior art.

The Meyer Moran test is basically a straight wire bypass test of the ADC/DAC combination they used to create the CD-response bandbass filter.

Here's an example of its use from over 23 years ago:

http://bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing.htm

Straight wire bypass testing was old 23 years ago!


Rather than linking to earlier discussions by Dr. Moran's co-author of this very AES paper, Brad Meyer [where Moran is also mentioned], I'd think some of the much earlier straight wire bypass tests of Peter Walker or David Hafler's somewhat similar, although not identical "straight wire differential test", discussed decades before the digital era, would have been more appropriate, but since neither I nor Dr. Moran made any claim the concept is original in the first place, I have no idea why you are even bringing up any "prior art" discussion.

QUOTE
The test in question has been done many times. It is fairly well known that if you burn a CD of a LP transcription it sounds just like...

Although Ive done the test myself decades ago, there has never been a scholarly paper written about it like Moran and Meyer did with this SACD test. That's what I was hoping for, so I can refer to this future paper when my pro-LP friends give me their "analog is better if you can just listen beyond the pops and ticks " mumbo-jumbo.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 22 2013, 23:20
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eretsua
post Jan 23 2013, 03:22
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The difference in sound between vinyl and CDs, I think, comes down to the mastering and not the media used. So given they would use the same source a double blind AxB comparison may indeed prove there is no perceivable sound quality difference between the two.

However, I do think there is a difference in the real world in the experience people have with a CD vs Vinyl. Putting on a vinyl is a more conscious, deliberate act. It takes more effort to put on a vinyl than it is to do a few clicks on your digital playback device. Even popping in a CD is fast & simple compared to the 'elaborate hassle' you have to go through to put on a vinyl.

So I think that this ritual you go through helps put you in the mood for the material you are going to listen to. And since you've made an effort into putting it on you may also pay more attention to it. Generally having a better experience listening to the material. When just opening a play list it is easy to (mentally) just walk away from it.

But maybe more importantly, vinyl ends and you will have to physically (get up and) flip it. This takes time, it forces a break in the sound. Gives your mind and ears a rest for a moment. I think that is very important. 15 minutes of intense listening is quite fatiguing. Listening to the 50min album in a sitting on cd without a break probably more so. And having 8hour long play lists continuously bombarding at you... bet that forces people to tune out mentally. So these forced breaks probably help the overall listening experience.

All of that adds up and may help explain why people say vinyl sounds better than cd (other than the different mastering). Even if a direct comparison between digital vs analog would not reveal any sonic differences.

This post has been edited by eretsua: Jan 23 2013, 03:23
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Engelsstaub
post Jan 23 2013, 04:28
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QUOTE (eretsua @ Jan 22 2013, 20:22) *
The difference in sound between vinyl and CDs, I think, comes down to the mastering and not the media used. So given they would use the same source...


I believe that "mastering" usually isn't the best way to describe the differences heard between the audio put to modern CD vs. that sometimes found on modern vinyl. It seems to me that, when they differ, it is probably due to the same master being pushed destructively to a 0 dB "normalization" for the digital release. (There is also the RIAA equalization, but that isn't really relevant, IMO.)


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julf
post Jan 23 2013, 08:33
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 23 2013, 04:28) *
I believe that "mastering" usually isn't the best way to describe the differences


"Amateuring"?
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markanini
post Jan 23 2013, 09:14
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QUOTE (julf @ Jan 23 2013, 08:33) *
QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 23 2013, 04:28) *
I believe that "mastering" usually isn't the best way to describe the differences


"Amateuring"?

Do you think Bob Katz is an amateur?
http://youtu.be/u9Fb3rWNWDA?t=7m58s
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julf
post Jan 23 2013, 10:54
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QUOTE (markanini @ Jan 23 2013, 09:14) *
Do you think Bob Katz is an amateur?
http://youtu.be/u9Fb3rWNWDA?t=7m58s


I think any "engineer" that over-compresses and clips recordings is an amateur. I have no idea if Bob Katz is in that category or not.
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eretsua
post Jan 23 2013, 11:27
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Sigh, regardless of how well or how poorly anyone does their job if it is their main source of income they are a professional.
If their income isn't coming from mastering they are an amateur regardless of their level of skills and talent.

