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Tidal hi-fi vs CD rips....My opinion


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tboooe

1m

So last night I compared some Tidal albums with the same ones I have in my CD collection ripped to uncompressed FLAC. I will say Tidal sounds pretty good. The big difference I hear is Tidal songs have more a digital edge to them. I won't call them bright but there is definitely more high freq energy than my CD rips. I notice I can't listen to music at the same volumes. The other big difference I hear is in vocals. My rips have a fuller, more 3d image. Tidal by comparison has a flatter presentation with vocals. This makes me wonder if the regular quality service would be any different than Tidal hi-fi? Has anyone compared?

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Tboooe,

 

I'm not sure that there fully identical binary content. May be the stream service have other sources, than your CDs? As example, converted from masters other software or remastered.

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I had an undergraduate student do a project on this last year. Of the 95 songs compared (only one song per album was used), 91 were bit identical to available CD. The others were clearly from different sources(though not necessarily worse, in blind testing it was 2-2 for what version was preferred, but only by the tiniest of margins in each case). She attempted to find the source for the Tidal version, but neither Tidal, nor the label responded.

 

Songs were not selected randomly, it was based on what CDs she, her friends, myself, and others in the department had readily available. So, the sample may not be representative, but given the variety of music, and the fact that they were purchased by multiple people, I would say the selection was psuedo-random.

 

Since a vast majority are bit-identical, any perceived difference could only be due to network errors in the stream, or bias.

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Since a vast majority are bit-identical, any perceived difference could only be due to network errors in the stream, or bias.

 

I suppose, what unrecognized network errors have significantly lower probability, than CD reading errors.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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tboooe

1m

So last night I compared some Tidal albums with the same ones I have in my CD collection ripped to uncompressed FLAC. I will say Tidal sounds pretty good. The big difference I hear is Tidal songs have more a digital edge to them. I won't call them bright but there is definitely more high freq energy than my CD rips. I notice I can't listen to music at the same volumes. The other big difference I hear is in vocals. My rips have a fuller, more 3d image. Tidal by comparison has a flatter presentation with vocals. This makes me wonder if the regular quality service would be any different than Tidal hi-fi? Has anyone compared?

 

Try buying the same master as a Tidal download in FLAC and comparing it to your rip,

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Try buying the same master as a Tidal download in FLAC and comparing it to your rip,

 

Super dumb question...how do I purchase an album in Tidal. I've just looked through the site and software and I dont see a way to do this.

 

EDIT...have to go to tidal.com/store

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Yes not dumb question at all , Tidal dont make it easy..pretty dumb of Tidal..

 

They definitely need to fix that. Being able to easily purchase an album would make the artists happy happy.

But......Bon Jovi's latest in flac...$25.19? Ouch. Guess that house IS for sale.

David

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I had an undergraduate student do a project on this last year. Of the 95 songs compared (only one song per album was used), 91 were bit identical to available CD. The others were clearly from different sources(though not necessarily worse, in blind testing it was 2-2 for what version was preferred, but only by the tiniest of margins in each case). She attempted to find the source for the Tidal version, but neither Tidal, nor the label responded.

 

Songs were not selected randomly, it was based on what CDs she, her friends, myself, and others in the department had readily available. So, the sample may not be representative, but given the variety of music, and the fact that they were purchased by multiple people, I would say the selection was psuedo-random.

 

Since a vast majority are bit-identical, any perceived difference could only be due to network errors in the stream, or bias.

 

what dept.?

 

and do you have access to a nice listening room in the music dept.? it could be stuffed full of students for a double blind listening test...

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I had an undergraduate student do a project on this last year. Of the 95 songs compared (only one song per album was used), 91 were bit identical to available CD. The others were clearly from different sources(though not necessarily worse, in blind testing it was 2-2 for what version was preferred, but only by the tiniest of margins in each case). She attempted to find the source for the Tidal version, but neither Tidal, nor the label responded.

 

Songs were not selected randomly, it was based on what CDs she, her friends, myself, and others in the department had readily available. So, the sample may not be representative, but given the variety of music, and the fact that they were purchased by multiple people, I would say the selection was psuedo-random.

 

Since a vast majority are bit-identical, any perceived difference could only be due to network errors in the stream, or bias.

 

What a GREAT project and fantastic post, thank you.

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