Just Discovering Lossless Digital

msgmsg Posts: 6,136
edited August 2016 in Going Digital
A week or so ago I started ripping some of my favorite cds. An enjoyable little mindless process, that, by the way. Thanks to all who contributed by thread and PM/email to help me get the configuration down before getting too far in.

I know this seems late and backward for as long as I've been involved in the 2ch bit of this hobby, but I'm sitting here in the sweet spot listening to Luna's "Penthouse", and I almost can't believe what I'm hearing. It's like when I first got good cables. I wondered whether I was imagining it, but as with the cables, the improvements, though singularly subtle, are too consistent to ignore in the overall experience. Details I've never noticed before. Clarity. Articulation. Greater bass presence. Better stereo separation and presentation. Instruments seem to have a bit of texture and dimension, almost, like you could reach out and almost physically touch and feel some parts of the music.

This is in my multi-use main system of some Parasound stuff with 705s, and a Squeezebox Touch, which I still don't have a good digital coax in yet. The liddle office system is similarly pleasing in its own way, and a touch more immersive probably due, right now, to the near field setup.

This is cool B)
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Post edited by msg on
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Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 6,136
    Up until now, I've been mostly using Spotify, Pandora, and DI.fm subscriptions, along with some lesser quality .mp3 of varying quality out of an old iTunes collection.
    I disabled signatures.
  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 7,528
    Once you got it down I shall seek your wisdom on the matter have fun. Im just going laptop to Oppo on the HT rig, and lap top to tube pre via a HRT streamer on the 2 channel plus using an I-Pure with the I tunes stuff it all sounds good to my ears. I have ran out of room for physical media, which would be to much work to convert what I have now, but all future purchases should be from the digital realms.
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  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,413
    edited August 2016
    Step away from the MP3's! Local or streaming, doesn't matter. They're only good for seeing if you like a particular band/album and then deleting and buying the LP/CD/SACD/HDTracks.com
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,928
    Welcome to the future. Once you experience a music server playing lossless files through a good DAC, there is no going back. :)

    Bud - Silicon Valley

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  • JaybeezJaybeez Posts: 746
    I have bought stuff on HDTracks that I also have in other formats. I do notice the difference.
    Some say it's hype and only sounds different because the music is re-mixed which may be the case. In any event, I reset iTunes to rip CDs lossless and am more and more going in that direction.
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  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,413
    edited August 2016
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Welcome to the future. Once you experience a music server playing lossless files through a good DAC, there is no going back. :)

    Have you seen @nooshinjohn 's TriangleART? ;)
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,928
    Yes. Pretty nice.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    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.
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,745
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Yes. Pretty nice.

    You seem somewhat restrained with your response, Bud.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,413
    Right? "Yeah, it's okay I guess." :D
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,928
    It doesn't have anything to do with the thread. :)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    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.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,413
    True, but you called it out like it was a challenge. I accepted. >:)
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,928
    LOL. I think not. msg just discovered the benefit of lossless files vs mp3s. :)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    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.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,492
    edited August 2016
    I have felt for a long time that hard drive sourced music sounds a little smoother and articulate than an optical drive. The late/great madmax told me he had similar beliefs.

    My theory is that it has something to do with the data retrieval process; where an optical drive must read "pits" via laser (are the pits cleanly rendered?) vs the magnetic retrieval of a hard drive reading head/disc platter.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 - Cables: Kimber Hero XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 dig coaxial
  • steveinaz wrote: »
    I have felt for a long time that hard drive sourced music sounds a little smoother and articulate than an optical drive. The late/great madmax told me he had similar beliefs.

    My theory is that it has something to do with the data retrieval process; where an optical drive must read "pits" via laser (are the pits cleanly rendered?) vs the magnetic retrieval of a hard drive reading head/disc platter.

    @steveinaz
    The funny thing is I have had the exact opposite experience in my system. I detailed it in my Laserdisc thread. While I LOVE my Oppo as it is a streaming BEAST (*in fact I'm listening to a DSD file of Michael Jackson Thriller that I downloaded from superhirez.com a few years ago as I tap this out on my tablet*) when it comes to listening to ripped CD's versus playing the actual disc. The disc always sounds better. The reasons have to do with jitter in the HDMI connection. It's all on the Laserdisc thread.
  • DSkip wrote: »
    Why are you using an HDMI to run audio from your PC?

