How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back? 2004-11-12 22:31:23 I'm a newby here.Seems like much studies have been made on the CPU performance and conversion accuracy of different lossless formats, but haven't heard much on the sound quality when they are played back. Bottom line, so what if one format has better CPU performance and conversion accuracy, if it doesn't duplicate the original CD sound. I believe that the theory behind lossless is decoding the file back to the original WAV/AIFF file. Hence, it should sound identical to CD. I say that this not the case in the real world.I have compared Apple lossless with their counterpart AIFF using iTunes and CDs played directly through a cheap Technique CD player. Apple lossless doesn't sound as good as AIFF/CD. I couldn't distinguish between AIFF and CD, but Apple lossless suffers slight loss of bass and clarity at the low end. To me, it produces a muddier lows and mid-lows, producing boxier sound. BTW, the testing was done with decent equipment: M-Audio Firewire 410 interfaced to Mac G4 Dual and Crown amp output to Polk SDA speakers (old, but still good). The louder I played, more noticeable the differences become. This is not just my opinion. Others have said the same.Have people compared different formats played through quality Hi-Fi equipment? And what's the verdict? Do I have supersensitve ears or lossless formats in fact produce tainted sound?