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in your experience flac files always bettered mp3 files


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Hi all

 

i'm nearly new to this forum ,an don't want to put up a flame ,only share experience .

 

I'm 54 ,so ihave a lot of vynil;then came cd :never took my heart,but since then ,i noticed that sometimes cd sounded

 

better than my vynil copy ;overall vynil sounded better than cd , but i realized that there were too much variabilities,

 

and always found sterile the fight between digital and analogue .

 

Then came Pc music ,with dacs ,media players ,os,and so on :much more interesting ,and much analogies with the old

 

analogue way of tunning your gear.

 

So ,to make a long story short,like in the old days happened to me that sometimes what on the chart should sound

 

worst ,sounded better .

 

I'm only getting deaf ,or something like that occurred to you ?

 

Only to be sharp :i've several preamplifier (audible illusion ,c-j pr 3 and 17ls,convergent sl1 ,fisher 400cx2 ,mc intosh mx 110

 

pioneer spec1 and others)several power amplifier (threshold sa3,c-j mv 50 ,audioinnovation,fisher integrated valve amplifiers,

 

ecc)several cd players (linn ,naim ,audio analogue )3 pc's,two dacs ,and so on

 

ciao

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My experience is limited and I didn't have a *serious* vinyl setup, but it was ok. Music Hall table with a McCormick preamp, said to have a very good phono section. I'm sure with the right vinyl it would have kicked my digital collection's proverbial ass in some respects, but what I found is that you're just as likely to get a crappy, compressed master on new vinyl these days as you are on a CD. So, the amazing vinyl rips I've heard (sourced from very good masters and using very good analog-to-digital rigs) - and before anyone gripes, these rips are from CDs I own, sometimes many times over - were far superior to the actual vinyl on the turntable. Now, if I was able to find mint condition original vinyl releases the story may have been different. As with all things, just trust your ears. Even if the guy or lady next to you disagrees, they can't dictate what you prefer.

Ryzen 3900x Roon Core PC -> Intel i9900k HQPlayer W10 machine -> iFi Zen Stream NAA

Holo May KTE, Benchmark LA4 preamp

SMC Audio upgraded DNA-125 Amp

Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum speakers

Vinyl rig - Schiit Sol, Nagaoka MP-500, Mod Squad PhonoDrive phono stage

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My experience is limited and I didn't have a *serious* vinyl setup, but it was ok. Music Hall table with a McCormick preamp, said to have a very good phono section. I'm sure with the right vinyl it would have kicked my digital collection's proverbial ass in some respects, but what I found is that you're just as likely to get a crappy, compressed master on new vinyl these days as you are on a CD. So, the amazing vinyl rips I've heard (sourced from very good masters and using very good analog-to-digital rigs) - and before anyone gripes, these rips are from CDs I own, sometimes many times over - were far superior to the actual vinyl on the turntable. Now, if I was able to find mint condition original vinyl releases the story may have been different. As with all things, just trust your ears. Even if the guy or lady next to you disagrees, they can't dictate what you prefer.

 

 

That's a good point :what matters is a good master first ,then format may add a little liveness to music .

 

For example ihave an Mp3 file from Romulo Froes (Barulo frejo is the title ;for free on his site ) at 48 khz that sound excellent .

 

The problem is the native master:if it is analogue you can make it an Sacd or a 24 /192 file ,but it'll never sound

like the vynil or tape copy .

 

Viceversa for digital masters

 

Thank you for sharing

 

Ps:you can put lipstick on a pig ,but still remains a pig .

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Given the same mastering, a FLAC should never sound worse than an MP3 (through the same replay chain) however a MP3 can sound as good (IMO).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Given the same mastering, a FLAC should never sound worse than an MP3 (through the same replay chain) however a MP3 can sound as good (IMO).

 

Yes ,i agree ,and that's the point :mp3 often sound good as a flac ,and it takes less space .

 

Does it worth the hassle to have so large and heavy files ?(in case of Hd files )

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Yes ,i agree ,and that's the point :mp3 often sound good as a flac ,and it takes less space .

 

Does it worth the hassle to have so large and heavy files ?(in case of Hd files )

Personally I think FLAC (or Apple Lossless or AIFF or WAV) is worth the space as its a time consuming labour intensive task to rip the CD in the first place, but once you have a lossless version of the CD you can convert that to another format with a few mouse clicks (even if you then have to wait for the computer to process you can step away and leave it to process 10,000 tracks).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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To Audio Elf :yes i did the same when i rip Cd's,but when i download sometimes Iwonder if....

 

for example :when you buy a file from bandcamp they allow you to download both flac and Mp3

 

formats (and Alac too);yes my friends and i notice differences,someone (double blind )prefer

 

one format and and the other may agree or not (even between Flac and alac virtually the same )

 

As Eloise says it's a tricky game and being open minded preserve you from prejudice .

