What's the right ratio of CD player cost / TT cost to get similar sound quality?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Adagio, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    We consider it the biggest bargain in audio/music to date. Hi-res for $20. per month, about the price of 2 CDs or 1 LP. We listen to dozens of albums per month, many that we never would have heard otherwise. Great for exploring new music too.
    MoatsArt, jonwoody, SonicCzar and 3 others like this.
  2. shug4476

    shug4476 Nullius In Verba

    My own view is you can spend rather less on vinyl for a better (i.e. more musical) sound.

    I haven't heard digital sound musical until you hit mid-4 figure prices.
  3. Lowgroove

    Lowgroove Forum Resident

    I recently upgraded my DAC and phono stage but still have my older turntable and cart. In the future these will be upgraded as well. My current digital front end is about twice the cost of my analogue.

    Even so I find I like Tone Poets over streamed digital files of the same albums. I recently compared Rickie Lee Jones cover of Show Biz Kids on Analogue Productions Wonderful Sounds of Female Vocals against a digital stream and preferred the vinyl again.

    However for most vinyl pressings the digital is better.

    I like both but was surprised how good the cheaper vinyl rig can sound (or how bad some streamed digital masters are).
    jonwoody, KT88 and bever70 like this.
  4. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    I'm not quite sure if that's a bargain... when comparing it to records, it really depends how long the records last and how the monthly fees change over time.
    KT88 likes this.
  5. Ulises

    Ulises Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    Recently upgraded to a Yggdrasil “less is more” and added a pioneer pd-59 from Craigslist for discs. It’s different from my vinyl rig, but for the first time I’m really enjoying multi-format listening sessions where I jump from vinyl to streaming (Roon + pi2aes) to cd and back without feeling like I’m missing out or I should always be playing records. Good place to be for about half what I have in my turntable/ phono stage/ sut.
  6. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    The ( cost of ) one LP per month compared to unlimited music, easy choice here.
    Also no storage problems and easy access in both the house and The Pit ( garage ) systems.
    Thats coming from a reformed four decade diehard vinylphile,
  7. bever70

    bever70 It's not all about The Soundstage

    Yes, but like renting a house (also considered easy by some as no maintenance etc.)...you end up with nothing.
    Oelewapper likes this.
  8. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    LOL, ok. When one is at there days end a house can be sold by ones offspring for a great deal of money. Recorded music will probably have no value to them and be thrown away with your other rubble.
    wgallupe, jonwoody, bever70 and 2 others like this.
  9. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    Good call on the RCM - a pretty critical part of any serious vinyl setup. Should be factored in to the overall cost.
    Lowgroove, GyroSE and mr.datsun like this.
  10. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    That's an American thing to do I suppose.
    Over here, if something even looks remotely interesting in terms of sentimental or financial value it gets auctioned or kept in the family; collections in particular.
    bever70 likes this.
  11. bever70

    bever70 It's not all about The Soundstage

    You have a point....but if I would start selling my vinyl now, I possibly could make a good living for a year just doing that (while I invested almost zero).
  12. The Rega Saturn is an excellent CDP and in my system it has required an Audio Note DAC 0.1x NOS DAC to improve upon it.

    (During auditions, the AN DAC saw off the Rega DAC R.)

    Having said that, the DAC doesn't sound exactly the same as my vinyl set-up but it sounds good enough for me not to worry about it. It would also probably drive me mad if I were to attempt to say which is better, and life's too short for that.

    In the end, as long as I really enjoy what I am hearing and don't hear any obvious shortcomings then that's good enough for me.
    mr.datsun likes this.
  13. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    That's really only true if you listen to the same music over and over again. If every week you listen to many new releases, then the next week move on to the next new ones, or even just new to you music, you can hear much more new music per month at $15 a month than you can buying copies of each title you want to listen to at $10, $15, $20 a pop. If I listen to 200 new to me titles a year at $15 a pop, that $3K per year. If I do the same with a streaming service its $180.
    Tim 2 and jonwoody like this.
  14. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes indeed, but only if one listens to new music a lot and almost never sells records that aren’t played anymore.
  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I'm mostly interested in new music experiences more than hearing the same music over and over, and in my 57 years I've never sold a single LP or CD. I must have more that 4K of each.
    Tim 2 likes this.
  16. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Do you continue to buy music and do you spend more than $13 a month on it?

    To the OP if you're considering a Dac that is something I would urge you to buy used, depreciation can be fast but also not much can go wrong with a Dac physically, they are relatively light and easily shippable. My last two Dacs were both purchased used and were incredible sounding a now departed Yamamoto YDA-1 and my current Audio Note Dac-3 Signature both acquired for half or less than half of retail.

