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Can two software players sound different from each other and why?

digitalfrost

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#3
While I think this forum shouldn't go as hard as hydrogenaudio's TOS 8:

All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.
Claiming software players sound different is just blatant bullshittery unless you can provide proof they're outputting a different bitstream - which is pretty easy to check.

Still I think we need some kind of rule to keep the bullshit out of the forum, or else we'll have to suffer for it. Discussing this is just a waste of time.
 

Blumlein 88

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#4
While I think this forum shouldn't go as hard as hydrogenaudio's TOS 8:



Claiming software players sound different is just blatant bullshittery unless you can provide proof they're outputting a different bitstream - which is pretty easy to check.

Still I think we need some kind of rule to keep the bullshit out of the forum, or else we'll have to suffer for it. Discussing this is just a waste of time.
My motivation for doing so is someone (maty) who keeps insisting on plain old I heard it so we know it is so comments in numerous threads. So I wanted a thread of its own so he can try and explain how that can work or learn that it doesn't without polluting other threads.
 

graz_lag

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#5
From @maty

"I made the test seventy-two times (or 12x6 times, to all my fans who have the ability to perform basic arithmetic calculations), today, August-4th, 2019.
It was a quite hot and sticky Sunday day here in Tarragona, Spain. (41.1189° N, 1.2445° E)

air temp. was 31°C/87.8°F
relative humidity was 70%
absolute humidity was 21.3 g/m3
dew point temperature was 24°C

The folks at ASR were insisting they want me to post my objective comment's abt. the player comparison's, so here-below they are.
At the very beginning the test was run in good and silent conditions (32dB @ 1 meter from the speaker axes), the windows were open (well, one of them was 35% partially closed, though it's position was irrelevant with regards to the speaker position within the listening room, but I am mentioning it just for the sake of transparency to prevent any possible post-attack from @amirm).
Somewhere around the 57th listening time, one of the neighbors started drilling behind the wall, by means of what looked to be a 13mm drill bit from Bosch; (Yes, you're guessing right, I have very sensible ears to drill bits as well, and that's for both brand and diameter.)
At some point during the test, my AHGF (Air-Horn-GIGA-Filter, $14,250) from TotalDAC was signaling to me of the polluted situation within the main power supply.
The electricity (you read it right: the main power supply) was starting to get polluted by the frequency leakage of the neighbors rotary drill.
However and despite of all that (ultrasonic leakage into the main, 2-strokes scooters with illegal exhausts running back & forth on the street ...) every time the results were the same and were manifested with MUCH more air (22.5psi @ 1 meter from the speaker axes, so as measured by my U shaped tube of glass filled with liquid Nitrogen GIGA-Manometer from TotalDAC, $8,250), natural details of female voices, clapping less harsh cymbals and generally more separated sources.
My ear-analyzing capacity could confirm that applies to both voices and instruments.
There was a distinct difference between the sharpness and cutting edge of both A and B players but whether the sharpness / cutting edge is considered better quality or inferior quality is up to our subjective tastes.
I feel I can chose the sharper quality as the better rendering, however I am still a bit confused, so I am happy to conclude with a fair and indisputable 1 to 1 judgment.
A No-winner-No-loser final judgement."


Yours sincerely, @maty
 

watchnerd

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#6
From @maty

"I made the test seventy-two times (or 12x6 times, to all my fans who have the ability to perform basic arithmetic calculations), today, August-4th, 2019.
It was a quite hot and sticky Sunday day here in Tarragona, Spain. (41.1189° N, 1.2445° E)


air temp. was 31°C/87.8°F
relative humidity was 70%
absolute humidity was 21.3 g/m3
dew point temperature was 24°C


