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CDP tray versa HD playback, once again

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Posted on April 28, 2008 at 12:56:08
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
I did a number of comparative tests that resulted in a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt :)
Setup:
PC based transport built for this purpose only, to the best of my abilities and knowledge (completely fanless, all non-essential HW/SW disabled, Lynx L22 soundcard).
Wadia player with digital input fed from mentioned Lynx.
A number of CDs were ripped and stored on PC HD as wave files.
Compared playback of same tracks from CDP tray and from PC.
Results were not consistent, sometimes preference was the tray, sometimes PC.
In those cases where PC was preferred (and there were many), I realized that during the ripping process, EAC was not able to read everything in a single pass, errors were accumulating, and it was re-reading tracks. My understanding is that EAC, if setup in such a way, will make several reading attempts, and in case all are bad, even try to pick the most intact sector from each pass, even perform computation based on values from all passes.
On the other hand, tray is real time deal, and ECC is not always capable of correcting the information.
Consequently, my conclusion was that in such cases the process of ripping and later playing from PC indeed results in more accurate information being presented for conversion to analog signal, despite assumed higher jitter from Lynx, and for this reason I preferred PC playback.
The number of such disks/tracks was surprisingly large. Even brand new, supposedly well pressed CDs of high quality (and expensive) exhibited this reading problem. Very few of them were of 100% quality when ripped, and those were generally preferred through tray.
Does this make sense?

 

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RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 13:46:14
So most CD's that ripped with errors you preferred listening to via a CDP (Wadia). Oddly enough even brand new CD's did not rip perfect, via EAC.

Even though EAC is marked as the undisputed worlds best ripping software, might I suggest you try something else. You may find that those CD's will rip without error and sound consistent with EAC's perfectly ripped CD's.

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 14:06:50
andy_c
Audiophile

Posts: 1470
Joined: June 2, 2007
The number of such disks/tracks was surprisingly large. Even brand new, supposedly well pressed CDs of high quality (and expensive) exhibited this reading problem. Very few of them were of 100% quality when ripped, and those were generally preferred through tray.
Does this make sense?


One caveat here. The "track quality" in the EAC log reflects how hard EAC had to work to get to its final data, but not necessarily the "goodness" of the final data. The quality of the final data is best determined by AccurateRip. If AccurateRip gives all your tracks a clean bill of health, then you are home free. If it doesn't, well, one cannot know.

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 15:09:56
Tony Lauck
Audiophile

Posts: 13629
Location: Vermont
Joined: November 12, 2007
"So most CD's that ripped with errors you preferred listening to via a CDP (Wadia)."

I think your understanding is backwards. I think what happened was that problem CDs turned out better when EAC was able to do its magic. For other CDs, no magic was needed and the Wadia did fine reading the disks in real time.

Presumably, the Wadia sounds better from the tray with clean CDs because it uses its own clock. When playing from the computer the clock has to travel down the cable from the computer together with the audio data, and this adds jitter that the Wadia is not completely rejecting. Both sources would sound the same with clean CDs if the Wadia had better jitter rejection on its digital inputs. Alternatively, if the Wadia could source its master clock to the Lynx, results would be similarly good. (The Lynx accepts an external clock. I don't know if the Wadia outputs one.)

Tony Lauck

"Perception, inference and authority are the valid sources of knowledge" - P.R. Sarkar

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 15:53:59
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
Well, no, if I understand what you are saying.
Everything is played via CDP, comparison is tray in CDP versa digital input on CDP fed from PC/Lynx. Analog out of CDP goes into amps.
And those CD tracks that are readable in first pass (EAC did not have to work hard with), sound better from tray.
For this reason I made these conclusions (rightly or wrongly).

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 15:56:18
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
Yes, that is it.
BTW Wadia has no ability to output clock.

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 17:45:23
I dont think EAC can make the material on a CD sound better, by magic or any other means.

IF, this were true then EAC does some sort of manipulation of sound waves, which is most likely not the case.

I wont go so far as to make assumptions as to why either sound better or worse than the other. Only to say, I am sure there are several reasons why a nicely ripped track sounds better via computer.

 

Here is a test, posted on April 28, 2008 at 17:49:12
make an .iso image of a CD, then play it back from your HD via Deamon tools.

 

Magic in the sense of Clarke's Third Law, posted on April 28, 2008 at 18:07:24
Tony Lauck
Audiophile

Posts: 13629
Location: Vermont
Joined: November 12, 2007
"I dont think EAC can make the material on a CD sound better, by magic or any other means."

I meant magic only in the sense of Clarke's Third Law. As far as I know, EAC works as described in its documentation. It has been demonstrated to do a better job of extracting bits than simpler approaches, including reading disks in real time with typical drive error correction circuitry.

Tony Lauck

"Perception, inference and authority are the valid sources of knowledge" - P.R. Sarkar

 

Another test, posted on April 28, 2008 at 18:28:55
Tony Lauck
Audiophile

Posts: 13629
Location: Vermont
Joined: November 12, 2007
Use EAC to rip one of your problematic disks to WAV files. Use the WAV files to burn a CD-R. Use EAC to verify that the CD-R is a bit perfect copy of the WAV files and that it reads at high track quality. Now run your sound quality tests, only this time using the CD-R copy.

