Impressions of Tidal

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Comments

  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,054
    edited October 2
    Where ever you land on streamed music, the high res companies are certainly providing music that is far better than FM Stereo could ever hope to be. Streaming has become what everyone hoped satellite radio was going to provide--but failed miserably.

    I have tried all 3, Qobuz, Tidal, and Amazon HD, they all have somewhat of a "softened" presentation. I prefer Amazon simply on the way it works, it's interface, and it's ability to select tracks I like.
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,010
    joecoulson wrote: »
    Jesse you have a fantastic vinyl setup so I would imagine it would be very expensive and difficult to match or even get close with streaming quality with Tidal, or any non physical digital media, but $$ could make all the difference. Just my 2 c
    Having analog playback equipment good enough to best digital is one thing...finding a vinyl pressing good enough to match is another. I was doing some real-time A/B comparisons the other night between vinyl and digital, toggling between inputs as both played, and the results were dependent on the quality of the vinyl pressing...and I'm not talking about clicks/pops/scratches from dirt or damage...I'm talking about the actual pressing. A good, quality pressing sounded better to me (and my wife) than digital, but even a slightly marginal pressing was not as good as digital. The thing is: visually, a pressing may look good to the naked eye, but groove damage often has to be heard, and then compared to a digital source in order to discern whether it's the pressing OR the original recording. At that point, it may be too late to return the record, so the quest continues for a quality pressing.

    You can chase your tail quite awhile trying to find a good pressing, so sometimes digital just makes sense.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    edited October 2
    Just based on the fact of compression done to record on vinyl, along with the poor frequency response of vinyl, along with the clicks and pops in vinyl playback, it is impossible for vinyl to even equal, let alone surpass, a good digital source and system. The facts speak for themself.

    Also, I am not talking about streaming, but, rather, CDs ripped to digital files, or high res files downloaded from HDTracks, or other vendors.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

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  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,010
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Just based on the fact of compression done to record on vinyl, along with the poor frequency response of vinyl, along with the clicks and pops in vinyl playback, it is impossible for vinyl to even equal, let alone surpass, a good digital source and system. The facts speak for themself.

    Also, I am not talking about streaming, but, rather, CDs ripped to digital files, or high res files downloaded from HDTracks, or other vendors.
    By "compression", do you mean application of the RIAA EQ curve? I would say that "clicks and pops" are optional, depending on quality and cleanliness of the vinyl.

    But for the record (no pun intended), I do think digital wins more times than not.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,639
    I dunno gents, when arguing about which format is better or worse, you gotta compare apples to apples. Good vinyl won't have too many pops and clicks but has better tone than digital. Digital has better dynamic range, but can lose some tone along the way.

    Obviously, when talking digital, lots depends on the associated gear, same with vinyl. In vinyl, the player itself, needle, arm, platter, vibration control, all play a part in the quality you'll hear. Digital is more dependent on associated gear in my opinion, not that the player/streamer doesn't matter, cause it does, but you'll find dacs to be more highly upgraded in the digital domain than the players themselves. The source component in digital is mainly concerned with dac chips and implementation, software.

    2 different circuses, 2 different monkeys to feed, but both can entertain to your hearts content.
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  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 451
    tonyb wrote: »
    I dunno gents, when arguing about which format is better or worse, you gotta compare apples to apples. Good vinyl won't have too many pops and clicks but has better tone than digital. Digital has better dynamic range, but can lose some tone along the way.

    Obviously, when talking digital, lots depends on the associated gear, same with vinyl. In vinyl, the player itself, needle, arm, platter, vibration control, all play a part in the quality you'll hear. Digital is more dependent on associated gear in my opinion, not that the player/streamer doesn't matter, cause it does, but you'll find dacs to be more highly upgraded in the digital domain than the players themselves. The source component in digital is mainly concerned with dac chips and implementation, software.

    2 different circuses, 2 different monkeys to feed, but both can entertain to your hearts content.
    Totally agree with this. There are lots of reasons to keep both vinyl and digital chains in the system, and that's because it really is apples and oranges to an extent.

    Plus I've always felt vinyl fulfills a different part(s) of the hobby for some. The collection factor. Finding the best pressings. The constant maintenance and tinkering along with marveling at a will set up piece of gear. It's very much comparing the best car you can afford that gets you everywhere vs a project vintage car or speedster that requires as much time under the hood as it does on the road. They can both be rewarding and exciting in different ways, even if they are both built to get you from point A to point B technically.

    But at this point we're also getting pretty far off the Tidal topic, lol.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
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  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,960
    tonyb wrote: »
    I dunno gents, when arguing about which format is better or worse, you gotta compare apples to apples. Good vinyl won't have too many pops and clicks but has better tone than digital. Digital has better dynamic range, but can lose some tone along the way.

