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A Beatles sample

A visited a friend who has a huge Beatles collection including the new releases. I had my work laptop with me and I created some samples. I chose "A Day in the Life" because it was mentioned in one of the related threads.

A sample from Sgt. Pepper's... / A Day in the Life. Exactly 30 seconds from 2:10 to 2:40. Four different releases and a mono file that contains the left channel from the 2009 mono version.

[attachment=5643:1987_stereo.flac]
[attachment=5644:2009_mono.flac]
[attachment=5649:2009_mono_left_ch.flac]
[attachment=5647:2009_stereo.flac]
[attachment=5650:2009_24_bit.flac]

A Beatles sample

Reply #1
"A visited" -- I meant to write "I visited". I don't know where the A came from. Unfortunately it can't be edited anymore. 

Regarding the samples, I didn't try to adjust the alignments. The different releases may have slightly different starting points, track durations, and possibly also tempo & pitch if they are from separate digitizing sessions or even from different copies of the master tapes. This must be taken into consideration before trying to compare the samples in an ABX test.

A Beatles sample

Reply #2
I didn't listen to the samples, but I know that there are original CD releases and rare MFSL releases as well of all albums.

I managed to get a hold on a few samples from the MFSL to compare with the new releases. To me the mastering of MFSL vs. 2009 remaster are almost identical, while compared to the original releases, the difference are night/day.
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

A Beatles sample

Reply #3
What do you mean by MFSL?  From what I understand those are just digitized vinyl.  To my knowledge MFSL never created any Beatles CDs, though it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

A Beatles sample

Reply #4
I didn't listen to the samples, but I know that there are original CD releases and rare MFSL releases as well of all albums.

I managed to get a hold on a few samples from the MFSL to compare with the new releases. To me the mastering of MFSL vs. 2009 remaster are almost identical, while compared to the original releases, the difference are night/day.


The MFSL releases are HDCDs with peak extension. Did you decode them properly?

A Beatles sample

Reply #5
Again, these are bootlegs, correct?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?


A Beatles sample

Reply #7
Hmm. I'm confusing the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and the Fabulous Sound Labs... 

A Beatles sample

Reply #8
Do you have a link or something?

My google search only seems to reinforce what I've already stated.

EDIT:  ...those Fabulous Sound Labs "releases" are unauthorized bootlegs as well, btw. 
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

A Beatles sample

Reply #9
There are no official CD releases of the Beatles apart from the 1987 ones and the 2009 remasters. Everything else is just bootlegs from various sources.

A Beatles sample

Reply #10
EDIT:  ...those Fabulous Sound Labs "releases" are unauthorized bootlegs as well, btw. 


Indeed. I understand the MFSL LP's were genuine and the (various) MFSL and FSL CD releases are bootlegs from these LPs.

 

A Beatles sample

Reply #11
The reason why I even brought it up is that I find it odd that the vinyl rips would be so similar to the 2009 releases.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

A Beatles sample

Reply #12
Well I only know rumours about those "MFSL" releases. You are probably right, since that would make them "rare" and as i stated, I just got the samples  Still they sound great compared to the original CD's and on par with the 2009.
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

A Beatles sample

Reply #13
When you synchronise the 2009 16-bit with the 2009 24-bit (there's only a 6 sample shift between the two extracts), decrease the 24-bit amplitude by 0.2dB (because it's 0.2dB louder!), and subtract one file from the other, the files null "perfectly" leaving only the noise shaped dither. No discrepancies at all.

So there's absolutely no benefit to the 24-bit version at all, unless you believe the 16-bit noise floor is audible (above the music and original tape hiss!).

Cheers,
David.

A Beatles sample

Reply #14
When you synchronise the 2009 16-bit with the 2009 24-bit (there's only a 6 sample shift between the two extracts), decrease the 24-bit amplitude by 0.2dB (because it's 0.2dB louder!), and subtract one file from the other, the files null "perfectly" leaving only the noise shaped dither. No discrepancies at all.

Does that mean that the 24bit-versions in theory could even be the 16bit, upscaled?
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

A Beatles sample

Reply #15
That would be unlikely. Probably the mastering engineer(-s?) has saved and archived the finished mix in a usual, recommended format of the studio gear and that is likely to be a 32-bit float format.

Since the source material really doesn't have a dynamic range that would even occupy the full 16-bit range the actual audio content does not practically differ if nothing was changed when the final mix was converted to two different bit depths. Possibly the two versions were created in separate sessions and the 0.2 dB volume level difference may just be caused by a slightly different position of a volume slider.

A Beatles sample

Reply #16
What is the saying? "you cannot polish a turd?"  audio from the 60's is possibly not the best showcase for 24 bit.

A Beatles sample

Reply #17
Does that mean that the 24bit-versions in theory could even be the 16bit, upscaled?
Not in this case - the 16-bit noise shaped dither is quite aggressive, so above 20kHz it's slightly higher in amplitude than the quieter parts of the content itself. This is visibly absent from the 24-bit version.


Otherwise, you make a good point - flat dither at 16-bits would be uniformly below the analogue tape noise floor. So if you
1. start with 24-bits, dither to 16-bits.
2. start with 24-bits, truncate to 16-bits.
3. start with 16-bits, add 8-bits of noise to give 24-bits.
...and then subtract the 16-bit version from the 24-bit version, the difference would look the same in all three cases!

If you started with the same content, and did each, you might find a subtle RMS difference in noise level that betrayed the fake - but if (for a given piece of content) you only have one or the other, there's no way of knowing whether the 24-bit version is real or fake.

Cheers,
David.

A Beatles sample

Reply #18
1987_stereo.flac ( 2.82MB ) Number of downloads: 249

  2009_mono.flac ( 1.94MB ) Number of downloads: 231

  2009_mono_left_ch.flac ( 1.58MB ) Number of downloads: 198

  2009_stereo.flac ( 3.09MB ) Number of downloads: 256

  2009_24_bit.flac ( 5.61MB ) Number of downloads: 257

I removed these samples from the first post to make room for other attachments. I still have them in my archive. Send me a PM if you would like to have them.

 
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