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51 minutes ago, artto said:

CD playback is inferior to streaming because...................

1) the CD itself has errors on it. It is not "bit perfect". It is a "pressed" disc which has imperfections just like LP has imperfections

 

The CD format also has built-in error-correction. No, that's not interpolation, it is true mathematical error-correction. If error-correction did not work, then you could not transport computer code by CD-ROM. Audio CD error-correction is not identical to CD-ROM error-correction, but it is the same basic idea.

 

Some CD players may interpolate if they encounter an error that cannot be corrected, but errors of that magnitude are extremely rare and generally involve a disk that is physically damaged.

 

BTW, Internet streaming packets also use error-correction.

 

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2) the lasers reading the CD do not read the data perfectly. Simply reading the CD with lasers creates errors.

 

Same answer as 1), above.

 

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3) the CD player itself has its own noise and distortion. An additional component in the signal chain always adds its own noise & distortion to the equation.

 

True. Solved by using a direct digital connection, such as S/PDIF or AES/EBU, HDMI, etc.

 

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4) the set of cables between the CD player and amplifier are also eliminated when streaming directly to the amplifier

In order to take advantage of Hi_Res streaming to the fullest extent you will need an amplifier/receiver that can accept the streamed file directly. It needs an Ethernet port.

 

True, up to the final sentence. As in 3), there are other digital connections that are bit-perfect.

 

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You cannot get the highest quality from streaming a Hi_Res digital file from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

 

Correct. Bluetooth audio uses a compression scheme similar to MP3 etc.

 

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When you rip your CD to a computer you've essentially done 1) & 2) above. You've made a perfect copy - of all the errors on the CD as well as errors created by the lasers reading it.

 

Not necessarily; same answer as 1) and 2).

 

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33 minutes ago, Edgar said:

 

The CD format also has built-in error-correction. No, that's not interpolation, it is true mathematical error-correction. If error-correction did not work, then you could not transport computer code by CD-ROM. Audio CD error-correction is not identical to CD-ROM error-correction, but it is the same basic idea.

 

Some CD players may interpolate if they encounter an error that cannot be corrected, but errors of that magnitude are extremely rare and generally involve a disk that is physically damaged.

 

BTW, Internet streaming packets also use error-correction.

 

 

Same answer as 1), above.

 

 

True. Solved by using a direct digital connection, such as S/PDIF or AES/EBU, HDMI, etc.

 

 

True, up to the final sentence. As in 3), there are other digital connections that are bit-perfect.

 

 

Correct. Bluetooth audio uses a compression scheme similar to MP3 etc.

 

 

Not necessarily; same answer as 1) and 2).

 

 

The digital "problem" is that yes, error correction works, BUT, the more error correction that's required, the more sound degradation occurs. Yes, none of this would work at all if it were not for error correction. However, error correction itself is not "perfect", and enough of it occurring, at different points in the data path via multiple components can (will) result in subtle degradation of the audio quality. It's the nature of the beast.

 

The only way to minimize this is to eliminate the media itself. The media itself has always been a quality control issue whether it's tape, LP or digital disc. And it's one of those things the industry has been trying to eliminate for quite a while.

 

Yes, of course streaming has error correction enabled. But how much error correction is going to be required when you are sent a digital file (packet) directly to an amplifier which is also a direct digital amplifier which is also the "player"? Virtually NONE. All the other digital "artifacts" created by traditional digital media/players/DAC etc such as jitter are also reduced to levels (as in near non-existent) not achievable by using media such as CD.

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27 minutes ago, artto said:


The digital "problem" is that yes, error correction works, BUT, the more error correction that's required, the more sound degradation occurs.

 

No, that's why it's called "correction". If the errors are corrected, then there are no errors.

 

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However, error correction itself is not "perfect", and enough of it occurring, at different points in the data path via multiple components can (will) result in subtle degradation of the audio quality.

 

Again, error correction is perfect, otherwise it wouldn't be called "correction".

 

Multiple paths, multiple encoding/decoding stages, present more opportunities for errors to occur, but if each stage corrects its errors, then there are no errors. The only exception is when one of the stages fails to correct its errors -- then that uncorrected error propagates. I don't have numbers for how often that occurs, but it is likely to be rare. That would be an interesting figure to have available.

 

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All the other digital "artifacts" created by traditional digital media/players/DAC etc such as jitter are also reduced to levels (as in near non-existent) not achievable by using media such as CD.

 

That can be solved by buffering the CD output, exactly as is done with streaming.

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Agreed, error correction does not degrade audio quality and it is indeed perfect.

Some algorithms may try to fail gracefully by substituting an estimated or interpolated sample in the event of a non-correctable error, but this feature, if it exists, is beyond the error correction phase and is outside the scope of “correction”.

