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Why audiophiles still use CDs?


hdo

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Hi,

I am new to here.

 

About 10 years ago when DVD was first introduced, I bought a multimedia laptop with high definition sound card. I noticed that the sound quality of music DVDs is significantly better than CDs. Once I got used to music DVD sound, CDs sound terrible. So I stop using CDs and thus stop buying them.

 

DVDs use 48khz sampling rate. It's just 9% more samples than CD's 44.1khz. DVDs can have 16, 20, 24 bits PCM tracks. But mostly 16 bits. Still sound is noticeably better. CDs sound somewhat like earphones! Especially female vocals are distorted. With DVDs, you can hear noticeable improvement.

 

I stopped using CDs long time ago. At the moment, I am limited to music DVDs. Some are in 24bits. Sound is quite nice. I listen using 24bits/192khz USB-DAC and headphones, normally upsampled to 24bits/96khz on-the-fly. I also found that high definition is better with headphones, over speakers. There are reasons that can be explained with laws of physics for this.

 

Starting from 16bits/48khz, I can hear all sort of sound, including sound characteristics of original media (=tape) and microphones, limitations/mistakes in original sound recording, sound localtion/distance, air/breath sound, etc. So the importance of recording quality. But it is difficult to find quality tracks.

 

Here's is an important question: Why some audiophiles still spend heaps of dollars to listen CD's disgusting sound? I would expect them moved away from CDs long time ago, because they are audiophiles. They can move to high-definition for better sound. Note that high definition doesn't require you to invest on expensive equipments. With honestly priced DAC and good headphones, you can enjoy high definition sound, of course, with your computer.

 

The problem I have is finding tracks with quality recording!

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Hi,

I am new to here.

Then welcome.

 

I am afraid you have something else wrong. Hard to say what, but for example it can be that your digital setup likes the 48 base better (better matching). Needs more explanation, but ... you weren't much waiting for such a response anyway, I am sure.

 

The problem I have is finding tracks with quality recording!

 

Exactly. That's why it could be way better to focus on your "CD quality problem" !

 

Regards,

Peter

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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If you listen to CD on DVD players or worse, computer drives, I totally agree they sound rubbish. Mechanically, the vibration from a computer drive is dissipated in 24 gauge sheet steel, it's difficult to control an output under those conditions.

 

There are still companies that produce CD players for good reasons, they yield exceptional results, but for all good things in life there's a price and individual's preferences (or tolerance) of sound quality.

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"distorted", "disgusting sound". That's a silly statement.

 

1) CD can sound very good. Why did audiophiles enjoy well-recorded and - mastered CDs for the past 30 years? Were they complete fools?

 

2) More than 90% of the music is not available in hi-rez. Do you only listen to music that you can get on SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray or hi-rez downloads?

Claude

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Why audiophiles still use CDs?

 

(...)

 

The problem I have is finding tracks with quality recording!

 

A recent move overseas has forced me to jump on the computer audio bandwagon but since I listen mostly to "classical" music and have budget constraints I have decided against buying HR files for the following reasons:

 

1 - selection: only a small percentage of my current CDs (or future music purchases) exist in HR format

 

2 - price: I have just bought a new 25 CD box set of Günter Wand's RCA recordings for £23 (that can't even be found in HR)

 

3 - physical support: the move overseas has forced me to extract my CD collection to HDD (convinience) but I much prefer browsing for music stored in boxes

 

4 - recording sound quality: "classical" music is usually well mastered and many recent remasters of analogue recordings sound better that the original CD releases; in my experience, high quality 16/44.1 can sound (almost) as good as 24/176.4

 

5 - equipment sound quality: my tight budget wasn't enough buy a D/AC that sounds or is technically as good as my CD player

 

Besides, HR doesn't automatically mean that you will get better sound quality, which in my view depends more on mic placement and tonal balance.

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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After years prioritising spend on vinyl, I've recently upgraded the digital side of my system so that my analogue and digital front ends are roughly the same £-wise.

