does anyone rip CDs any more?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DavidZ, Feb 9, 2024.

  1. DavidZ

    DavidZ Active Member Thread Starter

    Princeton, MA
    I ask because I still do -- lots of great used CDs provide cheap sounds, and you get the liner notes (to put in Roon, etc.) which doesn't always happen with downloads. But I ran into a bit of a challenge when my 14-year old windows box, with a plextor drive for ripping, died last month. I replaced it w/ an iMac M3, which hasn't had an optical drive for ages, as far as I know.

    This is where it gets interesting. I tried an Asus external DVD, that connects with just a USB cord - no separate power supply. I used the same DBpoweramp software (mac version) that I used with the Windows/plextor setup. It is great software, with an "accurate rip" feature that guarantees a bit-for-bit copy. Nevertheless. The rips sounded flat and dry compared with the plextor rips. I searched far and wide (i.e., googled) but couldn't find anything remotely like a stout unit with its own power supply. Astell & Kern makes some such thing, but it is a dedicated device for its own player.

    I finally found a 10-year old Naim Unity Server on US audio mart for 15% of its original MSRP that sits on my network like a NAS. It rips files to flac, which I then play on my Grimm MU1 player. They sound glorious --- as good or better than the old plextor rips. Naim knows its stuff.

    But it's kind of disconcerting to rely on vintage equipment. Has anyone had any better luck with new model rippers, if they exist out there? Thanks. -- David
    Bingo Bongo likes this.
  2. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Why do you think an accurately ripped lossless file would sound better if ripped on a different drives?
    Dyland, PineBark, cnolanh and 27 others like this.
  3. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Although not as often as I used to, I still buy and rip CDs. I've been doing it on a 2010 Mac Mini, which still works just fine. I will say though, when the little Mac dies, I probably won't replace it.
    SamS, jonwoody, mike catucci and 2 others like this.
  4. jkauff

    jkauff Senior Member

    Akron, OH
    I use an LG Blu-ray drive in an external enclosure with its own power supply. I also use dBpoweramp CD Ripper, and it works fine. I think your problem might be using the USB port for both power and data. Get a powered enclosure.
  5. charlie W

    charlie W EMA Level 8

    Area Code 254
    I can't play CD's on my phone. Yes, I still rip CD on my iMac using XLD software and a no-name cheap DVD drive from Amazon. Much to my surprise, the DVD drive is USB-3 capable.
  6. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    Le Froidtown
    If you are getting AccurateRip results(successful) on your Mac with new CD drive, then I don’t believe there will be ANY audible difference than if you did the same CD rips with your older machine and CD drive where you also got AccurateRip results(successful).
    If you are hearing differences, then either something with your playback is different than before or you have ghosts.

    ETA: Your cd player isnt recording analog.
    You shouldn’t need a powered CD drive if you are getting bit perfect CD rips.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2024
  7. shug4476

    shug4476 Nullius In Verba

    I rip all of my CDs to iTunes and play them, wirelessly and losslessly, over wifi to my DAC.
    saturdayboy, forthlin and danielbravo like this.
  8. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Pisa, Italy
    Two accurate rips that sound different. Is this a joke or the usual wannabe audiophile trick of "my ears are so good that I can hear things beyond explanation"?
  9. Dino Villani

    Dino Villani Resident Senior Audiophile

    Destin, Fl
    I rip all of my cds and SACDs to my NAS using an iMac and dbpoweramp, (my SACDs thru my Oppo). I don’t think the equipment matters as long as you get the FLAC files or DSF in the case of SACDs.
  10. ScubaMan-1970

    ScubaMan-1970 Active Member

    Ontario, Canada
    Strictly for my own personal use! o_O
    Legally purchased CD... ripped using Eact Audio Copy... encoded into FLAC... stored on a couple of hard drives... feed files to a DAC... and then to a headphone amplifier... to headphones... and then to my tinnitus-ravaged ears. Those CD and their jewel-cases then get inventoried and lovingly packed into banker boxes... that are stored in climate-controlled storage. So, yes, I rip discs.
  11. DavidZ

