Jan 22, 20182011 views

is it worth buying cd's?

I am wondering if it is worth buying cd's, I really like to collect cd's of the bands I like but I have always wondered about the sound quality of them.
Dose cd's have better sound quality and detail then apple music and his brothers?
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Chemrat, yungwatermelon, and 5 others
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CDs are what I buy, typically, and I rip them to FLAC. I usually rip with a dedicated Linux PC but sometimes use MediaMonkey on my Windows machines. I do purchase high-res downloads also, but they are mostly available for music that I already own. Some of the best sound I have heard is from Blu-ray master recording discs. I back up to physical discs in several redundant places for my downloaded tunes. All of these sources can be good, but none is guaranteed to be good. Even downloaded music can be flawed- see the Stereophile comparisons of music from different online sites. Results seem to be random- most of the time, everything is great. On the other hand, occasionally one site or another with sell a defective file in a particular resolution and format.
I like CDs and prefer buying them over compressed formats. However, physical storage is a problem. So I first check to see if I can buy the music I want in a lossless format (typically flac). If yes, i buy the download version, if not, I buy the CD. The first place I check is Bandcamp. An advantage of buying downloads is that the music is stored on the vendors servers. So I would still have access to my music even if something unfortunate happens to my physical drives.
I would recommend buying CDs. And maYbe someine here can explain what I had experimented in the pastbecausethat was the reason supporting CDs over FLAC.
I bought IlDivo CD for few bucks and wanted to see if I make FLAC if it would sound exactly the same.
I hooked up my Sony DVD player to Peachtree DAC via optical or coaxial cable. Also connected my laptop to my DAC via usb and play the CD from internal optical drive. Listened to the songs.
Then I converted my CD to FLAC. Laptop connected to my DAC via usb. Listened to the songs.
I can note the differences at some high frequencies and instruments.
repeatedly noticible.
It all goes through same DAC and same AMP.
So I tried with different softwares to convert to FLAC but results were the same.
I thought Lossless FLAC would be able to provide the same CD audio but it did not.
Can anyone pount out what I might have done wrong or if you experience the same?
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Thanks for your feedback. What a relief :)
Yes and Audio through pc get complicated because of various manufacturers and motherboard types that said most mid range motherboard and gaming boards have measures to limited noise introduced into audio, gigabyte, msi and Asus use separate circuit to help protect audio from electrical noise.
NAS,,, Just say'n... your music cloud... and it is friendly, you don't have to geek to use it; RAID 5 - Seagate IronWolf
https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS418play
& family reunions;) B-Days, weddings, graduations, first steps , the other priceless things.
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WD Reds are good as well, I installed and then sold systems used to make heads to both, and just biased towards Seagate's Engineering acumen. Still selling some head stuff, not the biz it used to be. Not like the new head biz;)
Saw the QNAP, not sure if that model was out when we were hunting, looks like a well thought-out friendy unit, remote - nice.
We are finally there at home with a NAS after stupidly losing stuff. I tell everyone I know to do this, not CD's, not HDD's sitting on shelves and especially not stick flash. My travel external "flash" drive is an Intel 730 480GB in a case for biz stuff, movies and music. Not RAID of course but the 730 line was built like a rock, Micron is inside.
I am really liking the hybrid idea of what they are doing in some new players, having an SSD as a buffer and only spinning up a lower cost big 4TB HDD when needed, a short pause only if you were adding something new to the playlist. It would add to the SSD buffer while you were pushing buttons. Get rid of USB streaming issues, why I bought a Korg MR-2000S, though I still want a new audio optical cable standard. Keep your music etc. still in the RAID NAS bank though.
Audio link rant here: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/2212/talk/1850347?utm_source=linkshare&referer=HBCVS7
rastus
I actually may end up adding a SSD for that specific reason, if the 451 will allow it. I went with the QNAP because I found a hell of a deal on it and it natively runs Plex. Before when I'd stream from my laptop on the coffee table 5 feet away to my plasma via Chromecast, I'd have issues with buffering. With the NAS it streams like a dream! The Synology models I was looking at had some reviews about transcoding issues and Plex(?) and the QNAP software seemed to me more in depth. The huge thing I learned is that although I'm computer savvy, the NAS software is a whole different beast. I'm learning as I go, literally. I've gotten the most important stuff moved to the NAS, still with backup on a regular WD passport until I can get another 8tb Red and set up RAID.
Next step: rip all my CDs to FLAC and 320mp3 and store on the NAS.
