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What stereo(s) do you listen to? What do you want? - Page 138

post #2056 of 2370
I'm noticing a lot of record players in here.

Hate to butt in, but does anybody know where I can get a decent one for cheap? I have a bunch of records that I just pulled from the basement. Hate to see them go to waste.

Thanks!
post #2057 of 2370

I'm biased, but I think Rega makes some nice quality/value tables w/arms.  There are many others, I think Needle Doctor has some Pro-Ject on sale.

post #2058 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

I have about a 1000 CDs already ripped to ALAC, so the 16bit mid-rez stuff already wears a black turtleneck with Dad jeans.
Storage is not an issue these days, so my inclination for higher resolution would be an uncompressed PCM format like, oh, AIFF. It seems, though, that all the sources for hi-rez are FLAC.
I don't want to go through the trouble of ripping SACDs, but I'm not enthusiastic about committing resources to a compressed digital format.
Oh, well...it's probably one of those "you don't' have a choice" things.
I'm glad that I have my LPs...


FLAC is completely lossless, so the compression is algorithm based and does not affect the sound quality. The decompression takes place at run time (when played) and its audio quality is unchanged from the original. This is not MP3 style compression, more like a zip file.

FLAC can also handle any PCM bit resolution from 4 to 32 bit. You convert an LP with a really nice setup to 32 bit, you'll have some serious resolution there, and some seriously large files.

Storage may be cheap, but the management of large uncompressed audio files is quite a chore. Just the copy paste from NAS (network area storage) of a large set of albums can take extensive amounts of time. In addition, you want a format that's universally accepted. I personally wouldnt trust any apple codec. I have a few thousand albums stored and just keeping them mirrored for backup takes effort.

My opinion: its much more work committing resources to convert from a format that is obsolete to FLAC.

From experience, I have many albums in their digital format and also rips into LP's and I would not have any hesitation recommending FLAC. The thing with LP's is that they are a degrading medium. Every play will slightly degrade your resolution. Archiving them in digital and putting the album away is the right thing to do.

Peruse the audiophile community a bit and you'll see that there is complete consensus around FLAC, I think AIFF is mainly used by pros and recording studios, not sure though.
post #2059 of 2370
LPs might be a degrading medium, but the, so am I. smile.gif

Thank you for the advice...I'm fairly certain I will go with FLAC. I'll decide after some more listening.

Did you read the recent series surveying file formats in TAS?
post #2060 of 2370
I am thinking of getting another hard drive just for backup and keeping in my fireproof/waterproof safe. I would hate to lose all of my music.
post #2061 of 2370
Not backing up your digital music collection is just asking for heartbreak.

-LR
post #2062 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

LPs might be a degrading medium, but the, so am I. smile.gif
Thank you for the advice...I'm fairly certain I will go with FLAC. I'll decide after some more listening.
Did you read the recent series surveying file formats in TAS?

You should speak to guys at Goodwins.

-LR
post #2063 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

LPs might be a degrading medium, but the, so am I. smile.gif
Thank you for the advice...I'm fairly certain I will go with FLAC. I'll decide after some more listening.
Did you read the recent series surveying file formats in TAS?

I didn't, I am a Stereophile subscriber myself. I tried to search it but no luck.
post #2064 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I am thinking of getting another hard drive just for backup and keeping in my fireproof/waterproof safe. I would hate to lose all of my music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljrcustom View Post

Not backing up your digital music collection is just asking for heartbreak.
-LR

+1

I also keep a printed hard copy of the drive's contents so if I lost it all I'd at least have a record of what I had.

Thats the drawback to going digital... you are one keystroke away from a total loss.
post #2065 of 2370
Apple's open-sourced ALAC, so it's now about as technically open as FLAC, but it's not really implemented widely outside of Apple.

As idfnl mentions, FLAC and ALAC (along with a host of other formats) are lossless, which means whatever goes in, comes out with bit-for-bit accuracy. Lossless formats generally get you about a 50-percent space savings, so it's not a huge deal if you'd rather not use it. This assumes that those decoders are working correctly, which brings us to ...