    DavidZ Active Member Thread Starter

    Princeton, MA
  12. ScubaMan-1970

    ScubaMan-1970 Active Member

    Ontario, Canada
    My 2 cents: if the discs I'm ripping have scratches or are mangled up (especially used CD from rummage sales), I use EAC... exact audio copy. I set it up to test & decode... and then leave it alone! If the surfaces are pristine, I use Foobar... as it is a much faster process. Your mileage may vary (YMMV).
    saturdayboy likes this.
  13. DavidZ

    DavidZ Active Member Thread Starter

    Princeton, MA
    It's a matter of conjecture. USB is a notoriously noisy connection, especially when it's also carrying the power supply. I'm really not looking for a flame war, but I accept the fact that I will be informed I'm not hearing what I'm hearing. It's already happening --e.g., Jimi Floyd above.
  14. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Senior Member

    All new CDs are ripped with dbPoweramp, some multi-encoded to .flac and .alac.
  15. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    For playback there are indeed some DACs that have poor USB implementation and distortion will show up on an analyzer. Anything made to reasonable standards from a reputable brand these days should not have this problem.

    Ripping is not playback and this issue does not come into play whatsoever.

    A simple null test in an audio editor would confirm whether this is your imagination or mind playing tricks on you.

    If the test does not null out, it means your ripping software settings are messed up, or the ripping program is garbage.
    rockphotog, ad180, PineBark and 4 others like this.
  16. DavidZ

    DavidZ Active Member Thread Starter

    Princeton, MA
    Identical CDs produced flac files with the same software (except for MacOS/Windows versioning). They were played back on the same system within an hour. I guess if you tell me there can't be any audible differences, that settles it.
    hifisoup likes this.
  17. ScubaMan-1970

    ScubaMan-1970 Active Member

    Ontario, Canada
    Re: USB interface. I was able to avoid all the bizzare artifacts by minimizing electrically noisy peripherals on the same 120VAC circuit.

    For a while, I was using Schiit Audio's EITR unit... it took USB signal and converted it to a S/PDIF signal... that I then fed into the coaxial input on my external DAC. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference and that device went to the wayside.
  18. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA
    Yup. My old Toshiba Samsung DVD drive still works.

    I use EAC to rip to either LAME 320kbps mp3s or flacs.
    ScubaMan-1970 likes this.
  19. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    StickyFingers85 likes this.
  20. tryitfirst

    tryitfirst Forum Resident

    Experienced audiophiles don't trust their ears. They know that mood, brand impressions, component prices and other sources of expectation bias have a dramatic effect on what they think they hear.

    If reliable software confirms a bit-perfect rip, that's what you have. How it's played back is another matter.
    Superhoops, drmevo, Rolltide and 13 others like this.
  21. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    Le Froidtown
    Don’t misunderstand me.
    You made the claims in the first post and there can be more than one variable.
    You have no audio equipment listed in your profile.

    What I am conveying is this:
    If I rip a famous CD at my house on my computer equipment and get 100% Accurate Rip file.
    I save that file to usb thumb drive as Rip#1.
    Then I go to your house and we rip the very same CD on your computer and get 100% Accurate Rip file.
    We save that file to the thumb drive as Rip#2.
    THEN, I cannot understand how this two Rips will sound any different in anyway.
    You suggested in your OP that Asus external CD drive had no external power and could be possible for difference which you are hearing between the two rips.
    I am saying that if the rips are both 100% Accurate Rip, then Asus external with or without power supply is not responsible for the audible difference which you are hearing.
    bever70, timind, tryitfirst and 2 others like this.
  22. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    yes, I still do...not as many.
  23. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    what do you guys think of ANYBURN to burn CDs?
  24. danielbravo

    danielbravo Senior Member

    Caracas. DC
    Yes, I have many cds and I usually still do. Especially since I use portable audio players.
  25. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Independent Head

    New Mexico USA
    I still play CDs all the time, but the availability of the vast majority of those albums in lossless or hi-res on Apple Music has drastically diminished any motivation I have for ripping CDs for playback from my computer to DACor via mobile devices.
    timind and BluTorch like this.

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