Can sound quality change so much between 2 sources???? Please help me out. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-01-2013, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

So ... I decided that MP3 is garbage and started gathering WAV and FLAC music.
Now .... I could either record these then on a BluRay disk and play them on my Samsung BD-ES6000 or I can store all my music on a flash drive and use that instead.

Here is what I noticed yesterday.............

My Samsung BD-ES6000 doesn't play WAV files, but it plays FLAC
my MICCA Player ( http://www.adorama.com/MCMPLAYHD.html ) plays both.

Now .... both are connected to my Receiver identically but .... sound from each one was different.
Same song, but my Samsung BluRay player sounded better. Why would that be???

Original files I got were FLAC and I converted it to WAV for my BluRay.

Is it all in my head or is there a difference in these?

Denon AVR 4311ci, Ascend Sierra-1 NrT, Ascend HTM-200 (surrounds), Rythmik F12, Panasonic TH50PX60U, Samsung BD ES6000, Denon DVD-2910 SACD/DVDa, Monster HTS 5100 MKI, Monster Z2 Biwire, Logitech Harmony One, Sennheiser HD600, Schiit Modi/Vali
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 03:11 PM
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How are they connected to your receiver?, if both are connected by RCA cables, then the decoding is taking place on each one, instead of the receiver. In this scenario it looks like the dac in your blu player sounds better to your ears
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-03-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

Hi guys,

So ... I decided that MP3 is garbage and started gathering WAV and FLAC music.
Now .... I could either record these then on a BluRay disk and play them on my Samsung BD-ES6000 or I can store all my music on a flash drive and use that instead.

Here is what I noticed yesterday.............

My Samsung BD-ES6000 doesn't play WAV files, but it plays FLAC
my MICCA Player ( http://www.adorama.com/MCMPLAYHD.html ) plays both.

Now .... both are connected to my Receiver identically but .... sound from each one was different.
Same song, but my Samsung BluRay player sounded better. Why would that be???

Original files I got were FLAC and I converted it to WAV for my BluRay.

Is it all in my head or is there a difference in these?

There are three things that are required to be matched up before things will sound the same when they are the same:

(1) level matching, usually within 0.1 dB.

(2) Time synchronization, usually within 10 milliseconds

(3) Bias controls - you do not know by means other than just listening, what you are listening to.

To review:

(a) If you are listening to the same thing, but one time it is louder or softer than the other, then it will sound different.

(b) If you listen to two musical selections, and one selection is different from the other in terms of which musical notes it contains, then it will sound different.

(c) If I take a sound, and consistently tell you that part of the time it is different from itself, you are likely to believe that it is a different sound.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-06-2013, 08:03 AM
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I hope you don't use the analog audio out on that micca player - it is absolute garbage.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-07-2013, 06:38 AM
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I have never bought into this notion that all components of this time period sound the same. A while back I upgraded my Sony BDP-s550 to a Sony BDP-s390 and the newer one sounded much better when watching BluRays, listening to CD's and also with regular DVD's. I did not level match these, as I have no idea how to level match a BluRay player, but, with that being said, all of the settings were exactly the same, both in the player, and in my avr.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-07-2013, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I have never bought into this notion that all components of this time period sound the same.

Not all but many.

Depends what you are comparing. Modern optical disc players would be an example of components that strongly tend to sound the same.

Loudspeakers are examples of components that strongly tend to sound different.
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A while back I upgraded my Sony BDP-s550 to a Sony BDP-s390 and the newer one sounded much better when watching BluRays, listening to CD's and also with regular DVD's. I did not level match these, as I have no idea how to level match a BluRay player, but, with that being said, all of the settings were exactly the same, both in the player, and in my avr.

Note that even if you match levels, there are two other influences that could convince you that there was an audible difference, even when there wasn't.

(2) Not listening to exactly the same music

(3) Natural bias towards hearing differences that aren't there even when the sounds are absolutely identical.

And speaking of common biases, there is always the bias towards believing that every difference represents an improvment.
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-08-2013, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not all but many.

