So what are the 'best' portable sources anyway?
May 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

KONAKONA

Banned
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Posts
1,480
Likes
11
Hopefully this thread won't end up in the toilet, but I wanted to start it anyway,

Are there any portable sources that are significantly better than others? I've heard that some of the older CD players are better than most DAPs.... what about, say, a H120/140 being used with a DAC through the optical? It seems that this is the best DAP that you can use, so how would the sound of it being used with flac or wave compare with a older portable CD player? Is there even that much of a difference? If there is, does it justify lugging around a bunch of CDs with you everywhere?

Also, what about MD players? How do they stack up?
 
May 11, 2009 at 7:25 AM Post #5 of 30

Nagasaki_Kid

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Posts
907
Likes
18
I got hooked on vintage pcdp and now only minidisc seems to hold up in fullness of sound, but eventually I'd like to try to move to an external portable dac with flac(which everyone seem to claim is the best) even though I can't tell the different between 320kps mp3, sp mode minidisc and cd quality.
 
May 11, 2009 at 7:06 PM Post #6 of 30

ericj

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Posts
8,262
Likes
147
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nagasaki_Kid /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I got hooked on vintage pcdp and now only minidisc seems to hold up in fullness of sound, but eventually I'd like to try to move to an external portable dac with flac(which everyone seem to claim is the best) even though I can't tell the different between 320kps mp3, sp mode minidisc and cd quality.


With the same dac, there is no difference between flac and cd.
 
May 12, 2009 at 2:12 AM Post #7 of 30

faichiu

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Posts
659
Likes
16
theorically may be true...........but reality is not........there's no way to proof it.........you cannot put flac to discman unless you convert it to cd.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
With the same dac, there is no difference between flac and cd.


 
May 12, 2009 at 3:10 AM Post #8 of 30

dazzer1975

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Posts
1,514
Likes
11
if its exactly the same data and exactly the same dac then there can be no difference, unless you are suggesting some thing else impacts upon end result of what is heard?

using optical out from a cd player and optical out from say the iriver h100 series feeding into an ibasso d10, then for them not to sound the same you are suggesting there is some difference between the data or how that data is transmitted optically between the two devices/files when theoretically or indeed in reality, there is not.
 
May 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM Post #9 of 30

nc8000

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Posts
10,607
Likes
5,726
Location
Kalundborg, Denmark
I would say that the flac could be better if ripped properly as all the error correction tooke place while the data was extracted from the cd and not in real time while the cd is playing.

Another good and very simple source is the 1st gen iPod Shuffle, it has a very fine headphone out imho but lots of other limitations.
 
May 12, 2009 at 3:49 PM Post #10 of 30

krmathis

Head-Fi's Most Prolific Poster
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Posts
34,761
Likes
76
Probably an iRiver H120 (H140) feeding an external DAC. Or an RWA iMod...
 
May 12, 2009 at 3:52 PM Post #11 of 30

ericj

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Posts
8,262
Likes
147
Quote:

Originally Posted by faichiu /img/forum/go_quote.gif
theorically may be true...........but reality is not........there's no way to proof it.........you cannot put flac to discman unless you convert it to cd.


I can prove that the bitstream that comes out of a flac decoder is the exact same bitstream as you can rip off a cd.

For the same reason that putting a spreadsheet in a zip file doesn't corrupt the math in it.
 
May 12, 2009 at 4:58 PM Post #12 of 30

wolfen68

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Posts
3,672
Likes
110
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I can prove that the bitstream that comes out of a flac decoder is the exact same bitstream as you can rip off a cd.

For the same reason that putting a spreadsheet in a zip file doesn't corrupt the math in it.



While the digital bitstream may be the same, it is always possible that a device's implementation of how it decodes the Flac file vs. a CD file may be flawed. This could cause a difference in how one sounds compared to another.
 
May 12, 2009 at 5:07 PM Post #13 of 30

ericj

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Posts
8,262
Likes
147
Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfen68 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
While the digital bitstream may be the same, it is always possible that a device's implementation of how it decodes the Flac file vs. a CD file may be flawed. This could cause a difference in how one sounds compared to another.


It's really not possible. For the same reason that it's not possible for WinZip to decompress a zip file differently than InfoZip or PKZip would.

If you want to talk about getting the bits into the dac at a continuous rate, sure, there are differences - the DAP is more reliable.

Edit: I'll grant you, if we were talking about floating point math with no precision, there would be probable errors. But almost all DAPs have no floating point ability at all and have to decode audio with integer math, and all desktop computers have full precision in floating point. This concept really shouldn't be that hard - when we say lossless we mean nothing is lost. FLAC and other true lossless formats are bit perfect the same way that zip and rar and other data compression formats are bit perfect. FLAC is like RAR, except the compression technology is designed specifically for audio.
 
May 12, 2009 at 6:40 PM Post #14 of 30

Jian

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Posts
668
Likes
19
Well, this is kinda armature. All I can say is that this is not that simple as to zip a file.The lossless files are no way close to the original cds (not cdrs). This involves tones of factors, like jitters, time shifts, minor errors. To make this simple, ripping files from a mac sys, or from xp, or from safe mode xp, or vista etc using different ripping softwares through different qualities of cd writers results in totally different wav files, just try it and you will know. And your source of flac or ape or apple lossless or whatever are all wav. the original sin of the problem might go back to the very stranded of audio cd format. And this is why CDRs can never match CDs and CDs can never match their master samples.
 
May 12, 2009 at 6:51 PM Post #15 of 30

ericj

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Posts
8,262
Likes
147
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, this is kinda armature. All I can say is that this is not that simple as to zip a file.The lossless files are no way close to the original cds (not cdrs). This involves tones of factors, like jitters, time shifts, minor errors. To make this simple, ripping files from a mac sys, or from xp, or from safe mode xp, or vista etc using different ripping softwares through different qualities of cd writers results in totally different wav files, just try it and you will know. And your source of flac or ape or apple lossless or whatever are all wav. the original sin of the problem might go back to the very stranded of audio cd format. And this is why CDRs can never match CDs and CDs can never match their master sample.


I have tried it. Not with a mac but with windows vs. linux, different drives, obviously different software. The files were actually the same.

"jitter" in the cd ripping sense is a defect in the drive and/or software that introduces junk bits into the stream. If you have any of this at all, your system is worthless and probably 15 years old.

This is not the same 'jitter' as between a source and a dac, which is an issue of gaps and superfluous speedups in the bitstream. This kind of jitter is a timing issue, and is meaningless when all you're doing is stacking the bits end to end.

Think of it like this: Lets say you're building a lego castle and you're counting on me to hand you three bricks every 10 seconds. Sometimes it takes me 12 seconds and sometimes i give you two or four bricks instead of three, but i'm still giving you all the bricks and you're still getting them in the correct order. Does the castle still get built correctly? Of course it does.

Moreover, you are laboring under the false impression that these issues are somehow the same or amplified by the ripping process. Playing a cd in real time results in a greater number of errors in the bitstream than results from ripping with an application like EAC or cdparanoia.

This is simply because your cd player has to react in real time, while the ripping software can go back and try again until the data lines up with the error correction bits correctly.

In 1993, getting a clean rip was a difficult task. The drives weren't built with it in mind, and the software was in it's infancy. That was a very long time ago.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top