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Recoveryone
2007-01-03, 16:38
I received my SB3 today and all I can say at this point is WOW. the setup went smooth as glass, picked up my Slimserver without a hitch (wireless,)upgraded the firmware and tested 100% all the up to 5000kps then drop to 75%. Connected it via Optical line to my system and the sound is sweet and what ever Pioneer is/is not stating clearly about the technology they put into the VSX 80 series made my Mp3's sound as if I was listening to the CD's(IMHO). From the old Motown sounds of 45 singles I remember as a kid to the full deep bass of todays Neo-soul and hip-hop.

The Server even picked up music playlist that I had created with MusicMatch software, so that saves me from using the poorly designed SS browser page. If I were the Slim Devices people I would put the server software on disk and keep us from having to pull our hair out (I'm bald already) dealing with the Slim server and Squeezesoft. Dealing with that setup almost had me doing a double take on my desision to buy this product.

Ross L
2007-01-03, 19:24
FWIW we don't put our software on CDs because we'd have to update the CDs constantly. Did you know our engineers do nightly builds?

Recoveryone
2007-01-03, 19:55
FWIW we don't put our software on CDs because we'd have to update the CDs constantly. Did you know our engineers do nightly builds?

Yes I'm aware of the nightly builds, I had to use the 6.5.1 build to get my slim server to work properly. Many compaines put out a base software disk for there product and during install have the customer get the lastest drivers online. My thought was to have a proven basic model that worked on 97% of all PC's that would give the consumer an solid starting point. From what I read and the experience of what I've have been through over the last week dealing with the slim server & softsqueeze program leaves a bad taste with many and causes undue worry about the performance of the actual product.

Wombat
2007-01-03, 19:56
I Connected it via Optical line to my system and the sound is sweet and what ever Pioneer is/is not stating clearly about the technology they put into the VSX 80 series made my Mp3's sound as if I was listening to the CD's(IMHO).
Your Pioneer even shouldnīt know it was an mp3 before cause the Squeeezebox sends completely decoded bits to it :)

Recoveryone
2007-01-03, 20:25
Your Pioneer even shouldnīt know it was an mp3 before cause the Squeeezebox sends completely decoded bits to it :)

I hear you, but the newer receivers' on the market today (highend ones) are made to work with IPOD's XM radio and other compressed music formats. The Pioneer elite VSX 80 line and the Yamaha V2700 are made to work with these type of formats. The Yamaha has an cat5 port on the rear for direct connection to your PC and internet along with a USB port for thumb drives. The Pioneer has ports for IPOD connection (comes with cable) and XM radio.

when I was using my old Netgear Mp101 DAR and had it connected via analog (RCA) the receiver would display (96KHZ) mode, now with the SB3 connected via optical line and placing the reciever in retriver mode it shows direct stream and PCM (PCM covers the bits).

Wombat
2007-01-03, 20:33
You connected via optical. So it is already decoded...
Edit: This (highend ones) really makes me wonder ;)

stinkingpig
2007-01-03, 20:49
On 1/3/07, Recoveryone
<Recoveryone.2jv81z1167879601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Ross L;166866 Wrote:
> > FWIW we don't put our software on CDs because we'd have to update the
> > CDs constantly. Did you know our engineers do nightly builds?
>
> Yes I'm aware of the nightly builds, I had to use the 6.5.1 build to
> get my slim server to work properly. Many compaines put out a base
> software disk for there product and during install have the customer
> get the lastest drivers online. My thought was to have a proven basic
> model that worked on 97% of all PC's that would give the consumer an
> solid starting point. From what I read and the experience of what I've
> have been through over the last week dealing with the slim server &
> softsqueeze program leaves a bad taste with many and causes undue worry
> about the performance of the actual product.

It's a tough one -- I hear what you're saying, but those same
companies usually do two or three updates to fix the really awful bugs
and then stop development on the software. I'd be a lot less happy
with the Slimserver if it was still back on version 2.0 :) Then again,
there are people who would be thrilled... you can't please everyone,
and right now the majority seems to like rapid development.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

Skunk
2007-01-03, 20:49
I hear you,

But do you grok it?

