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#270428 9-May-2020 13:41
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I'm hoping for a bit of advice from the home theatre gurus here.

 

I currently have a Tidal Hifi subscription and I use it mainly to listen to music on my Sonos Playbase. The Playbase performs really well for its size, but obviously it's not what most people would consider to be a proper 'hifi system'. 

 

My Tidal Hifi subscription is costing $39 a month which is considerably more expensive than the $15 a month that I would pay for a service like Apple Music. My question : Am I wasting my money, or is the difference in sound quality actually perceptible with the equipment that I am using?

 

Note that I do not want to upgrade my audio equipment as I am happy with the Playbase as a compromise of price, size and performance.


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  #2479757 9-May-2020 13:47
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In my experience - you can't really tell the difference between Tidal and Spotify with most things, it isn't worth the extra money IMO.

 

I use Spotify, it is great. I've tried essentially all the streaming services including Tidal but Spotify just works with every device.





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  #2479778 9-May-2020 14:32
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In my opinion you're unnecessarily wasting money. While the Playbase is a great sounding piece of equipment, to really take advantage of a lossless source I think you need a higher end audio system. Even then I'm dubious of the advantage of lossless music. I'm sure someone with more finely tuned hearing will argue differently but I can't tell the difference between lossless and good quality lossy music on the same system.

 

 

 

Honestly just give it a go. Worst case you'll put up with Apple Music or Spotify for a month before reverting back to Tidal.


 
 
 
 




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  #2479800 9-May-2020 15:43
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Thanks guys - I'm going to try Apple Music for a while and I suspect I'll end up cancelling the Tidal subscription in due course.

 

In this economic environment I don't want to be spending money on things that aren't adding any significant value!


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  #2479801 9-May-2020 15:46
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I used to have all of my music in lossless formats and even HiRes as I had a very expensive setup with headphones and a good DAC/amp. Now I prefer the convenience of Bluetooth and I'm old so I can't hear the difference anyway :-)

 

Save your money I say.





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  #2479841 9-May-2020 17:26
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Sadly I can also say the ravages of time take their toll, but on the bright side saves me $

Cyril

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  #2479864 9-May-2020 18:10
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RIP some CDs as Flac or what ever lossless format your equipment can play and same in high bit rate mp3 and flick between the two and see if you can notice the difference...

All my CDs are flac because when I was ripping the difference in time wasnt that big so I thought I would try lossless.

Since then the house is never quiet enough to notice. Children running round tv etc so days of quietly listening to music is gone. Listening in car or walking to work is noisy environment.

Im not sure id pay for lossless streaming currently but I'm glad all my cds are flac. Storage isn't issue these days. All on synology nas and android has native flac compatibility.

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  #2479869 9-May-2020 18:21
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As your Sonos Playbase can't currently accept files above CD quality... then anything above the 16/44.1 format is wasted.

 

 

 

On top of that, to go above redbook CD quality you need to have a speaker / amp combo that can perform far higher than that.

 

PLUS the element that almost everyone forgets, is that your room needs to have a very low noise floor! Turn off the heatpump, stop cars driving past your home... you know, the normal stuff (not)!

 

 

 

So yep, you're wasting money on the HD version of Tidal.

 

If you like the service, try the cheaper, non-HD version.

 

I'm not necessarily a fan of Apple music to be honest, but I would choose it over Spotify.

 

 

 

Certainly consider a service like Amazon Music and see if that works for you too.


 
 
 
 


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  #2479872 9-May-2020 18:24
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question re: CD -> FLAC

 

What is the quality of CD files? They are not not that high as there is higher definition formats eg SACD ... so which is the ideal bitrate to rip CDs?





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2479877 9-May-2020 18:26
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re lossless - i can't tell from about 160-256kbps upwards. i used to think i can tell 320kbps mp3s from flac but that was a while ago. i'm now too old and have too much distraction to concentrate.

 

but when i'm alone with my Audeze LCD2 (like 1 hr a year!) ... oo yea

 

but then again i don't have $100,000 audio equipment and endless amount of time ... not even in the lockdown! kids!





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2479878 9-May-2020 18:28
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Redbook CD is 16/44.1

 

FLAC (zero compression) is a simple way to enable you to keep the file bit-perfect AND add meta-data like album or song art etc.

 

 

 

If you're an Apple user, AIFF is a good option.

 

 

 

If you want to use MP3, DON'T!

 

 

 

:-)


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  #2479921 9-May-2020 19:54
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Spotify Premium is free with (some) Spark mobile plans. If it makes sense to switch, then you won't have to pay a dime for your music subscription.

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  #2479944 9-May-2020 20:50
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Dunnersfella:

 

Redbook CD is 16/44.1

 

FLAC (zero compression) is a simple way to enable you to keep the file bit-perfect AND add meta-data like album or song art etc.

 

 

 

If you're an Apple user, AIFF is a good option.

 

 

 

If you want to use MP3, DON'T!

 

 

 

:-)

 

 

For archival storage, MP3 isn't a good choice, but for the sake of wider compatibility elsewhere, you don't have to sacrifice that much storage space vs more efficient codecs.


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  #2479991 9-May-2020 23:39
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Storage space?

 

What's a 2TB HDD these days?

 

My phone is 256GB... and there's MUCH larger to be found!

 

Really there's no need for MP3 these days... if you own a device that 'needs' MP3, then batch converting to place the files on a USB stick or similar is a piece of cake and just doesn't take long.


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  #2480178 10-May-2020 10:23
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Hi, so recently (and just completed in my time in isolation) ripped all my CD collection (>300) to FLAC and stored on my wee server, playout is mainly via a Musicast unit but other outlets also. End result is very pleased.

 

Since then I have been enjoying browsing and adding to my collection from the likes of Pentatone and Channel Classics, again downloading CD level FLAC versions. I have tried a few higher res downloads, but as per my earlier post, my aging ears have found little to be gained, although I know those gains are there, if only I could appreciate it.

 

As for MP3 and MP4/AAC, obviously you can have many levels of compression used, I find the lower levels commonly used on many popular sites like Spotify  (AAC/24kb/s etc) totally unlistenable, the main issue is dynamic pumping, but the one that really gets me is the loss of rhythm and pace, it took me awhile to understand what was happening. Modestly higher levels which I think Spotify have as the higher levels (AAC/160kb/s and above) seem much more listenable.

 

I have been listening a lot to BBC Radio3 over isolation, the HD stream which I think is AAC/320kb/s is very good, pity ConcertFM did not use a similar quality stream, although I suspect iHeartRadios stream of Concert is higher than their own, well so it seems, would be interested if anyone has further comment on that.

 

@Batman, FLAC is the correct way to rip CDs and retain their full resolution, think of it a ZIP for CD's, its lossless, ie no data is thrown away in the zip/unzip process. Ripping in any higher res is a waste of time and effort as you achieve nothing but use disk space up needlessly.

 

Cyril


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  #2480305 10-May-2020 10:40
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@harlansmart - your opinion please. This guy has high end sound gear to die for.




Megabyte - so geek it megahertz


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