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aleisend
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I have been going back-and-forth on whether I actually need a CD player since all of what I listen to now is digital. But I have about 500 CDs or so, some of which I don't have on the hard drive.

 

The used CD players i've been looking at are all huge and I'm worried that they used ones might have age related problems. Also space is a premium and I'd like to find a slim/low-profile one if possible ideally in the $200-$300 range.

 

That being said if I can find an affordable quality media server (functionally along the lines of Sony's Hi-Res players) in the $500-$600 range I can justify taking up more space on my desk since I can rip all the CDs. In theory building my own set up would be fun but given that I have two kids in this case I need something that will work basically out of the box.

 

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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I think you've answered your own question. Rip all your CD's to the hard drive in a lossless format, and put the CD's into storage. A bit-perfect CD rip can potentially sound better than a CD played on a mechanical CD player. There are many front-end options, either through computer audio or a modern digital server/DAC, but this is clearly the way forward.

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Any recommendations for an affordable setup? My MacBook Pro doesn't have a CD drive. I could just buy an external one and some big hard drives but i'd like something a little more consolidated if possible.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

As you know, there are digital music servers that can rip CD's, have 4TB of internal storage, built-in hi-res DAC's, and can stream music wirelessly, but they are expensive.

 

If your really want to do this on the cheap, assuming that you are using your MBP as your digital front-end, all you need is an external Apple SuperDrive for $79, and a bus-powered, portable 1TB or 2TB external HD that is not much bigger than of a deck of cards, and costs less than $100. You obviously don't need to keep the SuperDrive connected to your computer after you've ripped your CD's, and you can fit more than a thousand albums on a 1TB HDD in lossless, redbook format.

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Some servers have a CD slot where they can rip, an appliance, it's much an automated process as anything. The price climbs of course, not an easy path.

 

A portable BD/DVD drive connected to your computer will be fine to rip, these are inexpensive. You can use HQPlayer to play CDs if you want to from the portable drive, but don't expect a great performance, but certainly better than a cheap CD player on its own.

At the moment, any digital playback I try, the spinning disc does sound better, it depends how much money you throw at either system.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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At the moment, any digital playback I try, the spinning disc does sound better, it depends how much money you throw at either system.

 

Incidentally, if dire misfortune strikes me, loosing all my collected Hi-Fi, to start again, I'd first audition the PCM-optimised Melody Media M-CR611 (MSRP $699) :

2_1.jpg

26.jpg

38_2.jpg

 

Or' date=' the-[i']other[/i]-approach, auditioning the new MusicLink two-piece :

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Incidentally' date=' if [i']dire misfortune[/i] strikes me, loosing all my collected Hi-Fi, to start again, I'd first audition the PCM-optimised Melody Media M-CR611 (MSRP $699) :

 

Or, the-other-approach, auditioning the new MusicLink two-piece :

 

It looks like a lot of the options already have amps and dacs built into them. I guess even the Sony Hi-Res player does too. I'd like to try and limit the duplication of functions in my set up...so maybe just a big NAS or RAID setup is the way to go?

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Any recommendations for an affordable setup? My MacBook Pro doesn't have a CD drive. I could just buy an external one and some big hard drives but i'd like something a little more consolidated if possible.

 

 

I've been using my external Mac CD drive. No issues.

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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It looks like a lot of the options already have amps and dacs built into them. I guess even the Sony Hi-Res player does too. I'd like to try and limit the duplication of functions in my set up...so maybe just a big NAS or RAID setup is the way to go?

 

After a while, commenting in public forums gets kinda holistic. I was going beyond your specifics, engaging into a wider issue and agreeing with One and a half, that CD-wise, I'd get a disc player for my music collection.

 

Achieving a certain quality in computer audio can be complicated, recalling :

What my friend' date=' Karl-Heinz Fink, a respected speakers consultant, just publicly shared :

« Difficult: After some weeks for playing with my Computer Audio in our listening room, I finally got a version I like a lot. So my final system (for now) is a MacMini, 2009 with the old outside power supply, El Capitan, 8GB memory and a 64 GB SSD for the OS. Playback software is Audirvana with remote control via IPAD. The hardrive is a 6TB Firewire 800.....makes the USB port free for the Audio streaming. The MacMini runs on a linear power supply we made in house...HUGE difference compared to the SMPS that came with the Mac. Even the hard drive runs on a linear power supply (Conrad, 12V 2A around 55€) I'm 100% sure, SMPS are evil and responsible for a lot of problems in a Computer Audio setup. The computer connects via the QED top USB cable to a Wired4Sound USB signal conditioner. The conditioner runs on a linear power supply (BOTW). The QED has a Ferrite sleeve and was the best choice on the computer side. Next device is a MUTEC De-Clocker - the best invention since sliced bread for Computer Audio. It also converts DSD to PCM (sounds better than using no MUTEC into my DAC with DSD support). The cable in between is a Audioquest Diamond (hard to beat !) and the 5V power is decoupled with a BOTW adapter, as MUTEC uses the 5V for the input block. SPDIF with a Walter Fuchs special digital cable connects to a AURELIC Vega DAC. Sounds complicated? Yes, it was complicated. More complicated than analog :( »

13659113_1077475252306828_7925687247177168140_n.jpg?oh=b90aea327d10dba8e6fbc799ecc777bf&oe=57EC4469&__gda__=1476219618_92774c86790d5a49ef57866e267a3685

 

And details of his recent design, FinkTeam WM-3 Loudspeakers

So, if I had to start again, perhaps I won't bother with USB-B, going instead with an all-in-one M-CR611's features of CD, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth...

