Can sound quality change so much between 2 sources???? Please help me out.

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/Blu-ray & Misc Hardware' started by bizmord, May 1, 2013.

  1. bizmord Audioholic

    bizmord
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    Hi guys,

    So ... I decided that MP3 is garbage and started gathering WAV and FLAC music.
    Now .... I could either record these then on a BluRay disk and play them on my Samsung BD-ES6000 or I can store all my music on a flash drive and use that instead.

    Here is what I noticed yesterday.............

    My Samsung BD-ES6000 doesn't play WAV files, but it plays FLAC
    my MICCA Player ( Micca 1080p Digital Media Player for USB Drives and SD/SDHC MICCAMPLAY-HD ) plays both.

    Now .... both are connected to my Receiver identically but .... sound from each one was different.
    Same song, but my Samsung BluRay player sounded better. Why would that be???

    Original files I got were FLAC and I converted it to WAV for my BluRay.

    Is it all in my head or is there a difference in these?
  2. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    Lot of possibilities. The most likely one is that you don't have the two units level matched. The louder one will sound better every time. Human psychology. In order to level match you have to play a constant tone through both and measure the voltage at the speaker. The next possibility is that when you converted the FLAC to the WAV you didn't make a lossless copy. I make almost lossless MP3's of my CD's. They sound exactly like the original whether played from a hard drive or a CD. The least likely possibility is that the two inputs you are using aren't the same. I would bet the problem is level matching.
    fmw,
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  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    MP3 isn't garbage if you use high enough bitrates, but it isn't the best :) You said connected identically but you didn't say HOW they are connected. Might make a difference.
  4. bizmord Audioholic

    bizmord
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    both units connected via HDMI cables.

    It's just weird. I heard bigger difference when compared MP3 320kbp vs 1411 Wav via my headphones than I hear via my home theater speakers. I am almost thinking of just using 320kbp MP3 vs 1411 WAV simply because they are easier to get.
  5. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Then the difference would have to be where they are decoded, meaning whether you have them setup to be decoded in the source or the receiver. If both are set to decode in the receiver, there should be no difference.
  6. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    Fmw's response made me think of something. Are the two sources level matched? Over HDMI they should be, from either source they should be outputting strait PCM to the receiver, and the bits (as in 1's and 0's, not parts) should literally be identical. If they are not the exact same volume then you can be assured that you're not imagining the difference.
  7. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    That assumes that the preamp gain is the same or that the overall volume level is the same. All HDMI does is transmit the data. It is what happens to the data at the receiving end that determines what comes out of the speakers. By level matching I'm talking about the volume control. You need to match them exactly to prevent the human bias from preferring the louder one. Even if the difference is slight. That's why level matching is done with a voltmeter at the speaker terminals.
    fmw,
  8. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    Yes, but we're comparing two sources on the same receiver. The way the data is handled on the other end is the same.

    Edit: Though bizmord should double check that he hasn't set a volume offset for the different inputs.
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  9. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    OK. Got it. As long as levels are matched, everything else should be of minor importance assuming the same quality of sound data file. I've never heard a difference in DAC's. In my experience and testing they all produce the same results.
    fmw,
  10. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    Many receivers can be set to default to certain surround settings with specific inputs. For example, a BD or DVD player input may be set to fall-back to ProLogic if it gets only two channels of audio. ProLogic would then decode that into 4.1. Another AVR input could be set so that two-channel audio isn't passed through surround decoding at all. There may also be other default settings available, like DSP modes, EQ, etc. Denon, for example, has "Pure Direct", which bypasses room cal.

    Crank through the menus and manual to see if an input can be default-set for surround decoding, make sure both device inputs have been set for the same settings for two-channel audio.

    Unlikely its a level mismatch, though some AVRs can tweak individual input levels too, even if HDMI.

    You might try swapping HDMI inputs and see if any characteristic differences stay with the input to move with the device.
  11. bizmord Audioholic

    bizmord
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    well, some update and question ..........

    I enjoy the ease of finding a good quality 320kbps MP3 or a FLAC file, drop it on my USB and stick it into my Samsung BD-ES6000 bluray ($150). Only problem is that it sounds wayyy worse than regular CD (same file size as FLAC) but that plays on my Sony C222ES ($500 back in a day player).

    I don't want to sit a burn CDs all day !!! :)

    Question .... is it because Sony has better guts that make music sound better? Better connection (Sony uses Analog cables, my blu-ray uses HDMI)?

    How do I make my USB stored FLAC/MP3 sound better? Will upgrading to a better Blu-Ray player help???
  12. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    Well, you may have landed on the answer with using analog cables and the Sony. Go back and confirm what the receiver is doing by default to the analog signal vs a digital/HDMI signal. That would the the start of finding this problem.

    CDs and FLAC files should sound the same. Both players should sound the same with CDs and FLAC IF the audio path is the same, but connecting one analog and the other HDMI makes the two paths partly different. There is a good chance there is entirely different processing going on for each in the AVR for each. Check that first.
  13. bizmord Audioholic

    bizmord
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    you mean like cross over, channel volume, sub effect?

    BUT no way can it be because BluRay player guts cost 4 times less than that CD player?
  14. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Listen to the advice you have already been given. You are approaching your problem with a bias and expected outcome and you will never find the real answer until you throw out your pre-conceived bias.

    How did you rip to FLAC? Is there a possibility that you didn't make lossless rips?
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  15. bizmord Audioholic

    bizmord
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    I downloaded FLAC from those sites that give you and sell you FLAC files.
  16. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    No way. The minute you start equating selling price to sound quality you are in trouble.
    fmw,
  17. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
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    Agree, it's going to depend on how you have both set up.. I would have to say that you have settings identified in the audio setup section of the Samsung's set different than the Micca or the Micca has limitations. For example: the Samsung has settings for PCM downsampling, Dynamic Range control and Downmixing mode, each can be turned on or off in the Samsung. There is nothing like this in the Micca according to the manual I pulled up just a EQ mode.
    cpp,

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