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Quality Bitrate Test, Three audiophiles subjected to blind tests ...
Ingemar
post Oct 1 2006, 20:19
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I have come to believe that our testing method is dubious and I urge you to read the responses in this thread and not take my findings for granted.

Hi,

First post, but a lengthy one. I have been a lurker for some time and after spending several days on this test which I documented extensively, I decided to make a write up and share it with you guys.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we had during the tests. But above all, I hope you find it useful too.

Enjoy! rolleyes.gif

Quality Bitrate Test

Song used for the test: Holly Cole’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ from the album ‘Don’t Smoke In Bed’.

Why? Because we wanted to know if lossy audio compression is possible without an audible difference compared to the original from an audiophile’s perspective.

Some ripping details:
• Exact Audio Copy v.0.95 beta4 from 21 February 2006
o Secure Mode
o Read Sample Offset Correction of +30
o Enabled overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out
o Enabled Speed Reduction During Extraction

• Plextor PX-716A, Firmware 1.09
• Core2Duo E6600, 2Gb, not overclocked and configured for stability
• Windows XP Professional, 32bit
• FLAC Encoder 1.1.2
• Ogg Encoder 2.83
• Lame Mp3 Encoder 3.96.1


The audio rig:
Pre Amp: McIntosh C29
power Amp: McIntosh MC150
CD Player: Luxman D105U
Speakers: Magnepan MG 3.5
Interlinks: Siltech SQ-G3 series
Speaker cable: FTM-G3 series

The codecs:

Encoding details for ‘I Can See Clearly Now’:

CODE
Lame --preset   Encoding Time    Bitrate       File size in bytes
Medium          21               143           4.519.605
Standard        18               163           5.151.548
Extreme         17               207           6.537.945
192             10               198           6.275.804
320             10               320           10.143.868

Oggenc2 -q      Encoding Time    Bitrate       File size in bytes
2               2,8              92            2.905.079
4               2,5              122           3.871.195
6               2,5              173           5.496.585
8               2,7              227           7.193.392
10              3,2              447           14.171.303


After encoding the files were decoded using the same proggie that encoded them and burned in random order to an audio CD. The CD contained the original uncompressed wave and decoded FLAC for reference. The track order and relevant info was kept on a separate piece of paper.

The Samples Used
The following samples were used in the test:
1. Ogg Vorbis Q2, 4, 6, 8 & 10
2. Lame Mp3 VBR Standard & Extreme
3. Lame Mp3 CBR 192 & 320
4. Uncompressed Wave and FLAC

We listened to Q0, 64kbps, 128kbps Mp3 and the Mp3 Vbr medium, but after seconds into the tracks we determined it was a waste of time. The quality degradation was too obvious and in our opinion not worth using for high quality audio.
So, this resulted in 9 tracks to compare (Wave and FLAC not counted).

The Testing Stages
The test was taken in 3 stages. In the first stage the uncompressed wave was tested against the original CD. During the second stage the uncompressed wave was used as a reference and played on request of the listener to do a back to back comparison of a compressed track. In this stage the listener was informed that the reference track was playing. Never did the listener know which type of compression was used on the test track.

The reason for this is simple. We had too many tracks to compare and after switching several times the listener becomes fatigued. Even the best trained ear will become confused. Your brain will start to ‘correct’ what you hear, much like with vision. Put on glasses that turn everything upside down and after a while your brain will correct the image and turn it back. Similar things happen with hearing. Therefore, a reference point is needed for the listener during the second stage.
During the third stage, the best Ogg and Mp3 track are played with the reference track. This time however the listener will not know which track is what. He is left completely in the dark to determine which track sounds best.

During every stage, the display of the CD player is not visible to the listener, and the player is controlled by a person not taking part in the test.

Also, the tests were done for each listener separately and have not been able to influence each other.

Stage 1, comparing the uncompressed wave to the original CD

I am glad I did not skip this step because I took for granted that the uncompressed wave and FLAC track on my CD-R were identical to the original. It was almost impossible to believe and a great disappointment for me, but confirmed by all listeners during several blind tests; the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD. This was a great setback as I hadn’t expected this. I attempted to do binary comparisons of the tracks but I couldn’t figure out what to do as we didn’t have the tools or the time to get into this. I had three guys breathing in my neck to listen to the music and not watch me operate a mouse and keyboard. So we went back to the sofa to do another test to determine if we could continue with the reference track as it was. One of the guys reminded us that several weeks before the laser was replaced in the CD player. Knowing a thing or two about CD players, he explained that it could be possible that the laser was not focused correctly and therefore was not able to read the CD-R correctly. The players’ error correction would be unable to keep up with the errors resulting in the audible difference. We also noted that if the CD-R was playing for a couple of minutes, we could hear static artifacts like it was skipping. The player was ripped apart and we experimented with the focus of the laser. We realize this can’t be done optimally without the proper tools, but after some experimenting we actually found a good setting to continue with. The static was gone and the listeners agreed that the reference track sounded identical to the original CD so we could continue the test.

