A question I could be shot for asking

And yours, @otinkyad!

Those leads very helpful… all new to me.

I suspect - as @rrwwss52 suggests - that I really should leave my SACDs alone, at least to start with. And concentrate on ripping as many CDs as I can to FLAC directly.

Very much appreciated :slight_smile: .

I wouldn’t bother with FLAC for 16/44 - it was useful when HDD space was expensive, but it’s so cheap now i use AIFF - it’s essentially WAV but with decent metadata

I’d also check the likes of Tidal etc to see what overlap there is with your current collection - ripping only those that are not available (and that you actually listen to) - especially if you’re considering paying to have them ripped. The point being it’d be far more cost effective to subscribe - and give you access to more music

Streaming can offer very good SQ, I’d anticipate far better than your OPPO, which while very good is old tech (I still use my ‘83 as a video source and it’s fine)

I moved from a Mark Levinson Ref 31.5/360S to PC (heavily modified) because it was better and from that to an SOtM streamer - because it was better - for local and streamed sources

Regards
Andy

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Thanks, Andy.

The exercise of aggregating all my music (collected over 40 years - with LPs and cassettes before that, of course) in one place is really one of convenience. And Roon is excellent, as I’m finding out… new user.

I have a Primephonic subscription. But also many older CDs which may not be there; and to which I do listen.

When you say what you do about the old tech OPPO, I suppose it brings up another question: whether to consider replacing it, or rip, rip rip!

Much appreciated…

I would second this.

I’d definitely consider auditioning a streamer or two, Mark

I was in denial, it couldn’t possibly sound good… my friends agreed

Now we all stream (Aurelic G2.1 in their cases and multiple SoTM boxes in mine) enough said, AFAIC

I ripped over 3000 CDs about 13-14 years ago, faves to FLAC, others to 320kbs MP3
I had multiple drives on hand but it took weeks

All new purchases since then were immediately ripped to AIFF/FLAC and MP3

With the benefit of hindsight - 90% of the ‘other ‘ MP3s have never been played
Lesson learned: while completeness appeals to me, wasting weeks does not!

Another benefit of streaming is, if I do happen to hear or remember a blast from the past - it’s probably on line and in CD quality - so mission accomplished again

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Assuming I get the question correctly: yes, it’d apply to your current setup. Essentially, you’d be asking Roon to become a very, very advanced equaliser, so anything that would come out of Roon would sound better. There are endless caveats to this room-correction approach, but when done right, the results can be extremely good.

If you’d like a taste, you can try with your headphones. See this thread here for example, or that one right there.

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Just to open up another rabbit hole/can of worms for @Mark_Sealey :slight_smile:

As a classical music lover, have you tried multichannel classical?

I did, starting a year ago, and now couldn’t possibly go back to stereo. To me (and to other classical music enthusisasts who have heard my multichannel classical music playing), it feels deliciously immersive, and a good way along the road to having the orchestra in my living room. Of course, it requires some additional hardware to set up, but it can be done for less than the amount you might spend on ripping CDs at $5 x 1000s of CDs.

Which raises a possibility: Instead of ripping thousands of CDs, with possible expenditure of thousands of dollar, or months of time, (a) subscribe to a streaming service (Qobuz/Tidal), and (b) start acquiring multichannel classical music. Purchasing multichannel downloads will be easiest, but even if you purchase SACDs, ripping them as you purchase is not that daunting.

The streaming quality will be on par with your ripped CDs for stereo recordings. The only arena I have found where streaming cannot compare in SQ is when comparing the streamed 2-channel version of a piece with my multichannel version of that same piece.

I said it was a rabbit-hole – perhaps it’s me who should be shot…

[EDIT: Oh, I just realized that this rabbit-hole is not entirely off-topic. OP did say he was interested in better SQ… :slight_smile:

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Yes but let’s dive into the “root” of your question. “Can I get better”? and “How”?

You’re thinking too simply that you rip and format are going to give you better. Let’s get more generic than that. I’m assuming that you have an SACD player and that is cabled, analog of some form (RCA / XLR), into a pre-amp and then out to your amp and speakers.

OK, let’s take apart that SACD player. That’s an “all-in-one” component that holds media (SACD), a way to read it (laser), a way to decode it (processor), a way to convert it to analog (DAC), and a way to send it out to your pre-amp (output stage). I can guarantee swapping in better gear at each one of these individual components will make things sound better. So what does a Roon DSD set-up look like?

Media - You’ll want to rip the SACDs to something like DSD files onto a drive. Plenty of posts above on various ways to do this. Now, you’ve changed your media into something infinitely more flexible than your plastic SACDs.

Processor - This will be ROON and a network transport format (RAAT). RAAT is bit perfect to the media so you’ve removed any coloration the SACD player was injecting at this step.

