CD Player vs Tidal - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-24-2018, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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CD Player vs Tidal

Hi all,

I was dead set against getting a CD player, despite having hundreds of CDs (already imported to iTunes) and Tidal Hifi. I picked up a Sony UDP-X1000ES Blu-ray player today and figured I'd pop a few CDs in to compare, and wow there is a huge difference. The CDs just sound way better. This makes me think I am doing something wrong with Tidal, as I was under the impression that Tidal should be CD quality. Perhaps it's my setup? This is the path for both:

CD -> Sony X1000ES -> [HDMI OUT] -> Marantz AV7703 -> Emotiva XPA5
Tidal on MacBook Pro -> [AirPlay] -> Marantz AV7703 -> Emotiva XPA5

2 Channel speaker setup is B&W 805D3 + SVS SB-16 Ultra + SB2000.

I was under the impression Airplay should be lossless, in which case it seems like the Marantz is serving as the DAC for both paths? Keep in mind I am using the HDMI out on the Sony, not the analog.

Am I missing something with my setup?
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Speakers B&W 805D3, CM6 S2, HTM71 S2; KEF Q100; Klipsch RP-280F Subs SVS SB16, SB2000; Emotiva S8 Amps Rotel RB1582mkII; Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 Processing Marantz AV7703; Denon X2400H; Sony X1000ES; Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Rotel RC-1590 TVs LG 55B7; Vizio P65 Headphones Audeze LCD-3, Senn HD800, Violectric V200, V800
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-24-2018, 06:04 PM
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i have a bluesound node 2 and many tidal songs sound very good...only time i use my oppo is for sacd and movies....tidal is very good on mac air laptops and dell xps laptops

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-24-2018, 06:12 PM
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check marantz source settings/level for hdmi vs airplay

Paradigm PW AMP, KEF Q100, Emotiva B1, Rythmik L12
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-24-2018, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp8140 View Post
check marantz source settings/level for hdmi vs airplay
Nothing is different that I can tell. Neither has the M-DAX on. Levels over HDMI are a little higher but there is also just much more life to the sound vs the Tidal airplay version.

Speakers B&W 805D3, CM6 S2, HTM71 S2; KEF Q100; Klipsch RP-280F Subs SVS SB16, SB2000; Emotiva S8 Amps Rotel RB1582mkII; Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 Processing Marantz AV7703; Denon X2400H; Sony X1000ES; Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Rotel RC-1590 TVs LG 55B7; Vizio P65 Headphones Audeze LCD-3, Senn HD800, Violectric V200, V800
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-01-2018, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstorlast View Post
I was under the impression Airplay should be lossless, in which case it seems like the Marantz is serving as the DAC for both paths? Keep in mind I am using the HDMI out on the Sony, not the analog.

Am I missing something with my setup?
Initial transcoding by AirPlay of the source computer's audio is lossless (assuming the source audio is CD quality/resolution), since it network streams audio using the ALAC audio format at a fixed resolution of 16/44.1kHz. However, to maintain sync with some source players (eg iTunes) AirPlay can drop some of the data it's streaming.

You could instead try getting the Marantz to stream the lossless audio file tracks directly from TIDAL's online server, by using a TIDAL HiFi account supporting UPnP/DLNA controller, such as the excellent BubbleUPnP Android app.

Another thing to think about - how certain are you that your CDs have been produced from the exact same studio master sources as the lossless album file tracks contained in TIDAL's catalogue?

Last edited by Cebolla; 04-01-2018 at 01:39 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-02-2018, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstorlast View Post
Hi all,

I was dead set against getting a CD player, despite having hundreds of CDs (already imported to iTunes) and Tidal Hifi. I picked up a Sony UDP-X1000ES Blu-ray player today and figured I'd pop a few CDs in to compare, and wow there is a huge difference. The CDs just sound way better. This makes me think I am doing something wrong with Tidal, as I was under the impression that Tidal should be CD quality. Perhaps it's my setup? This is the path for both:

CD -> Sony X1000ES -> [HDMI OUT] -> Marantz AV7703 -> Emotiva XPA5
Tidal on MacBook Pro -> [AirPlay] -> Marantz AV7703 -> Emotiva XPA5

2 Channel speaker setup is B&W 805D3 + SVS SB-16 Ultra + SB2000.

I was under the impression Airplay should be lossless, in which case it seems like the Marantz is serving as the DAC for both paths? Keep in mind I am using the HDMI out on the Sony, not the analog.

Am I missing something with my setup?
A physical disc player will better any "stream" service for now. How do you like the Sony ES?
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-02-2018, 04:31 PM
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2nd Note;
the B&W 805D3 is a very fine monitor, I know because I owned an older version, and will reveal inferior links upstream (no pun).
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-04-2018, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JA Fant View Post
A physical disc player will better any "stream" service for now. How do you like the Sony ES?
Other than the lack of Dolby Vision, pretty excellent. Glad I didn’t grab an Oppo now. I figured they might stop selling them and I want to make sure I keep my warranty and software upgrades.

Speakers B&W 805D3, CM6 S2, HTM71 S2; KEF Q100; Klipsch RP-280F Subs SVS SB16, SB2000; Emotiva S8 Amps Rotel RB1582mkII; Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 Processing Marantz AV7703; Denon X2400H; Sony X1000ES; Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Rotel RC-1590 TVs LG 55B7; Vizio P65 Headphones Audeze LCD-3, Senn HD800, Violectric V200, V800
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-05-2018, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JA Fant View Post
A physical disc player will better any "stream" service for now. How do you like the Sony ES?
Agree on physical CD. I just refuse to sign up for a paid streaming service with a few hundred CDs to listen to. I Already pay for XM radio for 3 cars, I'm not adding another service.

To the OP, Good to hear about the Sony sounding nice. I have two Oppos, the 95 for music playback and a 203 for movies. When they gave up this week, I started to buy a 205, but just decided no, when those give up the ghost, I'll just move on to something else. The Sony fits the bill perfectly. UHD playback, CD, and SACD playback (I have about 50 SACDs). Also has two channel analog output to feed my headphone amp (I wonder how the DAC is?). I expect my oppos to last a long time, but It's always nice to know what my options are.

Supercharged Song Towers, Oppo BDP-203, Anthem MRX-520, LG B6 OLED
Headphone Rig: Oppo BDP-95, Burson Audio Soloist MKII Headphone amp/ Sennheiser HD800S, Sennheiser HD650
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-11-2018, 05:47 AM
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I really like Tidal. Streaming from a Auralic Mini (with the dedicated power supply) to a PS Audio DirectStream DAC (driving the amps, Bel Canto Ref500M's). Although I still use my PS Audio PerfectWave transport, the sound is not as good as with Tidal. There's a caveat however, you need to select tracks that's in high-res or the CD player will match the sound quality.

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post #11 of 11 Old 05-17-2018, 05:32 AM
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My Tidal HiFi (NOT Tidal Premium) streaming is all via Ethernet direct into either a Bluesound Vault 2>analog out>NAD T758>KEF R500, or Bluesound Powernode 2>KEF LS50.


I like the second setup better because it's better speakers and a shorter path. All my 500+ CD's are ripped by and stored in the Vault 2. When I compare my Sony CD player>analog out>NAD T758>R500 to Tidal HiFi on the same setup with the Vault2 as source, I really find them perfectly equal though far more convenient playing the stored library. At least I've never had a skip in a stored file though some older CD's have done that.

Maybe my ears just aren't as good as others here.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.
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