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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 9th April 2014
  #2701
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
You do realize I play drums over the pain threshold too? And have been doing it all my life? And that I'm 45 years old?

As much as the young folks love to blast their earbuds causing hearing damage, I really kinda suspect younger people than me will have an easier time hearing >20K content. I mean, if _I_ can hear it, come ON.

Also, are you really prepared to say, "You may listen to and enjoy music. Except you're not allowed to TURN IT UP, oh, and also, don't pay too close attention"?

Screw the pain threshold. I want digital audio I can ROCK OUT to, including its highs. I am quite uninterested in the fact that if I turned it down and then ignored it, I wouldn't be able to tell a difference. If you shut the speakers off, ALL files cannot be distinguished, but who cares?

Anyone else have luck ABXing the brightened files? It's a good start. I still doubt people will be able to hear removal of 20K and up from things like the classical music, but you can try 5a and 5b as 'training wheels' for 4a and 4b. We probably can't go beyond that point without becoming dogs.
LOL

I'm not sure what to say about all that. heh

But I'll remind you: the very first words in your post were: "This was grueling and unpleasant..."

And you went on to write: " When your heart starts pounding and you have to hold your head in precisely the same place and you're listening painfully loud, it's distracting. ABX sucks."

Of course, as I had pointed out, none of those things you complain about are ANY kind of requirements of ABX testing. YOU engaged in those strategies in order to, presumably, be able to more readily differentiate the 16/44.1 from the 24/96.

But I think it's safe to say that most of us 'science types' had already stipulated that, if you turn the playback level WAY up and focus on low level signals like reverb and other tails, then, for sure, given the right material, it is, indeed, going to be relatively trivial for those with a reasonable amount of ear training to differentiate the CD-quality from the 24/96.

So, whether you enjoyed it (as we might think from your most recent post) or found it grueling and unpleasant (as your earlier post seemed to suggest), it still told us nothing we didn't already 'know.'


Anyhow, none of the above should diminish the props I think you deserve for going through the effort to do that testing and I suspect you have arrived at a more nuanced understanding of the issues from that personal experimentation, so good on ya!
Old 9th April 2014
  #2702
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I've linked to the plugin as well as my re-upload of the files used, including the 5a-b pair.

All it is, ALL it is, is a massive highpass coded in the most primitive way. You get only the slew value between pairs of samples, which translates to 'loads of treble and nothing else'. I did it because I was getting nervous about hearing the difference between 24/96 and filtered 24/96. Using that, the amount of energy in the 5 files is literally about half below and half above 22.050K, and IF you can hear the over-22.050K information in the otherwise identical files, you can pass the ABX test every time.
Hmm. Well, first of all, pre-processing the files before ABX can be considered dirty pool. But let's assume that your filter had exactly the same interactions on both files and introduced no tell. You have to agree that this is far beyond the "normal listening" scenario; if the differences were so subtle that you had to introduce radical filtering to hear it, then what is the point? Certainly any notion of night and day difference is out the window, yes?

More controversial, however: you're claiming that you can hear frequencies higher than 22.05 kHz. Does that not make you suspicious that perhaps you are hearing something else, like in-band IMD?

Quote:
If you actually read the full ABX report you would have seen this, and that I failed the more difficult 'harpsichord' one as I thought I might do. I defy humans to distinguish THAT one, but happily cymbals are more revealing.
I did real the full report -- you went through a lot of trouble performing it, I'd be remiss not to fully read it. I just wasn't clear on the filtering situation. But let me ask you: why do you think the harpsichord files were impossible to distinguish? If 44.1k is so inferior to 96k, wouldn't it be obvious on all files?
Old 9th April 2014
  #2703
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mellotronic View Post
Science evolves and changes when new evidence to back up new theories come along. IMHO we're still in the early days. In your opinion we reached "singularity" and my crappy and brittle sounding cd's are at the highest level humans will ever be able to create. Guess what was on Steve Job's menu before he passed? Improving bandwidth and aesthetic quality of digital sound. Why would Neil Young and so many high end gear manufactures bother with this if there is nothing to it? This is like arguing with bible thumpers who take everything they read verbatim, but impart no intuition or insight into what they're reading.
But the principles of digital audio are based on mathematical truths, not scientific theories. Steve Jobs could live to be a million years old but he'd never live long enough to see the principles change.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2704
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
The thing is, I don't mind 24 bit being a standard as it's true, it's what I'm recording at. So who cares.

