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Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Two files were downloaded from here: http://www.naimlabel.com/musicstore-test-files.aspx

The hi-rez was the Super Hi Definition FLAC    24bit 192kHz, the Redbook was the CD Quality WAV    16bit 44.1kHz

Foobar ABX was used for testing. Results as follows:

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.2.8
2015/03/27 20:47:22

File A: C:\Users\DAW\Documents\Golden_Ears\naim-test-2-flac-24-192000.flac
File B: C:\Users\DAW\Documents\Golden_Ears\naim-test-2-flac-16-44100.wav

20:47:22 : Test started.
20:57:05 : 00/01  100.0%
20:57:10 : 01/02  75.0%
20:57:16 : 02/03  50.0%
20:57:28 : 03/04  31.3%
20:57:46 : 03/05  50.0%
20:57:52 : 04/06  34.4%
20:57:57 : 05/07  22.7%
20:58:12 : 05/08  36.3%
20:58:28 : 06/09  25.4%
20:58:34 : 07/10  17.2%
20:58:40 : 08/11  11.3%
20:58:56 : 08/12  19.4%
20:59:06 : 09/13  13.3%
20:59:12 : 10/14  9.0%
20:59:25 : 10/15  15.1%
20:59:33 : 11/16  10.5%
20:59:53 : 12/17  7.2%
21:00:06 : 13/18  4.8%
21:00:24 : 14/19  3.2%
21:00:50 : 15/20  2.1%
21:00:58 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 15/20 (2.1%)

Playback was over Neumann KH120 nearfield monitors in small studio.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #1
One short check shows the files are ~2dB different in loudness.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #2
One short check shows the files are ~2dB different in loudness.

Yes, so I first used the ReplayGain plugin with the  'Scan per-file track gain' option, then of course checked the "Use ReplayGain" option for ABX playback. Any usage/application tips welcome.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #3
The files are also completely different length and different fade in. Best is to create your own 16/44.1 version from the HiBit file.

Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #4
The files are also completely different length and different fade in. Best is to create your own 16/44.1 version from the HiBit file.

Better to test with or without ReplayGain, do you think?

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #5
The files are even different in phase. I wonder what these test files are for. Maybe you can check what format your gear can play but not very helpfull for qualifying differences in sound.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #6
The files are even different in phase. I wonder what these test files are for. Maybe you can check what format your gear can play but not very helpfull for qualifying differences in sound.

The naimlabel website identifies a particular performance with orchestra and conductor identified. I was hoping they had a high-res source file from the original performance, which was then converted for various resolutions, but there's no actual information about the specifics of development. FLAC is supposed to be lossless coding of the original PCM stream, "an exact duplicate of the original data", so I don't know what's going on there.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #7
Quote from the naim page you linked to: "Please download our free test files to ensure our files are compatible with your equipment."
This simply sounds like testfiles to check what formats you player can handle.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #8
Quote from the naim page you linked to: "Please download our free test files to ensure our files are compatible with your equipment."
This simply sounds like testfiles to check what formats you player can handle.

Yeah, I saw that. It would be *more* work to make different size clips, alter phase, even re-master etc, than to just convert straight out. Not much use really to test compatibility of such well-known formats. Perhaps some users may not have equipment to DAC 192's, otherwise I don't see the point, just for compatibility.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #9
If one downloads the current 2.0 version of foobar ABX it will document to all when DSPs and Replaygain are applied in the test, or not, and also has a rudimentary signature verification.

Files that aren't synchronized, in phase, and level matched are pointless to ABX.

"Please download our free test files to ensure our files are compatible with your equipment" ...and fool the majority of you that the difference you hear isn't simply due to other factors such as a level discrepancy, which we have not disclosed. [Not a real quote] They carefully have not written "Use these to see if the difference is audible" yet that is most certainly why the files are there, if you ask me.

Even using Replaygain the file sync error makes it a breeze to AB, so using their supplied cut for ABXing is pointless:

foo_abx 2.0 report
foobar2000 v1.3.3
2015-03-27 22:42:04

File A: naim-test-2-flac-16-44100.flac
SHA1: 5a088399a9ce716b5172ab117b144bdf6b9eab9b
Gain adjustment: -2.52 dB
File B: naim-test-2-flac-24-192000.flac
SHA1: 54fd277d2f70d4960fe73db58799ecfdb424293d
Gain adjustment: -4.58 dB

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

22:42:04 : Test started.
22:42:25 : 01/01
22:42:31 : 02/02
22:42:36 : 03/03
22:42:42 : 04/04
22:42:48 : 05/05
22:42:53 : 06/06
22:43:00 : 07/07
22:43:06 : 08/08
22:43:06 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/8
Probability that you were guessing: 0.4%

-- signature --
13da5911bf8b2c5e9c7ecf4795a636f8a0ca99b1

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #10
Quote from the naim page you linked to: "Please download our free test files to ensure our files are compatible with your equipment."
This simply sounds like testfiles to check what formats you player can handle.



