The CD player is dead.......

I am still waiting for someone to explain why a cd player is superior to storing music on a hard drive and going to a dac. Probably because you all know it's not.

Every cd player has a dac. I'll repeat that. Every cd player has a dac. So if you can store the ones and zeros on a hard drive and use error correction JUST ONCE and then go to a high end dac, isn't that better than relying on a cd player's "on the fly" jitter correction every time you play a song? Not to mention the convenience of having hundreds of albums at your fingertips via an itouch remote.

If cd player sales drop, then will cd sales drop as well, making less music available to rip to a hard drive?
Maybe, but there's the internet to give us all the selection we've been missing. Has anyone been in a Barnes and Noble or Borders lately? The music section has shown shrinkage worse than George Costanza! This is an obvious sign of things to come.....

People still embracing cd players are the "comb over" equivalent of bald men. They're trying to hold on to something that isn't there and they know will ultimately vanish one day.

I say sell your cd players and embrace the future of things to come. Don't do the digital "comb over".
Devilboy, aside from actually resembling your statement, I have some questions for you. Does your hard drive sound better than your cd player? Does your hard drive sound as good as your cd player? Do you not care about having physical media to hold in your hand or store on your shelf? Do you not worry even a little bit about your hard drive crashing? If your answer is yes to all of these questions then you are a Devil's advocate for cd sacrifice - and your cd player will be deader to you than a jewish son marrying gentile.

To date my answer to all the above is "No." Maybe when 24/96 downloads are varied and common, I will be a convert. Until then, I am still firmly entrenched in comb over land. Please pass the greasy kid stuff, Devilboy.

Your statement smacks of innoconce,it reminds me of the time of the beggining of Digital era where Vinyl was suppose to be dead.

The "computer' era is still evolving IMO .there are still too many issues that are Unresolved.I say ,hang on to your{good}SaCD/CD player and see how it goes.many problems not solved yet,my friend
Knownothing: Yes, my hard drive going to my dac sounds better than my $6,000 cdp ever did. No, I don't care about having physical media in my hand and yes, it's all on the shelf if I need to read somethng. No, I don't worry about hard drive crashing.

Fafafion: What issues EXACTLY are unresolved? What problems EXACTLY, Fafafion, are not solved yet?

I feel like a broken hard drive when I ask, once again, how is a cd player superior to a hard drive based audio system?
why not use both? i prefer to back up my music on hard drives and cd.s for extra confidence. and i like to make cds for varied listening in my car. do i have to carry a laptop to hear music in my car? i know i can use an ipod but there are times when a cd is just going to work. i still have hair thanks
Ok, you say "sell your cd player and embrace the future". Who do we sell it too, wouldn't those people who would purchase the used cd player be morons as well for buying a cd player? I will forward a copy of this thread to a friend who's computer crashed and he can't get his music, or much else. Here is the biggest reason why a CD player is better than a computer and a dac for me. Because I am listening to a cd right now and to get my computer hooked up to a dac etc. I would have to buy a bunch of new equipment to do what I already do. So in my house the CD player is superior, cuz I have one.
I would expect hard drives to sound better than a cd player, but haven't gotten around to making the move yet. I would still buy CDs and record them on to the HD, though. I like to have the backup. I wonder about copyright issues when you have to move to a new machine. I've heard of people having problems when they get anew iPod, or change from an iPod to something non-apple. I didn't catch the details but I know I've heard people venting about this. Maybe they just didn't know what they were doing. Could someone chime in and fill me on on the real story about this? I'd like to know.
This is an issue that obviously brings some emotion to the table.

The reality is the vast majority of CDs had their music contents transferred from a hard drive. Perhaps some old ones were transferred directly from an analog source through a ADC without a stopover on a hard drive, but I imagine those are few and far between.

If there is any significant difference between a CD and hard drive based playback system, it is a matter of implementation as opposed to any theoretical advantage one way or the other, IMO.

Consumer CD players have been on the market longer and sold in far greater numbers than hard drive based systems so have the advantage of being more familiar to users and more settled as a consumer product.

Some years back I did some serious comparison between a HD and CD based system and satisfied myself I would be losing nothing in making a switch. I would also be gaining great versatility in terms of accessing my fairly large music collection. Now, neither my main or second system have a CD player and I don't miss it at all. Only my computer audio work station still has CD, tape deck and turntable capability and that is primarily used to get material onto my hard drive.

