Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > Lexus Model Forums > GS Models > GS - Fourth Generation
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

Mark Levinson and Premium Audio - Notes from an Audiophile

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-18-14, 05:50 PM   #76
95bat
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker_720 View Post
You have a valid argument, especially if you factor in the equipment and environment. In-car listening is probably just as good with 320 kbit/s MP3s. BUT - do not think that there is no difference between MPS / FLAC / CD / DVD-A / etc. It's important to understand what the differences are and how the effect the sound.

Using high-end hi-fi equipment it is easy to hear the difference between MP3 and FLAC. I've been known to quickly run back to my computer to skip an MP3 if it is randomly selected.

Here's some information to digest:

MP3
8-bit / 44.1 kHz
320 kbit/s

CD quality is
16-bit / 44.1 khz
1,411.2 kbit/s

DVD-A
24-bit / 192 khz
4,608.0 kbit/s

The biggest difference between "high-quality" MP3s and FLAC / CD is the bit depth. This directly effects two things. 1. the noise, there will be a higher chance and higher level of background noise. 2. the dynamic range - this quality is greatly overlooked, but when a drum kicks or cymbal crashes I want it to be LOUD! It also 'blends' the range between instruments (there are only so many 'levels' to specify). Unfortunately most recording do not utilize the available range or bit depth and some are 'over' engineered to comply with general use requirements.

All of that being said. I exclusively use my Blackberry to steam FLAC files to my GS, but only 'cause I already have them loaded as such. I would not hold it against anyone to use high-quality MP3s in their car (my home system is another matter).
I agree there is certainly a different, but where we differ is that it is a difference that is not humanly discernible. The average human sound spectrum is 20hz to 20khz, give or take 5%. Sound below 20hz is typically feltand not heard, which, by the way, is an awesome feeling. Above 20khz is not heard at all, like dog whistles etc. Anything over 16-bit/44.1khz is typically overkill.

I think you said it best yourself. Unfortunately, most recordings do not utilize the range--almost all music is recorded at 16-bit/44.1khz. it is upsampled to 192khz for DVD audio, which really makes no difference considering it is the same audio source and 99% of the population can't hear the difference.

If you can pass a blind test of a 320kpbs MP3 and FLAC file then you have some super human hearing
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
95bat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-14, 08:54 PM   #77
tyrenfroe
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: GA
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95bat View Post

The average human sound spectrum is 20hz to 20khz, give or take 5%.
Uh, not quite. I'd like to meet ANYONE over 30 years old that can hear ANYTHING at 19khz (20khz-5%). NOT bloody likely, my friend. The "mosquito" used to chase away loitering teenagers from 7-11s is an annoying 17khz drone heard ONLY by 13-25 year-olds. To hit everyone, the drone must be lowered to a frequency of 8khz. You need to look at a few more Fletcher-Munsons before making generalizations about human hearing capabilities.
tyrenfroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-14, 09:19 PM   #78
Afrosheen
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 544
afrosheen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrenfroe View Post
Uh, not quite. I'd like to meet ANYONE over 30 years old that can hear ANYTHING at 19khz (20khz-5%). NOT bloody likely, my friend. The "mosquito" used to chase away loitering teenagers from 7-11s is an annoying 17khz drone heard ONLY by 13-25 year-olds. To hit everyone, the drone must be lowered to a frequency of 8khz. You need to look at a few more Fletcher-Munsons before making generalizations about human hearing capabilities.
This is pretty much right on. For fun, I have a mosquito sound app on my phone and it'll generate tones between 8khz and 20khz. I am nearly 40 and can't hear anything over 17khz. That just means I'm missing a little brightness from treble-heavy instruments (like crashing cymbals) and maybe some sibilance from lisping singers. I honestly don't miss either one. Still, 20hz to 20khz is the standard for hifi range, but what happens in that range is what counts. I've heard overcompressed 128kb/s mp3's that are ridiculously bad. I've done quite a few cd to mp3 conversions and was shocked at the bitrate peaks in stuff as simple as punk rock, regularly up to 320kb/s. The first time I noticed it I swore to only use VBR settings in the future and 320kb/s where space was no problem. Even then I hear a "ceiling" and some digital ring at times, although it's rare enough to ignore for the most part.
Afrosheen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-14, 10:50 PM   #79
tyrenfroe
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: GA
Posts: 118
Default