Yes, and we'll never know if Naim's intent was to create a Red Herring hi rez test or just provide compability test files.

Anybody who is serious about doing hi rez tests with these will make their own low-rez files from the supplied high rez files using some of the fine freeware resamplers. Sox seems like a good first choice, no? 

Memo to self - need to look at the Sox transition bands or find someone who has. Any available low quality options are probably the way to go for maximum test realism related to the performance of real world digital players.

We've seen problems like these before with the AIX test files promoted on the AVS forum.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #11
Two files were downloaded from here: http://www.naimlabel.com/musicstore-test-files.aspx

Playback was over Neumann KH120 nearfield monitors in small studio.


My previous version of Sox (14.4.1) no longer runs (!)--the command prompt window blinks into existence for an instant an immediately disappears, so does my new install of 14.4.2. Setting 'Compatibility' and using 'Run As Administrator' obtain same results. Assuming that's some sort of security blocking problem for now, I did a conversion in Audacity, using the WAV version of the Beethoven Sym 1 from the naim link above, then downconverting it in Audacity to 44.1 kHz and 16 bits. Turned out to be easier:

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.3.4
2015/03/28 09:25:40

File A: C:\Users\jhughes1\Desktop\multimedia\naim-test-2-wav-24-192000.wav
File B: C:\Users\jhughes1\Desktop\multimedia\44_1_16_naim-test-2-wav-24-192000.wav

09:25:40 : Test started.
09:26:30 : 01/01  50.0%
09:26:37 : 02/02  25.0%
09:26:43 : 03/03  12.5%
09:26:59 : 04/04  6.3%
09:27:08 : 05/05  3.1%
09:30:41 : 06/06  1.6%
09:31:10 : 06/07  6.3%
09:31:22 : 07/08  3.5%
09:31:46 : 08/09  2.0%
09:31:59 : 09/10  1.1%
09:32:17 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 9/10 (1.1%)

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #12
In such cases please provide your samples, use the new foobar ABX plugin so we can verify. Still it may be easily fakeable but this way we may find an error.
So far i see no real effort you want to check why you hear the difference. In the first post you obviously show us the files are in your "Golden_Ears" folder so please forgive me if i smell some agenda here. Please prove me wrong.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #13
In such cases please provide your samples, use the new foobar ABX plugin so we can verify. Still it may be easily fakeable but this way we may find an error.
So far i see no real effort you want to check why you hear the difference. In the first post you obviously show us the files are in your "Golden_Ears" folder so please forgive me if i smell some agenda here. Please prove me wrong.

"Golden Ears" was from the folder I created for this: https://www.goldenears.philips.com/en/introduction.html

Only agenda would be detecting differences when they are available. If software resolution converters make a difference (they do), then it's interesting to know when that happens. Since this is only an online forum, not a testing lab, nothing is ultimately provable nor can be on this platform.
Just doing this in available minutes here and there (not many of those, unfortunately), but I'll make every effort to follow up. On the original two files, 'Statistics' under Sound Forge showed identical lengths and RMS, nearly identical Max and Min, from the two original downloads--following up with other data from Voxengo SPAN but only just got that started.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #14
My previous version of Sox (14.4.1) no longer runs (!)--the command prompt window blinks into existence for an instant an immediately disappears, so does my new install of 14.4.2. Setting 'Compatibility' and using 'Run As Administrator' obtain same results. ...[omitted for space consideration]


Dang it - installed SoX 14.4.2 on completely different platform, still flashes command prompt window once and disappears.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #15
Quote from the naim page you linked to: "Please download our free test files to ensure our files are compatible with your equipment." This simply sounds like testfiles to check what formats you player can handle.
  Yes, and we'll never know if Naim's intent was to create a Red Herring hi rez test or just provide compability test files.


I feel sorry for all the people who download the 16/44 sample versions, you know, "in order to check for compatibility with their system", and discover they can't play those. I guess computers made before the 1980's just won't do.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #16
Two files were downloaded from here: http://www.naimlabel.com/musicstore-test-files.aspx

Playback was over Neumann KH120 nearfield monitors in small studio.