As for HD crashes, yes that can happen. However, backup is far easier for a hard drive than any other format. CDs can rot and scratch, LPs can warp, get moldy and are easily damaged. Backups for those are not nearly as fast and convenient. (I actually keep two HD backups with one off premises.)

The nice thing about this hobby is people can pursue it in whatever fashion makes them happy. I've found what works for me and have no urge to go back.
The last paragraph by MLsstl says it all; it's whatever makes you happy. I am of the "comb over" crowd only in age, but hard drives & dacs hold no thrill for me. Having come from "45's" to LP's to cd's, I like it when I can see a disc and read the info involved about the disc. When it gets to where I have to stare at a hard drive/dac for my pleasure, I'll take up other pursuits. So, Devilboy, send me your $6000 cd player and you can be happy with your hd/dacs!
Despite the fact that I rip everything to hard drive as soon as I get it, I still prefer buying physical CDs to downloads.

CDs have artwork, notes, texts, translations, etc (of course, LPs were generally even better in this regard). You can read all this from your listening chair without using a computer. They are their own backup media. I've never lost a CD in a hard drive crash, or had a CD with corrupt or inadequate metadata. I have lost CDs under the couch, but I know exactly what they are when I find them again.
Let's for argument sake agree with the OP.

Can we then adjourn the topic?
I've had 5 hard drive crashes in the last 4 years. I have very little faith in them. Some how I am more comfortable with a dedicated laser than a scraping magnetic device surrounded by who knows what contamination, retrieving my bits thank you very much. If a CD get damaged, it's a small loss. If a hard drive gets damaged it's a big loss. I have very little interest in ipods or MP3 players, or head phones for that matter. When I fly or otherwise travel while not steering the vessel, I catch up on my reading. At this point in time, I haven't the time or the inclination to up load all my music. I can find it easy enough as it is. Perhaps, when I am more confident in the technology, and the uploading is easier and better organized, I might change my mind. Till then, I'm not interested in hard drives for my music, resorting to the comb over, or bashing others for doing their thing, their way.
Purchasing both downloads and CDs. Most of the of new songs I want are not common 24/96 downloads. I'm still buying CDs and then ripping the files to hard drive.

Recommend Pomade for all comb overs Devilboy.
The positives of CD ownership: got it. can play it. Cheap if buy used. (cheaper than buying MP3 downloads by far.I bought 1,200 Cds in the past year.. used average $2 each)
I have had hard drive problems enough to know that if you do not keep up on spares and such you are toast. Then you got problems of recognition, that if you screw up, you nice spare drive is useless. Change computers.. better know what you are doing or, again, all your downloads are toast.
So considering I am not an expert on computers, I will HOLD OFF on computer based music.
Also, you gotta stick all the music INTO the damn computer (or spare) drive, which takes PLENTY of time.. and then of course if you discard (sell) the CDs, you are screwed when (not if) you system explodes and again you have no access to the drive for one of many reasons.
Maybe for geeks, the computer based is good. For computer morons (like me) it SUCKS major, big time sucks.
And if you have a happy relationship with your computer based system, AND you are not a geek, HAH HAH you are/have a disaster waiting to happen (sucker)......
AM I BIASED? you ask.. no.. a realist.
Eventually a computer based system may be worthwhile... eventually. Good for those early adapters out there doing the testing for us.
I finally receive a reason for not going the computer route. The majority of you seem to be afraid of crashes. Rightfully so as they can and do happen. However, since backing up your music to an external hard drive is not difficult to do, what's the worry? I get the vibe that the issue of TIME seems to be the main reason. Considering a library of hundreds of albums, I completely understand why this would be a deterrent.

What about sonics? Has anyone compared a high end cdp to a computer/dac combo? If so, what were your conclusions?

Look, I'm not out to "bash" anyone for doing whatever makes them happy. I simply wanted to know what makes one stick with a cdp considering all of the benefits of a hd/dac.

I've never pressed a topic on this site nearly as relentlessly as this. It's just very curious to me....

So, I take back what I said at the end of my post. If you're happy with what you have, keep it. I appreciate everyone's opinion, and happy listening.

However, deep down, as painful as it may be to admit all know it's coming.
It's kind of difficult to sling arrows at the old guard when your quiver contains only platitudes.