 

What does your current system setup involve ?

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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After a while' date=' commenting in [i']public[/i] forums gets kinda holistic. I was going beyond your specifics, engaging into a wider issue and agreeing with One and a half, that CD-wise, I'd get a disc player for my music collection.

 

Achieving a certain quality in computer audio can be complicated, recalling :

 

So, if I had to start again, perhaps I won't bother with USB-B, going instead with an all-in-one M-CR611's features of CD, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth...

 

What does your current system setup involve ?

 

That is a pretty badass system! My system is this:

Macbook Pro (2015)-->Musical Fidelity V90 DAC-->Little Dot MKII Tube Preamp-->NAD C326BEE-->Master and Dynamic MH40s or Polk M40 II's.

 

In regards to my storage and software, I basically nuked my library about a year ago and have been rebuilding the library since then with a little more thought and care. For simplicity's sake I have everything in ALAC format at 24/48 (where possible) and run it through iTunes. It all fits on the internal SSD drive but if i rip my CDs i will blow past that very quickly.

 

I also have a Sonos Amp running into the DAC as well, but since Sonos can't stream high bit rate songs it is about useless unless i'm streaming Pandora or something (which i do frequently with my kids)

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aleisend, thanks for more details, I trust others too will soon offer their thoughts on steps to better optimise and build with what you've already got :)

A quick couple of observations from me, how are you connecting your MacBook Pro to MF V90 ? It's generally accepted that USB connectivity isn't always properly implemented by manufacturers, needing additional remedies.

 

MusicalFidelityV90back.jpg

And ripping CDs, 16/44.1 is the perfect lossless setting

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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@duxservit - so basically you just rip the CDs with the external CD drive to an external hard drive connected to your computer and then play it through itunes or jriver or something?

 

Correct. My MacBookPro has 2 USB ports, one on the left side and another on the right. My external CD drive goes in one, while my external 1TB drive goes in the other USB port.

 

I have JRiver and Audirvana+ on that Mac. Also have a newer Mac for work with A+. So the external portable 1TB comes in handy.

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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aleisend' date=' thanks for more details, I trust others too will soon offer their thoughts on steps to better optimise and build with what you've already got :)[/font']

A quick couple of observations from me, how are you connecting your MacBook Pro to MF V90 ? It's generally accepted that USB connectivity isn't always properly implemented by manufacturers, needing additional remedies.

 

MusicalFidelityV90back.jpg

And ripping CDs, 16/44.1 is the perfect lossless setting

 

I have my MacBook connected to the DAC with an AudioQuest Forest USB cable and the Sonos connected to it with an optical cable. I would love to streamline my setup if possible.

 

Re: ripping CDs why is that the perfect setting?

 

And I still have all these CDs to deal with too![emoji12]

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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I would love to streamline my setup if possible.

 

Re: ripping CDs why is that the perfect setting?

 

And I still have all these CDs to deal with too![emoji12]

 

« The [Audio CD] format is a two-channel 16-bit PCM encoding at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate per channel. »

Have you been ripping CDs with iTunes ? Their latest 12.4.3.1 version only allows Automatic with Apple Lossless Encoder, so, that won't beget you 24/48 rips.

 

 

Incidentally, reading about your V90-DAC, Musical Fidelity says :

 

  • 32bit DAC

  • 24bit 192kHz re-clocking and up-sampling on all inputs

 

And part of their bold description :

« The V90-DAC has a balance of measurements: distortion, noise, linearity, bandwidth, and phase, which in their totality are not significantly bettered by any product at any price.

 

If you hunt around, you may find the occasional DAC that claims to have slightly better performance than the V90-DAC in one area or another, but in totality will not exceed it. There are plenty of competitors shouting about their new, wonderful version of the emperor’s new clothes, but they offer little or nothing in real performance to back up their claims. Just lots of talk about subjective this or that, but all of it is just a matter of opinion.

 

The V90-DAC is a matter of fact. Its technical and sonic performance is superlative. There are better DACs but they may cost twenty or thirty times more.

 

Buying the V90-DAC is your personal statement of independence from overhyped claims. »

 

 

Simply, I've a few CD players that would take a much more rigorously assembled computer audio setup to beat for musicality.

 

And I believe musicality, for beginners' enjoyment, is achieved easier in all-in-ones. Think how even each interconnect potentially flavours the sound ! What kind of dish one ends up with when...

