I am dubious about transports affecting sound quality because either the transport reads the data correctly and sends it error free or it does not. If it has errors in it, how do those errors translate into worse SQ? Surely if there is an error it will appear as a click or buzz or indeed no sound at all? How can a transport read a CD such that the subsequent reading produces a worse bass, or weaker treble than another transport?
I think that one way that a transport may affect SQ is to do with volume. Could the Mission CDP in combination with the DAC be producing a slightly higher volume than the Rocksan? The ear can detect slight differences in volume and louder sounds better than quieter due to clarity and dynamics.
This. Also, to agree with the earlier poster, I don't believe streaming sounds any better or different than using a competent cdp as a transport. This is based on both the theory and my own experience.
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Music & equipment have this really strange & weird way of changing. I got an audiolab M-dac to start with & thought it sounded much better than my Cambrigde audio 840c cdp. Then got a Rega dac again this is far musical. Then one day decided to go back to my cambrigde audio player. WOW. The 840c player was just so much musical., Detail & easy on the ear.
So I for one think trying to compare different equipment is not as straight forward as most may think. Now am back to my cd player again. Its a joy to listen to once again.
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All cds (data CD-ROM and music CD-DA) need sofrware to read the data. In the PC world these are drivers. The software will contain read error detection and correction. Some errors can be fixed automatically without re-reading the data (usually single bit errors) but most will need the data tio be re-read from the CD.
CD Audio data (CD-DA) is stored interleaved and so it takes a number of reads to get all the parts of data that need to be un-interleavedto to form the data set that is actually played. Since this is done in real time play mode there us usually no additional error correcting on the PC depening on the PC driver software.
CD PC data (CD-ROM) is stored sequentially and the driver software does error checkeing and re-reading in order make sure that the data transferred is complete and consistent. If it finds errors it can not handle you will get disk read errors signalled up to the operating system. Since it does not matter if it takes say a few seconds to sort out a bit of data corruption it is not really noticable to the person reading the data.
This is why transports can be different as they will contain different software drivers to try and correct as much data errors it can iwithout it impacting on the overall timing of the play-back
I hope this make sence.
Thank you for the technical insight.
I also suspect, the quality and isolation of components, as well as the power supply (type and quality) may also have a bearing.
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But how does such have a bearing on subjective reports of sound quality differences? Is there anything in how data is read that can make better bass or clearer treble?
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That is a technical question that requires someone who is a qualified engineer to give proper answer - and even they don't always agree. Issues of data transfer, jitter handling, effects of proper isolation and the differences that power supplies can make, are best answered by such a person.
Just because I hear a difference, doesn't mean I can explain why.....and the likelyhood of you accepting any explanation that I can come up with is slim to none (and vica versa).....as this is a "Black Hole" that I don't wish to get sucked into, I am now withdrawing from this particular debate.
I just accept that, imo pretty obviously, some CD transports read CDs more accurately than others 'in one take' and so the data needs less error correction. I don't feel that I am accepting some strange 'emperors new clothes' logic that would make even Peter Belt scratch his chin.
As for ReValveIt, I cannot argue constructively with anyone who on one hand can't entertain the possibility that there are variances between transports which can have at least a minor influence on the sound quality, yet in the same thread argues some rippers on computers give worse/better rips than others.
So for that reason, as a famous man once said, "I'm out".
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From what I understand of digital data it either works or it doesn't, so either sound is accurate or you get no sound or pops/crackles if inaccurate.
However, I do remember a weird instance of installing a game many years ago.
The game would load and play but weird red lines would slowly appear all over the screen.
I tried reinstalling the game, same thing happened.
I tried various settings which helped but did not fix the issue entirely and affected other programs so put all the settings back to original.
I then levelled the PC correctly so it was not at an angle (it was tilted downward at the front).
I reinstalled the game and it worked perfectly.
With the amount of error correction PC's have and disc read errors when things go horribly wrong the game should not have installed. But it did. And it affected the game.
