Bryston BDP-1 for Theta Digital & Aerial Music and Home Theater System! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I have just ordered a Bryston BDP-1 media player to go with my audio and home theater system (Theta CB3 HD SSP, Theta Gen 8 Series 3 DAC, pair of Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, three Theta Enterprise monoblocks, four Aerial 9s, one Aerial CC5, three Aerial SW-12 subwoofers.) My Theta SSP and Gen 8 DAC both have digital BNC, RCA and AES/EBU inputs – the Gen 8 AES/EBU input is already being used as its connected to the Theta SSP’s digital out card. A number of Theta CB3 HD owners at AVS Forum already have the BDP-1 and they absolutely luv it raving about its sonic quality.


I have an Apple Ipad2 I will use as a remote/media manager. I have a Toshiba Satellite A665-3DV8 i7 quad core notebook I will use for ripping CDs/discs. My home theater system has excellent high speed wireless N and internet access thanks to Monster Cable powerline wireless and Apple Airport base station and several Apple Airport Expresses around my home and theater.

I’d like input on your suggestions on software, cabling, USB drives, etc. to use with this setup:

Ripping Music:

DbPowerAmp to rip redbook CDs to FLAC files, which supports metadata song/album info.
Or does anyone think WAV files, which don’t support metadata info, sounds discernably better?

DVD Audio Extractor, to rip/convert audio from DVDs http://www.dvdae.com/dvdae/

I saw something about using Korg Audiogate to rip/convert audio from SACDs
http://www.korguser.net/audiogate/en/index.html I glanced at the website and says you can use software if you sign up on the Twitter account. This sounds too good to be true? Is it? Is there any way to easily rip stereo SACDs to hi rez PCM on a PC?

Its easier for me to simply rip music to my Toshiba notebook’s built-in hard drive initially.
Then copy to external USB drive. But if I do this in this manner, is there an accuracy/jitter problem with the copy on the external USB drive? Or should I rip direct to an external USB drive connected via USB cable to my notebook? Or is there a special program to copy media files from my notebook to an external USB drive?


IPad2 as Remote and Media Manager:

My understanding is that its best to simply download and use MPAD from the i-tunes website for my IPad2 to work as a remote with full access to cover art and album/song info, etc. from the internet. Any info or suggestions in this regard?

Digital Cables/Connections:

An Absolute Sound Review noted that sonics were better using the BNC, rather than the AES/EBU, output from the Bryston BDP-1. Any comments or suggestions in this regard?

For years I’ve been happy using Granite Audio RCA coaxial digital cables 2M. Amir has mentioned that lengths less than 2M will have digital reflections/jitter problems. I need to get a new BNC to BNC coaxial digital cable for the BDP-1. Any suggestions? What if I use bnc-rca adapters, which I have from Radio Shack, will using the adapters have any effect on sound quality?


External USB Drives:

I read in one review that although USB thumb drives are useful, that the reviewer subjectively felt that the external USB hard drive sounded better than the USB thumb drive. Comments in this regard?

Suggestions for external USB hard drive to pair with BDP-1?

And is there any special software to use to make/copy/rip a backup USB hard drive of my media files?

Thanks.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #2 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 10:52 AM
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Your best source for BDP-1 information is here:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=193.0

In addition to questions and input from users, there is direct input from Bryston's James Tanner and Bryston engineers.

As far as cables go, I'm a bit of an agnostic (my agnosticism developed about ten years ago after I took apart some high end, kilo buck cables and found cold solder joints in some and cheap, non functional electrical parts in a well know brand that has a large "box" associated with the cable). I usually order high end wire and connectors and make my own. You can spec pre-made cables with high end wire and connectors from Markertek.com.

Steve
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post #3 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 11:02 AM
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I can hardly read your post Steve. Is this what lawyers do to to make sure no one reads the fine print???

I will comment on the bits I did read.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I saw something about using Korg Audiogate to rip/convert audio from SACDs
http://www.korguser.net/audiogate/en/index.html I glanced at the website and says you can use software if you sign up on the Twitter account. This sounds too good to be true? Is it? Is there any way to easily rip stereo SACDs to hi rez PCM on a PC?

