WAV vs. FLAC

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Lurcher300b
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Lurcher300b » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:54 pm

It isn't as though data storage is expensive.
No, but its isn’t free, so using less of it for no extra cost will always be cheaper than using more of it.

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Fretless
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:09 pm

savvypaul wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:30 pm
Why is WAV best?
WAV is the format that the original CD has the music on it. 16 bit resolution and sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. Playing the WAV files taken from the CD means that no further changes/processing is done and that the SQ is at its best.

Preferably use a secure rip program like EAC (Exact Audio Copy) that checks to see if it has accurately copied all of the data from the CD.
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George Hincapie
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by George Hincapie » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:18 pm

Fretless wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:09 pm
savvypaul wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:30 pm
Why is WAV best?
WAV is the format that the original CD has the music on it. 16 bit resolution and sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. Playing the WAV files taken from the CD means that no further changes/processing is done and that the SQ is at its best.

Preferably use a secure rip program like EAC (Exact Audio Copy) that checks to see if it has accurately copied all of the data from the CD.
Correct. I thought everyone knew that? Guess not.
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Lurcher300b
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Lurcher300b » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:22 pm

WAV is the format that the original CD has the music on it.
Actually, not true, the data on the CD is actually just 16 bit two channel PCM as a bit stream with a couple of error correcting codes and a table of contents. WAV is what you get when you look at the audio data on a computer. Its how the driver maps the continuous data stream split at the offsets in the TOC on the red book disk.

IF FLAC is convertible back to WAV on demand with zero loss of data, and IF the conversion process has no other adverse effects, then FLAC is equivalent to WAV and uses less disk space.

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savvypaul
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:33 pm

I download hi-res files - 24/96, 24/192 etc

Is there any SQ difference if I download / store those as FLAC or WAV?
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Fretless
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Looks like I'll have to conclude that my FLAC encoding is causing a slight corruption of the audio data. For the moment using WAV directly ripped from CD is giving me the best SQ - so it's back to the drawing board and have a good look at the FLAC processing.
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Fretless
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:54 pm

savvypaul wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:33 pm
I download hi-res files - 24/96, 24/192 etc

Is there any SQ difference if I download / store those as FLAC or WAV?
I'd say just keep them in the format you download them in. :grin:
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savvypaul
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:06 pm

Fretless wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:54 pm
savvypaul wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:33 pm
I download hi-res files - 24/96, 24/192 etc

Is there any SQ difference if I download / store those as FLAC or WAV?
I'd say just keep them in the format you download them in. :grin:
Oh, yes, naturally.

But any difference in SQ between the 2 formats for purposes of download?
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Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by Yomanze » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:17 pm

Fretless wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:13 pm
In my own deluded, obsessive striving for the perfect sound - and a laziness in not wanting to be hassled unless it's absolutely necessary - I have just carried out experiment No.2.

Making a new rip of the Hyperborea CD, this time doing the normal compression process to FLAC. I then used DbPowerAmp to decompress the FLAC file back to WAV. In theory the conversion to FLAC should be bit-perfect, providing scrap-for-scrap identical playback data. So reconverting to WAV ought to be exactly the same as the direct-from-CD original.

A/B -ing the two WAV-encoded files did (for me - or am I just fooling myself?) provide differences in SQ. The original being tighter and more sharply focused in detail, the compressed/decompressed file sounding a tad 'woollier', warmer and ever-so-slightly less detailed. Yes, I'm hair-splitting here but this is my perception and I want the best I can get.

My guess is that the enfolding/unfolding processing of the FLAC engine adds a tiny bit of coloration to influence the sound in the way that jitter from a cheap coax cable would. Loss of focus and a veiling effect.

Decompressing the existing FLAC's will be OK for some albums - but not for others, so it looks like I'll be having to re-rip a large part of the CD collection (again). :doh: :doh: :doh:
Hmmm, you really need to blind test this. You should be comparing two absolutely identical files, FLAC is lossless, so the conversion from FLAC to WAV should be perfect, or your software is making alterations to the original files.

I did a lot of testing in this area, using Foobar 2000's ABX plugin. My tests showed that I could reliably tell the difference between FLAC and 320kbps mp3, but despite thinking there was a bit of a difference between FLAC and WAV, these differences disappeared blind.

...worth a shot rather than just re-ripping your entire collection. ;)

antonio66

Re: WAV vs. FLAC

Unread post by antonio66 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:19 pm

"But any difference in SQ between the 2 formats for purposes of download?"

You would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I have listened to my brothers cd rips onto his homemade (for music) computer using dbpoweramp and any differences are very subtle.

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