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  #41  
Old 03-16-2008, 09:13 AM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Not to mention the fact that as much as you might disagree, properly encoded VBR mp3 sounds the same as CD in 99% of A/B/X testing.

Consider my own dispelling of the snake-oil about uncompressed lossless audio. To the end user listener--even so called audiophiles--properly encoded VBR mp3 is indiscernible from CD audio to a level that is statistically equal to CD. Listeners are given a sample of CD audio ("A"), then made to listen to the same sample encoded with the highest quality VBR mp3 ("B") (for specifics: -V0 LAME @ ~ 250 kbps_. They are then asked to listen to a sample ("X") and decide which of the two prior "A" or "B" by selecting one or the other. Only about 1% of the time do the results differ from 50% right/50% wrong (the expected null hypothesis). Thus, 99% of the time, a listener cannot tell the difference between mp3 and CD. Don't misunderstand, I don't mean to say that continual modification of said mp3 would not be distructive, simply that for end-use listening, it's a wholly acceptable format.
The above is, by far, the most useful information I have seen so far on this site. A common misconception is that, because MP3s use data reduction, invariably some loss of quality occurs. Yes, theoretically, some loss of sound quality does occur. But can anyone actually hear it instead of merely claim to hear it?

The good folks at Hydrogen Audio say that for LAME 3.97, -V0, -V1, -V2, and even –V3 “will produce transparent encoding (transparent = most people cannot distinguish the MP3 from the original in an ABX blind test). Audible differences between these presets exist, but are extremely rare.”

The following link provides a good introduction to MP3s. Some of it is no longer current—e.g., MP3s no longer trail the field—but it still does an admirable job in dispelling the myth that data reduction inevitably means a discernable loss in audio quality.

http://www.soundstageav.com/mastersonaudio/20050201.htm

Last edited by Enigmatic; 03-17-2008 at 10:17 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #42  
Old 03-17-2008, 08:47 AM
Doggonit Doggonit is offline
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Wowza. This was a somewhat long but most entertaining lunch-time read packed with a healthy dose of technical knowledge. I give this thread two thumbs up.
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  #43  
Old 03-17-2008, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Likewise. Although I think we've scared off the more meek among us.
I read this post, just after you posted it, but it had becoming morning here, so I decided I needed some sleep before work. I thought it was spot on. But it appears we were wrong



Quote:
Cowon D2 is totally respectable anyway. It's more brick looking, but the UI is solid, and the player is totally quality in every way. In fact, considering that you seem to have headphones with slightly higher impedances (as noted from your profile), you might prefer the D2 because of it's massive output wattage. It drives 100 ohm + phones with ease. The p2 has a respectable OpAmp at 27 mW per channel, but it's nothing compared to the sheer power of the D2.

I chose the P2 for the pretty factor, and because I primarily use low impedance IEMs (between ~16 and 40 ohm) that don't need a massive amp to drive. Right now I'm stuck on my q-Jay armatures. They're probably the best sounding headphones I've ever heard that weren't large cans. By far. So precise and yet not cold, they're so smooth it's like candy in my ears. If you're looking for good IEM's, I would consider them.
Yeah, I guess the D2 might actually be the better player for me. But I too want to be able to fall for the "pretty factor", lol.
There's another, very good reason, for choosing the P2 over the D2 for me. One might even say it's a work-related reason (haha, anything to defend the pretty factor, right?:
Because of my work (as a journalist), the "answering" feature over BT is a super feature. That means I don't have to worry about missing a call from a source while listening to the damn thing. That alone is a super feature, especially since I'm certain it will work with my X820 (Samsung-phone).

Okay, and on to a stupid question: Who manufactures the Q-Jays? I want to check them out, but a quick search only found discussions about IEMs referred to as "Q-Jays" and "D-Jays" … As I want custom-molds, I need to find out if they accept molds from a danish audiologist (or whatever those hearing aid people are called in english).