Mp3's->Slimserver->Mp3/FLAC->Squeezebox->24bit S/PDIF signal->Pioneer.

The Pioneer can't see the mp3's in this setup because the SB does the decoding.

Recoveryone
2007-01-03, 23:52
[QUOTE=Skunk;166884]But do you grok it?

Sorry my friend, I'm not up on the slang from your part of the world.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-04, 02:59
Recoveryone wrote:
> Skunk;166884 Wrote:
>> But do you grok it?
>>
>> Sorry my friend, I'm not up on the slang from your part of the world.

http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/grok.html

R.

slimpy
2007-01-04, 04:44
Yes I'm aware of the nightly builds, I had to use the 6.5.1 build to get my slim server to work properly. Many compaines put out a base software disk for there product and during install have the customer get the lastest drivers online. My thought was to have a proven basic model that worked on 97% of all PC's that would give the consumer an solid starting point. From what I read and the experience of what I've have been through over the last week dealing with the slim server & softsqueeze program leaves a bad taste with many and causes undue worry about the performance of the actual product.
If 97% of the PCs were the same your "proven basic model" would indeed work. There are no drivers you can download during install. You need the whole server software.
What's the point in distributing software disks if you end up downloading a newer version of what's on the disk.
It's only a waste of cost and resources.


The Server even picked up music playlist that I had created with MusicMatch software, so that saves me from using the poorly designed SS browser page.
Would you care to share your detailed view on the web interface? I think it isn't the first time you rant about it without giving specifics.

-s.

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 10:06
If 97% of the PCs were the same your "proven basic model" would indeed work. There are no drivers you can download during install. You need the whole server software.
What's the point in distributing software disks if you end up downloading a newer version of what's on the disk.
It's only a waste of cost and resources.


Would you care to share your detailed view on the web interface? I think it isn't the first time you rant about it without giving specifics.

-s.

the web base SS is slow and buggy, and Im not the first to say this. How many post in here are related to the performance of the SS web interface. Maybe I haven't found it, but I did not see where I can edit tags either. Once I got mine working correctly, Im scared to make any adjustment or use the web SS to make playlist. In other server software/ Music programs all you do is drag and drop to make playlist along with the ability to edit tags.

Now I can understand the thought/feeling of Slim Devices purest regarding the daily changes/upgrades to the SS. But I would be hard press to recommed this item to a novice computer person. This product is first class once you get it to work properly, but the general public values ease of setup along with product performace. If I would have never use the SS with the softsqueeze and had the same smooth setup with the actual SB3, I would have nothing but pure praise for this product and would be spreading the word to my friends.

All of us have friends or you are that friend that others look to for computer/audio advice and based on your/their opinon you make choices on products you buy. And nothing is worse than hearing back from someone that trusted your knowledge to only be frustated and down right mad due to unsatisfactory performace.

Many people like to have top of the line gear or close to it, but never took the time to stay informed on whats what. And are at the mercy of T.V. ads and less than fully knowledgable sales people. If you take noticed after the holidays as you visit you local Malls, what is the longest line? the returns line. Why? some items just broke, but the number one reason is that the item did not preform as stated, and thats not always the comsumers fault. Many times the gear was not compatible with the gear they already have or the new gear is beyond the skills/knownledge of the buyer.

I've read post on here where a person has brought a SB and does not have broadband, and asking a question on how to set his SB up with dialup. Now you must ask yourself how did this person learn of this product and not know you need broadband to connect to the internet/Squeeze network.

I'm not here to put down this product,(mine works great) but I have to look at the average joe out there and see what they would go through with this product.

peter
2007-01-04, 12:13
Robin Bowes wrote:
> Recoveryone wrote:
>
>> Skunk;166884 Wrote:
>>
>>> But do you grok it?
>>>
>>> Sorry my friend, I'm not up on the slang from your part of the world.
>>>
>
> http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/grok.html
>
It's your part of the world and not mine, but even I know it...

Regards,
Peter

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 13:29
Robin Bowes wrote:
> Recoveryone wrote:
>
>> Skunk;166884 Wrote:
>>
>>> But do you grok it?
>>>
>>> Sorry my friend, I'm not up on the slang from your part of the world.
>>>
>
> http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/grok.html
>
It's your part of the world and not mine, but even I know it...

