CD's/SACDs vs Server and Streamer

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#41
I think perhaps many spend too much money and time chasing new types of audio playback sources. Especially people without unlimited resources.

Perhaps the best approach is buying the best playback device one can afford, sticking with it, and spending your money improving the rest of your system.
That is exactly what I did. I have always stuck with Redbook CD, and have built my system around getting the best sound quality from it. I am glad that I have followed that route. If I would have spread my money into other sources, like a server for 'hi rez' digital (as if CD were not extremely high resolution...) or vinyl, I would have the stellar sound quality that I have now from *none* of all the sources.

As just an example, I would have not have had the money to buy my new Octave HP 700 preamp, which turned out to become an essential backbone for the sound quality of the system.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#42
So Al, what are you going to do if you became aware of a treasure trove of go to albums became available, stuff you wouldnt hesitate to buy on cd, but is only available streamed? Maybe 500 titles. Possibly rising further.

How are you going to look at investing in streaming?
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#43
So Al, what are you going to do if you became aware of a treasure trove of go to albums became available, stuff you wouldnt hesitate to buy on cd, but is only available streamed? Maybe 500 titles. Possibly rising further.

How are you going to look at investing in streaming?
Hasn't happened yet. Also, I don't buy that much music, I have probably under a 1000 CDs (many of which I haven't heard in 20 years). So 500 titles would take me decades.

In any case, once the time comes where it's necessary, I'll stream. But again, that time hasn't come yet, and thus far I don't see it on the immediate horizon. Certainly not for the classical and jazz repertoire, including avant-garde, that I am mostly interested in.
 

dctom

Active Member
Jan 28, 2015
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#44
I couldn't agree more w the principle of picking the source you most value, and putting most resources into it. So, if you're into Golden Age classical, jazz or rock, you could buy that dream tt or cdp, and dive headlong into building that collection, w maybe a cheap alternative source for the odd disc you can't find in yr primary source.

I pretty much expect to form most of my classical collection on vinyl, w some more recent avant garde on cd.
I have no real feel for streaming, would rather have pride of ownership of a physical library.

But I also have deep genre interests for stuff which is more and more only available streamed, and thus here is the dilemma, just how far to concentrate/spend on in effect a third source. I guess if I at least knew what my immersion into this side of things was going to amount to, I'd know how far to delve.
When you get a good sounding streaming set up you won't look back Marc.
 

Bodhi

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Apr 20, 2014
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#45
I still enjoy buying audiophile and non-audiophile cd's & spinning them on my Vitus SCD-025Mk2. I like owning the media, reading the liner notes, viewing the artwork & interacting with my cd player. There are also a wide variety of very good sounding RBCD's such as Ultra HDCD, UHQCD, XRCD24, SHM Platinum, DXD, K2HD etc.

I'm not really fussed whether servers like the SGM Evo are on par with, or a bit better than my cd player at this point. In fact, I plan to buy many more cd's in future & double down on cd's by upgrading to a two box SACD player at some stage. Though once my collection starts to get out of control, i'll likely add a server & start the onerous task of ripping my library; thankfully no time soon though :).
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#46
When you get a good sounding streaming set up you won't look back Marc.
Dave, streaming will be most useful for me on instant access to "if you liked that, you'll like this". And deep genre searches. It's never gonna be a replacement for lp buying, and indeed I aim to continue buying cds. Hell, even my BluRay movie buying is accelerating, despite Netflix etc.

I'm banking on there being 250-500 prog/fusion/electronica albums I'm gonna find and love, and be n/a on physical media.

And after hearing Shostakovich from The Proms, streaming will help me pick and choose as I refine my classical lp searches.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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#47
I still enjoy buying audiophile and non-audiophile cd's & spinning them on my Vitus SCD-025Mk2. I like owning the media, reading the liner notes, viewing the artwork & interacting with my cd player. There are also a wide variety of very good sounding RBCD's such as Ultra HDCD, UHQCD, XRCD24, SHM Platinum, DXD, K2HD etc.

