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Old 29th October 2007, 08:48 PM   #1
Jonasa is offline Jonasa  Belgium
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Default Why does my CD player sound better then my PC?

When I have a new CD then I take always a copy on my laptop computer.
I do this with Nero burning ROM and select Nero Express.
Then I save the image in .WAV format on my harddisk.

I have an external USB soundcard Edirol UA-EX, and I use it on battery power. (modification)

Today I did a A/B test with the same CD, on my CD player and on computer.

Everytime my CD player sound much much better. My computer sound is more compressed and the hights are suppresed. The CD player sound opener and more detailed. (My CD player is just a 10 years old one from Technics around 300 Euro)

Can it be that there is something wrong with the way I take my cd image with Nero software?? Are WAV files realy the same as the original?
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:45 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Try using EAC (exact audio copy) to make an image of the disc assuming you have a windows machine. EAC is open source and free - it's about the best out there, another option would be CD-DA..

It is quite possible that your usb dac just isn't that wonderful or is resampling everything to 48kHz before the conversion. Bad quality op-amps and passive parts might contribute to this issue as well.

There are good usb dacs, mostly based on via envy or similar chip sets that don't resample. M-Audio makes the Transit which doesn't resample by default. (I have several M-Audio products and am pleased with their performance.)
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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Good USB sound is not as easy as some will have you believe.

All the common solutions involve huge amount of jitter. As it appears to be different in spectrum to "normal" CDP jitter, some may actually prefer it.

Not to mention the DA extraction part and getting the PC (if its a PC) to bypass the dreaded Kmixer.

After months of fine-tuning i think i get acceptable sound out of USB but still no match overall for a dedicated CD transport.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:21 PM   #4
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Have you tried getting around the windows kmixer component? The operating system (if you use windows) will be resampling everything at 48khz - poorly. ASIO4ALL is a common attempt to bybass kmixer. I use it with Foobar2000.

I dunno, maybe you've already tried this.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:53 PM   #5
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And yet...

Here's my experience with ripping cd's to my Windows PC, then sync'ing to mp3 player:

>I decided rather than rip my stock stereo/spkrs out of my Saturn Wagon, I would install amplifiers, speakers -- and use Creative Zen M 30 gb player as source
>my evil plan involves ripping every cd I own onto my PC; I changed the rate from the default 128k to 160k...
>I ripped said cd's, then using Win Media Player, sync'd 'em to my Zen...

The result is 300+ "cd's" in my car at all times. The sound? I'm pretty picky and have found that some of the good old school music recordings basically don't cut it, so I find myself listening to mostly current recordings: jazz, classical, vocal (Sara Bareilles "Little Voice" is very clear), or perhaps some of Red Hot Chili Peps recordings, which are pretty good.

I must humbly say that I have to educate myself regarding what the more well-informed posters refer to as "the dreaded Kmixer",
"resample by default", and "ASIO4ALL" and such. But, I wish that you could hear the results that I'm getting. Listeners say that my system sounds verrry good.

I digressed a bit, but now you have MY experiences with cd-to-computer music.

By the way, I plan to do a car audio post on the possibilities of ripping cd's using Windows Media "lossless", then syncing to some digital device for car digital audio. Please look for it, as I could use input (obviously). Blessings, Bdog
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by brucedog
I'm pretty picky
160k? Of course you're picky
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:22 PM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Yeah I forgot to mention the dreaded kmixer.. I use asio exclusively and in fact the m-audio transit fully supports asio and that does make a big difference.

Asio4all is a great option for sound cards that don't support asio directly, and preferably don't resample everything to 48kHz by default. (Hardware based resampling codecs from realtec which are widely used on budget mobos unfortunately don't get quite all the benefit, but at least you are bypassing kmixer.)

Unfortunately in my rather limited experience Analog_sa is absolutely correct about the USB dac issue, I have yet to find one I like, the transit is just acceptable, but betters the few others I have tried so far.

I built a media server - well documented under another thread I started a couple of years ago, and it performs about as well as my old Lambda drive did, the caveat is it took a great deal of work to get good performance out of it.

OT: When I rip CDs to my iPod I use 320K AAC or Apple Lossless, and I can frequently hear the difference between the two. iTunes stuff at 128K sounds pretty crummy by comparison to either.
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:42 PM   #8
Jonasa is offline Jonasa  Belgium
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First of all, many thanks for the realy good suggestions.

But I've found my problem.


Now I feel stupid about this but the difference between the CD and the PC sound was caused by a bad cd that I had recorded before on my PC.

I played the same song on my CD with the good recorded CD and the same song on my PC from a bad recorded CD.

There is realy a big difference between CD's on the market.
Same songs on two different cd's, and they sound so different, it may not be possible but it is.

I 've made an image again from the good CD on my PC and it is much better. There is a small difference but you can only hear it with direct A/B tests.

I'm going to try EAC software to make exact copies. I believe this is the software that I need... many thanks.

I don't know what Kmixer is but I'll read about this on the internet.
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Old 31st October 2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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There is a simple an interesting test.
Play music with your PC CD Player, and play same music from file extracted by any software (EAC, Nero...).
There is a big difference. CD direct play sound better. It seem that wave file and direct CD don't use same path and software!

Eric
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Old 31st October 2007, 11:45 PM   #10
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You are still cheating yourself if you don't use EAC. It's the best ripping program out there. And it's free!

Why go to the trouble of making a copy if you you don't get all the music?
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