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What's the DAC Deal?

 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1147
Registered: May-05
Ok guys,

As you know, with the new amp purchased a few months ago and the new speakers about here, I'm out of cash for anything else. But, I am wondering what all the fuss is about with FLAC and lossless files versus a CD? Will I really see an improvement in sound over playing CDs in my Arcam Diva CD-92?

If so, what's the next move for me down the road? Do I get a DAC and use the CD transport? What else goes into the equation at that point? In other words, what additional things do I need to buy and what kind of dollars do I have to spend to put together a system that will do this in order to see improvement?

I have an unused 250 gig external hard drive so will that help at all? Thanks, Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1872
Registered: Oct-07
FLAC and ALAC should both be capable of constructing a bit-perfect copy of any original material. So, in that respect you should not notice any difference.....pro or con.
Problem is the DAC section.
If you intend going computer based the drive may indeed come in handy. Are you PC or Mac?
There are lots of options here which you'll need to sort thru. I use a Mac with airport express wireless to the DAC input of my CD player.
If you sort thru this let ME know!
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1123
Registered: Jul-07
There are a number of ways to implement a Dac....that's the beauty of it. You could simply hook it up to your current cdp, and that may or not improve things....depending on the quality of the dac in your current player, and how well it functions as a transport. You can also implement it with a computer/music server, or streamer. Wired or wireless. Some of us have them connected to Video devices like Apple TV's, and run the audio to the dac.

Whether it's better or not really depends on how you set it up, and how good your current system is. One technical advantage is that many dacs will support much higher resolution than traditional redbook playback. Although high-rez files are still not abundant, more and more are available all the time.

Dacs are becoming very plentiful on the market, with many very good units out there for under $1000. However, you kind of have to decide how you like to play music, whether a file based system is what you want to get into, or whether you're happier with cd's and lp's. No right or wrong, and you can get excellent results either way.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4449
Registered: Feb-07
One thing to keep in mind too, if you're going for a PC based solution is that the USB implementation of most DACs is inferior to other connections such as optical or coax. For me this is significant since my laptop doesn't have these outputs. I've tried several (albeit inexpensive) DACs with the USB connection and have usually been disappointed with the results.

Even pitting a Cambridge Audio DacMagic against the onboard DAC in my Jolida was a fail.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4156
Registered: May-05
Everyone's got different reasons for DACs. Some will improve the sound of older CDPs when playing CDs. If this is your main reason, you'll probably be disappointed IMO. Not that they're not an improvement or can't be a big improvement, but I wouldn't mess around with them too much if I wasn't doing computer based files.

Streamers and servers are probably the most effective and best ways for using DACs in the realistic budget range. For example, the Arcam rDAC may not be a huge improvement, if any improvement over your CDP. If you had an Apple TV, Squuzebox, et al, then it would be a big difference over the internal DAC of that. Same if you're going straight out of your computer.

I'm waiting to demo the Rega DAC when it comes out. I have all my CDs ripped as Apple Lossless and stored on an external hard drive, and have that synched to my previous generation Apple TV's internal hard drive. I control the Apple TV by either an on screen menu on my TV or by using my iPhone. Basically, it's like having an iPod with a digital output connected to my stereo. No more looking for and changing CDs. No more burning compilation CDs. It's more or less a jukebox.

The Apple TV's analog outputs sound like crap. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but they don't sound great my any means. My old Theta DAC does a very good job of making the Apple TV sound quite respectable. My hope foe the Rega DAC when it comes out is that I'll make my Apple TV sound as good as my Apollo did. Many people expect it to sound far better than the Apollo, but that'll be a wait and see thing.

The servers and streamers aren't very difficult to set up IMO. At least mine wasn't. If you're looking to go this route, the previous generation Apple TV is a great way to go. It's $150 at Amazon.com. The new Apple TV is $99, but it doesn't have the internal hard drive. I bought the hard drive version because I didn't want the hassle of starting the computer every time I wanted to listen to music.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1149
Registered: May-05
Guys,

As usual, you give great explanations and help. At this point, I'm not disappointed with my CDP. Supposedly, the "ring DAC" on the Arcam Diva CD-92 was quite good in its day and allows 24/96 upsampling - the thing sold new for about $1700. Also, the transport was well thought of as well, although it's plastic - go figure on that given the original price.

