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Thread: I'm FLACed!

  1. #1

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    Default I'm FLACed!

    Well, I've completely converted to FLAC. +200 CD's in total. Thanks to all for suggestions and posts on ripping and playback tools especially from Assimilated and heiney9. I ended up going with MediaMonkey Gold Edition. For $25, it comes with Accurate Rip. I was actually surprised how fast most CD's were ripped to FLAC. Only about 8 of my CD's were lagging pretty slow during the process. For others considering MediaMonkey, I highly recommend it. I consider $25 a good price. Ripping, tagging and managing files is very easy and the customization is also very good. It didn't take long at all to getting everything set-up and start the process. As far as the quality of FLAC, I don't want to start any debates but I'm very happy with the results and SQ. I picked up a Sonos Connect to stream to my AVR. I'll write another post on my impressions of the Sonos.
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    Source: SONOS Music System, DAC: W4S DAC-2, Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8801, Amp: W4S MC5, Front: Polk RTIA9, Center: Polk CSIA6, Surrounds: Polk FXIA6, Sub EQ: DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033C, Subs: 2 - Polk DSW PRO660WI, IC & Speaker Cables: Signal Cable

  2. #2

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    I'm FLACed!
    Congrats! Do you have a back up drive? Just recently my 1TB music drive started to go bad without warning. Aside from a few recent CD rips, I was very glad I had it copied to a 1TB music back up drive. My external back up drive and 'putie have esata connections which makes it much faster to copy than via USB.

    As far as the debate thing you mentioned it so you started it. Really, if you're interested do some comparisons for yourself. If you don't hear any difference, be happy. I myself am very happy with flac.
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    Congrats, I'm so glad i ripped everything to flac, its so much easier and i'm quite satisfied with the sound. + 1 on making sure you back it up.. i just recently finally got around to it and even though nothing has failed yet i'm glad to have it all backed up in case my NAS HDD does fail. I can't imagine having to re-rip over 500+ cds. i got a great deal on a portable usb drive 1tb for 60 bucks.. well worth it for piece of mind at the least
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    does mediamonkey gold rip faster than free mediamonkey?
    Main system
    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...pin&1162599347 Freelance reviewer for StereoMojo

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    Cool , your now into a whole new level of sonic reproduction.
    Sonos is a very cool way of replaying your files. Just remember Sonos only supports up to 16 bit 44.1 files. On a side not I'd like to see Sonos release a Connect Plus or Connect HD or something like that for high rez file support , that would take Sonos to another level.
    Dan
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    Agreed Dan, I have a cullen modded Sonos that will do high rez files on the main rig and a regular zp90 for the kitchen and deck. 16/44 is cd quality btw and some talk about it like it's a bastard child.

    To the OP, a seperate dac is almost a must have with the sonos. Your SQ will add many levels. Also when possible, set the volume on the sonos to fixed and use the volume on your other gear as these volume controls on digital devices can be noisy. The Sonos has been the best piece of audio gear I have ever owned for overall enjoyment.

    They recently came out with their own version of a sounbar, and hopefully they will come out with their own headphones too. Download their free app to your phone and do the updates when they tell you. I use their own controller and the app and both are awesome. If you need any help, Dan, Phil, or myself can help you so don't be afraid to speak up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    On a side not I'd like to see Sonos release a Connect Plus or Connect HD or something like that for high rez file support , that would take Sonos to another level.
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Agreed Dan, I have a cullen modded Sonos that will do high rez files on the main rig and a regular zp90 for the kitchen and deck. 16/44 is cd quality btw and some talk about it like it's a bastard child.
    That mod merely upsamples 16/44k to 24/96 and add's a measure of jitter reduction,it's not true hi rez.So it's an apples oranges kinda comparison.Can well produced 16/44k sound better than 24/96?Absolutely.But comparing the same recording done natively in hi rez vs standard redbook version of the same recording, the nod would likely go to the higher rez version.

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    SComp, I have a 1TB external usb back-up drive connected. For the price of storage, I'm considering another back-up for the back-up that I manually plug in and update. Don't want to go through the ripping process of FLAC and MP3's (for car, boat and phone) again if I can help it. Prior to the FLAC and Sonos, I was streaming MP3 320 Kbps for about 1 year. I would consider that my ears are in training. Can I detect a 10% difference probably not, 20% maybe depending on the recording. I do know what I like and what I don't like. Usually when I compare, I test about 6 songs that I'm very familiar with. When I got the Sonos (+ 200 hrs burn-in), I compared FLAC vs the MP3. To me, I could not tell much a difference between good - very good recordings. Then I started listening to more of my library with FLAC and chose poorer quality recordings to compare. This is where I noticed the difference between FLAC and MP3. It seemed the FLAC did a better job on the less quality recordings specifically better detail and clarity.

    Mantis, I was aware of the 16 bit 44.1 file support from reading all the great posts on this forum. For my current set-up and needs, I thought I could live with this limitation since my main focus is CD ripping and own no high rez files. 5 years from now that could all change. Hell if I keep reading on this forum that could change in 6 months.

    Tony, I pretty much set it up with fixed volume. I haven't even tried variable. And yes, an external DAC (which I currently don't have) is on the radar.

