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Honestly - can you hear the difference between lossy and lossless?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Funk, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    Our eyes do it all the time!

    https://www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/story/20150130-how-your-eyes-trick-your-mind/index.html

    And it's just reminded me of a video I saw a while back about how our eyes can trick our ears:

     
    OldSkool, booja30 and narabdela like this.
  2. miktec

    miktec unissued

    ... before I worry myself about which format to burn my latest CD acquisition to in order to retain maximum musical magic, I have to remind myself to check here:

    http://dr.loudness-war.info

    - after that I can either get all OCD again ... or just bin it.
     
  3. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Mine are quite good; they hold my glasses in place OK, at any rate.
     
    miktec and Funk like this.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Surely this is pointless now?! Why would one ever choose to use lossy formats when bandwidth and storage are so cheap? Sure, for watching TV, YouTube etc it’s fine, but I can’t see the appeal of compromise on even the most low-end home audio.

    PS FWIW I still have very little time for streaming. It pays the artists and creators jack shit and there is just no emotional connection to be had. I’d far prefer to invest £20-30 for a record as everyone wins there.
     
    Anh, Sue Pertwee-Tyr and essgee like this.
  5. Octavian

    Octavian pfm Member

    Faulty logic, as always with flat earthism.
     
    Curtis and narabdela like this.
  6. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    The emotional connection is surely with the music, regardless of format. I’m clearly getting double the pleasure.
     
    booja30 and John like this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The collector gene runs really deep with me, buying and selling vinyl has been the one constant in my life since I was at school. It is just what I do. It is what I have always done. I have no idea how to not do it!

    I have always liked ‘being in at the start’ of things and having that 1st press, limited edition, signed copy etc. The likes of Bandcamp and online issues limited to specific stores (Bleep, Rough Trade etc) have made this all the more fun and fascinating. I have spent a quite serious amount of money on new vinyl in the last year, which has been great fun and I’m prepared to bet will be a superb long-term investment (as is my whole record collection). Streaming is just renting, it’s dead money, as unemotional as paying a phone bill, vinyl (or CD/SACD) is way more than that. I have so much music that I love, is a huge part of my life, and has also shown a massive increase in value from what I bought it for. What’s not to like about that?!
     
    Rack Kit, Big Tabs and Del monaco like this.
  8. John

    John Fore!

    I would not consider a vinyl collection a liquid investment. If you don’t need the money, you probably won’t go through the hassle of selling off single items to maximize profit. If you do need the money, you likely don’t have them time to sell it off to maximize profit.

    If you hold onto it and become incapacitated, have to suddenly move, or worse die. It’s likely to go for peanuts to whoever will take them away.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    Old Shatterhand and booja30 like this.
  9. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    A doctor told me once that there was really nothing wrong with either of my ears - they just didn’t really make a great matched pair. I think he meant in terms of frequency response, but I reckon one is bigger than the other too.
     
    miktec likes this.
  10. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Nobody uses 128K for hi-fi, or even 192K.

    Once you get to 256k (Apple codec) or especially 320K (spotify) the differences, in the fringe cases where these are audible, are massively outweighed by mastering and playback equipment quality.

    Lossy doesn't automatically = poor sound, far from it!
    Vinyl is very lossy indeed......and it sounds great.
    Ditto open reel tape.

    A superb master at 320K on Spotify still sounds superb.
    The average shitty consumer grade compressed output from most record labels still sounds shitty even when presented at 192K/24 lossless.
    I could make an argument that most of this rubbish actually sounds more agreeable via a lossy codec.

    In short, just avoid the low bit-rate stuff and stop worrying.
     
  11. RoA

    RoA Well-Known Member

    Admirable but a trait increasingly confined to where the Dodo went.
     
  12. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Just tried it over lunch, via the little office system. Reflections:

    - Struggled to hear much if any difference between them
    - Can though hear the difference between Spotify (premium) and lossless rips with the office system
    - Can even more clearly hear the difference between Spotify and rips in the main system
     
  13. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    On the point of mastering: it does indeed make a big difference, but not as much as the original recording. Mastering can only at best ameliorate a poor recording, but it can make a good one sparkle.
     
  14. Chefren

    Chefren pfm Member

    I think comparing Spotify and local rips is a bit risky since Spotify may not have the same release/master as the original source as your rip.
     
  15. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Well, all I can say is that it's pointless having a hi-fi then; might as well sell up, buy the lifestyle system of your choice (preferably made in China) and quit the forum. Second thoughts, is there a point in having the forum? Unless we want to talk about lifestyle electronics and politics of course!
     
    pocketkitchen likes this.
  16. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    True, but there are a few albums (I try and use) where it must be the same start or as close as you'd get. eg the Tom Waits 2017 remasters which came out on both. Impossible to assume with older stuff.
     
    Chefren likes this.
  17. Chefren

    Chefren pfm Member

    True, but an expertly done remix and remaster that is as close as possible to the original character of the recording can be quite an improvement, like for example some of the Steven Wilson remixes.
     
  18. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    Out of interest, what was your % result on the test?
     
  19. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Doesn’t really matter about ownership to me. I don’t want to spend days worrying about it.Life’s too short.Each format is a means of getting to the music and though production is a big thing, I would choose the Toscanini Otello over the most recent Domingo everytime. It’s the music that tells in the end and the quality of music making for me. I have an uncanny ability to hear through.
     
  20. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    True dat...but bordering on heresy. ;)
     

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