The folks at ASR were insisting they want me to post my objective comment's abt. the player comparison's, so here-below they are.
At the very beginning the test was run in good and silent conditions (32dB @ 1 meter from the speaker axes), the windows were open (well, one of them was 35% partially closed, though it's position was irrelevant with regards to the speaker position within the listening room, but I am mentioning it just for the sake of transparency to prevent any possible post-attack from @amirm).
Somewhere around the 57th listening time, one of the neighbors started drilling behind the wall, by means of what looked to be a 13mm drill bit from Bosch; (Yes, you're guessing right, I have very sensible ears to drill bits as well, and that's for both brand and diameter.)
At some point during the test, my AHGF (Air-Horn-GIGA-Filter, $14,250) from TotalDAC was signaling to me of the polluted situation within the main power supply.
The electricity (you read it right: the main power supply) was starting to get polluted by the frequency leakage of the neighbors rotary drill.
However and despite of all that (ultrasonic leakage into the main, 2-strokes scooters with illegal exhausts running back & forth on the street ...) every time the results were the same and were manifested with MUCH more air (22.5psi @ 1 meter from the speaker axes, so as measured by my U shaped tube of glass filled with liquid Nitrogen GIGA-Manometer from TotalDAC, $8,250), natural details of female voices, clapping less harsh cymbals and generally more separated sources.
My ear-analyzing capacity could confirm that applies to both voices and instruments.
There was a distinct difference between the sharpness and cutting edge of both A and B players but whether the sharpness / cutting edge is considered better quality or inferior quality is up to our subjective tastes.
I feel I can chose the sharper quality as the better rendering, however I am still a bit confused, so I am happy to conclude with a fair and indisputable 1 to 1 judgment.
A No-winner-No-loser final judgement."


Yours sincerely, @maty
I can't parse this or get any insight or meaning out of it. :confused:

Maybe I don't know enough of the back story....
 

Hugo9000

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#7
From @maty

"I made the test seventy-two times (or 12x6 times, to all my fans who have the ability to perform basic arithmetic calculations), today, August-4th, 2019.
It was a quite hot and sticky Sunday day here in Tarragona, Spain. (41.1189° N, 1.2445° E)


air temp. was 31°C/87.8°F
relative humidity was 70%
absolute humidity was 21.3 g/m3
dew point temperature was 24°C


The folks at ASR were insisting they want me to post my objective comment's abt. the player comparison's, so here-below they are.
At the very beginning the test was run in good and silent conditions (32dB @ 1 meter from the speaker axes), the windows were open (well, one of them was 35% partially closed, though it's position was irrelevant with regards to the speaker position within the listening room, but I am mentioning it just for the sake of transparency to prevent any possible post-attack from @amirm).
Somewhere around the 57th listening time, one of the neighbors started drilling behind the wall, by means of what looked to be a 13mm drill bit from Bosch; (Yes, you're guessing right, I have very sensible ears to drill bits as well, and that's for both brand and diameter.)
At some point during the test, my AHGF (Air-Horn-GIGA-Filter, $14,250) from TotalDAC was signaling to me of the polluted situation within the main power supply.
The electricity (you read it right: the main power supply) was starting to get polluted by the frequency leakage of the neighbors rotary drill.
However and despite of all that (ultrasonic leakage into the main, 2-strokes scooters with illegal exhausts running back & forth on the street ...) every time the results were the same and were manifested with MUCH more air (22.5psi @ 1 meter from the speaker axes, so as measured by my U shaped tube of glass filled with liquid Nitrogen GIGA-Manometer from TotalDAC, $8,250), natural details of female voices, clapping less harsh cymbals and generally more separated sources.
My ear-analyzing capacity could confirm that applies to both voices and instruments.
There was a distinct difference between the sharpness and cutting edge of both A and B players but whether the sharpness / cutting edge is considered better quality or inferior quality is up to our subjective tastes.
I feel I can chose the sharper quality as the better rendering, however I am still a bit confused, so I am happy to conclude with a fair and indisputable 1 to 1 judgment.
A No-winner-No-loser final judgement."