Depends what you are comparing. Modern optical disc players would be an example of components that strongly tend to sound the same.

Loudspeakers are examples of components that strongly tend to sound different.
Note that even if you match levels, there are two other influences that could convince you that there was an audible difference, even when there wasn't.

(2) Not listening to exactly the same music

(3) Natural bias towards hearing differences that aren't there even when the sounds are absolutely identical.

And speaking of common biases, there is always the bias towards believing that every difference represents an improvment.


While this is true, I when I connected my new BDP-390 in place of my BDP-550, I was totally not expecting to hear any differences what so ever.
I sat down and watched "The Dark Night", which is a movie that I have seen probably a half dozen times, (note that I use this movie to guage how
my system sounds after I change something), at the time I was of the opinion that all modern gear sounded the same, so after finishing the movie,
I was totally blown away to hear those differences that I totally did not expect!
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-08-2013, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not all but many.

Depends what you are comparing. Modern optical disc players would be an example of components that strongly tend to sound the same.

Loudspeakers are examples of components that strongly tend to sound different.
Note that even if you match levels, there are two other influences that could convince you that there was an audible difference, even when there wasn't.

(2) Not listening to exactly the same music

(3) Natural bias towards hearing differences that aren't there even when the sounds are absolutely identical.

And speaking of common biases, there is always the bias towards believing that every difference represents an improvment.


While this is true, I when I connected my new BDP-390 in place of my BDP-550, I was totally not expecting to hear any differences what so ever.
I sat down and watched "The Dark Night", which is a movie that I have seen probably a half dozen times, (note that I use this movie to guage how
my system sounds after I change something), at the time I was of the opinion that all modern gear sounded the same, so after finishing the movie,
I was totally blown away to hear those differences that I totally did not expect!

The "I didn't expect to hear differences so the ones I heard must be valid" is an invalid argument because there is no conscious mental state which suspends having expectations, but there are expectations that you have that you are not all that aware of.

If one does not all that many proper listening tests, one often becomes convinced of many things relating to skepticism about personal perceptions.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-13-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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well, some update and question ..........

I enjoy the ease of finding a good quality 320kbps MP3 or a FLAC file, drop it on my USB and stick it into my Samsung BD-ES6000 bluray ($150). Only problem is that it sounds wayyy worse than regular CD (same file size as FLAC) but that plays on my Sony C222ES ($500 back in a day player).

I don't want to sit a burn CDs all day !!! :-)

Question .... is it because Sony has better guts that make music sound better? Better connection (Sony uses Analog cables, my blu-ray uses HDMI)?

How do I make my USB stored FLAC/MP3 sound better? Will upgrading to a better Blu-Ray player help???

Denon AVR 4311ci, Ascend Sierra-1 NrT, Ascend HTM-200 (surrounds), Rythmik F12, Panasonic TH50PX60U, Samsung BD ES6000, Denon DVD-2910 SACD/DVDa, Monster HTS 5100 MKI, Monster Z2 Biwire, Logitech Harmony One, Sennheiser HD600, Schiit Modi/Vali
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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by the way ... regarding FLAC and WAV files on USB ... is this going to get the sound better
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=853818&is=REG&Q=&A=details

24 bit 192khz usb dac


Will it be better than sticking my USB into my $150 bluray player?

Denon AVR 4311ci, Ascend Sierra-1 NrT, Ascend HTM-200 (surrounds), Rythmik F12, Panasonic TH50PX60U, Samsung BD ES6000, Denon DVD-2910 SACD/DVDa, Monster HTS 5100 MKI, Monster Z2 Biwire, Logitech Harmony One, Sennheiser HD600, Schiit Modi/Vali
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-21-2013, 04:31 AM
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While I am certainly not as knowledgeable about these things as a lot of others on this forum, a couple of things to consider:

- you use analogue cables for your sony: this means you use the dac of your sony player
- you use hdmi cable for your samsung blu ray player, which has the ease-of-use that you can put a usb stick in it: a digital out means the dac of your amplifier does the work.
Conclusion: I guess the dac of your sony player is better than the dac in your amp. Buying an external, good quality dac and putting it between your samsung and amp should improve sound quality considerably. But I do not know whether a dac at that price point is necessary (there are great cheaper dacs available).