I'm not really concerned about whether servers like the SGM Evo are on par with, or a bit better than my cd player at this point. In fact, I plan to buy many more cd's in future & plan to double down on cd's by upgrading to a two box SACD player at some stage. Though once my collection starts to get out of control, i'll likely add a server & start the onerous task of ripping my library; thankfully no time soon though :).
Yes I also enjoy my CD/SACD discs.
Good sacds definitely sound better and IME the two box DCS sacd combos are a good buy, but even better with one of their word clocks. A good used buy with the requisite due diligence.
 

Bodhi

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Apr 20, 2014
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Melbourne, Australia
#48
Yes I also enjoy my CD/SACD discs.
Good sacds definitely sound better and IME the two box DCS sacd combos are a good buy, but even better with one of their word clocks. A good used buy with the requisite due diligence.
Some members of this forum own some very nice spinners, incl: LL21 who owns the 4 box Zanden stack which has the lovely TDA-1541A double crown DAC-IC.
 
Oct 12, 2013
1,766
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Essex UK
#49
Some members of this forum own some very nice spinners, incl: LL21 who owns the 4 box Zanden stack which has the lovely TDA-1541A double crown DAC-IC.
Yes I agree,
It's just that I think that sacds bring that extra quality to the party, a more analogue sound, that IMHO really makes it worthwhile to have the sacd capability for silver disc playing,
 

Bodhi

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Apr 20, 2014
890
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#50
Yes I agree,
It's just that I think that sacds bring that extra quality to the party, a more analogue sound, that IMHO really makes it worthwhile to have the sacd capability for silver disc playing,
I'll take that on faith as I haven't really listened to that many SACD's myself. Though I can say from experience my Vitus spinner sounds analogue-like, and is RBCD-only. The APL Hifi DSD-MR dac is even more so, but that is a tube dac..and a lot more expensive!
 
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Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#51
Yes I agree,
It's just that I think that sacds bring that extra quality to the party, a more analogue sound, that IMHO really makes it worthwhile to have the sacd capability for silver disc playing,
May I ask, how do you describe an "analogue sound"?
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#52
May I ask, how do you describe an "analogue sound"?
One that does not require an anal (dial)ogue with those who can't hear it bettering digital sound..
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#53
One that does not require an anal (dial)ogue with those who can't hear it bettering digital sound..
Thank you, very informative. In the meantime, I am waiting for Barry's answer, whose opinion on this I will look forward to more than yours.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#54
Thank you, very informative. In the meantime, I am waiting for Barry's answer, whose opinion on this I will look forward to more than yours.
C'mon, your question was equally troll.

 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#55
C'mon, your question was equally troll.
I am actually really interested what people mean by those kinds of things. So I would still appreciate if Barry would answer the question.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Essex UK
#56
Thanks Al
An analogue sound to me is a more natural and realistic sound, more nuance and body, less etched, warmer, less harsh and better decay.
A few days ago I played the Eleanor McAvoy SACD Yola and the sound was just a total pleasure as are the Abcko recordings of the Rolling Stones. In the classical canon my sacds include the Esoteric recording of Dvorak's New World Symphony with Istvan Kertesz and Pentatone's Julia Fischer recording of Bach's Sonatas for violin and piano.
To my ears they embody the character of the sound I describe above.
I am not knocking the Redbook sound and have many such recordings, or Redbook CD players of which your Vitus is an outstanding example. But the SACD medium to my ears brings that extra something to the party which I value.
I hope that is helpful.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#57
Some members of this forum own some very nice spinners, incl: LL21 who owns the 4 box Zanden stack which has the lovely TDA-1541A double crown DAC-IC.
Thank you. To be fair, a truly venerable member here Audiocrack is also an owner of the Zanden 4-box digital...and for Zanden, he is a supremely discerning audiophile in that upper echelon/stratosphere whose retained ownership of it after all these years really speak volumes.
 