Yours sincerely, @maty
I think that's code. Someone from an intelligence service/black ops unit is calling in a strike against a target. Who lists latitude and longitude of their own location in audio tests? Such pinpoint localizing of a place, along with air temp, humidity, and other atmospheric conditions that can affect visibility or targeting accuracy suggests that it's all a coded message to another operative or base. That makes much more sense to me than that someone would have us believe that he can tell a 13mm drill bit from an 11mm bit (as well as brand of drill) by sound alone, on the other side of a wall, in use by a neighbor...

We've all heard about the olden days when agents would use personal ads in newspapers to communicate. This is the much more sophisticated modern day equivalent.

/s (or maybe not? lol)
 

thomasjast

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#8
Record the output from each player and compare waveforms. How's it more difficult than that?

Oh, wait... it's not.
 

March Audio

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#9
From @maty

"I made the test seventy-two times (or 12x6 times, to all my fans who have the ability to perform basic arithmetic calculations), today, August-4th, 2019.
It was a quite hot and sticky Sunday day here in Tarragona, Spain. (41.1189° N, 1.2445° E)


air temp. was 31°C/87.8°F
relative humidity was 70%
absolute humidity was 21.3 g/m3
dew point temperature was 24°C


The folks at ASR were insisting they want me to post my objective comment's abt. the player comparison's, so here-below they are.
At the very beginning the test was run in good and silent conditions (32dB @ 1 meter from the speaker axes), the windows were open (well, one of them was 35% partially closed, though it's position was irrelevant with regards to the speaker position within the listening room, but I am mentioning it just for the sake of transparency to prevent any possible post-attack from @amirm).
Somewhere around the 57th listening time, one of the neighbors started drilling behind the wall, by means of what looked to be a 13mm drill bit from Bosch; (Yes, you're guessing right, I have very sensible ears to drill bits as well, and that's for both brand and diameter.)
At some point during the test, my AHGF (Air-Horn-GIGA-Filter, $14,250) from TotalDAC was signaling to me of the polluted situation within the main power supply.
The electricity (you read it right: the main power supply) was starting to get polluted by the frequency leakage of the neighbors rotary drill.
However and despite of all that (ultrasonic leakage into the main, 2-strokes scooters with illegal exhausts running back & forth on the street ...) every time the results were the same and were manifested with MUCH more air (22.5psi @ 1 meter from the speaker axes, so as measured by my U shaped tube of glass filled with liquid Nitrogen GIGA-Manometer from TotalDAC, $8,250), natural details of female voices, clapping less harsh cymbals and generally more separated sources.
My ear-analyzing capacity could confirm that applies to both voices and instruments.
There was a distinct difference between the sharpness and cutting edge of both A and B players but whether the sharpness / cutting edge is considered better quality or inferior quality is up to our subjective tastes.
I feel I can chose the sharper quality as the better rendering, however I am still a bit confused, so I am happy to conclude with a fair and indisputable 1 to 1 judgment.
A No-winner-No-loser final judgement."


Yours sincerely, @maty
Has he really spent $14k on a mains filter? :facepalm::eek:o_O
 

SIY

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#10
It's a parody, guys. Poe's Law.
 

March Audio

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#11
I can't parse this or get any insight or meaning out of it. :confused:

Maybe I don't know enough of the back story....
All you need to know is he is called Manuel and he is from Barcelona.

 

garbulky

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#13
Software players have absolutely sounded different....but only when it's poorly implemented. Here's an example - using wasapi Foobar and Media Monkey sounded different. Not in a subtle way though. I was getting clearly audible stuttering on Media Monkey while I had no stuttering on Foobar. Clearly there was something broken or poorly confiugred somewhere. So in that way yes.

On my old computer (windows 98) I was getting distortion using winamp when using plugins (equalizers) and all that because it was clipping the signal.