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Originally Posted by Eredor View Post
on the contrary, at least for me... i usually stay away from such long posts.. but this is very interesting... i learned so much about audio encoding through this thread... i don't mind if you guys continue this for a few more pages :P

now i just need to aquire an ear which cares about these things(through time and expensive equipment which i can't afford atm i'm sure it will)
You don't need to go overboard and become one of those audiophiles paying thousands of dollars for cables to appreciate good sound (and the geekiness of the tech behind it). In my opinion, most of it, is developing a language while you learn, otherwise it will be hard telling the difference when you actually listen to the stuff (as you won't be sure what to listen for). Most people are visual in their perception, so begin with listening something where the audio samples are explained, and what to listen for (try the link to Sound Devices I linked to, where it's a comparison between 24 and 16 bit with and without dither, for exampel. It's explained pretty well, and it's quite noticeable). Oh, and remember closing your eyes while listening. Sounds stupid, but it lets your brain focus on the inputs you want it to focus on.
My monitor-headphones are the Sennheisers HD25-1. They're good – there's a reason they have been the defacto sound-guy monitors for years and years and years. They're precise and they are closed. And they're not that expensive. If you want something a bit cheaper, though, you could go for the HD25-SPs. They're the "little brothers" of the HD25-1. The biggest difference is actually the headband. It isn't "dividable", so you're not able to put much pressure on your ears (this actually matters more than you think). Also, you're not able to swing one of the cups up and away from your ear while listening with the other ear. I have had mine (HD25-1s)for 11 (eleven) years, and they're still going strong. Hell, they have been all over the world, even to Irak.
Speaking of which, not that it matters, but I saw a programme on Discovery channel about the biggest nuclear sub in the world. Guess what the guy listening for enemy subs where using? HD25-1s.

Oh, and don't fall for all the snake oil



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Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
The above is, by far, the most useful information I have seen so far on this site. A common misconception is that, because MP3s use data reduction, invariable some loss of quality occurs. Yes, theoretically, some loss of sound quality does occur. But can anyone actually hear it instead of merely claim to hear it?
Yes, I can. However, not all the time and with any audio sample. It highly depends how well (or not) the mp3-encoding matches the type of audio encoded, and it also matters how well (or not) the original is produced. If the original pcm has had the shit compressed out of it (i.e. no dynamic range - it's all pumped), no, it doesn't really matter. A good exampel of stuff having compressed the shit out of it, is most mainstream pop, or the favourite exampel in my own music collection: Lard with Jello Biafra. There is absolutely no dynamic range in the original, and I'm almost willing to bet I wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between the original and a 128kbps MP3.

Quote:
The good folks at Hydrogen Audio say that for LAME 3.97, -V0, -V1, -V2, and even –V3 “will produce transparent encoding (transparent = most people cannot distinguish the MP3 from the original in an ABX blind test). Audible differences between these presets exist, but are extremely rare.”

The following link provides a good introduction to MP3s. Some of it is no longer current—e.g., MP3s no longer trail the field—but it still does an admirable job in dispelling the myth that data reduction inevitably means a discernable loss in audio quality.

http://www.soundstageav.com/mastersonaudio/20050201.htm
Ah! Where to begin!!

No-one (here) is saying that using a lossy format "inevitably means a discernable loss in audio quality". Not even by a long shot.
No matter how you put it, AAC (Mpeg 1/2 layer 4) is better than Mp3 over a wider range of audio files. But even that falls short.
The reality is, that all of the lossy formats are tailored to specific types of audio files, and they do less than good if the track you encode fall out of this "frame".
Here's a pdf about Mp4/AAC – obviously written by a proponent of lossy formats, but it's fairly good at explaining mp3/mp4, albeit a bit technical:

http://www.telos-systems.com/techtal...rg_mp3_aac.pdf

Further, I like that the title of one of the threads you linked to is named "Most people can't tell a difference" …
You cannot extrapolate such things into "Noone can tell the difference", let alone into "there is no difference".

Then of course, there's the question of "imaging" (i.e. where the different sounds (voices, instruments etc) are placed in the stereo field. Of course this doesn't matter on every type of recording, but in some recordings, it truly does.

Btw, since hydrogen audio forums have become the defacto "truth sayers" (isn't that a bushism?), take a look at this:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=60655


Anyway, the reason for ripping to lossless or uncompressed aren't just the audio quality. It's to be able to encode a given file at a later point in time to any format you might choose, without losing any more quality than is lost "normally". So instead of using your ripped Mp3s as the source for a wma-file, you can go back to the original quality file and use that as the source. It's about future proofing and keeping cross-format compatibility without further quality reduction than the encoding will do.