You mention that the flac file and mp3 320kb file are the same size. That is a bit bizarre. Are you sure that the flac files that you are creating, are actually lossless flac files that keep the original cd resolution?

Cheers
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-30-2013, 03:39 PM
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One thing about modern components with DSP chips is that sometimes the component thinks that it knows best and switches to some enhancement mode without telling you. Even PC operating systems have been known to reset your audio setup.

Kevin
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-30-2013, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post

well, some update and question ..........

I enjoy the ease of finding a good quality 320kbps MP3 or a FLAC file, drop it on my USB and stick it into my Samsung BD-ES6000 bluray ($150). Only problem is that it sounds wayyy worse than regular CD (same file size as FLAC) but that plays on my Sony C222ES ($500 back in a day player).

I don't want to sit a burn CDs all day !!! :-)

Question .... is it because Sony has better guts that make music sound better? Better connection (Sony uses Analog cables, my blu-ray uses HDMI)?

How do I make my USB stored FLAC/MP3 sound better? Will upgrading to a better Blu-Ray player help???

There's no logical reason why a FLAC file being played off of a flash drive by a Blu Ray player should sound any better or worse than a CD.

Since I'm a technician I know how to do a technical evaluation to determine what the nature of what the possible problem might be, but I doubt that you want to do the work. I surely don't want spend a few weeks or more teaching you how to become a technician online.
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-30-2013, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tochtgenoot View Post

While I am certainly not as knowledgeable about these things as a lot of others on this forum, a couple of things to consider:

- you use analogue cables for your sony: this means you use the dac of your sony player
- you use hdmi cable for your samsung blu ray player, which has the ease-of-use that you can put a usb stick in it: a digital out means the dac of your amplifier does the work.
Conclusion: I guess the dac of your sony player is better than the dac in your amp. Buying an external, good quality dac and putting it between your samsung and amp should improve sound quality considerably. But I do not know whether a dac at that price point is necessary (there are great cheaper dacs available).

You mention that the flac file and mp3 320kb file are the same size. That is a bit bizarre. Are you sure that the flac files that you are creating, are actually lossless flac files that keep the original cd resolution?

Cheers

Is there something about the Sony's DAC that makes it bad? In other words, is there something known about that DAC in the Sony player that makes it so inferior that the sound quality should improve considerably (key word) to something else?
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-01-2013, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tochtgenoot View Post

While I am certainly not as knowledgeable about these things as a lot of others on this forum, a couple of things to consider:

- you use analogue cables for your sony: this means you use the dac of your sony player
- you use hdmi cable for your samsung blu ray player, which has the ease-of-use that you can put a usb stick in it: a digital out means the dac of your amplifier does the work.
Conclusion: I guess the dac of your sony player is better than the dac in your amp. Buying an external, good quality dac and putting it between your samsung and amp should improve sound quality considerably. But I do not know whether a dac at that price point is necessary (there are great cheaper dacs available).

You mention that the flac file and mp3 320kb file are the same size. That is a bit bizarre. Are you sure that the flac files that you are creating, are actually lossless flac files that keep the original cd resolution?

Cheers

Is there something about the Sony's DAC that makes it bad? In other words, is there something known about that DAC in the Sony player that makes it so inferior that the sound quality should improve considerably (key word) to something else?

Two words: Level mismatch. It is probable that the CD player analog input is louder than what is obtained via HDMI and the AVR's internal DAC.

Theoretically the HDMI (digital) input might be cleaner than the CD Player (analog) input because there is a good possibility of the CD player input being converted to digital and then back to analog inside the AVR. I don't know if the AVR 4311 has a analog bypass mode and whether it is being used. Shouldn't matter for audible sound quality but it is unlikely that they are anything like level matched..
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