Is there a noticable sound difference? I don't mean like just MP3s put on a CDR, but converted to WAV form. Do you think a difference would be noticed on a $800 sound system, assuming all of the MP3s are 128+ bit-rate?
128kb/s definetly a difference in quality, its bad... That bitrate allows for many artifacts. ofcourse you won't notice on a pair of cheapie computer speakers. I would have to say $250+ speakers as a rough measure of quality before you can hear the difference. at 192kb/s i can't tell the difference between mp3 and cd. Who still rips at 128kb/s? All the mp3 releases i've seen(excluding anime) have been 192kb/s.
Is there a difference? Yes. Negligable? Most likely. Unless you're a serious audiophile then 128k and above is for all practical purposes CD quality. From what I've been able to hear the lower the bitrate the more highs and lows are cut out, at 128k they're at the edge of audiable frequencies.
I use a plugin called DFX 4.0 for winamp...you can also use it with the Wav Writer output (the only settings I put on are Fidelity to "2" and Hyperbass to "1". Even on very nice stereo equipment, I cannot for the life of me tell a different between a 128Kbps MP3 exported to WAV in DFX and the original CD. 192Kbps+ seems to have richer sound than the original CD when it's exported with DFX...which is REALLY strange.
yeah I know the audio freaks out there will dis these little immatation plugins...but if unless your spending $10k on speakers, who gives a flying fsck!