There's also the question of artifacts. Lossy formats seem - at least in my experience - much more prone to that, not to mention it takes longer to encode and decode lossy formats than lossless or even better: uncompressed.

Also, why not use uncompressed or lossless. It's not like HD-space aren't cheap these days.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggonit View Post
Wowza. This was a somewhat long but most entertaining lunch-time read packed with a healthy dose of technical knowledge. I give this thread two thumbs up.
Great


Very off-topic addition: I just reread this post, and although I like the neatness of the digital realm, there are a three things I miss.
This makes me sound like I'm 70 (I'm 35), but I was introduced to radio/editing on reel-to-reel recorders.
It's true. I like how you can cut out a piece of tape, and have it in front of you, physically, knowing what it contains. Also, I wa really good at editing by ear, something not many are good at, but with the advent of digital editing, you can almost do it even if you're deaf (not true, but now the difference between a good edit and a crap one is much more subtle). Another thing I sorely miss is how you can use distortion to tell you if you're over when recording. When recording analogue, you set the recording volume so high you can _just_ hear it distort slightly once in a while. You can do this by ear, whereas you have to use your eyes more on a digital recorder, and it just clips at -0db instead of introducing a slight bit of distortion.
The third and last thing I miss sorely is tape saturation. Yes, saturation. There is no way to reproduce that effect digitally, even though many have tried and claim to be able to.
Anyway, that's an entirely different discussion. So sorry about that. It's just that … it's just that even my fellow journalists don't even care about sound, frighteningly enough, and most of them think that because something is digital, it must be better than analogue, even if it's a crap 8bit 32khz file. They even don't think much about mic-placement. Sigh!!

Last edited by Piper; 03-17-2008 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Added the off-topic
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  #44  
Old 03-17-2008, 11:15 AM
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Piper Piper is offline
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Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post

The good folks at Hydrogen Audio say that for LAME 3.97, -V0, -V1, -V2, and even V3 [COLOR=black]will produce transparent
Funny that link. It says the exact same thing I'm saying:

Quote:
Some audio samples, when compressed with certain algorithms under certain conditions, are known to cause artifacts of a specific kind (see, for example, the samples from the Lame MP3 Encoder Quality and Listening Test Information web page).
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  #45  
Old 03-17-2008, 02:00 PM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Originally Posted by Piper View Post
Interesting paper. Thank you. The paper's conclusion says, in part:

"Using an encoder with good performance, both Layer-
3 [MP3] and MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding [AAC] can compress
music while still maintaining near-CD or CD quality.
Among the two systems, Layer-3 at somewhat lower
complexity is the system of choice for current near-CD
quality applications. AAC is its designated successor,
providing near-CD quality at larger compression rates
(increasing the playing time of flash memory based devices
by nearly 50 % while maintaining the same quality
compared to Layer-3) and enabling higher quality encoding
and playback up to high definition audio (at 96 kHz

sampling rate)."


AAC may have been better than MP3 at 128 kbps back in 1998 or 1999, but this may not be true now: http://www.listening-tests.info/mf-128-1/results.htm.
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  #46  
Old 03-17-2008, 02:22 PM
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Piper Piper is offline
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Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Interesting paper. Thank you. The paper's conclusion says, in part:

"Using an encoder with good performance, both Layer-
3 [MP3] and MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding [AAC] can compress
music while still maintaining near-CD or CD quality.
Among the two systems, Layer-3 at somewhat lower
complexity is the system of choice for current near-CD
quality applications. AAC is its designated successor[],
providing near-CD quality at larger compression rates
(increasing the playing time of flash memory based devices

by nearly 50 % while maintaining the same quality

compared to Layer-3) and enabling higher quality encoding
and playback up to high definition audio (at 96 kHz

sampling rate)."

AAC may have been better than MP3 at 128 kbps back in 1998 or 1999, but this may not be true now: http://www.listening-tests.info/mf-128-1/results.htm.
[My emphasis]

You still don't get the differences, do you? I not only explained the problems with lossy formats and the artifacts they produce and why they're not good for everything, I even used your own sources to link to, to make the point that for a variety of audio it introduces artifacts and, basically, crap sound. Yet, you insist that Mp3 is the end-all of quality audio all the while ignoring that because of algorithms, any lossy formats, will have problems with certain audio files. MP4 is better in this area, as it's better over a variety of audio samples. Hell, I even granted you, that I cannot always tell the difference, that it depends on what the original file consist of.
Yet you apparently insist that Mp3 is the better format, and that it's somehow just as good as lossless. Ridiculously so, given that anyone who knows just a tad about these things – even your own sources - agrees with me. Sheesh!

