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Why does Radio Paradise sound so good?

Discussion in 'audio' started by The Bish, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. The Bish

    The Bish Active Member

    Hi all,

    I listen to Qobuz and Flac downloads through a Digione signature and Chord Qutest, and while they all sound good, Radio Paradise always seems to sound somehow better - clearer, deeper, more separation etc. That’s even when comparing with hi res streams. Does anybody else have the same experience, and any idea why it sounds so good?
     
  2. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    Same here, using Chord Qutest / Laptop and Radio Paradise Flac sound better than Qobuz or Tidal.
     
  3. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    RP seems to use some compression, some volume normalisation and a bit of Eq.
    Maybe this suits your system and ears?

    In general, music (redbook) off my HDD sounds better than RP to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  4. DavidS

    DavidS pfm Member

    Nowhere near red book imo.
     
  5. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    Sounds great in flac off my laptop. Flac has more tendency to dropouts than 320kbps, but usually OK if you switch to flac after 10mins of 320. Other great sounding stations include Radio Swiss Jazz. Must be partly to do with the way they rip or load music prior to transmission?
     
  6. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    Yep, regular Digione user into 2qute. RP Sounds remarkable.

    I did email Bill some time ago to ask what 'stuff' he had his end that made it sound so good...did not recognise ANY of the rather comprehensive kit list he emailed back. Lovely chap. Don't forget to donate...
     
  7. The Bish

    The Bish Active Member

    Cheers for the replies. Interesting that 3 of us are using Chord DACs, wonder if there is some synergy there?
     
  8. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    RP in FLAC or 320 sounds great to me on my system. It brings to mind, at least to me, how good does it need to be? Well, those streams are pretty good to my ears. That being said, Tidal also sounds great. No Chord DAC in my setup, so....these days I would rather listen to music than fuss all over bit rate and all that shite. FWIW
     
    booja30 and narabdela like this.
  9. Weirdness

    Weirdness pfm Member

    I run a 2qute at home and listen to the 320k stream at work through Sonos and I would say it sounds better because it's louder - it gives it some real nice punch.

    Probably some really good broadcast version of replay gain which normally sounds horrible but not in this case.

    Listening to plain old Tidal has a lot better dynamics even if you have to Juice the volume a couple of notches higher...
     
  10. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    This is what I got from Bill back in 2014....I think his tech has moved on significantly since then....

    'Hi Simon,
    Our source files are carefully-encoded 320k CBR MP3 files, mixed digitally (using an automated playback system that I developed myself) & dynamics-processed (using an Orban OptimodPC card), then re-encoded at the various stream bitrates. We use Orban's Opticodec encoder for AAC streams, and LAME for MP3 (yes, the highest quality MP3 encoder is an open-source project rather than any of the commercial products). Our dynamics processing consists of fairly gentle 5-band compression/limiting -- no broadband AGC or clipping-based "loudness enhancement".
    Sometime soon we'll be transitioning into using FLAC (lossless) source files rather than MP3.
    thanks for listening!
    -bg'
     
  11. Covenant

    Covenant pfm Member

    RP Flac is the dogs danglies as far as I am concerned, I guess about 75% of my listening is to Radio Paradise. I had no idea Bill was so technically proficent/interested in the reproduction quality. His music choice is really good too, I like the way he plays a few similar tracks then changes to a completely different genre. I dont think I would have heard so many artists that have caught my attention without this station. Stephen Wilson comes to mind.
     
    TimF likes this.
  12. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    I use RP, Tidal, and my own rips. Tidal and my own rips sound identical and both notably better than any CD player I owned. RP uses mild compression, even on the flac streams and that works really well for my bedroom system where I use relatively small speakers, and I would say that I 'prefer' the RP sound to the same track uncompressed on that modest system, as it seems to add a bit of weight to the sound. RP is also a lot louder than Radio 3, which I occasionally listen to in bed, but I need to crank up the volume, and then Radio 4 comes on in the weekday mornings a bit louder than I'd like. At weekends we're woken to RP, and that can be a bit shouty if we'd drifted off to a bit of R3 - I probably need to look at volume adjustments on my alarms on LMS. Overall RP sounds really good and the music variety is amazing - Bill seems to have our record collection! In the main system the RP compression is a bit more obvious and I find the more nuanced sound of Tidal is preferable for most music I'm familiar with. Radio Paradise is worth every penny of our contributions!
     
  13. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    I don't know if RP flac is mildly compressed or not but why should that be? How can this improve the sound?
     
  14. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    LP is compressed versus CD, but there are lots ofpeople who prefer it.

    I have a raw recording of Gregson and Collister with no compression. It's not an easy listen at home!!
     
  15. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    joe9407 likes this.
  16. Gaycha

    Gaycha Well-Known Member

    Bill and Rebecca have been my friends since first getting a Squeezebox 3 in 2008. I donate to RP and participate on their boards. It’s a brilliant source and stimulus to discover.

    The RP app is use within LMS, has got better and better, with mood (tempo£ and bandwidth options, plus Play Something Different.

    I just back to backed Basia Bulat ‘tall tall shadow’ from RP main mix to the same TRACK FLAC stream via Qobuz, both FLAC, both into Benchmark HGC DAC pre, then aPX BT to my B&W P7 wireless cans.

    I also have SARS transcoding on LMS server handling the streams.

    RP is deffo louder. But other than that the soundstage, presentation and experience felt the same for both.

    RP is legend.
     
  17. Gaycha

    Gaycha Well-Known Member

    Am out for a walk along the coast path.

    Switched to iOS 4g app RP and Qobuz streams, both set at FLAC. Using iPhone 7 with fiio amp and my trusty shure se846s. I A-B’d source to source with R Rubin produced Tom Petty ‘Mary Jane Last Dance’, a deliberating compressed recording, playing on both.
    [​IMG]

    Instant reaction/feeling. Well, apart from - “great track, sad TP gone, but glad I was at Hyde Park for last TP UK gig”. - RP streams louder than QB. otherwise too similar sounds for me to call either out.

    But again, for zero subs, the RP stream s sound better than ever.
     
  18. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Listened to Radio Paradise via Roon last night. Was really rather good - my thought was the music seemed to be 'spread-out' across the speakers, making me wonder whether some processing had been done to achieve that.
    Interesting selection of music! All entirely unknown to me. Roon or RP seemed to provide very little information - just the title and artist. Did not investigate whether what you played makes it onto the Roon history - probably not?
     
  19. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    davidjt and diamonddust like this.
  20. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Late to the party, but I simply believe it’s nothing to do with sound quality and everything to do with removing the anxiety/tyranny of choice. When listening to my collection, I’m always thinking of ‘what’s next’ and not entirely relaxing into the music. RP, with its superb mix of quality music, lets me trust in the programme and open my mind. I love it!
     
    guydarryl, Gaycha and Moppit like this.

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