Liz: I too am a "computer moron". I had no problems or issues whatsoever setting up my computer as a server. If you have half a brain cell, it's really not that difficult.
" I simply wanted to know what makes one stick with a cdp"

familiarity and comfort zone.
There is no doubt that the computer based music will replace CD in the future. But it won't get a lot of traction until the following problems are addressed.

1. ease of converting existing CD collection to HD without someone sitting on a computer for hours and hours ripping them.
2. crash protection. HD crash is the reality. It's not the matter of if, but matter of when. Relying on the owners to manually backing up one HD to another just doesn't cut it.
3. availability of downloadable music. The tiny selection of available lossless downloadable music doesn't cut it.

When all these issues are addressed, then maybe there is a merit in discussing CD vs HD as transport.
if cd is the comb-over to whatever fashionable hairdo the harddrive is, what does that make my plugs?

if you are happy with your tarddrive set up, be happy. if you are so insecure about your decision...ok, you're right. Your stereo sounds better, you win.

if someone is already enjoying their cdp, assuming their interest is enjoying music and not following trends or collecting new gear, what do they gain from explaining why?

btw, i have thousands of cd and thousands of lps at my ACTual fingertips. very convenient as well.
My music server is my modern remote control jukebox that I always wanted.

I just need to add a Wurlitzer logo, some neon lights and chrome trim.

Happy Days!

By the friend has the MSB modified ipod with ilink. All his music is in the ipod going to his MSB Platinum Signature 32 bit DAC III Plus (or whatever the hell it's called), and it's some of the best audio I've ever heard. I don't think his ipod will crash anytime soon. If something does happen, all his music is already stored elsewhere.

Wow! Such a heated topic. Going to sit down, push a few buttons a listen to some Chopin, or Debussy, or Miles, or Chet, or maybe all of them.
i was just asking whats the point in asking?

mostly benefit of cdp is to play and enjoy music, assumed from a collection of cds. real simple too see if you have cds and a cdp, its superior to having to buying a harddrive and external dac and etc.

ok, simply explain to me superiority of harddrive and dac to cdp, and tt.

and is mp3 player the faux hawk?

im off to spinning some wax with the incredible guitar of wes montgomery, then some sonny sharrock and maybe some derek bailey.

((I will Avoid discussing the 'problems (possible) problems:))
Then, the issues are: ease of use: Computer, (once set up): Fantastic, sorting, checking out stuff, endless stream of music instant change of selection.. WOW. great.
For CD, with a five disc changer, decent, put them in and plays for about five to six hours. can change while another is playing, putting away pretty easy.
For LP: every fifteen to twenty five minutes have to change sides, BUT on positive note, more immediate, I can decide on next choice 'in the moment' Putting Lps away is most difficult of three. Lp provides the most actual interaction with the product. The large sleeve, notes, tactile feel, cleaning... (ANY of the computer uses for checking out info on computer is available to anyone anyway, if you have a computer, computer as music server is not neccessary for this.)
For purchasing music: Most folks have a big supply of LPs, or CDs and the options of buying or putting the other formats into the computer.
A BIG positive for computer is for new music buyers. More so than folks with large (huge) LP or Cd collections.
I would probably never spend the time to PUT all the music I own in other formats into a computer. If I bought into a computer system, it would become a third alternative way to play music. I might put in favorites, but not the 6,000 LPs, or the 3,000 CDs. I would probably go for a computer based add on 'if' hi rez downloads became a good choice for new music. (I would avoid old music in a hi rez format due to faking the hi rez to make a new sale of the same old low rez pretending to be hi rez. (like the Blu Ray movies with just DVD resolution)
The one thing that comes up in my mind is the format of interaction:The computer is all keyboard and screen. The Cd, or Lp has a tactile component.
Anyway, I was not just against computer based music server. i just worry about failures (which HAVE been a problem in my past just for software, let alone thousands of music items... i would just DIE if I had even $5,000. worth of music i lost for some reason..
(I currently have about $30,000. worth of ((used prices)) music in physical formats.)
One thing seems to be forgotten - my CDs can travel wih me in the car, to friend's house, etc. I'll be damned if I'm going to tote my HDs all over the place...

Maybe this is the way I should have asked the question:

If you had no digital source of any kind and had X amount of dollars to spend, what would you buy: a cd player or a computer/dac?

Going by your responses, I guess most of you will still buy a cd player.

