Try this before you do anything else. Download a free program called EAC (Exact Audio Copy). Install it, and then configure it using the wiki setup guide. (You need to use the guide. Its too difficult to figure out on your own.). During the setup process you can have EAC test/calibrate both of your optical drives for best quality. Once all that is done, try re ripping the CD's you used for the comparison to see if the quality is any better.
22 responses Add your response
I second the recommendation to use Exact Audio Copy. At that point it shouldn't matter - assuming both cd drives are operating correctly - which drive you use.
Also, while true that EAC can be optimally configured, realistically the default settings (i.e. settings the software makes/determines at the time of installation) is more than adequate. You shouldn't need to do any further research in that regard. The settings can always be tweaked.
Just like in real life for any laser reading process everything matters when ripping. At least if sound quality is an issue for you. You know the drill. Vibration related to the transport mechanism, static electric fields, seismic vibration, background scattered light, induced magnetic fields from transformer, etc, quality of power cord. The whole nine yards.
Get good program like EAC. I use (free) XLD on the Mac. Program can go to given sector multiple times until you'll get proper checksum (I set my XLD to 200 attempts max). You are extracting data. What is stored on your HD is data and not the music.
Difference between Itunes and better ripping programs is number of times it goes to the same sector before quitting and using interpolated data. This difference would be bigger on badly scratched CDs and most likely inaudible on brand new.
I agree with the EAC suggestion made by several of the others. And at this point I see no reason to conclude that the USB cable had anything to do with the problem, in part of course because a different drive was being used for the two rips. (And see my paragraphs below for some additional possibilities).
Also, while this may not have any impact on sound quality, in my experience full size (5-1/4 inch) desktop CD/DVD drives tend to provide much more reliable performance over the long-term, especially when reading discs that are in marginal condition, than both laptop optical drives and the kind of small low-profile external optical drives that seem to be widely sold these days. If you are planning to rip a large CD collection you might consider purchasing a CD/DVD drive intended for internal use in a desktop computer, having a SATA interface, and putting it into a separately purchased 5-1/4 inch drive enclosure, that would provide a SATA interface internally and a USB interface externally. Online sellers of computer parts, such as Newegg.com here in the USA, sell many such things.
Or, alternatively, you may want to consider doing the rips with a desktop computer, assuming you have one, and subsequently transferring the files to the laptop via a flash drive or a USB hard drive or over your local network.
Also, if you are ripping to and playing back from the laptop’s internal "c" drive, and if that drive is a mechanical drive rather than an SSD, I would make sure that either Windows is set to defragment the drive periodically, or that you do so manually every once in a while. It is conceivable to me that sonic differences could occur between playback of two identical files as a result of differing levels of electrical noise (resulting in differences in jitter at the point of D/A conversion) if one file happens to be highly fragmented (broken up into different physical places on the drive) and the other is not.
Finally, in your comparison of playback of the two files, was the external optical drive either connected or disconnected in both cases? If it was connected in one case and disconnected in the other, I would not rule out the possibility of that being a contributor to the sonic differences you perceived. While that would seem to be unlikely, IMO it is probably no more unlikely than the possibility that the USB cable used for ripping was a contributor.
Good luck. Regards,
I use dbpoweramp to rip.
It uses a database to verify your rip as accurate or not by comparing to rips by other prior which is a good way to assure accurate rips.
WIth accurate rip on, the software will reread data and take as long as needed to copy bits accurately. Faster high quality drives will rip faster than others. Damaged or defective disks can take a long time to complete and could still have some errors in the end if really bad (rare)
With accurate rip off, you could get some errors but most are not clearly audible if drive is working properly.
So its really up to the software to assure accurate rips or not. Not sure how exactly one can achieve that based on drive type alone so I think that is a witch hunt. Better ones will rip faster because they operate faster with fewer errors along the way.
I’ve seen EAC and it is good as well I believe but some may find it harder or less intuitive to use,
To mapman's point about dbpoweramp using a database to compare, EAC also has this feature. The caveat in both cases is that the data is known. Meaning if you are ripping CDs of some bootleg recordings not widely available, or if users opt-out of sending the data, this option will be of no value because the database wouldn't contain someone else's previously ripped information.
