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

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

  1. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I'd say let's see if people hear a difference and cross other bridges when we come to them.
     
    jeffsab likes this.
  2. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    You're neglecting the very real possibility that they will not hear what you heard because they do not know what you know (different drives), and if you tell them beforehand, then the "test" would be meaningless.
     
  3. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Union, Kentucky
    Confirmation Bias is very real folks.
     
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  4. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    Absolutely, and to one degree or another, none of us are immune.

    Question everything, including yourself.
     
  5. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm sure that people who are not critical listeners, as well as people who are not intimately familiar with the sound of a grand piano, as well as people listening on crappy systems will have more difficulty hearing differences, than will critical listeners who know what a piano sounds like and who are listening to really great setups. So no, I wont be surprised at all if many people can't hear a differences. The world is chock-full of tin-ears, and bad stereos.

    And if you read my original post, you will see that I had zero expectation that any difference should be heard. This result of the same "accurately ripped" tracks sounding different from different drives was something that I stumbled-upon completely by accident when attempting to perform tests on a huge lot of different drives for their error-correcting capabilities.

    And I'm actually not happy about this result at all, because it means that all accurate rips of the same pressing of the same CD are not equal. And this not only makes no sense at all, but it means that to get the best rip results, you would need to use a certain drives, and that accurate rip results cannot be trusted. And who the heck wants to hear that after you've ripped tons of CDs? Answer: Nobody does.
     
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  6. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Bottom line is: Are you sincerely content with your audio gear choices? Doubts and/or regrets lead to "Confirmation Bias" and other forms of internal "Yes Man" rationalizations, etc....

    I love my new custom build PC, but is it designed specifically to solely reproduce music?
    My Line Magnetic LM-215CD certainly is.
     
    Tullman likes this.
  7. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    It can be, and I don't deny this. The thing is that I had ZERO expectation that there were any differences, to begin-with, and I can hear some of these differences even when I don't know which version of a file is playing. And the drives which I expected to sound the best of the lot actually were NOT the most highly rated of the drives.

    And I totally question these results too. Nor do I want to believe them. But when I go back and listen again, I keep hearing many of the same differences even when start over and I do not know which file I am listening to. Its really quite irritating because none of these sound quite as good as does the output of the Oppo, and that is also not what I wanted to hear.

    But again, I know that many people will always rationalize any possible differences away, no matter what their ears tell them.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  8. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    A few things I think I know.

    1)
    Null tests.
    Bit comparisons.
    If it's different, it shows. Whether you can hear it or not. It's that simple. You don't need an army of golden years to test that.

    2)
    Also, if the CD was badly scratched, software settings can fool result and give you an zero error result even though there were errors. I know that sometimes I couldn't rip a CD at all (painfully slow), then fiddling with settings I got a "perfect" rip. But a null test with a correct rip from another source revealed that there were multiple differences in the waveforms. I basically allowed the software to cheat.

    Bottom line: software must be carefully set in combination with the single drive used AND must be used on discs as clean as possible.
    If a disc is damaged, miracles can't be done: it's unreadable and the software will guess. Different drives will read different portions maybe, thus explaining the difference in sound.

    3)
    And the player is guessing as well: if it can't read the disk it's gonna "correct" the waveform by guessing. You hear continuous music unless it skips, but it's not exactly the information that was on the disc. Therefore playback of the disc and of the rip would sound different.

    4)
    In desperate cases, it's better to try and repair the disc before extraction.

    Hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  9. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    :laugh: You must be the West coast version of @AnalogJ. I don't disagree with you, though.
     
  10. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm going off of accurate rip checksums which apparently are 100% identical according to accurate rip. My assumption would be that this should mean that the bits should be identical too. But I'm not 100% certain that this is necessarily true.
    The CD is only badly scratched on two tracks. The rest of the disk is perfect. My test began purely as a test to compare the relative error performance of the drives on those first two bad tracks. Initially attributed all of the audible differences to exactly this phenomenon. But when I accidentally compared some of the other tracks which were perfect had the same differences, that was when this when this test opened a whole can of worms that I never, ever wanted to open, nor to believe.
    Again, this was all true with the perfectly ripped tracks as I stated above. This is NOT error correction that we are talking about here.
    Of course it is. But that was not the point of my test. I had access to over 30 drives to test, and so I mostly just wanted to know if the claims that people made about the plextor's superior error-correction were true or not before I bothered to mount one or two of these drives into the new ripping machine which I was building.
    Sorry, but it does not.
     