I posted this on "Digital" on purpose. I knew that if I posted it on "PC Audio", then most people would agree with me and that way I wouldn't learn anything. I'm trying to get a different perspective on the subject, so thank you all for your input.
Neither. I would buy a turntable.
I have no use for a cdp, but do not plan on giving up on buying the physical media w/o a fight. When the time comes, I will pay extra to retain the physical copies.

Elizabeth: Your views are a bit archaic. It is really quite easy and painless. I rip stuff while I am doing other things. Just pop them in, and 5 minutes later they pop out on their own indicating it is time to reload. Most times one never needs to use the keyboard or mouse. Playlisting is simply an awesome feature.
All I could think of when reading the original post was the same kind of argument by people saying (explicitly or implicitly), "Get rid of your LPs while you can. They're obsolete and soon no one will be playing them."
all media is good media if it plays music.
I would still rather operate a high-end CD player,
than a computer based music system. It just feels better.
how much is the fanless computer harddrive designed for home stereo?
To me it looks like you want to show off your new Weiss DAC!! Gimme a break from the's my profession. Don't want them when I relax!!!!

I have had a Levinson No. 31 and Sony SCD1 amoung other players, so I feel qualified to comment and think my hard drive sounds just as good.

Now to be fair, it's more fun (albeit less convenient) and a more luxurious experience to load discs into an exotic, expensive and mysterious device, than to click on a piece of plastic, in the same way that it's more fun to go 100 MPH in a Ferrari than it is in a Nissan.

The real reason the "comb over" persists, however, is because no one has yet been ingenious enough to figure out how to put a $500 computer in a fancy aluminum chassis and get neurotic audiophiles like myself to shell out $10,000 for it.

As to the high margin buggy whip salesmen and/or enthusiasts above warning of the dangers of hard drives - do they not understand that hard drives can be backed up??

I have been using computers since 1982, and I have never experienced a hard drive failure. I am now typing on a Lenovo netbook, which has been on about 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 3 years and also has yet to fail. But I back it up regularly, so who cares if it does fail?

Further to defending things which are supposedly horribly unreliable and no substitute for overpriced audiophile gear, I have had a Behringer DEC2496 and 3 Behringer A500s turned on all day, every day, for about 3 years now. They are all working perfectly and going strong.

Vinyl may not be dead, but yes, I would agree the CD player is dead.
This past CES I had a chance to audition the Sonic Weld USB interface in my system. It was my first direct experience with computer audio. I didn't do anything special to configure my MacBook, just ripped a few CDs (AIFF, error correction) to iTunes and played them back. The computer fed the Sonic Weld via USB and the Sonic Weld fed my DAC via SPDIF. I have to admit the sound was exceptional and compared very favorably to my transport/DAC. However, I never pulled the trigger. It just boiled down to two things:

1. I'm not ready for computer audio. Having followed the PC Audio forum on Audio Asylum the discussions over there can be pretty intimidating, even for someone like myself who is in the computer software industry. Also, those inmates can be just as bad as some vinyl/analog addicts I know ;).

2. The last sentence above leads me to acknowledge that my primary media is vinyl and recently analog reel tape. I greatly enjoy spinning records and my new found interest in analog reel tape conjures up memories of earlier times when tape (cassette) was my only source. Not to mention back then I did a lot of recording, including live shows, and now I have found equal fun recording music on reel tape.

As jaybo said, all media is good if it plays music. Pick your format(s) and most importantly have fun with it.

Oh, and go see live performances as much as possible. There still no real substitute for live music IMO.
I do not really have a dog in this fight as I do listen to mostly vinyl. A couple of my buddys and me have trying many DACs and computer server systems. I have to admit I am very impressed with the sound provided when it is set up correctly. One such set up that shocked me is the new DB Labs Tranquility DAC with the latest super flat Mac Mini with a solidstate hard drive for the operating system and external firewire standard 5400rpm harddrive to store the music. With good cabling and the Mac optimized for music playback only using a program called "Play" for the music management program using AIF apple lossless it is scary good. This set up has ate up all the high end CD players in our group. Here is a list of CD players that have lost. (1) KRELL EVO 505 (2) a plethora of high end Denon DVD/SACD/CD Players (3)Pleathora of Sony higher end DVD/SACD/CD Players and too many other CD players to mention. I believe the CD player is here for a while because of the amount of software laying around. I will put my whole CD collection on hard drive and of course have a back up drive just in case. Music server are the future and with much less jitter than a optical drive has the music server when properly set up it is far superior to most if not all CD players. I will be purchasing the new Audio Research DAC 8 and a Mac Mini in the next few months.
If the CD player is so dead, then howcome artists
are still releasing their new music on them all the time?
The distribution model for CDs has changed drastically and downloading of individual tracks is gaining momentum, but I think there wil always be a demand for music that is packaged and you can see and touch. After all, the internet and downloading has not made books extinct. CDs are still the prime medium for packaged music. Not sure yet what will come next to replace it eventually.
I am not sure anything really dies....