I guess the question I have is whether I would see anything more coming from lossless or FLAC files in whatever direction I might go?

To answer the earlier question, I am PC, not MAC but I likely won't be using my existing PC to store or stream the files as it is upstairs and my 2 channel room is downstairs. I'd probably use my external hard drive and old PC for this. So, thoughts, comments, direction is all accepted. Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4463
Registered: Feb-07
What sort of outputs does the old PC you'd be using have? I've been increasingly underwhelmed with USB as time goes on.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1150
Registered: May-05
David,

It's just got USB I'm afraid.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4464
Registered: Feb-07
That's too bad. Nuck and I were playing around with the Grant Fidelity tube DAC last year. It sounded pretty good via the coax output from his Rega CDP, but when I tried a PC to DAC via USB.... oh man, it just made me want smash it. Compressed and distorted. My Cambridge Audio DAC magic sounded pretty good via optical from my CDP player, but again, the USB implementation was disappointing. I heard one of those HRT MusicStreamers at Nick's house a few months ago. Blech. I think even the vaunted Bryston BDA-1 is much, much better via all the inputs over USB.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4163
Registered: May-05
Dak,

I think you're a bit confused as to what streaming is. It's a wireless thing, not a direct connection to the computer. If you have wifi, you can get a device that wirelessly connects to your computer and outputs a digital signal, be it coax or optical. The Sonos and Logitech Squeezebox webpages do a decent job of explaining it IMO. You can keep the computers where they are. No USB connection needed.

Your CDP is an excellent CDP. If you're contemplating going the computer route and have a wireless router at home, try out one of the streaming solutions. There's a few different ones that have a few different features, and they're at different pricepoints. Ultimately, the sound quality will mainly depend on what format you ripped your CDs - lossless or mp3, the DAC you use and how well it'll re-clock the streamer's digital output. If you like the Arcam CDP, you can get an Arcam rDAC for $479 and an Apple TV for $99 or $150 for the previous version. While not cheap, that solution isn't outrageously priced for everything you get IMO. The Apple TV is a lot of fun. It does more than just music, even though that's 99% of what I use it for.

If you have no interest in that, stay put with your CDP.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1153
Registered: May-05
Stu,

I am not a bit confused about streaming or anything else. I am completely confused and outside my comfort zone. I'll do some reading and see if it helps relieve the confusion. I guess my big issue is this? Is the music delivered to the speakers going to be of a higher quality, using lossless or FLAC files, than what my CDP can deliver? If not, I'll happily keep feeding CDs into the Arcam. If I'm leaving some quality behind at the source, then it makes sense to spend some money there next before I upgrade the CDP or do something else, especially if the "upgraded" CDP won't beat the source quality of a wireless or another digital solution.

I am completely ignorant here so any help answering the above questions is greatly appreciated and I'll keep reading stuff that you guys provide. Thanks, Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3336
Registered: Jun-07
Dakulis - If your not interested in the flexibility of feeding cd's into a Server or streaming music storage through a streamer, then I would stick to your CDP until you are willing to really jump up the ladder with a very good DAC. Most people get into Media Servers and Streamers for the convenience and flexibility but it sounds to me you are more concerned with FLAC/WAV and other lossless formats simply sounding better than a CD. FLAC/WAV file can only sound as good as the original content so if your ripping your cd's to these formats it will sound the same. When the time comes you want to upgrade your sound then I would suggest a high end DAC clocked properly.

If you do decide to go to a DAC hooked up with a Streamer or full Media Server then make sure whatever you decide on has a Optical/Coax output. I have not heard a DAC yet where USB competed to its respective Optical output. Not even close IMO. I could get into benefits and disadvantages of using wireless over wired or Servers over streamers but to be honest, I think you should just keep the Arcam CDP until your ready to fork over a minimum of 1500 for a decent DAC. Cheers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1154
Registered: May-05
Nick,

Thanks for the additional input. You are absolutely correct at this point, I am not looking for convenience or flexibility as my CD collection numbers in the 100s not multi 1000s like some of you guys. Art - you know who you are!!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4481
Registered: Feb-07
The only reason I would to a PC or media server type scenario (for my 2 channel system) would be convenience. Streaming FLAC via USB to my 2 channel rig kinda makes me cringe.

