Tidal MQA (compressed 92kHz/24bit)> CD (original 44.1kHz/16bit)= FLAC (lossless 44.1/16)
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Cary Audio 200ts -- quite nice with a tube option.
Since I was using the same DAC for both my uploaded FLAC versions of various albums and the same albums that loaded directly from the Tidal server, I think this eliminates the DAC as the variable which might explain the difference in sound quality. It is interesting that with the Tidal 19.99 a month expense, one is supposedly getting the same CD quality as one of my CDs transferred to uncompressed, lossless FLAC.
Just because there is system by system variance, does not mean that taking a poll on this issue would not have any validity. It is very simple, using all your components exactly the same way, a/b compare Tidal CD quality versus your own uploaded CD of the same album. You may say Tidal sounds better or you may say your own uploaded CD sounds better. It would be interesting to know the results.
Sure , you can take a poll, but how will this help you specifically? If streaming Tidal is most important to you, then get gear known for and built to assure streaming sounds best. If you will do more ripping and listening from stored cd files, then buy to maximize this option. I am suggesting this may be the better question and route.
In my reference rig I have had front ends that make the burned CD sound better. I have also had front end gear that makes Tidal sound just as goods and even a tad better. Depends on the front end gear.
I don’t know unless its the Node 2i I stream the WAV files through from my NAS. It’s set up wireless but I am going to hard wire it this weekend which might make a difference. Of course Tidal is wireless as well. The CD player and Node both connect to a Benchmark DAC 3B with coax. But the ripped files have never sounded as good to me, I ripped them with bdpoweramp.
I suppose it was being on wireless that made the difference. I got my wire installed today and I can’t tell a difference between CD and the ripped WAV which is how I thought it should be. Some might argue being wireless shouldn’t matter but to me in my system it does. It sounded pretty good on wireless but I always had to turn the volume about 20% more to get the same level as CD which I don’t have to do being hard wired.
I always feel that streaming lacks something.
Once it is in the box, ripped or downloaded, I can`t hear a difference.
BTW. This site has a couple of comparison downloads comparing one track in different formats all the way up to 352 DXD. If anything it is good to see what your DAC can handle. https://www.soundliaison.com/
i compared Tidal HF last night with the title track from Joni Mitchell’s Blue album. Flac file vs. Tidal steam, not even close. the Flac file had way more body and depth and harmonic richness. i streamed the Tidal from my MacBook to my Oppo 103 via HDMI out to a very good DAC. Tidal works for me on the computer, but shows it weakness on a good home system. was about to buy a Bluesound streamer
There should be a distinction between streaming from a subscribed service v.s. streaming lossless from one's own locally ripped media.
At least I know my CDs are verified via AccurateRip. What guarantees do the streaming services offer?
Aside from that, one of my grievances with streaming services is that they offer a limited selection of masterings for a given recording. . .if they offer more than one at all.
That said, I personally subscribe to Deezer HiFi. Guess I should do some comparisons myself...