44.1 or 48. Again. Whatever floats your boat.

It's when we get into 96k and 192k and night and day underwater rubber band discussions that I start to see red.
Yeah, I'm with you, bigtime. I'm pleased to prove that this 22K and up stuff CAN be heard by humans. But it seems like it's totally a matter of 'special case' sounds and not super interesting ones. There are very few situations where I would CARE about the glittery sheen of a cymbal versus, say, a guitar or a voice: and the guitar or voice are exactly the sort of sound where you wouldn't ever hear 20K and up (10K and up, on the other hand, might be really important)

I'd be down with 96K but I'm less and less convinced I need to go and get the ADCs to do it. I've got an Apogee that'll do 44/48. Really thinking I should just run with that and be happy.

Neil's way exaggerating, like outrageously, when he insists 192K is so much better than 96K that it's like 96K is underwater audio. Yikes. Maybe if you're real young with super hearing you could say um… 60K was JUST the surface of the water. Maybe. But 96K's gonna be 'above water' for any possible human, I'm thinking.

For me, 48K would be 'in air' and 44.1K is… pretty much always also 'in air'. This underwater talk should be left for the mp3s. 'cos uncompressed audio can ALREADY be around the thresholds of perception, so mp3s are definitely for the birds in this conversation. It's way easier to ABX those, given the right source content.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2705
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
LOL

But I think it's safe to say that most of us 'science types' had already stipulated that, if you turn the playback level WAY up and focus on low level signals like reverb and other tails, then, for sure, given the right material, it is, indeed, going to be relatively trivial for those with a reasonable amount of ear training to differentiate the CD-quality from the 24/96.
Truce? I want to be a "science type" too.

But I listen loud, I love the funk, I love reverb, cymbal trails, classical music, analog synthesizers, etc.

and I feel the hairs on my body react, which makes the rest of my body react (or at least feel nice) so I run smack into the science of 16/44. I get voted off the science team whenever it comes to our senses.

Count me in as wanting 24/96 as the next standard. I'd take 24/192 if it happened but those files are still pretty big and the difference really starts to become very minor even for crusty old analog babies like me.

i actually think that pono will end up sounding "better" than vinyl, because of all the digital advantages with none of the digital loss. to have mobile hi-fi digitally is going to change alot.

i really think if HD digital takes off you will see people *actually* dancing around town like an old iPod commercial.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2706
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
But I think it's safe to say that most of us 'science types' had already stipulated that, if you turn the playback level WAY up and focus on low level signals like reverb and other tails, then, for sure, given the right material, it is, indeed, going to be relatively trivial for those with a reasonable amount of ear training to differentiate the CD-quality from the 24/96.
Okay, so is that our new baseline?

"it is relatively trivial for good listeners to distinguish 100% between CD quality and 24/96 if they try"

I'm good with that assertion. What I don't get is this. If this is true, why is it a moral obligation for me to accept lower-quality audio just because I'm capable of sometimes not paying as close attention to it?

I think my attention wanders, normally. I want the audio to be there if the attention suddenly reaches for some detail. The fact that 99 times out of 100 I won't be trying that hard is irrelevant. That one time when I get caught by some great musical moment, I want the audio to be there to support it.

Is that okay? Anybody offended by that idea, or prepared to tell me I may NOT have audio quality better than I need in my laziest, most unengaged listenings? I disagree. At this point I'm guessing 24/48 done right (24/96, ideally) covers every possible listening situation I could be in.