Something else (not already mentioned herein) to look for. My assumption is you are ripping directly to a wav file. As you state the Dell CD has less bass energy, check the windows properties on both (Dell and internal PC) wav files. The Audio Bit Rate should be identical and the disk file size should ideally be identical but may differ ever-so-slightly. If theses properties are way off, something is very wrong and in that case you should double-check whatever output ripping options your Jriver, EAC, dbpoweramp (or whatever) is set to.
" So its really up to the software to assure accurate rips or not. Not sure how exactly one can achieve that based on drive type alone so I think that is a witch hunt. Better ones will rip faster because they operate faster with fewer errors along the way."
That's one reason why it would rip faster, but if you're comparing full size internal/external optical drives to the small drives like they use in notebooks and usb powered internals, the full size drives work much faster regardless of errors.
Its also worth noting that ripping is hard on the drive, so I wouldn't use anything expensive.
" I’ve seen EAC and it is good as well I believe but some may find it harder or less intuitive to use,"
There's several setup guides available online that walk you through the config process. It only needs to be done 1 time. After that, its just as easy to use as dbPoweramp.
melb I did pretty much the same but in all fairness DB Poweramp also slows down considerably when accurate rip is on and CD is not good quality. You have to decide whether its worth it to wait or not. In most cases I find it is not and I have yet to obtain an audibly poor quality rip having ripped several thousand CDs to-date. If CD is in good conditon accurate rip happens as fast as otherwise. Its only when portions of CD have to be re-read many times in an effort to get a good read that slowness occurs. You have to have a really beat up or defective CD in general for bad reads to occur with any more than a minute % of the data overall. If this is clearly audible I have yet to hear it. DBPoweramp seems to do a good job with the rip no matter what. It is very well done overall including ease of use and flexibility in trading off rip time versus end quality.
@mapman and @melbguy1 not that we need/want to belabor the point of "slowness", but in the case of EAC (and likely the case with db Poweramp although I have no experience with it), the software can easily be configured to ignore/bypass "un-correctable" read errors. In so doing, the overall rip process is not stymied by the few bad sectors on the disk. Granted, those un-correctable tracks would have been bypassed in the rip, however, one can then re-rip those failed tracks in "burst" mode which will be very fast (because there is no attempt to correct anything). Further, the user now knows where the error/failure occurred.
@mapman, thanks for your feedback on the general use of DB Poweramp Poweramp. Atleast if it is more user friendly I can live with slow ripping speed using the Accurate rip option on lesser quality cds. But it’s good to get your 1st hand f’back on ripping with/without that feature.
@gdhal, thanks for the tip to bypass un-correctable read errors. Though fyi bad read errors can be reduced by using Ultra Bit Platinum-Plus cd treatment. I also found that product works well with dvd’s.
With error correction in ripping software, IMO quality of CD drive is not very important. The software will read as many times as needed to get all the data, batch process.
But in real time, such as CD player, where data is read only once, quality of CD drive is very important. Some companies such as MSB, use error correction buffers a whole track in memory before play.
IMO CD treatment might help with real time but not batch processing.
knghifi1,485 posts12-26-2016 8:32amWith error correction in ripping software, IMO quality of CD drive is not very important. The software will read as many times as needed to get all the data, batch process.All good points Knghifi. Boulder also use a buffer on their 1021 network player, whilst Vitus Audio's approach is to build a better transport to minimize the work for the error correction circuit.
Re: the benefit of using cd treatment for rips, I was thinking mainly of reducing the time the cd takes to rip..not the sound of the final ripped album as such.
Thnaks guys for all your suggestions . I have installed the EAC on my computer with accurate rip on. The ripping qulaity is much better now. I have started ripping in non compressed .wav format. I have ripped well known artists from original cds. the problem i am facing now is that no data on the artist or the track is available in EAC. When i rip the same CDs on JRiver all the album cover art and track data etc. is avialable.
I know i am new to EAC thus would like some assistance on how to get metadata in EAC