 

 

Anyhow, specifically, your Little Dot MKII Tube Preamp allows only your V90 :D.JPG

 

And, interestingly, this is the internal view of your V90 :

MF_v90-dac_internal_audioteka.jpg

 

 

Well, do you live near Hi-Fi dealers where you can visit to audition say something like the M-CR611 that's integrated with a CD player ? How well would your favourite CDs (and other portable digital files) sound in the latest all-in-one ? Perhaps if it sounds better, you can subsequently sell off what you don't need

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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« The [Audio CD] format is a two-channel 16-bit PCM encoding at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate per channel. »

Have you been ripping CDs with iTunes ? Their latest 12.4.3.1 version only allows Automatic with Apple Lossless Encoder' date=' so, that won't beget you 24/48 rips.

 

 

Incidentally, reading about your V90-DAC, Musical Fidelity says :

 

  • 32bit DAC

  • 24bit 192kHz re-clocking and up-sampling on all inputs

 

And part of their bold description :

« The V90-DAC has a balance of measurements: distortion, noise, linearity, bandwidth, and phase, which in their totality are not significantly bettered by any product at any price.

 

If you hunt around, you may find the occasional DAC that claims to have slightly better performance than the V90-DAC in one area or another, but in totality will not exceed it. There are plenty of competitors shouting about their new, wonderful version of the emperor’s new clothes, but they offer little or nothing in real performance to back up their claims. Just lots of talk about subjective this or that, but all of it is just a matter of opinion.

 

The V90-DAC is a matter of fact. Its technical and sonic performance is superlative. There are better DACs but they may cost twenty or thirty times more.

 

Buying the V90-DAC is your personal statement of independence from overhyped claims. »

 

 

Simply, I've a few CD players that would take a much more rigorously assembled computer audio setup to beat for musicality.

 

And I believe musicality, for beginners' enjoyment, is achieved easier in all-in-ones. Think how even each interconnect potentially flavours the sound ! What kind of dish one ends up with when...

 

 

Anyhow, specifically, your Little Dot MKII Tube Preamp allows only your V90 :D.JPG

 

And, interestingly, this is the internal view of your V90 :

MF_v90-dac_internal_audioteka.jpg

 

 

Well, do you live near Hi-Fi dealers where you can visit to audition say something like the M-CR611 that's integrated with a CD player ? How well would your favourite CDs (and other portable digital files) sound in the latest all-in-one ? Perhaps if it sounds better, you can subsequently sell off what you don't need

 

When I do rip it is with XLD directly into 24/48 ALAC. I was using Media Human, but XLD is much better and more powerful too, i've found, and the price it right! And the all in one is definitely appealing, though as i said before i'd like to limit the duplication of functions if possible..i.e. i already spent a lot of money on my NAD C326BEE (which has multiple inputs too, which i like) and i'd like to go through that until i'm ready to upgrade that unit.

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When I do rip it is with XLD directly into 24/48 ALAC.

 

If you are ripping CDs, this is not recommended as the data on CDs is limited to 16/44.1.

 

All XLD does in this case is pad the file with blank data and the resulting file is roughly twice as large as it needs to be.

 

I suggest that you set the ALAC Sample Rate and Bit Depth options in XLD to "Same as original".

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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If you are ripping CDs, this is not recommended as the data on CDs is limited to 16/44.1.

 

All XLD does in this case is pad the file with blank data and the resulting file is roughly twice as large as it needs to be.

 

I suggest that you set the ALAC Sample Rate and Bit Depth options in XLD to "Same as original".

 

What about when converting from FLAC?

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What about when converting from FLAC?

 

Yup.

 

This will allow a lossless conversion between FLAC and ALAC without worrying about whether the FLAC file is a CD rip (16/44.1) or a higher resolution format (such as a 24/44.1, 24/48, 24/88.2, 24/96, or 24/192 download).

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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Yup.

 

This will allow a lossless conversion between FLAC and ALAC without worrying about whether the FLAC file is a CD rip (16/44.1) or a higher resolution format (such as a 24/44.1, 24/48, 24/88.2, 24/96, or 24/192 download).

 

The problem there is that I can't play it on my iphone then which is how I take part of my library with me in the car. However if I download a FLAC file that is 24/96 and convert it to a 24/48 ALAC it will play through my iphone (and in my car). That's one of the main reasons I use ALAC as my go-to format.

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The problem there is that I can't play it on my iphone then which is how I take part of my library with me in the car. However if I download a FLAC file that is 24/96 and convert it to a 24/48 ALAC it will play through my iphone (and in my car). That's one of the main reasons I use ALAC as my go-to format.

 

Makes sense. I do the same for my iPhone.

 

You just don't want to keep the XLD settings at 24/48 when ripping CDs or converting CDs in FLAC format to ALAC unless disk space (and phone space) really isn't an issue for you.

 

For example, I just test ripped a CD track for comparison. The 16/44.1 file is 30.4 MB and the 24/48 file is 58.4 MB (almost double in size with no improvement in quality).

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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