If you insist I get only 16/44.1 because many times that's all I can hear, I'm being cheated of my best moments, and that ain't fair! Let me have the moments that are the best of what my poor muddled 45-year-old senses can bring me. Be a sport
Old 9th April 2014
  #2707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
But the principles of digital audio are based on mathematical truths, not scientific theories. Steve Jobs could live to be a million years old but he'd never live long enough to see the principles change.
All these mathematical 'truths' are only scaffold for us to grab onto to not lose the plot anyway, and dependent on definitions that are again put there for it all to make sense to us.

If you think the way we deal with/view these structures will never change you may have a rude awakening in this lifetime yet.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2708
chrisj - i spend a lot more time these days playing drums too. maybe the love of a good cymbal crash, hi-hat flam, or snare roll is just something we need from our music? i thought the only reason anyone goes to 16/44 then mp3 in the last 10 years was for the portability of the resulting file for the consumer, not for the quality of the file.

as soon as they show me a formula or theorem for timbre that works i'll be impressed with the digital tech.

as soon as your digital robot baby with great speakers for a mouth convinces you it's human i'll be impressed, and terrified.


i am ear man!
reminding you computer jockeys
that you are flesh and bone

chrisj you are right, fight on man!
Old 9th April 2014
  #2709
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezraz View Post

i actually think that pono will end up sounding "better" than vinyl, .
god I hope so.

I love vinyl as much as the next guy but it has very little to do with pristine audio fidelity.

Records are freakin' cool.

Take away the actual tactile part and people are a bit delusional.

If the damn format is so good, why isn't everyone just converting from vinyl to 192kHz?

Sheesh.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2710
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
More controversial, however: you're claiming that you can hear frequencies higher than 22.05 kHz. Does that not make you suspicious that perhaps you are hearing something else, like in-band IMD?

I did real the full report -- you went through a lot of trouble performing it, I'd be remiss not to fully read it. I just wasn't clear on the filtering situation. But let me ask you: why do you think the harpsichord files were impossible to distinguish? If 44.1k is so inferior to 96k, wouldn't it be obvious on all files?
You see, this is sort of what I figured was going to happen. Do the test, 20 out of 20, and some of the guys will be so caught up in their logic that they will logically deny you could have done so, because it can't be done, so therefore you're still wrong. I didn't make those files, man. 5 is a very simple filter, and I passed 4 though it was harder.

Before anyone got 20 out of 20 in ABX blind testing you were ready to believe those files were a perfect test.

And isn't it obvious that cymbals contain >20K (in my EQed files, nearly half the remaining energy is >20K) and harpsichords really kinda don't? I already said, distance through air obliterates this amazingly quickly even when the information is legit there. You can't filter what isn't there in the first place and then expect a difference to be audible. Of course filtering 20K isn't obvious on non-treble sounds!

For what it's worth, I think some of the harpsichord stuff hints at over-20K content on some of the high notes, but man! You'll never hear it 20 times in a row. Maybe ONE in twenty, you'll pick up on the pretty little chime and go 'ooh, nice'. That's not enough for science.

I still want the 96K for the harpsichord in case my ear catches the pretty 'ting!' of the high note just right. I know it's there 'cos I heard it now and then. The cymbal stuff just PROVES that the 'occasional niceness' of 96K on stuff like the harpsichord is relevant, but you'd have to sit with each harpsichord recording for hours soaking in it, before you got a sense of which one 'had prettier highs'. For the 96K, every now and then you'd go 'oooh' at the high note, and for the 44.1K that wouldn't happen because the information is not there at all.

'Every now and then' is not provable. All you can do is find more obvious stuff of the same type (like the cymbals) and prove that, and say 'see? This is the same thing, but more so. The harpsichord is this, but less of it, that's the only difference. Now give me my pretty harpsichord.'
Old 9th April 2014
  #2711
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1

But I think it's safe to say that most of us 'science types' had already stipulated that, if you turn the playback level WAY up and focus on low level signals like reverb and other tails, then, for sure, given the right material, it is, indeed, going to be relatively trivial for those with a reasonable amount of ear training to differentiate the CD-quality from the 24/96.
Okay, so is that our new baseline?

