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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 12:53 PM
BurtBushell BurtBushell is offline
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Default Sound Quality using Line in on Sonos Connect Amp

I am hoping that someone can give me a good technical response to this question. I am certainly not a techie. I am becoming more and more immersed in Sonos gear. I have a couple Play 5s a Play 3 and some other peripherals. I am thinking of going the Sonos Connect Amp route to connect to some really good speakers for a listening room.

The question or query I have is how good will the sound quality be using the line in connection at the back of the Amp. So if I connect a cd plyer to it, will I get top quality sound or is their some technical reason why this sound will be compromised. I ask because I have a whole lot of cds and was wondering if I wanted to enjoy high quality sound from them instead of a compressed version from itunes, would I be able to achieve this.

I ask because I was getting the sense from a forum on another site that you will not get the best sound quality from this connection.

Can someone please clarify? I would appreciate some information on this.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 01:52 PM
c9kay c9kay is offline
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I cannot answer you're question regarding the connect as I'm similar to you regarding still learning all this stuff, but from what I've read you could store your CDs as flac files to retain the sound quality.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 02:06 PM
jgiddyup jgiddyup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtBushell View Post
I am hoping that someone can give me a good technical response to this question. I am certainly not a techie. I am becoming more and more immersed in Sonos gear. I have a couple Play 5s a Play 3 and some other peripherals. I am thinking of going the Sonos Connect Amp route to connect to some really good speakers for a listening room.

The question or query I have is how good will the sound quality be using the line in connection at the back of the Amp. So if I connect a cd plyer to it, will I get top quality sound or is their some technical reason why this sound will be compromised. I ask because I have a whole lot of cds and was wondering if I wanted to enjoy high quality sound from them instead of a compressed version from itunes, would I be able to achieve this.

I ask because I was getting the sense from a forum on another site that you will not get the best sound quality from this connection.

Can someone please clarify? I would appreciate some information on this.
Burt,

Do you have a computer with a CD drive?

If you do then you can rip the CD's to your computer in a lossless format and enjoy all the ease of use that Sonos offers.

Connecting a CD player to the connect amp would certainly work, but you would be giving up a lot of what makes Sonos so special.

With your CD's ripped to your computer in lossless format, you will truly have your entire CD collection in the palm of your hand using Sonos.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 02:16 PM
ratty ratty is offline
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BurtBushell,

As the others say, re-rip your CDs to lossless. ALAC would be your likely choice as you're an iTunes user. Disk space is cheap.

Note that you cannot simply take your current compressed files and recover lost quality by converting them to lossless. The additional audio information is gone for ever.

Once the CDs have been ripped to an archival format you can put the CD player away for good. In the meantime the quality via the Sonos Line-In connection will be okay, but of course the audio will have been through a double D/A conversion: D/A (CD Player) -> A/D (digitised at the Sonos Line-In) -> D/A (Sonos).

Use the Uncompressed setting for the Sonos Line-In for better quality.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 04:55 PM
Rod. Rod. is offline
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Quote:
In the meantime the quality via the Sonos Line-In connection will be okay, but of course the audio will have been through a double D/A conversion: D/A (CD Player) -> A/D (digitised at the Sonos Line-In) -> D/A (Sonos).
Ratty, what do you mean with "ok"? Is there any quality loss? The double D/A conversion will be present in any media, correct? If I plug an iphone there, it will have the same pathway?

Last edited by ratty; Apr 18th, 2013 at 12:38 AM. Reason: corrected quoting
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 05:28 PM
BurtBushell BurtBushell is offline
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I take the points that you guys made. From this thread I realized that I am struggling with how to relate to my large cd collection. I am trying to still use them somehow. But I figure what I will do is instead of ripping over all my CDs in a lossless format, I will select those that I rate highly for such re-ripping.

I had ripped my collection at bit rates between 256 Kbps and 320 Kbps. Decent quality but nothing beats lossless and that is what I am aiming to enjoy in my listening room.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 12:40 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod. View Post
Ratty, what do you mean with "ok"? Is there any quality loss? The double D/A conversion will be present in any media, correct? If I plug an iphone there, it will have the same pathway?
Anything which starts off digitally will have to undergo DA conversion, then be re-digitised at Line input to the Sonos. So there will inevitably be slight quality loss, but whether it's noticeable is another matter.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 02:42 AM
Kumar Kumar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtBushell View Post
But I figure what I will do is instead of ripping over all my CDs in a lossless format, I will select those that I rate highly for such re-ripping.

I had ripped my collection at bit rates between 256 Kbps and 320 Kbps. Decent quality but nothing beats lossless and that is what I am aiming to enjoy in my listening room.
Nothing beats lossless? In theory, but in practice there is no audible difference by going lossy to 256kbps. Below 192kbps, people say there is, but I haven't done the blind testing.

So if I was ripping CDs for the first time, I would do it lossless as much for psychological reasons as because HD space is cheap now. But I would not waste time redoing CDs ripped at 256kbps. Use the time saved to listen to music!

Btw, this is very easy to verify. Re rip one of your CDs in lossless and compare it the version ripped in lossy, making sure you are doing a blind comparison, with someone else doing the switchovers. See if you can reliably be correct in spotting the different rips,
say around 8 times out of 10 attempts. As a minimum, establish this before making the huge time and effort investment.

Last edited by Kumar; Apr 18th, 2013 at 03:02 AM.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 07:53 AM
BurtBushell BurtBushell is offline
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Kumar I will have to do the test as you suggest but I would be surprised...shocked even if I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256 kbps. I kinda did that test already a few years back. I had compared songs on my itunes ripped at 256 kbps with ALAC. To me the differnce was quite apparent. Some of my friends claim to hear nothing. For instance I pick up very obvious differnces between 320kbps and 224 kbps. I experienced it just this morning. I was listening to some tracks today and when I reached a certain track in my Queue I noticed a distinct drop in quality. So I walked across to my computer to confirm and sure enough all the previous songs were 320 kbps and that one was 224 kbps. Now maybe 256 is some sort of threshold where you stop hearing the difference. But my hypothesis is for me that threshold is more likely to be 320 kbps and even at that level I have my doubts. But i will take your advice and do more extensive testing before I expend the effort.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 05:28 PM
Kumar Kumar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtBushell View Post
Kumar I will have to do the test as you suggest but I would be surprised...shocked even if I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256 kbps.
If you can make out the difference, the re ripping is certainly worth the effort!

But do test rigorously - which means blind testing, with file change the only variable. Same CD/track, same set up, same volume levels, same listening position - even the same time of the day which it will be if you get some one to do switchovers back and forth so you don't know which file you are listening to.
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