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 Post subject: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??**
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:59 am 
8086
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Location: Doylestown, Penna
I would like an opinion from any audiophiles out there, I am going to be moving 2000 cd's to a dedicated digital audio media player that is hooked up to a very high end stereo system. The media player supports FLAC, WAVE, AIFF, and Apple Lossless. I was wondering if anyone has any input as to what would be the absolute best sounding codec to rip the cd's with. HDD size is not a factor, I will be using somewhere in the neighborhood of a 6 TB external array. I want to keep the files at the very highest quality bitrate, as any lossy codecs will sound really poor through the stereo. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:43 am 
Chief Surgeon
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As a professional DJ, I rip everything in .wav format. But even well tuned ears can't really distinguish between 320k MP3 and .wav formats unless you are piping through a huge sound system (I'm talking 30,000 watts).

If you plan on streaming wav files though a home network, you'd best have everything hard-wired on Gigabit - a 4 minute song will eat about 75Mb in wav...


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:12 am 
8086
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:03 pm
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Location: Doylestown, Penna
It is a massive system. B&W 800 speakers. And Bryston 4B SST amplifier, and Bryston components, any heavyhanded encoding will sound bad, even to untrained ears, due to the systems capabilities and clarity. This system is not going to be through a network at all, due to the chance that audio fidelity may be lost.


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:45 am 
Chief Surgeon
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So then straight wav files would probably be your best bet.


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:35 am 
Smithfield
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What device will be playing the music? A PC?

I don't understand the downside to FLAC/APE if they are supported. Surely the playback device has the processing power to handle them? Unless maybe FLAC/APE decoding introduces some unacceptable amount of lag between track switches or something.

Please elaborate on the preference of WAV.


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:26 pm 
Million Club - 5 Plus
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Actaylor wrote:
It is a massive system. B&W 800 speakers. And Bryston 4B SST amplifier, and Bryston components, any heavyhanded encoding will sound bad, even to untrained ears, due to the systems capabilities and clarity. This system is not going to be through a network at all, due to the chance that audio fidelity may be lost.

Nice gear. Any 24/96 capability? If not, like the other say, 16/44.1 .wavs are the way to go.
With 6TB of storage, I wouldn't bother with FLAC.


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:10 pm 
8086
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:18 pm
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Those are all lossless codecs. They will sound identical to each other.

I'd go with FLAC since it's an open format with better tagging support, smaller size makes backups faster, plays fine on some portable players like the Sansa Fuze.

Also this is probably the best guide if you're looking to rip exact copies of your cds: http://blowfish.be/eac/


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 Post subject: Re: Absolute highest quality sound codec **ANY AUDIOPHILES??
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:12 pm 
Clawhammer
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I agree, use EAC...nothing else comes close as far as accuracy, feature and power.

As for the WAV vs. FLAC debate...first off, I'm a FLAC connoisseur and not all lossless formats are the the same. The WAV format can be used to store audio having many different combinations of bits-per-sample, samples-per-second, and channels. A WAV can be at CD quality (44100 samples/second, 16 bits/sample), or higher, or lower, or much lower (8000 samples/second, 8 bits/sample). FLAC, similarly, can be used to store audio data with many different rates and depths. WAV data (in the usual format) is not compressed. FLAC data is compressed, but losslessly - the data is re-expanded to its original form during playback. So, in this case, you can say that WAV and FLAC are equal. Both can store CD-quality audio with identical fidelity. FLAC encoding takes less space, but takes more CPU cycles (and thus more power, in a portable system) to play back.

Your 6TB of space is way beyond overkill. I have nearly 1200 CD's stored as Flac and tip the scale at "only" 360GB.


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