The Second Stage

What I found most convincing about this test is that throughout this stage, the results were very consistent among the listeners.

CODE
Track Compression       Sound quality                                Dynamics
1     Ogg Vorbis Q2     Missed detail in low, midrange is sticky,    Dynamics are gone, sounds flat (2D),
                        high is lacking                              overall image is messy

2     Ogg Vorbis Q4     Identical to the original                    Very close to original, slightly compressed,
                                                                     slightly less open. Consistently considered
                                                                     the best track with the exception of track 5

3     Ogg Vorbis Q6     Low misses finesse very close to original    Lacking in musicality, slightly less open,
                                                                     considered less than track 2

4     Ogg Vorbis Q8     Identical to the original                    Very close to original, but slightly less open

5     Ogg Vorbis Q10    Identical to the original                    Identical to the original

6     Mp3 Vbr Normal    Low detail missing, low lacking and          Image distorted and sticking, Dynamics are gone,
                        distorted, high missing and distorted,       flat image, completely uncontrolled.
                        high artificial                              Considered worse than 1

7     Mp3 Vbr Extreme   Near identical to the original,              Less Dynamic, slightly sticky,
                        different but hard to define,                less open and vague positioning
                        high sounds artificial

8     Mp3 Cbr 192       Missing detail in low and high,              Image is flat, sticky, very messy,
                        midrange empty                               Considered similar to 1 and 6

9     Mp3 Cbr 320       Near identical to original                   Slightly uncontrolled, compressed,
                                                                     Considered less than 7


Mp3 track 7 and Ogg track 5 were selected for the blind test in Stage Three.

The Third Stage

This didn’t take long. The Mp3 track was consistently identified and the Ogg track was considered identical to the original.

Because of the interesting results with the Ogg tracks, the listeners agreed to test Ogg tracks again against the original reference, in a blind test. Q8 and Q10 were considered identical to the original and interestingly, Q4 was considered better than Q6.

What is also interesting to note is that Mp3 has been consistently considered less dynamic as Ogg, and sounds messy and uncontrolled. High has consistently been identified as ‘artificial’.

Savvy details:

CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset medium UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)
CPU features: MMX (ASM used), SSE, SSE2
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 17960 Hz - 18494 Hz
Encoding UncompressedWave.wav to UncompressedWave.wav.mp3
Encoding as 44.1 kHz VBR(q=4) j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (ca. 10x) qval=3
    Frame          |  CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU |    ETA
  9704/9706  (100%)|    0:21/    0:21|    0:21/    0:21|   11.765x|    0:00
32 [  47] %*
40 [  12] *
48 [  23] %
56 [  34] %
64 [  17] %
80 [  71] **
96 [ 751] *******************
112 [2023] **************************************************
128 [2281] ********************************************************
160 [2703] %%****************************************************************
192 [1345] %%%%*****************************
224 [ 307] %%******
256 [  87] %**
320 [   6] %
average: 142.8 kbps   LR: 246 (2.534%)   MS: 9461 (97.47%)

Writing LAME Tag...done
ReplayGain: -4.1dB


CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset standard UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)
CPU features: MMX (ASM used), SSE, SSE2
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 18671 Hz - 19205 Hz
Encoding UncompressedWave.wav to UncompressedWave.wav.mp3
Encoding as 44.1 kHz VBR(q=2) j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (ca. 7.3x) qval=3
    Frame          |  CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU |    ETA
  9704/9706  (100%)|    0:18/    0:18|    0:19/    0:19|   13.702x|    0:00
32 [  33] *
128 [4113] %*****************************************************************
160 [2634] %******************************************
192 [1550] %%%**********************
224 [ 888] %%%%***********
256 [ 346] %%****
320 [ 143] %**
average: 162.7 kbps   LR: 619 (6.377%)   MS: 9088 (93.62%)

