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Has "Redbook CD" Digital Sound gotten better over time?

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MattHooper

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Thread Starter #41
Another question:

I see quite a lot of people - audiophiles, audiophile manufacturers - claiming that they don't use, or have abandoned, streaming digital because CD players sound better to them. Every time they compare, the same content streamed vs from a good CD player, they claim the CD player "just sounds better."

My inclination is to be quite skeptical about this. And anecdotally, in my own experience, I didn't find the switch from a CD player to streaming my lossless-ripped CDs to a DAC to be downgrade whatsoever...and I don't know of any technical reason to have expected otherwise.
And I've seen some discussion saying that if anything, streaming has the potential for better performance (even if only technically).

But, I'm no expert, so I'd like to ask Amirm or others here: Could there be anything technically going on that could substantiate the impressions some people have that playing CDs directly from a good CD player sounds different, even better, than streaming the same content?
 

M00ndancer

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#42
Short answer : No
Unless you are using another master / source for the same music, there is no difference. Not comparing Flac vs CD, with 320kbit/s mpeg4 vs CD, perhaps, but then you aren't listening to the music. It's just subjective bias.
 
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#44
Could there be anything technically going on that could substantiate the impressions some people have that playing CDs directly from a good CD player sounds different, even better, than streaming the same content?
It depends on the interface to the DAC. If the DAC is clock master, using a packet-request protocol to the source, and suitable FIFO buffering, I would expect the DAC and CD to to be capable of equivalent performance.

If the clock is provided by the data source (e.g. SPDIF), there is the potential for a minor degradation due to clock recovery (or lack of/bad clock recovery...).

Clocking the DAC with a clock generated locally to the DAC is always the better technical solution. It's how it's done in a CD player. I've said here before; SPDIF from a CD player to an external DAC was a technical blind alley.
 

solderdude

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#45
consider watermarking in streaming services ?
That has been shown to exist and degrade sound quality.
 

Sal1950

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#46
ut, I'm no expert, so I'd like to ask Amirm or others here: Could there be anything technically going on that could substantiate the impressions some people have that playing CDs directly from a good CD player sounds different, even better, than streaming the same content?
Too many variables left in your question. Using the case you presented of your ripped files being streamed against the original CD, no there shouldn't be as long as nothing in the chain has upset the bitstream from being a bit perfect copy. As to other sources, you have no real way of knowing what the provider is streaming.
A very big question with a lot of "buts". ;)
 

jsrtheta

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#47
I have to admit that due to my impression that DACs essentially reached their audible potential many years ago, with likely very minor advances if any (for redbook)...I have a hard time gathering any interest in DACs. It sort of amazes me how much time people are still spending on measuring DACs, be it on computer audiophile, other sites, or here.

Not that I bemoan the way anyone wants to spend their time, or what they may be interested in. But for me, it's mostly "oh, another essentially transparent sounding DAC?" Can someone wake me up when something significant happens?
If people were running out and buying every product recommended here, and just as often selling the last DAC they'd bought the week before, then yeah, there'd be a problem. But I don't think that's happening here. There's nothing wrong with comparing value to price, and determining what is up to spec and what isn't.

I don't know about you, but if I were looking to purchase any of these DUTs, I'd be more than grateful. In the meantime, it is still helpful, if only in differentiating the crap eBay posts from the pearls.
 

RayDunzl

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#48
Just curious. Has "Redbook CD" Digital Sound gotten better over time?
Unless the Red Book Standard has changed, the potential remains the same.
 
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