Only way to get full res from Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 45 Old 06-13-2019, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post
That is just rent, when you stop renting all of that will be gone. You could buy 12 CDs a year from that. In a lifetime, like 50 years/600 CDs, that is probably more than half of your music collection....which you would own for the rest of your life. AFAIK renting music or movies is a waste of money.

Used CDs are the way to go, often times you get can get them for a dollar or two. Rip to .FLAC and stream to a stereo.
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post #32 of 45 Old 06-13-2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by smithsabom View Post
Interesting discussion... I once read an article, on line, from an east coast audio society ( Boston audio society?) anyway, the main point of the article was that Hi rez encoding didn't matter. the human ear can't do better than 44.1 khz... leads me to recall back in the day when CD first came out, and all the "purists" were poo-pooing this new digital stuff... all points to be argued ad infinitum... These days is it mostly just confirming you are getting the claimed value for our equipment and service purchases?

As for streaming, and stream/audio quality notwithstanding, that for ~the cost of 1 CD/month, you can access more music than you could ever store in physical media.
There are quite a few variables that play into this. How good was the original recording? Was it digitally recorded or analog? And what engineering choices were made by the time it was released? Any of these can compromise the content, regardless of whether it's 44.1 or higher rez.

The thing I remember most about early CDs and players was jitter issues. Man, that was like an ice pick in the ear!

Re: "...access more music than you could ever store in physical media...", while this is unquestionably true it favors quantity over quality -- a personal choice IMO and very different things.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #33 of 45 Old 06-13-2019, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
Used CDs are the way to go, often times you get can get them for a dollar or two. Rip to .FLAC and stream to a stereo.
Used is definitely a good approach and not just for cost.

Suppose you find an album you want. How do you find a great recording of it? I use the Dynamic Range Database to locate less compressed / compromised content, and then use Discogs to buy it used. Works pretty well.

The dr database is here: http://dr.loudness-war.info/
And Discogs is here: https://www.discogs.com/search/

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #34 of 45 Old 06-13-2019, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post
That is just rent, when you stop renting all of that will be gone. You could buy 12 CDs a year from that. In a lifetime, like 50 years/600 CDs, that is probably more than half of your music collection....which you would own for the rest of your life. AFAIK renting music or movies is a waste of money.
True. although it does offer a way to sample a great quantity of music to figure out what you want to keep permanently. After all (arguably), this is how itunes became so successful: how many times have you bought an album to realize that you only liked a a few songs?

although we digress from the original thread... worth it!

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post #35 of 45 Old 06-14-2019, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dtximages View Post
Perhaps so. I just find it annoying that I have found TONS of debates on what's better Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz and people arguing over the issue, BUT they're all streaming over the air which is totally limiting quality.
I assume by "streaming over the air" you mean streaming through their WiFi network? If so, I don't understand how you feel that is "totally limiting quality" -- two things:

1) If the WiFi network is at all decent and the devices in range, there is more than enough bandwidth for CD quality audio which is, AFAIK, the highest any of these services offer (maybe Qobuz does more, but even Tidal's MQA is transported in a container having bandwidth requirements equal to CD-quality).

2) AFAIK, none of these services re-encode dynamically to compensate for bandwidth, so even if the WiFi network had bandwidth issues, the streams would just pause and buffer, not re-encode to a lower quality signal to fit in the pipe.
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post #36 of 45 Old 07-19-2019, 07:13 AM
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^^^ What he said.

I'm not sure what you mean my "streaming over the air" but that is NOT how the data is transmitted too your home. And I suggest you do a blind test comparing the CD vs the streamed version and see if you can actually hear any difference. I did and I couldn't. YMMV.
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post #37 of 45 Old 07-19-2019, 07:43 AM
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I switched from Tidal to Qobuz because: (a) I think MQA is, for lack of less kind way to say it, "way less than it claims to be", and (b) I got tired of having Jay-Z's genre of music pushed in my face.

When I switched I recognized that Qobuz had a much smaller music selection, but, before switching, they confirmed to me they were adding thousands of titles weekly. While that may (or may not) be true, they are still way behind Tidal and I am thinking of switching back.
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post #38 of 45 Old 07-21-2019, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by divertiti View Post
Going through a computer or HT receiver will also compromise your sound quality. The best way is to get a streamer/end-point like Microrendu or SOTM SMS-200. Auralic and Lumin make great stuff as well if you are looking a bit more up-market.
I’m looking at getting a Lumin D2 to use with my Denon AVR-X7200WA so I can do both MQA from Tidal and also support Roon. Wish Denon had Tidal MQA support like Onkyo does with its Integra line. Would be nice if the unit I purchase has a display on front for cover art, onscreen display for track info, cover art, and also supports multi-channel sacd/DVD-a playback via Roon & streaming also apparently. Seems very few of any components support my want list without $$$$.

Last edited by Spizz; 07-21-2019 at 03:42 AM.
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post #39 of 45 Old 08-22-2019, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dtximages View Post
I just got off the phone with Cambridge Audio and they kinda confirmed what I was thinking about stream quality.

1. I subscribe to all three premium services.
2. I can connect to my Cambridge CXN v2 via: Spotify = Spotify Connect | Tidal = chromecast | Qobuz = chromecast

Chromecast downgrades the signal so you're never going to get full resolution from Tidal HIFI or Qobuz subline (or whatever tier give you high res).

