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  1. #1

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    Question "Higher End" CD's and Lossless Digital

    One for the cognoscenti -

    I'm awaiting the arrival of my Squeezebox Touch, which I will run through a Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09 in to the set up in my sig.

    I wonder...

    Since I'm going to be converting CD's to Apple Lossless or AIFF files, would those files maintain the fidelity of "high end" CD's like the Black Pyramid version of Dark Side, for instance?

    On the one hand I would think the answer would be "Yes," since the 1's and 0's from the CD will still reach the DAC, but...

    On the other hand, and I don't really know why, I'm thinking for some reason the answer might be "No."

    I'd appreciate any thoughts and discussion on this from folks here who are much more knowledgeable than am I.

    THANKS!
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  2. #2

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    Depends on a variety of things. Use flac first off and a bit perfect download program such as DB poweramp, Media Monkey, Jrivers, etc. Once thats done, playing thru a good dac is essential along with a good analog output stage and pre amp. Plenty of threads to dig up on getting good sound from a SB thats on par with a cdp.

  3. #3

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    It should, but like everything else in regard to recorded music there is a controversy and ambiguity. For example, earlier this year the absolute sound ran a 5 part series on digital sound. The authors were hearing differences between FLAC and WAV, between the programs used to rip the files, and anything else involved in the process. Moral of the story is use a lossless file, and just enjoy the music.

  4. #4

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    Thanks to you both.

    One of these days, I'll test DSOTM via vinyl, common CD, Black Pyramid CD, WAV and AIFF (won't do FLAC as I'm strictly an Apple guy) and see if I can tell any difference.

    My tinnitus will probably make the differences unnoticeable, but it will be a fun test.

    Best -
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  5. #5

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    Cookie Marenco, a well respected producer/engineer and founder of Blue Coast Records, specializes in hi-res recordings. Here is what she had to say at the Computer Audiophile forum:

    "About FLAC... We did a lot of early testing for FLAC because it is also less expensive for us to send when a file is smaller, but, when listening back to uncompressed FLAC against the full WAV file when both are sent through email... there is a difference and the WAV has consistently sounded better. We realize that much has been published that FLAC is bit to bit accurate, but with a listening test, this is not the case. I have suggested to many of our customers to do the experiment themselves and all have reported the same results as we have found. "

    So compare (with AIFF) and decide for yourself. I do flac here, even my hi-res vinyl rips, and it sounds real good.

    They don't have a huge catalog, but are worth checking out. Excellent sound quality.

    http://www.bluecoastrecords.com/abou...-coast-records
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  6. #6

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    Cool link, Rich. I'd seen Blue Coast recordings before but never heard of Cookie Marenco. If you go to her personal website there's a link to an article she wrote in Positive Feedback Online that's interesting as well.

    Here's the link:

    http://cookiemarenco.com/images/pdf_...eedback-59.pdf
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  7. #7

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    You can start an endless discussion on which file format sounds the best. Use any lossless format and your good to go. To these ears, a well recorded redbook or SACD still trumps digital files, but not by much. As with any format, there's good and bad recorded music in all of them, even vinyl. Guess it comes down to how discerning of an ear one has.

    My thing with going digital was that I was tired of changing cd's so often because I may only like 2 or 3 songs on the cd and I wanted the convenience of making my own playlists and go wireless from the palm of my hand. The convenience factor and ease of use is off the charts with these SB/Sonos units. So much so, the wife would get rid of me before she gave up her Sonos. They really take music and make it an enjoyable family affair again, plus your friends and guests will dig them too.

  8. #8

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    Interesting that it can now be reported here from Cookie, some of the magazine writers and others that they hear differences in FLAC. Some wanted to string me up by my toe nails with Lowe's zip cord a few months ago for me simply saying that it was being reported as not always sounding the same as Waves.

    While I haven't done a careful comparison, I just always used wave and don't worry about it, I have noticed a big diff between MediaMonkey and JRiver in favor of the JRiver. Makes we want to try the JPlay and see if it really sounds as much better yet as some say....

    CJ
    As seen on the AVS forum... "Radio Shack zip cord kicks butt."

  9. #9

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    How do you tag WAV files? Must be a PITA to manage a very large library of music.

    FTR, I hear absolutely ZERO difference between WAV and FLAC and prefer FLAC.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  10. #10

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    I'm trying to remember when I installed the JRiver what it counted. Kind of surprised me it was like 60 or 70,000 cuts.

    Never gave any thought to it being any issue to find anything with that quantity. Folder with artist name, sub with album name and then the individual files by cut name under that. Seems no issue to me to work with. I've just never gotten any buzz from the tag thing as being any issue for me....

    If I select a CD from the shelf, I do the same level of sort and look for as from the computer.

    To me what's important is to not have to ever re-rip or lose anything ever. I'll never do some proprietary format for that reason.

    CJ
    As seen on the AVS forum... "Radio Shack zip cord kicks butt."

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    I do flac here, even my hi-res vinyl rips, and it sounds real good.
    SComp, what hardware/software to you use to rip your vinyl?
    Hi-Fi
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  12. #12

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    CJ: That works great if you have the computer in front of you, but if you dont your screwed .

    I think thats why tag info is helpful, for those of us using files stored on the computer while listening in another room. Think Logitech Squeezebox or Sonos and you'll see what it might be important
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  13. #13

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    Many bit-for-bit analysis has been done comparing flac to the original file, and flac was found to be bit perfect time & time again. I think peoples imaginations are not bit perfect.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
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  14. #14

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    I played with streaming the JRiver output to an Oppo player with a screen attached. It displayed everything needed perfectly including album covers! I have "background"' noise all day, so when I listen to music at home it's for me while setting, not mood music. I differ from others I'm sure in that way.

