CD vs Tidal SQ

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  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,126
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    I think we are getting to a point where streaming is good enough, physical media is on the way out and it sucks in many ways. Letting go of the past sucks.
    I stream music with Apple Music. It sounds pretty good. I don't bother with going and getting the disc even if I have it.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,364
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    skrol wrote: »
    F1nut wrote: »
    I see absolutely no point in streaming, etc. when I already have more physical copies than I can probably listen to in the rest of my lifetime. I also don't have the attention span of a gnat.

    I get to lazy to pick out a CD and load it in a player so I go to stream music. Then there is so much music to choose from on Tidal or Spotify that I just can't decide what to listen to. Screw it. I just flip on the FM.

    No static at all...

    https://youtu.be/HV3zWSawJiw
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,918
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    I always find, in these types of discussions, we use certain words like "good enough" or "being lazy to get a CD", " sounds pretty good to me". I even use them at times.

    Somewhere along the line though, we settled. I always thought the pursuit of audio quality was at the front of the journey. Now it's all about "good enough" and convenience.

    I get it though; you almost have to compromise. Otherwise you'll spend your kids college funds chasing perfection. To me anyway, now, it's simply about enjoying music in any fashion you see fit. In anyway you can afford. Kinda anti-audiophile statement there. So which is better, CD or Tidal? Personally I'd still take CD for audio quality of the 2. Tidal is "close enough" though to box up those cd's and store them away. Maybe someday we'll see a resurgence of CD's like we have with vinyl.
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  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 5,019
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    Ignoring streaming versus physical media is like ignoring Netflix versus ordering Blu-ray Discs. It’ll eventually happen, and those who ignore will eventually look like dinosaurs. If they’re happy dinosaurs, though, who cares?! 🤷‍♂️

    I’ll never order another CD or Blu-ray. I ignore the ones I already have, because I’ve already added them to Apple Music and bought the movies on tv and it’s just so much easier to use.
    Alea jacta est!
  • Hansvelton
    Hansvelton Posts: 151
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    I like streaming, AND Physical CDs.

    I do a lot of both.
    Streaming is SO Damn convenient, and easy. I like the menus and how easy to access thousands of songs so quickly.
    I love to discover stuff I have not heard also.

    But I love to spin my favorite Classical Music CDs at times also.
    I love to collect them.....
    Best of both.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
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    New physical media for me is not the main source of new music. I would say only about 40% of my physical media is ripped for streaming. I sort of stopped when my rig went dormant. I am revamping the streaming part, paying attention to details to get the best possible sound with little compromise.

    Yes, it's about convenience, but done right, I bet most couldn't tell the difference between a physical cd or one I ripped and streamed. So very little compromise for what I'm doing, right down to multiple linear power supplies for all the streaming components, etc......that's what I mean about "paying attention to the details"

    The streaming service part is a *bonus* in my eyes to listen to new music or music I am in the mood for, but don't necessarily want to purchase. It should add a lot of variety.

    If done right paying attention to the details and building a streaming platform to stream my own rips and then having the option of using a streaming service makes sense. I'll be using Roon for the front end. I'll still also have a way to play physical media.

    The big question for me is which streaming service? I am really leaning towards Qobuz because of the hi-rez and the ability to buy if you like. But, I haven't really done a whole lot of research on the others like Tidal.

    Both Roon and whatever streaming service I decide on will have a monthly subscription fee. Ultimately we'll see if I get my money's worth.

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
    edited May 2022
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    "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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,685
    edited May 2022
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    I made the switch from Tidal to Qobuz because of the SQ about a year ago. I prefer Qobuz.

    My only complaint is that the "search" for a song or even an album can, at times, be frustrating. I can look something up one day and not find it. The next day or a couple of days later, the selection I was looking for comes up. Now, this *may* be related to human error (I.E. - wrong spelling) but it does get frustrating to me.

    My only other complaint would be when friends that use Tidal text, PM or call me and say, DUDE, ya' gotta listen to "X" song? I'll go to look it up to give it a listen and the selection isn't there. There may be 30 or 40 different versions of said selection but not the one they are referring too.

    Of course, this works both ways too. I have recommended songs to others and when they look up my suggested selection? Tidal doesn't have it.

    The "My Weekly Q" is awesome for discovering new music.

    For me and on my system, streaming is a big compromise on sound quality already. To switch (or rather downgrade) to Tidal on an already compromised source? Not gonna happen.

    But I do love learning about new music. Gregory Alan Isokov, Nina Samone, Pat Methany and Arcade Fire are some of my latest discoveries. It's also great to listen to certain albums (especially the recording quality of classical) before I purchase the physical media version of something. Nina Samone is the only one so far that the physical version was much worse than the streaming version.