Renderer / Streamer - This is new to the chain and may be embedded within the DAC. This device sits on the network and takes RAAT (above) and prepares it for the DAC. In this case it will be extracting the bits off the network (RAAT) and preparing them as DSD for the DAC.

DAC - This is the biggest benefit in ditching the SACD player. While many SACD players are fine bits of kit the ability to get so much more detail and timing from a stand-alone DAC will be the night/day difference you’re looking for. Also, sky is the limit on upgradability here and everything around the DAC can stay the same. You’ll be amazed at how much a DAC will change your whole world and system. This should be the central point of your research and purchasing decision. You’ll want to make sure that you’re looking at native DSD DACs.

Output Stage - Every excellent DAC will have an excellent output stage. Match the connection type that you’re already using (RCA or XLR) and the rest of your system is ready to go. Or, if using RCA, some will tell you that XLR is the double-cherry on top to the whole system and is an “upgrade” worth purchasing.

Anyway, that’s the way I’d look at it. Separates all the way and ditching the SACD player just gives you better opportunity for more separates.

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A follow-up to my own post… CDs work similar but are a lot easier as CDs effectively get ripped to some kind of PCM container (FLAC, AIFF, WAV, etc. just stay “lossless”) and can be ripped with any PC; Mac, Windows, Linux, etc… Any DAC can work with PCM but it still holds true that the sky is the limit when shopping for “a better DAC” and shopping for “better” in never-ending. The only thing that will hold true is there are plenty of better DACs than what is in your CD player and I don’t even need to know what kind of CD player you have to make that statement.

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Multichannel is great across all genres! One really great recent 5.1 mix is The Pineapple Thief’s "Versions of the Truth”.

Any Classical recording recommendations? You can DM me so as to not derail the OP…

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I don’t own any CD’s, but if I did, I would use another app and CD player to rip them into a folder on my computer. I would then copy the files into my Roon core watched folder. As long as the SQ is not degraded, it would be worth if for the convenience and Roon metadata you will get.

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DM sent – HTH!

What a good way of thinking of it, Andrew. I like that lesson :slight_smile: .

Thanks. Yes!

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Neither OT not wormish at all, @otinkyad, thanks!

I have a PrimePhonic subscription - as the best Classical music service… navigating primarily ‘songs’ and ‘artists’ is tough :frowning: .

In the old days ('60s/'70s), we had a pair of ‘slave’ speakers behind the listening chair. And quadraphony was a bit of a gimmick.

It’s changed a lot, hasn’t it?

How would I begin multichannel with the equipment I have?

I can see I should definitely explore it.

Thanks for that enlightening view in your two posts, @ipeverywhere. I shall re-read and think. In some ways you’re describing what Roon is really good at, aren’t you? I like that.

At the moment, I’m all but defeated by the prospect of ripping, say, 3,000 CDs - just to have them in the same physical location/on the same (all digital) system.

But I have plenty to consider. And I’ve already learnt to think in terms of direct rip to the best format possible.

One thing I can do immediately - thanks to the generosity of everyone here - is try half a dozen and compare OPPO CD player vs my nascent Roon setup.

Ah, there’s the rub – I don’t believe you can, with what you have. You’d need a multchannel capable preamp, more amp channels, and at least three more speakers…

I added all of that for approx $5000, but I am pretty sure audiophiles would have a conniption if they saw my cobbled-together setup…! Marantz AV-7704, Emotiva 5-channel amp, L, R, C GoldenEar speakers, plus additional channels via small box satellite speakers. But (to me) it sounds great with multichannel.

[EDIT: In my case, I had been using an earlier A/V multichannel setup for quite a while, and so had been able to get a sense of what multichannel could add, with what I already had.]

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Thanks - I’ve put it on my list :slight_smile:

Probably not possible (at least not urgent) now… plans to relocate etc - as soon as it’s safe/feasible. But when I get a new listening room, I shall bear in mind how far I know things must have come.

Since you already own an Oppo BDP-103 you can try ripping a few of your SACD’s without investing in any equipment. Just try the links posted previously, or Google “SACD Rip Oppo BDP-103”. You basically only need an USB thumb drive, and a free software (Sonore ISO2DSD) on your computer.

I love the sound my SACD rips make. through Roon and one of my nice DACs. No SACD player has ever sounded so good in my setup.

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Mark,

I don’t know why you are getting all these convoluted responses. Yes, you can rip your SACDs to DSF files (DSD) and play them via Roon.

Look here:

I literally spent $50 to buy an old Sony BX-510 with remote and have been ripping SACDs ever since.

Yes, I think SACDs offer better sound quality if your DAC supports DSD. If you have to convert the DSF files to some PCM format (like FLAC) to play them, then you lose some of that quality.

I use dbpoweramp to rip my CDs to FLAC files for play with Roon. I have tried lots of transports and I have to come across a transport than sounds better than playing my ripped CD and SACDs via Roon.

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