WAV vs FLAC

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pre65
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WAV vs FLAC

Post by pre65 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:59 am

There is a chap on HFS who has been converting his CDs to FLAC files , but out of interest he converted one to WAV as well, and thinks the WAV is a noticable improvement.

Has any "digitifile" here tried the same test and come to a similar conclusion ?

As data storage is so (relatively) cheap these days is FLAC still necessary ?

https://hifisubjectivist.org/viewtopic. ... 63#p161163
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by Nick » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:15 am

A more interesting test would be to convert the flack back to wav and see if he can tell a difference. While he was doing that, he could run a check sum on the direct wav and the via flac wav and see if there was a difference.

If he can still tell a difference, I would say the problem is in the server or renderer converting in real time.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by pre65 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:26 am

If I was an HFS member I would put that question to the man concerned.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by IslandPink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:07 am

I haven't tried 'serving' WAV yet. I have found that a CD played direct to the Longdog DAC has more tone and spatial depth in the upper mids and treble than a FLAC of the same disc ( EAC>LMS>WiFi>Pi ) played via the server. In the bass end, or on 'PRAT' it's neck & neck or poss the server slightly ahead.
If I can get EAC to rip a couple of WAV files from the CD and play in the same way, I could try it some time soon.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by ed » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:08 am

As Nick has said..

the codec and the equipment(h/w) used to do the rendering could have an effect.

I have years of playing the two formats here on various equipment and have never noticed any difference. The checksum test would be a good illuminator, but never tried it.

Be interested to know what the reproduction chain is that this chap is using.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by ed » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:21 pm

having given this a bit(v. small) more thought any codec would have to either have an error or deviate from spec in order to generate different results whilst transcoding......

either is a possibility although the latter is less likely.

having said that, it does suggest that hardware differences would be the most likely if any differences were detected.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by Nick » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:37 pm

If I can get EAC to rip a couple of WAV files from the CD and play in the same way, I could try it some time soon.
Just select the uncompressed extract and save to a different location (maybe add "- wav" ) after the CD name then its easy to do the comparison.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by The Stratmangler » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:36 pm

IslandPink wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:07 am
I haven't tried 'serving' WAV yet. I have found that a CD played direct to the Longdog DAC has more tone and spatial depth in the upper mids and treble than a FLAC of the same disc ( EAC>LMS>WiFi>Pi ) played via the server. In the bass end, or on 'PRAT' it's neck & neck or poss the server slightly ahead.
If I can get EAC to rip a couple of WAV files from the CD and play in the same way, I could try it some time soon.
Was the RasPi also connected to Nick's DAC?
Chris :happy3:

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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by ed » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:40 pm

I had some time on my hands and a curiousity came over me. I'm pretty sure I satisfied myself about this a long time ago...but....

I mixed and mastered 3 tracks down to FLAC and the same tracks down to WAV...(Sonar X2 64bit)

playing them till bored I couldn't tell the difference.

I ran the WAV files through Easycd (EZ CD) and converted to flac(ratio 5)

played them against the WAV versions and couldn't tell the difference.

doesn't prove anything cos it was all about my ears but if the original poster can hear a difference I strongly suspect his transcoding/hardware has an issue.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by IslandPink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:01 pm

The Stratmangler wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:36 pm
Was the RasPi also connected to Nick's DAC?
Yes, should have added that !
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by IslandPink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:04 pm

Nick wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:37 pm
Just select the uncompressed extract and save to a different location (maybe add "- wav" ) after the CD name then its easy to do the comparison.
D'Oh ! Now I'll have to decide which album to use :roll:
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by Nick » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:13 pm

IslandPink wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:01 pm
The Stratmangler wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:36 pm
Was the RasPi also connected to Nick's DAC?
Yes, should have added that !
Even so, you still have loads of differences. The Pi is going via USB to the USB input board in the dac, is powered by the pi supply, and is talking to the dac chip via some isolating buffers. The DC is going via sp/diff via input transformer, into receiver chip with its own voltage regulators, via isolating buffer to dac chip.
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by The Stratmangler » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:13 pm

IslandPink wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:01 pm
The Stratmangler wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:36 pm
Was the RasPi also connected to Nick's DAC?
Yes, should have added that !
How is it connected?
USB or SPDIF?

Diet - Nick got in there just before me. The bit about the isolating transformers on the SPDIF is interesting.
Chris :happy3:

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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by IslandPink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:16 pm

Looks like Nick answered that one.
D'Oh now you edited and my comment looks superfluous !
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Re: WAV vs FLAC

Post by ed » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:30 pm

any chance of going back to the original post/question...this thread is becoming a runaway train....

Flac has now been with us in the mainstream for 15 years......if the WAV is better than FLAC argument had any mileage don't you think we'd have heard about it by now?

maybe we have and I've just missed it....doh!
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