I would ask Bruce Brown about that. He is the expert in SACD rips. And yes, there is conversion software but you need to look at what it does in that process with respect to noise shaping that is used in SACD. See example here: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-Weiss-Saracon

Quote:


Its easier for me to simply rip music to my Toshiba notebook’s built-in hard drive initially.
Then copy to external USB drive. But if I do this in this manner, is there an accuracy/jitter problem with the copy on the external USB drive? Or should I rip direct to an external USB drive connected via USB cable to my notebook? Or is there a special program to copy media files from my notebook to an external USB drive?

No problem at all. Files are staying in digital domain in this scenario and you can copy them around freely with zero degradation. Use whatever is convenient.

Quote:


Digital Cables/Connections:

An Absolute Sound Review noted that sonics were better using the BNC, rather than the AES/EBU, output from the Bryston BDP-1. Any comments or suggestions in this regard?

These things are crap shoots and highly depending on your specific configuration. I would try both and at any rate, would not put much weight on the subjective review of TAS. Measurements are necessary here to know which one is superior.

In case of BNC, do you have that on the output of your source? If not, then conversion to and from RCA will introduce issues. My experience in general is that AES/EBU is superior.

Quote:


For years I’ve been happy using Granite Audio RCA coaxial digital cables 2M. Amir has mentioned that lengths less than 2M will have digital reflections/jitter problems. I need to get a new BNC to BNC coaxial digital cable for the BDP-1. Any suggestions? What if I use bnc-rca adapters, which I have from Radio Shack, will using the adapters have any effect on sound quality?

Oh, so you do have RCA. If you have AES/EBU, I would definitely go with that option.

Quote:


External USB Drives:

I read in one review that although USB thumb drives are useful, that the reviewer subjectively felt that the external USB hard drive sounded better than the USB thumb drive. Comments in this regard?

Another crap shoot. Also, you have to consider if all of your music fits on a thumb drive. Mine is hundreds of gigabytes so I go with hard disk. If yours less, then my preference is for flash thumbdrive.

Quote:


And is there any special software to use to make/copy/rip a backup USB hard drive of my media files?

Thanks.

Per above, you don't need anything special. Just your operating systems copy method to move the files around.

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post #4 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I saw something about using Korg Audiogate to rip/convert audio from SACDs
http://www.korguser.net/audiogate/en/index.html
I glanced at the website and says you can use software if you sign up on the Twitter account. This sounds too good to be true? Is it? Is there any way to easily rip stereo SACDs to hi rez PCM on a PC?

To my knowledge, the Korg lets you record in DSD, most common application would be archiving records. It will not rip SACD. The only way to do this is on a playstation 3, with old firmware. See this link.

You then need a separate program to convert DSD to WAV or Flac.

http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Its easier for me to simply rip music to my Toshiba notebook's built-in hard drive initially.
Then copy to external USB drive. But if I do this in this manner, is there an accuracy/jitter problem with the copy on the external USB drive? Or should I rip direct to an external USB drive connected via USB cable to my notebook? Or is there a special program to copy media files from my notebook to an external USB drive?

Jitter happens during real time playback of music files, not copying between storage devices. If you have a good ripper program it create an accurate copy of your file on CD, which you can subsequently copy to any storage device without any loss. It will be bit for bit the same data. You don't need special program for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

External USB Drives:

I read in one review that although USB thumb drives are useful, that the reviewer subjectively felt that the external USB hard drive sounded better than the USB thumb drive. Comments in this regard?

Suggestions for external USB hard drive to pair with BDP-1?

And is there any special software to use to make/copy/rip a backup USB hard drive of my media files?

Thanks.

If would think if anything a USB thumbdrive should shound better because it is solid state storage with no mechanical movement. But thenagain I am not a reviewer "subjectively feeling stuff" . I'm not fully up to speed on drives, but theoretically a solid state drive would be preferable over a disc drive. They are expensive though. You can buy a 250GB solid state drive for about $500 (this will store about 700 CDs in flac, which may be enough). Storage on disc drives is virtually free.
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post #5 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


To my knowledge, the Korg lets you record in DSD, most common application would be archiving records. It will not rip SACD. The only way to do this is on a playstation 3, with old firmware. See this link.

What about a Blu-ray player modified to output 24/176 via coax? Steve would not do it but it might be a solution for others. It's what I would do.

