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Re: OT question about sound cards/chip-sets and high-end music systems

On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 09:53:21PM -0700, Mark wrote:
> Rob wrote:
> ----------
> Since you care about the sound quality, I'd recommend encoding with
> flac.  That's lossless, so there is no sound quality difference between
> flac-encoded music and music straight from the CD.Forget about mp3.
> It sounds horrible, in my opinion.  High pitch sounds like cymbals sound
> "swishy".  Ogg vorbis is a lot better sounding than mp3, but flac is
> still the best.  I can here the difference and I'm using my onboard
> audio and consumer-grade equipment from the late '90s.
> ----------
> While I agree that FLAC is the way to go if hdd space is available, I'd be
> careful about claims that mp3 sounds horrible without specifying which codec
> and bitrates were used; mp3 developers have worked hard in recent years to
> improve the mp3 codec substantially.  In fact, recent blind listening tests
> here http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=67529 prove the
> modern mp3 codec(s) is transparent for almost all music at about 128 kbps.
> Using an old codec is where most people experience poor quality on their
> lossy encoders, because older codecs did a noticeably worse job at encoding.
My claims are based on using LAME around 3 years ago.  (I don't remeber
what version number).  I used constant bitrate at 192 kbps for all my
music originally.  I later tested it at 224 and found it almost
indiscernable from ogg vorbis (at 224 average bitrate), except in a few
spots.  I later tested flac and found the same thing -- it sounded
better to me in a few spots.

My biggest complaint about mp3 sound quality has to do with high pitch
sounds and some hard-to-describe guitar sounds.  For instance, the
guitar in Bold As Love by Jimi Hendrix, and the cymbals in just about
any song by the Ramones.  Another couple of test songs I've used are
Change by Blind Melon, and Stop Breaking Down by the White Stripes.

> People on audio websites get ripped a new one for making claims something
> sounds better without proving it by ABX tests.
> http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=16295
Thanks for the warning.  I like my old one just fine!


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