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • smglbrth
    smglbrth Posts: 1,466
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    While I don't have Tidal or whatever I do use Spotify with the highest quality I can get/download. My son was just home for a visit and he said "Dad, I didn't think I'd ever see the day when I'd see a streamer in your audio". It's not a super expensive one but does sound "decent". He thought it sounded great, pretty close to CD. So..., I told him to listen to a song on the streamer then the same song on a CD. Talk about bursting a bubble! Of course I knew what he'd hear so I wasn't surprised 'cause I tried the same thing.

    As far as what I know about this (which isn't much) it depends on your streamer, source (phone, laptop, stand alone unit, whatever) and quality of the internet you are using. I tried the Bluetooth on the laptop and it just sucked compared to the phone. I'm sure one could get CD quality by spending lots of $ but that's not me. I've got enough stuck into what I have and for me sounds awesome.

    I'll still use the Bluetooth for background music and looking for new material. But, ya, for me, guess I'll stay a dinosaur...
    Remember, when you're running from something, you're running to something...-me
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 1,141
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    smglbrth wrote: »
    While I don't have Tidal or whatever I do use Spotify with the highest quality I can get/download. My son was just home for a visit and he said "Dad, I didn't think I'd ever see the day when I'd see a streamer in your audio". It's not a super expensive one but does sound "decent". He thought it sounded great, pretty close to CD. So..., I told him to listen to a song on the streamer then the same song on a CD. Talk about bursting a bubble! Of course I knew what he'd hear so I wasn't surprised 'cause I tried the same thing.

    As far as what I know about this (which isn't much) it depends on your streamer, source (phone, laptop, stand alone unit, whatever) and quality of the internet you are using. I tried the Bluetooth on the laptop and it just sucked compared to the phone. I'm sure one could get CD quality by spending lots of $ but that's not me. I've got enough stuck into what I have and for me sounds awesome.

    I'll still use the Bluetooth for background music and looking for new material. But, ya, for me, guess I'll stay a dinosaur...

    Yes, BT is a definite compromise, but Wi-Fi, NAS, etc. streaming can also be potentially competitive to CD sound; still comes short, IMO, but not as obvious as BT.
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  • pearsall001
    pearsall001 Posts: 5,038
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    Well as old as I am I guess I'm considered a dinosaur 🦕😂

    I jumped into streaming a few years back & truth be told... zero regrets & I never looked back.

    Using Tidal Hi-Fi Plus (hard wired) with excellent fast internet connection. As far as my ears tell me there's not a lick of sound guality difference compared to CD.

    I have discovered so much new music and new artists I never would have known existed...a huge plus with streaming.

    I use my old CD's now for skeet shooting... much harder than the clay pigeons & great for keeping me sharp.

    That's my story & I'm sticking to it. 🥴
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "Two Channel:Magnepan LRSSchiit Audio Freya S - SS preConsonance Ref 50 - Tube preParasound HALO A21+ 2 channel ampBluesound NODE 2i streameriFi NEO iDSD DAC Oppo BDP-93KEF KC62 sub Home Theater:Full blown 11.2 set up.
  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,997
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    I think one of the keys to streaming is a good, reliable ISP. We have basic ATT in our area and it sucks during peak demand times. Yesterday I had on internet radio on in the background while working and my streamer kept cutting out. It has done this before. After 2 minutes of being annoyed I found myself rifling through my CD collection. I may sell off the mediocre LP collection soon, but decided to keep the CDs forever.

  • TroyD
    TroyD Posts: 13,077
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    I use Tidal for a good deal of my casual listening......and it's a good way for me to find and listen to music that I'm not familiar with and/or not in to enough to buy the whole album (remember making mix tapes??)

    Sound quality is ok....some things sound better, some worse but, again, this is just casual listening for me. If I'm really wanting to listen to something, that's when I spin it.

    It has, though, all but eliminated my purchasing or listening to much on CD.......I have bought a couple of SACD's (a few used, a couple from Octave Records and 2L) in the past couple years but if I buy anything, it's on vinyl.
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • pearsall001
    pearsall001 Posts: 5,038
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    Without a doubt the one key component is having a fast, reliable network. The quality of service will make or break the whole streaming scenerio.
    Lucky for me that is not an issue at all.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "Two Channel:Magnepan LRSSchiit Audio Freya S - SS preConsonance Ref 50 - Tube preParasound HALO A21+ 2 channel ampBluesound NODE 2i streameriFi NEO iDSD DAC Oppo BDP-93KEF KC62 sub Home Theater:Full blown 11.2 set up.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
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    My 2nd day with Qobuz and so far I am very, very impressed with the sound quality. I was worried it might still be a small compromise, but it's not in any way that I can tell. I wish I would have done this sooner.

