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TRACES VOL.2: Can You Hear a Difference Between iTunes Store and Hi-Res?

TRACES VOL.2: Can You Hear a Difference Between iTunes Store and Hi-Res?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Can you hear a difference between the two releases?

    • iTunes and Hi-Res sound the same
    • Hi-Res sounds better
    • iTunes sounds better
    • I hear a difference but it still CASH GRAB DILDOS


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So now that we have Hi-Res quality of this album I'm curious if it has changed anyone's mind about how it sounds. Some say you cant hear a difference and I disagree with that. Let your thoughts be heard, does it still suck? does it sound any better than the iTunes copy? Do you not give a shit and just want more GAZErock?

 

Also, What equipment are you using? I dont have an audio card that supports anything above 48khz so I choose to use my Walkman NW-A35 with Grado SR80E headphones for a wired connection while I use my Sol Republic Shadow and Insignnia Bluetooth sport headphones for wireless.

 

I for one can hear the difference and I'm now enjoying the album more than I already was, anyone else feel the same?

Edited by Aeolus

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It sounds very similar, it's not a mindblowing difference and I can hear it mostly if I focus; during normal listening when I'm not paying much attention but just enjoying the music I can't spot any evident audio quality difference, subtle as it may be it doesn't take away the fact that it's present. Generally speaking there's more overall clarity and fullness to the sound. Still better to have the best quality available, it just makes me feel mentally more at peace xD.

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The answer is a little complicated.

 

Does this Hi-Res copy sound better than say, a 320kbps copy? Yes, by a mile.

Does it sound better than a FLAC copy? That's to be debated.

 

People would be correct to conclude that the human ear is not capable of distinguishing anything higher than 20KHz, and so it would be a waste.

What they don't know is that that is 1/2 the truth.

 

In reality, we actually can hear the difference.

The only problem is, the volume would have to be turned up so high, that it would cause hearing impairment at those frequencies. So not the most pleasant listening experience.

Plus, most listeners aren't even aware as to what to look for in differences between the two.

Finally, you'd have to be in a dead silent room (the average environment is about 30db of noise) in order to even get the chance to do any of this.

 

Another issue is that NO DAC/Amp, or device on the market in 2017 is even remotely capable of, or ever will, be able to reproduce anything higher than 20Bits.

Trust me, I've looked (and even done a research paper on this lol). Modern Tech is just not at that point yet to reproduce frequencies that high.

What this means is that no HD/Hi-Res copy will be capable of being 24bit due to tech being shit still. So we are stuck with 20bit max.

 

Why is it called 24bit then? Well techies will tell you that we count bits by 8.

So:

 

8bit (Think Video Game Music), 16bit (FLAC Quality), and 24bit (HD, Hi-Res, SACD)

 

24bit Hi-Res is not intended to be used by the average consumer, but it is made available to us because well, why not?

It is intended for Audio Engineers, who use low-pass filtering for master recording and/or editing (kinda like a graphic designer/photo editor using RAW formatted images).

So this quality of music is really only able to be used in software, otherwise the raw frequencies of sound can kill your audio devices.

Plus, the recording companies are greedy SOBs that would never share master records with the average consumer. Those golden days are over.

Our entertainment systems have been made possible  to listen to at least 60db of sound affordably (on purpose, some might say), because any more would require more power (current) and amplification, to the point that we'd all be broke as shit if we wanted to hear this to it's real sound.

 

This can go way deeper in explanation, but I will stop here.

 

TL;DR

 

Take advantage of @Aeolus' kind gesture, and add this copy to your Music Collection.

You'll NEVER be able to play this in 24bit, because not even master recording equipment can. So don't BS anyone about your 5K sound equipment lol.

Record companies have purposely made audio sound like shit nowadays for their own profit.

Unless you listen to this in a sound booth at ear exploding volumes, then it'll probably sound the same as FLAC.

 

So enjoy this Hi-Res album, using a simple DAC/Amp and a really nice set of Noise-Cancelling Headphones for now.

Your crappy HP laptop headphone port isn't gonna cut it folks.

 

 

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I haven't even finished downloading, but my answer is going to have to be "I can't tell the difference" because of what Yuyo said.

 

Thanks anyway. If I ever get my hands on the right equipment this will be the first thing I'll play.

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3 hours ago, YuyoDrift said:

The answer is a little complicated.

 

Does this Hi-Res copy sound better than say, a 320kbps copy? Yes, by a mile.

Does it sound better than a FLAC copy? That's to be debated.

 

People would be correct to conclude that the human ear is not capable of distinguishing anything higher than 20KHz, and so it would be a waste.

What they don't know is that that is 1/2 the truth.

 

In reality, we actually can hear the difference.

