If the rip already reports as accurate against the database, no, a supposedly higher quality optical drive gains you nothing. But on some damaged or problematic CDs, a higher quality drive may be more likely to garner an accurate rip, either on the first pass or by retrying.
Thanx - I´m not using a total garbage drive (currently simple but okay LG CD-drive for ripping and Western Digital external drive for storage)… seems to work fine as all rips come out as accurate (and my CDs are mostly in perfect shape anyways) but my HiFi dealer has cd drives + storage for around 3-5k… (Burmester actually just came out with some crazy priced model)… just made me wonder if it was even worth giving this kind of invest a thought.
The idea of expensive high fidelity drives comes from the (terrible) idea of SPDIF that the source, the drive, controls the clock. Dumb, probably inspired by vinyl. But here you have a digital system, and you try to control the exquisitely sensitive timing with an mechanical, analog device. Idiotic.
Even for a real-time CD player there are better ways. Meridian’s 808 used a commercial CD-ROM drive, which made no claim to accurate timing but was fast so 5hey could re-read if they found errors, and then the reclocked the signal in the digital domain. Others have done the same.
But when ripping for use with Roon, timing accuracy is irrelevant. Correct bits is all that matters, and dBPoweramp will check that for you, and will tell you if it can’t because you have a rare CD that is not in the library.
May be stating the obvious, and you’re probably already doing this, but biggest thing you can do at present is to make sure you have a back-up of your rips (actually 2 back-up’s for contingency). Even if it’s just a couple of external HDD’s, one off-site (at a family member’s house or friends just in case) will be sufficient and won’t cost much (I’m never really sure about Cloud back-up, other’s may be able to advise).
Simple, accurate rip and good to go, then back-up, back-up, back-up (did I mention back-up )
It makes absolutely no sense to spend a lot of money on a CD drive that will only be used for rip.
The only difference between the cd units is the ability to complete successfully the rip of damaged discs. And with accuraterip you are sure to have an “accurate” copy
Anyway, i have an old Lite-On external drives purchased on eBay for 15 €.
If you are interested in this topic (and you haven’t already done so) read here:
It actually brings me to another point (maybe worth discussing)…
… so when I decided to get into streaming (and I hesitated for a long tome) I thought of the advantages it brings - with Roon = ease of use and integrating ripped CDs with Tidal. Against stood the need 4 a lot of new equipment and the hassle of rippning thousands of CDs.
… but (more importantly) then I also pay a lot of attention to SQ.
So - at first I wondered why go through all this trouble to eventually have an SQ that equals the SQ of CD/CDP that was already there in the first place. After all - it is the same data (or even only a copy of the original - so why would it sound different/better?). But it seamed to me, that playing ripped files (lossless FLAC with accurate rip) sounded different and maybe even better than playing CD via my McIntosh MCD 450 CD - Transport.
Now I think maybe it is because the file is actually in a perfect condition using dBpoweramp/accurate rip and there is no “real time reading” but a perfect file being processed straight to the DAC - thus a better technology, a better source than the original file and this leading not only to advantages in “ease of use” but also in SQ…
What are your thoughts when comparing ripped CDs to spinning the CD via CD Transport?
Hard to summarise twenty years of discussion and fraught encounters on this point. My advice you if you really want to waste some time go do a google search on this topic or watch some paint dry - same outcome really.
When using CDs, I wanted to find the album Bags & Trane. Trane is John Coltrane, so I looked under C, and under J to be be sure, but it wasn’t there. Not under B either. What the hell is Bags’s real name? I’m not a vibes lover, but this is a cool album. I couldn’t find it, didn’t remember he is Milt Jackson.
I really like Vassilis Tsabrapoulos, have lots of his work, but I wanted to listen to the first album tha5 I heard. But it was filed under Arild Andersen, because I knew him and hadn’t heard of Tsabrapoulos. But I didn’t remember that.
So what was the sound quality of the CDs in these cases?
Poor, because I didn’t find them and couldn’t play them.
I use Exact Audio Copy with my desktop computer. It takes a little more than an hour to rip a cd, but then it normally reports 100% accuracy. I only had problems with a couple of CDs back from the 80’s.
Yes - that‘s what I find also… just trying to figure out why it is so… obviously has something to do with the ripping quality (thus the opening question), the then „perfect file“ as accurate rip and maybe a technical advantage due to this „perfect file“ opposed to the (maybe) faulty CD…
… so I can happily say using dBpoweramp was well wirth the invest.
I have been ripping my CDs to FLAC using dBpoweramp for more than 10 years and can say that in the early days before the AccurateRip service having a good CD drive generally meant a better result. This is less important now that you can verify a rip with AccurateRip as mentioned by others. Unless you have a large collection of scratched CDs there is really no need to invest in an expensive CD drive. I have used several Pioneer drives on different PCs over these years all with excellent results.
In regards to the SQ of playing the CD vs the FLAC file, my preference is in favour of the file. There are obvious technical advantages to playing lossless files compared with CDs. One example is the mitigation of data loss due to jitter.
Roon was the missing link for me. It made such a difference to my music collection and the way in which I interacted with it.
Same here - I have actually sold my McIntosh CD Transport because I find the ripped CDs really do sound as good or even better…
… also I agree on Roon being the missing link - it was actually the game - changer for me. Glad I got my lifetime subscription… I still buy CDs - but I rip them straight away and the put them into the rack…
Mainly for collecting physical I buy Vinyl… everything else is Roon
I’m trying to find a good, simple, but robust solution for ripping. My problem is this: iTunes “down-rezzed” a large amount of my music library. I need to go back through and recreate my ripped files at maximum resolution.
One solution that appeals to me is the Naim Uniti. It’s so simple I could employ my daughter for the majority of the busy work of loading/unloading CDs. The Uniti is also small and would work well with my ROON Nucleus+.
Does anyone here have any thoughts on this? I’ve just started looking, and though I realize Naim gear is never the cheapest solution, it does appear to be simple, well made, and robust.
I just bought a simple LG motorized drive in an external enclosure [LG GE24NU40], attached it to a MacBook, and used XLD to rip my disks to FLAC. Set the Mac to automatically start XLD on Audio CD insertion. Set XLD to generate FLAC, and automatically eject the disc after ripping. Simple.
With the Uniti boxes you buy a lot of stuff. In fact, with a Uniti Star, and Core, do you really need Roon? Plus the Uniti solution is a slot-loader, isn’t it? I’ve always had problems with CD scratches on those systems.
Thanks Bill — your solution is a good one. I’ve been putting this off for a couple of years and need to figure out the best solution for my situation. If I went with Naim I’d only use the Core, and my Nucleus + drives KEF LS50Ws with a REL sub. Still early in the process, but thank for your input!
Hi, Ray. Sure, YMMV, as they say. The Uniti Core is a one-stop solution, all right.
I am doing something similar, ordering a Ubuntu box with a RAID array and a fast LG CD drive in it. Will also run Roon Core, which will thus have local access to the music files. Not sure what the right ripping software for Ubuntu is, but will have to figure that out.