INTERNET BLIND TEST: MQA Core Decoding vs. Standard Hi-Res (24/88 or 24/96)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Archimago, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Archimago

    Archimago Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Good question liv3evil.

    IMO, it should not. At most I added ~2 seconds of fade-in and fade-out so it doesn't end and start too abruptly where appropriate. I believe in one of the tracks, I didn't fade in at all.

    Considering I want people to blind test ~2 minutes of each tune, I trust that whatever small change this added is miniscule in comparison. Misalignment in start/stop is likewise minimal such that even without exact matching down to the sample as Testikoff did for delta testing, you should be able to test the A/B variants in ABX Comparator and flip between them instantaneously without much of a noticeable discontinuity.

    In any event, the flexibity of one testing these files in the comfort of home is much better than any dealer showroom!
    Brother_Rael and liv3evil like this.
  2. Archimago

    Archimago Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Either way Missan, I hope you and others fill out the survey!

    Remember folks, I want as many people trying this as possible for the survey database. As I have posted before, like Testikoff above, the objective data already tells us something about how difficult this could/should be.

    It's the subjective data around preference that I'm after. That ineffable human intuition of which do you like? Even if consciously we might not clearly know...
    LarryP likes this.
  3. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    @Archimago, you and I need to get together with two so-called same masterings and play them here on my system. You won't believe it until you hear it. Others have taken the plunge and walked away going :bigeek: PC me if interested in a real live comparison as opposed to some computer program telling you they are the same.
    F1nut likes this.
  4. Archimago

    Archimago Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Sure Dave, hey, maybe we can try out the blind test on your system and hear the difference it makes!
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  5. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    :agree: Sure why not? It's how another Forum member and I discovered the sonic difference/same mastering scenario in the first place.
    F1nut likes this.
  6. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Well-Known Member

    Long Island, NY
    I'm in the process of conducting my blind listening test, but just wanted to relate a strange/humorous occurrence. I downloaded the files, and then transferred them into a subfolder in the folder where I've directed Roon (my preferred listening program) to look for music files. Roon generally treats everything in its own subfolder as an album but was apparently confused by the lack of metadata in these files, so it took a guess. The files showed up in Roon as a 6-song EP by Bebe Rexha (yes, Roon shows the cover), and displayed the 6 tracks with the names of the songs in the EP.

    This does not affect my blind test.
  7. mariettiello

    mariettiello Member

    the same here, with Roon :D what a mess...
    usually I find HD FLAC better than MQA, so I suspect that version B of these songs are FLAC, because I prefer them in all 3 test. My favorite ones are the version B :p
  8. Solarophile

    Solarophile New Member

    Los Angeles
    Archimago, thanks for doing this! I have a background in digital signal processing (mainly for video applications) andhad been wondering if something like this could be done also when Tidal came out a few months ago. I agree with your comment on the blog that MQA could have released high resolution versions of music with and without the deblurring process for consumers to listen to and this would have answered questions anyone had. The fact that they did not is telling. The fact that previously they did not run A-B tests as reported in audio shows also says something about their confidence level.

    I'll give the test a try this weekend.
  9. arisinwind

    arisinwind Well-Known Member

    I preferred A on the first set and B on the last two. The differences were minuscule. I downloaded the files the first day you posted. Did several listens and my choices didn't change.

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