 

I did so primarily to get the best out of the Hi Res recordings I have increasingly bought of late

 

Guess what? I've ended up instead rediscovering my (ripped) CD collection because it just sounds so good in the new system and really made me question whether I was hearing something better as opposed to just different from Hi res PCM and DSD vs. 16/44.

 

I only listen to classical and most of my recent HiRes PCM and DSD downloads do sound great, but a part of that could just be the benefit of a very recent recording - I'm fairly sure the same recording issued on CD would sound great to.

 

Conversely, CDs can sound equally good, are cheap ( a recent Mercury LP boxed set of 50+ cds cost me £60 - a single DSD or DXD download can be £25-£30) and as the established medium, are still what you have to buy to hear the conductors, orchestras and performances of enduring stature. Unless someone invents a time machine, you are never going to hear the likes of Karajan, Beecham, Barbirolli, Klemperer, Walter, Solti etc in any native digital Hi Res format.

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"distorted", "disgusting sound". That's a silly statement.

 

2) More than 90% of the music is not available in hi-rez. Do you only listen to music that you can get on SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray or hi-rez downloads?

 

It's more like 99.99999% is not available in hi-rez digital.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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First, as many above have already mentioned, RBCD done right does sound good - not disgusting.

 

Second, and possibly most importantly, it's all about the software. High Res has barely scratched the surface of what's out there in RBCD, and a lot of the remastered material sounds worse than the previous material (which is no longer available). I even have a dedicated ADC to record my vinyl because a lot of that will never be digitized. The hardware is worthless without the software to play through it.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

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Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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If you listen to CD on DVD players or worse, computer drives, I totally agree they sound rubbish. Mechanically, the vibration from a computer drive is dissipated in 24 gauge sheet steel, it's difficult to control an output under those conditions.

 

There are still companies that produce CD players for good reasons, they yield exceptional results, but for all good things in life there's a price and individual's preferences (or tolerance) of sound quality.

 

High resolution DACs produce more detailed sound and more accurately. It exposes weakness in sound tracks. That's why I am hearing the limitations of CD tracks. If you don't hear this, your DAC isn't true high definition. Or you need to improve your hearing ability with Omega-3 DHA.

 

Computer is the best platform for high definition audio. It offers all sort of DSPs on the fly. I enjoy upsampling and equalizer as on-the-fly options so much.

 

Internal computer sound cards suffer from internal noise, mostly from disk drives. External USB DAC solves this problem.

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Given that there has never been a double-blind test that demonstrated one can reliably identify the difference between redbook and high res, if the differences you report are reproducible, it might be a good idea to pay attention to what PeterSt said, namely that something else has gone wrong in your playback chain (assuming these initial posts aren't just meant to establish your audiophile-snob credentials).

 

However, given the typical 3 letter username and low number of posts, I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest it is yet another hydrogen audio troll suffering from the boredom.

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Given that there has never been a double-blind test that demonstrated one can reliably identify the difference between redbook and high res,

 

High definition sounds definitely better. But you need to use "high definition" headphones to appreciate the difference. Notice that there are no "high definition" speakers! This is because that laws of physics do not allow high definition speakers. On speakers, you will have difficulty to differenciate between high definition over CDs.

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High definition sounds definitely better. But you need to use "high definition" headphones to appreciate the difference. Notice that there are no "high definition" speakers! This is because that laws of physics do not allow high definition speakers. On speakers, you will have difficulty to differenciate between high definition over CDs.

 

What are "high definition" headphones?

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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High definition sounds definitely better. But you need to use "high definition" headphones to appreciate the difference. Notice that there are no "high definition" speakers! This is because that laws of physics do not allow high definition speakers. On speakers, you will have difficulty to differenciate between high definition over CDs.

 

I Googled high definition headphones. First thing listed was Beats Solo HD. Are these what you consider "high definition" headphones?

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CD is still the most commonly available distribution format for PCM audio. Very little is available for purchase as downloadable PCM or DSD. So 1) buy CD (Amazon Prime 2 day shipping) with a 1-click, 2) insert into iTunes set to auto rip anything as lossless, 3) throw the CD in the giant box with all the other CDs.