There's nothing like a fanboy on a soap box …

P.S. Could you please not quote in the manner you do? It makes it a bitch to quote you and keep track of what you're saying in between all the different size-codes and whatnot?
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  #47  
Old 03-17-2008, 03:12 PM
iLLuSionS iLLuSionS is offline
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Originally Posted by Piper View Post
Depends on whether it's an interview, a whole piece or a documentary. Anything from 30-50MB and up to 500MB.

Well, a 24bit/48kHz monofile, three minutes long, uncompressed, is just a tad under 25MB. You may say that's not small, but take a look at how big files from a digital camera able to take raw-pics are. That's just how it is.

Anyway - you're wrong. Even if I used 30 stereo tracks (think "layers") all of them an hour long, all recorded at 24bit/48kHz, each of them 988MB in size, will not result in a file the size of 30GB.
Well, they will when working on the project, but the moment it's bounced ("recorded") to the harddisc as a stereo file, all those files will only make up the same 988MB, and to a mono file, half of that, of course. It's all about how many bits are used, if that makes sense.

I am not trying to get a player that can play back each of the tracks in multi-track session. There's a huge difference here. Of course nothing will go on there that isn't either mono or stereo.
Thats the thing i dont really get, why would you need such a high recording if it was an interview / documentry or something likewise? not trying to sound offensive in anyway, but: "do u really want to hear the guy's heavy breathing when hes talking? or whatever else he/she does".

but maybe its because of what you are trying to do with the p2 is a little confusing? lol, cause i only use my p2 to listen to music.

and btw, about ur stereo track, you are right, but i was assuming ur adding stuff as in... making it longer or w/e. XD. like i get what u mean by how many bits are used.
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  #48  
Old 03-17-2008, 03:16 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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I just want to add that there is no lossy format that is better in all regards than the other. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. In a nutshell, lossy formats strips away part of the audio spectrum that most of us cannot hear on a regular bases. lossy format < lossless format, no questions asked.
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  #49  
Old 03-17-2008, 08:46 PM
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Piper Piper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLLuSionS View Post
Thats the thing i dont really get, why would you need such a high recording if it was an interview / documentry or something likewise? not trying to sound offensive in anyway, but: "do u really want to hear the guy's heavy breathing when hes talking? or whatever else he/she does".
Haha, well, to put it like this: Yes I do. Realistically, we're talking about bringing the noise floor down (that's the 24 bit-part) and compatibility reasons etc. (that's the 48-kHz-part). About the breathing, yes, you actually use the breathing for pauses and to "tell" (subconsciously) the listener that we're moving on to another paragraph, another line of thinking. However, I think you mean excessive breathing noises, and all that has nothing to do with bits or sample rate, but mic-placement and nothing else. That's taken care of

[Add: I use this bit depth because when editing there is no need for "dither" (a subject in it's own right). I use this standard because I'm sure I can do what ever I want with it, without running into problems. With this bit depth, I can set my recording level to, say, -12 or -20 db (if I'm worried there will suddenly be a loud noise,) and then just lift it when I come home. With a 16 bit recorder, I have to get as close to -0db as possible, and the moment there is a wee bit louder noise, it will hit -0db, and therefore clip(digital doesn't go above -0db). If I don't, and I choose to lift it afterwards, I bring the noise floor up too close.

Let's say you have recorded something, and in one of the pauses there's a back ground noise you want to raise. Unfortunately it's at -35db. Now, in a 16bit recorder, if you raised that to, say, -10db, you can hear the noise floor, including the low level system noise, whereas the noise floor on 24 bit are _still_ low enough. Hell, I could record butterfly wings flapping with this thing and you'd still not be able to hear the noise floor when normalised.[/add]]

Quote:
but maybe its because of what you are trying to do with the p2 is a little confusing? lol, cause i only use my p2 to listen to music.
Well, I just want to be able to toss a raw edit (or a nonedit) on there, listening to what the dude says on my way home, listen to some ambience and back ground noises, my own speak and so on, without the need to use my recorder for that sort of thing all the time (pro recorders aren't exactly pocketable, nor do they have excellent file browsers).