If I'm paying for music I want physical media. Paying for downloads always feels artificial.
If you have lossless files like FLAC or ALAC then there is no difference. CD is better then MP3 for sure, but when you get to 320kbps then the differences get hard to notice. I wasn't really able to tell until I got an HD600 and a pretty good amp and DAC.
I was into hifi through the late 80s, 90s and early 00s. And I got educated in computers by playing around with them. And I used iTunes quite a bit when I got my first iPod. But then I was devastated when my laptop borked at the same time my iPod was getting its battery replaced.
So I never took the time to redo my collection. Now, about 8 years later is all this technology and I'm just absolutely swimming. I'm trying to catch up, reading as much as I can. Is there any one place I can go to relearn and learn how to have high quality music on the go??
And if anyone has any tips on whether to store music on a phone, DAP, tablet, PC, laptop and then how to get the best at my desk AND on the go, I'd love help.
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I was on the edge whether to buy Fiio X5 III but alk the reviews complained about the laggy performance. So I ordered Q5 instead. I enjoyed my FIIO X5 II which I sold, it had no performance issues which was awesome.
I have a similar set of headphones. I will chip in my opinions.
1. Flac is a great file format. It is losslessly compressed, let's you store about as much metadata as you might like, and works on just about every player. For a computer run system, I would definitely play them with JRiver.
For running the headphones, a reasonably priced option are DACs and amps from Schiit. I use the Bifrost DAC and the Lyr amp.
I have about doubled my cd collection lately by just going to the 2nd hand stores and browsing the racks they have there. Admittedly, I mostly just buy music I couldn’t afford in the eighties. ha. At @$1-2 a CD it’s the way to go, plus you own the whole cd for the price you’d pay for one digital single. As for the sound, it depends on the mix.. some are a really great listen, while others have that sterile feel to them.
I like getting CDs. I can rip them as lossless, lossy, .mp3, FLAC, ALAC, Apple Lossless, whatever. It puts me in control. Plus, if I do my research (using the DR DB: http://dr.loudness-war.info/) I can usually find CDs that are mastered well enough to meet the needs of my less-than-golden ears. Nothing annoys me more than not doing my research, buying a CD on eBay, and ending up with some hot-mastered, loudness war, POS CD.
Another plus to CDs is that you can find 'em for pretty cheap at used stores, thrift shops, eBay, and even Amazon. Just my $0.02 USD.
luckybaer
this is the correct answer
I still use my Marantz CD63mkii which is 20 years old. I get CDs from thrift stores for $1 or $2 dollars and have around 500 total since the beginning (The Cars was my first).
On the whole, I find the most satisfying sound from CDs. When they first came out they were panned as sounding "sterile." Recording techniques have advanced by light-years and that is no longer the case.
Truly fine players are still being made and play multiple formats. The soundstage is marvelous with up to date equipment. I like to have some "tube warmth" added in the listening chain, whether through speakers or cans.
I think that one's preference in listening habits and musical tastes are a very important considerations. I am a classical music lover. We tend to consider music in larger chunks, rather than three minute segments. Personally, I can't imagine downloading a compressed file of the Beethoven 9 Symphonies.
So, for me, a CD collection is the way to go.
The question comes down to: can you hear the difference between mp3 320kbps and uncompressed music. I know that I cannot. So all of my music collection are in 320kbps.
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Reheapification
interesting! i dint have golden ears but ill get fatigue if i losten to lower quality and i can definitely hear the quality difference
Reheapification
Many people here should be able to tell the difference pretty easily. The better equipments you get your hands on(and ears) it becomes more and more obvious.
I buy cd's because they are uncompressed and I can rip them to FLAC. Actually, if you hit thrift stores and pawn shops you'd end up with a pretty decent sized FLAC collection fairly quickly, pretty cheaply.
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kbps = kilo bits per second. There are 8 bits to one byte. So, your math actually makes sense , once you multiply by 8.
There seems to be a point of confusion here about transcoding between formats. MP3 is lossy. Once you use LAME or whatever converter to go from PCM to MP3, you end up with a lossy file forever, regardless of how high a bitrate you use. You cannot re-convert back into PCM (i.e. burn MP3 to CD) and expect the sound to be the same as the original. What I read in SO (btw I had no idea which post was yours) that you linked may be an intellectually stimulating and interesting exercise in digital audio processing, but why would anyone want to convert a song encoded in a lower bit rate to a higher one? It is a one way street, you will never recover any lost detail from a low bit rate signal by transcoding to a higher bit rate.