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Superman headphones designed and manufactured in Krypton counterfeited by Dr Dre :)

 

That explains the weakness I feel every time I put them on.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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I use CDs:

1. CP transports sound better! I understand the theoretical advantage of not using a servo-motor and not relying on a single chance for reading the data right. I just got a new transport (Pro-ject CD box RS) and the difference got even bigger to what I can get out of my computer.

2. I like to get up and find a physical object instead of scrolling on a screen.

3. Much wider selection of music I am interested in is available on CD. Downloads and streaming is getting fast better but there is a long way to go! I found only 2 downloads which I could not get on disk.

4. I find ripping and especially correcting meta-data really boring!

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I listen to CDs because that was how music was available for many years after the demise of the cassette tape. CDs that are mastered well sound great.

 

Speaking of mastering, could it be that your DVDs were mastered with compression or other techniques that rely more on exaggeration than balance and subtlety?

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Hi,

I am new to here.

 

About 10 years ago when DVD was first introduced, I bought a multimedia laptop with high definition sound card. I noticed that the sound quality of music DVDs is significantly better than CDs. Once I got used to music DVD sound, CDs sound terrible. So I stop using CDs and thus stop buying them.

 

DVDs use 48khz sampling rate. It's just 9% more samples than CD's 44.1khz. DVDs can have 16, 20, 24 bits PCM tracks. But mostly 16 bits. Still sound is noticeably better. CDs sound somewhat like earphones! Especially female vocals are distorted. With DVDs, you can hear noticeable improvement.

 

I stopped using CDs long time ago. At the moment, I am limited to music DVDs. Some are in 24bits. Sound is quite nice. I listen using 24bits/192khz USB-DAC and headphones, normally upsampled to 24bits/96khz on-the-fly. I also found that high definition is better with headphones, over speakers. There are reasons that can be explained with laws of physics for this.

 

Starting from 16bits/48khz, I can hear all sort of sound, including sound characteristics of original media (=tape) and microphones, limitations/mistakes in original sound recording, sound localtion/distance, air/breath sound, etc. So the importance of recording quality. But it is difficult to find quality tracks.

 

Here's is an important question: Why some audiophiles still spend heaps of dollars to listen CD's disgusting sound? I would expect them moved away from CDs long time ago, because they are audiophiles. They can move to high-definition for better sound. Note that high definition doesn't require you to invest on expensive equipments. With honestly priced DAC and good headphones, you can enjoy high definition sound, of course, with your computer.

 

The problem I have is finding tracks with quality recording!

 

 

Most audiophiles still use CDs because it's the music that's important, and things like sound quality and "high-resolution" copies are secondary. It's good when a magnificent sounding hi-res re-issue can be found of one of our favorite performances, but we're rarely that lucky most of the time. Usually we have to just be happy with what's available. Sigh!

George

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I Googled high definition headphones. First thing listed was Beats Solo HD. Are these what you consider "high definition" headphones?

 

High definition headphones are low in demand. But they are more common than you might think. If you search google, "Sennheiser high definition" is in the suggestion list. This means that many people look for information on Sennheiser's high definition headphones. Then google will give you a bunch of "HD" series headphones. I think HD stands for High Definition. Other major manufacturers should have similar competing phones.

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High resolution DACs produce more detailed sound and more accurately. It exposes weakness in sound tracks. That's why I am hearing the limitations of CD tracks. If you don't hear this, your DAC isn't true high definition.

 

Oops. Never thought about that.

 

Sadly it is the other way around. When you have everything on par to some degree, it will be clearly audible how 99% of hires is completely flawed (edit : almost always).

And you know, this discussion is a bit behind us by now. At first everybody (ok, but me) had the clear idea that hires sounded better in all cases. Until someone started to make spectral plots of them and next the same people got placeboed the other way around. What doesn't look good won't sound good.

And it just is so.

 

But never mind, because what I told you right from the start : you don't want to hear this anyway. But keeping up your point of view comes across quite silly. To me it does.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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