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post #6 of 137 Old 11-19-2011, 02:41 PM
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"Then copy to external USB drive. But if I do this in this manner, is there an accuracy/jitter problem with the copy on the external USB drive? "

When you copy a word file between the two do your words change? Copying files around are bit perfect, including audio and video files.

For ripping your audio files if you wanted to get tweaky you could also play around with different upsampling filters. For example http://www.dvd2one.com/?loc=about will let you try apodizing upsampling and there are others as well.

As far as an external drive if you can get a USB hardware raid array that will give you redundancy to help prevent loosing your songs if a drive goes.

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post #7 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

What about a Blu-ray player modified to output 24/176 via coax? Steve would not do it but it might be a solution for others. It's what I would do.

The Oppos, and the Theta Compli Blue based on the Oppo 83, only output SACD either in DSD or in converted PCM (at 88k) over HDMI. So even if you get a 192.24 output mod over coaxial digital for any Oppo player, will it even output the SACD? I doubt it.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #8 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

The Oppos, and the Theta Compli Blue based on the Oppo 83, only output SACD either in DSD or in converted PCM (at 88k) over HDMI. So even if you get a 192.24 output mod over coaxial digital for any Oppo player, will it even output the SACD? I doubt it.

Probably not DSD, but these moddef Oppo's will output SACD as 88/24 PCM over coax. If you wanted to get a high rez copy of your (2 channel) SACD tracks for storage in your libary for computer based audio, you would then need to record this 88/24 digital signal. Undoubtedly, there are digital recorders that will allow you to do this. So you need as a modded univeral player, a digaital recorder, then you need to play your entire SACD collection one track at a time for recording. Finally, you need to manually name your files.... Quite a project. Probably a lot easier to just spin SACDs the old fashioned way, and play downsampled through the Gen VIII.

I personally no longer listen to 2 channel SACD - the 44/16 version track sounds better over the PWD / Bridge / Modwright than SACD over ud9004 / Six Shooter, and most SACD are hybrids with a 44/16 track that can be ripped. If there was an easy way to rip the high rez DSD version, I'd be all over it, but there is not.
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post #9 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post


The Oppos, and the Theta Compli Blue based on the Oppo 83, only output SACD either in DSD or in converted PCM (at 88k) over HDMI. So even if you get a 192.24 output mod over coaxial digital for any Oppo player, will it even output the SACD? I doubt it.

Didn't say Oppo. Short answer is yes 24/176 from a player that does the conversion at that rate. The digital out of the mod will be whatever rate the player does the conversion.

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post #10 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


I personally no longer listen to 2 channel SACD - the 44/16 version track sounds better over the PWD / Bridge / Modwright than SACD over ud9004 / Six Shooter, and most SACD are hybrids with a 44/16 track that can be ripped. If there was an easy way to rip the high rez DSD version, I'd be all over it, but there is not.

Same should hold true with the Gen VIII series1. Kal's Stereophile Review, found red book via the Gen VIII better than the Sony SACD player he was using. Higher resolution does matter but so does the gear.

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post #11 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


Probably not DSD, but these moddef Oppo's will output SACD as 88/24 PCM over coax. If you wanted to get a high rez copy of your (2 channel) SACD tracks for storage in your libary for computer based audio, you would then need to record this 88/24 digital signal. Undoubtedly, there are digital recorders that will allow you to do this. So you need as a modded univeral player, a digaital recorder, then you need to play your entire SACD collection one track at a time for recording. Finally, you need to manually name your files.... Quite a project.

Yeah but can you make a "mix tape," at high rez. . It's worth it to me. Then I can sell all my SACD's on eBay.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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post #12 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Same should hold true with the Gen VIII series1. Kal's Stereophile Review, found red book via the Gen VIII better than the Sony SACD player he was using. Higher resolution does matter but so does the gear.

Just yesterday I compared Patricia Barber's "Cafe Blue" SACD with the 44/16 rip with the different hardware. Although the vocals may have had slightly more air on the SACD, the rhythm section was no comparison - far more presence and body with the PWD / Modwright.
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post #13 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Yeah but can you make a "mix tape," at high rez. . It's worth it to me. Then I can sell all my SACD's on eBay.