Quote:
and btw, about ur stereo track, you are right, but i was assuming ur adding stuff as in... making it longer or w/e. XD. like i get what u mean by how many bits are used.
I do add stuff (think layers, speaks and so on). But I'm not asking to have this play back multitrack polyphonic files, just monophonic and/or stereophonic files. I think you're overthinking it, making it much more complicated than it really is.

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Originally Posted by musichound View Post
I just want to add that there is no lossy format that is better in all regards than the other. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. In a nutshell, lossy formats strips away part of the audio spectrum that most of us cannot hear on a regular bases. lossy format < lossless format, no questions asked.
No contest from me. The only differences between one lossless format and the next is how good they are at compressing and how little (or much) power they take to compress. Oh, and compatibility.
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  #50  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:41 AM
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Sassafras,

Found out who made the Q-jays (just had to go to the front page of ABI, lol). And after having a look I went to their website. Turns out, they want to hustle me. The headphones goes for 179US$, but since I have to choose Denmark (as I live here), I can get them for a mere 171.25. Euro, that is. In US dollars that's 270 US$. Or more than I paid for my ER-4s.
Also, as monitors, I'm rather worried they're not good enough, as I can't find anything about frequency responce anywhere (how flat are they? Are they even close to flat?). Without that, it just seems like a hit'n'miss to even try them.

I think I will try out some other ones that are custom made and where I can check the freq response. I don't want "enhanced" bass or mid range or any such things. I want "flat" (well, I need flat if I am to trust them – there's enough going on to focus on, without having to guess).

They're cute, though. ;-)
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  #51  
Old 03-18-2008, 12:58 PM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper View Post
Sassafras,

Found out who made the Q-jays (just had to go to the front page of ABI, lol). And after having a look I went to their website. Turns out, they want to hustle me. The headphones goes for 179US$, but since I have to choose Denmark (as I live here), I can get them for a mere 171.25. Euro, that is. In US dollars that's 270 US$. Or more than I paid for my ER-4s.
Also, as monitors, I'm rather worried they're not good enough, as I can't find anything about frequency responce anywhere (how flat are they? Are they even close to flat?). Without that, it just seems like a hit'n'miss to even try them.

I think I will try out some other ones that are custom made and where I can check the freq response. I don't want "enhanced" bass or mid range or any such things. I want "flat" (well, I need flat if I am to trust them there's enough going on to focus on, without having to guess).

They're cute, though. ;-)
Well, as simple as it might seem, "flat" response is all in the eyes (or ears) of the beholder. The ER-4's are flat in that they reproduce every frequency to a microphone fairly evenly. But, as you know, the human ear doesn't hear every frequency even remotely evenly, and as such the ER-4's end up coming over very bright. Yes, they're analytic and very detailed (I'll come back to that later) but they're just too plain cold. I know your first response is going to be "But that's what I want, so I can listen to them as reference." To that, I reply, Hooey!

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCom...Type=0&graphID[]=123&graphID[]=189&graphID[]=471

Look at the graph here. There are three headphones all with varying frequency responses. The Senn HD25's which are studio monitors, vs the ER-4's... You see how the ER-4's have no response whatsoever? They sound wrong to the human ear. They sound wrong because in being flat they end up sounding totally out of whack.

Ok, enough presumptive defensiveness, onto the Jays...

They're more detailed and analytic than the ER-4's. From personal experience I can this without flinching. The difference is that they sound better. They're a little warmer, which means that you'd think a little more bass heavy, but that's not the case. In fact, they're quite like the ER-4's below about 400 Hz, on a flat EQ. For listening, I ramp up the lower frequencies and they really respond. That's what makes them interesting phones. They respond to EQ like nothing else, If you don't like the bass low, up it a register and they become totally respectable without any noticable distorting.

As far as the high register is concerned, I said they were a lot warmer than the ER-4's, and that's true. In fact, they're probably the only armature IEM's that I've ever heard that I really truly love. I like bright powerful energy in my phones and they have it. so don't get me wrong, warm does not translate into dark with these phones. They're stunning. I mean it.

