Originally Posted by XFreeRollerX
320kbps MP3? IMO
Most people won't hear a difference between this and WAV. There are different valuables that will influence if you can hear it or not. Your source, your speakers / amp or headphones / amp or even the DAC if you use one.
And ofcourse the quality of the mastered product. Some artists always have great quality recordings, but most important great quality mastered end product. Your recordings can be great, but if your mastering isn't done right then it won't stay the same quality. For example Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler's solo albums have always been one of the highest standards, and still are.
But for example U2's cd's aren't what they could have been. Everything is blown up and limited and a certain level, taking away the emotion and true spirit of the music in my opinion. If you have a certain CD you want to rip, you won't improve the quality, the only thing you could do is alter the sound somewhat while recording, by removing noise, adding a new equalizer of your own and such stuff. But with direct ripping and encoding, the best you could end up with is the same quality.
I'm always ripping to FLAC for the music on my computer, simply cause it keeps the quality intact, but also just about halves the space needed for WAV. Although recently I've been getting more and more vinyl. The quality of those records seems to be much better then that of mastered cd's.