CD Sound Quality

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  • 01-07-2008, 01:45 PM
    CD Sound Quality
    I have just replaced 15 yr old audio equipt. with a new NAD C525BEE cd player and Cambridge integrated amp 640v2 ( I retained my Dahlquist speakers)and have a question for the group.

    My son downloads music onto cd's from the internet. Sonically would these cd's generally equal ones that I would purchase from Best Buy/ or a record store ?

    I also understand that I have quality equiptment - but that it is a budget system - do you think I could detct differences on a system of my capacity( if there are any ) ?

    THANKS for your valued input !

    Russ DeJulio
  • 01-07-2008, 02:37 PM
    Mr Peabody
    The sound quality of a downloaded CD depends on a few things. Are they downloaded as complete songs as original content or mp3? mp3, or similar compressed files are definitely inferior. Also, if your CD burner is high quality like 24 bit. I used to be convinced beyond a doubt I could hear a difference and I could but recently I've copied a couple CD's for my daughter using my computer set to 24 bit and it has turned out pretty good. I need to make a couple copies of something and do a serious comparison to know for sure.

    I'm not sure what your last question was but if you are asking if you could do better with a better CD player the answer is yes. You should do the listening for yourself to see if you feel the difference in sound is worth the difference in money but I've found generally as you go up in quality of player the sound also improves.
  • 01-07-2008, 08:17 PM
    Mr Peabody

    Thanks for the information.

    Happy 2008 !

    Russ DeJulio
  • 01-08-2008, 07:12 AM
    One other thing to consider, over which you have no control..
    The recording itself. Nowadays, a lot of recordings could care less about sound quality and go for the mix that sounds the loudest. Read that as overly compressed with tinges of distortion creeping in.

    With those recordings (and their name is legion), the codecs and media you use are less important than the recording themselves, many of which are far, far beyond redemption.

    You can try this yourself. How many current "pop" CD's have you listened to that really show off your system to it's fullest?

    And you really can't blame them. "Audiophiles" aren't their market. The vast majority of people who pay for this mediocrity don't care about sound as long as they can get the music cheaply and hear them clearly over an inferior (in our eyes) system and, most likely, in a noisy environment.

    And, it's not likely that an "audiophile" recording will surface of the same music. There are a few companies that care (Reference Recordings, Mapleshade, reissues from MoFi and the like) but their catalog is limited.
  • 01-08-2008, 07:52 AM
    'your son downloads music from the internet onto cd's'...

    do you mean like, on Itunes, or illegal or so? (don't actually care about that), but if this music is downloaded, it is most likely to be in MP3, which is lossy (most of the times, and I don't believe in lossless anyway)...
    so no, most likely, they won't be of the same quality.

    However, if he downloads pop music (or any popular, mass music), the recording quality isn't really THE best, so the difference would be smaller. If, he, however, downloads classical music, or Jazz, the recording quality (original) would be higher most of the times, so there the difference would be bigger and definately audible.

    Keep them spinning,
  • 01-08-2008, 08:37 AM
    Mr Peabody
    Good point Markw about the recording itself. If the recording is poor to begin with there's not a lot we can do to make it sound good and most times a good system just reveals the recordings short comings even more.
  • 01-08-2008, 01:58 PM
    Mark,Basite and Mr Peabody,

    Thanks for the input !!

    I think I'll stick with I Tunes and commercial CD's

    Regards !!