@OP: What MP3 encoder, and what settings were used?
Yes, you should never disable highpass as quality could suffer.Edit: I mean lowpass!Edit2: You should also switch to a decent ripper.
Can you please recommend a better ripper for downgrading my FLACs to top quality mp3?
You should compare 320kbps MP3 with variable bitrate, say -V3 and -V5. You can save a lot of space by choosing VBR over CBR.
However, I'm still interested in learning how transcoding really works, especially with Lame, and which parameters I should use. Also, I have recently purchased a 'small' (1 TB) portable hard disk for car listening, and my car player won't play lossless, so I need to go mp3 (always keeping my flac originals at home).
Indeed it is possible for a defect in hearing to make one more sensitive to certain kinds of artifacts, though I'm not convinced that is what is happening here.Are you performing proper double blind ABX tests?Have you checked the sizes of your files to make sure the 256 kbps files are really 256 kbps?
I'm ready to admit that something I'm doing wrong with my transcoding