Top Sound Quality?

Hi Chris, good morning!

1 Like

Absolutely! I have a few ripped CD tracks that sound positively awful - Roon’s dynamic range shows them at 3 - 4, so they’ve had the life squeezed out of them. No idea why any recording/mastering engineer feels the need to apply that level of compression…


I think it because they are lazy…they don’t want to put effort into getting the best sound…just compress the crap out of it so it does not drive the meters into the red… One of my life long gripes is that artists as great as Stevie Wonder, had to tolerate horrible quality recordings from Motown records…because of the poor efforts of mastering his records.

Not wishing to say your viewpoint there is incorrect as it could certainly be the case but…

My understanding of why CD was/is so badly compressed was directly the fault of Apple and the darn iPod and earbuds! :laughing:
Compression was required for anything to sound acceptable on the listening medium of choice for modern youth!

Oh and it actually helps car stereo (if anybody still has a CD car player that is) sound much better too.

It might help a car stereo, but it sounds @ss on a proper hifi or a decent set of cans.

1 Like

I prefer to default to my local library and play what I own. I try and seek out and purchase preferred masterings of albums I like. There are a number of albums that I like the Qobuz offering more so play that until I can purchase them.

I wish Roon Radio would play the local file if it exists as well as from streaming services for ones that aren’t in the local folder…instead of just pulling from streaming services when that option is activated.


Hey Kevin,
This goes clear back to the vinyl days…

1 Like

My local library full of my my preferred masters.


What do you mean “back” to the vinyl days? Lol.
I still have over 2000 lps… Yes I am a lost cause and a multi faceted dinosaur!

1 Like

There is no consensus. I’ve used Roon over a year, with many CDs and SACDs ripped as lossless files to a NAS, Qobuz, and Tidal. I can’t say that I hear any difference. I canceled Tidal and now listen to Qobuz, because I don’t have an MQA device. I will choose the Qobuz Hi-rez files over my ripped CD’s, but can’t honestly say that I hear a definite improvement. Any differences are so small, I simply don’t hear them, and they have no impact on my listening enjoyment. Having the Qobuz library in CD quality and above for a reasonable monthly fee is fantastic.


Qobuz seems to beat my CD rips.


At the same CD quality bit rate, or are you referencing Qobuz hi-res rips. Some of the Qobuz hi-res remasters are really great.

I am not technically well-equipped to say why but:
My audio dealer told me that a ripped CD likely would sound better (through my very good system) than the physical cd. As I understood him, it was because every cd has little stamping imperfections. When a cd is ripped, the ripper compares the data to others somewhere in the “cloud” of other cds of the same recording. (There is almost certainly a better way of describing this and I’d appreciate if someone would do that.)
I recently bought on eBay a Victrola cd of Erich Leinsdorf/Boston Symphony Orchestra performance of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, a recording I recall from its vinyl days in the '60s. (It is a shame that this recording is not currently available) I decided to rip it and my wife, a former music critic, agreed it sounded better than the cd.
On Qobuz I often can stream higher-rez recordings and I own DXD and DSD downloads. I believe i can hear significantly better than cd quality from both of these sources.

1 Like

Again I also do not know the best technical jargon but i think this is why possibly.
When ripping a cd with good quality program it will be making some type of “error correction” as it goes about its merry way of ripping( assuming the original cd had such errors).
There is then a chance that when this is played back through a very good dac it could sound better than the original cd played back through a player that might also have a chance of itself introducing some jitter and noise into the playback.

At least thats a theory, I find it difficult to tell a lot of difference from my rips tbh.

This is a common subject…

The most important aspect of a lossless recording is not the bit depth or sampling rate. It is the quality of the mastering. If you have the same mastering, usually the higher resolution version will sound better. Whether or not the music is stored locally or comes from Qobuz or Tidal does not usually matter.

1 Like

Hey Speed,

If you saw my comment at the top about Recording/Mastering…what I was looking for is all Mastering being equal (which is the most important for quality of Music, I agree) what sounds better to you…your own local rips or one of the Streaming services…In my case I think my local rips sound better that Qobuz and I think Qobuz adds a little bottom end to get you think they are better sounding.

1 Like

I was providing a complete answer which is why I addresses the mastering point.

Qobuz doesn’t add any EQ or other DSP to tracks to which you are listening. Qobuz is sending you the track data as they received from the Record Label. Qobuz is not sending an analog signal that they can easily manipulate on the fly. If the masterings between a Qobuz album and an album you have on CD are the same, the frequencies will be the same as well. If the Qobuz album is 16/44.1, it will be bit identical to your CD rip. Thus, it will sound the same as the DAC is getting the same bits from Roon over the same chain of devices, whatever they are in your case.

1 Like

So ones are ones and zeroes are zeroes and that’s it?

In theory yes, in reality, no, no and hell no.

Way too many other variables to say that.
Difference in the hard drive providing the signal to a DAC vs a mechanical CD player doing the same job vs a streamer/ bridge, quality of cabling etc etc.

It’s a never ending debate with no winner.

On my system, totally subjective and depending on master:
Best quality: vinyl
Runner up: CD
Very good: CD over external DAC
Good and convenient: streaming

Streaming takes away the experience of playing music. Interaction is minimal, all the browsing and “magazine-like” discovery in the world can’t change that.

Well of course if you throw vinyl in it’s not even a contest any longer :grin:.
Let’s throw cassette tape in too, and no I am not joking…