 

And again with Eloise :everything may matter :i found that a certain dac works better with that Os on that Pc

 

and another one (regardless from price ,obviously in a clever range of price )better with another system (Pc ,Os ).

 

And sometimes you can hardly find the reason why.

 

I think it's the never ending game of audiophilia (or better of musicophilia )

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I have listened to a lot of lossless files that had serious aliasing between 20-22 kHz. The MP3 encoding filters out those frequencies, so I have made MP3, Vorbis and wma files that sounded better than the AIFF they were made from. This is one of the main reasons I started exploring different filters for upsampling.

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I have listened to a lot of lossless files that had serious aliasing between 20-22 kHz. The MP3 encoding filters out those frequencies, so I have made MP3, Vorbis and wma files that sounded better than the AIFF they were made from. This is one of the main reasons I started exploring different filters for upsampling.

 

This is very very interesting ;anytime i listen to losless flac ,expecially with hi res (for example 24/96)i hear something strange ,

 

like the sound is smearing ,out of focus ,with les strenght on transient ,in a word less natural ;at first it seems more

 

pleasent with more depth ,but it is so unnatural that the sound becomes ftiguing ;i have the feeling that my brain

 

is always seeking for something missing .

 

This sensation is alwas there,no way you change system (i have four systems running at different degrees ),cables ,

 

preamplifier ,amplifier ,Dac,etcetera.

 

Maybe aliasing is a good point to start with ;i found the same sensation trying oversampling files .

 

That happened with several Dac(Meridian director explorer,mytech,audioresearch ,mark levinson )

 

Anyone else?

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This is very very interesting ;anytime i listen to losless flac ,expecially with hi res (for example 24/96)i hear something strange ,

 

like the sound is smearing ,out of focus ,with les strenght on transient ,in a word less natural ;at first it seems more

 

pleasent with more depth ,but it is so unnatural that the sound becomes ftiguing ;i have the feeling that my brain

 

is always seeking for something missing .

 

I find exactly the same. However, as I further improve the power supply area in my PC, and save the files to an SSD powered via a +12V to 5V regulator I.C. the difference becomes much less. The degradation appears to be due to low level RF/EMI masking to some extent, the low level higher order harmonics. If the downloaded high res .flac files are converted to wav but saved to a more electrically quiet storage medium, the resulting .wav file then sounds quite a bit better than the original downloaded .flac file played from it's original HDD. The .wav file saved on the SSD also sounds better again than the conversion to .wav on the original HDD.

This is particularly noticeable re the softening of transients with the well recorded 24/96 "Claire Martin-Too Darn Hot" album that I downloaded from Linn in 2008.

 

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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This is particularly noticeable re the softening of transients with the well recorded 24/96 "Claire Martin-Too Darn Hot" album that I downloaded from Linn in 2008.

 

Regards

Alex

 

"Well recorded 24/96"? Wasn't that recorded at 44.1 kHz PCM, then converted to DSD, then converted to 96 kHz PCM to be sold as hi-res to the gullible?

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"Well recorded 24/96"? Wasn't that recorded at 44.1 kHz PCM, then converted to DSD, then converted to 96 kHz PCM to be sold as hi-res to the gullible?

 

DSD (not just SACD) in 2008? Perhaps you found out the hard way ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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"Well recorded 24/96"? Wasn't that recorded at 44.1 kHz PCM, then converted to DSD, then converted to 96 kHz PCM to be sold as hi-res to the gullible?

 

Sure looks like it:

 

06 - Too Darn Hot.m4a_report.png

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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Sure looks like it:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]19479[/ATTACH]

 

I see no evidence of that using Sound Forge 9.

According to Linn , it was Studio Master FLAC 24bit 96kHz 1,231.2MB, and I have seen no reports of false claims from Linn about the provenance of their material, unlike some other suppliers. There is very little much above 19kHz in this recording, which doesn't have too many other instruments playing, but concentrates on her voice mainly.

This particular recording was much cleaner sounding too, than the other Claire Martin recordings which I have heard, but didn't purchase.

Normally, you will see an almost flat line at 22 kHz when the original was an RBCD recording, then upsampled.

Lack of much HF detail above 20kHz means 5/8 of S.F.A. in recordings of this type.

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I imagine you're not using the software correctly. Show us a screenshot.

 

I am using SF9 correctly, and I will repeat that there was very little above 19kHz. There wasn't your typical flat line at approx. 22kHz. Yes , there is quite a bit of wideband noise showing, especially in the right channel, so it may have been converted, but NOT from RB CD. The almost straight line is at approx. 19,059kHz with a few peaks to 22,236kHz.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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[…] and I have seen no reports of false claims from Linn about the provenance of their material, unlike some other suppliers.

Linn haven’t made false claims about provenance. In particular, as far as I’m aware, they have never claimed anything about the original sampling rate of the Too Damned Hot recordings.

