CD transport vs.streaming


Many have stated on this forum that the SQ from their CDs is superior to the sound from streaming sources. Others have said the opposite. Weirdly, in side by side identical tracks the sound from my Cyrus CDt sounds identical to my Cambridge CXN v2 streamer. I wonder if anyone else has this experience.

128x128rvpiano

I was auditioning a Pathos Amp yesterday and we did an A vs B comparison playing the same track on a $1500 CD player vs $5K Rose streaming unit and Tidal service. No comparison.  So much more detail and realism on the CD. Source is everything.

Audiolab CDT 6000 was best, til I bought a Stack Link. Both through a Denafrips  Ares II.

I don't know if most people actually go through the rigour of matching db levels by an external mic to ensure proper comparison, and that’s just the first step. Then you have to ensure its the same exact mastering/release of the track/album you are comparing. IME, mastering differences are a lot bigger than bitrate, resolution and hardware. Basically, unsure if most people actually perform proper apples to apples comparisons.

Whenever I asked in many of the review threads here, I never got responses about tracks/albums used, or specific listening notes - rather just nebulous bass is tighter, soundstage is wider and treble is airier statements. People even refused to mention tracks used. Just the pricier the gear the better it is.

@nitewulf Agree mastering most important variable. By the way, what is your conclusion as to cd transport vs. streaming?

Bottom line for me is while I haven't listened with transport in a long time, I don't doubt cd playing has a rightful place in top flight sound reproduction. Streaming also has it's place up there as well, those who claim it doesn't need to hear optimized steaming setup.

@sns - I don't think there is much difference except if you like the physical experience of putting on a CD, similar to vinyl. Vinyl itself is a different issue because the sound is different and so on, but the experience itself is also enjoyable. CD vs Streaming, when you are using a certain class of equipment, I don't think there is a sound quality difference and of course you can't beat the sheer convenience of streaming, as well as the enrichment - if you use a service, you can curate playlists, mixes, get recommendations to new artists and tracks, create radio stations to your liking and there are almost an infinite number of music for you to explore, and so on.