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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:35 AM
pburgh pburgh is offline
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Question Tell me I'm crazy... Sonos Connect vs Technics CD

Firstly, I just picked up a Sonos Connect! So far so good... love the features and iPad app.

I currently have it connected to my Yamaha RX-V665 via optical, playing through Polk RTiA3 left and right. I have yet to do a blind "taste test", but I swear the sound when playing from my Technics SL-MC4 CD player sounds... more full? Is this possible??? I am comparing the CD to the same CD ripped to Apple Lossless (stored on my Synology DS213 NAS), both are connected via optical.

I have the Connect set to fixed output. EQ settings have not been touched in the Connect settings.

I've had the Technics in my rack since 1999. I was expecting the sound to be identical.

Last edited by pburgh; Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:45 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Welcome to the forums.

Did you use the error correction option when ripping in iTunes?

With a 'secure' rip to lossless -- EAC or dBpoweramp will do this but AFAIK iTunes falls short even with error correction -- the Connect using Fixed Volume will deliver the data from the original CD as well as, if not better than, the best CD player.

Do be aware though that the brain is an able trickster. If you're convinced that the Connect sounds worse then it always will.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:58 AM
pburgh pburgh is offline
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Yeah, the brain is a jerk sometimes. I am wondering if it's just a difference in volume between the two sources. Perhaps the CD player is a little hotter?

When ripping the CDs, I did NOT use the error correction. I (incorrectly?) assumed that since I was using pristine/new media, the chance for error was minimal.

Are you suggesting I should be using a different ripping tool? That's fine, I don't care for iTunes anyhow... just a necessity at times because of my Apple mobile devices.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 01:36 PM
ratty ratty is offline
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In comparing two sources level matching is in fact crucial. And strictly speaking it should be done by instrument not by ear. It's been established that a level difference too small to be audible will still subconsciously influence the listener to favour the louder source.

To truly remove bias you'd need to use a double-blind methodology. It was essentially bias that I was alluding to earlier.

On the ripping question, I'm not an iTunes user so I can't really say how good its error correction is in practice. However EAC and dBpoweramp have a reputation for obtaining as good a rip as possible, primarily by repeated CD reads for consistency and by making a checksum comparison for the entire track against an online database populated from previous rips.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 07:16 PM
buzz buzz is offline
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Take care when using garden variety voltmeters. Unless they are specifically designed to be used for audio work, assume that the meter is rated at 50-60Hz and some might extend to 400Hz. Outside of that range they drop off rapidly.

In this application one could carefully use a sine wave (same frequency on both input devices) in the 400 to 1000Hz range to match levels, but don't attempt to make any absolute measurements.
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  #6  
Old Jan 4th, 2013, 03:13 AM
mikewu99 mikewu99 is offline
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How are you connecting the Sonos and the CD player to the receiver? It looks like your receiver has two optical inputs, AV1 and AV4. I assume you are connecting the Sonos to one input and the CD to the other?

Your receiver also has option settings which could cause differences between the two inputs, including a volume trim (and surround processing selections) which could account for the differences you hear. Did you try swapping the inputs?

Of course if you are swapping the Sonos and the CD into the same optical input this suggestion is irrelevant...
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Old Jan 4th, 2013, 09:37 AM
pburgh pburgh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewu99 View Post
How are you connecting the Sonos and the CD player to the receiver? It looks like your receiver has two optical inputs, AV1 and AV4. I assume you are connecting the Sonos to one input and the CD to the other?

Your receiver also has option settings which could cause differences between the two inputs, including a volume trim (and surround processing selections) which could account for the differences you hear. Did you try swapping the inputs?

Of course if you are swapping the Sonos and the CD into the same optical input this suggestion is irrelevant...
Correct. I have the Sonos on AV1 and CD player on AV4 (or whatever the two optical inputs are). I dont have any processing turned on that I know of. EDIT: I just tried using the PURE DIRECT button (which is supposed to cut out everything it can between the source and speaker output) and it sounds pretty darn clean.

I have gone back and ripped my discs in to m4a with error correction. They sound quite nice on the Sonos.

It was just the initial perception that the CD player sounded fuller. I don't have any concrete proof that is the case.

I know it's not scientific, but I am going to have my wife do a blind test with me this afternoon.

Last edited by pburgh; Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:38 AM.
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  #8  
Old Jan 4th, 2013, 10:45 AM
pburgh pburgh is offline
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Ok, I'm calling myself crazy now. More accurately, dumb.

The av1 input had some processing turned on while av4 did not. Pure Direct modes sound identical between the two sources.

Bowing down to Sonos now.
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  #9  
Old Jan 4th, 2013, 12:24 PM
jgatie jgatie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
Ok, I'm calling myself crazy now. More accurately, dumb.

The av1 input had some processing turned on while av4 did not. Pure Direct modes sound identical between the two sources.

Bowing down to Sonos now.
Not dumb at all, it happens all the time. Some have even had a screaming, name calling henfit over anyone having the gall to suggest there was a chance of a DSP being on, only to sheepishly mea culpa later. In contrast, your open minded investigation was thoroughly refreshing. Congrats on finding the problem, hope you stick around.
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  #10  
Old Jan 4th, 2013, 01:36 PM
the_lhc the_lhc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburgh View Post
I have gone back and ripped my discs in to m4a with error correction.
I might be wrong but I don't think m4a is lossless (I've honestly no idea, I've never used it), you could try something like FLAC, that should give you about as good as you can possibly get.
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