"it is relatively trivial for good listeners to distinguish 100% between CD quality and 24/96 if they try"

[...]
Of course not. Why on earth would you even ask? heh

If you're going to take my statement, you have to take it with the all-important qualifiers:
Quote:
But I think it's safe to say that most of us 'science types' had already stipulated that, if you turn the playback level WAY up and focus on low level signals like reverb and other tails, then, for sure, given the right material, it is, indeed, going to be relatively trivial for those with a reasonable amount of ear training to differentiate the CD-quality from the 24/96.
And, with regard to the rest, let's remind you that you described your efforts as "grueling and unpleasant" in part because you were listening at "painfully loud" levels.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2712
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezraz View Post
Truce? I want to be a "science type" too.

But I listen loud, I love the funk, I love reverb, cymbal trails, classical music, analog synthesizers, etc.

and I feel the hairs on my body react, which makes the rest of my body react (or at least feel nice) so I run smack into the science of 16/44. I get voted off the science team whenever it comes to our senses.

Count me in as wanting 24/96 as the next standard. I'd take 24/192 if it happened but those files are still pretty big and the difference really starts to become very minor even for crusty old analog babies like me.

i actually think that pono will end up sounding "better" than vinyl, because of all the digital advantages with none of the digital loss. to have mobile hi-fi digitally is going to change alot.

i really think if HD digital takes off you will see people *actually* dancing around town like an old iPod commercial.
Well, we can certainly have a 'truce' on the people level. Heck, you seem like a nice guy.

We might have to have some further discussions on some of the science stuff at some point in the future to come to agreement there, though.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2713
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
But the principles of digital audio are based on mathematical truths, not scientific theories. Steve Jobs could live to be a million years old but he'd never live long enough to see the principles change.
So, the mathematical truths that digital audio are based on don't and can't tell you exactly what's happening to the human who hears this. Math stays the same, but science evolves, just like people.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2714
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Hey, 'relatively trivial' were your words not mine. I'm just as happy to go 'only occasionally will your ear reach for the 24/96 and be sad if it's not there'

Make up yer mind on the one hand it's trivial, but on the other it's impossible? I took the trouble to prove it's possible for an old fart who plays drums and hasn't had young person's ears for decades, to plainly hear this difference every time. I never said it was EASY, quite the reverse!

How about trying another angle? Since 'distinguishing' this stuff is ABX blind test proven, how about we say 'the exact threshold of this depends on the situation and can go all the way up to (fill in the blank) in certain conditions'.

I'd like to add, it's not a hard limit and ability to hear the high resolution will GRADUALLY fall away.

Simple logic should tell you there is a point where it is heard and can be proved.
And then, it is mostly heard and can be proved with less confidence than 100%.
And then, it's sometimes heard and the confidence of proving it diminishes
And then there's a point when it's never heard and the confidence is pure guessing.

Is that cool, or are we talking about a magical-thinking world where the presence of the phenomenon is like a light switch and it's either on or off, 100% or 0%?

If we can postulate a gray area, we can talk about wanting an output resolution that covers all possible listeners IN that gray area, but doesn't go beyond it. A lot of us in here have been settling on 24/48 as a darn good compromise. Can we leave off Neil Young's marketing for now and talk about what the real world is? Because 16/44.1 is not adequate for the real world of high resolution, nor is mp3s. They fall short too often. Neil is fixing that.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2715
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Hey, 'relatively trivial' were your words not mine. I'm just as happy to go 'only occasionally will your ear reach for the 24/96 and be sad if it's not there'

Make up yer mind on the one hand it's trivial, but on the other it's impossible? I took the trouble to prove it's possible for an old fart who plays drums and hasn't had young person's ears for decades, to plainly hear this difference every time. I never said it was EASY, quite the reverse!

