Pd version: Pd version 0.43.4-extended
OS: Mac 10.6.8
The sound become distorted during the reading process.
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0) cannot reproduce
1) [tabread4~] has a slight distortion by definition, as it interpolates data between samples (using a 4-point interpolation, which is not a perfect reconstruction of the soundform)
2) your test-patch is incomplete, as it lacks a sound-file that exposes the problem; most likely any problem with distortion will only happen with longish soundfiles (where the slope of the phasor~ramp is very flat). please provide a test-sound, ideally without having to download hundreds of MBytes (e.g. use Pd to generate a sound that exposes the problem)
3) if you are using large soundfiles (>1e8 samples) the control signal the sample-values (which are stored as single-precision floating-point values) will become inaccurate. this is a known issue, and there are two solutions for it: either use a "double precision build" of Pd (no stable release yet) or use the 'onset' feature of [tabread4~] (available since Pd-0.42.0 iirc);