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Tidal vs Cd vs Vinyl

DrH

Prominent Member
Since purchasing some new Kef R3 speakers I have been keen to try out Tidal to see if it could match my current CD and Vinyl set up

Vinyl Set up
Rega Planar 3 with Elys 2 cartridge, Rega Neo PSU going through A Rega MM phono stage
CD set up
Panasonic DP-UB9000 player connected out through its AKM AK4493 32-bit DAC 2 channel analogue output

Both CD and vinyl are connected to My Marantz SR6013 AVR.
speakers are Kef R3

To try out Tidal I have used an IPad and IPhone 7 to stream to me AVR using WiFi.
So listening to Tidal it sounds pretty good. If I had not heard better elsewhere it would be ok. The soundstage seems to be ok. The bass both lower and upper sounds weak though.

Listening To e few tracks from Pink Floyd And Dire Straights across all 3 formats.
CD The sound is full and 3 dimensional, all the instruments are where they should be, excellent sound.
Vinyl The sound is very similar to the CD, a bit brighter on the top end but very enjoyable.
Tidal, Ah where has the soundstage gone, where has the clean bass gone.

So I have come to a couple of conclusions through this experiment.
It is possible to get very good sound quality through the Marantz AVR.
Only if it is feed a good signal from outside Dac or phono stage.
To listen to Tidal or any streaming I would have to take a similar route as with CD and Vinyl.
That would have to be through an external streamer and Dac.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Sounds about right. Not a huge fan of modern Rega TT's, but unless you you go second hand, there's not much else at that price. A phones DAC will never produce what you want, and to be fair was never meant to. Streaming from phones is okay for parties, post pub annoying of the neighbours, but for quality listening, no. Streamers are, as a well known hifi reviewer on these forums has mentioned, are pretty uniform in terms of sound quality, but a quick read around will show who prefers what and why. Being very lazy, I have a Synology NAS hooked up to an Arcam CDS27 and that sounds (to me that is) as good as its going to get. The Arcam supports Tidal (and others) should I want to use it.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you want to make a difference to the audio then add a stereo amp with HT by-pass into your system. Every medium you play through it is going to sound a lot better than your receiver.
 

DrH

Prominent Member
If you want to make a difference to the audio then add a stereo amp with HT by-pass into your system. Every medium you play through it is going to sound a lot better than your receiver.

Might be the next thing I try, however I use my sub which is controlled with an antimode which is connected to the sub out on my AVR. I would definitely have to try one with a good return policy?

I would like to try a Rega to see how it sounds?
I would be quite happy to have a separate amp and a speaker switch, using the Marantz as it is now.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would be quite happy to have a separate amp and a speaker switch, using the Marantz as it is now.
You'll not go far wrong with the Beresford 7220 which is a great solution to a non by-pass amp.

 

MaryWhitehouse

Prominent Member

mark6226

Prominent Member
An unfair comparison. I had tidal masters. SQ was way behind streamed vinyl at dsd 128 or 24/192
Go back to the source and take it from there. Tidal mainly upscales a 16/44 digital stream for classic Rock.
Many won't like the analogue sound esp if used to digital. Just as those used to digitally shot movies with its subdued pallate prefer it to the much richer celluloid. Its what you are used to.
I would never expect tidal masters to sound as good as vinyl. As for Cd, it depends on your player. The vast majority of tidal streams are taken from the Cd source anyway.
Tidal is good for what it does. But it's not top quality in my experience.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Cos today’s p3 is radically different to 30 years ago 😉
Indeed it is. http://www.rega.co.uk/planar-3-2016.html According to Rega at least. ;) As ever with sound it's also a matter of taste & value for money. I found the original Planer 3/RB300 a great budget platform, with an 'okay' sound that suited many budget carts. I find the new P3 far too edgy for my liking, and as its moved into 'mid market' from Budget, yes it is very different, and no I don't like it.
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
I don't have a record player but I tell you what listening to yello on tidal in master audio on my firestick sounds absolutely fantastic. If that doesn't hold a candle to vinyl then I need to get a record player because honestly to me it master audio on tidal sounds superb
 

MFire

Novice Member
A phones DAC will never produce what you want, and to be fair was never meant to. Streaming from phones is okay for parties, post pub annoying of the neighbours, but for quality listening, no. Streamers are, as a well known hifi reviewer on these forums has mentioned, are pretty uniform in terms of sound quality, but a quick read around will show who prefers what and why.

I have to disagree. I have an LG G8S with a dedicated DAC in certificated for MQA and it sounds good. You have to be very careful what you choose: in my case, to be sure it sounds good I use USB Audio Player PRO(to tap right into the DAC and pass the Android limitations) and use good Pioneer headphones.
 

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