    I am currently streaming over my PC in the office rig w/R200's and Keces E40 integrated amp/dac. I am really blown away. I will receive my 25' ethernet cable today to so I can finally use the BlueSound Node 3 to listen to Qobuz on the main rig. I decided to go "hard wired" rather than wireless. My rig is set up in a way where it's minimal fuss to run the ethernet cable.

    Still in the learning phase, but I think this is going to really be something I will use and enjoy and worth the $11/month. Having this much music at my finger tips is going to be easier.

    I have found some holes for particular artists, I also read an article why this has happened. If you send them a suggestion to "add" an artist or more of their works, they may eventually add.

    Also one minor irk is for many artists they have the remastered version, but not the original version. As we all know a remaster isn't necessarily "better". But honestly, that's a very small irk as I probably don't really have time to analyze both versions to choose which one is best. The whole idea of this was to simplify the listening process and focus on the enjoyment of the music without giving up high fidelity.

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,320
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    I would put a quality streaming rig against a quality cdp rig playing the exact song any day of the week
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
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    VR3 wrote: »
    I would put a quality streaming rig against a quality cdp rig playing the exact song any day of the week

    I agree 1000%. A properly set-up streaming rig is excellent and will compare or rival a cd transport. I've always thought that, but now we have music streaming services that also care about sound quality.

    Reading the back story on Qobuz was very interesting. Their focus has always been on sound quality over every thing else. So far I'm impressed.

    I can only say for them as I haven't really explored any other services as in depth.

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,320
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    I use tidal because their library is far more vast. I haven't heard a big difference in sound quality between the two
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,786
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    The streaming transport makes a big difference in the quality that you'll hear from Tidal/Qobuz.
  • newbie308
    newbie308 Posts: 722
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    For me it really depends on the situation. When I'm cranking handles in the machine shop, cooking dinner or cleaning the house I will stream music. It's convenient, no doubt. When I am chilling in my room with my main system I only listen to physical media. I enjoy the album cover art and the process. I guess I qualify as one of those dinosaurs...
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  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 2,377
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    One of the reasons I cling to physical media that I did not see mentioned, is the fact that my music (and movie) collection is immune to the whims of censorship. Hypothetically, what's to stop the heads of the various streaming services to one day say "...You know what, Money For Nothing by Dire Straits is offensive and antiquated, due to their use of (rhymes with maggot) - lets nuke that song (or maybe the entire album) from our platform. Oh, and Dude Looks Like A Lady..." Can you honestly say that you can't see this scenario coming to fruition in the (very) near future? It's already happened with movies - I streamed Trading Places on Prime a while back, and there were a couple edits. Same with Pulp Fiction. I have an extensive DVD & Blu Ray collection (4,000+ titles) that isn't going ANYWHERE - same with my CDs/SACDs/DVDA. I will stream occasionally for convenience, but I have no plans to abandon physical media. Ever.
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  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 8,029
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    VR3 wrote: »
    I use tidal because their library is far more vast. I haven't heard a big difference in sound quality between the two

    When I reviewed the L200s and was streaming my own flac files, qobuz, and tidal, I thought qobuz sounded slightly better on some songs, similar to local flac files. But as you and @Clipdat both allude to, the rig and streamer makes a bigger difference. I stuck with tidal because they have a number of features that I enjoy that qobuz doesn’t, and the family plan is cheaper when you purchase a year through Best Buy. The very small (if even real and consistent) SQ difference is negligible to me.

    @newbie308 i mean whatever you enjoy is what it comes down to, but i had a Marantz SA-14s1 player, and with a good streamer and a good dac, again I just don’t hear a big enough difference for discs to be worth it to me…fwiw…
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  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
    edited August 2022
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    daddyjt wrote: »
    One of the reasons I cling to physical media that I did not see mentioned, is the fact that my music (and movie) collection is immune to the whims of censorship. Hypothetically, what's to stop the heads of the various streaming services to one day say "...You know what, Money For Nothing by Dire Straits is offensive and antiquated, due to their use of (rhymes with maggot) - lets nuke that song (or maybe the entire album) from our platform. Oh, and Dude Looks Like A Lady..." Can you honestly say that you can't see this scenario coming to fruition in the (very) near future? It's already happened with movies - I streamed Trading Places on Prime a while back, and there were a couple edits. Same with Pulp Fiction. I have an extensive DVD & Blu Ray collection (4,000+ titles) that isn't going ANYWHERE - same with my CDs/SACDs/DVDA. I will stream occasionally for convenience, but I have no plans to abandon physical media. Ever.