    Never played with or really have any interest in those other things that you mention, Dan at all.

    BTW...the song info displays beautifully on a smart phone for remote control of JRiver very nicely too!

    CJ

    PS....bits isn't the issue. Like with all digital playback...It's the timing of those bits.
    As seen on the AVS forum... "Radio Shack zip cord kicks butt."

  15. #15

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    Cool, thanks for letting me know CJ. Haven't played with JRiver before so its good to know it works like that .

    To quote someone on another forum "It only matters how it sounds to you"
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by strider View Post
    If you go to her personal website ....
    I got a crush on her....we shared emails for a while. She has some nice gear. If she says WAV sounds better than flac, I believe she means it. It may well be true. I don't get those results here though.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by stretchl View Post
    SComp, what hardware/software to you use to rip your vinyl?
    Heavy plinth, heavy platter Lenco idler drive turntable, MG-1 linear tracking air bearing arm, Dynavector Karat 17D3 via tape outs of a ModWright SWLP 9.0 Signature Edition (built in phono stage, high current extremely low distortion tube gear) to a Dell laptop running on battery. Software used is Audacity. I'll reverse the tracks and run click repair at a moderate setting if it is a poor condition LP with pops and clicks (digital seems to emphasize them, making them louder or more noticable than in the actual analog playback).

    I also have Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 but never tried it with the vinyl rips.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  18. #18

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    You're using Audacity? Wow. I'd have thought something more complex, but everything I've done with sound editing has been geared toward multimedia journalism and we have entirely different needs. I usually use Final Cut Pro, but also Soundtrack Pro once in a while.

    Is Click Repair a filter built into Audacity?

    What do you mean when you say you "reverse the tracks?" Do you mean the order of the tracks in the Audacity window, or actually running the files backwards?

    I'm enjoying my vinyl while I'm waiting the arrival of my SB Touch, but these pops and clicks are killing me. Not to mention the needle getting stuck, getting stuck, getting stuck, getting stuck... occasionally. ;)

    Thanks.
    Hi-Fi
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  19. #19

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    Audacity works great considering it is free. No expensive soundcard either. As they say the proof is in the pudding, and my vinyl rips are quiet and sound very good. I wish I had more time to devote to it. I am software challenged as it is, and better programs are usually more difficult to learn and expensive so I stay with what I know.

    ClickRepair isn't free, check it out here. http://www.clickrepair.net/

    In Audacity 1.3 they added a repair tool, but since I already bought a license for ClickRepair I stayed with it. IIRC someone over at the Steve Hoffman forum turned me on to reversing the track before running ClickRepair. It had something to do with making a transient in the music appearing different and remaining unharmed by the software. Simply reverse the track, do the repair and reverse back to original state. If you don't get too high with the ClickRepair repair settings, you won't harm the recording. Of course if you wish to spend the time you can go over the entire track manually on a surgical search and destroy.
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 08-18-2012 at 02:46 PM.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KRC-HR Class A Pre w/ Reference Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
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  20. #20

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    Speaking of better software just triggered this in memory (I'm old and have been working lots of hours).

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...oving+pictures

    CP member LessisNevermore (Duell) brought over his Digidesign's Pro Tools hardware with proprietary software to do a hi-res recording of my best Rush / Moving Pictures album. (Duell is a drummer in a local band). Hardware and software do matter!
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KRC-HR Class A Pre w/ Reference Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


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  21. #21

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    FLAC is not proprietary; it's open-source and decodes to WAV.

    Meta-data is the food of life for digital audio; you can do some amazing things with it, especially in JRMC.

    I like to create an album cover view but sorted by artist; using file trees is too 1998 ; ) I can also exclude multi-artist comps in my sorting scheme so it's cleaned up a bit.

    Also, if you are tagging .wav files in JRMC, you are editing the database, but not storing any data in tags. If you move those files to a new disk location using Windows Explorer, and re-import them to JRMC, you will lose the tags.

    There are best practices for a reason...




    Quote Originally Posted by CoolJazz View Post
    I'm trying to remember when I installed the JRiver what it counted. Kind of surprised me it was like 60 or 70,000 cuts.

    Never gave any thought to it being any issue to find anything with that quantity. Folder with artist name, sub with album name and then the individual files by cut name under that. Seems no issue to me to work with. I've just never gotten any buzz from the tag thing as being any issue for me....

    If I select a CD from the shelf, I do the same level of sort and look for as from the computer.

    To me what's important is to not have to ever re-rip or lose anything ever. I'll never do some proprietary format for that reason.

    CJ

  22. #22

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    What is wrong with apple lossless?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Depends on a variety of things. Use flac first off and a bit perfect download program such as DB poweramp, Media Monkey, Jrivers, etc. Once thats done, playing thru a good dac is essential along with a good analog output stage and pre amp. Plenty of threads to dig up on getting good sound from a SB thats on par with a cdp.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost240 View Post
    What is wrong with apple lossless?
    If you like it, then nothing.
    Carl

  24. #24

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    what's the general consensus on WMA lossless?
    HT/2channel:
    AVR: Yamaha RX-V 765
    Fronts: Polk RTiA3
    sub: Polk PSW110(will add 2x PSW 505)
    Center: CS13
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    The real 2 Channel(work in progress):
    Pre:HK 3490
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    most of my comments are passing on of info, im a noob, im just trying to help how i can, if im wrong or out of place to comment, dont hesitate to let me know :)

  25. #25

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    I go FLAC on everything and have over 12 TB of lossless audio.

    I can't hear a difference between WAV and FLAC Level 8.
    POLK AUDIO SRT (Signature Reference Theater)
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  26. #26

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    OP, I use XID for bit perfect rips to AIFF. Works great. I coverted a ton of FLAC to AIFF with no issues and great SQ.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
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    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

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