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Old 1st April 2012, 05:38 AM   #11
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcomrider View Post
i<snip>

or because our ear cannot tell /hear what is different flac5/8..

iwan.
The point is there is NO difference in audio quality between level 5 and level 8, the only practical difference is the file size, the time it takes to encode it, and in older PCs perhaps the difference in CPU overheard in encode/decode. Again no difference in audio quality.

The flac file if encoded/decoded without error will be identical to the wave file used to generate it regardless of the compression level.
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Old 1st April 2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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so the answer is flac level 5 = level 8 in audio quality...

the reason they make a level is maybe they (flac) can play with different machine or player ..so sthe slow CPU player still can play FLAC...

i read from stereophile site...a guy that has opinion that lossless /Flac vc CD audio is different in staging in HighEnd system...and etc...( i am forget name)

did u agree that Sound quality FLAC vs CD audio...is more superior CD audio than FLAC in the same system..

thanks kevin..

iwan
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Old 1st April 2012, 10:58 AM   #13
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Flac compression is assymetric. Compressing is hard, decompressing is easy. Setting the level higher means the compressor will try harder to compress the audio, making the file smaller. It's a bit like you packing your bag for a trip - the more time and effort you take to pack things together, the smaller your bag will be. You still pack everything in. When unpacking the bag, it takes about the same time regardless of how much effort you put into the packing. It's the same with flac files, it doesn't take much more CPU time to unpack a level 8 file than a level 5 file.
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Old 1st April 2012, 11:04 AM   #14
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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That's a lovely analogy.
How accurate is it?
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Old 2nd April 2012, 02:53 AM   #15
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Actually, at encoding stage there are some tables that need to be filled with information needed for compression. The more time the software has for creating those tables, optimized for the song, the better overall compression it will result.
At decoding stage, it takes the same ammount of time to use those tables, no matter if they are optimized or not for that specific song.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 03:13 AM   #16
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcomrider View Post
<snip>
did u agree that Sound quality FLAC vs CD audio...is more superior CD audio than FLAC in the same system..

thanks kevin..

iwan
No. Call me a tin ears, but I hear absolutely no difference in sound quality between the CD and the file ripped to flac. (Same DAC) I basically no longer regularly play CDs for this reason. I have a fair number of dsdiff (DSD) and 2496 PCM files (flac) and these generally are audibly superior (some quite so) to any files (I've) sourced from CDs.

Context: media server software is J. River MC17 configured to play from memory running on win 7 64 bit on a quadcore Athlon II based dedicated machine. Dac has Wolfson WM8804 based spdif receiver from TPA, and dual mono PC1794As into TH3140 diff amps used as I/V converters into UTC A-20 transformers for balanced to unbalanced conversion. The rest of the signal path is transformer coupled 26 line stage, D3A IT coupled to GM70, and Onkens with JBL 2440 and 075 horns for mids and highs. I like antiques, but I also like resolution so I think I might hear the difference if there was any.

Sonic's and Don's comments on coding/decoding are spot on. (As are everyone else's.)

Focus is best placed on getting the digital out undamaged to a really good dac. Asynchronous USB is apparently now the preferred way to do that.. I'm using an M-Audio 2496 PCI since I built the original server six yrs ago and the card is still going strong. (Rest of original server long gone.) The WM8804 is known for handling spdif datastream jitter effectively so I am not too worried about this source of error, but am looking for a USB asynchronous solution to try out..

Hopefully not too far OT, but honestly there are other areas where you can focus where it might make a real difference. Flac is a trusted format, free of commercial taint, and I have no reason (or evidence) to believe that it is anything but transparent.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 12:07 PM   #17
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My experience is the same: FLAC from a HDCD encoded CD will preserve even the LSB signaling (for HDCD) and, if the rest of the system is bit-perfect, it will arrive unchanged at the HDCD decoder (my receiver).
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