Ripped vs Streaming music

Having almost completed my very small library of CD music, I have been doing comparisons between Tidal, Qobuz (of which I have written about already) and the FLAC files I have created from EZ CD converter.

For my setup, it seems that my 44.1 files (of which the G1 Upsamples to 32 bit) outperform even MQA files from Tidal. The FLAC files I have coming from my network drive, are on par with the hi res files from Qobuz, if not beating those depending on the song.

This was curious to me because some companies advertise that streaming offers the same or better quality than CDโ€™s and I have found this not to be the case.

Anyone else have similar or opposite results, please share.
Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AS-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u

Comments

  • Curious to see what others say. I've heard mixed reviews both ways. Some saying streaming is just as good, some firmly believe CDs are still king, some say files only.

    I haven't done enough comparisons to have a strong opinion, but it sounds like you're ears are telling you which way you should go.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
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  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,965
    When you do find the formula that works best for your ears it is an amazing thing. For those that don't have the time and resources I guess streaming would be the way to go. I'm just a spoiled High Rez Snob and no looking back for me. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽฉ
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • daddyjtdaddyjt Posts: 1,494
    I have difficulty discerning a difference between my CDs and my FLAC files ripped from the CDs (I use DB Power amp for ripping). Both sound better to me than Tidal. When it comes to high-res, the physical media (SACD & DVD-Audio) have a substantial edge over high-res files.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,454
    I might agree with all that. To the average non-audiophile, the differences won't be noticed. Heck, many still claim they can't hear a difference between MP3 files and CD's.

    Physical media still has a slight edge over streamed, but that gap is getting closer and closer every year. My ripped files sound better than streamed, not by much, but it's there. On the other hand, I don't have 35-40 million songs ripped that I can stream, like a music service provides.
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  • I prefer the sound of spinning CDs to my ripped Flac streamed over DLNA/JRiver. But itโ€™s close and the streaming is much more convenient. Iโ€™ve tried Tidal lossless and felt it was just slightly less than on my toe tapping scale. However I still think the original analog vinyl records (not the new digitally recorded and pressed vinyl crap) trumps them all.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,756
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,121
    edited August 2019
    Granted, I haven't fully researched the intricacies of the actual process for ripping a disc, but it seems like there's a ton of different hardware and software variables to this process.

    One that comes to mind is vibration. Most audiophiles try to mitigate extraneous vibrations from their megabuck systems, but when a CD is being ripped it's likely doing so at anywhere from 8-30x speeds. This causes an unusually high amount of noise and vibration as a result, as most under $100 computer drives that people use aren't exactly fully damped.

    So, how does this vibration that's generated during the ripping process affect the end result? Would a dedicated CD ripper (Cocktail Audio, Blue Sound, etc) address this and therefore result in a more "pristine" or accurate rip?
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,965
    Granted, I haven't fully researched the intricacies of the actual process for ripping a disc, but it seems like there's a ton of different hardware and software variables to this process.

    One that comes to mind is vibration. Most audiophiles try to mitigate extraneous vibrations from their megabuck systems, but when a CD is being ripped it's likely doing so at anywhere from 8-30x speeds. This causes an unusually high amount of noise and vibration as a result, as most under $100 computer drives that people use aren't exactly fully damped.

    So, how does this vibration that's generated during the ripping process affect the end result? Would a dedicated CD ripper (Cocktail Audio, Blue Sound, etc) address this and therefore result in a more "pristine" or accurate rip?

    Watch the video ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,121
    I tried to Johnny but he started playing lame music and I had to stop. What part does he discuss the actual ripping process?
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,965
    I tried to Johnny but he started playing lame music and I had to stop. What part does he discuss the actual ripping process?

    I don't know Drew and could care less. I've been at the game of ripping so long and hard with just about every variation of devices possible to come to the position of what works for me ..really works for me and results are very pleasing. I'll.admit the first 10k albums I ripped (which are floating around out there) were all at lower bit rates so redoing that portion sure slowed me down..and now I'm bumping all the serious jams up to crazy rates as my Vega G2 loves it and so do my ears.
    Just build around it and they will come. ๐Ÿ˜„๐ŸŽฉ๐ŸŽฉ
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,756
    A few weeks ago I was looking for info on the old Boston Acoustics M350 speakers that I've been after for a bit and ran across this interview with Marantz great, Ken Ishiwata.
    http://www.the-ear.net/how-to/ken-ishiwata-man-and-his-listening-room

    He shares some tips that are more know today but I wish there were more.
    Ken is naturally up to speed on computer audio and mentioned a couple of tricks that I intend to try, one of which was that defragging the hard drive on which you store your music is highly beneficial. He says that there is some Japanese software thatโ€™s great and will hopefully supply more detail in the near future. He also recommends setting up the PC to buffer music stored on an attached drive, especially if the PC has an SSD drive. He demonstrated the effectiveness of this set up with a mix of classic and lesser known tracks, of which that old hi-fi favourite Cantate Domino (SACD, Proprius) was among the most remarkable. The sense of a choir in the room was palpable, the imaging quite extraordinary especially given that I was sitting off centre. Ken sets up the Bostons so that their axes cross in front of the listener, which is a known technique for producing a wide sweet spot, but usually room reflections undermine its effectiveness. In this room you could close your eyes and hear all the voices spread across the soundstage.

    An interesting point was made regarding modern DAC chips, Ken pointed out that all of them are delta-sigma or one bit devices, in other words PCM with its 16 or 24 bit depth is always converted to one bit. This does not happen with ladder DACs, which is one reason why they sound so good, but makes a good case for using DSD which is already one bit. The Marantz player/DAC can run at up to DSD128 or 24/192 but KI is of the opinion that CD rips are not far behind high resolution formats and played a number of them to make his point. He also mentioned that 24-bits gives you over 140dB of dynamic range, something that no amplifier and speaker combination is able to turn into real world sound. Kenโ€™s enthusiasm for DSD has lead to him archiving his vinyl to that format using a Korg recorder.

    I want those speakers!
    KI-himself-V.jpg
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  • ThortonThorton Posts: 1,288
    edited August 2019
    [url="https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/187096/qobuz-vs-tidal[/url]

    "In the numerous tracks that I listened to I unanimously preferred Qobuz over Tidal for sound quality. I also thought my ripped recordings sounded better (most of the times) than both streaming options. If I ranked the options, ripped CD/SACD โ‰ฅ Qobuz > Tidal. I never selected Tidal as the best version."
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  • HermitismHermitism Posts: 3,122
    I quickly skimmed the posts and don't think this was mentioned. I've been buying a lot of CDs lately to rip. And most older albums have multiple versions released over the years with differing sound quality. Here is my question, when you guys are comparing a CD to streaming, how do you know you are comparing that same album version? Does the streaming services give the information regarding that?
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,520
    Here is my question, when you guys are comparing a CD to streaming, how do you know you are comparing that same album version? Does the streaming services give the information regarding that?

    Yes, at least tidal does...
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  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 4,410
    I have come to a solid conclusion that the ripped FLACs are much better than the Tidal files from the same source/DAC - at least on my setup. I have had some time with this Vega now and definitely has me wanting to gather all the CDs I can to rip.
    Thanks to @Clipdat for the trades!
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AS-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,420
    I rip all my music. One of these years I might try streaming, but I now have more music than I can listen to.
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  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,965
    edited August 2019
    I rip all my music, but I now have more music than I can listen to.

    I know the feeling. And @joecoulson ..yes you are correct. Kinda why I keep Tophat Radio spinning non stop here!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽฉ
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
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