Writing LAME Tag...done
ReplayGain: -4.1dB


CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset extreme UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)
CPU features: MMX (ASM used), SSE, SSE2
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 19383 Hz - 19916 Hz
Encoding UncompressedWave.wav to UncompressedWave.wav.mp3
Encoding as 44.1 kHz VBR(q=0) j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (ca. 5.7x) qval=3
    Frame          |  CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU |    ETA
  9704/9706  (100%)|    0:17/    0:17|    0:17/    0:17|   14.550x|    0:00
32 [  33] *
128 [ 175] %***
160 [2121] %%%**************************************
192 [3493] %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%***********************************************
224 [2019] %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%***************
256 [1228] %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%****
320 [ 638] %%%%%%%%%%%**
average: 206.5 kbps   LR: 3907 (40.25%)   MS: 5800 (59.75%)

Writing LAME Tag...done
ReplayGain: -4.1dB


CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset 192 UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)
CPU features: MMX (ASM used), SSE, SSE2
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 19383 Hz - 19916 Hz
Encoding UncompressedWave.wav to UncompressedWave.wav.mp3
Encoding as 44.1 kHz average 192 kbps j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (7.3x) qval=3
    Frame          |  CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU |    ETA
  9704/9706  (100%)|    0:09/    0:09|    0:10/    0:10|   26.639x|    0:00
32 [  33] *
40 [   0]
48 [   0]
56 [   1] %
64 [   1] %
80 [   0]
96 [   1] %
112 [   0]
128 [   4] *
160 [ 797] %%******
192 [6790] %%%%%*************************************************************
224 [1612] %***************
256 [ 306] %**
320 [ 162] %*
average: 198.2 kbps   LR: 635 (6.542%)   MS: 9072 (93.46%)

Writing LAME Tag...done
ReplayGain: -3.9dB


CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset 320 UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)
CPU features: MMX (ASM used), SSE, SSE2
Using polyphase lowpass filter, transition band: 20094 Hz - 20627 Hz
Encoding UncompressedWave.wav to UncompressedWave.wav.mp3
Encoding as 44.1 kHz 320 kbps j-stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (4.4x) qval=3
    Frame          |  CPU time/estim | REAL time/estim | play/CPU |    ETA
  9704/9706  (100%)|    0:09/    0:09|    0:10/    0:10|   26.904x|    0:00
average: 320.0 kbps   LR: 6723 (69.26%)   MS: 2984 (30.74%)

Writing LAME Tag...done
ReplayGain: -4.1dB


CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 2 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 2,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] /

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 2,750s
        Rate:         92,184242
        Average bitrate: 91,6 kb/s


CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 4 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 4,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] \

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 2,485s
        Rate:         102,014755
        Average bitrate: 122,0 kb/s


CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 6 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 6,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] |

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 2,485s
        Rate:         102,014755
        Average bitrate: 173,3 kb/s


CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 8 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 8,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] |

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 2,672s
        Rate:         94,875250
        Average bitrate: 226,9 kb/s


CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 10 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 10,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] /

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 3,172s
        Rate:         79,920135
        Average bitrate: 447,1 kb/s


This post has been edited by Ingemar: Oct 4 2006, 09:23
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guruboolez
post Oct 1 2006, 20:44
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 1 2006, 21:19) *
Because of the interesting results with the Ogg tracks, the listeners agreed to test Ogg tracks again against the original reference, in a blind test. Q8 and Q10 were considered identical to the original and interestingly, Q4 was considered better than Q6.

This is one reason that legitimate the need for ABX tests (and not only a single blind comparison). It's a bit hard to believe that the listeners really heard a difference at -q6 if they totally missed the existing ones at -q4. Probability to find the good one was 50%.

Did you read Pio2001's explanation on ABX tests? It's very interesting and it should help to understand why the procedure used in this test can't lead to valid conclusions. And some conclusions are indeed questionable. The encoding process usually don't lower the dynamic (not at high bitrate at least), and if loss in high frequencies is audible, I never heard serious reports about issues in low frequencies (comment on file#8, CBR@192: "missing detail in low and high").
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Ingemar
post Oct 1 2006, 21:07
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QUOTE (guruboolez @ Oct 1 2006, 21:44) *
This is one reason that legitimate the need for ABX tests (and not only a single blind comparison). It's a bit hard to believe that the listeners really heard a difference at -q6 if they totally missed the existing ones at -q4. Probability to find the good one was 50%.

Did you read Pio2001's explanation on ABX tests? It's very interesting and it should help to understand why the procedure used in this test can't lead to valid conclusions. And some conclusions are indeed questionable. The encoding process usually don't lower the dynamic (not at high bitrate at least), and if loss in high frequencies is audible, I never heard serious reports about issues in low frequencies (comment on file#8, CBR@192: "missing detail in low and high").


