Looking for test results regarding Lossless vs. AAC 256kbs VBR 2011-10-06 19:18:25 A year ago, I've done a quick and not-so-polished test to my two listening setup using lossy and lossless file formats:Apple TV:First generation apple tv playing AAC 256k VBR filesCD player (original):Cambridge Audio 540D DVD player playing the original CDCD player (decompressed):Cambridge Audio 540D DVD player playing a CD-burned version of the AAC filesBoth setup were routed to:Analog connection to Cambridge Audio Azur 540A (version 1) amplifierB&W speakersMy wife and I took turns in operating the switch between various source with the listener indicating which source was preferred. For all types of tracks we listened too, the CD player was systematically preferred. We weren't able to distinguish between the original CD and its decompressed version. I must add that both of us embarked on that test thinking that lossy compression would lose hands down.Subjectively, we described the sound coming from the CD player as being fuller (much more spatially distributed). We are not audiophiles at all but we both gave a clear preference for the CD player over the apple TV. But at the same time, we are lazy and love the convenience of the Apple TV listening...My conclusions at that time was this:- I will see no problem in buying my music online as AAC files.- All CDs bought will be ripped to AAC 256k in iTunes.- Apple TV DAC (or line out amplifier?) is inferior to what is inside my CD player, but I can't use my CD player's DAC with the apple TV... So when funds are available I should shop for an external DAC for the apple TV that would hopefully match the performance of the CD player's DAC (I believe the Cambridge Audio DAC magic is the same DAC).In retrospect, two variables have been ignored in the test: 1) the cables between the playing device and the amplifier were not switched (they are both cheap RCA [red/white] cables); 2) the input used on the amplifier were different. Would it be worth reconnecting the test while controlling for these variables?I would really like if someone could redirect me to similar or contradictory results? I'm sure similar test have been performed by others but I couldn't locate them using the search feature.