ND555 - sound quality between sources, time taken

I am interested to hear about experiences:

Sound quality between sources: playing the same track internet radio (Radio Paradise) and from server (CD ripped using unitiserve), my take is from internet radio the track is fuller, more rounded/warm, less hard/digital - in short more realistic. Is this your experience and why would this be so? (I thought ripping quality was better than internet radio?)

My ND555 taken 10-15 seconds to play an internet radio station. The previous NDS was much quicker, probably 1-3 seconds. Is this normal for ND555?

Thank you!

Which Radio Paradise are you listening to, hires / CD quality ?

In any case, you can never be sure that it’s the same master on your CD and on the radio, much is being remastered these days, and this is much more likely to cause audible differences than differences in where the data was saved.

As for radio start delay, maybe it is buffering more than the NDS did (certainly its buffer is larger than the NDS had). I rarely listen to radio, though, and don’t know what’s normal. What is the bandwidth of your internet connection?

Many thanks, good thoughts.

The RP connection is the hidef radio 1000kbps.

The broadband connections is 100mb (theoretical).

Hi Ted, pretty sure the delay is down to buffer size, my nds takes way longer than my Superuniti2, obviously the nd555 has much greater buffer capacity than the nds. I’d be interested to hear how you compare the music from your nd555 to the nds?

OK, so there may well be a difference caused by the source material, but I’d expect that it’s less (if at all) in the hi-res vs CD quality as such, and more in the hires stream most likely coming from a remastered release.

As for the delay, I don’t know how much the ND555’s local buffer (which holds 50 MB) must be filled before it starts playing, but what you are seeing at least does not sound completely out of the ordinary.

The streamer does not use all available bandwidth for the initial buffering as this would starve other users on the LAN. If we assume that it uses a third of the bandwidth for the initial burst, with a 100 Mbps connection it can fill (in ideal conditions) about 4 megabytes of buffer per second.

About 10 seconds until it starts playing does not seem super crazy, if other people are seeing similar delays.

My observations are similar. I haven’t compared specific tracks but I find the CD quality RP main mix to be generally warmer sounding than CDs ripped to and served from Innuos Statement, though not necessarily more realistic. Very pleasant and easy to listen to RP, stunning quality but I would say the local source offers more more detail, more energy and is more tonally accurate. Quite different presentations and I could understand if the softer, warmer presentation of RP might be preferred in some circumstances.

Takes a good few seconds before playing starts too, 10 - 15 sounds about right.

Probably worth noting that nobody knows if the radio station applies DSP before the stream is broadcast. They may well apply all kinds of things like volume leveling (quite typical for radio) or even equalization to sound more pleasing, etc.

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Could be. Local source does seem to be more neutral, more warts and all.

So, I am two years into streaming with my ND555. I spent a good 9 months burning all my CD collection onto a Core. I use a Orbi Mesh point for access to my Internet which connects to an EE8, which then connects to the 555 and Core. Chord Shawline Ethernet cable throughout. I have 1GB Internet, and depending on time of day, the Orbi App which gets the download speed from the Router shows between 500-700 mb incoming depending on time of day.

I listen to my own locally streamed music, Tidal HiFi, Internet Radio via the Naim App OR Radio via the BBC Sounds App and Global Player. No Hi Res content.

I use Tidal a lot but primarily for their playlists and music discovery, if I like something enough, which is a quite a lot, I will buy and rip. Tidal does sound wonderful to me but in my opinion very neutral especially with newer music. If that is all I had I would be very happy. But to me, the same content I then purchase and rip to my Core is most certainly warmer and defintely produces more bass - not overblown but certainly more prominent.

I have not listened to enough of the higher bit rate Internet Radio Stations to make a fair comparison.

I do have a question for the forum however. I listen to the radio , BBC2 and BBC4 mainly. I cannot tell the difference in quality listening via the Naim App (where I can see the bitrate) and via the BBC Sounds App (where I cannot see the bitrate). I should point out that I live in Japan also, so am not sure if this streaming within the UK affords you a better bitrate via either platform.

Can somebody enlighten me upon this please?
I am not dissapointed with the quality, it is what it is, and its more background listening for me either via the 555 or my Atom.

If you look in the settings menu of the BBC Sounds app you can (at least in the UK) choose between 3 different sound quality options, although they don’t specify what the differences are.
If you use the Naim app there is a higher quality HLS stream available for BBC stations, but I believe this is only available in the UK.

It’s a real shame the BBC can’t be bothered to make a lossless stream available. They did one a few years ago as a trial during the Proms season on Radio 4, which sounded excellent, but there are no signs of them making this available again.

Thanks Chris - I only get settings to change the download quality for programmes and podcasts - Not the streaming quality, But as I said I am outside the UK.