So, it seems to me that these are total wastes of money UNLESS you connect directly to a computer via USB (a good quality one).

So, am I correct to say that, if you're not going to connect to a computer, you're going to get the same quality as Spotify? No better from Tidal or Qobuz?

It's so hard to do an a/b comparison and those are subjective anyway and normally tainted by confirmation bias.

Am I right here though? Thoughts?
Surprised that there weren't more methods of getting full Hi Res (aka MQA unfolding) mentioned for Tidal. Here are some cheap options:

iOS/Android app > Audioquest Dragonfly DAC ($99+) > Headphones
Windows 10 Tidal desktop app > Audioquest Dragonfly > Headphones
Bluesound Node > AVR via analog RCA cable

iOS/Android app > Denon HEOS app > AVR also works but I believe you're only getting first level unfolding. Still sounds good though.

Spotify doesn't have a full res option currently. They do have a higher bit rate option but it's still lossy.

Quobuz has high res that doesn't require special processing like Tidal/MQA. The disadvantage is that they are more expensive and don't have the same library size, however they are catching up rapidly.
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post #40 of 45 Old 08-23-2019, 10:57 AM
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How about Tidal through Plex? They are claiming it is the highest resolution, and you can use Plex on just about any device these days...
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post #41 of 45 Old 08-23-2019, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent information. I think my angst still lies in, when I'm streaming, there is no indicator as to the quality/bit rate I'm actually pulling. Some DACs like the Mytek Brooklyn show the real-time bit rate and I think that's awesome.

I'm sure ROON does too but I have not bit the bullet on that yet as I'm still loving my BluOS on the Node 2i.
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post #42 of 45 Old 08-23-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dtximages View Post
Excellent information. I think my angst still lies in, when I'm streaming, there is no indicator as to the quality/bit rate I'm actually pulling. Some DACs like the Mytek Brooklyn show the real-time bit rate and I think that's awesome.

I'm sure ROON does too but I have not bit the bullet on that yet as I'm still loving my BluOS on the Node 2i.
The Tidal app has an indicator whether a track is hi res or hi fi. Listening to Tidal on the mConnect app will also provide bit rate/sample rate.
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post #43 of 45 Old 08-24-2019, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The Tidal app has an indicator whether a track is hi res or hi fi. Listening to Tidal on the mConnect app will also provide bit rate/sample rate.
Thanks for the reply. I understand that Tidal shows you the stream quality but my question is more around, is that what's actually being processed or pushed to my streamer/dac? For example, if i'm playing something high-res in Tidal, but connected via Bluetooth, the Bluetooth is "dumbing down" the signal to Bluetooth quality. Same with Airplay.

Every method of streaming has different limitations, most of which are "under" the source stream quality, but you wouldn't know that. So you could be playing Tidal Hi FI over Airplay or Chromecast but you're NOT REALLY GETTING HI FI quality because the method is restricting it.

I wish the Tidal or Qubuz app would tell you something like: "Hey i'm a high res file but your connection is limiting you to x resolution."
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post #44 of 45 Old 08-24-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dtximages View Post
Thanks for the reply. I understand that Tidal shows you the stream quality but my question is more around, is that what's actually being processed or pushed to my streamer/dac? For example, if i'm playing something high-res in Tidal, but connected via Bluetooth, the Bluetooth is "dumbing down" the signal to Bluetooth quality. Same with Airplay.

Every method of streaming has different limitations, most of which are "under" the source stream quality, but you wouldn't know that. So you could be playing Tidal Hi FI over Airplay or Chromecast but you're NOT REALLY GETTING HI FI quality because the method is restricting it.

I wish the Tidal or Qubuz app would tell you something like: "Hey i'm a high res file but your connection is limiting you to x resolution."
yes, but.... you bring up a couple of different scenarios, but both relate to the same issue: signal path.

for a chromecast stream. the "control" is coming from a phone or tablet, but the stream is going directly to the CCA ( assuming you are using the CCA Puck). as opposed to BT

where the stream is going over the BT connection...

so the former (CCA) has better fidelity(potentially - depends on the streaming source) than the latter...

and as an aside... I get how BT is easy for people to understand and manipulate, but I am aghast at how many people want " hifi" yet they are trying to send audio over BT.... BT has its applications...

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post #45 of 45 Old 08-24-2019, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smithsabom View Post
yes, but.... you bring up a couple of different scenarios, but both relate to the same issue: signal path.

for a chromecast stream. the "control" is coming from a phone or tablet, but the stream is going directly to the CCA ( assuming you are using the CCA Puck). as opposed to BT

where the stream is going over the BT connection...

so the former (CCA) has better fidelity(potentially - depends on the streaming source) than the latter...

and as an aside... I get how BT is easy for people to understand and manipulate, but I am aghast at how many people want " hifi" yet they are trying to send audio over BT.... BT has its applications...
Exactly. But you see, most people stream and are not really aware of the quality they're getting. It requires tons of research to know if you're actually getting HIFI from Tidal. It's hard/impossible to tell if youre streaming FROM your phone, or if your phone is just acting as a remote.

I still think you have to have ROON or a player that connects directly to Qubuz for that to be worth the cost.
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