Ripping/file formats/Astell and Kern

james77

Member
Jul 23, 2022
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Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, and moving into high res audio, so would like some advice please before purchasing.

My primary objective is to move away from an iPhone/apple headphones and migrate to cd quality, or high res, via a DAP.

After listening to Tidal on an Astell and Kern SR25 mk2, with Meze classics, I was quite impressed. The cost of £850 is just about in budget. I'll probably use Apple Music high res though due to an existing subscription.

Workflow would be to rip on an old MacBook Pro using either XLD or dBPoweramp (is one better than the other?) then copy to the AandK. My CD library isn't huge, so I'm not concerned about file but would appreciate advice on the best format for quality. Is it WAV, AIFF, or FLAC? I'd maintain 44.1/16 rather than upscale.

I may choose to output the AandK unbalanced into my existing hifi ,and I presume it's DAC will be far superior to a MacBook Pro headphone out.

If I upgrade my amp in future to possibly something like a Quad Vena then can I connect the AandK via USB?

https://www.richersounds.com/catalog/product/view/id/19338/s/quad-vena-ii-lancaster-grey/

All thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
James.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
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I use Exact Audio Copy to rip my CDs, but I also use dBPoweramp for file conversion. I just find them easier to use, rather than vast differences in quality.

I use FLAC level 6, because file size is important for me. As it's not for yourself, you can safely stick with WAV for 44.1/16.

You can use a 3.5mm to 2RCA cable to play through a convention hi-fi amp.
 
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ultraminiature

Well-known member
Aug 13, 2010
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I original ripped all my media to wave files. The last CD collection I used Flac and persoanlly can't hear a difference. It is lossless but it used to be some issue for the speed of decoding. With most modern processors in computers tablets etc I don't think it an issue anymore. Easier to add meta data although that is possible with WAVE files as well.

Upscaling seems pointless. Higher bit rates from analogue might get a better transfer (thinking original 15 ips reel-to reel) but WAVE CD quality is likely to sufficient. I do upscale video when patching 1080p source with 720p and even older 4:3 video just so they can be mixed in.
 

james77

Member
Jul 23, 2022
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0
20
Thanks for the replies.

Until I get the A and K I've been experimenting with file formats using XLD (version 2021 1018) on an old MacBook Pro (mid 2012 dual core i7 running 10.15) and Music (1.0.6).

The problem I have is that if I rip WAV, or AIFF, using XLD then import into Music and save to my iPhone (15.5) the files do not quite sound as good as streaming the same tracks apple lossless.

I've enclosed my XLD settings but essentially I don't tweak, merely change to WAV or AIFF and keep the sample rate/bit depth the same as original. The file version sounds slightly more compressed, with less definition, less warmth and a lower output volume.

Am I missing something here in my approach?

Cheers,
James.
 

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