I still listen to AM/FM Radio, LP albums, CD's, and an iPod.

I have recently read articles in Stereophile about 78 RPM records and the dreaded cassette tape people are still using.

All of my CD's are on a computer/Drobo/DAC system that cost more than my stereo system.

In addition, I like to listen to/watch both Internet radio and Blu Ray/DVD music discs. Oh, and my SACD player is still connected and used occasionally.

Its a fun ride.... just enjoy it and quit worrying about where it's going.
Devilboy, a more relevant subject line to me would be: "The 16/44.1 format is dead..." Maybe the answer is yes, but not in the direction I want. There are at least hundreds of millions of downloads each day at resolutions much lower than red book standards for use on iPods, iPhones, laptops and the like. For these people, clearly convenience trumps quality. This fact is polluting the recording and production arts, making recent popular recorded product so compromised and compressed that they sound like crap on high end systems. Very unfortunate.

As for the CD player, I have a bunch of music on my laptop, both downloads and music ripped from CD and stored in iTunes. I listen to this music at work on a modest system and DAC, and on the road through headphones - convenience eclipses quality in this case. I am waiting to replace my CD based home systems with HD based music server systems until higher resolution digital formats and hardware become much more common and affordable. I just don't see or hear the advantage at this point to recapitalize.

I have a close friend who is retired and has invested a lot of time to download his entire CD and LP collections to HD, and now has them all at his finger tips. Neat. To me it still doesn't sound any better or not even as good as his digital player or a good turntable. And now, he has invested much time and effort to lock his analog material into a digital resolution limited by the analog system and ADC used at the time to re-record it, an affront to the quest for the Absoulte Sound in my mind and major sacrifice to convenience.

The CD player may be receeding as the principal music format, but I think rumors of it's imenent and complete death, among audiophiles at least, are highly exagerated. And if it does die very quickly, it will likely be replaced in the mass market by source material and equipment in most cases that is of lower quality, not higher quality, than what we had before. When I can access popular and affordable download pipelines and the ubiquitous iPods/iPhones can routinely handle and play 24/96 or better resolution digital music, then the CD format can rest in peace in mind and closet.
nobody knows how much the fanless units are? because the fans on pc's, you know, you can hear them, you can hear them working. they are noisy. is fan noise for pc based units the pops and clicks of dirty vinyl? Of course you can always clean the vinyl, what can you do about the fan noise?

ok, i found out a base unit for a fanless units start at $2,299 from

good luck from there.
In a group that generally believes in tiny differnces in the sound of a single resistor or wire, I am puzzled by claims that data from a hard drive equals data read from a great cd transport. Data has to get onto that HD in the first place. Measurements prove that there are significant differences in the error rate of data read by various disc transports. Don't we all recognize that data with a high degree of error correction applied does not sound quite as good as data read with fewer errors in the first place? Isn't that why expensive transports exist? Is there some doubt that data read off a cheap plastic cd drive in the electromagnetic storm inside a computer is unlikely to as error-free as data read off a great transport? (disclosure: I use a Genesis Time Lens for an even better data stream.) So unless you wish to rely on that cheap plastic cd drive in your computer (sadly, plextor is no more), don't you need an excellent transport to get cd data to your hard drive at the highest qualify level? [I don't think we're debating whether high-bit-rate-downloads can sound better.] Why are some of you claiming that data that arrives at a dac via cd transport to hard-drive to dac is equal to data that goes straight from a cd-transport to a dac, when audiophiles are almost universally aware that every time you introduce another electronic device in the chain, there is a decrease in quality?
So, in one scenario you need to pay $2,299 for a harddrive that is quiet enough to be placed the listening room. This is a "high end solution" according to a "high end" retailer named goodwins. I think this reality adds to the "explain why" cdp is superior to harddrive. The $2,299 doesn't even take into account the DAC needed. Or the knowledge and time needed to set up and transfer.

