Obsolescence - Which Way To Go?


Back in the day if I bought a bag load of records and decent TT or CDs and CDP obsolescence wasn’t an issue, you needed a new needle occasionally or laser for the CDP but your music collection still had value. Okay not all TTs and CDPs are repairable but you can still buy alternatives at a pretty reasonable price. Long live Rega! So so far on my main system I’ve kept my TT, CDP and indeed FM tuner.

However, my 2nd system is a Muso QB (Mk 1) which I use for streaming with Tidal and internet radio and I have to say is a fantastic piece of equipment, easy to use and for a one box sounds excellent. And indeed I’ve got to realise the convenience of playlists and just selecting the odd track. But it’s already obsolete at least in part, doesn’t support Qubuz, Roon etc etc. Now my TT and vinyl stays, I love listening to it but where do I go on Digital? A few months back I was set on trading my CDS3 for a NDX2/Core but I just wonder how long before the NDX would be obsolete? Will it suddenly be the case that an update to Roon or Tidal will not work on the NDX.

I wonder if the best way forward is to separate renderer from DAC and that way the latter doesn’t become redundant whilst the former could be updated?




I hope you don’t mean men are obsolete!

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Now updated!


I’m not sure obsolete is quite the right term? The Qb still does exactly what it did when you bought it and as long as you continue to require it to perform the same functions it will do so, hence it isn’t technically obsolete. An analogy would be calling a TT obsolete because you couldn’t play CDs on it - and crucially - that LPs were no longer available. This would then indeed render the TT obsolete.

Now if you want different functions then of course you might need a different piece of kit - but that is rather a different issue from obsolesence IMO…

And if you get the mconnect app you can play Qobuz on older Naim streaming devices (works on my NDX at least)


Exactly the way I’m thinking. I have the ps, pre and amp, plus a dac. I just need a quality streaming source.

Funny, but I was thinking along these lines earlier… :thinking:

In many ways, Vinyl is now less subject to obsolescence, than CD’s are - which were intended to supersede Vinyl…! I can still buy quite a good range of Record Decks, from relatively humble Rega’s say, to full-blown Linn LP12’s. Whereas… Its no longer possible to buy a range of CD Players.

Interesting… Who would have thought it… :grin:

My LP12 goes on and on… And has ‘seen’ off an Arcam and a Rega CD Player…!!


Interesting discussion. I eventually bought a NDX2 last year, having been very tempted by the NAC272 which gets universally good reviews. One of the reasons I didn’t buy the NAC272 was because it combines streamer and preamp, with presumably very different life cycles in terms of obsolescence. Shame to have to upgrade the whole box even though the preamp half might still be fine.

In terms of real obsolescence, my 10 year old Unitiserve is approaching that now, Windows XP no longer supported by Microsoft etc. Plus it has now stopped being recognisable by my Mac, for reasons I cannot fathom, so a part of its original functionality just doesn’t work.


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Isn’t that a bit like saying a Model T Ford isn’t obsolete because it still drives the way it used to… :wink:


Isn’t the risk that’s being raised that the third party (Roon, Tidal, Quboz etc.) make changes to their service which won’t work any longer with the ‘renderer’.

I think this is a realistic risk, at least in the longer term. But, as others point out, bridge software can be built to run on another piece of equipment to engineer a work around.

I must admit I’m minded to keep the renderer and DAC separate but this could well be because I don’t want to spend the money on an NDX2…

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Usually obsolescence is defined as when you can’t get the exact item from the OEM. I.e. it is still obsolete if available from a third party. This is more to do with the support expected from the OEM.

I’m a car guy and not necessary back to the model A and T. But as you were making your remark you didn’t see the comment on Vintage Ferraris and Gold Wing Mercedes. Some things from the past will never be replicated.

My understanding was the whole purpose of the new Naim streaming platform was to significantly reduce obsolescence and create the ability to add services such as Qobuz. There are no guarantees of course but it strikes me that a QB2 is a pretty solid bet.

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The changes that cause “obsolescence” as referenced by the OP are to do with online streaming providers because inevitably the market will change, with new or different providers and products requiring different software in the renderer. Streaming from your own music store does not risk obsolescence, nor wear/damage of the recording.

A DAC never needs changing, other than if one wants one with different characteristics, so only becomes obsolete when or if technological developments allow allow a better design - and as they near perfection the likelihood decreases as will the magnitude of improvement.

A separate renderer and DAC gives maximum flexibility for changes to streaming software without a the cost of replacing the DAC whenever a new streaming platform is required for the latest software incarnation.


Some things from the past remain desirable for many reasons (e.g. 250 GTO), others are better consigned to the bin (e.g. Yugo 45 - ask me how I know😂). I’m not sure the fact something is desirable or collectible renders it less obsolete in real terms though, having been replaced or superseded by something newer.

Thank you, I have a very similar system ( in principle) to yours. CDX2 , decent TT, very good phono stage and a elderly but good NAT03.

My view is that having listened to the advice I was given, that a Mac Mini will be the way forward and will enable storage, streaming, and er the odd game , it will need a USB fitted DAC or a Dragonfly USB adaptor .
It won’t be my main source but will enable hi-def downloads and will adapt for a very long time to changes in software

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Wooaah! OK, I’ll bite. Just how do you know…?

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My thinking entirely Mr Innocent.

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I was based in Germany with the British Army when I bought a red, 1986 Yugo45; it was the newest car I had ever owned.

In December 1990, I drove it from Germany to Scotland with a broken clutch cable, a failed front brake cylinder, a boot full of duty free beer and a hitchhiker :joy: We spent two nights stuck on the motorway somewhere in England, in the massive snowstorm that hit that year.

It got me back to Germany with only minor additional failures such as the heater and windscreen wipers, where it moved on to its next owner for more adventures (or the bin) :joy:

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If you’d let the hitchhiker sit inside you would have had company when stopped on motorway!