Can you get CD sound quality from a ripped file?
Aug 9, 2010 at 12:24 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

beeman458

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Or is that asking too much?
 
I find that music straight off the CD disk has more air than WAV files ripped 1.41 Mbps.  I like the convenience of having a disk library at my computer finger tips as opposed to flipping through jewel cases.  But I prefer music straight off the disk as it has better sound quality.  What's an old man to do?
 
???
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:27 AM Post #2 of 28

Asr

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Uncompressed WAV data is exactly what's on the CD, there is no difference between the two sonic or otherwise. Whoever told you otherwise was misinformed.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:32 AM Post #3 of 28

beeman458

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Whoever told you otherwise was misinformed.
 
Thanks for the reply.  It was my ears who told me.  That's why I'm asking.  The direct CD version has more depth: air.  Strings are more open and have more decay.
 
???
 
I just ripped fifty CD's in WAV over the last two days.  I really wasn't expecting this difference as now the convenience of a computer generated library has been effectively negated.
 
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Aug 9, 2010 at 1:46 AM Post #4 of 28

Asr

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More information is needed then, as you may not be comparing digital files versus CD properly. Info about the software and any external audio equipment you're using is needed, along with the procedure you're following. If you're using the computer as the playback medium for both files and a CD, you should hear the exact same thing from both.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:50 AM Post #5 of 28

KingStyles

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Most likely the differences you are hearing is probably associated with the jitter of the computer on combination with the moving of the file to the rip. Try plating the cd through the cd/dvd drive of the computer in comparison to the stored file on the harddrive. See if they sound the same. Then they are both being processed by the computer and going through the same pathway to the dac.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:54 AM Post #6 of 28

beeman458

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More information is needed then, as you may not be comparing digital files versus CD properly. Info about the software and any external audio equipment you're using is needed, along with the procedure you're following. If you're using the computer as the playback medium for both files and a CD, you should hear the exact same thing from both.
 
Not sure what I can give you.
 
I put a CD in the tray, up pops the menu of music to choose from.  I listen to a section that I can maintain in my short term memory; a piano chord, a guitar string pluck, a cymbal crash and make note of the amount of air and the decay along with a time stamp of where in the piece I'm making note of.  Then I switch over to the ripped piece, and listen to the same play section and compare mental note of their being any clipping, the amount of air and decay.  I'll switch back-n-forth several times for confirmation purposes and then move on.
 
If you're using the computer as the playback medium for both files and a CD, you should hear the exact same thing from both.
 
That was my understanding.  I did this as a lark.  Why not?  And now I'm in this pickle.
 
???
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:56 AM Post #7 of 28

beeman458

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Try plating the cd through the cd/dvd drive of the computer in comparison to the stored file on the harddrive.
 
Not sure what you mean by "plating the cd..."
 
FWIW, I'm not listening (nothing is playing) while the rip is going on.
 
???
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 1:58 AM Post #8 of 28

KingStyles

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Sorry, try playing the cd in the cd/dvd drive of the computer.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 2:01 AM Post #9 of 28

beeman458

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That's what I'm doing.  I'm using the Blu-ray transport for both ripping and play purposes.
 
???
 
That's how I do the A/B comparison, using the computer interface to switch back-n-forth.
 
???
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 2:48 AM Post #10 of 28

audiofun

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I do the same with my original CDs collection (ripping them in wave format on my HDD) and I always got an indistinguishable copy (to my ears) or even better (CD faults corrected) of my CDDA (RedBook) source. What ripping application do you use (I normally use EAC v0.99 prebeta 5 in secure mode but WMP11 on WinXP generally works OK as well when the CDs are new)? Do you use the same playing back/streaming application, audio card and amplification for both sources (ODD and HDD)?
Regards.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM Post #11 of 28

beeman458

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I'm using what ever came with Win7 x64; Windows Media Player.
 
Rip Settings: WAV lossless, audio quality 1411.2 Kbps.
 
I'm using an onboard Pioneer, Blu-ray player/DVD/CD recorder.
 
Xonar STX sound card.
 
All gear is less than a year old so everything is reasonably up-to-date and seems to be working flawlessly.
 
Do you use the same playing back/streaming application, audio card and amplification for both sources (ODD and HDD)?
 
Yes.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM Post #12 of 28

The Monkey

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Would the following be a good test.  Burn a CD from the ripped lossless files and then compare that new CD to the original CD.  I seem to recall one of the audio rags claiming the newly burned CD sounds better due to the aforementioned error correction. 
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM Post #13 of 28

Yoga Flame

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I'm also in the "There should be no difference" camp.
 
The media player and/or Windows might be messing with the WAV files by adding sound "enhancements". Maybe try a media player that is known to have bit perfect playback. Same for the sound drivers.
 
Also, The Monkey's proposed test seems good to me.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 11:54 AM Post #14 of 28

beeman458

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Yoga flame wrote:
 
The media player and/or Windows might be messing with the WAV files by adding sound "enhancements". Maybe try a media player that is known to have bit perfect playback.
 
Is there any past evidence that Windows is messing with the WAV file that you know of?
 
Same for the sound drivers.
 
I'm stuck on the above as I'm using the ASUS Xonar STX and they have but two drivers, the current set and the beta set but either which way, the same drive is being used in this case for playback.
 
Thanks for your thoughts.
 
FWIW, I learned how to use the ignore feature yesterday, and The Monkey's on ignore.
 
Aug 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM Post #15 of 28

Omega

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beeman: What do you mean by "air?"
 
If you are playing the physical CD and the ripped WAV through different signal chains (and yes, the software player and processing is part of the signal chain), then it is not really a fair comparison, since you can't say the difference is due to CD vs. WAV rather than signal chain #1 vs. signal chain #2.
 
There will probably always be debate over the objective measurement of CD vs. ripped formats and subjective analysis of how they may sound the same or different.  Rather than entering that fray, I will observe that the information on the CD is simply a digital data file in a different format.  These digital technologies are engineered to be copied with high fidelity....just as every modern computer user knows it is possible to copy a large file from one hard drive to another hard drive in a "bit-perfect" transaction, it is also possible to copy bits from a CD to a hard drive in a "bit-perfect" way.  It is really just a digital format shift, and the big advantage of digital is the ability to make 100% accurate copies.
 
In my experience, it is pretty easy to get the "rip" and digital conversion steps to where the accuracy exceeds the analog output stages (e.g., EAC (Exact Audio Copy) rip > FLAC > Foobar2000)...so that most of the perceived differences are due to the analog steps.  Then, you're back in the comfortable realm of analog audiophilia 
evil_smiley.gif

 
 
Quote:
Would the following be a good test.  Burn a CD from the ripped lossless files and then compare that new CD to the original CD.  I seem to recall one of the audio rags claiming the newly burned CD sounds better due to the aforementioned error correction. 

A burned CD cannot be better in fidelity than the original source material--in this case, information can only be maintained or lost, not created.  Sure, error correction can fill in the bits, but that is a guess at the original information based on the context of surrounding information.  Besides, all CD players do error correction, and have since the beginning.
 
(also, this thread might be more appropriate in the Computer-as-source category, where the OP might get more detailed answers)
 

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