    Obviously, when talking digital, lots depends on the associated gear, same with vinyl. In vinyl, the player itself, needle, arm, platter, vibration control, all play a part in the quality you'll hear. Digital is more dependent on associated gear in my opinion, not that the player/streamer doesn't matter, cause it does, but you'll find dacs to be more highly upgraded in the digital domain than the players themselves. The source component in digital is mainly concerned with dac chips and implementation, software.

    2 different circuses, 2 different monkeys to feed, but both can entertain to your hearts content.

    I think you're right, Tony. The difference is that you can't "rent" a 50,000 album collection of vinyl for 20 smackers a month...nor can you whilst yelling at one child, helping another with homework, and cooking dinner play any of that vinyl on your main rig by pushing a button on your phone. If you have a busy life and are constantly on the go like I am, streaming makes sense even if it falls a bit short of the best analog reproduction. And it definitely makes sense if its a draw...
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,639
    I've already expressed my opinion of Tidal, being a bit rounded at the extremes of either end. Haven't tried Q yet, but you guys keep telling me about the limited library so what's the point then.

    Have to try this Amazon thing though, you guys seem to like it.
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  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,054
    I like the great blend of radio station type music retrieval, as well as specific artist lookup and play. I have the HD plan and really like it so far.
  • Polkitup2Polkitup2 Posts: 1,524
    I just signed up for the Amazon HD free trial and am impressed with the music selections. Vastly more albums and artists are available than I could ever accumulate via downloads/CDs/vinyl.

    I compared some identical 24/96 albums downloaded from HDtracks with the Amazon ultra HD 24/96 versions and I found the HDtracks files always sounded somewhat better. The Amazon tracks sound more veiled/muddy in comparison. I suspect a little more grunge is picked streaming across the internet than playing a local file. Nevertheless, Amazon ultra HD does sound decent, certainly good enough when you just want some background music playing.

    I think the Amazon service is an excellent tool for discovering new music. I also like the radio station feature that Steve mentioned where I can just select a genre such as ultimate jazz and just let it play in the background all day long while I'm doing other stuff.

  • Tidal is the best quality music platform I have ever used. I download tidal songs by using an Audio Capture. It works really well for me and I love it.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    Spammer. Go away.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

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  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,379
    I know I'm going to get beat up over this but I think the big picture here is, people are willing to sacrifice audiophile quality for convenience and streaming services such as Tidal have it in spades.
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  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,555
    Just wanted to let you all know Quboz is now a one plan company. Highest resolution quality for $14.99 a month. Good deal.
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  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 1,963
    I have not regretted the switch. Very happy
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,639
    Bob, can you elaborate some as to the library on Quboz. Seems to be a sticky point with many.
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  • mark090852mark090852 Posts: 946
    edited November 9
    tonyb wrote: »
    Bob, can you elaborate some as to the library on Quboz. Seems to be a sticky point with many.

    I stream from Qobuz exclusively now and am very happy with it. I listened to the announcement today, and the managing director of Qobuz USA said Qobuz currently has approx. 2.5 million 24 bit tracks and 40-45 million CD quality tracks. He also said they are adding 10,000 albums per day. So chances are they will have most anything you want available. If not today, then soon.
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  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,960
    tonyb wrote: »
    Bob, can you elaborate some as to the library on Quboz. Seems to be a sticky point with many.

    One month free trial?!?
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    ;
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  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,471
    edited November 9
    You can search the Qobuz library without an account. They were missing some of my favorite bands which Tidal has.

    https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/shop
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

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  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 5,078
    I was already a yearly subscriber to Qobuz but they let you re-up for the next year at a prorated rate. I still am liking them better then tidal for sound quality but, i like tidal interface and searches better.
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  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,190
    edited November 9
    tonyb wrote: »

    In vinyl, the player itself, needle, arm, platter, vibration control, all play a part in the quality you'll hear.

    .

    Micro-ridge stylus is my choice. You can get deeper in the groove of a used record. I've had folks over who asked why is my vinyl playback so quiet. I've also got records where the bass sounds better than the digital counterpart. Quality of the RIAA equalization and where it occurs also affects vinyl playback. CD's may have a higher possible dynamic range, but that doesn't mean vinyl can't be 'oh, wow' dynamic.

    I went DIY with both formats to get the most out of the dollar spent. Yet vinyl always seems to get the nod here. Digital wise, some DIY folks have went into DSD conversion playback only. You can buy DAC's that are optimized for that now. DIY DAC's typically allow access to all firmware and filter settings for optimization.

    IMO, learn about your format and optimize it is the key.




    Post edited by SCompRacer on
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,639
    Thanks Rich, I just learned something new there.
    HT SYSTEM-
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    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
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  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,190
    tonyb wrote: »
    Thanks Rich, I just learned something new there.

    Kewl! RIAA can be passive or active. My Bottlehead Eros phono pre has passive RIAA equalization between the first and second gain stage. The advantages of passive is no overload, no feedback, and no high frequency gain limits. Less distortion and noise is always a plus when dealing with the high amplification of a phono cartridge.

    I'm sure Mr Hardy, our resident expert, could expand on the topic.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

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