Therefore I am undecided as to if transports can make a difference, but from experience of something that should not be, that a transport may make a difference.
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Nope, nope and nope. It doesn't do anything of the sort. No 'going back until it gets it right'. It's a straight read front to back. No 'error correction', just a straight read confirmed error free by comparing to multiple rips online.
And it is exactly like a CD player. MOST modern CD players have bog standard DVDRW drives / transport to cut costs.
Again, if a CD player is reading with errors, it isn't fit for purpose. Either that or learn to look after your discs a little better.
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Streaming does sound different even when connected to the same dac, my apple tv sounds quite bad compared to my airport express which in turn sounds worse than my Marantz cd63KI all via my dacmagic and I'm not even bringing proper hi-fi streamers to the equation here.
I'm not arguing that one ripper gives better rips than another. I'm saying that I'd rather use a ripper that GUARANTEES an error free rip; ya know, so I don't have to listen through every second of a whole album for clicks and skips after every rip.
I ripped 250 CDs with DBpoweramp using my £10 Asus drive. 248 of those ripped 100% accurate on the first pass. That's 1 single read at 40x normal speed. No jumping back and forth fixing errors or making sure it's right, just an accurate first pass rip.
for one CD transport to sound consistently worse than another, we'd have to be talking at least 1 interpolated error AT LEAST every 10 milliseconds thoughout a whole disc on EVERY disc you played through it. If that was the case then I think it would be fair to say there's something seriously wrong with that transport, no?
Ok genuinely my last thoughts on this, I've had a stressful day and perhaps I'm more short-tempered than I usually am. Sorry.
1) People on here have tried the same outboard DAC with different CDPs and transports, and have reported, reliably imo, that the SQ varied. They are not deaf, imagining things, otherwise deluded, nor, presumably, do they have anything to gain financially from their conclusion.
2) Manufacturers like Linn have ceased making CDPs completely because they compared their best CD player with their best streamer and their streamer wiped the floor with it, even playing the same CD-quality audio. Really there was only one variable: lack of CD. Therefore, if completely removing CDs from the equation offers the potential of better SQ, the possibility that there are SQ differences between different transports is not too radical a possibility to entertain.
3) No, I know that not all streamers sound better than CDPs, my earlier statement as such missed the rather important clause of 'All else being equal',which I didn't type because it was a rushed reply, typed when I was being paid to do something other than reply to WHF forum posts.
4) Always let your ears decide. If something sounds better to you, go with it. Don't let someone convince you that you're an idiot just because their perception of the science behind it says you cannot be hearing what you heard.
Thanks for putting me straight. That, quite obviously, is your opinion. Mine is different. This is were ab/x tests have the upper hand, opinion is removed, it comes down to what you can actually hear - not what you think you can hear. Audiophiles don't like them of course, because a lot of what they think turns out rather different.
So many things has to be taking into account when dealing with music & hifi.Do some people want to hear things that are not there yes. Just so they can justify spending all that money on another piece of HIFI. Do changes happen sometimes to the sound yes it does. Also a chnage in sound may not mean a better sound.
The way I approach HIFI even if evryone says this is the best bargin HIFI in history I will not believe it untill i have a listen for myself. Then & only then will i come to a conclusion. I think this is the problem, most people say things cause others say it, & not really finding out for themself first. Thats the nature of man. The trick is dnt let any theory or any review fool you. Just use them as a guide then make up ur own bloody mind .. I think thats one reason why God gave us ears..?
Well, this could easily be settled.
If the OP could send both CD players to me, I can perform a series of 'null' tests comparing the digital output of both players to a known error-free rip. This is an 'absolute' test that, provided both transports pass bit-perfect data to the SPDIF (they should) will reveal any and every tiny error produced by a player. This will answer the question once and for all but, I would be willing to bet my house that neither player will produce enough errors to actually change the sound quality. And, given a clean CD, I'll be extremely surprised if either player produces a single solitary error.
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