The only problem is, the volume would have to be turned up so high, that it would cause hearing impairment at those frequencies. So not the most pleasant listening experience.

Plus, most listeners aren't even aware as to what to look for in differences between the two.

Finally, you'd have to be in a dead silent room (the average environment is about 30db of noise) in order to even get the chance to do any of this.

 

Another issue is that NO DAC/Amp, or device on the market in 2017 is even remotely capable of, or ever will, be able to reproduce anything higher than 20Bits.

Trust me, I've looked (and even done a research paper on this lol). Modern Tech is just not at that point yet to reproduce frequencies that high.

What this means is that no HD/Hi-Res copy will be capable of being 24bit due to tech being shit still. So we are stuck with 20bit max.

 

Why is it called 24bit then? Well techies will tell you that we count bits by 8.

So:

 

8bit (Think Video Game Music), 16bit (FLAC Quality), and 24bit (HD, Hi-Res, SACD)

 

24bit Hi-Res is not intended to be used by the average consumer, but it is made available to us because well, why not?

It is intended for Audio Engineers, who use low-pass filtering for master recording and/or editing (kinda like a graphic designer/photo editor using RAW formatted images).

So this quality of music is really only able to be used in software, otherwise the raw frequencies of sound can kill your audio devices.

Plus, the recording companies are greedy SOBs that would never share master records with the average consumer. Those golden days are over.

Our entertainment systems have been made possible  to listen to at least 60db of sound affordably (on purpose, some might say), because any more would require more power (current) and amplification, to the point that we'd all be broke as shit if we wanted to hear this to it's real sound.

 

This can go way deeper in explanation, but I will stop here.

 

TL;DR

 

Take advantage of @Aeolus' kind gesture, and add this copy to your Music Collection.

You'll NEVER be able to play this in 24bit, because not even master recording equipment can. So don't BS anyone about your 5K sound equipment lol.

Record companies have purposely made audio sound like shit nowadays for their own profit.

Unless you listen to this in a sound booth at ear exploding volumes, then it'll probably sound the same as FLAC.

 

So enjoy this Hi-Res album, using a simple DAC/Amp and a really nice set of Noise-Cancelling Headphones for now.

Your crappy HP laptop headphone port isn't gonna cut it folks.

 

 

 

I don't have a cd/flac rip to compare it against so the slight edge the hi-res has is the usual difference between an mp3/flac. Talking about hi-res music in general I do admit I can hardly ever hear any notable, if at all, differences between a normal flac and a 24bit one, 9 out 10 times it sounds the same to my ears. With some recordings I've listened to I had the feeling I could hear something more than the usual, could've been just a placebo effect though. The better audio quality is there but our physical limitations don't exactly allow us to perceive said quality, maybe some can more than others but I'm not one those with super hearing. I have a decent entry-level stereo system (2 monitor audio bronze 6 speakers+marantz 6005) but I can almost never tell the difference and I don't care. As you said if you can get 24/96 why not? xD

Edited by SwampMan

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Hi-res sounds better than iTunes, using Audio Technica studio headphones, a Dragonfly DAC and correct playback settings.

 

24-bit does not sound any different to 16-bit.

 

This is because 24 or 16 bits refers to the bit depth, not the bit rate, and on the vast majority of recordings (excluding perhaps orchestral music) the only difference is 8 bits of noise. There is no way we could truly take in the full audio range of 24-bit music without turning up the volume so high it would essentially be fatal (because of course decibels refers to pressure). That's why when making CDs, the remaining bit depth is simply filled out with inaudible noise frequencies. And this is even before all kinds of filtering and editing that go on in the studio.

 

Simply, there is no such thing as a perfect digital representation of music recorded in analogue sound, which is why even the studio files will probably sound no different to the CD itself. So those extra 8 bits of depth are incomprehensible to the listener.

 

For recording music, go 24-bit. For listening, 16-bit is more than enough for 99.9% of listeners.

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Of course Hi-Res sounds better than a 256kbps mp3. A 320kbps mp3 will sound better too, and a 44.1/16 file will too as @YuyoDrifthas mentioned. The real question should be does a Hi-res 24/96 file sound better than a cd quality 16/44.1 lossless rip. You're putting Hi-Res against a straw man to make yourself feel better about it, or you just don't actually realize how silly this is.

 

The fact that you made this thread after I pointed out how foolish you were in the Gazette thread (1 2 3) as some sort of attempt to prove yourself right (?) just further shows how little of your obsession with this is confounded in actual understanding.

