If Steve Got You Last Week...

9 is an extension of 4. I've LP's that sound better than the CD release. AND vice versa.
It's the mastering bunky.
Cds DO sound better than streaming. But mostly only in direct comparison. Factor in logistics and it's about a wash.
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going strictly digital.
High-ampAs the 10 year experienced reviewer in opines, whatever trips your trigger. Don't worry about anyone else. They do not have your unique taste.
Besides you can listen to more music w/digital.
Darko isn't the only reviewer who's said that CD is better than streaming. I make it a point to go over dailyaudiophile.com on a daily basis and found many who've said they preferred CDs over streaming for many a year now. 

Even Srajan, over at 6moons, has found that SD cards, which bypass the PC/streaming side of things entirely, gives the best sound he's heard by a large enough margin to matter. The only streamer he's heard that rivals his set up was over $15K (and that was before he delved into SD cards in a serious way).

I think a lot of people bought into the marketing hype which magnified what could go wrong with CD playback. The truth is, it doesn't mean it does.

The hype helped open a lot of wallets to the new kid on the block. Trouble is, that new kid has yet to fully grow as evidenced by the never ending parade of upgrades and what not that was overlooked or not addressed at the time. 

If the past is any indication of what the future holds, streaming will keep on improving for the next decade, if not longer.

All the best,


Appreciate the comments +1 to you both.
What transports are you CD spinners using that sounds better than a great server? Love to know. My PS Audio memory player did not sound as good as my Innuos Zenith 3 with mods and several other ethernet tweaks and gadgets.  

I guess it would depend on the transport quality vs streaming front end. When my streaming finally sounded as good as spinning CDs, I never looked back. However, I am open to trying a transport and doing another comparison.  Not sure what folks now consider to be a good transport under $2000 used or new.  

I just use a CDP. No separate transport and DAC and cables to connect the two. Just separating the CDP into two components and then trying to decide which connections to use and then which brand of cable introduces too many variable for me. It becomes the old one step forward, two steps back routine.

Many a reviewer has said not to get hung up over which type of DAC to use and to just concentrate on the sound. As of now, most mid to high end CDPs have advanced to the point where I believe, the evidence points to that being the case.

I've yet to hear everything out there but just from the tweaks I've done with my set up in the last half year has really opened my ears up to the potential that's just sitting there, waiting to be uncovered. Even with old set ups, there's bottlenecks that need to be addressed.

All the best,
Cool!Now I don't feel so alone. I've been listening to CDs exclusively for a very long time. I do stream Amazon on the computer just to find more music to buy.
I have a Mojo Audio Evo dac and only need a transport. The Mojo is wonderful sounding using the usb input. Comes down to one’s system as to wether streaming or cd will sound the same, better, worse etc... No universal best as in anything audio.  Any of us seasoned Aphiles most likely have learned this by now. 
I have the EVO and use a SimAudio 260dt transport. I have no idea how the SimAudio would stand up against your Innuos Zenith 3 with mods. I am still trying to decide on a server platform given I don’t have ethernet access in my living room which is where my main system resides. That said , I am very pleased with the EVO/SimAudio combination.
When I did have a decent 2 channel system, I had a Roon Nucleus as my music server connected via USB to W4S 2v2SE Dac.  It sounded much better than my Oppo BDP95 disc player.

You're welcome. If you find that you might have an interest in the SimAudio you might want to reach-out to Nashville Hifi. I bought mine without auditioning , but maybe they have a demo model that they'd let you try at home since you are in the area. If not for Covid I'd be happy to drive up from Germantown with mine
Simaudio seems to be getting a lot of good press these days.

I know Advanced Audio in Tacoma WA (now under the Definitive Audio’s umbrella) is now carrying their gear and promoting with the Vandersteen line now.

Only in Canada...Eh!
There are so many variables at play in different systems, not least the person and the room. And yet, without generalizations no one would have an opinion and there would be no fun discussions or debates. That doesn't mean there are no valid points made about the gear or technology involved, but they're typically overstated and underdetermined. At least that's what I've perceived.

