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prutser
2015-04-05, 05:27
I wonder if anybody has the same experience.
I have a Tidal subscription with the impression the delivered quality is lossless FLAC: same bitstream as recorded on the CD.

Because I had some doubts I did some A/B comparison:

- Logitech squeezebox touch digitally connected to Marantz receiver.
- Philips blueray player digitally connected to Marantz receiver.
- CD: "Step into my dreams - Susan Wong"
- Same CD encoded with FLAC and locally available to Squeezebox.

Comparing local FLAC rip and the CD played on the blueray player gives no audible difference.

Playing the same CD via Tidal gives a clear difference. It sounds dull and even the level differs.

What is wrong here ?

- Bug or data manipulation in Ickstream ?
- Something in the Squeezebox firmware ?
- Record company cheats and provides wrong source material to Tidal ?
- Tidal is cheating (would not be a good start !) ?

pippin
2015-04-05, 09:53
Different mastering? Didn't compare TIDAL but with Spotify it's pretty obvious that record companies often supply versions with more dynamic compression applied.

Now... Your observation is that the sound is comparably "dull" which doesn't sound like more dynamics compression, rather like less of it, are the effective volume levels identical?

prutser
2015-04-05, 14:12
I did not perform any measurements, because the difference was very clear. Level perception of Tidal was lower. Missed some higher frequencies as well. From Spotify I knew (reason I cancelled my subscription) but Tidal advertises with their quality.

pippin
2015-04-05, 16:01
Level perception of Tidal was lower.

You can't compare at different levels. Less loud music will always sound inferior. That's why everybody is doing all that dynamics compression crap.
Might well be that Tidal is using a less compressed mix because hey, you can always turn up the volume but you can't recover the lost detail due to the compression.

You somehow have to find a way to normalize the volume to do a listening comparison and doing it manually will probably not work.

As a first measure make sure replay gain is off in LMS.

adyc
2015-04-05, 16:04
I did not perform any measurements, because the difference was very clear. Level perception of Tidal was lower. Missed some higher frequencies as well. From Spotify I knew (reason I cancelled my subscription) but Tidal advertises with their quality.

I agree with you. I found the sound from Tidal is not very good with ickstream. I am on their HiFi subscription and quite disappointed.

Wirrunna
2015-04-05, 20:04
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?103453-Tidal-launch-review may be relevant.

Mnyb
2015-04-05, 21:02
Check your player settings in later versions of lms you have a setting for default volume for streaming services its set at

-5db set it at 0db and you will be fine

prutser
2015-04-05, 23:23
@pippin "You can't compare at different levels."

When comparing lossless streaming with the original source (digitally connected to an amplifier) than the volume should be equal.
Because this was not the case I assumed womething was wrong.



Check your player settings in later versions of lms you have a setting for default volume for streaming services its set at

-5db set it at 0db and you will be fine

That did the trick. I recently updated my LMS and was not aware of this setting. After changing it I could hear no audible differnce between TIDAL en the original.