 

Because you still don't seem to get it in the other thread, here is all the things wrong with your reply to me there @Aeolus:

>"And yes, depending on the vinyl they are the same"

 @Naaaaani tried to help you out – it doesn't matter what quality digital source you burn to vinyl, it doesn't quantize the information into steps like digital has to. You just can't physically write into a vinyl like that. Go read about the difference between digital and analogue. I don't see how can you be any semblance of an audiophile and not understand this basic distinction.

 

>"never said anything about mp3 haha."

Exactly the problem. Throughout your whole initial post you say what I have = 24 / 96, and what everyone else is itunes/cd quality (44/16). You were making no distinction between a 256kbps mp3 (variable bit depth as inherent to mp3 codec) and an actual 16 bit 44.1khz CD rip: two very different things. In that thread you were comparing your files to Himi like they were "CD quality", even calling them "16/44.1". I tried to point that problems in saying that, because while the sample rate is maintained the bit depth is severely reduced in an mp3 from a 16 bit lossless file. And yet again, you run off and make THIS thread where you are again seeming to confuse an iTunes store quality mp3 and a lossless CD rip (??).

 

>"I'm not saying i can here 50khz, all I said was that I can hear a noticeable difference between the itunes store quality and Hi-Res,"

Ahh, I think I'm starting to understand that you either didn't read my initial post it all, or gave it 0 energy to understand, or maybe tried and still don't. But I don't think you tried at all really. The whole point of what I'm saying, what Yuuyo and Shmilly is saying, is that there is an argument to be had over a 44.1 or 48k 16 bit lossless WAV/ALAC/FLAC etc etc file  being superior to even a high quality 320 kbps mp3 encode, HOWEVER !!!! believing that the extra 24 or 32 bit audio or 96k (when you yourself admit your DAC can't play it back) is what makes it sound better is bullshit, petty semantics at best. How do you not understand this is what people are saying? Many things will be better than a itunes store quality mp3 that aren't a 24 bit 96k HI RES PLACEBO. If you seemed to have even the slightest knowledge on these subjects, I would respect and consider your insistence on the additional fidelity compared to a CD quality lossless codec – but you don't have that, so I think I should give up explaining any of this.

 

>"I can say I like this version of 絲, I'm not much of a fan of pre-NIL. (*gasp* I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this huh?)"

Again, your completely missing the point. When I referenced just how shit the first 15 seconds of Ito sound compared to the original, it has nothing to do with "the GazettE" changing and everything to do with how fucking awful the Guitar tone and mixing/mastering sound. It's the same exact riff!!! That's why I pointed it out. It's literally just to do with the engineering and the reason I emphasized it was that its so PAINFULLY obvious how much better the recording and frequency balance is on the original guitar tone. It doesn't matter whether your a fan of pre-NIL or post-NIL. Play the two intros side by side to a panel of industry professionals and they'd tell you the same story.

 

Regarding what was said in the thread, YuyoDrift's overall point is good, but also said some things I want to clarify.

 

>"8bit (Think Video Game Music), 16bit (FLAC Quality), and 24bit (HD, Hi-Res, SACD)"

The whole 8bit = video game music or chiptune quality is largely a myth and just poor understanding of the system. As I sort of went into in my initial reply to Aeolus , mp3's function outside of the domain of bit depth in the traditional sense, and are very often far below 8 bits!! Furthermore, a 16 bit audio file can be reduced in bit depth by processes that will make the file compression 100% transparently. And finally, as @Shmillyintelligently gathered, there is no audible difference between 16 bit and 24 bit of the same sample rate. Which leads me to:

 

>It is intended for Audio Engineers, who use low-pass filtering for master recording and/or editing (kinda like a graphic designer/photo editor using RAW formatted images)."

The RAW analogy doesn't make any sense as the systems can't really be compared. The whole point of 24 bit audio as a superior tool in the studio is you have a wider signal to noise ratio (144 db vs 96 db of a 16 bit file). On playback, what you're hearing in this release is slammed through a limiter at 0db the whole time anyway. The argument for 24 bit playback could only be made if you were listening to incredible dynamic music, something that had passages at like -50db, which is something you don't find in any music period these days. Also, low-pass filtering has 0 to do with why people use 24 bit.

 

 

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Maybe there are some difference, it's minimal really.

Eitherway, personally, I still adjust myself to that new chorus of Taion. It doesn't flow as well as the original one IMHO

 

 

 

9 minutes ago, Hakari said:

But in all seriousness I couldn't hear a difference In the two types. Probably because I haven't listened to either one.

 

 Why bother replying :X'D:

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9 hours ago, reminiscing2004 said:

The RAW analogy doesn't make any sense as the systems can't really be compared.

 

Well, for the sake of not going into any more details (because what was mentioned was a really broad explanation for those who really don't care about this), what I was actually trying to compare was the broad spectrum of use (files) to a professional vs the average consumer.