The problems I've seen with FLAC is bad implementation with bugs in the code. Generally, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz 2-channel FLAC is probably the best implemented because that's what most people use. Where you run into trouble is when you increase the sampling rate and the number of channels, and what happens then is that the player will either refuse to play the file or will have dropouts (momentary gaps in the music where there's silence or weird sounds). Increasing the bit-depth (eg. 24 bits) doesn't seem to cause that much trouble. These are just the grossest kinds of errors, as there are more subtle ones too (eg. correct dithering when going from a high bit depth to a lower bit depth). It's not hard to test such things, and audio reviewers should, but do not, test such things.

The reason I'm concerned about the implementation is that all of these streamer implementations are essentially pulling code from the Internet and using it in their product. On the one hand, this is good because hopefully the code works well already. On the other hand, anyone who's worked in software will tell you the integration stage, where you pull together different parts to make the whole system, is often the longest and most trouble-prone stage of development. Add to that the general software inexpertise of almost all audio producers, and you have a recipe for trouble.

For example, the Oppo BD-93's decoders go through stages of having things work and things broken between different firmware versions. FLAC decoding is one of the troublespots. Oppo is also larger and has more digital expertise than most audio companies, so if they can't get it right ...
post #2066 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljrcustom View Post

You should speak to guys at Goodwins.
-LR

I've been a customer of Goodwin's since college back in the 80s when the shop was in Harvard Square. They set up my new VPI/Graham. I'll be doing some listening there.
post #2067 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post

Apple's open-sourced ALAC, so it's now about as technically open as FLAC, but it's not really implemented widely outside of Apple.
As idfnl mentions, FLAC and ALAC (along with a host of other formats) are lossless, which means whatever goes in, comes out with bit-for-bit accuracy. Lossless formats generally get you about a 50-percent space savings, so it's not a huge deal if you'd rather not use it. This assumes that those decoders are working correctly, which brings us to ... Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The problems I've seen with FLAC is bad implementation with bugs in the code. Generally, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz 2-channel FLAC is probably the best implemented because that's what most people use. Where you run into trouble is when you increase the sampling rate and the number of channels, and what happens then is that the player will either refuse to play the file or will have dropouts (momentary gaps in the music where there's silence or weird sounds). Increasing the bit-depth (eg. 24 bits) doesn't seem to cause that much trouble. These are just the grossest kinds of errors, as there are more subtle ones too (eg. correct dithering when going from a high bit depth to a lower bit depth). It's not hard to test such things, and audio reviewers should, but do not, test such things.
The reason I'm concerned about the implementation is that all of these streamer implementations are essentially pulling code from the Internet and using it in their product. On the one hand, this is good because hopefully the code works well already. On the other hand, anyone who's worked in software will tell you the integration stage, where you pull together different parts to make the whole system, is often the longest and most trouble-prone stage of development. Add to that the general software inexpertise of almost all audio producers, and you have a recipe for trouble.
For example, the Oppo BD-93's decoders go through stages of having things work and things broken between different firmware versions. FLAC decoding is one of the troublespots. Oppo is also larger and has more digital expertise than most audio companies, so if they can't get it right ...

In the TAS series, they concluded WAV sounded best, partially for the reasons you cite.
Edited by F. Corbera - 7/5/12 at 4:28am
post #2068 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

In the TAS series, they concluded WAV sounded best, partially for the reasons you cite.
My brother-in-law, a hard-nosed EE and CTO of a major tech firm, recently began setting up a library around 24bit FLAC . So, I've been listening to that as well. Our approach to evaluating what we hear is equally unromantic, but from different biases.

How do you store your data files?
post #2069 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

In the TAS series, they concluded WAV sounded best, partially for the reasons you cite.

There seem to be 4 parts to the series (issues 218-221). Should I get all of them, or is there a particular one I should read first?
post #2070 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

How do you store your data files?

They're currently on a Thunderbolt-connected 4TB Pegasus R4, with Twonky serving out the files through an iMac. Again, I only have 16bit ALAC files so far. I also use iTunes for feeding three B&O portable AirPlay boxes for ambient music.

These files are also dumb-copied to a 4TB Synology NAS, which will be serving over gigabit Ethernet once I figure out things with PS Audio's own renderer. The Pegasus will be the backup disk once the NAS takes over serving duties and hosting the high rez files.

Thoughts?
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