Lossless file VS CD

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by beppe, May 22, 2018.

  1. beppe

    beppe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Venice, Italy
    Hi all. More than fifteen years ago I have definiteley abandoned CD and ripped all my music lossless on external disk (now NAS).
    A simple question: different CD players sounds different. Usually to have better sound you have to spend more money.
    My thought, when I started to rip my music collection, was that to spend the same amount on a DAC instead of a Cd player will be better (soundwise). I notice that most of you use cd players.
    To me to have a software player to find immediately the song/album I want to listen is a nice plus.
    Why people use cd players? Do they prefer to "phisically touch" the cd instead of a dematerialized file?
  2. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Well I started out with records, so playing music is a tactile experience for me. Same with CDs, but less so. I associate the album cover, where-and when-I purchased the disk, etc. as part of the experience and how I relate to the music. When I hold a disk, I feel I'm holding something special, with the degree of specialness in direct proportion to the memories associated with the disk/music, and how highly I regard the music.

    Somehow, that connection is lost when I play a digital file. Don't get me wrong, I've got a lot of music on digital files that I can't get any other way, and enjoy it. As much as I enjoy the music, I miss the special connections associated with the physical media.
  3. MagicAlex

    MagicAlex Gort Emeritus

    Atlanta, GA
    I like the idea of 'owning' the media. It personalizes the experience; in it's own way makes it an extension of myself. CDs (vinyl, autos, homes, etc.) are grand symbols of western capitalism.
    sathvyre, Vinny123, thxphotog and 7 others like this.
  4. fantgolf

    fantgolf Forum Resident

    Rochester, MN
    I have yet to hear a rip via an affordable DAC that sounds as good as a used top of the line CD player with a good source. I hope some day that will change (and be affordable). Physical media is also a plus for me.
  5. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Geebung, Australia
    Honestly, I just can't be bothered to rip them all to lossless for what may or may not turn out to be a small increase in sound quality.
    CD is a level of tech & playback that I am perfectly content with.
    Kristofa, George P, dalem5467 and 4 others like this.
  6. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    If you get a bit perfect stream to the dac there should be no difference. Pc/mac audio messing with the stream can make things sound different/bad. Fixed by using correct drivers and settings to just pass thru the bits. Presumably the quality/settings of the dac can affect sound quality, too, but not as much. Same with different cd players.
    The Revealer likes this.
  7. The Pinhead


    That and I always sit down and listen to just one CD, so no point in having a gazillion files from which to select random songs like other people do. Heck I even burn my FLAC files to CD-Rs because neither my player nor my amp have an USB port and my computer is not connected to my rig in any way,and hopefully it never will.

    But ultimately it's maybe we are old crocks set on our old ways:laugh:
    SandAndGlass, matthewp and fogalu like this.
  8. nwdavis1

    nwdavis1 Forum Resident

    I often browse through my LPs and CDs when looking for something to play. I ripped several hundred of my CDs about 15 years ago but I found that browsing through files didn't work for me. I do have a Fio DAP so I play the ripped music on that but never at home.
    frightwigwam and The Pinhead like this.
  9. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    When I was growing up, listening to records, holding and reading that album cover was a must. CD's disappointed me, since they came in a crappy jewel case instead of a mini LP cover.

    I too ripped and sold off all my music without regret. I have never bought a DAC, nor foresee buying one in the near future.
  10. bean_counter

    bean_counter Well-Known Member

    My opinion is that affordable DACs in the $1k-3k range have come a long way, and it's tough to beat some of them without spending a LOT more. DAC chipsets are mostly sorted out by this late date, and it's the analog out and power supply that are make or break.

    Once I found a way to rip SACDs, I lost the need for a full time spinner in my system. I'm all PC/ DAC based now, and the discs are packed away in boxes.
  11. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    For me, one of the best things about CD is the jewel box. Although the larger size of the LP is great for looking at album art, for me it was marred by the damage that inevitably happens to the album cover. Among them is the wear circle that eventually develops on the album cover. I've used a plastic sleeve to protect the cover, but that isn't much help when purchasing used LPs/45s.

    With the jewel box, I can replace it if it gets damaged, transferring the album art and other documentation to the new jewel box. Thus, the documentation itself would be undamaged. The only complaint I have about the jewel box is that the clear cover is made of plastic that is too brittle, with the hinges often breaking off.