[...]
I NEVER said it wasn't possible. For heaven's sake, man, look at what I wrote!

You DO get that the truth of the statement I made disappears when someone willfully ignores those qualifiers -- don't you?
Old 9th April 2014
  #2716
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Well, we can certainly have a 'truce' on the people level. Heck, you seem like a nice guy.

We might have to have some further discussions on some of the science stuff at some point in the future to come to agreement there, though.
Sounds good man, I'll go back and read more on some of the ideas posted since I don't write DSP for a living and I only went so far in public college math....

Whoever wrote that so much of this has to do with the playback system, the material, and all of the other variables was right.

All of that is very important, and could ruin all sorts of "data" about what we think we are hearing.

But storage will keep increasing, chips will keep getting faster, and hopefully the mp3 era will be looked at like the AM radio era - convenience over quality, and ultimately the redbook era will be looked at like the apollo missions -- amazing tech for their time, but far surpassed in most categories by modern methods and materials.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2717
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I think my attention wanders, normally. I want the audio to be there if the attention suddenly reaches for some detail. The fact that 99 times out of 100 I won't be trying that hard is irrelevant. That one time when I get caught by some great musical moment, I want the audio to be there to support it.
Wait a second. You went through extraordinary efforts (it could be argued you broke the "rules") to even hear a difference; are you also claiming that one sounded better than the other?
Old 9th April 2014
  #2718
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
All these mathematical 'truths' are only scaffold for us to grab onto to not lose the plot anyway, and dependent on definitions that are again put there for it all to make sense to us.

If you think the way we deal with/view these structures will never change you may have a rude awakening in this lifetime yet.
I have no idea what you are trying to say. What rude awakening will I be experiencing?
Old 9th April 2014
  #2719
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
You see, this is sort of what I figured was going to happen. Do the test, 20 out of 20, and some of the guys will be so caught up in their logic that they will logically deny you could have done so, because it can't be done, so therefore you're still wrong. I didn't make those files, man. 5 is a very simple filter, and I passed 4 though it was harder.
You didn't address my concerns with your methodology. I can only assume then that pre-processing the files was dirty pool.

And just to be clear: you are publicly claiming to hear frequencies better than 22.05 kHz. I think you also said you're in your 40s (and a drummer, to boot). Surely you understand if I find that difficult to believe.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2720
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mellotronic View Post
One way is encoding by 1 & 0's and the other is %100 linear.
Analog is encoding too! In fact, it is far less linear. "Linear" means the same thing out as went in. Hardly a description of analog, which is even being deliberately used as an effect (CLASP) for the very reason that it is NOT the same coming out.

The output of a D/A is once again 100% analog and is just as curvy and wavy as what went in. No 'discontinuities'.

Quote:
Most people can hear and "feel" the difference.
Of course they hear the difference - because the non-linearities of the analog encoding system are so freaking obvious! Why do tape engineers always monitor off the repro head? Because they know that what is going in will NOT come out sounding anything close to the same.

You will be hard-pressed to determine the difference between the 'live' straight wire and the output of the digital conversion. You will have to 'lean in'. OTOH, anybody, will easily be able to identify playback from the repro head of the tape deck. It will have hiss, it will have wow and flutter. It will have harmonic distortion. It will have a limited dynamic range. It will have compression of high-frequency transients. It will stick out from the other two like a sore thumb.

You are of course totally entitled to say you "like this more". You are not entitled to say it is "more accurate" because it isn't. It is less accurate by any technical measure and it is also less accurate by HUMAN MEASURE because it is much more obvious.

Quote:
At that point there will be no reason not to have the best resolution possible. It's very limited thinking to say that we will always be using today's standards.
The truly limited thinking is to cling to childish analogies of how digital works and ignoring the empirical results of carefully conducted perceptual studies. Most experts on conversion agree that 60kHz might be best just to move any possibility of filter artifacts up out of the way. Not because higher sample rates capture the in-band waveform better. And not because they think you can hear 30kHz. But the chart I posted earlier shows someone flying on angel's wings once he hears the magical sound of 384k!! Is that you? Do you think 384k is 'going to' sound better because the 'stairsteps are smaller"?

