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Afternoon All

As a stop gap I'm using dBPoweramp and my MacBook as storage to rip a few obscure CD's that are not on Tidal until I sort a Qnap NAS. As a comparison thought I would compare a ripped CD that is available on Tidal to the Tidal version, ripped CD is underwhelming compared to Tidal. At the moment MacBook is wireless to router and not using a cable, is that a factor? Ripped as a FLAC file, bit rate e.t.c is the same as Tidal version, ripped CD is quieter on same volume setting and a lot less bass and middle. First time I've attempted ripping anything so not sure what I'm doing wrong.

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Posted (edited)

@Lincoln TykeI'd be inclined to agree with Baba Yaga. I've noticed huge differences between different mastering or mixing of the same album. Certainly many of the old albums from the 1950-80's have been more recently remastered with added tracks to drive further sales. Often the 'new' sound is much inferior to my ears.

Edited by SnapperMike
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You’ve probably thought of these, but a few suggestions to narrow down the cause:

- find a CD in your collection to rip where you know it’s the same version on Tidal … compare

- check Tidal settings for “quality”

- check for any of your system settings that affect input gain from different sources

- stream your CD and Tidal to an alternate system or Bluetooth speaker … compare

- play CD and Tidal directly out of your MacBook (maybe not so helpful because small built-in speaker and Mac DAC, but oh well)  … compare

- play CD on a player (CD, portable, DVD, Xbox … whatever) hard wired into your system vs Tidal … compare 

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Interesting, so far Rumours Remastered on Tidal better than the CD, Mettalica Black Album on Tidal not remastered same as CD. So when I rip all my CD's to the NAS are some of them going to sound inferior, or better than Tidal versions?

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2 minutes ago, Matt Chicago said:

You’ve probably thought of these, but a few suggestions to narrow down the cause:

- find a CD in your collection to rip where you know it’s the same version on Tidal … compare

- check Tidal settings for “quality”

- check for any of your system settings that affect input gain from different sources

- stream your CD and Tidal to an alternate system or Bluetooth speaker … compare

- play CD and Tidal directly out of your MacBook (maybe not so helpful because small built-in speaker and Mac DAC, but oh well)  … compare

- play CD on a player (CD, portable, DVD, Xbox … whatever) hard wired into your system vs Tidal … compare 

Some things to try there, I'll plug in my Genki and compare CD to Tidal, that's an easy one to do, done the first idea with CD and Tidal same versions, couldn't tell any difference with Metalica Black album

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My first thoughts are:

If you are listening to the same versions of a track on Tidal and from your local storage - then they should be the same volume. If they are noticeably different - then I would suspect they are not the same version.

Secondly, I almost always prefer they local stored version to the streaming service version (versions being identical).

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Not intending to rip everything on to the MacBook, just a short term fix for my obscure CD's so i'll have a better idea when I rip everything. So just by using two albums Rumours and Black Album.........

Rumours Remastered on Tidal and older version CD, Tidal wins

Black Album as far as I can see, same versions Tidal and CD rip, no noticeable difference

Both CD's also played on Genki 

So I suppose this means unless they are the same version some Tidal versions will be better than rips and vice versa?

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1 hour ago, Lincoln Tyke said:

Ripped as a FLAC file, bit rate e.t.c is the same as Tidal version, ripped CD is quieter on same volume setting and a lot less bass and middle. First time I've attempted ripping anything so not sure what I'm doing wrong.

@Lincoln Tyke Don't think you did anything wrong: dBPoweramp is an excellent tool and the only thing you could get wrong is wripping to a lossy format (which you did not do). I think you are probably just comparing poor CD's with good quality Tidal versions.

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20 minutes ago, JensA said:

@Lincoln Tyke Don't think you did anything wrong: dBPoweramp is an excellent tool and the only thing you could get wrong is wripping to a lossy format (which you did not do). I think you are probably just comparing poor CD's with good quality Tidal versions.

I think this seems to be the case, when I get the NAS and everything is ripped I’ll be able to make a much wider comparison. Having not used dBPoweramp before I was wondering about the encoding setting which is at default 5, what d sort of difference would changing that make to rips?

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3 minutes ago, Lincoln Tyke said:

I was wondering about the encoding setting which is at default 5

TBH I have never touched this and kept the default 5 unchanged which is a "midsize" compression (in terms of file size)

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I rip using dBPoweramp on Mac Mini to ALAC and then store on my NAS (Synology 716). I organise with iTunes and put music on our phones.

So far, like for like recordings sound better as ALAC from my NAS than FLAC from Qobuz. This includes 24Bit Qobuz purchases previously downloaded.

I’m presently using Roon, so my understanding is that everything comes from my NAS… Locally stored and streamed get pushed from the Roon app on my NAS…

24Bit Qobuz trumps 16 bit local in most instances. But, be very wary of versions and re-masters everywhere. The ever happy Neil Young was very angry about the effect of the remastered CD’s of his early albums from about 10 years ago. Then launched a funny yellow music stick…

Are you running a server on your Mac or pushing to your Linn from a music player?

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57 minutes ago, Rich9600 said:

I rip using dBPoweramp on Mac Mini to ALAC and then store on my NAS (Synology 716). I organise with iTunes and put music on our phones.

So far, like for like recordings sound better as ALAC from my NAS than FLAC from Qobuz. This includes 24Bit Qobuz purchases previously downloaded.

I’m presently using Roon, so my understanding is that everything comes from my NAS… Locally stored and streamed get pushed from the Roon app on my NAS…

24Bit Qobuz trumps 16 bit local in most instances. But, be very wary of versions and re-masters everywhere. The ever happy Neil Young was very angry about the effect of the remastered CD’s of his early albums from about 10 years ago. Then launched a funny yellow music stick…

Are you running a server on your Mac or pushing to your Linn from a music player?

Using Kazoo Server on Mac, planning on a Qnap NAS once everything is ripped open to server suggestions. At that point I'll only be using Tidal or Qobuz as a means of trying new tunes, I'll still carry on buying vinyl and CD's. Had very bad experiences with vinyl recordings in the last few years, replaced a few of my very old worn out records with new copies and they've been rubbish. Never occurred to me digital recordings would be the same in terms of remasters ruining the original, since having my SDSM I've enjoyed music at roughly the same level of quality on Tidal, be interesting trying Qobuz for 24bit versions

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On 14/05/2021 at 15:23, Lincoln Tyke said:

I think this seems to be the case, when I get the NAS and everything is ripped I’ll be able to make a much wider comparison. Having not used dBPoweramp before I was wondering about the encoding setting which is at default 5, what d sort of difference would changing that make to rips?

There can be quite an improvement if you change the setting to uncompressed. Also, a dedicated music NAS drive will sound better than your laptop when streaming. Most of my ripped CDs sound better than Qobuz/tidal, but not all.....

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