    The two improvements I could see for the jewel box is: (1) instead of a hinged lid, use a cover that slides on and off of the main holder, and (2) replace the clear cover with one made of a more durable clear plastic.
    billnunan, snowman872, Xabby and 2 others like this.
  12. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    Having 3K+ cds in the house does wonders for the WAF (Not!). Before I ripped to HDD, I'd want to play a song, but by the time I figured out what compilation cd it was on, found it, I'd lost interest in hearing it. I love my Bluesound Vault 2/Node 2's. Easy to use app, sounds very good.
    Happy camper. CD's stored as ultimate back up.
  13. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    I ripped all my CDs so I could store them elsewhere. No space in the living room where the system is. I don't have a CD player anymore. I still miss the experience of handling the CDs and put them to play.
    snowman872 likes this.
  14. toddfan

    toddfan Forum Resident

    Overland Park, KS
    I only purchase a CD if there is no other way for me to get a song from one of my favorite artists. If I have a choice between CD or Vinyl, for one of my favorite artists, then I choose Vinyl...but for anyone other than my favorite artists, I always choose digital files. Years ago I ripped all of my CD's to the hard drive(s)...even for my favorite artists digital rips comprise 99.9% of my listening. I really like FLAC and the new high resolution files...and, DSD sounds wonderful to me. I would not go back.
  15. geoffr

    geoffr Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am bummed that my new car does not have a cd player (not even as an option) as I always enjoyed picking out cds to accompany road trips. Won’t be the same, or as spontaneous, putting music on a thumb drive or my phone before I go.
  16. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I also went as far as ripping my SACDs with a PS3. My complete collection of digital discs are ripped. I don't see any advantage to using my physical digital discs. I really like the JRiver interface to play my digital files. But, I mostly play my records. So I'd rather just store the CDs in a closet, my records take up enough of my living space.
  17. John Dyson

    John Dyson Well-Known Member

    Fishers, Indiana
    I agree with the idea that CDs just take up space, and it is just as easy to organize files as it is CDs. Backing up files nowadays is easy also -- once you have everything on the computer, then a few memory sticks, portable HDDs, or even blue-rays for backup are perfectly nice.

    The materialism side of things disappeared with me when I was working during the tech boom. Bought every possible toy to the extreme -- video -- no problem, I had 4:2:2 D9 decks (better than DigiBeta at the time), everything was perfect, until I realized that THINGS weren't important.

    There is one THING that I still prefer over a computer version -- I MUCH prefer real books for my study. I don't just casually read, but I do lots of research of very complex subjects, and if the material isn't necessarily online (e.g. tech reports, research reports, etc), then I REALLY PREFER BOOKS. In fact, I have the habit of printing with a laser printer and have a super good hole punch (the kind with the lots of little rectangle holes -- really super nice), and then I can carry my reading into the living room or elsewhere when I want.

    But, bottom line -- things for things sake -- nope, not me anymore. If I cannot actually VERY ACTIVELY use something, then I don't really want to just collect it. If I can get by witihout having to clutter everything up, I much prefer cluttering a computer filesystem (as long as I reasonably organize it) so it doesn't take up any space.

    Thats just my own way of doing things -- I can truly understand the tactile feel thing also, there is some kind of 'good feeling' (I used to know that feeling myself.)

    timind, eric777 and billnunan like this.
  18. Melvin

    Melvin Forum Resident

    The convenience of having my entire library of music in the palm of my hand is just too convenient to bother with CDs other than ripping them. BTW, I’m old-school and listen to albums in their entirety for the most part whether from my own collection or Tidal's. I too love my Bluesound Node 2.
    Doug_B likes this.
  19. sberger

    sberger Grumpy(but grateful) geezer

    I still buy cd's, rip them to lossless FLAC's and mostly play them that way. Except for classical. I like to play the physical media. I also download a lot of stuff. Love the convenience of streaming, but as an old fart I can't imagine ever not having at least some physical media.
  20. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
  21. One reason many people here prefer using a CD player is because they have big music collections and own thousands of CDs. When your collection gets big and you have a constant inflow of new CDs each week the realities of ripping everything and keeping on top of ripping new arrivals just gets overwhelming. In a situation like that it becomes easier to just play the CD. I'm not one of those people. I've got all my music ripped and on a NAS. Over 4,000 albums worth. It takes lots of time to do that. And sometimes I don't listen to new arrivals because I haven't gotten around to ripping them yet. If I had a CD player I could play those new arrivals right away, but I don't.
    John Dyson likes this.
  22. John Dyson

    John Dyson Well-Known Member

    Fishers, Indiana
    Yep -- I didn't think about that, but I can see your point on the matter of a large inflow. Ripping is a distraction, and when I do it, I like to make sure that it is done correctly, and the results are properly organized into the repository where it will live. Then, all of the other backups need to be updated -- so the mostly pure digital approach does have a clumsy side to it. That clumsiness is magnified by a moderately large volume of material that needs to be ripped.

    I see... what you are writing and implying.
    Thanks for the thoughts.
  23. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I ripped all of my cd’s. I never play them anymore but I haven’t decided to sell them. Just use my music server.
    klockwerk and lance b like this.
  24. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    I'd agree with "mostly" for the first-not "completely"-and definitely the analog and power are heavy influences.
    bean_counter likes this.
  25. ukrules

    ukrules Professional Appreciator

    Union, Kentucky
    CD cases are great places to store concert ticket stubs. It is a reminder of the show for me. I also slide in a printout of the setlist (thanks to setlist.fm). I've even printed out some of my favorite Robert Christgau review snippets for some albums. These are some ways to "add value" to the physical CD.
    SandAndGlass and qwerty like this.

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