About the only thing wrong with these phones is that they are so careful to reproduce the signal, that you sometimes find yourself not liking your equipment or encodes. They make poorly compressed mp3 (think anything 192 CBR or lower) very obvious. Obvious in a way that even my other dual armature phones (The Shure e5c's) couldn't do. Not only that, but I stopped listening to my iPod altogether when I got these phones. They reveal too much about the source sometimes As for you, I don't imagine that will be a problem, because both the P2 and D2 have excellent sound quality, and Mr. WAV shouldn't have to worry about compression artifacts.

As for price, try calling headphone.com in the US. They ship internationally, I believe, and they're selling some white Q-Jays for 159 USD.
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  #52  
Old 03-18-2008, 02:36 PM
kasabian kasabian is offline
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I think it would be an insult if they didn't put .wav support in after all that!
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  #53  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:02 AM
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Piper Piper is offline
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Good Morning. Just woke up, so my english might turn out to be a bit scruffy
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Well, as simple as it might seem, "flat" response is all in the eyes (or ears) of the beholder. The ER-4's are flat in that they reproduce every frequency to a microphone fairly evenly. But, as you know, the human ear doesn't hear every frequency even remotely evenly, and as such the ER-4's end up coming over very bright. Yes, they're analytic and very detailed (I'll come back to that later) but they're just too plain cold. I know your first response is going to be "But that's what I want, so I can listen to them as reference." To that, I reply, Hooey!
Haha, I agree about the ER4s, but I don't find them overly bright (even if they _are_ bright).

Quote:
http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCom...phID[]=471

Look at the graph here. There are three headphones all with varying frequency responses. The Senn HD25's which are studio monitors, vs the ER-4's... You see how the ER-4's have no response whatsoever? They sound wrong to the human ear. They sound wrong because in being flat they end up sounding totally out of whack.
[fixed the graph-url-tags ;-)]

Speaking of sound being subjective. I can go directly from my 25-1s to my ER-4s without even thinking about it, and trust both equally for monitoring. I get the "whoa! they're bright", but I still know I'm getting what I'm recording (well, the ER4s merely go to 16kHz, whereas the 25-1s go to 22kHz, and my most used mic goes to 24kHz, so ). Btw, the ER-4s are generally considered monitors as well. I'm surprised my RS1s look like that. No wonder they're no good at monitoring when I'm worried about the bass making my condensors pop. I never looked at a graph with all three of them put together like that (yes, yes, I know: I ought to do better research in this regard).



Quote:
Ok, enough presumptive defensiveness, onto the Jays...

They're more detailed and analytic than the ER-4's. From personal experience I can this without flinching. The difference is that they sound better. They're a little warmer, which means that you'd think a little more bass heavy, but that's not the case. In fact, they're quite like the ER-4's below about 400 Hz, on a flat EQ. For listening, I ramp up the lower frequencies and they really respond. That's what makes them interesting phones. They respond to EQ like nothing else, If you don't like the bass low, up it a register and they become totally respectable without any noticable distorting.
I don't use equaliser.
It's not just because I'm a purist (I am), but that's not why I want something (even)better than the ER4s. The reason is I want some (even) better monitors (and hopfully also better comfort. Not that they are uncomfortable, but still).
It's not a "religion" regarding the EQ either. It's just that I'm worried I will get used to the sound. Imagine going on a holiday, listening to something equalised (no matter which part is equalised), and then you plug in those same headphones for monitoring. It might mean you'd compensate for the lack of equaliser by using a different bass roll of (which is necessary on a condenser mic for voice), or even choose another mic placement. It will screw up my monitoring. Or at least that's what I fear. It's bad enough my voice changes if I listen to operas a couple of days in a row (it's true, my voice gets deeper)

Quote:
As far as the high register is concerned, I said they were a lot warmer than the ER-4's, and that's true. In fact, they're probably the only armature IEM's that I've ever heard that I really truly love. I like bright powerful energy in my phones and they have it. so don't get me wrong, warm does not translate into dark with these phones. They're stunning. I mean it.
LOL, you're close to selling me a pair

Quote:
About the only thing wrong with these phones is that they are so careful to reproduce the signal, that you sometimes find yourself not liking your equipment or encodes. They make poorly compressed mp3 (think anything 192 CBR or lower) very obvious. Obvious in a way that even my other dual armature phones (The Shure e5c's) couldn't do. Not only that, but I stopped listening to my iPod altogether when I got these phones. They reveal too much about the source sometimes As for you, I don't imagine that will be a problem, because both the P2 and D2 have excellent sound quality, and Mr. WAV shouldn't have to worry about compression artifacts.
Haha, nope. I rarely do.