Regards,
Peter

The term world was not meant literlly, just not in common use in my world. Is that better Pete. This is the first forum that I have been on that people are so defensive. So much for freedom of speech. I've been challenge on several posting and I have yet to return the attitude in which has been used toward me. I thought the purpose of a forum was to exchange information, not look to see if we can attack someone for their opinons.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-04, 13:52
Recoveryone wrote:
> I thought the purpose of a forum was to exchange information, not
> look to see if we can attack someone for their opinons.

challenge <> attack

Perhaps you're not used to having your opinions challenged, or being
wrong, or at least being told you're wrong?

R.

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 14:26
Recoveryone wrote:
> I thought the purpose of a forum was to exchange information, not
> look to see if we can attack someone for their opinons.

challenge <> attack

Perhaps you're not used to having your opinions challenged, or being
wrong, or at least being told you're wrong?

R.

Once again, my words are twisted, Its not the point of being wrong or right, but the attitude of exchanging ideals/information. And who is to say what is right or wrong. In this field what is wrong today can be right tomorrow. If we attack each other there never is a chance of creating new ideals.

pfarrell
2007-01-04, 14:39
Recoveryone wrote:
> Robin Bowes;167078 Wrote:
>> Perhaps you're not used to having your opinions challenged, or being
>> wrong, or at least being told you're wrong?
>
> Once again, my words are twisted, Its not the point of being wrong or
> right, but the attitude of exchanging ideals/information. And who is to
> say what is right or wrong. In this field what is wrong today can be
> right tomorrow. If we attack each other there never is a chance of
> creating new ideals.

You have made a number of claims as facts that are simply not
substantiated. This raises questions about the basis or grounding of
your opinions.

It is better etiquette to label your opinions as such. Many of the
threads that you have been in have been challenged not because of what
you believe, but because you have stated as facts things that are not true.

There are things that are true, such as MP3s not being the same quality
as lossless encoding that folks here know as being both incorrect and
misleading.

I have no interest in creating new ideas that are based on
misconceptions. Discussions of which skin is cooler are not at all the same.

Frankly, I find your attitude to be at best troubling. IMHO, YMMV, etc
You might want to look in the mirror at your postings.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

aubuti
2007-01-04, 14:52
And "exchanging ideals/information" isn't exactly promoted when you change the topic everytime you are asked to back up your statements, whether they be "facts" or opinions. Peter made the point that your receiver never sees the stream as mp3, and you chose to turn the disucssion to the word grok. Slimpy asked you to give details about your *opinion* on slimserver's web interface, and after briefly saying it won't edit your tags, you go on some prolonged speech about SS and the average Joe.

Skunk
2007-01-04, 14:55
Once again, my words are twisted, Its not the point of being wrong or right, but the attitude of exchanging ideals/information.

Apologies for the obscure term, but I don't think anyone was trying to attack you or be rude. Sorry if I came across that way. That's a pretty decent novel though, if you're ever bored.

The raisondetre' of the forums is to provide info for those needing help, by exchanging ideas. Some people are more motivated by the ideal setup though, and misinformation is an obstacle to being able to achieve that. If you say something that's not quite right, you will be corrected- and I have been many times :)

tomjtx
2007-01-04, 15:03
Recoveryone,
The SD forums are freewheeling and rough and tumble at times. That's what I like about them. You have the freedom to say what you want without a moderator prematurely killing a thread. If you thicken your skin a bit you will probably enjoy the time you spend here.

Better to be bruised than censored, IMHO

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 15:39
thank you all for your feedback, and if (IYHO) my attitude may seam troubling,I be first to say sorry. I'm just stating information from sources that I have in my home or from past experiences. I'll be first to admit that this SB thing is new to me and I search through the threads to find information that will benefit me. Excuse me if I may not supply you the detail information you are use to seeing, but I'm no programer and would not try to give information in a form I don't know. So when someone ask me about such things I give them in terms I know and use from the experience of using the product.

And for Peter remarks, I only saw the remark he made about GORK. So when (as you say going off topic) I use creative means to explain my feelings on a subject does not mean I am ignoring the question or topic.

