Would you bother with a CD player?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hab, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Hab

    Hab Forum Resident Thread Starter

    My dilemma, my current set up is a Bluesound Node 2 into a Audiolab M-Dac and all my music is on a NAS ripped as Flacs, however, I still buy loads of CDs to rip, then they just get put away. Seems a bit of a waste that they don't get used, is there really any point buying a CD transport as it will be put through the M-Dac anyway so there shouldn't really be any sonic advantage?

    Or just move on and just keep buying CDs to rip?
    Randoms and cdgenarian like this.
  2. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    I'm in the same position but I just like to spin a physical cd every now and then. I have 4 (older) cd players around at the moment and just use one of them in my system, using the digital outs to my DAC. If you can spend the money you could get a Cambridge or Audiolab transport only (they are not that expensive). Otherwise, and if you are not too sure that it will see plenty of use, I would just go down the local thrift store and just get a nice looking $25 cd player with digital outputs.
    PhxJohn and Bingo Bongo like this.
  3. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Would you play your CDs if you had a CD player?

    This was my dilemma many years ago when my CDs were just collecting dust. Finally sold them all off, and just rip CDs now, then sell them.

    I have a Blu ray player, but I rarely even use that for Blu ray's these days, let alone CDs.
    Manimal likes this.
  4. I haven't had a CD player at home for over a decade.
    I buy CDs to rip them, scan the artwork if there's no decent stuff to be found on the 'net, and stick 'em in a box for safekeeping.

    I never did enjoy hunting for the misplaced disc, and wasted far too much time doing it.
    Not Insane likes this.
  5. Slack

    Slack Forum Resident

    CDs tend to sound better on a dedicated CD player rather than a transport /DAC combination .
    Buy a second hand Sony CDP715 CD player for about not much and you will be amazed at how much better it sounds than streaming or computer files.
  6. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    A very high end CD transport and DAC that is dedicated to CD IMO will beat computer audio - but the prices now are so high that it probably doesn't make much sense. CD always had an advantage of convenience over LP in that you didn't have to flip sides - or worry over wear etc.

    Computer audio allows you to store tons of music and you will play your one hit wonder CDs more often. It is less likely you will play a CD just to listen to that one song. But when ripped you will.

    You could buy a Cambridge Audio CXC that I own which retails for $350 - it is a dedicate transport that has a CD only laser and plays at the correct RPM. Or the similarly priced Audiolab 6000 CD Transport. These are about as budget as it gets. The fact that these two outfits are still making dedicated CD Transports tells you that at least some audiophiles, of which I am one, find value in playing back CD.
  7. Gaslight

    Gaslight Kokomo or My Ding-a-Ling : Shoulda been a poll

    Northeast USA
    I have a standalone on my main system.

    But if it broke, I'm honestly not sure if I'd bother with a replacement at this point. Only thing I really need a CD player for is for ripping CD's to FLAC, and I have a number of drives for that purpose at the moment. Even as those systems get retired I'll likely keep around at least two drives for that purpose (as we all know, new PC's aren't necessarily coming with CD drives anymore).

    Haven't noticed that and I have done tests within my own system. Assuming I'm using a similar chain, I can't tell a difference between them. And that's also assuming the transport for the FLAC delivery isn't deficient in some way ie. using a crappy headphone out jack.
    MGW and SeeDeeFirth like this.
  8. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Would you play the CDs if you bought a player?

    I have a Linn Unidisk which in it's time was a good CD (SACD and DVD-A) player. Since I've been ripping CDs, I only really use the Unidisk for playing 5.1.

    As well as racks full of CDs, I've got boxes full of them where I've opened them to simply rip. Having heard FLAC files played back trough a Linn Klimax DSM through a very good active system on a few occasions, ultimately I personally have no need to ever listen to music played via a CD player again.

    In my 15 years of audio retail, the most unreliable product was the CD player.....

    None of this means that there aren't very good CD players available.
    cjc, Gaslight and SeeDeeFirth like this.
  9. Prea

    Prea Active Member

    I listen to CD's, SACD's, DVD-A's, and LP's at home. I travel for work so I listen to a lot of Tidal and I used to have Spotify premium for years. My airplane gear includes high end headphones and a AQ dragonfly special DAC to bypass my inferior Iphone DAC. I can say with certainty for me that a regular old CD has better sound quality and I much prefer physical media across the board. There is weird timing nuances that I hear from music files that are not a big deal usually but are unmistakable. I also personally get enjoyment from the tactical experience particularly running my TT but also with playing CD's.
    ggjjr, CX2000 and Big Blue like this.
  10. cjc

    cjc Forum Resident

    The used CD players I often see at thrift stores have "issues". I listen to vinyl about 80-90% but do enjoy a stand alone compact disc player . My Teac is several years old and hasn't shown any signs of failure.....yet. Last week I ordered a Yamaha CD-S300BL Natural Sound CD Player for another system.
  11. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Thrift stores in Belgium have a warranty for electrical goods. It's one month, plenty of time to find out if it has issues. Bought one 2 months ago, an old philips, almost 30 years old. Doesn't miss a beat. I have another b&o, +30 years old, still use it every day. Don't understand all the 'issues' with cd players, never had any problems. Gave away a 30 year old Kenwood, worked perfectly....
    MGW likes this.
  12. MGW

