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remedy451
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CD vs FLAC

Hi Folks,

I am currently investigating a new home system and some of the questions I have are with respect to digital audio. My questions are:

1. All other components remaining equal (speakers, amps, preamp, etc.) is there any loss of audio quality in playing a FLAC file vs the track from a CD?

2. If there is a noticeable loss then what CD player would you recommend for a $1000 budget.

3. If there is no noticeable loss and I were to convert all my CD library to FLAC files and store them on a network accessible media server what source component would I use to stream this through my system - again keeping the budget to $1000?

4. Are there quality sounding CD players (first and foremost for CDs) that would allow the FLAC files to be processed through it and output to the preamp?

The system I am looking at would be comprised of the following:

Odyssey Stratos HT-3 Extreme
Odyssey Khartago 2-channel Basic
Odyssey Lorelei front speakers
Outlaw 975 AV Processor

If you require any additional information to respond then please let me know.

Thanks for your assistance!

Demondog
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Oh good, a test!

Here's my guesses.

1. Since flac is basically a lossless compression format. It does not alter the original data in any way. The file is in a sense, recreated upon playback, or conversion to another format. The flac files can even be higher resolution sample rates than the CD's 44.1 kHz,  There's a lot of music available in 96 kHz these days. Most CD players I run across these days will play 44.1 kHz flac files from disc, no problem, but I still convert my flac's to WAV files before burning a disk, just in case a non-comparable player pops up.

2. N/A

3. I'm not too familiar with dedicated music servers. What I'm doing currently is I have stored my music library on my wireless router's internal 2 TB hard drive, stuck in a closet somewhere. So when I want to play something I use an app on my android phone, "Foobar2000 Remote", to select a track or tracks or playlist, start-stop play, etc...  Upon hitting play, the Foobar2000 program on my $200 netbook (attached to my system's DAC via 1-meter USB cable) loads the track into the netbook's RAM. After several seconds it completes and starts play. The same general type of setup can be used with apple of course, if you're one of those people. Like I said, there are several other ways to go that other people would know about.

4.Yes  As one example a friend feeds the digital signal from his laptop into a Cambridge Audio 840C CD player that has a digital S/PDIF input. He's using a MF V-Link II to convert the laptop's USB output to the S/PDIF required by the 840C. This is an older model, but I'm sure there are others. A general comment is that a lot of people are skipping the CD players these days, and getting an external DAC to convert the digital to analog. Kind of depends on if you prefer more of an all in one box approach to system building, or go for separate components which I think offers more upgrade flexibility.

BTW- Nice choice on the Odyssey amps.

jackfish
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My question would remain the same...

Why a multi-channel system if the sources you are talking about are two channel?

Allen Fant
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Stick w/ a dedicated CD

Stick w/ a dedicated CD player.

jazzfan
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21st century
Allen Fant wrote:

Stick w/ a dedicated CD player.

I agree. Why even try to live in the 21st century when one can just stick one's head in the sand and stay in the past.Just think of all the fun you will have going to yard sales looking for CDs once they are no longer being made. Then there's all those lovely CD racks which you need to buy thus keeping a few manufacturers in business. And nothing beats having to carry the CDs from room to room or house to house or house to car instead of either streaming the music from a central location or transferring it via the internet or small flash drives.

So yes CDs are the way to go!

Kal Rubinson
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#4:   Oppo BDP-105

#4:   Oppo BDP-105

jgossman
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DacMagic

Magic is right there in the name.  What more would you like?

Seriously though, the minute I have the extra skrill, that's the direction I'm moving in.

struts
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I protest!
jazzfan wrote:

Why even try to live in the 21st century when one can just stick one's head in the sand and stay in the past.

Hey!  What's wrong with sticking one's head in the sand!?

jazzfan
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All this time
struts wrote:
jazzfan wrote:

Why even try to live in the 21st century when one can just stick one's head in the sand and stay in the past.

Hey!  What's wrong with sticking one's head in the sand!?

ASll this time I never realised exactly what your avatar meant but now I know! A true audiophile!

struts
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"struts"
jazzfan wrote:

ASll this time I never realised exactly what your avatar meant but now I know! A true audiophile!

..is Swedish for ostrich.  If it made you smile its job is done :)

jazzfan
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Swedish ostrich??
struts wrote:
jazzfan wrote:

ASll this time I never realised exactly what your avatar meant but now I know! A true audiophile!

..is Swedish for ostrich.  If it made you smile its job is done :)

There are ostriches in Sweden? Who knew? :)

struts
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It's a secret..
jazzfan wrote:

There are ostriches in Sweden? Who knew? :)

We try to keep a low profile wink

roadster
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moving frwd?

LOL. I recall hearing the same analogy between CDs and vinyl. This is why I still own a TT, a cassette deck, an open reel recorder, etc., etc. 

It seems that we are just reinventing the wheel. The product continues to get better but the end result is the same. 

audiophile2000
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PC Based

Agree with demondog on a PC setup. 

1. There should be no difference between FLAC and CD. FLAC is just a lossless copy of the CD and then compressed to save space (think of FLAC like a zip file - you don't lose anything information just smaller size)

3. I would recommend getting a good NAS drive and saving all your files here. The big thing to remember is a RAID configuration on a multi-bay NAS drive is NOT a backup solution, it is designed to keep you running should x number of drive fail. I would recommend backup any digital collection to a second device and then, if you can, have a offsite or cloud backup. After the NAS, just look at getting a computer to act as the server (any should be fine) and plug it into a USB DAC and your good to go. I would recommend Jrivers - very good playback software and has a ton of features that make it very easy to use. There are also a couple of great Ipad, Andriod, and Iphone remote apps for it as well. 

4. Less familiar with this, but I believe OPPO players will do this, also believe they will accept USB in so that could be a potential solution if you want both. There are a lot of options out there so would recommend listening around.

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