Does a high end CD player provide better sound than a lossless rip?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by colby2415, May 10, 2017.

  1. colby2415

    colby2415 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    I have always wondered this. I have a desktop setup with a Modi 2 DAC, and I listen to my cd's as digital lossless files for convenience. My question is weather a high end cd player would provide a better sound quality. It certainly won't be as convenient, but that's not really a big deal. I am wondering if adding a cd player to my setup would be worthwhile or If I should keep listening to my cds as lossless rips.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks
     
    Keith V likes this.
  2. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    In my experience, a CD player used as a transport into a DAC will sound the same as the lossless files fed into the same DAC. Now, one can certainly obtain a CD player with a different internal DAC than what you have currently. Only your ears can tell if it is "better". Get one with a good return policy and try it out.

    Meanwhile, there are those that prefer the CD "playback experience" over digital files even if they sound the same. Count me in that camp. :targettiphat:
     
  3. colby2415

    colby2415 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, this is the thing I like about vinyl, but sometimes I'm just too lazy and just want to listen to something haha. Think I will stay with my current setup then, until I can afford a better DAC.
     
  4. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    That is my experience, too . . . with a good quality transport. When my Meridian transport failed after 10 years, I was given a semi-functional old Marantz, and using it as a transport did not match the quality of using files through the same DAC.

    I like the CD playback experience, because I can read the CD liner (with glasses and bright light, anyway); but I prefer the computer-based experience most of the time, because it's easier to find things I'm looking for -- or interesting stuff, in my collection, that I wasn't looking for. To each his own.
     
    Chev likes this.
  5. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    Location:
    usa
    My cd player sounds better than listening to the same cd ripped and played through a Schiit Bimby.
     
    Jasonb and joelee like this.
  6. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    @ukrules is IMHO largely correct: It's mainly down to the DAC.

    More generally, it's about the various components that are different in the playback chain. The DAC is a major aspect of this of course, since it shapes how the digital data will be converted (and in particular resampled and filtered) into analogue output.

    But there's also the quality of the analogue section, the noise-isolation and noise floor of the electronic components, the output level and impedance of a CD player vs the Modi, and to a much lesser extent the quality of the analogue interconnects.
     
  7. triple

    triple Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    It depends on the cd player and the server the music being played from. I have heard the dCS Vivaldi sacd transport beat a music server, but that does not mean much in this context.
     
    Shivermetimbers likes this.
  8. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Of course it does. Any time you have to spin a plastic disc at a precise speed as you read it with a laser beam its going to sound better then a completely solid state alternative. C'mon folks, why wouldn't it?
     
    Hotdog, Bananas&blow, hvbias and 10 others like this.
  9. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    And count me in the opposing camp. My cds are ripped as AIFF using XLD which ensures an bit perfect rip. There were only a couple instances where the accurate rip indicator gave me a no.
    I'm not saying they sound any different, but it sure is easier to pick and play music with with my remote app than it is to stand in front of a wall of cds and read those spines.:cool:
     
  10. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Because the CD transport adds a nice tubelike warmth and sweetens the mids. Everyone knows that that.
     
  11. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    What is your Desktop setup? Hard disk? RAM? Optical/Coaxial digital output?

    You don't have it listed in your profile and for all we know, you are using a computer from Goodwill Industries.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Both camps are fun! :righton:
     
    timind likes this.
  13. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Burn a CD from your lossless file and play it back on your CD player and let me know if you actually hear a difference. Some members on this Forum claim it sounds better than the original CD.

    I've done it and I cant hear a difference, but that's just me.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  14. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Don't forget to use this!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    What in tarnations is that???? :p
     
  16. robertzombie

    robertzombie Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    CD players have more of that analogue goodness because you can see the numbers and they have buttons. There's something about 1:1 files that just isn't right. They're too cold and impersonal, these personifications somehow find their way into the music. Many esteemed journalists agree. Vinyl.
     
    Hotdog likes this.
  17. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Funny how all threads eventually lead to Vinyl or Beatles :help:
     
  18. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the ripped files immune to error-correction? If so, and if the ripped files are bit to bit identical to what's engraved on the CD, it's logical that they would sound better (or more accurate), as far as some error correction is usually involved when spinning the CD.
     
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The CD player will only sound better if you prefer the sound of the DAC in the CD player to the DAC in the Modi 2. That said, having a real CD player is nice when you have a large CD collection and not everything is ripped yet and you're constantly getting more discs. Re: high end, explain or list a budget before someone starts recommending a CD player that costs as much as a new car.
     
  20. mtruslow

    mtruslow Forum Resident

    Location:
    Towson, Maryland
    Alright UKRules, what the hell are those for???? I've heard the deal but refresh my memory, please??
     
  21. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Those (my friends) are the famous green CD pens. There were claims that they could make your CDs sound better by outlining the edge of the discs. This is back in the late 80s I think.
     
    Manimal, SandAndGlass and Ignominious like this.
  22. Gaslight

    Gaslight Cave dwelller

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Snake oil.

    Now this, on the other hand, was the goods....

    [​IMG]
     
  23. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
  24. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Houston TX
    I don't know the answer to the question, but I only listen to rips and digital downloads using a computer. It is very convenient. There probably is no difference between a player with a good internal DAC, or a good external DAC and a computer or streamer with a good DAC. Computers are nice for couch potatoes because you don't have to get up for hours unless nature calls.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  25. reb

    reb Long Live Rock

    Location:
    Long Island
    [​IMG]

    :laughup::laughup:
     
    Manimal and andrewskyDE like this.

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