    I'm running HDMI from the Oppo to the Onkyo preamp.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,413
    Why not try the analog outs?
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,423
    once you hit the FLAC's there is no turning back JACK! err Scott ;)
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  • machonemachone Posts: 1,279
    I have only ripped to WAV to date.
    When ripping cds how does the sound quality compare between WAV and FLAC?
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,504
    machone wrote: »
    I have only ripped to WAV to date.
    When ripping cds how does the sound quality compare between WAV and FLAC?

    Depends....on if your system is revealing enough to discern those small differences. Wav files take up much more room than Flac or other lossless formats but if you have a nice big external hard drive it shouldn't be an issue.

    The reason Wav files take up more room is because they are uncompressed, unlike other lossless formats which are, and then uncompressed at playback. Some say it does make a difference in sound quality, some say not so much. I guess that comes down to your system.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,504
    MSG,

    Just discovered lossless files eh ? Congrats.....maybe now you can discover Pasta, good wine and a fine steak. lol

    Just bustin' your chops pal, there's no going back for you now.
    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 1420
    lsi 9's
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,492
    edited August 2016
    DSkip wrote: »
    Why are you using an HDMI to run audio from your PC?

    I'm running HDMI from the Oppo to the Onkyo preamp.

    I don't use HDMI. I use the coax out from my Oppo to my Benchmark DAC2.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 - Cables: Kimber Hero XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 dig coaxial
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,148
    edited August 2016
    machone wrote: »
    I have only ripped to WAV to date.
    When ripping cds how does the sound quality compare between WAV and FLAC?

    The difference is miniscule and not really heard even on the best systems. That is as long and the ripping of either one is done properly.

    I feel the miniscule differences (heard or not) come from software and hardware issues. Not from the format itself.

    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 Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • Nightfall wrote: »
    Why not try the analog outs?

    @Nightfall
    The high definition audio like Dolby True HD,DTS HD-MA and DSD are not available from the analog outputs. Copyright protection stuff.
  • steveinaz wrote: »
    DSkip wrote: »
    Why are you using an HDMI to run audio from your PC?

    I'm running HDMI from the Oppo to the Onkyo preamp.

    I don't use HDMI. I use the coax out from my Oppo to my Benchmark DAC2.

    @steveinaz
    Same goes for the SPDIF digital outs. Coax and Optical. Non of the hi def audio is available there.

  • machone wrote: »
    I have only ripped to WAV to date.
    When ripping cds how does the sound quality compare between WAV and FLAC?

    @machone
    I have actually heard a difference in my system between FLAC and ALAC 24/96 files. I had a friend come over and he confirmed it with his ears. I've not been able to detect a difference between WAV and FLAC or ALAC (Apple Lossless) However I also do not have any hi-def music in both WAV and FLAC or WAV and ALAC. The comparison was with 16/44.1 files.
  • @DSkip
    You have to remember the first comparison between the FLAC and ALAC was with some high definition music files at higher than CD resolution of 24 bits and 96 khz sampling rate. MUCH more revealing than standard 16 bit/44.1 khz CD quality music files. That was the second comparison between WAV and FLAC and the third between WAV and ALAC. Since you have to buy the same album two or three times in each individual format from HDTracks. I wasn't even thinking about spending all of that money just for comparisons sake.
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,618
    You could compare a hybrid SACD no?
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled, I am the South Carolina woman who gouged her eyes out on meth.
  • I've read that there is a difference in the sound between an SACD and a DSD download. I just have never bothered to spend the money on both again just to compare. This habit is expensive enough :D
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 3,110
    edited September 2016
    Reading this thread was a hoot. I won't shout too loud as to the format I use, and trust I have tries all formats as to arrive with what rocks and what don't. The OP knows what's up and I'm sure he is digging it. I won't even spill how many albums I have on my NAS, but will admit it is a sickness and a very addicting hobby and within the next month I will be forced to move to a pair of 8TB WD Purples if I am to continue this never ending journey/Habbit!!!

    Changing my handle to "JackDaRipper" :)
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
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