    In that case and cases where a particular streaming service doesn't have a complete catalog for an artist, then I would be able to "buy" it. Plus, one is free to cancel the service at any time and go out and buy the physical media if the streaming service doesn't fit for you. With Qobuz you can actually buy the music, so if you fear something will be censored, then purchase it before the hammer drops.

    Sounds like over paranoia to me.......but you do you, nothing wrong with that. My brother is a "collector" so he prefers physical media. He, being single, turned his dining room into more cd/lp storage. His house looks like a mini-indie music shop.....lol. In a cool way! All anally organized and presented. He also rips everything and streams what is sitting dormant in all his media storage cabinets.....he's a "collector"

    I don't find the case of "censorship" being realistic....at least not after the fact. I will rely heavily on the streaming and buy what I feel is necessary based on individual circumstance.

    One area I do like Tidal for is giving a cut to the artist with their top subscription. Especially those up and coming or lesser known artists. I do feel a tinge of guilt knowing I am listening to someone's "work" which is their livelihood and them not getting a cut of my monthly subscription.

    I was just at Tidal's website and it appears you can't search to see what artists and releases they have unless you join. To me that seems a bit tacky. I join Qobuz because I could search their artist database prior to joining.

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • rebelsoul
    rebelsoul Posts: 756
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    I had Amazon hd , tidal the top one and qobuz and settled on qobuz for sound quality.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
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    rebelsoul wrote: »
    I had Amazon hd , tidal the top one and qobuz and settled on qobuz for sound quality.

    Oh, thanks for bringing Amazon HD up, I want to try it since I have Prime. I understand it's part of Prime and no add'l fee??

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 2,377
    edited August 2022
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    ...I don't find the case of "censorship" being realistic....at least not after the fact....

    You are far, far more trusting than I am...
    heiney9 wrote: »
    ...Sounds like over paranoia to me.......but you do you, nothing wrong with that...

    It's not paranoia if it's actually happening, which it already is with movies and books. I cannot believe that the PC mob will not come for music that they deem offensive/hateful as well - at least rap music will be safe, lol.

    For the record, I am not bashing streaming, or suggesting anyone avoid it - I was simply illustrating why I personally was a devotee of physical media. If you prefer streaming as your sole media consumption mode, have at it and enjoy!
    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


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  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 8,029
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    rebelsoul wrote: »
    I had Amazon hd , tidal the top one and qobuz and settled on qobuz for sound quality.

    Oh, thanks for bringing Amazon HD up, I want to try it since I have Prime. I understand it's part of Prime and no add'l fee??

    H9

    No, you have to pay for Amazon HD. You get some steaming through prime, but it’s pretty limited selection fwiw…
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  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,430
    edited August 2022
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    There are supposed to be something like 2 million songs in Amazon Prime Music but 90+ million in Amazon Unlimited HD. Cost for HD seems to be $8.99 a month in addition to the Prime fee.

    For reference, there are only seven or eight Van Morrison albums, excluding compilations, on the Prime version out of 30+ he's put out. I'm not sure how many of his albums are on Amazon HD since I ditched it soon after testing it out.

    I use Van Morrison as a reference because he's long had no interest in having most of his old music remastered and put out on CD again and again. Hence, except for a few albums, physical media is out of print.
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 6,321
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    I have both Qobuz and tidal. Tidal I got through Best Buy at $119 a year and Qobuz, I pay yearly so its cheaper vs monthly. What one doesn't have the other one does. I prefer the sound quality of Qobuz but, I like Tidal's app better and their playlists. I do not have and MQA dac.

    Between the 2, I have not bought a CD in a few years. I feel having both has saved me money in the long run.
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  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
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    erniejade wrote: »
    I have both Qobuz and tidal. Tidal I got through Best Buy at $119 a year and Qobuz, I pay yearly so its cheaper vs monthly. What one doesn't have the other one does. I prefer the sound quality of Qobuz but, I like Tidal's app better and their playlists. I do not have and MQA dac.

    Between the 2, I have not bought a CD in a few years. I feel having both has saved me money in the long run.

    I don't have an MQA dac either, nor do I plan on getting one. I may check out Tidal in the future, we'll see how much music I am "missing" on Qobuz. I think Q will work out great for me without having to have any add'l streaming services. But I'll keep an open mind.

    2 more obscure artists I like which Qobuz has very little on is Erin McKeown and Ani Di Franco. Erin has about a dozen cd's and I have most of them already. Ani has like 30 and I only have a handful.

    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 Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!