Quote:
As for price, try calling headphone.com in the US. They ship internationally, I believe, and they're selling some white Q-Jays for 159 USD.
Sweet! Even with taxes/customs they will turn out much cheaper than buying direct. In fact, they just became cheap enough for me to give them a try, and if they are crap as monitors, it's okay. Thanks, Fras

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Originally Posted by kasabian View Post
I think it would be an insult if they didn't put .wav support in after all that!
Haha, wouldn't it!?
On the other hand, had they put it in to begin with, I wouldn't have had such a great time here
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  #54  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:25 AM
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Hey Sassafras,
I just realised why we might think of the ER4s differently: I use them with my SD722 (the recorder) which has a very powerful headphone amp in it. Could that be the explanation for why you think they don't have enough bass-response?

Another thing about them is that by going to headphone.com, I discovered I can have custom molds done for them. Meaning I can get more comfortable, and perhaps even better sound from them, without getting used to another monitor set.

Aargh!! Choices and decisions!!
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  #55  
Old 03-19-2008, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
I don't use equaliser.
It's not just because I'm a purist (I am), but that's not why I want something (even)better than the ER4s. The reason is I want some (even) better monitors (and hopfully also better comfort. Not that they are uncomfortable, but still).
It's not a "religion" regarding the EQ either. It's just that I'm worried I will get used to the sound. Imagine going on a holiday, listening to something equalised (no matter which part is equalised), and then you plug in those same headphones for monitoring. It might mean you'd compensate for the lack of equaliser by using a different bass roll of (which is necessary on a condenser mic for voice), or even choose another mic placement. It will screw up my monitoring. Or at least that's what I fear. It's bad enough my voice changes if I listen to operas a couple of days in a row (it's true, my voice gets deeper)
I think my original intent was to explain that these phones, more than any others that I've tried are very amenable to accepting different sources or EQ's. Different sources and different amplifiers will give you different sound, but sometimes that sound seems almost "incompatible" with the headphones. For example, I love listening to my Grado's using the P2, but won't even bother plugging them into my Harmon Kardon receiver because for some reason they sound very tinny. The same thing goes with equalizer, I like the bass response to be slightly enhanced when listening to certain kinds of music. Trying to up the sound register on the Shure e2's I have really distorts the bass instead of enhancing it. The same cannot be said for the Jays, I can happily listen to them flat on classical and jazz recordings, and bump the bass on EQ for other sorts of "bass enhanced" music. It's just that they accommodate such change.

Quote:
Speaking of sound being subjective. I can go directly from my 25-1s to my ER-4s without even thinking about it, and trust both equally for monitoring. I get the "whoa! they're bright", but I still know I'm getting what I'm recording (well, the ER4s merely go to 16kHz, whereas the 25-1s go to 22kHz, and my most used mic goes to 24kHz, so ). Btw, the ER-4s are generally considered monitors as well. I'm surprised my RS1s look like that. No wonder they're no good at monitoring when I'm worried about the bass making my condensors pop. I never looked at a graph with all three of them put together like that (yes, yes, I know: I ought to do better
research in this regard).
Yes. I added the RS-1's just for a taste of what a headphone can look like when it sounds good, even if it's rubbish for monitoring. I think the qualifications for a monitor headset basically require detail and precision more than flat tonal response. Hence the reason why you trust both the Senn's and the Etymotics, even if they're both a little different in character. Same goes for the Jay's, they're warmer and not as tinnitus inducing as the ER-4's (though they actually have a higher freq response ~21kHz) but they're no less accurate. In fact I can hear details in some tracks that I have trouble appreciating with even the coveted Etymotics.