So...I don't want to jump to conclusions but I think its easy to see how owning a pocket watch is preferred.

Apparently Oakleys' computer has some sort of Pratt and Whitney aircraft propeller as a fan. You've got to be kidding me. I'm standing directly in front of my Mac as music is playing (with preamp muted), and I can BARLEY hear anything. My listening chair is about twelve feet away.

Also, it appears that the title of my post (about the cd player being dead), offended some people. Honestly, I did it because I had a feeling using those words would result in a higher volume of responses. Looks like I was correct.

My main objective was to find out why people prefer cd players over a computer/dac combo. That's all. Maybe next time I will choose my words more carefully as not to offend the sensitive members...
My CD player sounds better. Pretty simple for me right now.
For me, streaming from my computer to a Logitech Duet to my DAC was inferior to using a CD/DVD player into the same DAC spinning a standard CD. Sure, the computer approach was convenient, but it didn't deliver the sonics I wanted. Now, I fully realize that a computer based front-end could outperform spinning an actual CD, but it seems like a lot of effort at this point. I'd probably have to get something like a dedicated server with backups and some way to get the music to my DAC. Would I like the interface? Depending on the solution, I'd maybe have to get something like an iPod Touch for remote control. Then, it still has to equal or outperform what I already have. Actually, if I'm going to have the extra effort and expense, then I'd want it to outperform my current setup. Also, I dread the amount of time it would take to rip my entire collection. I'm sure I will go this way at some point, but I'm not sure when for the reasons I've stated.
Hey, I'm not trying to bash anyone.

I am not kidding you. I looked into computer audio thanks to your post, and I found goodwins high end selling fanless harddrives. and they cost $2,299 for a fanless unit, and thats before a dac. and that is what I mentioned.

So you mention you can BARLEY hear anything, that means you can hear SOMETHING. That means the noisefloor is raised, that means why even bother paying money to get gear with a superquiet noisefloor if your computer is going to make a BARLEY noise that ruin all my good intentions.

Well, for us who like to only hear the music we paid to hear, well then an option exists that cost's $2,299 for a fanless silent unit. Before DAC.

My computer is a laptop, and I only use it for internet porn and engaging conversation with folks like yourself.

so what?
Ahhh. A nicer change of mood to this thread thanks to Oakleys. A much welcomed respite. You guys were getting so serious.
I am tired from reading all this. I think I will pop in a CD and relax :)
" For these people (who download mp3s), clearly convenience trumps quality"

Not true. The quality of mp3s is often quite good for the types of music that most people listen to even on a good system. I would be challenged to distinguish mp3 from higher resolution formats with most of the pop/rock type songs that I do elect to download. For tehse, it makes me wonder why pay more and suffer greater inconvenience for no reason. They also happen to be most convenient and more usable overall.

Its not the best, but does represent a reasonable compromise between file size and absolute sound quality. There are a lot of benefits both in terms of cost and utility with smaller file sizes when suited.

I would not recommend mp3 for classical music in general but I cannot say that I have even tried it for that so I really have no experience to base a judgement on, though it would not surprise me to hear differences there.

Fact is I have a couple dozen mp3 files I have downloaded and listened to critically and despite the usual variations in recording quality found with any format, I cannot honestly say I have heard a deficiency that I can clearly associate with the format yet, though I know these exist technically. The question is can I hear them? Don't know the answer to that yet.....
Lloydc wrote:
I am puzzled by claims that data from a hard drive equals data read from a great cd transport. Data has to get onto that HD in the first place.

Doesn't data have to "get onto the CD in the first place" also? If not, where does it come from?

Take a trip through a recording studio and with very, very few exceptions you will see all of the music played is being recorded to a hard drive. If hard drives are the fatal flaw, then CDs inherit that fault.

If you listen to a playback in a recording studio, they are going to stream it from a hard drive, not a CD. The CD, by itself, cannot make that recording any better than what was on the studio's hard drive.

I've heard stunning music from systems with open reel, turntables, CDs and hard drives as the source. Implementation is the key (and money doesn't guarantee the door is unlocked.)

I like CDs and still buy them. It's still a great way to add music to my server based system. Their overall sales volume is down from several years ago but CDs will still be around for quite a while.

Ultimately this whole subject is once again about personal preferences. It is inevitable that opinions will vary widely, but just don't forget the parents of the music on that CD almost certainly include a hard drive. ;-)