the LAME codec has gotten so good in the last 4 or 5 years that it's nearly impossible to discern a 192 rip from flac, let alone v0 or 320.
however, i'm a strong advocate for vinyl rips.
Ok, this might be like a religious or political debate I don't know. Being a private torrent tracker aficionado, as well as a jam band fan, I am no stranger to people who prefer....no demand their files in lossless format. Even when it is coming from a high quality tracker where the quality of the MP3 encodes are almost assured to be direct from the lossless source.
Through my own, admittedly limited, research on the topic I've concluded that FLAC and even 320 CBR are archival formats, not listening formats. Not just due to the size, but because there is no actual quality difference to be gained for the average listener. I'm not even convinced that a person with perfect pitch and incredibly high end playback equipment gets any real benefit from lossless playback.
I understand the need for lossless sources and obviously an MP3 file that is low bitrate and/or has gone through multiple lossy transcodes will sound like shit. But a strong LAME V0 encode from an orginal good lossless rip should be of sufficiently high quality for any listener. Is it even physically possible for the human ear to discern the differences between V0 and FLAC?
I did some googling and found some discussions on audiophile message boards, but like I said you might as well go seeking a definitive answer to gun control, abortion, universal health care or gay marriage.
Does anyone have any compelling links and research on the subject? A link to an easy to use blind test would be great too. I saw the audiophiles create their own blind tests with a track of their choosing, but that's too much work for me. It did look like most people who put in the time to create those tests found that their ability to tell FLAC from V0 tended to be 50% at best. Which is of course...chance, and not a good result for the "I only listen in FLAC" advocates.
All the vinyl rips I've tried have had audible imperfections like the light scratching from the needle physically dragging across the record. I like vinyl in theory, a record on a good turntable played through a tube amp sounds like pure sex, but so far the rips I've heard don't do it for me. I'd rather just have a standard digital source.
What has a rip of Rumours from a 45rpm LP that sounds pretty much perfect, other than that I don't really mess with vinyl rips unless forced.
he's not a user on the site, but generally any classic album available on vinyl will have a rip by him and will sound exquisite. he has like $100k worth of vinyl ripping equipment or something ridiculous. check out his rip of black sabbath - black sabbath.
There is a difference yea, but it's only evident at such the absurdly high end of audio equipment that probably most of us will never see. I never used to think there was a difference, but I got a chance to hear a Martin Logan CLX system about a year back. The dudebro played me some live Santana in a few different formats (mostly just trying to justify the cash he blew on that system I'd imagine) and that was the only time I ever noticed a quality difference.
With storage being so insanely cheap these past few years, start with flac, then make a 192k mp3 from that for your phone, laptop, tablet, whatever.
Keep the flac around so that you'll always have a lossless version in case some newer/better tech shows up.
As far as vinyl rips versus cd rips, I will always remember Metallica's Death Magnetic where the CD mix (particularly the volume, pushed way too high) was set such that the whole thing was unlistenable due to distortion. So, there are no guarantees.
Its a format named after Joe Flacco. it's probably the most amazing thing ever.
Flac is a waste for me. You need speakers that costs a couple grand don't you? I'll never own speakers good enough to get any benefit from Flac. All the music I have is V0.
Headphones--and IEMs even moreso--that cost ~$100 will highlight the same flaws as speakers that cost thousands.
Personally I use FLAC to archive, and V0 for everything else. CBR is completely worthless, whether it's 192 or 320. In addition to what keg said about V2, V0 will use 320 bits if the sample requires it, so there's no reason to ever use a non-VBR preset. Even worse, seeing CBR is usually a tip-off that the iTunes codec was used to make the rip rather than LAME.
And most albums these days sound vastly better on vinyl. Not because of that "warmth" nonsense people have been going on about since the early 80's, but due to loudness/compression. NIN's remaster of Pretty Hate Machine is still the worst I've ever heard, in terms of how terrible the CD is compared to the LP (or the 2010 CD compared to the 1989 CD, for that matter).
I can't tell the difference between V0 and FLAC with the equipment I have. :/ Everything I get is V0 for that reason.
I maintain the position that there is no audible difference between a v0 CD rip from a recent version of LAME and a .flac. I've done a blind test on my pals $700 sennheisers and neither of us could discern.
when you start to consider the dynamics of vinyl, that changes.
I like the idea of vinyl for some genres(when I'm in a mood for things like Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, etc), but for the majority of stuff I listen to it doesn't seem to work nearly as well.
The way most music is recorded these days is total shit. I was listening to that vinyl rip of Black Sabbath that Keg recommended and its amazing how much separation and clarity there are in the instruments and the vocal track. So much of music now sounds like its all bleeding together. I don't know enough about recording to describe it properly.
Last edited by Famm; 01-27-2013 at 09:12 PM.
Yeah, as cheap as storage has gotten I have a hard time imagining the amount of MB you save from V0 to V2 or even 192 should be a deal killer. FLAC vs. MP3 yes.
Thanks again for turning me on to that pbthal guy, snatching his vinyl rip of Rush's "A Show of Hands" now.
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