Back to the original topic. These days I collect from any source I can find. CD format is still the most practical format for collecting high quality sound. There is music available in higher sampling rates like 24-bit/96kHz sampling and even higher, but that is not “common”. With all this digital talk you may think I really like CDs, but I prefer vinyl. What is most important is the music itself, reagrdless of how I listen to it.
MrSharkbait
Bowie would be a good example of converting from 96kbps up. His early work was pretty low-fi. Anything from the 60's really and most of the 70's.
Not for collecting due to their short lifespan.
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Normal aluminum CD-Audio have a rated lifespan of 25 years. CD-Rs have a rated life span of 5 years to 25 years. Gold optical media has a rated life span of 100 years.
FlyingDisc
Hard drives people use to store all their music will crap out in 5-10 years. Backup drives are soooo important.
I still have a fairly large CD collection. Maybe about once a month I’ll do some extended CD listening. I’m actually in the market for a used Rotel or Marantz disc player . Hoping a player upgrade will inspire me to play more CDs.
CDs are a great value at the moment if you buy used. Often times under $10 and with the option to rip to lossless FLAC it’s almost like a twofer. You get the portable convenience as well as the physical artifact to add to your collection.
I love streaming services, but often times I have trouble settling on an album. When I put a CD on I’m more inclined to invest my time into the entire recording.
Steve Guttenberg has similar thoughts too! https://youtu.be/fN6SgJUit0w
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I was in that camp too. Then I got a BDP-105 based on recommendation from my friend who's one of the partners at Pass Labs. Never looked back. The 2.1 in my main rig is amazing, it plays any kind of disk I've thrown at it, streams effortly and has a kick-ass headphone section to boot. I've heard them as a source in $200K systems and they hold up with anything. I'm trying to justify a UDP-205 but I can't really yet. I will soon ;-)
bfree
Right on! Appreciate you sharing your experience with the BDP-105.
I seldom buy CDs now, but I still own a Marantz CD6005 for occasional listens. I'm more into 180 G vinyl (tipycally include MP3 download of album purchased as well). That being said I ripped to FLAC around 700 CDs into Bluesound Vault 2. There are similar networked devices like the Bluesound or you can use a NAS (QNAP or Synology) to achieve same. Also, my current car no longer has a CD player as an audio option.
I buy my music however I can get it. I buy vintage vinyl for older music (Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep, The Damned, etc), new vinyl if the art is awesome or the mix is cool (The Sword's High Country vinyl sounds super deep and ancient in a really cool way vs the CD release). I mostly buy digital FLAC from Bandcamp or other sources for direct-from-artist music just because it's easier and with less physical overhead than a CD (plus FLAC is at least as good as CD even though it's not technically bit-identical). But I still buy CDs when I need to, and I don't complain about it. It takes like 3-5 minutes to rip into high-quality FLAC (or OGG if I'm using a device with less storage) and I can always return to the CD if I somehow lose the files - and since I literally never use my CDs aside from a source for FLAC rips they are essentially as durable as I am.
tl;dr - buy the music however you can find it and in a format that best fits your needs. I personally dislike AAC and other medium-bitrate compressed audio but if you find iTunes sounds just fine to your ears then I say enjoy the hell out of your music!
Music is personal, and how you store it or buy it or listen to it should also be personal.
I'm not paying $15 for a CD or $25 for a Vinyl, good thing digital gave us option to buy the songs we only want to listen. It's sad but true, now if want to be a Hipster and want to show off on Instagram , that a good way to get likes. FLAC and MP3 are price around the same so it make sense to buy your in FLAC, ditch Apple Itune and start buying your music from 7digital.
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A new release CD is not 7-8 dollar not on the 1st week or month maybe after a year. Costco sell Google Play Store $100 gift for $85 plus what i make from the Google Opinion Reward app, I have money to spare on music, like i said i don't buy full album i only buy the songs i like and that only 69cent to $.1.30. HA most of your $7 CD's are all scratched up hahaha
willywill
yeah - esp. when only $1 goes to the artist.