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9 hours ago, artto said:

...

In order to take advantage of Hi_Res streaming to the fullest extent you will need an amplifier/receiver that can accept the streamed file directly. It needs an Ethernet port.

...

What you're saying is interesting and I wouldn't doubt an ethernet right into your receiver is the most reliable setup. But I think there are other ways to get bit-perfect Hi-Res streaming. Isn't the whole point of digital media being able to move it over distances and through components with no generational losses? There are several Wi-Fi streamers that promise bit perfect streaming at up to 24/192. My Chromecast Audio with Toslink out to my DAC wirelessly receives my devices output through my streaming apps in up to 24/96. The great thing about Wi-Fi streamers is you can use the app on your device and send the signal wirelessly to the streaming device.

 

When you're using old-school tube pre's and amps, you need a DAC to straddle the divide. Most Wi-Fi streamers have their own conversion and analog outputs, but I have yet to find one that beats the convenience of the Chromecast audio and a DAC with Hi-Res capability.

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On 10/4/2020 at 10:52 AM, Marvel said:

Any optical out/in is digital, so the DAC in the receiver would be what is used.

 

The question is the optical chipset on the motherboard, and what it will transmit. 

What do you mean, do the chipset on the motherboard will also transmit some stuff??

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19 hours ago, artto said:

Streaming sources like Tidal or Quboz do not use a CD as the source. They are using the digital file provided by the recording company/artist.

 

CD playback is inferior to streaming because...................

1) the CD itself has errors on it. It is not "bit perfect". It is a "pressed" disc which has imperfections just like LP has imperfections

2) the lasers reading the CD do not read the data perfectly. Simply reading the CD with lasers creates errors.

3) the CD player itself has its own noise and distortion. An additional component in the signal chain always adds its own noise & distortion to the equation.

4) the set of cables between the CD player and amplifier are also eliminated when streaming directly to the amplifier

 

In order to take advantage of Hi_Res streaming to the fullest extent you will need an amplifier/receiver that can accept the streamed file directly. It needs an Ethernet port.

You cannot get the highest quality from streaming a Hi_Res digital file from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

You cannot get the highest quality from streaming a Hi_Res digital file to your PC/Laptop browser. Master Quality Authenticate (MQA) files for instance do not "unfold" to the highest resolution (if available) when using a browser. Also, the PC is essentially another "source", almost like the CD player - another electronic component in the signal path with extra cables required to connect, albeit without the spinning disc/laser reading involved.

When you rip your CD to a computer you've essentially done 1) & 2) above. You've made a perfect copy - of all the errors on the CD as well as errors created by the lasers reading it.

I’d tou cant get the highest quality with a phone of a computer, then how in gods name do you get the highest quality. With streaming device like a lumen? 

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On 10/2/2020 at 7:32 PM, JoeJoeThe3rd said:

So with an optical cord I can’t get Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. I can’t use an HDMI cord with my computer becasue I get a static noise with my speakers otherwise. So I use an optical. With the optical do I get the lossless hofi master quality sound tidal has to offer, the highest quality of music tidal has to offer? Also when I’m using the optical cord am I using the Dac in the reciver or the sound card in my motherboard? I use an anthem mrx720 and external power parasound a31. Thanks.

 

TOSLINK (from Toshiba Link[2]) is a standardized optical fiber connector system.[3] Also known generically as optical audio, its most common use is in consumer audio equipment (via a "digital optical" socket), where it carries a digital audio stream from components such as CD and DVD players, DAT recorders, computers, and modern video game consoles, to an AV receiver that can decode two channels of uncompressed lossless PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound such as Dolby Digital or DTS Surround System. Unlike HDMI, TOSLINK does not have the bandwidth to carry the lossless versions of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio.

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ADAT can also transfer up to 8 channels at 48000 Hz over Toslink.

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14 hours ago, Marvel said:

 

TOSLINK (from Toshiba Link[2]) is a standardized optical fiber connector system.[3] Also known generically as optical audio, its most common use is in consumer audio equipment (via a "digital optical" socket), where it carries a digital audio stream from components such as CD and DVD players, DAT recorders, computers, and modern video game consoles, to an AV receiver that can decode two channels of uncompressed lossless PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound such as Dolby Digital or DTS Surround System. Unlike HDMI, TOSLINK does not have the bandwidth to carry the lossless versions of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio.

Do I have to use a blue ray player to get truehd or dts hd master audio or will I get this formats on say my computer through Hulu. I’m pissed that I can’t use an HDMI cord. But I’m gonna figure it, just for the record it’s not normal for there to be a bad static noise coming through with HDMI is there? Should the warranty on my recover or power amp which ever it may be cover it if it’s one of the two causing the problem? What’s pcm audio?