    A few examples @Hendertuckie mentioned the Esoteric D-07 Dac I see one on USA Audiomart for $1700

    Esoteric D-07 DAC

    Here's a nice tubed NOS Dac from Wavelength for $1525

    Wavelength Cosecant 3 NOS DAC

    An interesting Dac from renowned Japanese transport maker CEC on Audiogon

    CEC DA5 | DA Converters | Springfield, Missouri 65806 | Audiogon

    I am not saying any of these Dacs is necessarily for you just pointing out the plethora of cool options on the used market. The one drawback obviously you can't audition and return, but if you're smart and buy right you can often get about what you paid for if you sell.
    Adagio and Tim 2 like this.
  17. SonicCzar

    SonicCzar Forum Resident

    New England
    Have you tried HiRes streaming? I own only about 25 SACDs vs hundreds of CDs, but about half of my Qobuz listening is SACD quality, not CD. I can find used CDs for $2 at the Goodwill store but good luck finding what you want in SACD, new or used. Some of mine that I bought for $30 are already out of print, and selling for double that. Yet, they are available easily on Qobuz, in HiRes glory. My point is not to argue formats, but when you consider that much of streaming is higher resolution than CD, and cheap at that, streaming must be factored into "digital" cost/quality vs vinyl. You are already paying for internet (into infinity), so get your money's worth and use it for something other than audio websites!
    Oelewapper and Tim 2 like this.
  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    a sliding scale that favors CD on the low end and vinyl on the high end.
    Azura and Lowgroove like this.
  19. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    :wantsome:Now thats just plain rude. I'm definitely not a yank.
    bever70 likes this.
  20. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    You invested almost zero in your current vinyl ?
  21. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Why do you keep all of those, if you’re mainly listening to new music?

    I spend a negative amount on records, since most records I’ve sold went for double or more than their original price.
  22. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Wow relax, I just meant “American” as in “north-america”, not US in particular.
  23. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Senior Member

    Scottish Borders
    Know the sound you like and find the gear that best fits that - incidentally, something with the clarity and detail of the £300 Sony CDP-911E would do me well, or the £800 Marantz CD17 (the differences between the two are minimal) - as for a turntable, I was unexpectedly delighted by a variant of the Audio Technica AT-1240 (the Eagletone Engineering One.Two super OEM deck) that I used with an AT-VM95ML for a year or so. Thereafter, good speaker positioning and placement and I was good to go. These days, I've upgraded my turntable to a modded Thorens TD160, with Benz Micro Gold cartridge, but the quality is pretty much on a par with the CD source.

    So no, you don't need to spend multiples more on a turntable, or a digital source, to get parity between the two. To my mind, it's always been about - as I said at the outset of this post - knowing the sound you like and finding the equipment that'll best deliver that to whatever your budget is.
    curbach likes this.
  24. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Blame the british ... for them America is USA (the continent doesn't exists) ... and the USA citizens inherited that. For people that lives "outside" USA it isn't that way.
    Oelewapper likes this.
  25. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, first of all, you never know when you might want to hear something. Just because I haven't listened to something in 10 or 20 years, doesn't mean I might not find myself in year 21 with a hankering to hear it. Or just because I didn't like something on first listen and put it aside doesn't mean I won't come around on it decades later. Before streaming, you had to keep the records around in case you wanted to hear them someday. I mean, I would hate to have to buy a record again that I once already owned.

    Second, I really wouldn't know how to sell records. I mean back 35 years ago there might have been stores I could have gone to interested in buying the stuff, even though just dumping it for cents on the dollar to a reseller would kind of rubbed me the wrong way. But there aren't too many places around here to do that anymore.

    Also, now it seems like a lot of effort -- going through the records, making choices, finding a place to get rid of them. I am getting older and thinking about how to downsize my life and not leave a lot of crap behind for my daughter to dispose of ,and I really would like to get rid of a lot of my stuff at this point. And with streaming now, on the very unlikely chance that sometime before I die I'll want to hear something by ELO or Kansas or Queen again, I'll be able to. So I'm ready to get rid of a lot of my records and there does seem to be a market for all those rock and pop albums I bought in the '70s as a teenager that I never listen to anymore.

    But I'm still not sure how I would go about doing it. I mean, I could sell 'em all piecemeal here or on eBay or something, but that sounds like a lot more time and work than I want to put into i it -- grading 'em, listing 'em, buying shipping material, shipping 'em off. I really don't have time for an extra job or hobby in my life. Or interest in the hobby of selling stuff.

    BTW, as to the price/value of streaming, you really don't need to listen to a lot of new or new to you music per annum for it to pay off. I'm just going to use $15 per CD as typical new CD price. But at that cost, once you get to the 13th new or new-to-you album of the year, you're ahead of the cost of buying additional CDs. Once you get to 25 new or new to you titles a year you've reached he point where to have bought them would be double the cost of your streaming subscription.

    On top of that, of course, there are other elements of the streaming service that have value that you also are paying for -- like the portability, some people like the playlists.

    The analysis that buying access to music as a service is always more expensive that buying a hardcopy or download of a recording really only holds up if you listen to a small number of titles per year, or you listen to the same music over and over again each year.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
    jonwoody likes this.

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