I'm a big music fan, from listening to the Motown sounds as a child from my parents stereo in the 60's to my older brother introducing me to Jimi Hendrix,and Jazz to my own discovery of P-Funk in the early 70's to the heavy re-mixs of rap music today. Downloaded music allow me to keep in touch with my past and keep taps on my own children and what they are listening to.

aubuti
2007-01-04, 15:53
My mistake: it wasn't Peter, but rather Skunk (plus Wombat - twice!) who made the observation about the mp3 already being decoded. Anyway, no hard feelings.

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 16:05
none taken,

but one more note: I list my gear(below) for the purpose of letting others known what type of system I have running the software and what the SB is connected to, that way they need not have to guess if my computer can handle the software and what brand of receiver I'm using to produce the finial sound. So when I speak of what I hear and see how my system handles the source information I'm not blowing smoke up anybodys butt.

shabbs
2007-01-04, 16:43
The Pioneer can't see the mp3's in this setup because the SB does the decoding.
I think the only way for the Pioneer to see that the audio coming in is from MP3s would be via the Ethernet port. Pioneer's site is low on information about when this "Sound Retriever Digital Sound Processing" is applied/engaged. Perhaps it's applied all the time?

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 17:31
I think the only way for the Pioneer to see that the audio coming in is from MP3s would be via the Ethernet port. Pioneer's site is low on information about when this "Sound Retriever Digital Sound Processing" is applied/engaged. Perhaps it's applied all the time?

I can conrtol the Sound Retriever via the remote control, and what I can tell so far is the while having it engaged the sound seems fuller. its a nice touch when listening to the older songs 60's era, But I am leaning toward the direct mode of listening for newer music.

shabbs
2007-01-04, 17:54
I can conrtol the Sound Retriever via the remote control, and what I can tell so far is the while having it engaged the sound seems fuller. its a nice touch when listening to the older songs 60's era, But I am leaning toward the direct mode of listening for newer music.
What happens if you apply this Sound Retriever effect to a lossless file?

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 18:00
What happens if you apply this Sound Retriever effect to a lossless file?
Now you just jumped over my head...lol I'm not up on the format or able to tell you which is lossless or not sorry.

SuperQ
2007-01-04, 18:34
Now you just jumped over my head...lol I'm not up on the format or able to tell you which is lossless or not sorry.

Use EAC + FLAC to encode one of your CDs.. this will be "lossless" encoding.. FLAC is like playable zip files for music. Then use foobar2000 to re-encode the FLAC to mp3. Play the mp3 file with/without the pioneer's filter, and then do the same for the FLAC file. If there is a difference in the FLAC file, they're just doing EQ/DSP tricks to make the sound "better"

shabbs
2007-01-04, 18:47
If there is a difference in the FLAC file, they're just doing EQ/DSP tricks to make the sound "better"
That's my point. If there is a difference when playing a lossless file, then it's a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo clap trap as there is no "lost sound from compression" in the lossless file.

Cheers.

Recoveryone
2007-01-04, 18:54
Use EAC + FLAC to encode one of your CDs.. this will be "lossless" encoding.. FLAC is like playable zip files for music. Then use foobar2000 to re-encode the FLAC to mp3. Play the mp3 file with/without the pioneer's filter, and then do the same for the FLAC file. If there is a difference in the FLAC file, they're just doing EQ/DSP tricks to make the sound "better"

do I need any extra software to do this type of ripping or can I do it with MS media player.
I find that my MS media player will rip in lossless format, then I'll get back to you with the results. Is there anything I should be listening for?

SuperQ
2007-01-04, 19:04
do I need any extra software to do this type of ripping or can I do it with MS media player

Yes, you will need EAC (Exact Audio Copy) It looks like a slight pain in the ass to setup, but this is VERY good software, and is free. I consider it the gold standard for windows ripping.

See the slimdevices wiki documents:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?EACInstall
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?EACBeginners

Skunk
2007-01-04, 21:00
Is there anything I should be listening for?

The thing to keep in mind when testing lossless will be use 100/100 on the Sb volume control and disable replay gain. Then use the receivers volume control only. The reason is, if your receiver decodes HDCD, it will be passed through the optical connection. You may have HDCD's and not even know it, so it will be fun when the light comes on (if the receiver is equipped)- reason enough in my book! My latest find was the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds for $6 at a book store.

