I ripped and encoded most of my CDs to .FLAC files a while ago. My laptop is connected to my CD player through a USB 2 cable and it has an upsampling DAC. When I play CDs in my CD player, the sound quality is usually much better with greater dynamic range, smoother transients, sharper attack, longer decay, and much more focused pace, rhythm, and timing than when I play the same music from the .FLAC file. In fact, .FLAC files sound lifeless and dull compared to the original CD.
I have tested hundreds of CDs versus the .FLAC files for several months and I am puzzled as to why this is the same outcome.
There should be no difference in sound quality between the original CD and the .FLAC files for the same music while using the same CD player and DAC. Yet, the CD sounds much more vivid and it sounds softer and more refined compared to .FLAC files which have a hardness to the sound and they lack the same emotional impact compared to the original CD.
Why is this so?
Am I hearing things that should not be?