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Old 2nd July 2013
Gear Nut

Foobar 2000 ABX Test - Redbook vs 192/24

Untitled: Photo

The picture shows foobar2000 displayed with two tracks, with 10/14 successful trials, app reports 9% chance I was guessing based on these statistics.

The track with just the title is Redbook Audio ripped straight to .wav by SoundForge 10. I upsampled to 192 kHz and increased word length to 24 bits, no other changes.

This is better than 90% confidence. When I do research in other domains, I never go with less than a sample n=30, but this is all I have time for this evening, and over 90% should be pretty damned impressive.

These are trials from various portions of 'Groove Tube', off 'Room Girl' by MEG. Very distinctive vocal sounds are available, and the levels are not dense and slammed as a lot of EDM. I expect to do at least as well with classical music--going to try string quartets and classical vocal music later on.

I did **not** train ahead of time on 44.1/16 vs 192/24. I did take plenty of time to make my decision on each trial, and I preferred either highly exposed vocal fragments, or deep complex textures with lots buried in the mix. Much background noise in my house, so I did all trials through DT 770 Pro's fed by RME Babyface. (My pending Asgard 2 headphone amp has yet to be shipped from the manufacturer, so I'm a bit crippled in this respect).

Keeping my attention focused for a proper aural listening posture is brutal. It is VERY easy to drift into listening for frequency domains--which is usually the most productive approach when recording and mixing. Instead I try to focus on depth of the soundstage, the sound picture I think I can hear. The more 3D it seems, the better.

These are 50+-year-old ears.