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Thread: CD rips sound dull

  1. #1

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    CD rips sound dull

    I've had DBpowerAmp for years, but I finally have a little more time to spend using it. Been trying to backup my CD's. I was using MP3's, but they weren't always the best sounding, it seemed to depend on the original recording a lot.
    Lately I have been trying ALAC rips which should be very close to the original recordings as there lossless. They just don't sound that great , muddy lacking any high end crispness that the CD's have,
    They all check out OK on accuraterip, so I'm a bit baffled as to why they don't sound very good.
    The one recording I use to use ages ago was Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing, but even that sounds sort of dull.
    Any suggestions ?

  2. #2
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    What software player and audio hardware are you using to play the ALAC files?

  3. #3

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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    One of them is a panasonic player, and the other is an Ipod Touch 1st generation. The weird part is I have some older Itunes that were bought, that are still on the Ipod, and they actually sound pretty good. There compressed a bit of course and probably a few other things.
    Stop me here If I'm wrong but If its a lossy format, shouldn't it sound like the original CD?
    Granted some earlier recordings weren't that great. I have the reissued Aqualung, and that sounds much better than the original.
    Coming from MP3's lossless should sound much better shouldn't it?

  4. #4
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    ALAC is a lossless format (Apple Lossless Audio Codec). If a disc is ripped to ALAC and verified in AccurateRip, the digits will be identical to the CD.

    Any dullness you are experiencing, will be down to your playback software/hardware.

  5. #5

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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Yes thats what is supposed to happen. But what I'm saying is that isn't happening. I actually have some AAC rips that sound better than the ALAC ones, same tracks. Would there be a setting while Ripping a CD for ALAC that would change how it sounds ?

  6. #6
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    No, unless you have DSP effects which change the audio, but by default there are no dsp effects.

    You can install PerfectTUNES and it will check again against accuraterip (be sure to disable the option 'Use AccurateRipResult from ID Tag' then rescan). If this comes up as 100% correct then it is the same as CD.

  7. #7
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Quote Originally Posted by Bsmooth View Post
    Yes thats what is supposed to happen. But what I'm saying is that isn't happening. I actually have some AAC rips that sound better than the ALAC ones, same tracks. Would there be a setting while Ripping a CD for ALAC that would change how it sounds ?
    have you added replaygain tags, etc. That might be lowering your volume on playback.

  8. #8

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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Bsmooth i agree with you even i don't think apple lossless sound that great why not used aiff instead? i know the file size is bigger but you can always get an external hard drive there cheap these days

  9. #9
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Quote Originally Posted by M&M View Post
    Bsmooth i agree with you even i don't think apple lossless sound that great why not used aiff instead? i know the file size is bigger but you can always get an external hard drive there cheap these days
    You misunderstand the issue here. Unless you have specifically altered the ripped digital audio or use replaygain tags, any differences you experience on playback of a lossless format, will be down to how your playback software/hardware handles these files.
    Last edited by mville; 01-26-2019 at 06:02 AM.

  10. #10

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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    When I was looking through the properties of the audio files I did see something about replaygain. The main CD player is a Panasonic DMP-BD85,running through a Yamaha RX-V757 then into Paradigm Atoms in fron and cambridge soundworks rear surrounds, with a Dayton sub.
    I'm still experimenting with what format I should use for my CD Rips. It seems to vary quite a bit. I have some remastered who that sounds great but yet I have Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Ultradisc that has great dynamic range, but the top end is not very crisp at all. Modern recordings are another problem entirely. They have great Bass but the recordings are compressed with no dynamic range at all. Dave Matthews sound great as well with much better DR. And these I'm taking the CD's themselves not the rips.
    So how are you supposed to rip the CD's and get them to sound somewhat consistent.
    I've been playing around with Audacity to see what I can do with some slight changes to the EQ. I can get them close to sounding the same, but its a lot of work. I'm just wondering If thats my only options.

  11. #11
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Quote Originally Posted by Bsmooth View Post
    I've been playing around with Audacity to see what I can do with some slight changes to the EQ. I can get them close to sounding the same, but its a lot of work. I'm just wondering If thats my only options.
    Whatever you do, I recommend keeping the original ripped file (lossless=FLAC, ALAC, etc.) without the modfications by Audacity. These files are exactly equal to the audio on the CD unless an error was made in ripping (and if AccurateRip matched, then there were no errors). If you then want to adjust other things to suit your personal preferences (or your listening room, etc.) then that's fine. That's no different than people in the old days using tone controls or EQ controls on hardware to modify the sound.

    But I assure you that if you are getting error-free rips, your lossless digital files are not the problem. The mastering of the CD, etc. could very well be a mess. But we can't fix that without buying different masterings. (p.s. I've heard some Cat Stevens CDs that weren't that great soundwise, and other masterings that fixed that. But this was the CD mastering, not the ripping).
    Last edited by garym; 01-26-2019 at 06:23 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    Quote Originally Posted by Bsmooth View Post
    The main CD player is a Panasonic DMP-BD85,running through a Yamaha RX-V757 then into Paradigm Atoms in fron and cambridge soundworks rear surrounds, with a Dayton sub. I'm still experimenting with what format I should use for my CD Rips. It seems to vary quite a bit. I have some remastered who that sounds great but yet I have Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Ultradisc that has great dynamic range, but the top end is not very crisp at all. Modern recordings are another problem entirely. They have great Bass but the recordings are compressed with no dynamic range at all. Dave Matthews sound great as well with much better DR. And these I'm taking the CD's themselves not the rips.
    Yes, final CD masters vary, as you are hearing on your system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bsmooth View Post
    I have Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Ultradisc that has great dynamic range, but the top end is not very crisp at all.
    Compared to what, another copy/version of the Tea for the Tillerman?

  13. #13

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    Re: CD rips sound dull

    It amazes me how different the CD's sound.It was all pretty much down to preference , at least until the loudness race began.

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