If you are lucky, when you play the CD-R on the Wadia you will get better sound quality than before.





Tony Lauck

"Perception, inference and authority are the valid sources of knowledge" - P.R. Sarkar

 

RE: Here is a test, posted on April 28, 2008 at 18:50:22
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
What is Deamon tool?
I am extremely anal about any piece of SW going on PC that plays wav files, want to keep it as pristine and dedicated as possible. :)
For example I do ripping on separate PC, no optical drives spinning on player PC.
I realized how big difference it all makes when I went from not so dedicated PC to dedicated one with absolutely no HW/SW that is not required for that single purpose.

 

RE: Another test, posted on April 28, 2008 at 18:51:37
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
That is a good one.
I will have to get some decent blanks first, what I have on hand right now is pure crap.

 

RE: Magic in the sense of Clarke's Third Law, posted on April 28, 2008 at 18:52:51
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
That is my thinking as well.

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 28, 2008 at 22:23:57
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 13158
Location: Kent
Joined: June 1, 2002
If a large no of rips you made have errors, then you should look carefully into EAC settings and the CD drive. Change it and limit the speed of the rip.

I have found no correlation between tracks on 99% quality and those with 100%. I really don't get many with 99% or less.

You should perhaps try other rippers such as Roxio which I have but not used.

 

RE: Here is a test, posted on April 29, 2008 at 05:00:47
Yes I do ripping on a different PC as well, but only because [that] PC has a better optical drive. I never rip while I am playing music so no optical drives spinning on my player PC either.

So what SW do you use to play back your music anyway???

 

RE: Magic in the sense of Clarke's Third Law, posted on April 29, 2008 at 05:04:59
Clark's Laws are more philosophy than anything.....

I still don't see how EAC can get more from the source than whats on the source. I think what we are talking about in this thread is the placebo affect...

 

RE: Here is a test, posted on April 29, 2008 at 06:50:41
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
I use WaveLab, found it much better than anything else.

 

RE: Magic in the sense of Clarke's Third Law, posted on April 29, 2008 at 06:52:50
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
EAC is not getting more from the source than whats on the source, it is getting more of what is on the source, as compared to CDP tray that works in single pass with ECC.

 

No placebo effects, just 1's and 0's., posted on April 29, 2008 at 08:19:59
Tony Lauck
Audiophile

Posts: 13629
Location: Vermont
Joined: November 12, 2007
EAC only gets what is on a CD. The problem is with normal methods of reading a CD, which fail to read some CDs correctly that EAC can. Of course, if you played frisbee with a CD or gave it to your dog even EAC may not be able to get the correct bits.

How much an incorrect bit affects the sound depends on the particular bit and the particular music. In some cases a single bit in error will be obvious, in other cases inaudible. Fortunately it isn't necessary to determine if a CD was read correctly by subjective listening. It is possible to use a bit for bit file compare to compare multiple readings of the same CD. You can do this with an audio editor or with EACs compare function.




Tony Lauck

"Perception, inference and authority are the valid sources of knowledge" - P.R. Sarkar

 

RE: CDP tray versa HD playback, once again, posted on April 29, 2008 at 13:30:42
64 bit


 
Perhaps your Wadia is one of the players that operates with the CDP/transport slaved to the internal DAC in synchronous mode. There are those that believe this gives by far the best digital replay quality and lowest jitter/distortion. Whereas your PC/soundcard configuration slaves the DAC to the transport giving the highest jitter/distortion.
At least that might be a consideration if you look at:

http://www.lessloss.com/specs.html
http://www.lessloss.com/types.html Your PC is type one and CDP type 4?

The whole site is an interesting read, I have no idea as to the accuracy of any of the statements, but I remember somewhere on the site the comment that Wadia does it right!?

Frank

 

RE: Magic in the sense of Clarke's Third Law, posted on April 29, 2008 at 14:14:50
Hmmmmmmmm, okay.

Well either way I have used EAC for the majority of my HD collection. A small part was ripped via other software, honestly I cant tell the difference as long as the rip was successful.

Its been at least over a year since I listened to a CD via a CDP. At this point I cant compare anyways because I no longer have a CDP.

I have one stand alone computer that i built for the purpose of audio, which I am currently revamping to Linux instead of XP. I use an outboard DAC and am pretty happy.

 

RE: Here is a test, posted on April 29, 2008 at 14:21:01
Interesting....I have heard of a few people who use Steinberg products, they seem to be very happy with it as well. Is it the Nuendo +4 your using or something else?

 

RE: Here is a test, posted on April 29, 2008 at 15:18:54
SashaV
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: September 25, 2006
It is WaveLab 5 (Audio Editing and Mastering Suite).
I do not know why it sounds so good.
Maybe becuase Steinberg developed ASIO as well? :)

 

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