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On 10/4/2020 at 4:34 PM, artto said:

Streaming sources like Tidal or Quboz do not use a CD as the source. They are using the digital file provided by the recording company/artist.

 

CD playback is inferior to streaming because...................

1) the CD itself has errors on it. It is not "bit perfect". It is a "pressed" disc which has imperfections just like LP has imperfections

2) the lasers reading the CD do not read the data perfectly. Simply reading the CD with lasers creates errors.

3) the CD player itself has its own noise and distortion. An additional component in the signal chain always adds its own noise & distortion to the equation.

4) the set of cables between the CD player and amplifier are also eliminated when streaming directly to the amplifier

 

In order to take advantage of Hi_Res streaming to the fullest extent you will need an amplifier/receiver that can accept the streamed file directly. It needs an Ethernet port.

You cannot get the highest quality from streaming a Hi_Res digital file from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

You cannot get the highest quality from streaming a Hi_Res digital file to your PC/Laptop browser. Master Quality Authenticate (MQA) files for instance do not "unfold" to the highest resolution (if available) when using a browser. Also, the PC is essentially another "source", almost like the CD player - another electronic component in the signal path with extra cables required to connect, albeit without the spinning disc/laser reading involved.

When you rip your CD to a computer you've essentially done 1) & 2) above. You've made a perfect copy - of all the errors on the CD as well as errors created by the lasers reading it.

Can the anthem mrx720 accept the music files directly? In order to get the highest possible quality. Is using that method the only way to get the highest quality sound possible out of the hi-res music? 

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Some of the degradation/alteration of the signal during its trip from CD to speakers occurs in the chipset(s) of the player.  Generally speaking, the newer the player, the better.  Many years ago, a friend told me he had bought one of the first Oppo DVD/CD players, the ones that cost only $179.  This was before Oppo players became expensive.

 

At the same time, he had a $3,000 Meridian CD player.  He had bought the Oppo for the living room home theatre, while the Meridian was in the heavily treated listening room in the basement.  Just for curiosity, he hooked up the Oppo player in his big system, and was shocked to find that CDs played on the Oppo sounded better in every way than the same CDs played on the older Meridian.  He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

 

His conclusion was that the more modern chipset on the Oppo was what made the difference.  As time went by, chipsets became cheaper, while their performance improved.

 

I had a similar experience when going from a mid-fi 2005 Yamaha DVD player to a flagship 2018 Panasonic Blu-ray player.  Just like with the friend’s experience, CDs played on the newer unit sounded better in every way.  The mechanical section on the newer machine may have been better, but it seems more logical to me that the electronics are where most of the difference comes from.  I should mention that the DVD player sent its signal to the AVR through a digital coax cable, so the AVR’s DAC would have been the active one, not the DAC in the player.  The Blu-ray player, on the other hand, uses an HDMI cable to communicate with the AVR.

 

Those are the facts I observed.  You can draw your own conclusions.

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On 10/6/2020 at 3:22 AM, JoeJoeThe3rd said:

Do I have to use a blue ray player to get truehd or dts hd master audio or will I get this formats on say my computer through Hulu. I’m pissed that I can’t use an HDMI cord. But I’m gonna figure it, just for the record it’s not normal for there to be a bad static noise coming through with HDMI is there? Should the warranty on my recover or power amp which ever it may be cover it if it’s one of the two causing the problem? What’s pcm audio?

 

I’m late in joining this discussion.

 

PCM is Pulse Code Modulation.  It is used by CD, Blu-ray, and many hi-res downloads (e.g., 24bit/192kHz). 

 

SACDs employ a completely different technology called Direct Stream Digital (DSD) - sometimes referred to as “single bit”.  Most SACDs are hybrid, meaning that they contain an SACD layer and a CD layer.  You can’t play the SACD layer on a PC.

 

I’m curious why many forum members are comparing streaming with CDs, given that the Redbook CD format (16bit/44.1kHz) is a vintage digital disc technology (i.e., 40 years old).   The Redbook CD format does not deliver state-of-the-art audio.   Newer formats for music that deliver hi-res multi-channel audio include DTS-HD MA 5.1 on Blu-ray, and SACD.

 

Streaming services cannot match state-of-the-art disc technologies such as Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1.   Moreover, many modern audio/video classical recordings (e.g., orchestral concerts, opera, ballet) that are available on Blu-ray are not available at all via streaming services.

 

$64k question:  What genre(s) of music do you listen to?

 

How many of the following formats are relevant to the music you like?

  • CD,
  • DVD,
  • DVD-Audio,
  • SACD,
  • Blu-ray,
  • Pure Audio Blu-ray,
  • Ultra HD Blu-ray, and
  • Hi-res downloads.

You can search Amazon and find recordings in all of the disc formats listed above.

