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Old 04-27-2020, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Lawton, OK
138 posts, read 62,514 times
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in electronic music playback equipment whether for home, personal headset or automobile?

Are digital audio files in MP3 capable of yielding such quality?

Take a grand pipe organ in a cathedral. The best audio equipment, I think, can make organ recordings sound as close to live as possible.

Live classical or church pipe organ music is the gold standard for judging audio reproduction.

Last edited by JohnPBailey; 04-27-2020 at 02:50 AM..
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:21 AM
 
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I have not done the sound quality test in several years but I noticed MP3 classical music was not nearly as good as uncompressed CD. I had done an MP3 download of a piece and then saw an inexpensive used CD that I bought. So I have continued collecting CDs. I have heard that high-resolution downloads, in 24-bit format is better than even the 16-bit CD version, but I have not done it. One easy test is dynamic range. In a live classical performance the range can be very high- a symphony orchestra playing Romantic music may have a dynamic range of as much as 108 dB and CDs can get about 96 db.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:39 AM
 
41,823 posts, read 44,775,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPBailey View Post
Are digital audio files in MP3 capable of yielding such quality?
CD is 16 bit and has frequency of 44 kHz which means it can produce 65K different sounds played at 44K times per second. MP3 is similar but it's compressed to reduce file size which reduces quality from CD track or whatever the source is.

How much is removed is dependent on the bitarate. Typically anywhere from 128kbps to 320. The lower the number the smaller the file but also the lower the quality of the original recording. You would need a pretty good ear and sound system to hear the difference between CD and 320kbps MP3, not so much with 128.

Moving up the chain the quality of CD is not comparable to analog like vinyl.

There are much better digital audio formats comparable to vinyl and they have been around for quite while. "CD" is good enough and most people downloading aren't demanding higher quality audio. Ear buds isn't going to drive those sales anyway. DVD Audio (this is specific audio format not related to the audio on DVD video) has 16 million different sounds played at 192K times per second. This of course is much wider range and faster than than CD. It's been arounf along with some others more than decade now but not widely adopted.

One last thing to note. The quality of CD has another problem, Google "loudness wars". They drive up the amplification but lose a lot of nuance and range. The comparison they are making here is to the track on Guitar Hero which wasn't over amplified.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRyIACDCc1I




Another example of CD released in 86 and remastered version in 2006.





Bear in mind he quality of Youtube audio is not top of the line but the comparisons get the point across. They aren't all bad but there is some really bad mastering or remastering that has occurred.

Last edited by thecoalman; 04-27-2020 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 04-27-2020, 08:49 AM
Status: "Welcome back America!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Mars City
6,754 posts, read 3,292,340 times
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The original post hints at recording and playback; two very different worlds. Most of us don't get involved with the recording aspect, but it usually boils down to digital recording with high-end microphones.

Playback, for the rest of us, involves a system that can accurately reproduce the recordings with minimal loss and distortion. That includes a system that can reproduce the full range of audible frequencies, and doesn't introduce errors or changes to the sound.

Then there's also the acoustics of the room, etc. There's a lot more to it than most of us know of or will admit to.
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:46 AM
 
13,469 posts, read 6,642,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
The original post hints at recording and playback; two very different worlds. Most of us don't get involved with the recording aspect, but it usually boils down to digital recording with high-end microphones.

Playback, for the rest of us, involves a system that can accurately reproduce the recordings with minimal loss and distortion. That includes a system that can reproduce the full range of audible frequencies, and doesn't introduce errors or changes to the sound.

Then there's also the acoustics of the room, etc. There's a lot more to it than most of us know of or will admit to.
Agreed. There is recording, then down sampling, then playback.

You can have a pristine recording, $10000 worth of playback equipment but a 128Kbps MP3 will still sound lousy.

As OP is asking low-end questions (best receiver under $200, etc.) then I’d say that for $500 worth of equipment at least 256 or 320 will do. Uncompressed 16/44.1 FLAC might sound even better, but hard to tell. I doubt hi-res will be different.

Here’s a good test -

https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2018/...ossless-music/
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Old 04-27-2020, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
12,982 posts, read 15,088,742 times
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I think that's where this discussion should be heading: rip quality.

I always rip (convert) my CD's into 320bit MP3. Surprised Mark even mentioned 256.

@John When you convert CD's into whatever format you want the highest level of that format. An 'audiophile' would use a lossless format like FLAC or LOSSLESS WMA. These are the best quality files. However these files are 5 times larger then MP3's, so that's the tradeoff.
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Old 04-27-2020, 10:07 AM
 
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
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i guess flac ?

with storage and transfer rates being measured in gb these days (instead of mb), whats the point of .mp3 ?
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Lawton, OK
138 posts, read 62,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
The original post hints at recording and playback; two very different worlds. Most of us don't get involved with the recording aspect, but it usually boils down to digital recording with high-end microphones.

Playback, for the rest of us, involves a system that can accurately reproduce the recordings with minimal loss and distortion. That includes a system that can reproduce the full range of audible frequencies, and doesn't introduce errors or changes to the sound.

Then there's also the acoustics of the room, etc. There's a lot more to it than most of us know of or will admit to.
I believe still one must have a superior recording for superior playback to be possible. An organ recital made with a cheap mono cassette recorder won't sound spectacular even on a $10K home stereo. Consider the source too.

When I was talking about recording, I was talking about commercial recording, the record producers. Yes, many consumers are concerned with how well their home equipment can play back their commercially-recorded material.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:18 AM
 
1,969 posts, read 659,829 times
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Everything matters in the audio chain - from what microphones the recording engineer uses to how the mastering engineer lays down, mixes, eq's (or NOT) the tracks as well as if it gets brick walled or not, all the way to the audio system, the room, and how critical one's ear is.

Alexa playing Adele while folding laundry will never be audiophile quality.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Lawton, OK
138 posts, read 62,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley-88888888 View Post
i guess flac ?

with storage and transfer rates being measured in gb these days (instead of mb), whats the point of .mp3 ?
Most digital music is sold and downloaded these days as MP3. Economics, maybe. Some audio playback equipment and/or audio apps can't handle uncompressed audio files as WAV and LIMITED storage space ON PORTABLE DEVICES is also a consideration.
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