That being said, I do have a server based solution for my system upstairs that my wife usually uses for music more than I do. It works very well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4166
Registered: May-05
I went to the Apple TV as a convenience and fun source at first. Once I started using it and my DAC came pretty close to my CDP (the Apollo was definitely better, but there were areas that the humble old DAC actually bettered it), I got more serious about making it a quality source.

My decision to try it out came from getting tired of burning compilation CDs and/or getting up to change a CD after a few songs. My collection isn't in the 1000's either; about 400 or so.

PM sent to you, Dak.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1155
Registered: May-05
Stu,

For some reason, I can't pick up PMs off my work network. Please don't apologize, I appreciate the suggestion. I'm afraid that I can't do anything about it at the moment given my recent additions. Thanks much, though. Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4167
Registered: May-05
Not a problem Dave. Does that mean you can read them but can't reply? If so, I'll have it 'till at least the end of January/February-ish. Maybe longer. Just throwing it out there.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1156
Registered: May-05
Stu,

Exactly, I think our fire wall is blocking it somehow. I'll check with my IP person next week when I'm in and see what the deal is.

As to timing of a DAC purchase, I'll never say never because my wife completely surprised me when she agreed to the more expensive speaker upgrade. But, I think she's pretty certain I'm done for awhile. LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1173
Registered: May-05
Hey Guys,

Not going to happen anytime soon but how about these two options for future upgrade to digital and DACs?

http://http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-vi ew.html?pid=396494&b_id=&find_groupid=18157

or

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html ?pid=457975&b_id=&find_groupid=18157

Do these have the requisite connections and flexibility to work in a PC based system? The guy I talked to recommended a Mac-mini with a separate terabyte plus hard drive?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4239
Registered: May-05
They should work with pretty much any computer based system. The Wyred DACs get a lot of good press. Actually, I haven't seen anything negative written about them. What turns me off is that there's a 15% restocking fee if you don't like them. 15% of $1k is $150 according to my calculator, plus shipping. If they had a 100% money back guarantee, I'd try one out.

A lot of people recommend the Mac mini. No idea why. I know they have optical output standard, maybe that's why? The seperate hard drive is a very good idea. I have all my music on a 1TB external hard drive.

There's tons of ways to get the music from a computer to a DAC. Streamers make things a lot easier, as you're not tied to a computer. The Mac mini is pretty small and can sit in a stereo rack while taking up minimal space. Not sure how it's controlled though. Maybe an iPod Touch/iPhone? I know the remote app can control iTunes, so maybe that's how it's getting done?

Sorry to sound like a broken record... I really like the Apple TV with built in hard drive. Think of it as a 160 gb iPod with digital output. 160 gb doesn't seem like much, but I've got around 300 CDs on it as Apple Lossless, and I'm at a shade less than half the hard drive's capacity. I've tried WAV and haven't heard a difference. All WAV did was take up more space. The Apple TV doesn't output high res, so that may or may not make a difference.

Stuff like Sonos and Squeezebox's variations seem pretty good. They need the computer to be running to play your stored music, so it's not a self contained system like the Apple TV can be.

A thing thatinterested me is the small netbook type computers. I think that's what they're called. They're mini laptops that I've seen for around $200. Seems like you could connect a hard drive and output music to a DAC via USB. They're small enough to not be cumbersome.

I've also heard that you can get USB digital output from an iPad by using the camera attachment. Connect that to a DAC, and you should also get great sound. Not sure about Apple's latest streaming options from the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. I heard that they'll stream their content to an Apple TV. Only problem is that storage space is very limited, and it gets pretty expensive pretty quickly.

