No "media thread" So I will ask here...


Silver Member
Username: Praetorian


Post Number: 476
Registered: Dec-05
If we consider the source as "equal" for the sake of argument, then I am asking an opinion on media content.

Is a "lossless" format like apple or FLAC really "just as good" as a CD?

Can you burn a lossless media on to a hard disc (CD) and still have the same quality? Compared to a retail CD?

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 668
Registered: Jul-07
Difficult question to give a straight answer. You have to remember that a FLAC file has a "source" as well. If it was created from a CD, and imported through a computer cd-rom or burner, then it will be created with whatever limitations are inherent in that process. So playback of that file is not likely to represent an improvement over playing the same song through a dedicated cdp of reasonable quality.

Now, if you have a "lossless" and/or high-rez digital file that was created with state-of-the-art equipment, downloaded to your harddrive, transmitted in a way that respects the original format (ie maintains the bit and sample rate the file was created in), and processed by a quality dac which also supports the native resolution of the file, then potentially you could see improvements from traditional redbook playback. However, it is far from a given, and highly dependant on the implementation.

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 2860
Registered: Oct-04
As I stated in this other thread

I think that a lossless file encoded direct from the original source to solid state media (think iPod Nano), via line out to DAC, to Amp, to Speakers, to Ears, is where this is heading.

I think the fewer moving parts, the better.

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3015
Registered: Feb-07
"Can you burn a lossless media on to a hard disc (CD) and still have the same quality? Compared to a retail CD?"

Theoretically yes, in practice, I don't think so.

Actually, my CD burning software (Nero) doesn't even support burning from flac out of the box, a plug in is required.

Along the same lines, I was in my local FutureShop (big box chain here in Canada), and they had cleared out their entire line of CD's. Two aisles - gone. Now they just have a small rack of recent releases. I guess that sorta indicates where the sale of CD's (in their mind) is headed. Are they going to start pushing iTunes cards? Probably...

Silver Member
Username: Praetorian


Post Number: 478
Registered: Dec-05
Kool - very informative. The theories are sound (no pun there, move along) but of course that wall called reality sometimes gets in the way...

I don't really have the system in place yet to even bother anyway, all my media gets processed by the HK and almost exclusively in PL2 Mu, so AFAIK that makes the player largely irrelevant.

I have been tossing the idea around now for a separate pre- to compliment the NAD and had considered investing in a good CDP to go along with it, but so much of my media is burned anyway, it would be next to pointless...

Thanks a lot for the replies!

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3472
Registered: May-05
Like everything else in hifi, I think it's the implementation of the technology, and not the technology itself.

Digital/physical media-less music is here to stay. It'll only get better as more hifi companies accept it. I can only think of 1 major hifi company that makes CD players but doesn't make a stand alone DAC - Rega. I'm sure they'll have one soon.

But I don't think CDs will ever die. Just like vinyl, it'll be around, out of the mainstream for a very long time.

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 504
Registered: Oct-07
I used WinAmp to make FLAC files. Built in support, so no messing with plug ins.
Since going IMac, I have begun using Apple Lossless the final intent being to go wireless to an airport express and optic to the DA section of my CA 840c.
Signal chain will remain digital until the final conversion to analogue at the DA convertor.
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