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Old 06-13-2018, 03:15 AM
bruno2009 bruno2009 is online now
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Default Comparing digital files/sources to each other and to vinyl...

It`d be great to hear your thoughts on this. What are your findings when comparing

streaming (f.e. Tidal) in CD Quality
streaming (f.e. Tidal) in MQA Quality
streaming ripped CDs as FLAC from an external drive
playings CDs directly from CDP/CDT

and finally

playing Vinyl from your analog deck.

I have been busy diving into the whole streaming business and I have done a lot of comparing (I think I have posted enough of my findings on the other threads) - but of course I dived into the whole subject with prejudice (as I am a fan of physical media and I love my collection).

It would be great to hear other peoples thoughts/findings on this. Are they all pretty much up paar, do you prefer one or the other, does one stand out clearly?

Just talking plain SQ - not the handling and practical advantages/disadvantages.
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Last edited by jdandy; 06-17-2018 at 04:53 PM. Reason: correct typo in title
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:50 AM
jayvis jayvis is online now
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I've found that sound quality in my system is pretty much equal when comparing playing CD's and streaming CD quality music from Tidal or Spotify. I feel these two options are the best in my system. I haven't tried streaming MQA files from Tidal so I can't comment on it. Streaming FLAC files from an external drive also produces results similar to physical CD's and the streaming services. Vinyl comes in last through my system. I've found all of these things to be component/system dependent and, of course, the source recording and file quality. As it's always been with audio, there are variables with every music source. But to me, the more viable sources the better.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:45 AM
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I find Qobuz streaming sounds the same as Roon feeding ripped CDs to my Auralic Aries G2. I haven't played a CD in 10 years. I only have the Quobuz Sublime not the plus service.

I use a Yggdrasil A2 DAC and find it far superior to my Rega RP8 and the McIntosh phono pre on a good master.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:18 AM
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Default Comparing digitale files/sources to each other and to vinyl...

I find streaming ripped CDs from NAS via network to my Linn streamers to be superior to CD. I gave up my disc player a few years ago. I still buy CDs, but rip them and put them in storage. I like physical media, but only really

I find vinyl better than, worse than, or equal to streaming - it just depends on the recording. For me it’s a moot point: I have a vinyl collection that sounds great and would be hard to replace, but also find that many new digital releases sound fantastic. A great 50s jazz recording mastered for vinyl sounds awesome, but so does a modern classical recording mastered in hi res. My listening choice will be driven by the recording, not the medium.
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Last edited by Antonmb; 06-13-2018 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:58 PM
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My list from best SQ to least best, depending on the recording is generally:

Vinyl (which I don't have anymore since I am a klutz and kept breaking styluses)
SACD
Downloaded HiRes music
Tidal MQA
Ripped CD's
Tidal CD quality

I listen to Tidal MQA most of the time for the sound quality and ease of use.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:50 PM
bruno2009 bruno2009 is online now
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Default Comparing digitale files/sources to each other and to vinyl...

I‘m starting to like the theory that it is really a question of which master was being used. The more I listen the more I find it difficult to make a general statement. Sometimes Vinyl, sometimes even CD, sometimes - I have to admit by now - MQA... maybe it really is comparing apples with pears when you don‘t know with source master/material was used...
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Last edited by bruno2009; 06-13-2018 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno2009 View Post
I wonder if this is a question of listening habits (maybe one gets used to one sound or another) or if things might still change.
You are most likely correct, all the little things that people learn to ignore with vinyl are always in my head and drive me nuts. I understand what people like about Vinyl, but the Yggdrasil gets me so close now it's really no comparison to me.

Plus my vinyl collection probably does suck!
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:04 PM
bruno2009 bruno2009 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Tone View Post
You are most likely correct, all the little things that people learn to ignore with vinyl are always in my head and drive me nuts. I understand what people like about Vinyl, but the Yggdrasil gets me so close now it's really no comparison to me.



Plus my vinyl collection probably does suck!


I just compared my Vinyl of the last „London Grammar“ to the MQA - I must admit - I do understand why one would prefer the MQA in this case.... it‘s really difficult to make a general statement... maybe ripping existing CDs to FLAC, getting Roon and integrating Tidal MQA is the way to go for digital - and only when there is a really great pressing on Vinyl with excellent mastering buy the Vinyl... I‘m really torn... I somehow don‘t like the thought of leaving physical media behind...
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno2009 View Post
I‘m starting to like the theory that it is really a question of which master was being used. The more I listen the more I find it difficult to make a general statement. Sometimes Vinyl, sometimes even CD, sometimes - I have to admit by now - MQA... maybe it really is comparing apples with pears when you don‘t know with source master/material was used...
Christoph - Definitely not a theory but a fact! The mastering of each title is of the utmost importance, especially when comparing versions of the same song/album. Although I agree in general about vinyl and SACD as being the 2 best sounding formats, I have compared a few titles and there are a select few which may sound better to me on CD. The it becomes a matter of format vs. mastering. It’s very difficult sometimes (especially with older releases that have been re-released numerous times) to determine whether you’re comparing apples to apples.

- Buck
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:20 PM
bruno2009 bruno2009 is online now
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Default Comparing digitale files/sources to each other and to vinyl...

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy3107 View Post
Christoph - Definitely not a theory but a fact! The mastering of each title is of the utmost importance, especially when comparing versions of the same song/album. Although I agree in general about vinyl and SACD as being the 2 best sounding formats, I have compared a few titles and there are a select few which may sound better to me on CD. The it becomes a matter of format vs. mastering. It’s very difficult sometimes (especially with older releases that have been re-released numerous times) to determine whether you’re comparing apples to apples.



- Buck


Buck - nice to hear and it really is the only thing that makes sense and explains the ongoing differences between the sources from material to material (and thus why I‘m finding it difficult to make a general statement). Doesn’t make it easier though - would actually implicate that all three sources have their „moments“... so run all three? I like the Idea I posted above - rip existing CDs to FLAC, use Tidal for new releases (merge them by using Roon) and buy Vinyl when you‘re sure mastering and pressing are of excellent quality...
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