Originally Posted by SO74
Hello everyone. I recently became very interested in high end audio equipment and I am looking to get new high end headphones with an amp and dac. I understand that if you want to make the most out of your music you should use lossless files such as FLAC, ALAC etc. However, I have a huge itunes library of AAC and MP3 files downloaded from iTunes. It will cost too much for me to download music from websites that have FLAC/ ALAC files because I would be downloading around 5000 songs and those websites are expensive. These websites also don't have all the songs and artists I want. I am aware that converting mp3 to alac will just make the file bigger and won't improve sq but will changing the quality of mp3 improve sq. will i hear a difference between mp3 and lossless
I would say start with a **lot** of in-house auditioning, and bring your own tracks, MP3 and CD. If you've been using computer desktop speakers, earbuds, cheaper earphones, etc., you're going to get a lot more bang for the buck on the front end improving your playback equipment, than by purchasing different file formats. Even doing just 20% of your song collection could come to $2000. You can buy some **awfully** nice headphones/amps/speakers with that kind of cash.
If you hear a big difference in the stores on high-end equipment between your MP3s and higher-resolution formats you'd rather have, then one thing you can do are start with used CD's--see what's online, in stores, eBay, etc. Prioritize by what you want most, and what truly needs CD to sound its best.