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We report on the results of research to code speech at 16 kbps under the condition that the quality of the transmitted speech be equal to that of the original. Some of the original speech had been corrupted by noise and distortions typical of long distance telephone lines. The rigorous requirements of this work led to a new outlook on adaptive predictive coding. We have found that the pitch predictor is not useful on balance and should be eliminated, and that the residual should be quantized with no clipping and encoded using a variable-length code. A single coding scheme seems to be adequate for all speech and all conditions. In addition, the adaptive predictive coding system has been modified to include a noise spectral shaping filter that effectively eliminates the perception of background granular noise.