Audio quality w/nero 5.5

hey folks…i have a little concern with nero 5.5 . I download a lot of mp3 files. i want them to sound as good as possible on the burned cd. I have used the equalizer with mixed results. I ususally use “loudness (light)”, but I end up with too much bass and “too high” highs. I have also adjusted this accordingly, but I am unhappy with the results. I have also tried “line direct”, but I was not impressed with the quality of the sound. Anyone have any ideas how to get great sound without it being a pain in the ass? I have screwed with this for months and am getting pretty frustrated. any help would be appreciated.thanks!

consider the fact that the mp3’s might have already had effects applied to them before you did this. also why mess with equalizers settings. i personally use line direct and get great sounding cd’s and i have very picky hearing. try perhaps ripping wav’s off a cd of yours that is pressed not burned. then try applying effects to these files since you have ripped them yourself and know they havent had effects previously applied to them

Well, it depends a LOT on the quality of the original rip and compress. If the mp3 was ripped with something decent like Exact Audio Copy and compressed with Blade or Lame or Fraunhofer it should have fairly good quality if the bitrate is 128kbps or higher. Personally I prefer 160kbs if I can get it; use Kazaa and it will tell you the bitrate before you download. And if kazaa reports a ‘weird’ bitrate then the file is probably VBR/ABR. But nothing will tell you if the file was ripped with glitches apart from listening to the entire file.
To get the quality up, use Winamp 2.81 (NOT winamp 3) wave file output; and use dfx with it. The fidelity and ambience enhancements of dfx can make a muffled mp3 sound almost passable. Set dfx for the best sound using normal audio output (I won’t use directsound as it loses too much treble on my system, but waveout is fine); then when you’re happy with it change winamp’s output to wav file. The wav’s can be burnt direct to CD; but beware of nero 5.5 chopping off the last sector of the track (I’ve heard of this but haven’t confirmed it). I’d recommend using Feurio to burn the wavs with.
Don’t forget to set winamp back to normal waveout after writing to disk with it.