    One more thanks to everyone on their input. This forum is great.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Source: SONOS Music System, DAC: W4S DAC-2, Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8801, Amp: W4S MC5, Front: Polk RTIA9, Center: Polk CSIA6, Surrounds: Polk FXIA6, Sub EQ: DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033C, Subs: 2 - Polk DSW PRO660WI, IC & Speaker Cables: Signal Cable

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    My desktop has (3) 2TB internal drives. They all have external counterparts as backups... so yea, 12TB total. Storage is cheap. Do it.
    2-Channel:

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    Thats kewl Thorton, you got backup! I backup and unplug and store it in a safe place. If your 'putie has ESATA, backup time is significantly reduced over USB or Firewire.

    There are folks, inclucing respected recording engineers like Cookie Marenco, that claim a difference with uncompressed FLAC against the full WAV file when both are sent through email (including maybe downloaded?). I feel flac is worthy of quality gear and have invested money, time and effort into making it even better.

    While my DAC will do hi-res and I do have some, most of my music is standard 44.1 KHz and it sounds very good.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by marvda1 View Post
    does mediamonkey gold rip faster than free mediamonkey?
    No, it just adds a few features not avail on the free version.

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTGV View Post
    Agreed

    That mod merely upsamples 16/44k to 24/96 and add's a measure of jitter reduction,it's not true hi rez.So it's an apples oranges kinda comparison.Can well produced 16/44k sound better than 24/96?Absolutely.But comparing the same recording done natively in hi rez vs standard redbook version of the same recording, the nod would likely go to the higher rez version.
    True...true my friend. Think about it though, most seperate dacs do the same thing, upsample. Can be good or bad depending on design. We can chase that monkey 5 ways to sunday on the benefits of higher rez, how digital signals get processed and which is better but the bottom line is enjoying what you hear regardless of how it got there. To me, a purist at heart, maybe even an audio snob to some, have learned to stop chasing bits on paper and just enjoy the music...and the company I keep.

    I applaud those who do chase down every last bit of detail, squeeze every drop of SQ they can out of a piece of gear or recording. The purist side of me is happy they do. Rich is the perfect example of that. But he loves doing it, and I respect the man for it. Often times however, some spend more time and effort into those last drops of detail without ever just enjoying the tunes, speaking generally of course. Not knocking those who do go that extra mile, but thats more the exception than the norm when listening to music. Heck, one could say the ipod is the norm too as we all turn our noses up at the thought. To each his own in this hobby. I just think too much emphasis is put on bit rates these days to sell products, just my .02 is all.

  13. #13

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    I've been using Spesoft Free CD Ripper. It is fast, does all CDDB disc/track listing, album art work, and even the lyrics of each track. It supports Flac, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, and Cue. It also has a small install footprint. Works really well.

    For those of you with external (or internal) back-up drives Microsoft has a great utility called SyncToy to mirror folders across drives. I use it to backup several terabytes and it supports exclusion lists and when ran only copies any new files or updated ones if you want. Very useful and easy to use.
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=15155

    Now if I just had more time to finish digitizing 500+ CDs :(
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    Tony, I can and have listened on various systems through our little music group and enjoyed the music from all of them. But to paraphrase Freddie, at home I Want It All. I spent many years learning about turntables, speakers, amps, pre amps but hardly anything about digital. The other factor is after chasing different for years, I have settled in and just want better. At the time I started my project, there were no DAC's available that did everything I wanted. But my focus has also changed with more understanding from when I started.

    While you may know the difference, there is a difference between upsample and oversample and some folks confuse that. After you get past good components, power and a great analog stage, the whole refocused goal of my DIY effort has been to reduce jitter. That is where a great deal of diy effort is focused on. You can even apply that with NOS (non oversampling) DAC’s as well.

    USB to I2S (clock and data separate), avoid having the DAC decode the clock and data from a SPDIF stream. I2S has to be done right though. Fred can correct me if I am wrong, but the only standard that exists for I2S is onboard, in same chassis. You can’t always trust the source clock so you replace it with a better one. ESS Sabre folks came up with a way to decode SPDIF without explicit measure of the embedded clock and the listening results show they done good. You get jitter to the lowest levels and your digital will sound the best. You can have detail and smooth, that is my point and goal.
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 02-16-2013 at 02:32 PM.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    True...true my friend. Think about it though, most seperate dacs do the same thing, upsample.
    Oversample yes as for upsampling many but certainly not all offer the option of doing so.Since the vast majority of modern Dac's use Delta-Sigma D-A chips they will by default incororate an oversampling digital filter.There is a difference between the two processes,(ie.oversampling does'nt atempt to increase the bit depth)and as with anything audio there are proponents and there are purist's that think both processes introduce undesirable sonic artifacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    at home I Want It All.
    Same.
    ... the only standard that exists for I2S is onboard, in same chassis..
    I believe thats correct IC-IC,but a number of companies(ie. Levinson,Audio Alchemy,Sonic Frontiers) back in the first Dac invasion of the mid 90's used a 4 wire I2S type interface instead of the standrd SPDIF,between thier Dac's and separate transports.
    Last edited by FTGV; 02-16-2013 at 03:56 PM.

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