I hadn't read pio's post before, it's interesting indeed. We did a similar thing however but nos as scientific, a matrix sheet was used to keep track of the results. In case of Q4, we switched back to that track several times from the original and from the Q6/Q8 track to cross-test the results.

On 'dynamic', its hard to translate, and different listeners will use different descriptions for the same issue. In this case, dynamics could be described as a combination of the liveliness and positioning. Similary, one of the listeners kept calling the high in the mp3's 'artificial'. It's not my choice of wording, other listeners noted the high was 'sticky'. It's hard to say but maybe they meant the same thing. It always remains subject to interpretation.

I realize this makes testing questionable, but this was of course never meant to be a 'definitive' or 'exhaustive' test. We are simply a bunch of audiophiles who wanted to do these tests. They should be questioned as we are not an authority on the matter. I guess every one should do his own testing and if you like, keep these results in mind.
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guruboolez
post Oct 1 2006, 21:18
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 1 2006, 22:07) *
On 'dynamic', its hard to translate, and different listeners will use different descriptions for the same issue. In this case, dynamics could be described as a combination of the liveliness and positioning. Similary, one of the listeners kept calling the high in the mp3's 'artificial'. It's not my choice of wording, other listeners noted the high was 'sticky'. It's hard to say but maybe they meant the same thing. It always remains subject to interpretation.

I agree. Hearing a difference is something; analysing this difference is a completely different story: it's rarely obvious. I already used the same concepts to describe some problems I was unable to describe more precisely (and my english doesn't help). What really matters isn't really the words describing the difference but the reality of this difference. That's where ABX scores are really needed.


QUOTE
I realize this makes testing questionable, but this was of course never meant to be a 'definitive' or 'exhaustive' test. We are simply a bunch of audiophiles who wanted to do these tests. They should be questioned as we are not an authority on the matter. I guess every one should do his own testing and if you like, keep these results in mind.

Of course smile.gif And I thank you for sharing your results! Both tests and publishing are time consuming - and even if your test should be performed a second time, this effort still counts as a contribution to the community.

This post has been edited by guruboolez: Oct 1 2006, 21:20
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budbrain
post Oct 1 2006, 21:42
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did you use ordinary ogg or aoTuV?? O_o
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Ingemar
post Oct 1 2006, 21:51
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QUOTE (budbrain @ Oct 1 2006, 22:42) *
did you use ordinary ogg or aoTuV?? O_o


I used Ogg Encoder 2.83 and this is its output:

CODE
F:\media\test>oggenc2 -q 4 UncompressedWave.wav
Opening with wav module: WAV file reader
Encoding "UncompressedWave.wav" to
         "UncompressedWave.ogg"
at quality 4,00
        [100,0%] [ 0m00s remaining] \

Done encoding file "UncompressedWave.ogg"

        File length:  4m 13,0s
        Elapsed time: 0m 2,485s
        Rate:         102,014755
        Average bitrate: 122,0 kb/s


If your question remains, then I don't know unsure.gif

Pff ... I don't even know what aoTuV is so I'm guessing regular ogg?
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Alex B
post Oct 1 2006, 22:32
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 1 2006, 22:19) *
... Lame Mp3 Encoder 3.97...

CODE
F:\media\test>lame --preset medium UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)

F:\media\test>lame --preset standard UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)

F:\media\test>lame --preset extreme UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)

F:\media\test>lame --preset 192 UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)

F:\media\test>lame --preset 320 UncompressedWave.wav
LAME version 3.96.1 (http://lame.sourceforge.net/)

So you intended to test LAME 3.97 but accidentally used 3.96.1?

QUOTE
Pff ... I don't even know what aoTuV is so I'm guessing regular ogg?

It is rather surprising that a "been a lurker for some time" who is interested in testing of Ogg Vorbis audio codec is not aware of aoTuV.

Also, a decoded FLAC file is the same as the original wave file. That can be easily verified by bit comparing the tracks. Two identical wave files cannot sound different. It is completely unnecessary to include a decompressed FLAC. A wave file that is burned as an audio CD vs. Original CD Audio can be debated if a faulty device is involved like in your case.

The "test" report as described is nonsense. The test cannot be reproduced and verified by following your description even the same equipment would be available. It lacks proper notes about each listening stage.


