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Which Sounds Better? - ALAC, FLAC, AIFF or WAV - Page 3

post #31 of 36

I'm going to jump in here, and sort of raise a comment/question.  

 

I've just been ripping several high quality (i.e., well recorded 16/44) CDs from Harmonia Mundi Italy, and found that on Exact Audio Copy, my compressed rips, which I think are still in WAV, are noticeably distorted on high tone vocals and complex passages.  So I re-ripped now in uncompressed WAV format and there's absolutely no noticeable distortion.  In fact the same songs sound fantastic through my system (HRT HD, Schiit Magni, Beyer Dt990 pro). The DAC is really important here, and I didn't notice such a difference before I upgraded to this particular DAC. (Of course I didn't notice a lot of things before I got this DAC, but that's for another section of this forum).  

 

Anyone else notice this?  I'm not a tech guy, but I can tell you what I'm hearing, and I'm 100% sure about it.  It could be that simply the software used to compress these files introduces distortion, whereas an uncompressed rip doesn't get distorted.  I understand that compression in this case requires software to compute where and how to compress the information.

 

It's enough to make me want to re-rip all my files that I ever ripped in compressed form.  Darn it, the audio perfectionist OCD is kicking in now.....ahhh

 

Btw, this does not answer the question of FLAC vs WAC vs AIFF, but only compressed WAV versus uncompressed through the Exact Audio Copy software.

 

Also, note, I'm using HRT's USB ASIO output mode through Foobar2000, at the highest buffer and sample rates.

post #32 of 36
Quote:
~~I've just been ripping several high quality (i.e., well recorded 16/44) CDs from Harmonia Mundi Italy, and found that on Exact Audio Copy, my compressed rips, which I think are still in WAV, are noticeably distorted on high tone vocals and complex passages. So I re-ripped now in uncompressed WAV format and there's absolutely no noticeable distortion.

Answering to jdpark, I would say that WAV is always uncompressed so the first rip can't be a WAV format. Compression brings distortion of course if it isn't lossless.

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
 


No offense, but FLAC takes very small amounts of CPU to decode.  A system with an i3 or an i7 should both be able to play FLAC back bit-perfectly no problem.  Even portable music players are able to this. 

 

Also, there is no reason to use WAV OR AIFF when FLAC and ALAC both can be decoded bit-perfectly to produce the same exact sound that WAV and AIFF will.  I know there are some who will say there is a difference -- I've never been able to hear it.

 

I'm not even going to get started on how "high-res" files don't matter for end-user consumption either.


There is no offense, we discuss on a public place and it is a pleasure.

 

I'm only an audiophile listener (reproduced or real concert music) and it is better to read what professionals think about music transcription since they make audiophile devices/softwares and make a living with them. Being wrong (bringing nothing to the audiophile community) would tell that they would go bankrupcy and so I suppose that it matters.

 

Read what CAD has to say about formats: http://www.computeraudiodesign.com/ and computers optimization.

Read about Fidelizer and quad core processors : http://www.windowsxlive.net/fidelizer/

Read about Windows choices on http://www.highend-audiopc.com/

 

Considering 'high-res' files don't look at the format only and let me tell you why it has a lot to do with end-user consumption.

When an artist creates music, he works hard on words and music which carry those carefully chosen words or feelings (classical music). His wish after the real life concert is to extend the live experience to people who was not at the concert thus reproducing music as he intended to be. In the low quality format world, as end user files are somewhat distorted, who cares if the sound engineer did a bad registering/treatment ?? In the HiRes world (above 16 bits/44.1), actors (artists, studios, engineers) strive to high quality music for educated audiophile listeners willing to pay more for their ears/mind pleasure. It changes things and behaviors, for sure.

HiRez is not only format, it's another philosophy.

post #34 of 36

In Foobar it says, IMA ADPCM.  I'm not sure what type of compression this is.

post #35 of 36

This should probably be in the "Sound Science" forum or something.

 

All lossless formats sound exactly the same, compressed or uncompressed, hence the name lossless. Anyone saying that WAV sounds better than FLAC is suffering from a placebo effect. It would be like saying computer documents are lower quality when they are in a ZIP archive. The only difference between the formats is file size and compatibility with audio players.

post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by deciBel23 View Post
 

This should probably be in the "Sound Science" forum or something.

 

All lossless formats sound exactly the same, compressed or uncompressed, hence the name lossless. Anyone saying that WAV sounds better than FLAC is suffering from a placebo effect. It would be like saying computer documents are lower quality when they are in a ZIP archive. The only difference between the formats is file size and compatibility with audio players.

 

What about Barry Diament?  From some posts over on Computeraudiophile, he and the people in his studio were able to determine which was which in blind testing.  Besides, hard drive space is so cheap these days, why compress at all?

 

I haven't found any difference in sound quality between FLAC and WAV and I don't have good enough ears to pick them out in a blind test. 

 

Just for the sake of argument, just because FLAC contains all the same data, does that mean everything can unpack it and play it back bit-perfectly?  Processing on a portable device like an iPod can't be anywhere near as good/fast as the one in a computer.


Edited by hogger129 - 4/16/14 at 6:18pm
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