Can't comment on new CDs, but used CDs are inexpensive and plentiful. While used vinyl record prices have soared, used CDs have stayed pretty steady. They can be had for a few dollars at used record stores, garage sales, and o.c. Amazon. I guess to a lot of listeners, the physical format is obsolete. It's an affordable way to build a collection of tracks.
c0rnelius
Theres an online community for trading cd's too: swapacd.com
The main value of CDs is that they contain an authoritative, lossless copy of music at 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution. If I can get a digital file with the same standard of quality or better, I'll go for that instead. I won't buy lossy formats like Apple music, etc. I do still buy CDs fairly often, but I try to buy them directly from bands / labels. Here's why:
One complication with CDs these days is that they're not necessarily authoritative. I had to dig for this, but I found a source: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=678549
The gist of the message behind the link above is that certain music, when you order from Amazon, will be burned onto CD on-demand instead of shipped as an official, original pressing: "CD-R Note: This product is manufactured on demand when ordered from Amazon.com"
Which raises the question, burned from what source? If Amazon is ripping to MP3, then re-burning that to CD then they've thrown away musical information and you're not getting the lossless 16/44.1 material. Even if that's not what they're doing, they're not forthcoming about what their process is or whether their on-demand CDs contain the full original authoritative audio files, so the only safe assumption is that they do not.
--
CDs are not without some issues, though--physical media takes up space, and it can deteriorate (scratches, etc). To get past those issues, I use an app called dBpoweramp (https://www.dbpoweramp.com/) to do bit-perfect rips of my CDs (a whole topic of its own), then I archive the discs in CD boxes (e.g., https://www.uline.com/BL_8559/CD-DVD-Storage-Box).
My flow with dBpoweramp simultaneously rips to uncompressed FLAC (archival copy) and several other formats; it dumps everything to a NAS. The bit-perfect rip process ensures I get an exact copy of the music off of the CDs (e.g., no clicks or glitches), which I only need to do once. Forever after I can use the FLAC archive to regenerate all the other formats, which I've done on occasion when I needed to fix metadata errors, etc.
So at the end of the day, I'm all about listening to digital music files via computer (through a nice external DAC). But I still get to that end result more often than not by buying CDs and doing my own careful extraction to lossless file formats.
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SpeleoFool
This is (or was, since I've finished ripping my CD collection) my exact workflow, as well. Also agree 100% about the value of CDs as offering the authoritative, lossless copy of the album.
Paradiddle74
How exactly is that possible? Evidence says that this is entirely incorrect. And impossible.
i buy CD's and rip them to FLAC for playing through my DAP and my home PC/Raspberry PI based headphone system.
If you do wish to continue to have physical (digital) media such as CD's; I would recommend to get a player that also accepts SACD's, so that you can enjoy collecting and listening to both levels. The SACD is the quality that CD's were meant to have, they just came later, and the market was not accepting of another shift at that point with consumers already heavily invested into hardware and media collections. You can get some good deals on quality used multi-format SACD players on eBay etc.
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What to say, I'm old, saw the last bubble memory production line running, got yelled at by T. P. "Peter" Brody and framed a photograph for and handed it to Ansel Adams...
Shouldn't have stepped into SACD tech mish-mash, a format that I passed on owning, was never happy with CD and saw the faults still remaining in SACD/DVD-A production quality. I would, as I said, buy a nice, used SACD player, if I were to continue investing in physical (digital) media.
I really only got the bug, to get back into this, when I found out that I could buy digital "studio files"; thus having no in-between media.
Factoid: They were not planning on printing full face labels on the discs themselves, that only came about to hide the pinholes in the coating, due to the poor cleanliness level that the old vinyl squishing factories could maintain. The learning curve was horrendous for them (and us;).
Question: the 20 stereo recordings that are alone on the SACD layer, are they larger files than the identical tracks on an identical recording mixed disc?
There was an opeth release or two in surround format but I don't think it exceeded 24 bit 48kHz... Only the ones involving Steven Wilson as he jumped on the DTS Surround Audio/DVD-A bandwagon hard core. He's also super anal about his mixes so they truly are some of the best mixes around even if they don't have high resolution... Porcupine Tree's in absentia in DTS Audio disc format is phenomenal.
If you receiver can handle high resolution PCM conversions or native MLP PCM (dvd-audio) or DSD (SACD) the Sony X800 is a universal player for a decent price, it will not output analog 5.1 channel audio however...
Yes I still buy shiny media (CD/DVD/Blu-Ray) as it IS lossless, mostly high resolution and I OWN it - no one can "revoke" my license to play it.
bquisp
okay, so I will keep buy cd's.
Yes CD's are lossless, Apple music and others are lossy.
It is still worth buying CD's, or buying digitally from somewhere that offers lossless downloads (HDtracks, Qobuz etc...)
I still use CD's.
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Glad you enjoy it, another favorite example of binaural high res is Tundra by Amber Rubarth if you are up for another listen.
ElectronicVices
incredible! I enjoyed that equally as well.