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Thread: Best FLAC

  1. #1

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    Best FLAC

    If I use dBpoweramp to rip my CD into FLAC music file, what is the best setting to get sound quality in your opinion? 16/ 44.1 ? 24/ 96? 24/ 192?...etc.

    Also should I choose "Uncompressed" or "No. 5 (Recommend)" to get the best sound? Does it has big difference in sound quality? Uncompressed file is big but I don't really mind.

    THX!

  2. #2
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by MMBL622 View Post
    If I use dBpoweramp to rip my CD into FLAC music file, what is the best setting to get sound quality in your opinion? 16/ 44.1 ? 24/ 96? 24/ 192?...etc.
    16-bit/44.1kHz and it is not an opinion, it is a fact. Increasing the bit-depth/sample rate will not give you better sound quality as the source i.e. the audio CD, is 16-bit/44.1kHz.

    Quote Originally Posted by MMBL622 View Post
    Also should I choose "Uncompressed" or "No. 5 (Recommend)" to get the best sound? Does it has big difference in sound quality? Uncompressed file is big but I don't really mind.
    The compression level has no affect on the sound quality. The default/recommended setting is fine. Personally, I have it at Level 8 (highest).

  3. #3

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    Re: Best FLAC

    I've been using level 8 as my weapon of choice for FLAC files. Playback at 16/44.1 is just fine. With a DAC, I've also done multiple encodes @ 24/44.1, 24/48, 24/96, etc. just to test and see if there is an improvement in sound quality. Yes and No IMO.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcticBama View Post
    With a DAC, I've also done multiple encodes @ 24/44.1, 24/48, 24/96, etc. just to test and see if there is an improvement in sound quality. Yes and No IMO.
    Would you care to elaborate on this statement?

  5. #5
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    Re: Best FLAC

    I'm guessing his DAC does upsampling, so if you feed it 16/44 or 24/96 the upsampling algorithm will be different, hence the audio output as well.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't think it's possible to improve the audio quality by upsampling with a DAC unless there is jitter.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Upsampling and jitter are like peanut butter and apples, two completely different things that have no correlation to one another. Percieved audio "quality" might improve by altering the original audio with upsampling algorithms, but that depends entirely on the listener.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by jultsu View Post
    Percieved audio "quality" might improve by altering the original audio with upsampling algorithms, but that depends entirely on the listener.
    Upsampling 16-bit, 44.1kHz audio results in different, not improved. It is true though, that some listeners might think that different is better.

    But the real issue here is that some believe that by increasing bit-depth and sample rate, this converts the audio to a higher resolution so therefore, it is better quality. It is just not true.
    Last edited by mville; 11-18-2017 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by evasv View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't think it's possible to improve the audio quality by upsampling with a DAC unless there is jitter.
    From Linn Products, regarding the Linn Klimax DS:-

    "Data optimisation is a marketing-friendly term for upsampling and digital volume control. In the Katalyst DAC we upsample to 768kHz/32-bits before sending the data to the conversion process. Upsampling to 768kHz allows us to take control of the audio spectrum all the way up to 384kHz, eliminating the conversion artefacts that may otherwise be generated by more resource-limited upsampling processes. Delivering the data at 32-bit resolution means that the digital volume control is now essentially lossless for volume settings above 38."

    Even though you can get very good a sound from a 100 DAC, and better sound from Linn's top digital streamer, with 15 years of development, and costing 15,000, noticing the comment, essentially lossless, a standard Red Book CD, ripped losslessly to FLAC, whichever compression you choose, is still not the limiting factor in sound quality!

    Manufacturers are essentially upsampling, not to give an improvement (how can you?), but to reduce the losses to the 16 bit, 44.1kHz audio.
    Last edited by Oggy; 11-19-2017 at 04:38 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by jultsu View Post
    I'm guessing his DAC does upsampling, so if you feed it 16/44 or 24/96 the upsampling algorithm will be different, hence the audio output as well.
    Yes, ArcticBama comments aren't clear and allude to upsampling, hence my original question.

    The OP was asking about ripping CDs and creating flac files with higher bit-depths/sample rates to the default (16-bit, 44.1kHz) for higher quality, which is different to processing (upsampling) files by software/DACs.

  11. #11
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by evasv View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't think it's possible to improve the audio quality by upsampling with a DAC unless there is jitter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
    Manufacturers are essentially upsampling, not to give an improvement (how can you?), but to reduce the losses to the 16 bit, 44.1kHz audio.
    Correct of course. I didn't mean that you can improve the original audio by upsampling, I only meant that a jitter-corrected signal is an improvement over the jittered one. I shouldn't have used "improve the audio" in that sense.

    As for jitter corrected in the upsampling process, I've heard this from different manufacturers. Here's a link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnM1vL_QGDY around 3'00

    Correct or not? To me it would seem more logical to correct jitter when it occurs, rather than afterwards in the upsampling process.

  12. #12
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Jitter is dealt with by buffering and reclocking the incoming bit stream in the playback device. It has nothing to do with upsampling (which is: adding zeros to the stream) but they can be done at the same time.

  13. #13
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by jultsu View Post
    Jitter is dealt with by buffering and reclocking the incoming bit stream in the playback device. It has nothing to do with upsampling
    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by jultsu View Post
    but they can be done at the same time.
    This I don't understand, would you care to explain more?

    Have you seen the video in the link? Do you actually agree with what Ben from CA says?

  14. #14

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    Re: Best FLAC

    Hello,

    I'm a new user of DBPoweramp, and have tried to inform myself as best as I can with your forum and others regarding the format debate. Conclusion is I've chosen FLAC for ripping. I have the same question as the original post with regard to compression and understand that compressing does not affect playback quality. Being that I have only a couple of hundred CD's to rip and that storage size is not a big issue, I initially chose FLAC uncompressed for the first few CD's, being that as a listener of classical and jazz primarily, I don't want to lose quality (not that anyone does). Being that that seems not to be the case, are there any consequences or compromises at all that one makes by compressing?

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Re: Best FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by AllenC View Post
    [...] are there any consequences or compromises at all that one makes by compressing?
    All levels of compression result in files that provide exactly the same output as the source CD when decoded.

    Higher levels of compression will take a bit longer to rip, but probably not enough to be a problem. For what it's worth, I rip FLAC to Level 6, which usually takes me about 3:10 (that's min:sec) for a one-hour CD, on an 8-1/2 year-old PC.

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