Good observations. The subtler point is that just as one finally learns what to listen for, one can no longer hear it.
tyrenfroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-14, 05:35 PM   #80
Gregavi
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: California
Posts: 19
Default

Just because you can't hear above or below a particular frequency doesn't mean you can't hear the difference between lossy and lossless. With lossy, there is information missing, not just high and low frequencies. I'm in my 50s and I have done some "blind listening" and I could hear the difference. I did test as well as a 20 something YO on my last hearing test, which is amazing since I have blasted tunes for over 40 years, but I think many over 40 people could hear the difference between lossy and lossless. It takes a really high end audio system (which I have), but you probably couldn't hear a difference in most car audio systems. I use lossless in my car system, but I doubt I could hear a difference. I do it because it's easy to do, I've got the storage and it 's possible that it might sound better. In other words, it doesn't hurt.
Gregavi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-14, 06:37 PM   #81
95bat
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrenfroe View Post
Uh, not quite. I'd like to meet ANYONE over 30 years old that can hear ANYTHING at 19khz (20khz-5%). NOT bloody likely, my friend. The "mosquito" used to chase away loitering teenagers from 7-11s is an annoying 17khz drone heard ONLY by 13-25 year-olds. To hit everyone, the drone must be lowered to a frequency of 8khz. You need to look at a few more Fletcher-Munsons before making generalizations about human hearing capabilities.
Just more to prove my point that FLAC quality at 192khz is totally overkill.
95bat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-14, 07:32 PM   #82
Afrosheen
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 544
afrosheen
Default

Here's some files for you fellow audio nerds to compare. I suggest comparing them via whatever device in your car vs. headphones (not iPhone headphones) vs. a good home stereo setup. Linn is pretty well known for being serious about quality.

http://www.linnrecords.com/linn-down...testfiles.aspx

Ultimately, most modern music doesn't take advantage of the ML system. You really have to go for some obsessive-compulsively recorded operatic and symphonic pieces to really hear it sizzle, so I think Linn's test files are a good start.

Back to the wishlist, I think if you're going to provide a system like this in a car, it should be able to decode damn near anything including FLAC, ALAC, etc. Like an earlier poster stated, Blu-ray support for surround audio would be nice since DVD audio is dead, but I'd much rather have a good surround format on an ipod.

Maybe I will stop being lazy and convert one of my 5.1 DVD audio discs to WMA surround and see if the ML handles it properly.
Afrosheen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-14, 09:42 PM   #83
tyrenfroe
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: GA
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Afrosheen View Post

...if you're going to provide a system like this in a car, it should be able to decode damn near anything including FLAC, ALAC, etc.

Maybe I will stop being lazy and convert one of my 5.1 DVD audio discs to WMA surround and see if the ML handles it properly.
Thanks for file link.

Agree on decoding everything. ASIC decoders are cheap and available. No excuse not to use them.

I hope you will do the WMA surround conversion and playback. I, for one, would be very interested in your impressions. To this day, I pine for my old multichannel SACD setup - what I wouldn't give to hear Herbie Hancock's Chameleon again in all its glory. Shame hirez MC bit the dust.
tyrenfroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-14, 05:59 AM   #84
hacker_720
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 169
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95bat View Post
Just more to prove my point that FLAC quality at 192khz is totally overkill.
I think I'm starting to understand the confusion. The 192khz specification is not the bandwidth, it's not the highest frequency. It is the sampling frequency, the number of times per second the track it sampled, really you would want it to be infinite so the track is constantly sampled, but that's not possible.
hacker_720 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-14, 08:10 AM   #85
95bat
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker_720 View Post
I think I'm starting to understand the confusion. The 192khz specification is not the bandwidth, it's not the highest frequency. It is the sampling frequency, the number of times per second the track it sampled, really you would want it to be infinite so the track is constantly sampled, but that's not possible.
Sampling rate, or sampling frequency as you've called it, is directly related to the frequency range that can be recorded/played, is it not?
95bat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-14, 11:32 AM   #86
hacker_720
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 169
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95bat View Post
Sampling rate, or sampling frequency as you've called it, is directly related to the frequency range that can be recorded/played, is it not?
Yes, as a simple rule, the max frequency is half the sample rate. The point of a higher sample rate is not to increase the max frequency, that's really more of a byproduct. The point is to sample a more accurate waveform (specifically for non-sinusoidal waveforms).
hacker_720 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-14, 05:48 PM   #87
Afrosheen
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 544
afrosheen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrenfroe View Post
Thanks for file link.

