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 CD’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 - PS Audio SGC - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61

Comments

  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 292
    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
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,479
    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. 😂🎩
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,955
    mantis wrote: »
    I've been messing around in this game for a very long time. I feel like all streaming music is compressed in some shape or form . Even places like Tital don't hold up to a ripped CD or Flac High Rez file. I did many compassions when I was digging around in the DAC world and found the I'm not a huge fan of streaming other then to find new music. Streaming to date has not impressed me enough to sign up for a higher end service like qobuz. I did many A-B listening and always preferred my files over the streaming ones.
    Back to back you can tell the difference but if you don't have the file qobuz sounds pretty good.

    I've converted vinyl guys to streaming simply by them hearing my Tidal-based setup. Like everything else in this hobby, it isn't about the file type or format you play, its about how you build around it. Do it right and the music will shine.


    My experiences have been better sound with streaming services vs. my local files. I've considered trying a different ripper to see if I get better results, but in comparison, my local files have been lifeless and rather shy of dynamics. At times I have had better results with local files at shows via thumb drives so I obviously understand there are variables. CD's are still king in the digital realm, but the delta isn't far off and might even be unnoticeable by those unfamiliar with a system's capabilities.
  • daddyjtdaddyjt Posts: 919
    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.
    Too much stuff to keep track of.

    Currently enjoying: Legacy Focus 20/20, McCormack DNA 225, Bill D C1, Oppo 105
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,114
    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.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • jeremymarcinkojeremymarcinko Posts: 3,435
    I prefer the sound of spinning CDs to my ripped Flac streamed over DLNA/JRiver. But it’s close and the streaming is much more convenient. I’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: 2,534
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,934
    edited August 2
    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?
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,479
    Clipdat wrote: »
    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 😂😂
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,934
    I tried to Johnny but he started playing lame music and I had to stop. What part does he discuss the actual ripping process?
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,479
    Clipdat wrote: »
    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. 😄🎩🎩
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,534
    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 that’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. Ken’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
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • ThortonThorton Posts: 1,240
    edited August 2
    [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 ≥ Qobuz > Tidal. I never selected Tidal as the best version."
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Source: Roon via ethernet to DAC interface
    DAC: Bricasti M1SE
    Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8805
    Tube Preamp Buffer: Tortuga TPB.V1
    Amp1: W4S MC-5, AMP2: W4S MMC-7
    Front: Salk SoundScape 8's, Center: Salk SoundScape C7
    Surround: Polk FXIA6, Surround Back: Polk RTIA9, Atmos: Polk 70-RT
    Subs: 2 - Rythmik F25's
    IC & Speaker Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, Signal Cable
    Power Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, PS Audio
    Room Treatments: GIK Acoustics
  • HermitismHermitism Posts: 2,489
    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?
    2.0/3.0 - Marantz: PM8005 w/HT Bypass, NA8005 | Polk: LSiM703, LSiM706c | PS Audio: Duet, Power Port Classic, PerfectWave AC5 x3 PC | Wireworld Equinox 7 IC | AudioPrism Quietline MkIII x7 | Sanus UF30 | Acoustic Panels, GIK Soffit Traps

    6.1 - Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pio BDP-51FD | Polk: RTi8, CSi5, F/Xi3, CSi3 | HSU Research VTF-2 MK4 | PS Audio: Quintet, Power Port Classic | DCF124BW x3 SC | Pangea: AC-9SE x2, 14SE, 14 PC | AQ Chocolate x2 HDMI | M850SW | Acoustic Panels, GIK Soffit Traps
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,669
    Hermitism wrote: »
    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...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,215
    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 - PS Audio SGC - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 11,472
    I rip all my music. One of these years I might try streaming, but I now have more music than I can listen to.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,479
    edited August 14
    BlueFox wrote: »
    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!😂😂😂🎩
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!