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A friend of mine recently acquired an Aurender A 10 , audio research LS 28 , audio research REF75SE and Harbeth SHL5 Plus loudspeakers . Cables are by Synergistic Research . He downloaded music from Spotify Premium via his I pad then through the Aurender A10 . My friends problem is the sound of his downloaded music is crap , specially when he plays commercially recorded music of pop stars . His wife is into Mariah Carey and it sounds crap in this expensive system . I told him to try to use a Cambridge CD player connected to an old audio research DAC 7 played through the ARC LS28 & REF 75SE . When playing Audiophile approved recordings the system sounds fantastic .
So how can he improve the sound of commercially downloaded music ?
Thanks in advance guys and stay safe
That makes sense to me, compressed music will sound like crap on any decent system. He'll have to upgrade from spotify to the highest tiers of Qobuz or Tidal or Amazon HD streaming services to get what he needs. There's a couple of places to buy lossless music but at this point it might make more sense for him to get that good streamer to start streaming lossless assuming that it can support such services and he has decent internet speed.
I read an ipad and the Aurender conductor app is needed and you can get Tidal on the Aurender A10. Plug in ethernet wire from router to the Aurender A10 and control Tidal with the ipad and it plays on the A10. Recommend to sign up to highest Tidal tier.
There is no way to make the compressed files he has sound better with such a good system. Good luck.
When you order music downloads from a streaming service, you really don't know what you're getting......
It's not like ordering a CD, which you have control over which release you want...... There is no such knowledge of "pressing" with streaming.......
I haven't heard a streaming source that I thought came close in sonic performance to a good CD playback source.......
You need to get out more.
Thanks for the reply Todd for me personally I would rather stick w/ Vinyl , Tape & CD's .
Stay safe ,
"So how can he improve the sound of commercially downloaded music ?"
Don't download from Spotify or other services that use lossy compression.
Most mainstream services use lossy compression including Spotify, Apple Music and others.
You can stream high quality (lossless) music from Tidal and Qobuz, and you can download tunes for offline playback.
Thank you very much for the tip Abe , my friend was really upset / disappointed when he was downloading it from Apple & Spotify .
My kids all use Spotify, and when one was playing "September" by EW&F one time, streaming over Airplay to my kitchen RPi setup, I pulled a little trick by streaming the same track from Qobuz, which happens to be in 24/96, and interrupted her stream. She was amazed to hear how much better it sounded, deeper bass, clarity in the vocals.
She still uses Spotify because everyone has the impression that it has everything, but I have yet to not find something I want on Qobuz. I told her to download it and try since it is already paid for but she still isn't interested. There are other aspects of Spotify that she likes, mostly in discovery and sharing.
Oh also, I gave her a setup for her car consisting of a camera adapter and ExtremPro X1 DAC (like a Dragonfly) and she didn't think it sounded as good as my setup, except I was using Qobuz when she heard it and she used Spotify. But she also had some problem with it. I'm going to try hers out today in my car to see if there is really something wrong.
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