Quote:
If you can't then perhaps you would have been better suited to have been a scientist or mathematician?

Perhaps YOU would have been better suited to be selling power cables at the Hi-Fi store than calling yourself an engineer. You are USING this technology every day. Maybe you are even charging other people money for your 'expertise'. If so, shame on you for not understanding how it works; and double shame on you for being being proud of your ignorance.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2721
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bandpass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
'Every now and then' is not provable. All you can do is find more obvious stuff of the same type (like the cymbals) and prove that, and say 'see? This is the same thing, but more so. The harpsichord is this, but less of it, that's the only difference. Now give me my pretty harpsichord.'
Great effort Chris! And interesting results. As has been said, listening at elevated levels (a previous study mentions 14dB) is known to be able to reveal differences due to the 16-bit noise-floor. My fault to a certain extent since samples 2-4 are unmastered and a tad low in level—this should probably be fixed in case anyone else wants to try.

Did you listen to the difference file 4c? It'd be interesting to know if you could hear anything when playing it at the same level you were using for the ABX.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2722
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Wait a second. You went through extraordinary efforts (it could be argued you broke the "rules") to even hear a difference; are you also claiming that one sounded better than the other?
You guys supplied those files, not me. What rules? Now there are rules?

More resolution is better than less. I say this as a software programmer who has to contend with keeping digital high frequencies from sounding unpleasant, and I'm kinda good at it. The 96K sounds better and is better than the 44.1K for all situations when a sound's harmonics go past 20K.

I don't think 96K is necessary, but I think it made it easier to hear the difference on set 4 (which are the ones YOU guys provided, not me). Of the two, 96K sounded better than 44.1K and I could tell them apart every time. Other people may be able to tell them apart with lower confidence but still statistically significant.

Now if you ask me whether we 'need' 96K or 48K, I'm just as happy with 48K… we're all kinda reaching a consensus here, what is with this being shocked that 96K sounds better? It sure as hell will work better in DAWs, if it even sounds slightly better in normal use.

Also, I've heard a hell of a lot of real-world hihat mixes that were way brighter than my test 5 files. We don't often mic a hat (or the kit cymbals) by just putting up a mic and going for the old school jazz mix. Output formats have to handle stuff like hyping the sounds with EQ, and that will stress the sample rate a lot harder than just a unprocessed mic on some random, lackadaisical cymbal playing. Some drummers like to make the hat really BARK, or sting it and let it sear for a moment. Great sound, a hi-hat lighting up just right. You can bring out the top end amazingly with the right touch.

Jules posted earlier in the thread about banning people doing ad hominem attacks and lowering the discourse. We've got a bunch of people talking about their thresholds for high resolution, I even inflicted a bunch of loud repetitive ABXing on myself to pass the test given (not just for my identically-EQed 'training wheels' examples but the given cymbal examples), and you have literally called doing what you challenged us all to do, 'dirty pool'. And you claim that because I'm 45 and have played loud drums all my life, I can't do what I have done.

Cut it out, please. I did your ABX test, failed some, passed others, and we're currently talking about what to do with that information and what it means. Maybe a younger person with fresher ears would be able to pass these tests effortlessly, rather than struggling with it as I did. Maybe a younger person could pass all the provided examples. I only passed a couple, one being brightness-boosted. It's still the same source files.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2723
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GJ999x's Avatar
I ABed this thread against the epic Mixerman vs. Ethan thread on the same topic in the comments over here. I learned that they actually arranged an AB test, and it didnt go to plan so he tried to arrange another. They couldnt even end it with an AB test in the same room!