Agree on decoding everything. ASIC decoders are cheap and available. No excuse not to use them.

I hope you will do the WMA surround conversion and playback. I, for one, would be very interested in your impressions. To this day, I pine for my old multichannel SACD setup - what I wouldn't give to hear Herbie Hancock's Chameleon again in all its glory. Shame hirez MC bit the dust.
For fun, I took some m4a files I ripped from DVD-A to ALAC (apple's lossless codec) and used dbpoweramp to convert them to 5.1 WMA 10 Pro files. Copied them to a USB thumb drive, put it in the car...

The head unit showed the files as WMA but scanned them quickly and skipped through each one without playing. I think it ended up deciding none of the files would play and said something to the effect of no supported files found on the screen.

Back to the drawing board, but I'm not giving up. I emailed ML who told me to talk to their automotive division, who then told me to talk to Lexus. It's ridiculous that ML won't just email me tech specs of what this head unit can handle so I get to play mad scientist with formats until I get it right.
Afrosheen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-14, 05:49 PM   #88
95bat
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker_720 View Post
Yes, as a simple rule, the max frequency is half the sample rate. The point of a higher sample rate is not to increase the max frequency, that's really more of a byproduct. The point is to sample a more accurate waveform (specifically for non-sinusoidal waveforms).
I am by no means an expert in any of this, but I found this video pretty educational. I think it shows proof against what you're arguing, but I could be wrong.

http://xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml
95bat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-14, 07:26 PM   #89
tyrenfroe
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: GA
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Afrosheen View Post
For fun, I took some m4a files I ripped from DVD-A to ALAC (apple's lossless codec) and used dbpoweramp to convert them to 5.1 WMA 10 Pro files. Copied them to a USB thumb drive, put it in the car...

The head unit showed the files as WMA but scanned them quickly and skipped through each one without playing. I think it ended up deciding none of the files would play and said something to the effect of no supported files found on the screen.

Back to the drawing board, but I'm not giving up. I emailed ML who told me to talk to their automotive division, who then told me to talk to Lexus. It's ridiculous that ML won't just email me tech specs of what this head unit can handle so I get to play mad scientist with formats until I get it right.
Ouch! Lot of work just to end up headbanging. Thanks for trying and good luck finding them that know and shaking loose some info from them. By the way, here' s a link to an old article that may give you some additional leads. http://www.fujitsu-ten.com/business/...l/pdf/28-7.pdf
tyrenfroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-14, 02:57 PM   #90
hacker_720
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 169
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95bat View Post
I am by no means an expert in any of this, but I found this video pretty educational. I think it shows proof against what you're arguing, but I could be wrong.

http://xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml
That was a great video, thank you for that link. There was some really good information, I was surprised at how smooth the output waveform was.

Now that you have watched it as well, look up am image of a typical audio waveform and imagine the points placed on both axis, you can see the advantage to more points, especially bit depth. It allows a more accurate sample of the waveform, it 'forces' less adherence to one of the points.

It's much easier to reproduce the waveform when it's repetitive, but what about when there is less then half a wave or the wave changes during the cycle?

http://goodrob13.com/wp-content/uplo...tereo-wave.gif
http://www.mathworks.com/help/daq/c1_introdaq13.gif
http://zone.ni.com/images/reference/...c_fnyquist.gif
http://www.school-for-champions.com/...plex_sound.jpg
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/at...tracks-two.jpg
hacker_720 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-14, 02:57 PM
 
 
 
 
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Perfect companion for the ML system Ascari_2 LS460, LS460L and LS600h 30 11-11-14 03:20 PM
My 430 has no bass lamealibi LS430 20 07-04-14 05:22 AM
Dislike bluetooth phone audio sound in this car Rexus300 GS - Fourth Generation 10 05-07-14 11:20 AM
Vaistech ML Plus (ML+) Review - Buy Recommendation from former SL2i user!!! *Batman* Lexus Audio, Video, Security & Electronics 405 01-14-13 09:52 AM
Audiophile Compares ML stereo to Premium Stereo............. Cut-Throat GS - Third Generation 48 01-08-08 06:40 PM


Tags
200, 2013, 300, audio, es350, levinson, levinston, lexu, lexus, low, ls430, mark, premium, sound, stuff, vocals, wired

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:00 AM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | JOBS


Get all contact info