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Song that exposes - CD, SACD, Apple Music, Amazon HD - sound quality differences

BDWoody

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the difference is i dont try to sell :D

Has it crossed your mind as to why those who stand to make money on such a test can't provide one? Any of them? If you can find a proper set of controlled tests showing preference for one tweako thing over the non-tweako starting point, I'll buy it myself. With everyone going on endlessly about all the veils being removed left and right from everything under the sun, how hard can it be to show evidence? Unless of course it's a bunch of silly nonsense geared towards those who don't know better.

Same with any expensive cables, cords, magic rocks...whatever. I'm an open minded guy. If it can be shown there is a consistent preference, then I'll buy it to at least give it a whirl. Without that evidence, if I buy it, I'm just being victimized as a result of my own ignorance and wishful thinking.
 
D

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I found a weak link in your argument. You think power leads affect performance when they don't.
like i said, i didnt tried silver vs copper or something like that, its the ferrite which seems to be effective in surpressing interference for the most part, i just can confirm this with those cables, maybe some changes were part of the 2,50mm² i dont know, but i would guess the biggest role had shielding/ferrite ;)

No, you're the sucker in this case for the charlatans who DO sell.
i guess so, nobody needs to believe me tho, be your own "human"
 

TrevC

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like i said, i didnt tried silver vs copper or something like that, its the ferrite which seems to be effective in surpressing interference for the most part, i just can confirm this with those cables, maybe some changes were part of the 2,50mm² i dont know, but i would guess the biggest role had shielding/ferrite ;)
What interference do you hear with a standard mains cable that vanishes with the one fitted with ferrites? Why not just fit ferrites to the standard cable that came with the gear?
 
D

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What interference do you hear with a standard mains cable that vanishes with the one fitted with ferrites? Why not just fit ferrites to the standard cable that came with the gear?
it just seems way more efficient in filtering
i cant remember the exact change anymore, i think i remember a little better bass and overall clarity and like "smoothness", i also have those on :p specially emi filtering of mainspower makes a "good" change tho its very hard to get right, cheap 20-50€ emi filter/power distributor ones dont do shit
 

TrevC

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it just seems way more efficient in filtering
i cant remember the exact change anymore, i think i remember a little better bass and overall clarity and like "smoothness", i also have those on :p specially emi filtering of mainspower makes a "good" change tho its very hard to get right, cheap 20-50€ emi filter/power distributor ones dont do shit
Ah, so only placebo effects. Power leads can't, and therefore don't, affect performance.
 

Belker

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022

During this holiday, I received a gift which is a limited pressing (2000) 32-bit mastering process CD, Cantate Domino, Oscar's Motet Choir.

I compare :
A) Apple Music, coded as Hi-Res Losses, 24bit/88.2kHz, - Apple TV HDMI Out to AVP 7706
B) Amazon Music HD, coded as Ultra HD, 24bit/48kHz - Apple TV HDMI Out to AVP 7706
C) The Cantate Domino CD, 16bit/44.1kHz - Oppo 105D HDMI out to AVP 7706
D) The Cantate Domino CD, 16bit/44.1kHz - Oppo 105D XLR Analog out to analog pre-amp

My favorite is the song titled "Hosiana Dvaids Son".
I uses Apple TV 4k as music stream, its HDMI out feeds to AVR-7706 and use Oppo105D to play the CD.

C) and D) sounds similar but way better than A) and B). B) has the least sound quality presentation/impression.
Playing from CD via Oppo 105tD, the Choir has more life-like dynamic, the articulation has more fidelity and the trumpet, the background organ notes are more defined and the trumpet sounds have more texture.

This song clearly shows the superiority of good CD pressing and the nuance details differences over the streaming Apple Music version at 88.2kHx and Amazon HD's 48 KHz. Could the digital jitter in streaming or the chosen master in which Apple music or amazon HD coded them into file matters?

I played it loud to make it sounds like you were there with the choir .
I wanted to share so you guys can appreciate it especially if one has highly resolving speakers/amp to appreciate the soundstage of such good recording
If anyone know of other songs/albums that provide good quality recording that exposes the differences with bit rate or mastering , please share.

Thanks.
This is a great recording, but you are comparing different masterings. The HD is clearly different from the Redbook, that is why you hear differences. I have three copies available. 44/16, 88/24 and 176/24. They are all different.
 