Five other Linn albums suspected of having been converted from 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz PCM to DSD are noted at Archimago's Musings: LIST: Suspected 44 or 48kHz PCM upsampled SACDs.

I am using SF9 correctly, and I will repeat that there was very little above 19kHz. There wasn't your typical flat line at approx. 22kHz. Yes , there is quite a bit of wideband noise showing, especially in the right channel, so it may have been converted, but NOT from RB CD. The almost straight line is at approx. 19,059kHz with a few peaks to 22,236kHz.

 

I don't know why you won't post a screenshot, and I didn't say RB CD - that implies 16-bit.

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Five other Linn albums suspected of having been converted from 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz PCM to DSD are noted at Archimago's Musings: LIST: Suspected 44 or 48kHz PCM upsampled SACDs.

Linn haven’t made false claims about provenance. In particular, as far as I’m aware, they have never claimed anything about the original sampling rate of the Too Damned Hot recordings.

I don't know why you won't post a screenshot, and I didn't say RB CD - that implies 16-bit.

 

The demanding tone of your previous reply, and lingering memories of the "old" Goldsdad.

Neither do I have I have any interest in Archimago and his anti Audiophile/anti High Res rants either.

P.S.

I reduced the range covered to 48kHz instead of 96kHz to make the Frequency markings more obvious. Click on the image, then click again on the resulting new image.

 

77LZQm.jpg

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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The demanding tone of your previous reply, and lingering memories of the "old" Goldsdad.

Neither do I have I have any interest in Archimago and his anti Audiophile/anti High Res rants either.

P.S.

I reduced the range covered to 48kHz instead of 96kHz to make the Frequency markings more obvious. Click on the image, then click again on the resulting new image.

 

77LZQm.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the image, and apologies for the demanding tone.

 

The spectrogram is very low detail (probably due to parameters being set for speed rather than clarity), but it looks suspiciously like a 44.1 kHz fs PCM source that had been very steeply filtered at about 19 kHz was converted to DSD (for SACD production), then the DSD was converted to 96 kHz fs PCM for sale as a download.

 

Interestingly, there's a hint of a band of dither from about 16 to 22 kHz. Might be some other noise, though.

 

 

 

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The spectrogram is very low detail (probably due to parameters being set for speed rather than clarity), but it looks suspiciously like a 44.1 kHz fs PCM source that had been very steeply filtered at about 19 kHz was converted to DSD (for SACD production), then the DSD was converted to 96 kHz fs PCM for sale as a download.

 

I agree. This may have been "well recorded 24/96" at one time but the download that Linn sells isn't. It is almost certainly a conversion from DSD. The high-frequency information you see in the image I uploaded is a dead giveaway.

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 agree. This may have been "well recorded 24/96" at one time but the download that Linn sells isn't. It is almost certainly a conversion from DSD. The high-frequency information you see in the image I uploaded is a dead giveaway.

I'm not sure Tom ... usually where Linn are converting from DSD they convert to 88.2 so a 24/96 would indicate its not passed through DSD.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
I find exactly the same. However, as I further improve the power supply area in my PC, and save the files to an SSD powered via a +12V to 5V regulator I.C. the difference becomes much less. The degradation appears to be due to low level RF/EMI masking to some extent, the low level higher order harmonics. If the downloaded high res .flac files are converted to wav but saved to a more electrically quiet storage medium, the resulting .wav file then sounds quite a bit better than the original downloaded .flac file played from it's original HDD. The .wav file saved on the SSD also sounds better again than the conversion to .wav on the original HDD.

This is particularly noticeable re the softening of transients with the well recorded 24/96 "Claire Martin-Too Darn Hot" album that I downloaded from Linn in 2008.

 

Regards

Alex

 

 

That's what i suspected ;in fact i use a dedicated Pc for music (HP envy 15)and always put my files on external HD or Usb

 

(have you noticed that some pens drive "sound "better?)to have the less demanding work on pc and avoid interfereces

 

like you mentioned ;i thougt of a SSD two weeks ago:i think i will give a try .

 

Do you use EAC to convert .flac files to Wav?What do you use to external power your SSD?

 

Thank you all for your kind and competent posts ;i have less technical knowledge on digital than you and you are helping

 

to clarify my doubts(i'm basically a tube guy!)

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I'm not sure Tom ... usually where Linn are converting from DSD they convert to 88.2 so a 24/96 would indicate its not passed through DSD.

 

It may be true that this is what Linn usually does but I've looked at hundreds of high rez files using MusicScope and this one sure looks like a conversion from DSD.

 

For example, here is Fever by Carmen Gomez (Sound Liaison recording) in PCM format:

 

fever-carmen-gomes_true_aiff.png

 

Here is the same file converted to DSD:

 

fever-carmen-gomes-inc.dsf.png

 

Note the energy levels in the upper end of the frequency spectrum and the fact that similar energy levels are found in the Linn file:

 

06 - Too Darn Hot.m4a_report.png

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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