Last option,and I'll quit... An iPod connected to Wadia's iTransport. Rip your music as Apple Lossless and put it on an iPod. You'll get a digital output you can send to a DAC. iPod control was a bit quirky on the 170, not sure about the new 171.

Ok, really last though... Peachtree is making an iDAC, which should come out before the spring. Its a digital iPod dock and DAC in one unit. It has several inputs, so it's pretty flexable too. The Peachtree stuff has gotten rave reviews, especially for the iPod input and DAC section of their stuff. The iDAC will most likely cost $999, acording to Music Direct's 2011 catalog. No official price has been set. I'd expect it to sound better than the current DAC sections of their gear, as it costs almost as much as their integrated amps do.

The iPod solutions are the easiest way I know of getting into music servers. Rip your music on iTunes, store it on a seperate hard drive, and synch your iPod. The 160 gb iPods aren't terribly expensive. Then again, the Apple TV with built in hard drive is pretty much the same thing, skipping the dock. But you'd have to connect either your TV or use an iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad to control it if you didn't want it tied to the TV.

Just some food for thought. Sorry if I made that more complicated than it needs to be.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3369
Registered: Jun-07
Stu- I can't seem to PM you. When you have a sec can you PM me. Thanks bud.

Mac Mini...? lol

Buy the older version of the Apple TV if you want to stick with the Apple products. Apple do not have a full server solution. But that is fine. The closest to a server is the Apple TV with built in Hard Drive. I have no idea why the new ones do not have the hard drive built it anymore. It just adds the fact you have to use another device in the mix to stream the media. We have Mac Mini's at work and they make good paper weights.

Stu's version of the Apple TV does well for a music streamer with built in hard drive. If you already using I-Tunes and are stuck on it then the Apple TV with drive is a no brain'r. But act quick as they are being phased out. Too bad, the new Apple TV's it would seem actually jumped down the technology train.

Your only looking to do music correct?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1175
Registered: May-05
Stu and Nick,

Thanks for weighing in and Stu go crazy, I don't care, I'm trying to learn here. To answer Nick's question, this would only be for music.

I am not married to Apple and, in fact, I would prefer a PC based solution, if possible. The guy who recommended the DAC recommended the Mac-mini controlled by an iPhone or iPad. I don't have the latter but I'll be buying the former through my work when Verizon finally gets the iPhone.

So, if I am going PC based, my thought is using an old computer as the server, connected to an external hard drive for storage with a synchronized USB connection, optical or coaxial connection from the something to the DAC - not sure if that should be the PC or the external? Then, the DAC would be connected to the amp by RCAs I assume or would it be an optical or coaxial connection?

If I went this direction, my plan for the future would be to buy primarily Hi-Res downloads and put them in the external hard drive. So, the real question is this, will these downloads be better quality than a CD sourced system like I have now and is the expense worth the effort or do I spend this money on a better amp in the future?

I know I know, only I can determine if the expense is worth the potential improvement in sound quality but I'm a 56 year old guy with 56 year old hearing and use hearing aids at times so will I even be able to "hear" any improvement?

I recognize the initial CDs won't sound any better than CD quality.

Am I clueless or what here?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13678
Registered: Feb-05
Hearing aids...get the man a damn MP3 player and be done with it!

Not really...lol!

I knew a fella who was a regular at one of my favorite HiFi haunts who wore a hearing aid in each ear. He still knew when he was hearing his favorite Epos ES14's with Naim gear. He loved music and hifi.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4240
Registered: May-05
No, you're not crazy, Dave. I don't have nearly enough experience with high res to be able to tell you if it's worth it or not, and that's not taking cost into account.

If you want to get into high res, the first thing to consider is the amount of stuff available. Can you find enough music to justify the expense of the gear? In all fairness though, the gear can easily be used with redbook music too, so it's not a total waste.

Not sure how much better high res is than standard redbook. There's some high res stuff that's not true high res, it's just an upsampled version of redbook (or something like that).

If high res is your primary motivation, scratch the Apple TV and iPod stuff off your list. They're limited to redbook.

