Would ripped CDs, from the units Core
Sound better/different than my Naim CD5si CD Player?
Would ripped CDs, from the units Core
The answer will depend mostly on what streamer/DAC you choose to play your ripped CDs?
Suggest you have a search across the forum on that one. The 5si is a great player but probably consensus view is that a FLAC/WAV rip with a good streamer would be an improvement. Lots of variables!
Would I need a streamer: Can’t the Uniti Core be played through the amp/pre-amp?
I don’t understand how anything that’s ‘ripped’ can sound better than its source. You can’t add to what’s not there, surely?
The Core has no DAC, so you can’t connect it to an analogue preamp input. It’s designed to connect to a streamer over a network connection, or to a DAC via SPDIF connection.
The OP is asking whether a ripped CD can sound better than playing it on their CD5si. The answer is obviously yes - playing it on an ND555 will sound better, just as playing it on a CD555 would also sound better.
Thanks for the clarification .
In the specific example of comparing a ripped CD copy to a CD played ‘live’ in a player, there is an argument (over which there is no common consensus but a lot of arguing) that the ripped copy might sound better due to having fewer errors because the transport and ripping engine can take their time during the rip to check more thoroughly that the data has been read correctly before saving it. In turn, this then requires less error correction and interpolation (compared to what happens in a CD player) to be used when it is played back. The blurb for Accurate Rip on their website outlines the idea in a bit more detail.
IIRC, the HDX was touted as benefitting from this checking and re-checking approach when it was released a while back.
As to how significant a difference this makes, and to what extent it’s audible… it’s time to crack out the popcorn.
That’s very kind of you, Mark, to take the time to explain this to me.
Unfortunately, I’m a complete klutz at grasping these technical issues, so it mostly goes straight over my head. My problem entirely, not yours at all!
There are also, on the other side issues around network noise for streamed content if the streamer is connected via ethernet, or other noise if USB. As said, not a simple one!
I was among the many sceptics on this, but we weren’t sure. So we did several rounds of blind testing with multiple listeners.
The CD is a CDS2, which I have always found an unusually good CD player. The rips on a Core were played back via NDX2 and XPSDR, all into a 52- SC/ 250.
None of us could consistently tell which version was being played for most CDs. On a few old CDs, the rip seemed marginally more detailed and quiet, but the gap was small enough that we really weren’t sure on just about every trial.
Using different interconnects (standard, Hiline or Morgana) has a bigger and more obvious impact on which source was better, which probably suggests just how small any differences here are.
We all have bigger things to worry about (and address if in hi-fi tinkering mode) than this, imho.
IMO (and it’s nothing more than that) it’s another one of those hifi arguments that persists at least partly because there is a theoretical argument as to why A might be better than B which people find convincing, then the confirmation bias kicks in (and I’ve been prone to it in the past as much as anyone) and the next thing you know you’re arguing passionately in favour of something that you’ve never actually properly blind tested for yourself or, if you have, you haven’t heard the kind of night and day differences that you might want to.
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