Genesis - A Trick of the Tail: Blind Listening Test

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Diablo Griffin, May 14, 2018.

  1. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    It's been about a year since my previous blind listening test, so this one's long overdue. My bad. The next test (which I'll reveal at the end of this one) won't take that long to prepare! :D

    These FLAC samples have been taken from 3 different CDs masterings. Each one is approximately 3 minutes and contains excerpts from Dance on a Volcano, Squonk, Ripples, and Los Endos, in that order. Replaygain has been applied to the files through foobar.

    The rules will be the same as grandegi's blind tests.
    • The sources will be revealed after the expiration of this period, when the poll is closed (and it's impossible to vote).
    • Please try to refrain from guessing which mastering a sample uses. This is to, as stated below, avoid confirmation bias.
    • If you intend to vote, it's recommended reading the discussions after you have listened to the samples and voted, in order to escape confirmation bias.
    • It's recommended that you listen to the samples and discuss what you heard. Please take into account that discussions based on visual inspection of waveforms, spectral plots and DR values might condition the poll results while the poll is open, if folks read the discussions before listening to the samples.
    • You can't view the results before you vote, in order to escape confirmation bias (the results are viewable to everybody when the poll closes).
    • Votes are publicly displayed.
    • You can change your mind until the test expires.
    • This is entirely optional, but I would appreciate if you could point out if you're listening on speakers or through headphones.
    Dropbox sample links:
    This poll will end in exactly 2 weeks from now. I hope you guys will have fun with this!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  2. Andreas

    Andreas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Closer than I thought, but sample A is my favorite. Sample B is too bright for my tastes, and sample C is a bit harsher. Listened via headphones.
     
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  3. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    Location:
    CA
    This is my first time participating in one of these tests so I hope I don't embarrass myself. But I love this album so I had to give it a shot.

    Listened through headphones. I give the slight edge to A over C. Both sounded great, but I thought A sounded really nice throughout and C had just a couple of harsh moments. B sounded more rough around the edges and harsh than the other samples, possibly more compressed in the mastering process. A sounded smooth and full throughout so it got my vote. I listened to all 3 samples several times, though admittedly I focused more on the other two because I knew right away B was the lesser of the three.
     
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  4. SimonSaysCake

    SimonSaysCake Forum Resident

    Cool thread Diablo. Me likey.

    -s1m0n-
     
  5. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I'm going to compare these samples twice. For this post, I used my current pair of headphones (Audio Technica ATH-M50x). IMO, all 3 samples sound nice, so it's just a case of nitpicking here. Since the production is top-notch, it'd be very difficult to screw up the sound. With that said, I like A and B equally. A has some really deep bass, so the kick drum stands out more. The treble on it is sparkly, yet not unnatural or harsh. While B doesn't have as much bass as the other samples, the midrange gives it an airy quality that I like. The piano and vocals also sounded more realistic on B's Ripples, though A does a good job with those aspects too. It's gonna be tough to pick, but for the sake of the poll, I'll choose A for its greater consistency. C is still good, though I think the treble does sound a bit harsher on it. It's also admittedly a bit on the thin-side in some spots too. On the other hand, I actually did slightly prefer C for Los Endos since it combined the best qualities of A and B. I'll compare the samples again at some point this week with my backup pair of headphones (Noontec Zoro HD).
     
  6. ermylaw

    ermylaw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    I chose Sample B because the bass in Sample A was distracting to me and Sample C sounded somewhat harsh to me compared with Sample B.
     
  7. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    They all sound...good.
    I'm hoping the DE remaster wasn't sneaked in here.

    That would be very funny for a number of reasons.

    More intensive listening will confirm later...
     
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  8. MikeManaic61

    MikeManaic61 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm at work so I can't do this right now:D

    Can't wait to participate as I never had the chance to these before. Has there ever been a Rush listening test before?
     
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  9. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    As one kind member has numerous times helped me with links has said, Search Is Your Friend.
    Here's one:
    RUSH - Signals on CD: Blind Listening Test Poll
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  10. Mike McMann

    Mike McMann Forum Resident

    Going with "C"
    Drums and vocals on "A" were too bold or big to me.
    "B" had a flat or thin sound on it but was crackable.
    "C" overall sounded the best or normal to my ears.
     
