HasCD sound exceeded expectations since 1983?

Question should read..."Has CD sound quality exceeded consumer expectations since 1983??" Despite CDs operational convenience, dynamics and silent backgrounds, there seems to be much grousing and criticizing a medium that is almost now universally recognized as the best sound quality available.

However, "analog sound" continues to be the ultimate measure of CD sound among many audiophiles Even though I own an above average turntable and MC cartridge. I get tired of hearing the quip: "CDs are great...BUT records sound better" Where is the CD digital medium headed?? (especially with the computer audio boogeyman waiting in the wings to take over)
Seems like every 30 years is the cycle when music format experiences a major change.

CD has matched 331/3 lps and hifi in general prior to it in longevity. The music indistry is pretty saturated these days and there is more competition for entertainment dollars than ever. CD is not going away totally anytime soon. I am happy with the sound. All in all, a very respectable run. Hard to argue except on emotion. Well, I still hate the packaging for the most part. I would have put CDs in larger jackets/sleeves like 331/3 albums to preserve that aspect of the music buying experience. That's my main complaint. ALso maybe the loudness wars trend, which really has little to do with the format.
I own all 3 fomats, the computer audio boogey man has visited my home, I still love vinyl, but I can't deny that I am computer hooked... as far as CD exceeding expectation? I remember receiving the first cd player, a Magnavox FD1000, I sold a ton of these. They were sharp, clear and HARSH... So, they have definately come along way. For the Audiophile I believe computer will take over, too much versitility with changing drives for storage, changing DACs to change your sound and huge ease of use.
I agree with Timlub. I have satisfying easy to listen to computer digital. Yesterday I picked up the Robert Glasper LP. Ummm
I'd say the players have caught up to cd and like all things some recordings are good and some bad, but present equipment has brought out previously unheard resolution from the medium, thanks to an Oppo 95 for me, I can say I love my cd's as much as my sacd's for musical pleasure.
Had LP's went to all Digital when the format came out because of the quieter background. Because of all the recent hype I tried vinyl again and I am now back to that format most of the time. And because of my recent vinyl experience cd's / SACD's in general have not meet my higher expectations. I also listen to Internet Radio on occasion.

My digital listening experience has much improved since my first CD player in 1985. While I still prefer analog the gap has closed. I'd say that my digital rig sounds 90% as good as my analog rig sound at 10% the cost.
Thanks to all have responded so far. I am sure there is much more to be said. I was going to attach a separate question to this thread at first, but changed my mind. However, it was brought to my attention by a local audio dealer that audio is getting "too easy" for the consumer with the arrival of computer audio and server storage. In 1970, this hardware would have been almost the "stuff" of science fiction

Obviously on this site, many of use are audio equipment journeymen, that is moving from our first system, then the next....etc etc, until we have at least $10,000 worth of gear parked in our living rooms. We have learned the audio business by both addition and subtraction over a fixed time period. There is much personal satisfaction, and a sense of individual achievement in making this audio junkie journey. I don't own an I-PAD, POD or other techno marvels. I prefer very good sound in a room created by state of the art equipment or almost SOTA. A young man or woman who graduates college today at 22, or an MBA program at 26, will probably have little or no appreciate for analog audio, or even possibly digital CD formats. Their generation has been weened since age 12 on cells, PADS and PODS,and the efficiency and variety of music accessed by computer.

The interesting (negative) consequence of computer audio is that its ultimate goal almost by default is to eliminate most of the traditional audio components and necessary software. If so,this may be the final death knell for the audio store, and the CD hardware market. The technological efficiency and convenience of computer audio maybe, or is inevitable, However, I am not sure cyber accessed music is healthy for a world economy based on putting people to work. There is no way this scenario can magically make more out of less.
I think CD proven to be a big disappointment, at least amongst audiophiles. It promised perfect sound forever and ultimately delivered anything but. With it arrived death calls for vinyl but that archaic medium survived and underwent a bit of a revival due mostly to CD's shortcomings. And once higher res digital became available - first SACD/DVDa and now downloads - we realized just how compromised the format was.

