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IME Qobuz sounds better than Tidal. You need a good streamer and DAC, but very good sound is possible. Not as good as a dedicated music server, but relatively close.
After I installed Rogue Amoeba's SoundSource on my Mac Mini, I discovered that many audio sources (players, streaming apps, and browsers) are actually capable of adding gain at their maximum volume settings, thereby resulting in clipping on very loud passages. (The little meters in SoundSource turn red when clipping occurs.) If you are going into an external DAC, as I do, system volume is fixed at 100%. SoundSource has a way to adjust the system volume into the DAC somehow, but doing this (or adjusting the volume at the amp, after the DAC) does not 'un-clip' the source if that is already happening. I used a combination of musical material, calibrated tones, and meters to set all these sources to the maximum possible level without any clipping on the loudest peaks. (VLC has a helpful mark on their volume slider that denotes unity gain, but none of the others do).After eliminating the clipping, I can't with certainty detect any difference between Tidal playback and disc playback.I wonder if others are experiencing something similar and are basing their judgments on faulty data. I would make sure your sources are not clipping before spending $$$ on tweaks. I can't speak to the merits of those, but I can tell you that a signal that is free from clipping sounds much better- and if the signal is clipping, tweaks won't fix it.
Using a newly purchased Node 2i into an upgraded Yggdrasil and Qobuz HiRez it's pretty damn good here.Yes the quality of material is all over the place. To be expected.Using very good wires. Yes my transport will still beat it.I refuse to buy into Tidal because of all who own it.
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