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  • masvis-online 1 Hosianna, Davids Son Tidal 44-16.png
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  • masvis-online 07 - Vogler - Hosianna, Davids son (Hosanna, Son of David) HD 88.png
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Belker

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i compared qobuz and tidal once with CD, because qobuz always sounded a smitch better than tidal, and guess what, qobuz sounded exactly if not better than the cd rip and tidal sounded off ( basses are not as deep "subjectivly" and it always got a "bright" treble to it )
so i suggest you to try out qobuz since it seems to be "truly" flac :)
i didnt try any other streaming services beside spotify, and i dont have to tell you that 320kbit spotify always sounded worse than either tidal or qobuz (beside tidal still "coloring" the sound somewhat)
tho i have to say my test is like 1-2 years ago and now tidal started streaming everything in mqa (if i remember right)
About a year ago I tested a lot of files from Tidal, Spotify (i had CD-quality for a while in some sort of test they did), Qobuz and Deezer (digital direct downloads) . I compared these files with each other using DeltaWave and, where possible, with my own CD rips. Not once did I get anything but bit perfect null result! Provided the masters/bit rate were the the same of course. If you hear differences, it's either something wrong in your settings or good old placebo.
 
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D

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About a year ago I tested a lot of files from Tidal, Spotify (i had CD-quality for a while in some sort of test they did), Qobuz and Deezer (digital direct downloads) . I compared these files with each other using DeltaWave and, where possible, with my own CD rips. Not once did I get anything but bit perfect null result! Provided the masters/bit rate were the the same of course. If you here differences it's either something wrong in your settings or good old placebo.
there is a possibility that the webplayer was fcked up, tho i both used qobuz/tidal in the same browser, it was pretty obvious with hearing the same tracks with same quality, EDIT: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55468-tidal-or-qobuz-which-sounds-better/page/1

but i stopped bothered too because tidal goes the mqa route and apparently everything is streamed now in mqa instead of flac even with no mqa player (atleast i think so)
 
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Belker

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I published this in some Swedish foras, but I made a quick Google translate:

A lot has happened on the streaming front lately. Qobuz has officially launched here in Sweden, Tidal has been beaten due to "MQA-gate" and Spotify has started test delivery of lossless. Many posts have dropped in here with claims about how one service sounds better than the other. Often there are "huge differences". It has made me take a slightly skeptical stance. The difference between 320 Ogg Vorbis and lossless CDDA is not huge. At best, under ideal circumstances, it is detectable by a few people. This is explored in absurdity. So what makes it sound different? The short answer is: Different mastering. That is, if you can hear a difference, the source material delivered is different. Some questions I wanted answered:

1 / Are the files sent from the different services the same, when they are published to be the same format? This can only be tested for 16 / 44.1, because HiRes in its various forms are either pure PCM or MQA, ie different. (edit: I only had Qobuz and Tdal as available sources at the time of this test)

2 / If they are the same, do the players / apps do something with the sound, so that it sounds different?

3 / Do different resolutions differ and if so how? Measurably, then.

To test question 1, I have downloaded raw files from Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal. It goes with a little work, but I do not intend to go into how here. To verify the method and that these files are correct, I have compared with CDs that I own and have ripped. One limitation in this is that it will be quite old songs, because I stopped buying CDs about 10 years ago. Result: All files I downloaded have been bit-perfect. This has been tested with DeltaWave Audio Null Comparator and is thus indisputable. As usual with this type of empirical evidence, it is not possible to prove what has not been investigated, but the indication is clear. All songs I have tester gave Null/Bit perfect match.

Question 2 is a little trickier. What I did is that I connected an iPhone with Roon (for the CD original), Tidal, Spotify and Qobus to a DAC with USB (ProJect PreBox S2 Digital). The apps have been set so that normalization and EQ and other DSP features are turned off. Analog signal out of the DAC was captured with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and recorded in Audacity in 24 / 176.4. This is really boring, so I only recorded two tracks x 4. About a minute. These were lined up on the sample when possible and rough-analyzed in MasVis, a program that directly shows clearly if someone has messed with levels, compression or EQ. Zero difference. I also ran the files in DeltaWave, but since they are analog rips, it will of course not be a bit perfect, but close enough. It is still clear that the apps do not manipulate the sound sent from the iPhone.

Question 3 is easy to check. Just download a few different formats and compare in MasVis. MQA has already been discussed in e.g. GoldenSounds test recently. Qobuz often differs somewhat between different formats. It's easy to see in MasVis. HiRes is often a little higher in level, especially for older re-issues, which are remasters.

Summary:

-Files with the same format are as far as I have seen IDENTICAL from the three services tested.

-Local clients / apps on iPhone do NOT manipulate the sound.

