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Tidal HiFi vs ripped CDs

DomT

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Hello everyone

As some of you may know I stopped my Tidal membership for a while to concentrate on listening to my 900 ripped CDs. CDs were ripped to FLAC using a good CD ripper (Bencats one) using dbpoweramp. The SSD is the one recommended by Auralic and it is within the Altair and not hanging out the back. I started up again this month but forgot to use Tidal until today. 

Curiously Tidal HiFi albums sound ‘better’ than my ripped CDs. CDs are on Altair G1’s internal SSD. I better qualify better. The CDs have a little bit more detail but have a hard edge to the sound on the Altair. Tidal is streamed via WiFi. The good news is that I am enjoying the Neat Alphas via Tidal on the Altair.

I am curious to know if this is specific to Auralic, or the Altair G1, or in every case on any streamer or NAS or whatever. 

 
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StingRay

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Too many variables. Ripped cds should sound as good or better. Ensuring it is same master is difficult. 

 

DomT

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How do I tell if it’s the same master? Tidal don’t seem to disclose this info. The difference is the same across all CDs that I have tried (about 20 and counting).

CDs were ripped to FLAC using a good CD ripper (Bencats one) using dbpoweramp. The SSD is the one recommended by Auralic and it is within the Altair and not hanging out the back. 

Maybe ‘better’ with Harbeths as the harshness will be ‘hidden’ but absolutely not ‘better’ with Neats as they have a planar tweeter. Has anyone else found this harshness? It is definitely more harsh.

 

StingRay

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How do I tell if it’s the same master? Tidal don’t seem to disclose this info. The difference is the same across all CDs that I have tried (about 20 and counting).

CDs were ripped to FLAC using a good CD ripper (Bencats one) using dbpoweramp. The SSD is the one recommended by Auralic and it is within the Altair and not hanging out the back. 

Maybe ‘better’ with Harbeths as the harshness will be ‘hidden’ but absolutely not ‘better’ with Neats as they have a planar tweeter. Has anyone else found this harshness? It is definitely more harsh.
I don’t think you can on Tidal. I used some albums on  ECM which I thought would only have one master. The differences were not great. 

Do you have a CD player you can use to compare the ripped cd with, that should tell if there is an issue with the ripped or the replay of them. I think quite a lot of digital have a harsh edge although on Jazz and classical they are fine. 

I don’t have Neats.

 

Minicoupeman

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Don’t use Tidal but Qubuz.  I have done many A/B comparisons between ripped CD’s and Qubuz.  The outcome? It is all about the Master.  Some CD’s sound better, some Qubuz is much better than the CD’s ( for those of you can try, compare Dr Johns Box of CD’s with Qubuz versions) It is not the delivery but the source that is important.

ps.  You don’t need a high quality CD transport nor a ‘name’ CD ripper.  ALAC  from a £16 cd transport is just as good ( and yes I have A/B’d )

 

StingRay

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Don’t use Tidal but Qubuz.  I have done many A/B comparisons between ripped CD’s and Qubuz.  The outcome? It is all about the Master.  Some CD’s sound better, some Qubuz is much better than the CD’s ( for those of you can try, compare Dr Johns Box of CD’s with Qubuz versions) It is not the delivery but the source that is important.

ps.  You don’t need a high quality CD transport nor a ‘name’ CD ripper.  ALAC  from a £16 cd transport is just as good ( and yes I have A/B’d )
Yes it is the master that makes a difference, I thought some of the HiRes were better even some old Jazz classics. 

 

DomT

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Don’t use Tidal but Qubuz.  I have done many A/B comparisons between ripped CD’s and Qubuz.  The outcome? It is all about the Master.  Some CD’s sound better, some Qubuz is much better than the CD’s ( for those of you can try, compare Dr Johns Box of CD’s with Qubuz versions) It is not the delivery but the source that is important.

ps.  You don’t need a high quality CD transport nor a ‘name’ CD ripper.  ALAC  from a £16 cd transport is just as good ( and yes I have A/B’d )
Thanks for your thoughts but better can mean many things. Have you ever found that a ripped CD sounds more harsh than a QuBuz file? If they haven’t sounded harsh then what adjectives would you use that might give me a clue about the sound difference please? 

 

MartinC

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None of my DACs are MQA. I am comparing like for like. 
If the music file is a Tidal Master in MQA format then you won't be. Non-MQA DACs play MQA files so your DAC doesn't tell you what format was being played. 

Tidal Masters are indicated by the little 'M' in a square symbol.

 

DomT

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If the music file is a Tidal Master in MQA format then you won't be. Non-MQA DACs play MQA files so your DAC doesn't tell you what format was being played. 

Tidal Masters are indicated by the little 'M' in a square symbol.
I know what a Master is thanks and I don’t play them. 

 
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ziggy

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I have found that QoBuz streams sound better than ripped CDs in most instances and 24 Bit Rate makes a difference.

 

zee9

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How do I tell if it’s the same master? Tidal don’t seem to disclose this info. The difference is the same across all CDs that I have tried (about 20 and counting). CDs were ripped to FLAC using a good CD ripper (Bencats one) using dbpoweramp. The SSD is the one recommended by Auralic and it is within the Altair and not hanging out the back. Maybe ‘better’ with Harbeths as the harshness will be ‘hidden’ but absolutely not ‘better’ with Neats as they have a planar tweeter. Has anyone else found this harshness? It is definitely more harsh.
Did you optimize your dB poweramp rip settings (there are quite a few advanced settings) so as to get the best rip possible?Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

newlash09

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Hello everyone

As some of you may know I stopped my Tidal membership for a while to concentrate on listening to my 900 ripped CDs. CDs were ripped to FLAC using a good CD ripper (Bencats one) using dbpoweramp. The SSD is the one recommended by Auralic and it is within the Altair and not hanging out the back. I started up again this month but forgot to use Tidal until today. 

Curiously Tidal HiFi albums sound ‘better’ than my ripped CDs. CDs are on Altair G1’s internal SSD. I better qualify better. The CDs have a little bit more detail but have a hard edge to the sound on the Altair. Tidal is streamed via WiFi. The good news is that I am enjoying the Neat Alphas via Tidal on the Altair.

I am curious to know if this is specific to Auralic, or the Altair G1, or in every case on any streamer or NAS or whatever. 
I tried Tidal and CD tracks ( not rips ), from my esoteric as dac and CD player. And I couldn't make out an iota of difference even sighted. But yes, many of my fav tracks on Tidal are poor master rips. But if the Tidal master copy is as good as the CD copy I have, then Iam pretty convinced that they will sound the same.

In fact, I will be selling my CD player these vacations, before the lens or the mechanism gives up the ghost and makes it a very expensive door stop .

 
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DomT

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Did you optimize your dB poweramp rip settings (there are quite a few advanced settings) so as to get the best rip possible?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hello Zee good to hear from you. You very kindly did a telephone call with me several months ago to help me with this. The rips are fine.

Do you notice any difference between your ripped files and Tidal? Is one smoother or more detailed that the other?

Thanks

 

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