Back to CDs instead of local streaming?

Idle musing alert…

Is there anyone else who’s ripped their CD collection in favour of local streaming now weighing up the pros and cons of entering back into the world of the silver disc?

Due to the recent increase in CD sales, and having enjoyed playing with rekids over the last three years, I have to admit to looking at the new MK3 Rega Saturn with unexpected interest and a raised eyebrow of possibilities about taking the plunge for a CD player, especially as it has a DAC where the user can just plug in a phone / tablet for casual streaming.

I do like the convenience of having the CD’s ripped, but after playing records of late, I’ve found that I still like looking through media perhaps more than using the (excellent, well, I think so) Naim App to select music. Although I do wonder if the dreaded broken jewel cases will frustrate and become tiresome after a while.

I’ve kept all my discs (some 1200) and they are packed in the loft so easy-ish to liberate from dust and spiders, but wall storage could be a challenge.

This may well be just fever dreams due to the heat!


Even though I also have my CD ripped, I still enjoy sometimes (but on a regular bases) going to my CDs, looking at them then pick one for listening.
Somehow it does influence my choices differently and I really like it. Even when it’s not very hot. :wink:


This will run and run… again! :wink:


A few months back my dealer sat me in front of a top of range Accuphase sacd player, it did make me dream a bit……


Indeed, couldn’t agree more. I still use CD5XS/nDAC/XPS DR/ high line to 272. Even though I have all CD’s ripped to Synology NAS. What the NAS offers is convenience and a place to download files that are not on CD, like things off Band Camp etc.
But the CDs generally sound better when play via the above. And today when there was a virgin Media local outage, which takes out the WiFi records and CDs score very highly!


I’ve not heard any Accuphase CD players, but if as good as their amps I can appreciate your “dream a bit” observation. Heard a couple of their integrated amps at the North West Audio Show, where they were almost ubiquitous as quite a few dealers / manufacturers were using them. I came away liking what I’d heard, even with the 70s champagne finish. Felt very well made too.

Yes, the Amps are good to, despite some comments on the forum.


I switched to streaming (from my store of ripped CDs, downloads in various resolutions, and some ripped vinyl) some years ago, and have never missed CD. I kept the booklets from opera CDs, with the libretto inside, but I very rarely found CD booklets interesting - unlike vinyl. I photographed the vinyl album artwork I knew I’d miss, but actually never look at it. It’s not the same as the ‘magic’ of opening an album cover etc., which is the one thing where I think vinyl scores over streaming, and I do sometimes feel nostalgia for that.


I still prefer CD to streaming and, although I have both, I use a CDS3 for serious listening and a Bluesound Node for convenience or when trying out something new ahead of purchasing the physical media


Streaming gives lots of options for many albums. Provided I can get the ‘right’ version, there is a lot of music that sound better on my Naim NDX2/ XPS2 streamer than on my sort-of-equivalent Naim CDS2 player. On the other hand, there are also lots where the CD is more enjoyable than any stream I have found.

Ripping is to me easier to assess. In avery case, a rip from an equivalent box (Naim Core) sounds to me exactly as good as the CD played directly.

How do you value convenience versus actually owning a physical thing (with a lyric sheet and not a rental agreement) versus sound quality?


Not sure what you mean, or are you referring to online streaming (you had been talking about ripped CDs)

With all else equal (E.g. same DAC), I think streaming of a ripped CD from one’s own store has the potential to sound better than a CD, because there are no read errors as there can often be on ‘live’ reading of a CD, and hence no error correction with interpolation of the soundwave. Whether that actually translates into anything noticeable in practice I have no idea, other than discs that cause serious misreads causing stuttering, which can sometimes happen.

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My experience was somewhat different. I found one of the prime virtues of booklets was giving the words and translations for vocal music — particularly useful when the singing is in a foreign language. Single LPs often had a flimsy little insert containing the words and this was extremely easy to lose. On the other hand, boxed LP sets often had a really nice large booklet, but that mostly applied to full-length operas.

For streaming, I have scanned most of the booklets associated with my CD rips so I can read them on the iPad. Downloads very often come with a pdf and one of the things I like about Qobuz is that the inserts are often available.


Ripping means no need to keep paying Qobuz/ Tidal every month, plus it works if they one day go out of business or you have an internet outage.

Comparing SQ of CD versus rip, I agree that there are reasons why a rip could be better, and I probably expected that. It isn’t what I heard, but others may have better ears or different systems.

Streams can be better or worse than rip/ CD. IME, worse is more common, but the gap is small.

Does that look right to everyone else?


I’ve ripped all my 2000+ CDs to a NAS drive, but rarely play them from said drive. Instead I much prefer to play the cd itself. Not a sound quality issue, just a personal touchy feely preference.


…I have not missed going to the shelves, finding the CD then opening & placing the cd in the player then putting away the CD back into case then back on the shelf. …then repeat.

I find the convince and the quality of the music via streaming to work best for me.


I do both - but tend to go for CD for critical listening and I still buy CDs that I just want to own. There is also the reliability of CD replay. Just yesterday, following some electrical trips becessary during some construction works at home, I had to waste an hour or two getting my NAS to reconnect to my iNode. All done now - password reset issue - but made me thankful for the simplicity of CD. I’m in the fortunate position ( or perhaps it is my cloth ears!!) that there is little real difference beteen native CD and ripped CD in my system. I enjoy being able to skip all over my library - but find the process of selecting a CD and listening righf the way through ultimately more rewarding. Ditto vinyl.


Pointless exercise. Do it if you like the process of cds but sq, really?


Vinyl is my preference but albums have become very expensive and the days of finding good records in charity shops are long gone. CDs are plentiful and still can be found at bargain prices, so for little money I can get some great music. I tend to have one evening listening session of vinyl and another only listening to CD. My old CD player is about to give out so I have bought a well reviewed budget priced CD player that will likely outperform my 18 year old one as technology has moved on quite a bit over the years. I have tried streaming via Tidal hifi tier over Wi-Fi but always found the CD version to sound better. I have way more vinyl than CDs but do enjoy mixing it up a bit and spending an evening listening to a couple of CDs which can sound pretty good if they are well produced and mastered.


Personally I still love to pay for these to get access to all the music unknown to me yet.
This forum for example, is almost an unlimited source of proposition for music to discover. To get instant access to see if I like a song, an album or artist, it’s priceless.
I can then decide what format I’ll buy.


My CDs get ripped and go into easily accessible storage. They represent my ultimate cold backup in case my actual cold backup drive and NAS both fail.

Although the ratio of music I can find for download is improving, what I am looking for only being on CD or vinyl still accounts for over 70%. So CD is still my main source of new music purchase. Until a couple years ago, I had to wait X days until I found time to rip the monthly CD batch purchase. Now I have a Luxman CD player that acts like a DAC so I can give them a spin right away. I don’t think I’d go out of my way for a CD player to do this, but I’m really glad the DAC I chose happens to be a CD player.

Even vinyl, I rip and stream locally for the most part.

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