 

RAW/Hi-Res files are useless to the public, but for software use (professionals), its the bee's knees.

 

Also, when I said "video game music", I was really trying to say "a simple, bare bones use of computer generated waveforms, sound channels, and depth (Low Res Crap) with limits", but I figured this would cause brainfarts so I didn't (plus as I was editing, I got really lazy and decided "Video Game Music will be fine. It'll be fine.....")

 

Thanks for calling me out though haha.

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reminiscing2004 is correct on the technical aspects of what he's pointed out. Don't know where all the rest of the drama came from though.

 

- Of course Hi-Res sounds better than a 256kbps mp3. A 320kbps mp3 will sound better too, and a 44.1/16 file will too

- a 256 kbps mp3 (variable bit depth as inherent to mp3 codec) and an actual 16 bit 44.1khz CD rip: two very different things

- The whole point of 24 bit audio as a superior tool in the studio is you have a wider signal to noise ratio (144 db vs 96 db of a 16 bit file).

 X2

 

Also

On 3/15/2017 at 10:24 PM, Shmilly said:

24-bit does not sound any different to 16-bit.

 

This is because 24 or 16 bits refers to the bit depth, not the bit rate, and on the vast majority of recordings (excluding perhaps orchestral music) the only difference is 8 bits of noise.

 

x2

 

Would also like to point out that though theoretically DAC's shouldn't matter and therefore sound different, but they do. And the reason you don't see the wide use of 24bit/16bit releases is simply because I don't think lossless compression/uncompressed audio was ever meant for your average casual listener so no efforts were made to make that available.  There was obviously a very small base of people who actually knew what lossless compression/uncompressed audio was or had the equipment to take advantage of it when you compare it to the general population. Simply think of the hard drive space limitations as well. All of this has been changing over almost 2-3 decades now, which is why you do see bands and artists now giving the option to purchase higher quality files such as wav  44.1/24 bit or whatever the original recording/master was at. 

 

Then of course whether you hear a difference or not comes down to how well developed and trained your ears are, the files your comparing, the equipment you're using, and the room you are in. The first 2 are the most important in most cases IMO.  Really do doubt most self proclaimed audiophiles or avid listeners online have spent years training their ears to listen for changes in depth, width, compression, frequency curves and small changes in db, among other things. Doesn't help if your knowledge on audio is inaccurate in the first place and you're making assumptions on what you're hearing based on that incorrect information. 

 

But back to the original post, yes I do I hear a difference. Would the difference be big enough for me to buy the Hi res version over the itunes? Yes it would, but under these 2 conditions; the "hi res" is at a higher rate then one I could get from a cd rip, and I would have to truly enjoy the mix and master on the release. Otherwise it doesn't make sense for me to buy an amazing ultra sounding turd, if the mix/master is bad, or if I could simply obtain the same quality from a 16bit cd rip.  And since I rarely buy digital, and almost always buy CD's, this isn't really an issue for me. 

 

On sidenote, I had no idea this release was a re-recording and had a different mix and master. Went back to the original recordings and unfortunately I'm not liking some of the mix decisions on this new release. I.e, what's with up with the dark and weighty snare on most of the songs? Sound boxy and disjointed from the rest of the kit and doesn't fit in tone with the rest of the songs. Too much room mic or verb on it too. 

 

  

Edited by Panda_bear

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Err you were given the lossless version of your music when you buy the physical media. It is definitely for consumers. It's just that the majority of people don't care enough or hear a significant enough difference that lossless isn't offered digitally.

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It really doesn't matter because the problem isn't the quality of the files, it's the way the album was mastered. The drums in particular sound horrendous. Since we now know the band didn't have a sound engineer on board and they pretty much winged it themselves, let's hope they learned their lesson. 

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Where is this Hi-res version people are talking about?
by  "Hi-Res", do people mean this?

This is bought from itunes and is full of crackles and bzzhhh bzhhh bshhh noise. Another upload has it even worse haha.


Yes, there is a difference between a CD rip and iTunes purchase (but in my experience, not always). Sometimes the difference

is obvious like now, sometimes it's not

 

There was a FLAC request that was FULFILLED:

But I cannot see that a FLAC version was uploaded. Where is this FLAC version?

Edited by seratonin

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On 7/12/2017 at 6:27 AM, Edward Radical said:

Hi, i've searched a lot for the HQ version of this awesome album but i wasn't able to find it, if someone got the link can please share it?


You're better off supporting the artist and purchasing it if you want the Hi-Res version.

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I can't listen to this album because of the production... there are some kind of phase issues , the reverb sounds like the drummer played in a swimming pool xd. Uruhua should focus on his guitar and let professionnal do the mix

Edited by Kirito

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