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Very basic questions from streaming know-nothing
2017-10-24, 17:13 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-24 17:18 by DavidHB.)
Post: #11
RE: Very basic questions from streaming know-nothing
(2017-10-24 14:59)rvbush Wrote:  My thanks to everyone else for helping me to decide to hang on a bit and upgrade (when the time comes) to an Akurate DSM ...

Good choice as a starting point for listening. When I was at the 'buy a streamer' decision stage, and had rejected Naim (because at the time they didn't do a control point for Android and I wasn't aware of the alternatives), my choice was between the Majik and Akurate DSMs, because like you, I saw an opportunity to dispense with my pre-amplifier, which I thought was the weakest link in the chain I had then. Akurate sounded, to my ears, a great deal better than Majik (though this is something you need to decide for yourself), and the power amplification in the Majik was redundant, because I already had what I thought was a decent amplifier. With hindsight, some of the reasoning could have been improved, but I have never regretted choosing the ADSM, though it has now given way to a Klimax Exakt DSM (that's the kind of thing that tends to happen Smile).

If the ADSM is your point of interest, it's also a good idea to hold fire until (probably) Spring 2018, as there is a distinct possibility that there will be a new, Katalyst standard model in that time frame, given that the integrated Exakt speakers (Akubarik and Akudorik) have already been upgraded in this way.

(2017-10-24 14:59)rvbush Wrote:  ... this will reduce the box count as it will undoubtedly make my CD player redundant and will replace my ageing Exotik pre-amp. Ripping CD's is no problem, in fact I've already done quite a few.

Don't rush to remove the CD player straight away unless you really have to. It will connect to the ADSM and allow you to play any CDs you haven't ripped yet.

Incidentally, you didn't ask about ripping in your original post, but there are some points to be aware of.
  • You need to rip to a lossless format. FLAC would be the preference, unless you are locked into Apple kit in some way and need to use ALAC.
  • You need to use a better ripper than those found in iTunes or Windows Media Player; secure ripping facilities are essential to make sure that the ripped file will play as well as (or better than) the parent CD. The top recommendation hereabouts is dBpoweramp (available for both PC andd Mac); it's paid for software, but only a small cost compared with the hardware. dBpoweramp uses the AccurateRip system to, in effect, check your rip against its now very extensive database of previous rips of the same CD. If you get a match, you know that the rip is secure.
  • Streaming servers use tags rather than file names to identify ripped albums, so accurate tagging is essential. Again, dBpoweramp queries a number of online databases to find the tagging information you require, and allows you to choose between alternatives and edit the information yourself before you rip the CD. But, particularly if you have a classical collection, you will also need a tagging program to work with albums you have already ripped. Good recommendations are MP3Tag (PC) and Metadatics (Mac).

I hoe that these further thoughts are helpful.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
Second system: Kiko
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2017-10-25, 09:05
Post: #12
RE: Very basic questions from streaming know-nothing
Thanks for that David, I have been using ALAC on iTunes, but was unaware that there are different quality rippers.

Much to think about!

Meridian G06, Linn Exotik, Linn M6100 Dynamik, Linn Kaber Chakra active (fitted Hiquphon OW1-92 high frequency units).
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2017-10-25, 14:32
Post: #13
RE: Very basic questions from streaming know-nothing
(2017-10-25 09:05)rvbush Wrote:  I have been using ALAC on iTunes, but was unaware that there are different quality rippers.

Taking the second point first, 'quality' in rippers is really a function of two things. The first is how accurate/reliable the rip will be (and how you will know that it is accurate). Optical drives can vary quite a lot; a drive can take a dislike to a particular CD which another drive can read perfectly and it is impossible to know in advance which drive will choke on which CD (and if the 'bad' drive happens to be fitted to your expensive CD player, that is very frustrating!). dBpoweramp makes best use of all the security features available in the hardware, re-rips sections it identifies as bad, and, as previously described, checks the end product against known good rips. The basic rippers built into iTunes and Windows Media Player do none of this.

The second mark of a quality ripper is how easy it makes the inclusion of correct metadata (which is essential for streaming) in the ripped file. With its access to a number of online libraries (one of the reasons why it is paid for software) and editing facilities, dBpoweramp will provide many users with all the metadata they need when the CD is ripped. The tagging of classical music is typically a bit more complex (and the online data correspondingly less reliable), but even here dBpoweramp will cut down on the amount of manual work required.

As regards your use of ALAC, I shall probably get in trouble here, but I recommend that, if you decide to go down the online streaming route, you consider abandoning iTunes and standardise on the open FLAC format. Obviously, if you are reliant on Apple hardware that does not read FLAC, that is not possible. Otherwise, FLAC has what in my view is a key advantage - the use of the Vorbis tagging format, which is simple, flexible and reliable.

As you say, plenty to think about.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
Second system: Kiko
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2017-10-25, 15:48
Post: #14
RE: Very basic questions from streaming know-nothing
Once again, many thanks for your help and advice David.

Meridian G06, Linn Exotik, Linn M6100 Dynamik, Linn Kaber Chakra active (fitted Hiquphon OW1-92 high frequency units).
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