You've got the connectivity a little messed up. If this makes it easier, think of the computer as a CD player - the hard drive is the CD, and the computer is the transport. The transport feeds the DAC via either USB or toslink. The DAC connects to your amp via RCAs.

Basically, the music is stored on the hard drive, the computer selects tracks, then sends a digital signal to the DAC (which stands for digital to analog converter). One USB input on your computer is for the hard drive, and another one connects to the DAC.

Nick -
Sending PM.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1142
Registered: Jul-07
IMO, there is definitely an improvement when you listen to true high rez files.....I would compare it to the difference between your average redbook recordings and the really good ones. As Stu mentions, there isn't a great supply currently, but it's growing all the time.

A caution on the USB interface......not a lot of DAC's do this well. If you're buying a DAC specifically for the USB interface, research carefully. A lot of the DAC's that have USB sound better on digital coax or optical.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1952
Registered: Oct-07
I just re-read the original first question post.
2 different questions:
to DAC or not?
and
FLAC / ALAC and other file systems.

The DAC only requires a transport, a stack of CDs and an open input on your system. Whether the DAC helps or not has been amply covered in the rest of the thread.
As for FLAC /ALAC, you will need a computer. Personally, I like the MAC. One good reason is that the headphone output is ALSO the optical output. It requires only a .50$ adaptor. OR, you can use an ATV or Airport Express in 'client' mode...not even needing a wireless network...to stream music from computer to stereo in another room. That is how I do it. I have NO wireless network / router but use the AE in 'client' mode as a receiver only. The icing on the cake, for me, at least, is the 'Touch as a remote. Free App.

If you insist for whatever reason to go with USB, check out 'asynchronous' which is a little more expensive but is a better implementation of USB. Most USB objections disappear when using asynchronous DACs. If I had the bucks, I'd go with FireWire.....But I'm a MAC user....

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Arcam-rDAC-Asynchronous-USB-DAC-Review
Example of Asynch USB DAC....and nowhere near as expensive as I thought it'd be! Arcam to boot.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1144
Registered: Jul-07
Saw that review Leo. Seems like a great deal. Interesting that the review for all of this new technology is still being done using a McIntosh MC275. Pretty impressive.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4243
Registered: May-05
For asynch USB and most likely high res through USB, my first recommendation would be Arcam for 2 reasons - you like your Arcam CDP, and price. The Arcam rDAC is $479. I'm going to hear it when I hear the Rega DAC, so I might be able to give some feedback then.

The simplest approach would be USB directly to the DAC. From what I gather, high res over wireless is dodgey at best. Something about bandwidth or something; I'll let a guy like Nick tackle that one.

The Squeezebox Touch does high res. Not sure how the wireless issues effect it. Not sure if Sonos does or not. Their wireless stuff is more reliable, as it sets up it own network. More expensive though.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1176
Registered: May-05
Art,

Thanks bro, I owe you one. What did you say? Heh?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4549
Registered: Feb-07
"high res over wireless is dodgey at best."

I wouldn't stream music files via wireless. I have tried just doing mp3s via wireless, and the result was less than stellar. With wireless there's lots of interference that can, well... interfere with the signal. You also have to worry about packets being dropped via the transfer, which would obviously degrade the signal.

For my HT system upstairs (which I also use to fill the main level with music), I have a PC in the rec-room below wired to my router with CAT-5, and a USB cable through the floor to a cheapo DAC connected to the HT. It works pretty good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1177
Registered: May-05
Chris, Leo and Stu,

Chris, I'm not looking solely at USB if I do this, I'm looking for whatever connection gives me the best sound. The guy I talked to liked the Wyred 4 Sound DAC because of the asynch USB and he felt it gave great quality throughput.

Leo, I am not interested in going wireless as my 2 channel music set-up is in a basement bedroom and it's not going anywhere at my wife's insistence so no reason to care about wireless and I worry that I'll lose the very quality improvement that I'm looking for if I did wireless. Dunno if that's true but that seems to be what all my reading is telling me.

Stu, I agree that there isn't enough hi-res stuff out now. I'm trying to look towards the future. I don't think CDs are dead but if you look at sales, they are dropping while downloads are picking up and it's purely a cost/profit deal for the music business guys. They make more selling MP3s that they do selling CDs and they can sell them easier with less expense.