Everyone says lossless is lossless, so I think windows lossless will pass a HDCD signal(?). I know FLAC will.

Another matter entirely is DTS or other surround formats, which I know nothing of. My guess would be that max volume and lossless is a prereq for this as well, but then I saw an Mp3 surround thread, so who knows?

SuperQ
2007-01-04, 23:39
I posted a test track of FLAC and mp3 for him to use. (lame --preset extreme ~= 235kbps) I removed repaly gain tags from the tracks to prevent any gain issues.

Skunk
2007-01-05, 00:15
I think the only way for the Pioneer to see that the audio coming in is from MP3s would be via the Ethernet port.

It decodes WMPro over S-PDIF from a media center PC, much like what I'd be doing if Sb didn't exist :-)

jeffmeh
2007-01-05, 04:27
Is it even possible for a device receiving the data stream over SPDIF to know whether the data had been subject to lossy compression and then decompression? I have to believe that the receiver does some type of digital signal processing that intends to improve the sound, based upon the characteristics of the data stream. Further, a lossless compressed, then decompressed, data stream should be subject to the same DSP algorithm, albeit if the algorithm is a good one it should likely modify the data stream less than it would for a lossy one.

I'm speculating above, but does that make sense?

Certainly it is impossible for the receiver to "restore" the lost data, but it could certainly make it sound better to some ears than the lossy data alone. If I rip out random pages from the telephone book, you may be able to get a pretty good idea which pages are missing, you may be able to make up some pages that appear to compensate for the discontinuities, but you cannot tell me what was on the missing pages.

Skunk
2007-01-05, 08:18
Certainly it is impossible for the receiver to "restore" the lossed data, but it could certainly make it sound better to some ears than the lossy data alone. If I rip out random pages from the telephone book, you may be able to get a pretty good idea which pages are missing, you may be able to make up some pages that appear to compensate for the discontinuities, but you cannot tell me what was on the missing pages.
Another good analogy would be even if your DVD player upsamples to 720 and 1080p, it's not HD. Rather, only a guess at what the missing pixels might have looked like.

Wombat
2007-01-05, 08:47
I can imagine they use a kind of overtone processor to reanimate the highs often lost with mp3s and a low lowpass. If this really sounds always better is doubtable.

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 10:32
ok folks, here is where I'm so far. Sorry SuperQ I did'nt see your post in time, but I use the windows Media player 11 and rip this CD Earl Klugh, Solo Guitar it was mastered from analog to Digital. I ripped the whole album in WAV lossless form at 1411 bitrate. It sounded awesome and I even directly campared it to the CD couldn't tell which was playing. I am now trying covert the WAV files into Mp3 or I will re-rip it in Mp3 format. WHen playing the Wav file I used the Sound Retirever mode and the direct stream mode and their was no diffirence in quality of sound to my ears.

I will post more when I get the Mp3 format done.

Skunk
2007-01-05, 10:44
I will post more when I get the Mp3 format done.

It would only take a minute to download the FLAC frontend here: http://flac.sourceforge.net/download.html

Then just drag and drop your wav file into the FLAC interface and hit encode (make sure the checkbox for delete input file is not checked). That way you don't have to set up Exact Audio Copy just to see if you like FLAC.

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 10:52
I use J rivers Media Center 11 to convert the file, file was converted to MP3 to 155 Kbps VBR. I did the same test as before minus the CD compare. Using the Sound Retiever the sound was barely improved from the direct steam. The testing was done without me knowing which setting was being used. One thing I did notice using the Media Center progam that it shows you the bit rate of each song, I saw music ranging from 96Kbps to 320Kbps. Which is really nice to know why some songs play better than others. Even when I rip the Earl Klugh album all of the songs did not rip at the same bit rate. They had a range of 148-159. And what is the diffirence between VBR and CBR?

aubuti
2007-01-05, 11:59
VBR is Variable bitrate and CBR is Constant bitrate. The VBR compression algorithm uses higher bitrates for more complex music, and lower bitrates for less complex music. So for less complex music it throws away more data, yielding smaller file sizes. If the same VBR quality setting was used for all the files, and your ears tell you that the VBR files with lower bitrates sound worse, then it's not doing a good job of choosing the bitrate. If the lower bitrate is the result of choosing a lower quality setting, then you should expect it to sound worse.