On the other hand, one very real (and fairly transferable) fact about listening to CD's vs. streaming for me (I do both) is the the different framework for the experience. One selects and puts a CD on, then sits and listens for a couple songs, if not the whole thing. This is different than most of my streaming, which jumps from song to song. Often, too, I wind up seeing a text notification or some other distraction. This is my fault, but there it is a way of listening much more vulnerable to fragmentation than CD's. (Or vinyl.)

I'm not getting rid of streaming, but I grew up listening to sides of albums, and the iTunes one-song-at-a-time thing was initially repulsive to me. Now, it's mostly how I listen, and I'm questioning whether that is something I want to scale back upon.
I loved vinyl in my younger years, way before CD’s. An Oracle turntable, Black Widow tone-arm and a Shure V15 type III cartridge made those records sound oh, so sweet! Had a couple of thousand albums as well (wish I still had them, just for the monetary value).

Being a bit of a nomad, I used to move around, at least every couple of years, and a lot of those places had not much room even for my stereo let alone all those plastic milk cases that I used to drag the records around in, not to mention the weight of those things! Just got tired of dragging it all around, so it all off (way to cheap).

I think if I stayed put, I would probably still have all that stuff, but it seems that I’m still moving every 2-3 years. Between my bad back and small spaces it looks like I’ll be scaling up on my streaming hilde45, that is, once I rebuild!
I have always listened to CD's since they first came out. Just recently I finally acquired a dream 2 channel setup. It uses a Luxman D-05u CD player, Pass Labs INT-250 amp, and Goldenear Triton Reference speakers. However I have a lot of people come over to listen to music that I do not care to spend money on CD's of. For that raeson I got a Bluesound Node 2i for streaming music for them and searching for new music for me. I do not use the DAC in the Node but instead run it through the Luxman's DAC. As far as comparing CD to Streaming I find the same exact music track to be very similar. However I find it daunting when there are a dozen different tracks of the same song in streaming - different bit rates, MQA, remastered, remastered again in a different year, etc.

been through so many transports I cannot name them all the two best transports I have had and heard in my system are Audiomeca Mehpisto II this is the best I ever heard not including the mega priced ones that are out there, next Metronome (Do know my model number but has separate matching power supply). Both are excellent mid to high level players before you get into the mega buck stuff. Heard the Sim Audio and while it was a very good one, it was not up to the ones I mentioned above.

The big issue is the ones I own are not longer made. BTW, Pat’s CEC is also an excellent transport TL3N I think and his is not longer in production. Recently had the Electrocompanient 1-up version 4 which was also very nice sounding.

Happy Listening

My Cyrus transport definitely sounds better in comparison to identical tracks on Qobuz.  Of course there could be other factors, but right now now that is the case.


What is your digital source?
I only stream a distant radio station & the quality is not that good.

I use a CAL Alpha 24/96 tube dac with a CAL Delta transport. Crazy good sound out of them with the right discs & tubes.

Analog is a VPI TT & the MD-102 tuner.

So many albums were intended to be listened to from front to back, as a complete story.

I am dumbfounded when anyone claims that streaming sounds better than the CD's from which the streams are made.
I am dumbfounded when anyone claims that streaming sounds better than the CD's from which the streams are made.
I'm pretty sure that streaming files are not made from CDs. Based on my experience with Qobuz, it's obvious that some streaming files come from different masters than the comparable CDs. So it's certainly possible for a streaming file to better the CD, just as the reverse can also be true.
When people are talking about streaming here I assume they mean the likes of Tidal and Qobuz.
I find streaming files I have ripped from CD and play from my diy streamer sound much better than when played from the CD player I had.
Now, that is interesting dctom

How do those ripped CD files sound compared to Tidal & Qobuz?

My digital source that I’m comparing is red book CDs.
Both CDs and streaming are run through a Benchmark DAC.
I find the Audiolab 6000 CDT is a very capable digital transport for around $600.  It definitely sounds better than same music streamed from Qobuz, IMO.  Of course I never use it, streaming is just too easy.
I don’t have Tidal or Qobuz to compare, I have been thinking about trialling one or the other to do a comparison.
Others on Audiophile style, using a similar setup to myself, report local files generally sounding better than streamed services - even after installing audiophile grade ethernet switch(es).

I am dumbfounded when anyone claims that streaming sounds better than the CD's from which the streams are made.

Well you would look dumb indeed when you found that to be the very case in my home. Because it's true.