So, I think their next bit will be to start pushing into hi-res content. They can sell $.99 selling cheap MP3s with Ok quality and people keep buying them. For very little extra on the production side, they can sell hi-res for $1.99 with improved quality and begin to tap the audiophile market and those kids who fall for the "better" sound advertising ploy. They will eventually start marketing the hi-res just like they're marketing Blueray in the DVD arena. They make more money without huge increases in production, advertising or marketing costs.

I am thinking that if this is the direction that the business is going and the way to possibly get out in front of it is start going in the DAC and digital direction. However, if the quality of the source sound isn't any better, I'll just pick up redbood CDs while everyone else is getting "better" sound. Or at least, that's my thinking for now.

Art, my ears may be toast but the noggin still works okay for now.
Thanks for additional info guys and I'll be very interested in your take on the Rega and Arcam rDAC also, Stu.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4245
Registered: May-05
David Mitchell -

What were you using to stream wireless? Some of the have some issues, but I'm told Sonos is pretty immune to most issues. They set up their own network, so there's no sharing of bandwidth, less susceptible to interference, etc. Wired is best though, so if you've got a painless way of doing that, it makes sense to go that route. Not to mention that it's cheaper.

Dak -

I think the main reason why most downloads are mp3 is for several reasons...

Selling compressed music means less storage space needed for the seller. There's minimal cost to guys like us, but the companies storing all that music and distributing it need far more storage space. I wouldn't doubt if going mp3 over redbook saved them 10x the amount of space and bandwidth (or whatever they call it). High res would be far more storage and bandwidth. That equals more operating cost.

Another issue is download speed. High res downloads take a long time for cable Internet users. Far more for slower speeds.

I'd like to see artists release high res master recordings on their own websites. A lot of them are doing concerts with the option of mp3 or FLAC for a few dollars more. For example, Metallica has all their concerts from the last 6 years or so, and some older ones available for download. FLAC is $12.95, and mp3 is $9.95. You can buy individual tracks for $0.99. They have a bunch of very early bootlegged concerts that are very low quality for free. You can download CD labels, CD tray inserts, and CD covers for free. I downloaded the last concert I went to in FLAC, and it sounds very good. Burned it to a disc, printed all the artwork.

Pearl Jam one ups that with being able to have the CD made and artwork printed professionally. They also do everything Metallica does. I think it's a company that handles all this for a lot of bands.

Not that I anticipate you downloading Metallica concerts, but check out Live Metallica.com to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Phish one ups them both by having their concerts available in high res. The prices are outrageous though.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4246
Registered: May-05
Now that I think about it, a few bands have had some stuff available on their own websites. Nine Inch Nails had a free high res download available for one of their albums. Radiohead released In Rainbows on their website with a policy of pay whatever you think it's worth.

Again, I'd love to see more musicians do stuff like this. I'd happily buy high res downloads directly from the artists. So long as they sounded good, were true high res, there was a way to burn them to disc or be able to get them again for free in the event of computer failure, and I could print art and liner notes.

Downloading Metallica's Master of Puppetts in 24/196 uncompressed would be really cool.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1957
Registered: Oct-07
One issue I've not seen addressed with wireless connection between a computer/server and a DAC is one of error correction.
With a CD you should be able to drill a 1/8" hole in the darn thing and it should play without muting or dropping any data. You should be able to reconstruct any missing data from checksum data.

I don't know if that applies to a bitstream or not.

Article on CD error correction

http://home.btconnect.com/geffers/cd.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4552
Registered: Feb-07
Stu - I've streamed wireless a couple of ways. The first was quite years back using an RCA wireless streamer. It was actually ok, but it was really prone to wireless phone interference.

The other way was a netbook in my living room connected to my system via a cheap DAC. The files were stream wireless from my router in the room below. This worked well, until there was a lot of traffic on the network (even though I was using a switch). Lots of network contention and collisions, which you can imagine does not lead to an enjoyable listening experience.
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