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Using a CD Transport to Rip CDs?

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I know it might be over-kill and the experts here will probably say that the resulting FLAC file no mater how it was converted,

will compare the same. Is that actually true? Has anyone experimented with a higher quality CD reader other than a computer's drive?


I was thinking about... (thinking about) trying the new Cambridge Audio CXC transport to do this. I can get it on a 60-day

trial so I was thinking it it works "better" is could be worth the $499.


However, the unit only has two digital outs. Would it be possible to hook this to a PC with a digital in and somehow point

JRiver to it as the input device?


Back to original thesis, would it result in a better FLAC file?





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The issue here is that the built-in computer drive is ripping the disc as digital data to make a bit-perfect copy (with the right software) while that external transport is playing the disc in real time and will encorporate more (and, potentially, compromising) operations in the playback.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile


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Kal's right; getting an accurate copy should not be a problem with any properly-functioning CD drive, assuming that the disk is clean and undamaged. To be absolutely sure, you can use software like dBpoweramp with the AccurateRip feature.


You may have seen the debate here about whether the overhead involved in de-compressing FLAC files during playback can affect sound quality. (My own experience is that it can.) If you are looking for maximum SQ, you might rip the CDs as uncompressed (that's UNcompressed, not low-level compression) FLACs. dBpoweramp can do this, and there may be other programs as well.

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Thanks guys for your input. I guess (later) for the CXC.

I can purchase dBPowerAmp to get/try (UNcompression) but I already have a copy of JRiver.

Does anyone know off the top of their heads if JRiver has this feature?


You can do uncompressed FLAC with JRMC but it does not include AccurateRip.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile


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Yes any CD drive should be able to extract 100% of the data from a CD. We use high quality TEAC drives in our microJukebox to make it easier to rip scratched CDs in less time and also so the drive is still running after you have ripped 1000s of CDs but a lower quality drive should work just as well.


The microJukebox also has the ability to auto mirror your collection to AIFF if you want uncompressed or mp3 (for your car or iPod)


Small Green Computer


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