You are better off trying to score an old playstation 3 with the right firmware on EBay and follow these instructions:

http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/
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post #14 of 137 Old 11-20-2011, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


You are better off trying to score an old playstation 3 with the right firmware on EBay and follow these instructions:

http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/

Not me. Blu-ray too? No.

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post #15 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 08:37 AM
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Are you going to rip your Cd's at 44.1/16 or use a higher Rez? Maybe 88.2/24 or 96/24.

Does dbpower amp allow to rip at higher rez? If not what software does?
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post #16 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stick70 View Post

Are you going to rip your Cd's at 44.1/16 or use a higher Rez? Maybe 88.2/24 or 96/24.

Does dbpower amp allow to rip at higher rez? If not what software does?

For FLAC, it has 8 levels, 5 being the default, and 8 being uncompressed..
I just started using it yesterday. Oh - you wanna know if it lets you upsample.
Not that I could see.

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post #17 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stick70 View Post

Are you going to rip your Cd's at 44.1/16 or use a higher Rez? Maybe 88.2/24 or 96/24.

Does dbpower amp allow to rip at higher rez? If not what software does?

I rip at 44.1/16 and up sample during playback. That said, from what I have read, play back at native resolution is probably best.

Steve
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post #18 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

For FLAC, it has 8 levels, 5 being the default, and 8 being uncompressed..
I just started using it yesterday. Oh - you wanna know if it lets you upsample.
Not that I could see.

What level are you using?
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post #19 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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What level are you using?

The highest level short of no compression. Again, I just started. I can't tell you if there are any perceptible sonic differences.

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post #20 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 06:06 PM
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Flac is a lossless format so when you play it back, you are actually listening to the original file, not the flac. The level of compression will make no difference to what you hear as long as your hardware is capable of decompressing it in real time, which I am sure it will be. Compression rates only affect how long it takes to make the flac and what size it is. They have no effect on playback.
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post #21 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 09:48 PM
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Steve, you can use dB Poweramp to rip simultaneously to two or three drives at once. Rip a FLAC drive at the same time you rip an uncompressed WAV backup. With the cost of storage now it's an easy way to insure your collection. You can also then test to see if you can hear a difference between FLAC and WAV. Norm
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post #22 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarwoob View Post

Flac is a lossless format so when you play it back, you are actually listening to the original file, not the flac. The level of compression will make no difference to what you hear as long as your hardware is capable of decompressing it in real time, which I am sure it will be. Compression rates only affect how long it takes to make the flac and what size it is. They have no effect on playback.


Yea, I found that DbPoweramp has a question mark come up. Click on it and it explains all the options I am leaving FLAC on #5, default, after reading this info.

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post #23 of 137 Old 11-21-2011, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Steve, you can use dB Poweramp to rip simultaneously to two or three drives at once. Rip a FLAC drive at the same time you rip an uncompressed WAV backup. With the cost of storage now it's an easy way to insure your collection. You can also then test to see if you can hear a difference between FLAC and WAV. Norm

Norm, what is your subjective experience in your system? Can you hear a difference with WAV? My understanding is that WAV files don't allow album picture and info, whereas FLAC does.

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post #24 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Norm, what is your subjective experience in your system? Can you hear a difference with WAV? My understanding is that WAV files don't allow album picture and info, whereas FLAC does.

Steve, I did a WAV>FLAC conversion using Media Monkey and the result was that the FLAC drive was far inferior to the WAV drive. For some time I was trying to figure out what component took the life, air, dimension, and sparkle out of my music. I then re-inserted the WAV drive back into the system, and all the life came back.
I have since made a WAV>FLAC conversion using dB Poweramp, and it is very good.
My system consists of a PSA PW DAC with Bridge fed by Ethernet from a self built Shuttle PC w/ Win 7. We use PSA eLyric to control the library on the PC. The difference is I have 2 EA. 2 TB drives. WAV is on an OWC drive which has USB and Firewire connections and the FLAC is on a Western Digital Elements USB drive. The WD drive is connected by Wire World Starlight USB cable. The OWC is connected by Audioquest Diamond DBS PSS Firewire. The connection of this drive is the best I have heard, and I think makes a comparison unfair between the formats.
I also know if one is to use an Asynchronous USB input to your DAC it is a must to connect your external drive to the computer with either Firewire or eSATA. Sending and receiving USB at the same time is detrimental to the music. Norm
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post #25 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Steve, I did a WAV>FLAC conversion using Media Monkey and the result was that the FLAC drive was far inferior to the WAV drive. For some time I was trying to figure out what component took the life, air, dimension, and sparkle out of my music. I then re-inserted the WAV drive back into the system, and all the life came back.
I have since made a WAV>FLAC conversion using dB Poweramp, and it is very good.