--------------------
http://listening-tests.freetzi.com
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Diow
post Oct 1 2006, 23:01
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[LAME 3.96.1]
This version have one of worses --preset 320 what I see in LAME.


--------------------
Sorry for my bad english.
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kritip
post Oct 1 2006, 23:14
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The fact that you state the FLAC and WAVE burnt to CDR were distinguishable from the original CD surely invalidates all the further test you have done?? They will be the exactly the same unless you did something wrong or the hardware is ****!? If this was the case you shouldn't have been carried on any of the tests, and looked to correct your error or replace the hardware with something better/more reliable/fixed.

Kristian

This post has been edited by kritip: Oct 1 2006, 23:17
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Canar
post Oct 2 2006, 01:44
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QUOTE
the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD


I stopped reading here because you started talking nonsense. This is indicative of errors in your testing methodology. If you run into this kind of problem, you're clearly doing something wrong.


--------------------
You cannot ABX the rustling of jimmies.
No mouse? No problem.
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boojum
post Oct 2 2006, 04:13
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One: double blind test. This test of yours is not even interesting except to see how much time can be wasted to develop invalid conclusions. Quite a bit it seems.

Second, I have a feeling you can also hear differences in speaker wire, but not in a double blind test of speaker wire. Maggies are nice, for sure. You have an interesting system, but without a valid testing protocol it seems you are just reinforcing your prejudices.

Let us know how you do when and independant party puts you through your paces in a true double blind test.

Thanks so much. cool.gif


--------------------
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hlloyge
post Oct 2 2006, 06:45
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Few things I have learned in my life are to never trust anyone who has expensive equipment and golden ears, and here I learned that I don't have a pair of them, too. Do ABX test, post the results, please. This testing, where you could play original on demand is worth nothing, I'm afraid.
OF COURSE you can hear difference then smile.gif
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Ingemar
post Oct 2 2006, 07:33
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QUOTE
the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD.


I guess it could be interpreted in two ways, but the FLAC and WAVE (which sounded the same) did not sound identical to the original CD. I think I gave a valid description of why that was. I also believe we solved the issue. So, it's NOT that the FLAC and the WAVE on the CD-R sounded different from each other.

Having been a lurker it may surprise you that I dont know what aotuv is, but I did know I was up for some harsh comments. It's good, and I don't take offense. I only think its good that every one is critical and make up his own mind. And if you think the test is nonsense, move on and read something else smile.gif

QUOTE
This testing, where you could play original on demand is worth nothing, I'm afraid.
OF COURSE you can hear difference then


uhm, don't forget the third stage. We understand that of course, but you can't ignore listening fatique either. Hence the third stage.

Maybe, one day we will do ABX testing. But I'm afraid its not going to make much difference because you can't satisfy everyone. There is always gonna be people who will find fault in what you are doing. I know this for a fact and I didnt do the tests to convince YOU. I know what I heard and how we cross-tested and I trust that we tested sufficiently. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ingemar: Oct 2 2006, 09:05
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cabbagerat
post Oct 2 2006, 08:23
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 1 2006, 22:33) *
Maybe, one day we will do ABX testing. But I'm afraid its not going to make much difference because you can't satisfy everyone. There is always gonna be people who will find fault in what you are doing. I know this for a fact and I didnt do the tests to convince YOU. I know what I heard and how we cross-tested and I trust that we tested sufficiently. smile.gif
Firstly, thanks for doing a test, it's further than most people get. Unfortunately, your flawed test protocol makes the results of your test suspect. In particular, your methodology opens your results up to the ravages of confirmation bias. I would really encourage you to do another test with a more solid protocol and post your results.


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krazy
post Oct 2 2006, 08:26
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I know what I heard and how we cross-tested and I trust that we tested sufficiently. smile.gif
As soon as you posted here, however, you became subject to TOS 8:
QUOTE
All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.

This rule is the very core of Hydrogenaudio, so it is very important that you follow it.


This post has been edited by krazy: Oct 2 2006, 08:27
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Maurits
post Oct 2 2006, 10:05
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Dynamics are gone, sounds flat (2D)

Just a minor thing. You are aware that a stereo sound is technically always 1D (left-right) but your mind can be tricked into thinking something is 2D (left-right+near-far = depth)? A lack of depth means it's 1D because 2D introduces depth and 3D (left-right+near-far+above-below) introduces height.
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Ingemar
post Oct 2 2006, 11:47
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QUOTE
All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.

This rule is the very core of Hydrogenaudio, so it is very important that you follow it.


