I will be honest about my observations as mentioned below and i can assure you that iam not prejudicial to either sirI just had to chime-in on this one...
I suspect a many who lived through the CD journey from the mid 1980s are asking the same question: Is it still worth spinning CDs?
I just wanted to share that although I would be quite happy spinning CDs still - and having them hanging around in their cases for convenience and art work - the sound of a lossless file [pick your favorite flavor] ripped to your music library [again pick your favorite flavor] easily trumps spinning CDs and spitting it out on the fly.
We have a lovely REGA APOLLO ANNIVERSARY CD-player - the one with the WOLFSON DAC set and the Submarine hatch on top. But playing CDs out through this into our CHORD QUTEST DAC is sadly lacking compared to the music files we play - ripped from those same CDs.
I theorize that having a totally error-free file assembled and sent from RAM in a laptop/iPad [again, pick your favorite flavor] ensures less jitter and less errors than ripping data off a CD in real-time. I don't know - perhaps I am simplifying things.
In any event, if sound quality is what you are after, a CD-transport can easily be bettered.
We put our lovely REGA away many moons ago - hoping it will emerge in a year or two as our toddler's first CD-player.
Frankly, if I was investing more money in the CD-format, it would be looking to invest in a really high-end CD-ripping device.
[If we want to ask: Is it is still worth purchasing CDs? That is a whole other kettle of fish...]
I have a esotric K-01 sacd player. And I recently tried a lumin T1 streamer cum dac. The lumin was streaming the same tracks from tidal, that i was playing via the esoteric.
I will reserve the judgement as to sound quality via the 2 mediums for later
Then i streamed the same tidal tracks with the lumin only acting as a streamer, feeding the esoteric as a dac, via high fidelity CT-R1 co axial cable. This clearly showed that the 8 parallel akm chips per channel in the esoteric were clearly more resolving, more revealing of smaller details and more dynamic than the internal dac of the lumin.
Now I will come back to my first point, when comparing tidal streams from lumin vs local cd playback on the esoteric, i heard same exact differences between the two, which actually boils down to the competency of their dacs. And i honestly feel that some tidal tracks properly ripped from the master track will match the quality of a locally played cd, though not all of their library. So a good quality tidal track can match cd playback, if the digital chain is properly thought out.
But why then do I still hold onto the esoteric, and it is not definitely because of my perceived superior sound quality. But it is because of a tangibly superior experience for me which comes from handling my favourite discs. Maybe for the same reason behind the resurgence of vinyl....just my 2 cents
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