Damn, so now I have to reconvert and retag the 10,000 Wav files I converted to Flac using Media Monkey! I better check if I am hearing the same differences. First will be a wav / flac comparison (which I never did).
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post #26 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Damn, so now I have to reconvert and retag the 10,000 Wav files I converted to Flac using Media Monkey! I better check if I am hearing the same differences. First will be a wav / flac comparison (which I never did).

I am shocked! You are so finicky about your sonics I would have thought that you would have done this for sure!!!@@@

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #27 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Steve, I did a WAV>FLAC conversion using Media Monkey and the result was that the FLAC drive was far inferior to the WAV drive. For some time I was trying to figure out what component took the life, air, dimension, and sparkle out of my music. I then re-inserted the WAV drive back into the system, and all the life came back. I have since made a WAV>FLAC conversion using dB Poweramp, and it is very good. My system consists of a PSA PW DAC with Bridge fed by Ethernet from a self built Shuttle PC w/ Win 7. We use PSA eLyric to control the library on the PC. The difference is I have 2 EA. 2 TB drives. WAV is on an OWC drive which has USB and Firewire connections and the FLAC is on a Western Digital Elements USB drive. The WD drive is connected by Wire World Starlight USB cable. The OWC is connected by Audioquest Diamond DBS PSS Firewire. The connection of this drive is the best I have heard, and I think makes a comparison unfair between the formats. I also know if one is to use an Asynchronous USB input to your DAC it is a must to connect your external drive to the computer with either Firewire or eSATA. Sending and receiving USB at the same time is detrimental to the music. Norm

The Bryston BDP-1 solves your discovery in your system that the external drive should connect to the PC by Firewire or eSATA. As the BDP-1 connects to the DAC via BNC digital coaxial or AES/EBU digital coaxial, with the BDP-1's USB input being Asynchronous!

I suspect that the differences noted by some audiophiles, that WAV sounds better than FLAC, is more due to using a not so good program to rip the CDs or to convert the files from WAV to FLAC; and/or their own setup quirks. But your recommendation of ripping one drive for WAV, then using dB Poweramp to convert to FLAC on another drive, is an excellent idea and somewhat "future proof".

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #28 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I am shocked! You are so finicky about your sonics I would have thought that you would have done this for sure!!!@@@

Sometimes I (naively?) accept conventional wisdom without validation, in this case that Wav and Flac are both lossless and there can not be any sonic difference. Based on my recollection on what the wav's sounded like I do not recall degradation going to flac's (like Norm apparently did), but this is working from sonic memory with days between playing the tracks.

Tonight, I will move some flac's and Wav's of the same track into the same folder allowing me to switch between them with a just a few seconds delay.

If I find the Wav's sound better, I will reconvert some Wav's to Flac with DB Poweramp and see if there is still a difference. If the DB Poweramp conversion is indeed better I will reconvert my top 50 albums. However, theoretically a Media Monkey Flac should be bit for bit the exact same file as a DB Poweramp flac, so I find this whole thing very puzzling.
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post #29 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Sometimes I (naively?) accept conventional wisdom without validation, in this case that Wav and Flac are both lossless and there can not be any sonic difference. Based on my recollection on what the wav's sounded like I do not recall degradation going to flac's (like Norm apparently did), but this is working from sonic memory with days between playing the tracks.

Tonight, I will move some flac's and Wav's of the same track into the same folder allowing me to switch between them with a just a few seconds delay.

If I find the Wav's sound better, I will reconvert some Wav's to Flac with DB Poweramp and see if there is still a difference. If the DB Poweramp conversion is indeed better I will reconvert my top 50 albums. However, theoretically a Media Monkey Flac should be bit for bit the exact same file as a DB Poweramp flac, so I find this whole thing very puzzling.

I am anxiously awaiting your "findings"!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #30 of 137 Old 11-22-2011, 08:52 AM
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Enough with the 0s and 1s :>) How does the BDP sound with you system??

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