Another way that software players can differ is when one is not outputting a bitperfect stream. However, if the human ear can hear a difference in a bitperfect stream and one that is not is debatable. I doubt I would pass any kind of blind test in identifying a difference but there is a psychological component for me knowing that a stream has not been resampled by software like from 44.1 to 48 khz or from a 96khz to 48khz.

But if it's a case of this working player has more depth or better timbre while this other working player doesn't, I have not encountered that.
 

maty

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#14
As usual, the usual always resort to humor in a malicious way to make a personal disqualification and one is a hardware seller.

In theory all software players should sound the same as 16/44 vs 24/96 but in practice it is not so. As with the hard one, it is assumed that some programmers do not do their job well.

I have noticed differences in my soft players for many years. As I have been optimizing the windows these differences have increased.

In addition to a different sound, the one I like best is JRMC. Until v20 or v21 it sounded just like foobar2000. Since then the difference is clear. It may use some type of hidden internal DSP but the result is a more detailed sound.

And worst of all, graz_lag invents a message from me..

If that is not acting in bad faith I do not know what it is.
 
Last edited:

Blumlein 88

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#15
In theory all software players should sound the same as 16/44 vs 24/96 but in practice it is not so. As with the hard one, it is assumed that some programmers do not do their job well.

I have noticed differences in my soft players for many years. As I have been optimizing the windows these differences have increased.

In addition to a different sound, the one I like best is JRMC. Until v20 or v21 it sounded just like foobar2000. Since then the difference is clear. It may use some type of hidden internal DSP but the result is a more detailed sound.
If those players all put out bit perfect data streams then no DSP is involved.

I was trying to be respectful and serious in starting this thread. Give you a chance to articulate what your ideas are and what evidence you have.

To clarify, do you think players supplying identical bit streams of data sound different? And did you determine this difference in some other way than casual unmatched listening?
 

maty

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#16
To clarify, do you think players supplying identical bit streams of data sound different? And did you determine this difference in some other way than casual unmatched listening?
I do not know if that is the case. If the bit stream at the output is the same, the sound should be the same.

Weeks ago, in a test where two very expensive cartridges were compared, 50 people participated (hidden Internet). The result was 48 vs. 2. I was one of the two! Very surprised of my mistake I verified that I had used foobar2000 with Asio4All in a quick test. I did the test again with JRMC v24 + Kernel Streaming and clearly the best sound was that of the other.

Since then I promised myself that I would never use foobar2000 again to do a test.
 

Blumlein 88

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#17
I do not know if that is the case. If the bit stream at the output is the same, the sound should be the same.

Weeks ago, in a test where two very expensive cartridges were compared, 50 people participated (hidden Internet). The result was 48 vs. 2. I was one of the two! Very surprised of my mistake I verified that I had used foobar2000 with Asio4All in a quick test. I did the test again with JRMC v24 + Kernel Streaming and clearly the best sound was that of the other.

Since then I promised myself that I would never use foobar2000 again to do a test.
Your description of events is much like others. And how you fool yourself. You listened and came to a decision. Then find you "made the wrong choice" and listen again coming to a different conclusion. The 2nd time however, you are influenced by 48 other people to hear it differently. I would think a fair amount of time passed between the two auditions. That is just asking to have your opinions influenced by things that aren't the sound. No matter how honest and careful you are trying to be in this.
 

maty

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#18
I think it is clear that what others think does not change what I think.

The difference was very noticeable, hence almost everyone chose the same cartridge, one that "officially" costs about € 7,000. The phono about € 15,000.

I think the mistake many are making is to believe that all software players are well coded as well as the outputs used. As with the boutique buffers of the Hypex NC500 and NC1200, with only two builders offer measurements (NC500).

With so much fudge that amirm is discovering we should not take anything for granted at this point in the movie.
 

solderdude

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#20
Question to @maty ... do you compare 'sighted' (knowing which player is being used) or did someone help and it was tested blind ?
By this I mean comparing the players, not the cartridge files.
 
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