  11. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    I don't know about CD/DVD drives, my Toshiba laptop has a LG CD/DVD drive that can even burn M-Discs, but I use an internal (for desktop computers) BD recorder that I converted on an external unit (it needs an outer power supply, which came with the kit) that can even rip accurately the most trashed CDs. Very scratched CD's which are borderline cases and I got second hand, don't rip accurately on the internal drive in my laptop but most of them do rip accurately on the external LG BD-R drive. When the LG BD-R drive stops working I'm just replacing it with another LG BD-R drive.
     
  12. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If you are happy with your ripper, then good for you. Some of the drives which I tested were pretty amazing in terms of their error correction capabilities as well. I had to try at least a dozen of my oldest and most-abused CDs before I finally found one CD which consistently produced read errors. Most of the better drives just sail-past most scratches.
     
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  13. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Well, for what is worth, I once compared rips I did with three different computers and even rips found online and they were bit identical. I even tried different software on the same drive. That was enough for me.
    I'm still suspecting the problem lies in the software setup. That or (some of) the drives have some malfunctioning the software can't get.
    That's really weird.
     
  14. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY

    I’d be very interested in seeing the resulting logs from 2 of the rips you claim produced different sounding (however accurate) rips of the same disc. That might help.
     
    Robert C likes this.
  15. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I'm even more west right now. I'm in Kauai for the week. Though staying in Lihue, so that still makes me east coast.

    My audio system here is my concert size ukulele. It sounds very lifelike and immediate, as though it's present in the room. :pineapple:
     
  16. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'll be happy to provide some of my logs. But these logs won't prove anything other than that most of the tracks ripped accurately on all of the drives I tested. So stay tuned for some data which will only serve to further convince everyone that I have an active imagination...
     
  17. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I think you should either post the files or let the matter drop. This is teetering on "I have a secret and I won't tell!" territory.
     
    The_Windmill likes this.
  18. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Good point. I'd love to post these files, but the best that I could legally are snippets, which unfortunately probably won't convince anybody.

    So unless somebody like yourself feels like volunteering to perform critical some listening to some of these files, perhaps I should just shut up and let the matter die. <sigh>
     
  19. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    One thing I’ve learned around here from threads like this: high end anything doesn’t sound good at all to those who’ve never heard it or can’t afford it.
     
    Newton John, Tullman and libertycaps like this.
  20. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    With nice weather in Seattle coming around, maybe a good time for a listening party at @TarnishedEars ' house.
     
  21. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    Yes, I'm very happy with my ripper, that LG BD-R unit has always been very reliable either at ripping or burning different kind of discs. It hasn't have many use/abuse for a BD-R unit from 2010, I must have burned around 25 BDs and the same for DVDs, What I have burned the most are CD's mostly to have copies of my CD's for the car, and I stopped driving (I am a disabled person, got my shoulders messed up in an accident/incident) 6 years ago. I do have ripped many many CD's and I don't remember a failed rip. This old LG BD-R unit seems very reliable and built like a tank. There was an offer around a month ago of an external Pioneer BD-R drive at a bargain price on an European franchise (Mediamarkt), its price was 55 €, at first I thought about getting it to have a replacement for my LG BD-R but on a second thought I thought about how fine my LG BD-R still works so I finally didn't see the need for a replacement, when the LG dies, that will eventually happens, I'll just go tomy usual shop or Amazon and look for another LG that can read and burn BDXL. I'm very loyal to "my brands".
     
  22. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    For me, all ripped CD's sound much better than coming out of the CD player optical out into my Bifrost 4490. I attribute that to the fact that the lossless files are being played through iTunes with Amarra sQ+ as the sound engine.
     
  23. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I very much proved to myself and my audio mate that with the "cheap as chips" NAD player I owned, the green pen (I bought the Posca water soluble marker for a couple of dollars) made a significant difference.
     
  24. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    It' not possible for it to make a difference. It is possible, however, for people to convince themselves of damn near anything.
     
    wgriel, Metralla and ukrules like this.
  25. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm extremely busy for the next month or so. But if some local members are genuinely interested, I might be persuaded to do something along those lines for a handful of established members sometime after that.
     

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