Thursday, February 16, 2012

The final word on optical-music-disc read errors


After stating in a previous entry that "ripped" CDs sound better than CDs played on CD players, I realized that some people might want more evidence that a statement to that effect on the internet.  So, I decided to find a more authoritative source to back me up, and for the most part found the usual blind-leading-the-blind in echo chambers, and claims that CD (etc.) error correction is perfect, until I went to Linn Hi Fi's expert, no-BS website.  There, on their introduction to Linn DS page (here), I found the following statement:
Why Streaming Sounds Better
There’s a very good reason why we stopped making CD players. We discovered that streaming the music from the network sounds better than using a disc. CD players suffer from read errors and the moving parts interfere with the sound quality. If you rip, or import your music from a compact disc onto a hard drive, and play it through a Linn DS player, you get more of the music and none of the imperfections. With no moving parts and no reliance on discs, which scratch, or degrade over time, your music sounds brilliant forever. 
So, Linn's golden-eared audiophiles say it sounds better, and that's good enough for me. The ear is the most sensitive instrument, and science eventually vindicates what audiophiles hear. (The Linn Sondek turntable developer's unofficial motto was "shut up and listen!" It took him ten years to develop a phono preamp that satisfied him, but when he did, it was a revelation.) So, even if there are no measurements to prove that ripping improves the sound of a CD, Linn says it does, and you can take that to the research lab.