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Username: Squirrel
Realname: Glenn Richards
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

Certain lossy encoders (eg Sony's ATRAC) do actually clean up the sound by removing stuff that although you can't hear does "muddy" the sound. When I first invested in a minidisc deck a few years back I was quite surprised at this, when some MD copies actually sounded cleaner than the original CD.

However, MP3 doesn't fall into this category, and MP3 encoded material does sound noticably worse.

Also it depends very much on the listener. I seem to be cursed with being able to hear minute differences that most people wouldn't, eg the slightest trace of MP3 compression, even the difference between OFC and silver speaker cable (the silver cable sounds better!). I say "cursed" because it means I end up spending a lot more on audio hardware than on CDs to play on it...

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 7/10/05 8:57AM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:


I just did a blind test here. I ripped a track, then encoded it as FLAC, OGG Vorbis and MP3. I then threw all 3 into Winamp, along with the original WAV file. Hit the random play then repeat buttons, closed my eyes and hit play. Without looking I could hear a huge difference between lossy (MP3/Vorbis) and lossless (WAV or FLAC) formats. OGG Vorbis does sound better than MP3, but still lacks detail when compared to a lossless format such as FLAC.

I then repeated a test with a friend selecting a version of the track and playing it, same result. I was able to distinguish immediately between lossy and lossless versions.

Of course FLAC sounds identical to the original WAV, as it's mathematically lossless.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 18/9/05 6:21PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

Not with the music up that loud! Can see the blue & red flashing lights though, and brake hard accordingly!

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 12/9/05 6:16PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

Lame is about the best MP3 encoder out there at present, and yes, the MP3 files it produces do sound very very good - in isolation.

However, I've tried an A/B comparison of MP3 VBR, MP3 320 CBR and WAV uncompressed, played through a Turtle Beach Audiotron (sadly no longer available) into an Arcam AVR-250 with Mordaunt-Short Avant 908 speakers, using Audio Innovations Silver speaker cable (and yes, the cable does make a difference). Can't tell between VBR and 320 MP3s (except the VBRs are smaller), but play the WAV and suddenly there's a lot more detail and depth to the music. Go back to the MP3 and you can hear slight artifacts on things like hi-hats etc.

Mind you, you're talking to the person who had an MP3 player in his car and could clearly hear compression artifacts whilst belting down the M40 at 130mph... I now have a Sony MEX-1HD, which uses ATRAC compression instead.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 12/9/05 4:56PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

160-320kbit VBR, lame options -q1 -mj -b160 -V0

If you must use CBR, use 192kbit, lame options -q1 -mj -b192.

Even at 320kbit though MP3 sounds lacking in detail compared to the original CD or WAV file. FLAC is your friend!

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 10/9/05 1:18PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

"The issue has not been noticed by the majority of other users, despite the machine having been in the hands of customers since the end of 2002."

Yes, but let's be fair, most people can't tell the difference between a 99 cheap and nasty mini system and a few grand's worth of proper hi-fi separates.

And these are probably the same people that say 128kbit MP3 sounds 'as good as CD'. Yes, if you're using the analogue outputs of your CD-ROM drive to play CDs it probably does - in fact it probably sounds a good deal better, as the analogue outs on CD-ROM drives are positively dire, and even a basic soundcard will sound better.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 10/9/05 12:27PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

As I said in my previous posting, the simplest solution would be to stick an onboard SPDIF connector on the Iyonix motherboard, allowing you to connect the machine to an offboard DAC of some sort.

One of my RISC PCs (the one I used for music and audio) has a DMI-50S card (complete with optional XG card), and does sound rather good. Beats the onboard sound anyway, and sounds a lot better than the SB Live card on my PC.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 10/9/05 12:22PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

The onboard audio from PCs is utter crap 99% of the time. My RPC actually provides quite a good quality audio output by comparison, and indeed the MkI motherboard with separate 16-bit sound card produces higher quality sound than the later MkII with onboard 16-bit sound.

A simple solution to audio quality problems is to provide an SPDIF optical or coaxial output, preferably one that outputs at the sample rate of whatever's being played and doesn't resample everything up to 48kHz. Then connect this digital output to something with a digital input, for example an offboard DAC, AV amplifier, or even use a minidisc deck as an external DAC.

Cambridge Soundworks (amongst others) make a set of speakers with an SPDIF input and an internal DAC - this gets sensitive audio equipment away from electrically noisy digital circuitry.

The solution I've come up with (this is on a WinXP PC, but is potientially a solution for the Iyonix) is to use an external USB soundcard, Creative MP3+ Blaster, and hook the SPDIF optical output to an Arcam Black Box 50 offboard DAC. MP3s played on this actually sound better than playing a CD on the Technics CD player sat next to it.

Of course, playing the CD through the digital out on the CD player into the external DAC sounds better than the MP3, but the point remains.

Iyonix has USB, does it not support a generic USB audio device?

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 10/9/05 10:02AM
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On South West 2006 show confirmed:

This year I ended up going to the hi-fi show all 3 days running (and ended up buying a Chord Cobra II interconnect for 25, normally 55). Was considering going to the SW show, but just ended up going to the hi-fi show again on the Saturday instead.

However, unless they move either show next year, it's not going to clash. So I'll try and be at that one, on the basis that it's the one closest to me and although I don't really use RISC OS any more (except for scanning documents) it's nice to catch up with some old faces.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 10/9/05 9:53AM
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On South West 2006 show confirmed:

To be honest I tend to go to Acorn/RISC OS shows now purely for the social side. It's always nice at Wakefield for example to meet up with people I probably haven't seen for a year, so fingers crossed I'll be able to get to the South-West show this time around.

Course, knowing my luck I'll probably be away that weekend, in London or something! Will try and keep that weekend free though so I can stick my head in.

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 8/9/05 9:22AM
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On South West 2006 show confirmed:

Ah, and next year I might actually make it, as it doesn't clash with the Sound & Vision show in Bristol (the last 2-3 years it's been the same weekend).

Have to say though, a hi-fi show is much more interesting than a computer show, regardless of what platform or OS is featured...

 is a RISC OS UserSquirrel on 7/9/05 9:16PM
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