My previous version of Sox (14.4.1) no longer runs (!)--the command prompt window blinks into existence for an instant an immediately disappears, so does my new install of 14.4.2. Setting 'Compatibility' and using 'Run As Administrator' obtain same results. Assuming that's some sort of security blocking problem for now, I did a conversion in Audacity, using the WAV version of the Beethoven Sym 1 from the naim link above, then downconverting it in Audacity to 44.1 kHz and 16 bits. Turned out to be easier:

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.3.4
2015/03/28 09:25:40

File A: C:\Users\jhughes1\Desktop\multimedia\naim-test-2-wav-24-192000.wav
File B: C:\Users\jhughes1\Desktop\multimedia\44_1_16_naim-test-2-wav-24-192000.wav

09:25:40 : Test started.
09:26:30 : 01/01  50.0%
09:26:37 : 02/02  25.0%
09:26:43 : 03/03  12.5%
09:26:59 : 04/04  6.3%
09:27:08 : 05/05  3.1%
09:30:41 : 06/06  1.6%
09:31:10 : 06/07  6.3%
09:31:22 : 07/08  3.5%
09:31:46 : 08/09  2.0%
09:31:59 : 09/10  1.1%
09:32:17 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 9/10 (1.1%)


I'd wait for some samples converted by a thoroughly checked out resampler. I just ran a Swisha frequency response test on Audacity 2.0.6  and there was an approximate 1.5 dB step down in response around 4 KHz with both the highest and lowest quality resampling.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #17
UltimateMusicSnob, SoX is a command line tool you need to use from the Command Prompt. It might be easier to use foobar2000 component for SoX based resampling. You should also download the latest version of the ABX component from here.

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #18
I uploaded a version done by SoX from the 24/192 -> 16/44.1 and back again to 24/192 for easy comparing.
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=108763
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #19
The OP might want to disclose whether he is riding the gain when listening.

Feel free to check his previous posts in order to glean background information.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #20
I uploaded a version done by SoX from the 24/192 -> 16/44.1 and back again to 24/192 for easy comparing.
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=108763



I came up with these parameters for Sox (a 1 line .bat file) to do a good job of approximating a combination of good mastering practices with modern shaped dither,  and a reconstruction filter typical of a good modern DAC:

sox %1 -b 16 %1_1644_outfile.wav rate -h -L -s -b 93 44100 dither -s -f lipshitz

Comments?

I found that building a .bat file with the parameters made it easier to get repeatable results and remember what appeared to be a good set of parameters.


Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #22
I uploaded a version done by SoX from the 24/192 -> 16/44.1 and back again to 24/192 for easy comparing.
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=108763



I came up with these parameters for Sox (a 1 line .bat file) to do a good job of approximating a combination of good mastering practices with modern shaped dither,  and a reconstruction filter typical of a good modern DAC:

sox %1 -b 16 %1_1644_outfile.wav rate -h -L -s -b 93 44100 dither -s -f lipshitz

You can spare the -L because it defaults to linear, -s is not needed because you overwrite it later with the -b option.
I like the Shibata dither curves more. Maybe because i still know Naoki from the nspsytune discussions years ago
Also -a for dither works nicely to prevent the dithering of silence. I use aliasing because SoX only aliases "above" the passband. When we use a slow filter the energy of the aliasing at 22kHz is very low already and even drowns in dithernoise mostly. I don't know if very strong shaped dither harms under some circumstances so the low Shibata curve is enough i guess. -b 92 prevents everything below 20khz
So i use rate -b 92 -a -v 44100 dither -a -f low-shibata
-v may be overkill but why not.
Like always with such things there is most likely as many opinions as people.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #23
Follow up test using recommended tools:

Original file still the downloaded Beethoven Sym 1 from naimlabel, last line under 'Classical' here: http://www.naimlabel.com/musicstore-test-files.aspx

Sox resampler was used to go from 192/24 to 44.1/16, and tested using latest foobar ABX Comparator.

The converted version is available in the Uploads forum area here: http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=108766

Result is NOT significant at alpha = .05

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.3.8
2015/03/28 13:32:44

File A: C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2\Beeth_192.wav
File B: C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2\Beeth_44.wav

13:32:44 : Test started.
13:33:32 : 00/01  100.0%
13:33:49 : 01/02  75.0%
13:33:54 : 01/03  87.5%
13:34:00 : 02/04  68.8%
13:34:05 : 03/05  50.0%
13:34:11 : 03/06  65.6%
13:34:20 : 03/07  77.3%
13:34:25 : 04/08  63.7%
13:34:31 : 05/09  50.0%
13:34:43 : 06/10  37.7%
13:34:56 : 07/11  27.4%
13:35:12 : 08/12  19.4%
13:35:25 : 08/13  29.1%
13:35:32 : 08/14  39.5%
13:35:46 : 09/15  30.4%
13:36:00 : 10/16  22.7%
13:36:21 : 11/17  16.6%
13:37:02 : 12/18  11.9%
13:37:30 : 13/19  8.4%
13:37:59 : 14/20  5.8%
13:38:04 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 14/20 (5.8%)

Hi Rez vs Redbook in Classical music

Reply #24
The OP might want to disclose whether he is riding the gain when listening.

Feel free to check his previous posts in order to glean background information.


Not riding the gain. In the original test I had scanned ReplayGain for both files and used for playback, not sure whether that's better protocol or not, than skipping ReplayGain. In any case, I'm not listening at high volume.

 
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