I have to say i prefered the mixer man vs. ethan thread but it's hard to top mixerman's writing style and attitude for entertainment (though he's easily matched by you guys for persistence). Also I had to be inordinately interested in geeky audio tech battles, i mean i spent HOURS on both threads on hi-res screens, it left me with eyebags and a weird combined sense of smugness and emptiness.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2724
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
You guys supplied those files, not me. What rules? Now there are rules?
Yeah, the rules of experimental methodology.

Quote:
More resolution is better than less. I say this as a software programmer who has to contend with keeping digital high frequencies from sounding unpleasant, and I'm kinda good at it. The 96K sounds better and is better than the 44.1K for all situations when a sound's harmonics go past 20K.
It's not encouraging when a DSP programmer equates higher sampling rates with "more resolution".
Old 9th April 2014
  #2725
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Please, everybody, don't get caught up in attributing to each other the marketing silliness the Pono people are doing. I think we can all agree the 'only 192K is air and all else is underwater' is wildly exaggerated, and I don't think anyone here is arguing it's necessary. AT MOST we're saying 'it can't hurt' and personally I think it'll cost you in midrange resolution from producing higher noisefloors, and that it's not even desirable.

We were doing so well at coming to terms with all this (at a 'sweet spot' WAY less than 192K, too). This is good. Don't act like anyone here is flying on angel wings because they're 'better than 96K', none of us are saying that.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2726
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Jules posted earlier in the thread about banning people doing ad hominem attacks and lowering the discourse. We've got a bunch of people talking about their thresholds for high resolution, I even inflicted a bunch of loud repetitive ABXing on myself to pass the test given (not just for my identically-EQed 'training wheels' examples but the given cymbal examples), and you have literally called doing what you challenged us all to do, 'dirty pool'. And you claim that because I'm 45 and have played loud drums all my life, I can't do what I have done.
I believe changing the files was dirty pool; it is up to the community to decide whether to accept your results or not.

As for hearing ultrasonics, you are right: I do not believe you can hear above 22.05 kHz. There is a very small chance that I am wrong -- perhaps you are a physiological anomaly. But I am not wrong for calling this issue into question. On the other hand, you are reacting strangely. Can you not understand why someone would be skeptical of such a claim? This isn't personal, and it's all germane to the discussion. So why are you getting defensive?

When bandpass posted the ABX files, he also included difference files. The only differences between the two were all above 22.05 kHz. So that leaves us with exactly two possible conclusions:

1. You can indeed hear above 22.05 kHz. Statistically and physiologically, this would be miraculous for a 40-something year old drummer, so you must expect some pushback on this front.

2. Your system has nonlinearities above 22.05 kHz that are causing IM distortion in the audible band. Unlike conclusion #1, this would not be utterly surprising.

Can you dig the difference? I'm not trying to pick on you or question your sincerity. I'm trying to understand how you aced a 20-trial ABX with only ultrasonic information.
Old 9th April 2014
  #2727
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
But that's obvious. I did it by making the ultrasonic information VERY LOUD. Fletcher-Munson curves, you know? If I hadn't, I wouldn't have heard a difference. I didn't hear a difference on most of the examples: only solo cymbals put out enough 'air' to do it.

I don't see how this is in any way miraculous. It's just at the verge of perception w.r.t high frequencies. 22.05K is just a number and it could've been 18K, or 30K we were arguing about if some early digital designers had chosen differently.

22.05K isn't a magic number, it was a compromise partly motivated by fitting 70 minutes of music onto a CD. If it had been 18K, many people would be able to pick out 'the difference' at lower volumes, less controversially. If it had been 30K I don't believe anybody would be able to manage it.

I figure what I've learned is, I ALMOST can't hear anything above 22.05K, no matter how loud it is. That's the only difference unless your original brickwall filters are broken (though I'll accept the possibility it was really the 24/16/24 bit conversion I was hearing? But then, why was it easier by EQing identically on both files?)

My system's a Lavry Black feeding Channel Islands monoblocks into NS10s, and I also used Sennheiser HD600 headphones which I've modified so the diaphragms are totally exposed, which helps open up the extreme highs. I don't believe these things are given to IM distortion—and I don't think I'd have been able to do the ABXing on lesser equipment, either.