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  11. MikeManaic61

    MikeManaic61 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I already know that one existed, I was looking for others for blind listening, but it doesn't seem to be.
     
  12. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I want to make some more Rush polls at some point, but the problem is that there are so many versions of each album. Moving Pictures, which I've been meaning to do for quite a while, has about 9 different masterings! I can't fit all of those in one poll since that would be overkill, and that's likely why my Signals thread got a very small amount of votes. However, I've been thinking that separating the masterings into 2 or 3 smaller polls might work. Grace Under Pressure and 2112 might be better choices since they each only have 4 unique versions.
     
  13. clgoss77

    clgoss77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    As far as immediate emotional response, Sample C is the winner for me. It just felt more 3D with the synthesizers leaping out to me. Bass also has a really nice, round tone. Vocals sound natural. B is my second favorite. (I'm listening on a Dell laptop with NAD Viso HP50 headphones, not my home system.)
     
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  14. jp312

    jp312 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    PA
    It's kind of impossible for me to be totally unbiased because I know exactly which of these samples matches up to the version I have.

    Comparatively speaking, I can say that A seems the most smiley-faced, B is more sad-faced, and C is in between the two.
     
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  15. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    I've listen to the samples through headphones (W60, with Dragonfly red amp/DAC). I'll try on speakers in the coming days if I have more time!

    I'm hearing something very familiar in sample B. I'm pretty sure that's the version I own. In my mind, it's already my preferred version: It's laid back, dynamic and cranckable, a bit light on bass maybe?

    Samples A and C are heavier on bass, and definitely more congested in the loud parts. Sample C is slightly more relaxed on the treble.
    I think I've also heard a glitch in sample C, at the beginning of the second song (like a channel drop?).

    If I have to rank the three samples, I'd say:
    (1) Sample B
    (2) Sample C
    (3) Sample A
     
  16. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    Location:
    CA
    I noticed that too.
     
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  17. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    Location:
    Finland
    Not much difference there in my ears (on headphones), I'm afraid. All three samples have their redeeming qualities, but the one I found the most pleasing overall was B. My least favourite was A, mainly because of how the drums sounded on this one.
     
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  18. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Hm.

    Sample A sounds laid back to me, calm and serene. Instruments stay in their own space.
    Sample B tended toward sibilance. It also sounded messy when all instruments are playing together, everything became smeared.
    Sample C is akin to Sample B, but a little better. Still, it couldn't match A when it came to keeping all instruments separated.

    Listened on headphones (Sennheiser 650's).
     
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  19. patel kismet

    patel kismet Forum Resident

    Location:
    reunion france
    Great album . I listen to it a lot these days & i'm searching for a good master CD. So this blind test is good !
    The 3 samples sound good to me:
    A: has a wider soundstage . Larger separation & more air between the instruments. It sounds smooth & natural with no resolution loss.
    B: The soundstage is more focused. The instruments have less presence . The whole sounds less clear.
    C: close to A , with a little bit more bass but with a little less definition in the lows.
    Hard to choose between A & C.
    A is my choice.
     
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  20. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    If you can, streaming would make it easier to listen and also prevent cheating by looking at the file!
     
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  21. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I did my second comparison with Noontec Zoro HD headphones and A is still my choice. Actually, I think A sounded a bit more balanced with these headphones than with the M50x pair. It had better sound-staging too. B's midrange is very rich, though it does sound a bit thin during Ripples. C sounded a bit better than it did on the M50x, but I still think it's a bit bass-light in spots. Even then, all of these samples are nice in their own way.
     
  22. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Never thought of that. The only thing people would need to do is listen to the samples on Dropbox and nothing more, correct?
     
  23. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Not sure what you're asking, I'm just saying if there's say 8 samples it would be easier if one could skip the download step :)
     
  24. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Oh, I see what you're saying. You can't stream from a phone on Dropbox I don't think. I'm usually on my phone. So nevermind!
     
  25. RBtl

    RBtl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I chose B. It was a bit of a toss-up between B and C, but the sibilance on A was way off - listen to Ripples, where the 's' sound has practically disappeared, at least in my phones. Similarly, the cymbals in Los Endos are much more muted in A. C was perhaps a bit bright, but I'm okay with a bit of brightness. B was the happy medium.
     

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