 

Because different people listen to different music, different people have different needs for a disc player. 

 

IME/IMO, the biggest advance in recorded music in recent years has been the availability of hi-res recordings of modern performances (last dozen years or so) of classical music, opera, and ballet delivered on Blu-ray audio/video discs featuring DTS-HD MA multi-channel audio, and high-definition video.   Ultra HD Blu-ray recordings are slowly becoming available.  When I connect my Oppo UDP-205 to vintage tube amps to drive high-end Klipsch speakers in a surround-sound configuration (including subwoofers), this configuration delivers a near-symphony-concert-hall experience.   For classical music, Blu-ray audio/video, Ultra HD Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, SACD, and hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz, or DSD) downloads are indispensable.  

 

IME/IMO, multichannel is FAR superior to stereo for classical music.   And, hi-res audio is superior to Redbook CD.  

 

There are countless modern (last dozen years or so) recordings of classical compositions that were recorded and mastered in modern “hi-res” formats, and delivered on Blu-ray or SACD.   IME, you can’t make a silk purse from a SOW’s ear.  Garbage-in / garbage-out.  Provenance of a recording is extremely important.  Delivering a vintage recording in a “hi-res” wrapper doesn’t magically improve its quality.   If you pour 5 gallons of milk into a 55-gallon drum, it’s still 5 gallons.   (With that said, recorded music can be enjoyed with less than state-of-the-art recordings and hi-fi systems, and many historic performances are limited to technology available at the time of the performance.) 

 

If you want to experience what a modern recording can deliver for large-scale orchestral music, then play this Blu-ray on a high-quality surround-sound system equipped with large subwoofers and HDTV:

 

71y52lm72LL._SX342_.jpg

(Where is this Blu-ray audio/video recording, and many other classical Blu-ray audio/videos, available via streaming with uncompromised multi-channel audio, and high-def video?)

 

IME, CDs and streaming fall FAR short of what a modern Blu-ray can deliver for in-home enjoyment of classical music.

 

OTOH, if you solely listen to decades-old recordings, you are limited to decades-old recording technology - and CDs and/or streaming might be as good as it gets – and you might be content with that.  

 

Bottom line:  Your requirements for a “player” are 100% dependent on the genre(s) of music you listen to.  

 

Be very wary of outboard DACs.  @Marvel pointed out limitations of TOSLINK in his post above.  Coax also has limitations.  I suggest that you first decide which recording formats you want to support, vs. blindly buying a DAC that supports limited formats.   To play all types of digital recordings – old and new (e.g., CD, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and hi-res downloads) without any compromise in audio quality, a universal player is required that has built-in DACs (e.g., Oppo UDP-205), or an HDMI interface (not TOSLINK or coax) to an external DAC that supports all formats, or an HDMI interface to an amp with an HDMI input (e.g., AVR) that supports all formats. 

 

Another important decision is support for 5.1 vs. 2.1 vs. stereo.  My advice:  Don’t knock modern multi-channel recordings (i.e., NOT DSP-generated pseudo-surround-sound) until you’ve heard it.  The availability of modern multi-channel recordings varies by genre.

 

FWIW, here’s more of my opinions: 

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

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On 9/2/2020 at 9:15 PM, Islander said:

Finally, when listening to a really well-recorded song, and hearing all kinds of subtle sounds that add to the experience, it makes me feel lucky to have a system that lets me hear everything the artist put into the recording, and thankful to the artists who put in the effort to include details in their records that only a minority of their fans will be able to hear.

 

I agree...  From a song where one of the background singers clears her throat just as the show is set to begin to hearing a (mistake??) on a guitar by someone right at the beginning of a song (did they come in too soon??  we'll never know)

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P.S.  OP, I just looked up your Anthem MRX 720 A/V Receiver.  Looks like a nice AVR.   With a Sony UBP-X800M2 universal player ($248 on Crutchfield), connected via HDMI to the Anthem, you could play almost any disc format (Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, SACDs, DVD-Audio, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs), and hi-res download format (PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, and 2.8 MHz DSD files), and realize state-of-the-art audio quality.  With your RF-7III, you would realize OUSTANDING audio quality, given modern recordings (recorded in the last dozen years or so) delivered on Blu-ray and SACD discs.   (Remember, garbage-in/garbage-out for recordings.)

 

Presumably the Anthem would support streaming such as Tidal.   

 

Your thoughts?

 

P.P.S.  IME most Blu-ray and SACD music recordings include at least 2 audio tracks:  DTS-HD MA 5.0 or 5.1 (i.e., hi-res multi-channel surround-sound), and hi-res stereo.  (A few Pure Audio Blu-ray discs include 3 audio tracks:  hi-res stereo, 5.1 and 7.1.)

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