Also, I bailed out of several trials (which can be seen on the record) because I could tell I wasn't going to do it. Especially after I thought I'd aced the 'harpsichord' one and flunked it. I doubled down and stuck with only tests where I could continue to hear the difference, plainly, every single time. If I felt that confidence waver, I didn't attempt the test.

My take on this whole mess: my gear is so good that I can push >20K information through it (from a 96K file, both times) so loud that even _I_ can hear it.

Again, younger people might be the real target audience here. I just want to keep up with 'em in my limited way
Old 9th April 2014
  #2728
Lives for gear
 

Aww, as someone who has listened to ~18K sinewaves and I've to say that I miss above 15K frequencies as much as I miss X-rays when watching movies.. so I've admire chrisj. Especially trying to bang those 22K sounds as loud as possible..
Old 9th April 2014
  #2729
Lives for gear
 
bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I don't see how this is in any way miraculous.
Again, which claim is the more miraculous -- that you can hear ultrasonic frequencies, or that your system is producing IMD? Granted that alone does not discount your claim. But let's take stock:

The NS10 is not a high frequency speaker. All the response curves I saw have it rolling off quickly as it approaches 20 kHz. To get even 20 kHz to be audible, how much gain were you pushing through the amps? Amplifiers tend to become nonlinear as they're pushed, especially if they are trying to amplify frequencies they weren't designed for. At the first site of nonlinearity, sum and difference frequencies will manifest, the latter of which could enter the audible band.

Obviously cymbal crashes and such have far more ultrasonic energy -- up to 40% of their energy is ultrasonic, by one famous account. Is it so incredulous that the "4" files, containing primarily cymbals, had enough ultrasonic energy that they drove your pushed amps and struggling NS10s into nonlinearity?

I really don't mean to discount all your effort in this. I freaking applaud it, I really do. But I don't believe that any 40 year old (and I'm one of them) can hear past 20 kHz, even at 150 dB. So 22.05 kHz isn't a magic number -- it just happens to be the delimiting point of the files: everything below that number was exactly the same. Therefore any differences were, by definition, ultrasonic.

Anyway, this is my opinion. Cheers!
Old 9th April 2014
  #2730
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Again, which claim is the more miraculous -- that you can hear ultrasonic frequencies, or that your system is producing IMD? Granted that alone does not discount your claim. But let's take stock:

The NS10 is not a high frequency speaker. All the response curves I saw have it rolling off quickly as it approaches 20 kHz. To get even 20 kHz to be audible, how much gain were you pushing through the amps? Amplifiers tend to become nonlinear as they're pushed, especially if they are trying to amplify frequencies they weren't designed for. At the first site of nonlinearity, sum and difference frequencies will manifest, the latter of which could enter the audible band.

Obviously cymbal crashes and such have far more ultrasonic energy -- up to 40% of their energy is ultrasonic, by one famous account. Is it so incredulous that the "4" files, containing primarily cymbals, had enough ultrasonic energy that they drove your pushed amps and struggling NS10s into nonlinearity?

I really don't mean to discount all your effort in this. I freaking applaud it, I really do. But I don't believe that any 40 year old (and I'm one of them) can hear past 20 kHz, even at 150 dB. So 22.05 kHz isn't a magic number -- it just happens to be the delimiting point of the files: everything below that number was exactly the same. Therefore any differences were, by definition, ultrasonic.

Anyway, this is my opinion. Cheers!
You are focusing on the X axis and the ticks going from 44100 to 48000 to 96000. That's barely more than doubled.

Focus on the Y axis - the bit depth. The count of those ticks goes from 16000 to 15000000.

Methinks my ears might make out the 14,984,000 more samples on the Y axis.

Also, if the X axis correlates to the changes in frequency, does the Y axis correlate to the changes in timbre? i used to think of bit depth as raw data rate but i now think of it as the Y axis, and the hidden world of soundwave blending.
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