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gt3b2 better than aotuvb5 @ q6?!?
post Dec 5 2007, 17:10
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hi guys!

first off: i am new to this forum so if i am asking stupid questions, please be gentle with me! ;-)

i have been an avid user of the gt3b2 vorbis encoder for a long time now. i use it at q6 and find it gives outstanding results. as a matter of fact, i find it extremely difficult to ABX a difference between it and the original wav file! :-)
(whoever wrote gt3b2 -> great job!)

but knowing it is very old i checked here (THE authority in music encoding ;-) for any new developments.

sure enough: aotuvb5 is HA's recommended vorbis encoder. no prob - i happily downloaded and tested it (also @ q6) vs. gt3b2.

then my surprise: there was a clear difference between the two, which i could clearly hear in an ABX test on some more "tricky" music pieces:

WinABX v0.42 test report
11/30/2007 11:40:24

A file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Iaora Tahiti.02.Mouse on Mars.Kompod_aotuvb5.wav
B file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Iaora Tahiti.02.Mouse on Mars.Kompod_GT3B2.wav

Start position 00:00.0, end position 04:08.4
11:47:36 1/1 p=50.0%
11:48:18 2/2 p=25.0%
11:48:45 3/3 p=12.5%
11:49:27 3/4 p=31.2%
11:50:06 4/5 p=18.8%
11:51:07 4/6 p=34.4%
11:52:04 5/7 p=22.7%
11:53:11 6/8 p=14.5%
11:54:14 7/9 p=9.0%

WinABX v0.42 test report
11/30/2007 11:55:06

A file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Iaora Tahiti.06.Mouse on Mars.Kanu_aotuvb5.wav
B file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Iaora Tahiti.06.Mouse on Mars.Kanu_GT3B2.wav

11:55:29 1/1 p=50.0%
11:55:50 2/2 p=25.0%
11:56:09 2/3 p=50.0%
11:56:44 2/4 p=68.8%
11:57:18 3/5 p=50.0%
11:57:45 4/6 p=34.4%
11:58:44 4/7 p=50.0%
11:59:22 5/8 p=36.3%
12:00:05 5/9 p=50.0%
12:00:27 6/10 p=37.7%

WinABX v0.42 test report
11/30/2007 12:00:56

A file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Unison.03.Angels & Agony.Unison_aotuvb5.wav
B file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Unison.03.Angels & Agony.Unison_GT3B2.wav

12:01:15 1/1 p=50.0%
12:01:38 1/2 p=75.0%
12:02:28 2/3 p=50.0%
12:02:44 3/4 p=31.2%
12:03:52 4/5 p=18.8%
12:04:10 5/6 p=10.9%
12:04:40 6/7 p=6.2%
12:05:40 7/8 p=3.5%
12:06:01 8/9 p=2.0%
12:06:12 9/10 p=1.1%

WinABX v0.42 test report
11/30/2007 12:06:38

A file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Zephyr- 48_24_aotuvb5.wav
B file: C:\Temp\Ripped Files\Zephyr- 48_24_GT3B2.wav

12:07:09 1/1 p=50.0%
12:07:53 2/2 p=25.0%
12:08:19 3/3 p=12.5%
12:08:34 4/4 p=6.2%
12:09:06 4/5 p=18.8%
12:09:29 5/6 p=10.9%
12:10:22 6/7 p=6.2%
12:10:55 6/8 p=14.5%
12:13:16 7/9 p=9.0%
12:13:56 8/10 p=5.5%

so far so good. BUT: to me gt3b2 sounds BETTER than aotuvb5?!?!?

in my ears:

more "open", better staging/positioning (like in a concert hall) and delightful lightness.
but a slight tendency to "muddy" sound and seems to make some passages louder (dynamic loss?).

somehow "darker", more "closed" sounding, like in a small room, more restrained.
however, instruments and voices seemed to sound more precise/"clean" and there was less apparent loudening of certain passages.

are there some special settings i need to do to aotuvb5 i simply missed? (yes, i read the wiki) or is it my choice of tracks? (most is 16bit/44kHz electronic, but "zephyr" is a 24bit/48kHz acapella choir) is there a possibility that the decoder i use (a squeezebox 3 with optical dig. out) works better with gt3b2 than with aotuvb5?

thanks for your thoughts, guys! :-)
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Alex B
post Dec 5 2007, 19:34
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As benski said, it would be essential to compare the encoded files with the original and try to find out which one is closer. Possibly dcote is just accustomed with the "gt3b2 sound".

gt3b2 used to be pretty good (I too used it at q7 and so), but I think the recent aoTuV builds (b4 and later) have a slight edge also at higher bitrates. (I'll try to search some references to back up this).

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