Bob Katz is a driving force behind the K-system metering system. A system that is essentially the tool (in the broadest sense of the word) for preserving dynamics.
He is both a talented professional as well a front runner when it comes to having dynamic music.

This post has been edited by eretsua: Jan 23 2013, 11:29
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julf
post Jan 23 2013, 12:10
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QUOTE (eretsua @ Jan 23 2013, 11:27) *
Sigh, regardless of how well or how poorly anyone does their job if it is their main source of income they are a professional.


Sure - so replace "amateuring" with a verb derived from some other opposite of "master".
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markanini
post Jan 24 2013, 06:40
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That's like calling a prostitute a nun for having a holiday.

This post has been edited by markanini: Jan 24 2013, 06:43
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 24 2013, 19:45
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QUOTE (eretsua @ Jan 22 2013, 21:22) *
The difference in sound between vinyl and CDs, I think, comes down to the mastering and not the media used.


Vinyl has enough built-in, irreducible audible artifacts that it can't pass a bypass test. As a rule vinyl mastering is designed to make those audible artifacts as unnoticeable as possible.

1 generation of the best quality analog tape can't pass a bypass test either, but it is a tougher proposition than vinyl.
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2Bdecided
post Jan 25 2013, 11:14
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No, I think he means use the vinyl as the source, and push it through 44.1/16, to show that 44.1/16 does not remove the "benefits" of vinyl.

Cheers,
David.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 25 2013, 13:17
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 25 2013, 05:14) *
No, I think he means use the vinyl as the source, and push it through 44.1/16, to show that 44.1/16 does not remove the "benefits" of vinyl.


Of course!

Interesting how you manage to make statements that agree with mine look like they are corrections!


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db1989
post Jan 25 2013, 13:50
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 25 2013, 12:17) *
Of course!

Interesting how you manage to make statements that agree with mine look like they are corrections!
I’m sorry, but I just totally read this in Bane’s voice, hahaha. The first line is what sells it, obviously, but the second one would also fit right in!
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2Bdecided
post Jan 25 2013, 14:01
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 25 2013, 12:17) *
Interesting how you manage to make statements that agree with mine look like they are corrections!
Good grief rolleyes.gif
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dhromed
post Jan 25 2013, 14:02
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 25 2013, 13:50) *
I’m sorry, but I just totally read this in Bane’s voice, hahaha.


That's what the B. stands for.
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db1989
post Jan 25 2013, 14:12
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Oh lawd! Why didn’t I ever suspect before?

Completely unrelated, but I would just like to state for the record that I love strawberries.
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greynol
post Jan 25 2013, 17:47
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eretsua is suggesting that a CD using the same mastering as vinyl will sound exactly the same as the vinyl. The implication is the vinyl will faithfully produce every nuance of the master every bit as well as CD. How this was missed and/or glossed-over by all but Arny is anyone's guess.

Anyhow I dont think it is in any way controversial to say that eretsua was dead-wrong.

Now one might suggest that he meant to say passing vinyl through CDDA is a transparent process, however that is not what he said (twice). Why Arnold would agree with David with an "Of course!" seems a little strange. Maybe I'm wrong and no one got it right.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 25 2013, 17:54


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eretsua
post Jan 26 2013, 00:14
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Greynol is correct. What I meant is that indeed that the audio is presented with the same mastering (targeted for the lowest common denominator) on the two different media.

Very short on time so my apologies if this is a bit real world inaccurate / I'm taking a few shortcuts. Unfortunately, I don't have time to flesh it out right now so please try to think along in the spirit of what I'm saying rather than the letter of it.