The Sound Retriever sound was barely improved from *which* direct stream, the mp3 or the flac? Also, you explained why you list your gear in your sig, but I don't see any speakers in that list....

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 12:32
VBR is Variable bitrate and CBR is Constant bitrate. The VBR compression algorithm uses higher bitrates for more complex music, and lower bitrates for less complex music. So for less complex music it throws away more data, yielding smaller file sizes. If the same VBR quality setting was used for all the files, and your ears tell you that the VBR files with lower bitrates sound worse, then it's not doing a good job of choosing the bitrate. If the lower bitrate is the result of choosing a lower quality setting, then you should expect it to sound worse.

The Sound Retriever sound was barely improved from *which* direct stream, the mp3 or the flac? Also, you explained why you list your gear in your sig, but I don't see any speakers in that list....

thank you for the information, I had a feeling that was it just wanted to be sure.

When I played the Mp3 files of the CD, I played the same songs using the Sound Retirever (normal stereo) and without it on, the retriever does not work in Direct stream. I had my wife switch the settings back and forth so I would not know the setting when listening. That way I could not be bias.

Speakers:
Center......Jensen CCS (not used for music listening)
Fronts......Optimus LS30 (mounted 7' up 20 deg tilt down)
Sub.........Optimus Pro Sw200
Rears.......Optimus Pro X77s (not used for music listening)

One other feature on the receiver that made big diffirence is the use of the MCACC setup system. It uses a mic and test tones to set your system to your rooms enviroment, hardwood floors/carpeting/sound refection off walls/speaker distance..etc

With my old receiver I used an analog sound meter (hand held), but I could only set it for the HT mode. this new one does it for each type of listening mode you want.

aubuti
2007-01-05, 13:03
Thanks for the info, but it seems to me that the relevant comparisons are missing. How does the "retrieved" mp3 sound compared to the direct stream of the flac (or the CD)? And as someone else suggested, how does the direct stream flac compare to the "retrieved" flac? Keeping in mind the earlier good suggestions about volume settings, replaygain, etc.

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 13:24
Thanks for the info, but it seems to me that the relevant comparisons are missing. How does the "retrieved" mp3 sound compared to the direct stream of the flac (or the CD)? And as someone else suggested, how does the direct stream flac compare to the "retrieved" flac? Keeping in mind the earlier good suggestions about volume settings, replaygain, etc.

Let me see if I can hit this nail on the head this time.

The retriever sounded Mp3 was more of a fuller sound than without it on. Compare to direct stream the same. I only compared the lossless file against the CD, due that I knew that was such a high level rip, But I will do the same with the Mp3 and get back to you.

Ok, just played the Mp3 against the CD, once I got the volume matched and the sound retriever set on I could not tell which source was playing. I turned the sound retriever off and notice only a small diffirence in dynamics, just did not sound as full coming from my speakers. This CD is nothing but a guitar solo (acoustic) so you can hear the fingers on the strings at times. That is why I used it so there would be no distraction of other insturments or vocals.

As posted before Pioneer my be using some type of EQ DSP to enhance the sound in this mode, all I can say that it works and it sounds great. Now when I used my Netgear Mp101 (connected analog) it sounded good then but not as good as this. Now could that be due to the complete ditigal feed without DAC conversion: MP3=ditigal + SB digital feed to receiver??? My CD is digitally connected also so that was not in play when comparing. Now not every file plays as great as these did, and when I do hear one that sounds dull/flat I check on the bit rate and see that the file is below 100kbps, but for the ones in the range of 148kbps and higher the sound is awsome. WHen I use the Sound Retriever on the lower rate files I can hear a big diffirence as if I hit the loudness button.

aubuti
2007-01-09, 08:15
Well, it sounds like it is adding some EQ -- especially your last sentence. Now test flac-with-retriever vs. flac-without-retriever. If you hear a difference, then you can be sure it's just playing with EQ and/or levels. Bottom line: set it the way you like it and enjoy.