Should I re-rip?


I ripped all my CDs to FLAC files using dbPoweramp on my PC yrs ago. I now have a better DAC and want to maximizie sound quality.  WouId it be worth my time to re-rip my cds to WAV (I even see that Steve Nugent on his website recommends AIFF over FLAC). Is lack of metadata still a problem with WAV?
Also, in dbPoweramp there are a number of setting options.  When I ripped to FLAC I just went with the default settings. Was that a mistake?
I’m not a computer guy. So please keep explanations very simple. Thanks in advance. 
rockyboy
I doubt you'll hear a difference between WAV and flac. I have what might be considered a better than "average" system resolving capability and can't hear one. 
Default settings probably meant the amount of compression. Doesn't affect sound quality, just the final file size. 
Bottom line, IMHO not worth the effort if it's a lot of CDs.
There's sure to be other opinions.
FLAC is a much smaller file than WAV. So, before you head that direction you need to answer two questions: (1) how much storage capacity do you have? and (2) how much storage capacity will all your files in the WAV format require? I agree that the default settings for FLAC via dbPoweramp  is probably fine. I do suggest you do one CD into WAV and compare it to your FLAC file. If you hear a difference and you like it, then I suggest you rip another one and see if you still like it. If you go 2 for 2, then I suggest you have someone else run your server and pick the version you listen to without telling you. If you can discriminate the difference between the two, and you pick the WAV consistently as your favorite, then you have some decisions to make.
WAV is preferred only from the perspective that it is uncompressed and has an advantage over flac during playback because, unlike flac, it does not have to be decompressed. That said, best of luck attempting to discern an audible difference.

FLAC is preferred from the perspective of being compressed and, therefore, taking considerable less hard drive space. Do not concern yourself with the flac compression level you chose during the RIP, because whether you chose max or min or somewhere in between the resulting file size will be nearly identical.

As to metadata, FLAC is preferred (i.e. can accommodate more attributes) to WAV.

As to Steve Nugent recommending AIFF over FLAC, not sure why, but best of luck if you attempt to discern a difference.

As to dbPoweramp settings, here is where you could have gone awry. There are different RIP options having to do with error correction. Usually, people are in a rush and software defaults to what is known as "burst" mode. That essentially means RIP quickly regardless of any error(s) encountered. The better mode is referred to as "secure" mode, which essentially means take all the time necessary to re-read a disk if error(s) are encountered. Exact Audio Copy has a mode known as "paranoid" mode, but I won’t even go into that :)

In short, you probably do not need to re-rip your CDs. But depending on how many you have, and whether or not you’re "paranoid" (pun intended, but it’s literally a mode in which you can rip), undoubtedly this will guide your decision.
Good suggestion. Think i’ll Do just that. Going to run A/B test with my current Bryston DAC and again when my Lampizator Amber II arrives. 
While there is no difference between flac and wav and I cannot hear a difference no matter how hard I try, I can tell you from my experience some flac files 24/96 and 24/192 give me listening fatigue. For the heck of it, I converted them to wave and that solved the problem for me. All DACs convert whatever format into PCM; I think the process of unpacking the flac files prior to that conversion has some kind of an effect.

If you want to convert to wave, dBpoweramp can do that directly to your flac files without having to re-rip. It even has a batch converter to do them all at once.
dBpoweramp also has a setting for "uncompressed" (not "0" compression) flac, which is basically, as I understand it, a wav file with great metadata. So, no need to worry about the effects of the unpacking. Sounds identical to wav/aiff to me.
Wow! If I can convert without having to re-rip, that would be marvelous. All your input is invaluable. I will play with dbPoweramp tomorrow. 
Ok, where in dBPoweramp is the batch converter to WAV?  Can’t find it. 

dbpoweramp does a data and offset check.  If it says there was a match and no errors, you should not need to re-rip.  It's always good to examine the report after a rip.

As for format, .wav sounds best for most DACs.  Most people use FLAC or uncompressed FLAC because of the extensive tag handling.  If you don't care about this, then rip to .wav.  You can always convert back and forth without issues with dbpoweramp.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

You are better off with lossless flac for streaming. Consumes less disk space and supports flexible tagging of metadata. Data content is the same.

I went the other way being a purist and starting ripping with .wav, then switching and converting to now lossless flac using dbpoweramp. I used dbpoweramp to batch convert my old .wav files to .flac and then ripped only to flac using dbpoweramp from there.

I listened carefully for any difference that might matter before committing to the switch there was none, as it should be if everything is working well since its the same information to read and stream, just in two different source file formats.

So bottom line if you ripped at CD resolution to lossless compressed FLAC format, there is no concrete reason to re-rip. I would not do it.

That’s not to say all streamer/DAC combos will do equally well with both formats, since the processing requirements are different to do it correctly. Compare each in your setup first and see.

IF any of your ripped FLAC files show as lower than CD resolution, then there is a clear reason to re-rip for best quality results.











I ripped 4 tracks off Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I might be delusional but I thought the SQ of the WAV files was a tiny bit better than the FLAC rip. Haven’t decided if I’m switching to WAV but just in case,  where is the batch converter in dBPoweramp? All my music files are on thumb drives. There’s no music on my PC. so how do I now do a batch conversion of my music from FLAC to WAV? Help!  
so how do I now do a batch conversion of my music from FLAC to WAV? Help!


There is such a thing as "Trader's Little Helper" :) 

Google it....

I ripped 4 tracks off Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I might be delusional but I thought the SQ of the WAV files was a tiny bit better than the FLAC rip.

You are not delusional.  You just have a resolving, properly imaging system I think.  I hear these differences plainly in my system.

These particular tracks are not the best to show these differences.  I have these tracks, but they are not in my playlists because they don't meet my quality requirements.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Steve, let’s s do this. I’ll send you a couple blank external HDs, you copy your music library to them and return them to me. In return, I’ll take the time to carefully listen to your musiclibrary and assess the SQ of your rips.  And, even though I’m stuck having to listen to your rips, we’ll call us even.  : )

Let me understand this.  I just told you that you have a good system.  I just told you that IMO, The Wall tracks are not the best quality.  There are much better ones that show these differences, maybe not so subtle.


For this, you are rude to me.


Why don't you send me a thumb drive and I'll put 8 of my best test tracks on it.  I would do this even though there is no reason for us to "get even".

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Sorry Steve. My poor attempt at humor. If I came across as rude, I apologize. 
@audioengr

Don’t feel bad Steve. The OP didn’t even acknowledge me once - let alone thank me - for the "free advice" I provided.

My job is to shed light, and not to master. :)

EDIT:

And extremely meaningful advice too, for that matter.
If your PC and equipment work properly it won’t matter the format as long as it is lossless redbook. Digital is digital. If you have issues (differences) then double check your conversion software (FLAC to WAV or WAV to AIFF or ALAC or whatever) and your pc software and all hardware. Differences on identical data suggest software , firmware or hardware issues.
Thanks to all for their input. I’m dropping out of the forum.... permanently. 
Wow, obvious humour sailing just right over head..folks are soo sensitive