The only thing I'm going to say is that the Jay's are not purist phones. Not because they can't be, but because they aren't sold as such. They're not marketed like headphones only a sound engineer could love (like the ER-4s) but as replacements for your crappy portable phones. So, avoid the marketing and understand that they're really and truly great. I think you'll appreciate them.
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  #56  
Old 03-23-2008, 08:33 AM
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Many many thanks, Sassafras. I think I will try them out. If for nothing else, it sounds like they will become great "listening" headphones. And that's not a shame :-)
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  #57  
Old 04-03-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
I would recommend that you consider saving/encoding your music in a lossless format (if you must have lossless) like FLAC, as it's the most widely supported lossless codec on portable devices. Or you could save your music using the LAME codec with the -V0 switch which will give you the best quality that mp3 has to offer, that 99% of the time you will not be able to distinguish from CD audio.
Sassafras,

I'm new to all this stuff -- I was wondering if there is a guide for how to do this anywhere on these forums. What you mention here, Sassafras, seems like a great way to go -- almost undistinguishable from CD, with a smaller file size. (If I remember correctly, somewhere you mentioned that the files could be as small as 64kbps) How do you do it -- in non technical language for newbies like me?

(Someone else has just posted a guide for converting Cds to MP3s, but I don't know if the method described there will accomplish what you are talking about here.)

A reply here, a private message or a new thread -- or any kind of response would be great. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busman View Post
Sassafras,

I'm new to all this stuff -- I was wondering if there is a guide for how to do this anywhere on these forums. What you mention here, Sassafras, seems like a great way to go -- almost undistinguishable from CD, with a smaller file size. (If I remember correctly, somewhere you mentioned that the files could be as small as 64kbps) How do you do it -- in non technical language for newbies like me?

(Someone else has just posted a guide for converting Cds to MP3s, but I don't know if the method described there will accomplish what you are talking about here.)

A reply here, a private message or a new thread -- or any kind of response would be great. Thanks
Busman, you want to rip your CD's in some form of lossless. It could be Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless or, yes, FLAC, depending on which you prefer (any of them will work just as well as the next). If you use iTunes to rip your cd's, you can simple tell it to rip to lossless. I guess the same can be done in WMP on the windows-site of things. Tick off the "error checking".

Then, when you have done that, go here (for example):
http://lame.sourceforge.net/index.php

There's a list to the left, where you can read a little about lame. Otherwise, try doing a search for your favourite "audio tool" and "lame", and most likely there will be a plugin or a workaround for it.


Then you select the lossless file and convert them as per what Sassafras says. Oh, and I'd advise against going 64kbps unless it's a mono file (then it might work –*in a pinch – as it's the same as one of the channels in 128kbps stereo file).

Anyway, Sassafras is propably better at telling you exactly what to do, as i don't use lossy formats.

Last edited by Piper; 04-03-2008 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Added a bit
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  #59  
Old 04-07-2008, 11:09 AM
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I use a program called All2Lame. It's really easy to find, just google for it and you shouldn't have any problems finding it. The reason why I like it is because it's really simple and easy to use and is strictly a frontend program. This might turn some people off, but when you understand how it works, it's a dream come true.

Anyway, all you need to do is download the All2Lame frontend, and the LAME commandline encoder. To do this, go to www.rarewares.org and find the LAME commandline bundle. Unzip it to the folder where you've got All2Lame stored.

When you open All2Lame, it might look a little spartan. That's ok. It's easy to use. Just click to add files and search for the folder where your music is stored. (You can shift+click to select groups of files) Under the command line option, I just type in -V2 --vbr-new to get the quality that I like. The number by the V is the quality setting, so if you use someting like a V1 or a V0 you'll get higher quality. V5 or V6 will be lower quality and file size. Keep the --vbr-new bit, as it will improve quality without sacrificing small file size. When you're ready, press encode. Up will pop a pretty DOS looking window with the current file stats. When it's done it will ask you to press a key and it will close. Voila, all done

For more information, go here:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME

And if you want some nice little .WAV's ripped straight from CD, download EAC. You can find it here: http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/ It works great at ripping your CD's to your hard drive. It even has a plugin LAME encoder, but I don't use it, so I can't give you exact directions.
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  #60  
Old 04-07-2008, 12:19 PM
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Just want to make sure I understand the process correctly, since for an old guy, I really am very new to all this stuff.

I rip my CDs in a lostless format like the .wav you mentioned, using EAC. (Though other programs could be used -- anything to get a lostless file)
I used All2Lame with the settings you mentioned to encode the .wav as mp3. And I can specify -V2--vbr-new to get good quality. At this point, I can also set the file size, right? So I could set it down at 64kps, but still get pretty good sound by using the vbr settings. Do I have this right?

And btw, thanks for responding to my post with this information.
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