You may be setting yourself up for disappointment. There is nothing inherent in the flac [or any other lossless] format that guarantees that a flac file will sound better than an mp3. Many level of mp3 bitrate are transparent [read as indistinguishable to the orginal lossless] to the ears of most humans.
Although your assumption about FLAC being "better" than MP3 V0 may be flawed,
I would say be appreciative of the gift your thoughtful wife gave you for Christmas.
The Z-5500 is a phenomenal system for 2.1 playback. In fact, Logitech's current flagship is actually a step *down* from the Z-5500 in my esteem. If your computer has an optical output, disconnect the three surround speakers and use it as a 2.1. If you're running Windows, there's a built-in feature that allows you to adjust the system to your room using a microphone. That's exactly the setup I'm running presently, and it sounds crystalline. You'll never achieve genuine studio monitor + acoustic treatment accuracy that way, but it sounds great just the same.Also, it's important to stress that a well-encoded, one-pass mp3 will be absolutely indistinguishable from a lossless original to your ears. The price and/or quality of the system on which you're listening doesn't factor in, since it's your ears which are taken into consideration with the perceptual coding rather than the playback system. There are still plenty of good reasons to keep FLACs around, but don't lose sleep worrying about audible playback quality differences.
I bought the b+w mm-1 usb computer speakers used for around $450. Blows anything else out of the water. Built in high quality dac. BI-AMPED miniature speakers, run by 4 18watt class D amps. Clean down to 57 hz.
--All-- the reviews mention that you can definitely hear the difference between wav and mp3.
Quote from: tuffgong on 11 January, 2013, 12:06:23 AM--All-- the reviews mention that you can definitely hear the difference between wav and mp3.If true then it doesn't speak very highly about the speakers, though I don't expect the authors to understand why that is. More likely all those reviews are the usual useless placebophile fluff written to get obsessive compulsives to part with their money.
I'm not trying to suggest the speakers are bad or even something short of excellent (I don't know or have an opinion either way). What I'm trying to point out is that anecdotal reviews have no place on this forum.