Hehe ... fair enough. Can't really argue with that.

I will try and do the test again because first and foremost I wanted to get the issue clear for myself. If indeed our testing was flawed we are fooling ourself.

Having said that, don't hold your breath because we live 2,5 hours apart from each other and have full time jobs. In the mean time I will be reading up on how to actually take ABX testing.
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fpi
post Oct 2 2006, 12:32
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 1 2006, 14:51) *
If your question remains, then I don't know unsure.gif

Pff ... I don't even know what aoTuV is so I'm guessing regular ogg?


Some info on aoTuV:
http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/VorbisEncoders

if you want to know which encoder has been used on your files, download ogginfo here: http://rarewares.org/ogg.html and do:
ogginfo file1.ogg
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SebastianG
post Oct 2 2006, 12:48
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QUOTE (Ingemar @ Oct 2 2006, 12:47) *
I will try and do the test again because first and foremost I wanted to get the issue clear for myself. If indeed our testing was flawed we are fooling ourself.

Great! I'm glad that you're taking the responses without offense. You obviously put some real effort into doing the tests and telling us about it.
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[JAZ]
post Oct 2 2006, 18:19
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During the second stage the uncompressed wave was used as a reference and played on request of the listener to do a back to back comparison of a compressed track. In this stage the listener was informed that the reference track was playing. Never did the listener know which type of compression was used on the test track.


For me, this sounds enough like blind-test ( ABX, ABC-HR? ) we can argue that it is not double-blind, but definitely *NOT* something to throw TOS#8 to it.

Oh.. and for those that just stopped at "the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD" ... Well.. go do something else, if you can't bother reading.
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legg
post Oct 2 2006, 19:06
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' date='Oct 2 2006, 12:19' post='437132']
Oh.. and for those that just stopped at "the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD" ... Well.. go do something else, if you can't bother reading.



In ABC-HR you have a choice of three signals, R, A and B. R is the reference and you know it is the reference. For A and B, one of them is the reference and the other the processed one but you don't know which is which.

From what I understood, the listener knew at all times if he was listening to the reference or the compressed one, which leads to placebo effect.


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pepoluan
post Oct 2 2006, 19:14
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QUOTE (legg @ Oct 3 2006, 01:06) *
QUOTE (Jaz @ Oct 2 2006, 12:19) *
Oh.. and for those that just stopped at "the uncompressed wave and the FLAC track on the CD-R did NOT sound identical to the original CD" ... Well.. go do something else, if you can't bother reading.
In ABC-HR you have a choice of three signals, R, A and B. R is the reference and you know it is the reference. For A and B, one of them is the reference and the other the processed one but you don't know which is which.

From what I understood, the listener knew at all times if he was listening to the reference or the compressed one, which leads to placebo effect.
Well, what Jaz pointed out, is that that sentence there was part of an anecdote by OP, which told about a faulty CD player. OP went on to describe what they do later on, and finally all the testers agree that the uncompressed wave and FLAC sounds exactly the same with the original CD.

Moral of the story Jaz's posting: Please read any post to the end, so you can be sure that the OP is not doing the unforgivable sin wink.gif


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[JAZ]
post Oct 2 2006, 21:14
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QUOTE (legg @ Oct 2 2006, 20:06) *
In ABC-HR you have a choice of three signals, R, A and B. R is the reference and you know it is the reference. For A and B, one of them is the reference and the other the processed one but you don't know which is which.


Mmmm.. well.. now that i read it.. it might not be ABC-HR, since the reference was always indicated, so the comparison was a direct AB. yet, the described procedure is similar, and they didn't know which codec/setting was which, ABC-HR is more than that, anyway.
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kritip
post Oct 2 2006, 21:58
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Oct 2 2006, 19:14) *
Moral of the story Jaz's posting: Please read any post to the end, so you can be sure that the OP is not doing the unforgivable sin wink.gif


Well, a faulty cd player "fixed" to a level of transparancy agreed by the testers, but possibly/probibly still faulty!

I have dealt with a few cd players that have had a weakinging lense, out of focus, and they generally present seek/skipping problems, but at I have never noticed an audible degredation in any other way.

The fact they "fixed" it without testing iit properly for BER etc. could have meant it was still faulty but out of the listeners perception.

This could have had a detrimental affect on the other lossy tests rather that may have accentuated the originally percieved effect.

It would hae been much better if it was swapped for a good unit.

Kristian

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johnston
post Oct 3 2006, 07:00
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Behold the placebo effect in all its splendor and glory.
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