CD player versus Streamer

Had to reset the music library database tonight after 17 album covers went awol. As reported elsewhere repeatedly, classical music and meta data don’t mix either.

Love the sheer access to music on streaming services.

However, miss the CD booklet and finding out who the assistant engineer is.

Prefer Cd playback on my Saturn R vs Node2i into Saturn dac( even with hi res streaming).

Curious about hi-res downloaded files, so should i buy that for best quality, but still want the cd booklet, so could end buying both. Expensive.

Hate the computer side of things, when they go wrong, so still weighing up whether i need a Rega Isis or Ndx2/Core ?

Streaming and local files ripping has convenience of cataloguing and easy playback of course.

Will always require a streamer though for checking out music i dont already own. I’d get a Nd5xs2 if streaming is secondary source and an Isis if i go CD.

Pity the Isis wasn’t updated to mark 2 status with 24 bit playback and some digital inputs.

Patrick - have we just confused you more?

See you another time maybe?

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Get the Roon Nucleus, it is trouble free!


The main advantage originally, was all the extra time on a cd over vinyl. But I missed the artwork especially (and the cd size art/writings) are useless. I am now a good deal older and have mobility issues. My cd collection along with records are both modest by some standards , but they work for me. Primarily for ease and access to even more music, I added an ndx-2 . So the cd’s have dropped to 3rd as far as listening. Records still win out, but constantly getting up to change is not always feasible. The streamer, which I probably don’t utilise fully is used as a giant jukebox and is very pleasing to listen to. I would recommend moving away from cd’s - the convenience advantage is gone and streaming has become mature enough that high sq is readily available

I’ve been into vinyl and CD playback for a couple of decades now, having owned what could be considered pretty top-tier 'tables/carts/phono preamps and CD players alike. I’ve only relatively recently gotten into streaming (local and through both Tidal and Qobuz services)…now I own all three listening formats. I have a Rega Saturn-R that doubles as both player and DAC. As great a player it is, I rarely find myself listening to CDs anymore. My ND5 XS2 streamer is handily every bit as good SQ-wise, if not more so; there’s the convenience factor and a myriad of options to instantly play, too, that otherwise cannot feasibly be accomplished with physical CDs. If I like something enough after discovering it on Tidal or Qobuz, it’s easy enough to buy and ‘burn’/place on the shelves with the other gazillion other jewel cases.

Then there’s vinyl…which in my estimation is, if I were to be completely honest with myself, my real love and constant interest in this hobby. There are so many quality combinations between the turntable, phono and cartridge to try these days; and the right combination—which there are many—are pretty superior in sound to my ears to digital. Very difficult to describe—visceral, maybe; more ‘thereness’ and weight. I feel the same recording on a quality vinyl setup versus digital are pretty night and day, much owed, IMO, to the limitation of the digital box, whatever it may be, while arms, carts and phono stages really all have different presentations. I simply cannot fathom all of the possible combinations, but ones I’ve tried have really made music remarkable.

That said, because of the ‘newness’ of it all and ability to just look up a new artist or album and play without distraction, I find myself listening more to my streamer even though I have a couple of nice vinyl rigs. At this point over the course of the last six months or so, it has been about 70/30 in favor of the ND5 XS2. So, yes, streaming is definitely worth getting into regardless of what’s considered dated or not. IMO, none of these formats will be obsolete anytime soon, so I suppose that means by default that none of them are dated. Whatever one prefers, just enjoy it while you can.


Much said on this subject before. These are two links to my own thoughts/experience on the subject:

(The linked threads also contain other people’s views .)

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Unless it’s a money issue I would say get the streamer. It’s going to have a DAC. I know I will be flogged for this but if you want to play CDs get a cheap DVD player to use as a transport, run the digital out from the dvd/cd player to streamer


I have CD5si connected to Superuniti, listening through Harbeth 7es3. To me, CD sounds much better then any kind of streaming through superuniti.

I am analog guy, and honestly no digital sounds good to me as turntable. I never had only streamer it was always integrated amp or preamp (2 x superuniti and 272), in both cases CD sounded much better to me.

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I use CDs as a method of transmission and archive only.
My main music sources are vinyl and locally stored FLAC files.
No remote streaming at all.

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I also enjoy analog and will buy vinyl in preference to cd if i decide to buy a physical copy but am running out of storage space so need to be selective in purchases.
Net streaming permits me to circumvent my storage constraints and explore new music which is most important to me.

Patrick, I consider a CDP a special case streamer… it’s just the latter can only usually play CDs with the help of an external transport or ripped CD storage as well as many other digital transport formats. The latter can be considered a more convenient way of playing CDs… akin to the CD carousel systems of the 90s.

So if you are content playing CDs with your player then stick with CDP, nothing wrong with it, however if you want to taste and explore alternative digital music media sources, and there is much that is not on CD, then the streamer is the tool to help do that.

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I think Patrick has done one with all the money.

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I solved the dilemma by getting a Uniti Star…now I can stream and play CD’s in one box! I’ve also hooked it up to my turntable 0a Pro-Ject using a Pro-Ject phono stage).
A case of having your cake and eating it!

Fetch the cat o’ nine tails and lash him to the mainmast!

Yep! That’s what I do. I run an Oppo 105D into my Streamer/DAC. Shocked at how good it is.


I do wish we could drop this view. Streaming requires a bit of setting up but once done it just works. There are as many permutations as there are listeners but from where I sit my Raspberry Pi has been sitting in its corner next to the NAS drive it’s mapped to, and never misses a beat. It just works, has done since Assett was configured. When new music is added it’s such a trivial exercise it happens while I’m checking email or some such. Actually using streamed music is just so easy.

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CDs = jewel cases. Yuck

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If it’s the DCD-A110, respect, but $2,999 isn’t what I would call a bargain price. Maybe it is within the realm of comparative audio prices. I’m certain it is nice sounding, but there are scores of others that are nice, too, and can be had for far less; couple that with the fact that for that price one could get a fabulous streaming set up, which is somewhat (and I stress somewhat) the point of the topic. There have been good points of getting a (cheaper) DVD or CD player and use it as a transport from a streamer’s DAC. The Cambridge CXC without onboard DAC or the like would fit that bill nicely for around 1/6th the price. In my humble opinion, which is really all it is, and one many will not be in line with, I just cannot see why someone would pay multiple thousands of dollars or pounds for a CD player when there are so many other ways to achieve close to or equal sound quality for far less money. Obviously, the used market mitigates this by a large margin, but that goes equal-and-all ways regardless of the components.
Anyway, I’m not meaning to pick on anyone here (@jmtennapel); it’s just an observation more than anything.


I think this view is completely valid. Streaming, especially with Naim, is a pain and very often does not work. Funniest thing of all is many times i’ve been in dealers places and they go to play something and the network plays up… at that point i usually just say put a CD on😉


If you were starting out today, its unlikely you’d go the cd or vinyl route. Espec8ally given the quality of streamed services.
If however you have legacy media, or like buying it cheap or don’t trust Internet connections, then go cd. Or even vinyl.
We can all wax on about which one sounds the best. When I’m properly listening, I don’t care, nor often know.

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