Lets do a test. I'm guessing that would be a vinyl-targeted-master played back on a cd. there would of course be obvious problems to over come like pop & crackles on the vinyl playback that aren't present in the cd presentation of the material. Yes, I am aware that influences the sound and experience but what I'm getting at lies beyond those obvious real world differences. So lets for a moment to assume we can solve those / listen around them. Even it is just adding a simulated vinyl playback noises to the cd presentation. I think that if that playback "analog noise" has been solved you'd be hard pressed to hear to the differences between the two. If not, why not?

I totally agree that what I'm suggesting is more of a "which type of mastering style do you prefer?" kind of test rather than an actual analog vs digital test, yes. I am also well aware that in the real world the artifacts of the vinyl playback does have an influence on the reproduction of the material, yes. But I am not convinced that is the determining element in why some people prefer vinyl over cd.

So the point I'm getting at is this: I think it is the kind of mastering as they do for vinyl what the people really like, the people who prefer vinyl over cd, of course. Maybe it is that of the modern vinyl pressing have a greater dynamic range than their cd counterparts. Maybe it is the differences in the depth of the bass or some such. Maybe it is related to something else. But I don't think it is related to the physical medium itself and that if they are not visually exposed to the medium they'd still prefer the vinyl-style mastering over the mastering intended for cd reproduction. And I still stand by my idea that putting on a vinyl is more of an effort and that has a positive influence on the experience of music.







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greynol
post Jan 26 2013, 00:42
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We have a saying around here: you can make your CD sound exactly like your vinyl; good luck going the other way around (or something to that effect).

As was pointed out, vinyl has inherent problems preventing it from delivering a flat frequency response from DC to 20kHz with SNR and dynamic range of 96 dB (and even better when you play tricks) like you can with CDDA. This goes well beyond clicks and pops and is well documented in our wiki and elsewhere.

Still, people are free to claim two things sound identical on this forum; even if there is evidence to prove them wrong. wink.gif

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 26 2013, 00:47


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krabapple
post Jan 26 2013, 17:48
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QUOTE (eretsua @ Jan 25 2013, 19:14) *
So the point I'm getting at is this: I think it is the kind of mastering as they do for vinyl what the people really like, the people who prefer vinyl over cd, of course. Maybe it is that of the modern vinyl pressing have a greater dynamic range than their cd counterparts. Maybe it is the differences in the depth of the bass or some such. Maybe it is related to something else. But I don't think it is related to the physical medium itself and that if they are not visually exposed to the medium they'd still prefer the vinyl-style mastering over the mastering intended for cd reproduction. And I still stand by my idea that putting on a vinyl is more of an effort and that has a positive influence on the experience of music.


It's the mastering *and* the 'euphonic' distortion (and the packaging and the nostalgia and the ritual of LP care and playback, but let's stick to sound).

Leaving aside externally-induced noise (dust, scratches, warping):

Vinyl playback -- the technology itself, at its best -- inherently has less channel separation (this can be a 'euphonic' effect for some listeners) . Vinyl playback -- the technology itself, at its best -- inherently has more noise (I would not think this likely to be 'euphonic', but who knows? Audiophiles are a strange bunch) . I'm sure I'm forgetting a few other inherents (Woodinville or Arny can fill them in -- IIRC there's another euphonic effect related to perceived dynamic range).

These inherents would be true even if you managed to master the vinyl and CD exactly the same (good luck with loud bass signals on that endeavor) and played the LP on the very finest turntable/cart system.

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2Bdecided
post Jan 28 2013, 14:04
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I'm totally lost.


Anyway, while I'm happy that I can record vinyl to CD-R without introducing any audible change, I also have a few recordings on vinyl and commercial CD that sound the same on both (i.e. no mastering differences and no audible (to me) vinyl flaws while the music is playing). Pop music, obviously. I've yet to hear this magical vinyl set-up that plays wide dynamic range classical music without audible flaws during the quiet passages.

Cheers,
David.
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