Hi Folks,

I am currently investigating a new home system and some of the questions I have are with respect to digital audio. My questions are:

1. All other components remaining equal (speakers, amps, preamp, etc.) is there any loss of audio quality in playing a FLAC file vs the track from a CD?

2. If there is a noticeable loss then what CD player would you recommend for a $1000 budget.

3. If there is no noticeable loss and I were to convert all my CD library to FLAC files and store them on a network accessible media server what source component would I use to stream this through my system - again keeping the budget to $1000?

4. Are there quality sounding CD players (first and foremost for CDs) that would allow the FLAC files to be processed through it and output to the preamp?

The system I am looking at would be comprised of the following:

Odyssey Stratos HT-3 Extreme
Odyssey Khartago 2-channel Basic
Odyssey Lorelei front speakers
Outlaw 975 AV Processor

If you require any additional information to respond then please let me know.

Thanks for your assistance!
Just replace your active preamps with a good transformer passive linestage (TVC), and you will probably hear the difference. Most active preamps add so much noise, distortion and compression that all of these differences are masked. I used to use a ML38 with extensive mods, including about 30 feet of point-to-point pure silver wiring. It thought it was really transparent. Not bad, but not even remotely close to a good TVC.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Like someone said, hard drives are dirt cheap. Just leave them wav if you hear a difference