    MGW Well-Known Member

    Scotland, UK
    I agree.
    I recently (within the last year) bought a Simaudio Moon CD player secondhand from my usual dealer with a decent warranty. Brilliant sounding device and the original rrp was about 4 to 5 times what what I paid.
    The bottom has fallen out of the market for CD players, in the UK at least, so there are some real bargains to be had.
    Macman likes this.
  13. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Union, Kentucky
    For someone who uses CDs only as "installation discs", it does seem like a waste of physical materials. However, I see them as still being "used" for legal, backup, and reference purposes. So the OP should just keep on doing what they do, IMHO.

    As I spin discs, I sometimes wonder why I still do it. :idea:
  14. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    Just move on and just keep buying CDs to rip
    timind, rodentdog and Hab like this.
  15. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Forum Resident

    United States
    Given the obvious advantage of many higher-end standalone DACs over those that come in CD players, I’d reject this assertion right out of the gate.
  16. MacGyver

    MacGyver Forum Resident

    i still "Bother" with both CD AND Compact Cassette; (Yes, i know; Total Luddite)




    Manimal, BrentB, BRODNATION and 18 others like this.
  17. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    This guy certainly disagrees:

    But I've read many claims that there is no audible difference. Technically speaking, there is no reason for why a dedicated player should sound better than a DAC/Transport combo.

    With a dedicated player, one could argue the disc motor can lead to noise induced on the DAC section.

    I have no personal experience with DAC/transport combos but IME, greater separation of individual circuits usually results in better sound, as long as the interconnecting cables are not too long. In the case of a DAC/transport combo, the interconnect is only digital so not much of a concern.
    bever70, Randoms and MGW like this.
  18. MGW

    MGW Well-Known Member

    Scotland, UK
    I confess that I completely misread the earlier post! I read it as 'a CD player or CD/DAC being superior to streaming, all other things being equal', erroneously.
    But ultimately I was really agreeing with the bit about secondhand!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  19. Hab

    Hab Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I tend to keep my recently bought pile nearby for liner notes and lyrics for a while anyway, guess the general consensus is keep doing what I'm doing.

    I do question wether I'd even be arsed putting the CD on if its ripped and ready, seems a bit pointless!!
    Ignominious, timind and Randoms like this.
  20. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Well, if interested it should be very easy to compare your Bluesound and your DAC to the Audiolab transport plus your DAC!

    I initially decided to rip to FLAC because the highly regarded Linn CD12 was clearly outperformed by the then new to the market Linn Klimax DS, so I heard that it was possible for AccurateRip FLACs to outperform CDs.
  21. Ezd

    Ezd Forum Resident

    I also use a Bluesound Node 2 (into a Line Magnetic dac). I rip the cds to flac and do not have the original disc in most instances. Backup, backup, backup... I have played the flac files back to back against the original compact disc and hear a tonal difference which I attribute to the dac in the cd player vs the dac in my flac player. Basically, I can not tell the difference (beyond dac influence) with my older ears and the gear I am using... Younger ears and higher quality components could mean different results.

    One of the fun aspects of this forum is members reside around the globe. I noticed you live in Walsall, I had never heard of it and put Google to use...
  22. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    North West England
    I'm a "belt and braces sort of person," when it comes to technology.

    I keep nothing that's important or confidential on my laptop.

    Everything of any significance is kept on a separate hard drive backed up on memory sticks.

    I've a lot of CDs, but favourite tracks are on the hard drive and the USB sticks.
    I guess it's convenient to transfer whole CDs to a hard drive, but if you get rid of the CDs what do you if what you've stored it on crashes?
    Big Blue likes this.
  23. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    It wouldn't be pointless if playing the CD clearly outperformed the rip!

    I obviously haven't heard all CD players, but I haven't heard one that would make me want to invest in one over a Linn Klimax DSM, or another good sounding digital music player.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    MGW likes this.
  24. Martin Takamine

    Martin Takamine Active Member

    Virginia Beach
    You should continue your current routine since your motivation seems to be having all your music at your finger tip.
    If your NAS is not configured in a mirrored RAID array then you should consider that option.
  25. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I hardly ever use my CD player. I do own an SACD player that gets some use, but, I've archived my CDs to FLAC, so I really play physical CDs anymore. I wouldn't disparage anyone from using one, though. There are some really good CD players that would sonic beat what I've cobbled together to decode the FLAC files I've ripped. And in the used market, I would think there is a fair amount of these legacy devices that are more than reasonably priced. So, if you chose to go down that route, there are valid logical arguments to persists with the old ways. I just can't see myself spending $2000 on a new CD player as it would get limit use. There are conveniences of playing music off a server that I'd rather not lose by returning to using a physical CD player.

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