-Different formats are usually different masterings. This is clearly seen in MasVis. HiRes often have a higher level and are more compressed (typically for "Remaster"). This applies to old re-issues. New albums in 24 / xx from Qobuz usually look better (more DR and not as zero-clipped) in MasVis than the corresponding 16 / 44.1.

UPDATE. Deezer also delivers bit-perfect Redbook data. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to test how their client behaves and if it tinkers with the sound.


Here is MasVis:
A great tool developed by the Swedish Audio Technology Society, made available on line by Andreas Arvidsson.
 

Belker

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i wonder "how exactly" you got the files tho, maybe those changes i and other hear/heared (https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55468-tidal-or-qobuz-which-sounds-better/page/1) are just added streaming/playing through the app/webplayer, i would imagine that the original files are indeed the same but the eq or whatever it is gets just "overlayed" while playing (i dont know if its still the case, but its now mqa anyway for tidal....)
As I wrote in the translated text above, I tried to find out if the player app did some funky stuff to the stream. I only tested this trough iPhone, where there was nothing indicating any DSP trickery happening. I didn’t test how PC clients behave. I use Roon, so for me it was case closed just knowing the data delivery was ok.

What people at Audiophilestyle hears in uncontrolled tests have zero value to me, I’m afraid.
 
D

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I can’t figure out this thread. OP posted something about formats sounding better based on…resolution? Then something about cables.

Anyways, Apple does (as of a few months ago) claim that they manipulate the source to ”sound best on apple products”. Whatever that means in practice, no idea.

A couple of OPs files will have been mastered differently as they’re expected to play to different markets-though not that different. One might hear more or less reverb and tape hiss for example which may or may not be considered better.

Different? Sure. Better? No idea.
 
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MasterApex

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This is a great recording, but you are comparing different masterings. The HD is clearly different from the Redbook, that is why you hear differences. I have three copies available. 44/16, 88/24 and 176/24. They are all different.
Thank YOU. This explains why I hear the difference.
It is clear that the FIM CD sounds better than the 24bit streaming version from Apple Music and Amazon Music HD.

It also explains why out of the 3 Disc versions (Original Prophrius, FIM, SACD), the FIM CD sounds the best.

It makes me wonder if we could help people at Apple Music or Amazon Music HD to sample from the best mastering before having it available for streaming?
 

voodooless

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Thank YOU. This explains why I hear the difference.
It is clear that the FIM CD sounds better than the 24bit streaming version from Apple Music and Amazon Music HD.

It also explains why out of the 3 Disc versions (Original Prophrius, FIM, SACD), the FIM CD sounds the best.
So what is the explanation then? I didn’t see any other than “it’s a different master”.
 

Belker

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I can’t figure out this thread. OP posted something about formats sounding better based on…resolution? Then something about cables.

Anyways, Apple does (as of a few months ago) claim that they manipulate the source to ”sound best on apple products”. Whatever that means in practice, no idea.

A couple of OPs files will have been mastered differently as they’re expected to play to different markets-though not that different. One might hear more or less reverb and tape hiss for example which may or may not be considered better.

Different? Sure. Better? No idea.
If Apple are truly manipulating the source/stream, it’s probably the most bizarre thing I’ve heard this (new)year! Ok if they did something at the client to compensate for playback device properties.
 

voodooless

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If Apple are truly manipulating the source/stream, it’s probably the most bizarre thing I’ve heard this (new)year! Ok if they did something at the client to compensate for playback device properties.
I think it’s mainly the way they use 24 bit masters to create the AAC compressed audio. They call it Apple Digital Master. It’s unclear what they do to the lossless audio tracks? Probably nothing.
 

Trell

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[snip] the difference is i dont try to sell :D (tho i would still like to open some minds for it... [bold added]) i get your point but its hard to proof it unless you are here with my setup and A/B things because i cant be sure your setups can/will even show those issues, for example a bad chinchcable will probably easly mask other things/improvements (its kinda weak-link hunting)

The mind should not be so open-minded that the brains falls out.
 

blueone

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blueone

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Thank YOU. This explains why I hear the difference.
It is clear that the FIM CD sounds better than the 24bit streaming version from Apple Music and Amazon Music HD.

It also explains why out of the 3 Disc versions (Original Prophrius, FIM, SACD), the FIM CD sounds the best.

It makes me wonder if we could help people at Apple Music or Amazon Music HD to sample from the best mastering before having it available for streaming?

That the masters are different can be objectively proven, so far I've seen no evidence that the differences are audible. If the differences are just encoding technologies it makes me skeptical. If the differences are also due to a re-mix of the multi-track masters, maybe.

As for your last question... we're going to help Apple and Amazon select masters for 60 million or more songs?
 
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