The red book CD format appears to be dying and had a very short shelf life. It now appears that it may be outlived by vinyl - something absolutely unthinkable just 10 short years ago.
It's all relative...for those accustomed to mp3s cd is an upgrade...to those into vinyl...cd is a letdown...all things being equal...cd is capable of quality Sonics...there are those that get hung up on the format...when the actual master recording be it tape or digital is probably the most important part of the chain....as far as where digital is headed...its pretty apparent its going to be hi rez downloads...I'm kind of surprised its taken this long...but itunes seems to be dictating the market
i own cds which i believe on my digital front, end will rival many turn table, arm and cartridge setups.

one in particular, is "chromatic fantasy and fugue", trevor pinnock playing bach harpsichord selections.
Loudness War has been detrimental to CD.
Well, if the future will be high resolution downloads, that means that they will all be digital. Which means that all original analog recordings will have to be re-mastered into digital. Wow! I hope they re-master them correctly. What bugs me is when I get listening fatigue without knowing why and it is because the recording is faulty is some way. I did an experiment a while ago on this and found out that when I was listening to recordings, especially some (not all) digital recordings and liking the music, but couldn't sit still, I would play the analog recording and absolutely didn't want to move. much more information there. Again, it depends on how the original recording was recorded. Analog-digital or digital in the first place. Just me, I guess. Depending on what I want to listen to and the mood I'm in, I'm perfectly fine with my analog equipment and I'm fine with my digital cd, external DAC equipment. But, CD sound is much better than 1983. But, you have to remember that the first generation and maybe second generation digital recording equipment was really bad. The early CD recordings drove a person out of the room. The music was great, the recording and hence playback was terrible. Now it is much better. But the downside now is mp3 recordings are highly compressed and missing a lot of musical information. And worse, the younger generation is brought up on mp3 sound and actually think that this is normal and correct. They have never heard a really good recording and system.

I own about 6-10 CDs that sound outstanding. Unfortunately, the music may not be outstanding.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, in 2011 223 million cds and 4 million vinyl records were sold in the US. Last week on Amazon about 2,000 cds and about 200 vinyl records were released. Cd will be with us for a while yet.

Tomcy6 - agree CD will be with us for a while and sales still dwarf vinyl - but the two formats have been heading in opposite directions for a few years now, something that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. Downloads appear to be in the process of replacing CDs but never will replace vinyl. Plus, many vinyl sales are not captured in statistics - things like specialists online retailers, independent record stores, used shops etc.

In the next decade I could easily see CDs getting squeezed out by downloads on the one hand and vinyl on the other. They will likely end up in the $1.00 bins with DVD videos (squeezed out by downloads / netflix etc and Blu-Ray).

I don't think I would call the transition from cd to another digital format as cd being squeezed out. Cd served its purpose and it will be replaced by a newer format.

Cd was not all bad. It caused the reissuing of vast amounts of music that was OOP on vinyl or shellac. I have a lot of music in my cd collection that I never would have been able to hear if it had not been reissued on cd.

Cd probably sounded as good as or better than vinyl on most systems. Most systems are not audiophile quality and most people did not clean their lps or even their needles. They might blow the lint off the needle once in a while.

IMHO, Digital download or streaming is the future of the vast majority of music. Vinyl, cd and even SACD will remain as niche markets for as long as I'll be around anyway.
A technologically inclined friend of mine opined that the initial 44.1 Khz sampling rate that was adopted at the beginning of the CD era was even then known to be inadequate. However, it was the best that available technology could support. Over nearly 30 years of commercial production, I think the sound quality has improved enormously. Our own taste dictates which of these technologies-digital or analogue-sounds best. I'm perfectly happy with CDs in their present form, and just as vinyl never died, CDs will also survive the next format shift. What may NOT survive that shift is the major record companies. The centralized distribution of music is about to become a relic of the past, IMO.