Likes: Bodhi

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,582
376
83
Greater Boston
#58
Thanks Al
An analogue sound to me is a more natural and realistic sound, more nuance and body, less etched, warmer, less harsh and better decay.
A few days ago I played the Eleanor McAvoy SACD Yola and the sound was just a total pleasure as are the Abcko recordings of the Rolling Stones. In the classical canon my sacds include the Esoteric recording of Dvorak's New World Symphony with Istvan Kertesz and Pentatone's Julia Fischer recording of Bach's Sonatas for violin and piano.
To my ears they embody the character of the sound I describe above.
I am not knocking the Redbook sound and have many such recordings, or Redbook CD players of which your Vitus is an outstanding example. But the SACD medium to my ears brings that extra something to the party which I value.
I hope that is helpful.
Thank you, Barry. I associate the attributes that you list also with the maturation of Redbook CD sound, yet not all current CD playback is up to the task either. For example, on violin sound my Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC distinguished itself the most from the Denafrips Terminator DAC that I had for audition. The Yggdrasil can extract from the best CDs with solo violin a wooden, rosiny, natural sound, whereas the Terminator sounded somewhat synthetic.

As for transients without etch I have discovered that not just the digital source, but the entire subsequent chain are crucial. Only now, with my recent acquisition of the superb Octave HP 700 preamp, I can hear just how nuanced the portrayal of transients by my Redbook CD digital is. Some remnants of coarseness have given way to truly astonishing refinement, as the preamp is not corrupting the signal and instead gets out of the way by faithfully transmitting it. You can hear the difference immediately on string quartets or with trumpet playing, from soft to loud. There is a natural slight roundness and subtle nuance to some of the transients that had been too abrupt before. Yet when transients should be sharp, they remain so. This is good, since the last thing I want is a 'forgiving' sound that is rounder and more polite than the real thing for no good reason.
 
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Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
890
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#59
Thank you. To be fair, a truly venerable member here Audiocrack is also an owner of the Zanden 4-box digital...and for Zanden, he is a supremely discerning audiophile in that upper echelon/stratosphere whose retained ownership of it after all these years really speak volumes.
Yeah so i've heard! He doesn't have a signature & doesn't look like he's posted a system thread. Has he posted this room anywhere such as A'gon?
 
Oct 12, 2013
1,766
56
48
Essex UK
#60
Thank you, Barry. I associate the attributes that you list also with the maturation of Redbook CD sound, yet not all current CD playback is up to the task either. For example, on violin sound my Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC distinguished itself the most from the Denafrips Terminator DAC that I had for audition. The Yggdrasil can extract from the best CDs with solo violin a wooden, rosiny, natural sound, whereas the Terminator sounded somewhat synthetic.

As for transients without etch I have discovered that not just the digital source, but the entire subsequent chain are crucial. Only now, with my recent acquisition of the superb Octave HP 700 preamp, I can hear just how nuanced the portrayal of transients by my Redbook CD digital is. Some remnants of coarseness have given way to truly astonishing refinement, as the preamp is not corrupting the signal and instead gets out of the way by faithfully transmitting it. You can hear the difference immediately on string quartets or with trumpet playing, from soft to loud. There is a natural slight roundness and subtle nuance to some of the transients that had been too abrupt before. Yet when transients should be sharp, they remain so. This is good, since the last thing I want is a 'forgiving' sound that is rounder and more polite than the real thing for no good reason.
Thank you Al for such a thoughtful and well considered post. Your system has obviously benefitted from a lot of care and thought and I am grateful to you for sharing your experiences with us.
There was nothing in what you said that I disagree with, but pardon me if I don't pursue them in this thread as that would take us off its topic.
My basic point is that if you are going to have a cd player in your system I can't see why you would confine yourself to cd only and not an sacd capable player. The sacd sound is better and sacd discs are readily available with many new recordings available in sacd.
 

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