CD Quality Versus Streaming Quality

I realize this will be a contentious subject, and far be it from me to challenge any of the many expert opinions on this forum, but if I may offer my feedback vis-a-vis what I am hearing, and gain some knowledge in the process.

i will begin saying that my digital front end setup is not state of the art, but i have had the good fortune to listen to a number of really high-end systems. I guess the number one deficit in my digital front end is a streamer server, and no question about it that will improve the sound.

My CD player is a universal player; Pioneer BDP-09fd. It uses Wolfson DACs. It has been modified to a degree. I have bought and sold other players, but kept this one, because it has a beautiful sound that serves the music well.

Recently, i ventured over to my son’s place and we hooked up my player (he doesn’t have one and rely’s on streaming only) We compared tracks / albums of CD quality and master quality streamed on Tidal with ‘redbook’ CDs I have. For example, some Lee Ritenaur CDs and some Indian classical and the wonderful Mozart and Chopin.
His system is highly resolving.

we were both very surprised to find the CDs played on the player to be the better sound. And not just by a little. The sound was clearly superior, with higher resolution and definition, spatial ques, much better and clearer imaging. Very surprising indeed. Shouldn’t there be no difference? This would suggest the streaming service is throttling the bandwidth or compressing the signal?

i am most interested to hear others’ observations, and suggestions as to why this might be? I do love the convenience aspect of streaming, but it IS expensive for a chap like me of fairly modest means. The Tidal HiFi topline service is $30 per month I believe, something the good lady is not too thrilled about. God forbid I should suggest Roon on top of that I may likely get my walking papers. I jest, but only partially LoL. My point is, if I pay this sort of money, isn’t it fair to expect sound to equal the digital stream from the CD player and silver disc?



You’ve got it. (thank tweak1 for that link)
Wouldn’t be great to know the provenance what you get, then all you have to worry about, if they stream it to you compressed to save size (money), but that’s a easy size check, if you have an uncompressed CD to compare.Cheers George

Also the Dynamic Range Data Base ( ) was attacked by some unscrupulous people deleting many entries, that didn't like what it’s trying to do for audiophiles, "guide them to the better releases" or expose for all to see the compression in our music!
You take your pick.

Cheers George
Records vs CD’s vs Streaming, which is best.  Depending on you equipment, all could sound very good or not so good.  At one time in my life I had McIntosh Tube amplifiers and Pre-Amps, 7 Wilson Speakers, expensive turntable and CD player.  The sound was exceptional (Streaming hadn’t been invented yet). All gone now. Now I have a NAD Streamer, a NAD Master Series Amp and Paradigm Persona Speakers. My old system was over $100,000 and the new system $20,000.  I had 1000 records, 1400 Cd’s and a large room for storage.  Now they are all gone.  Big fan of streaming. The sound to me is as good or almost as good as any other format. Certainly good enough for me and I like really good sound.  I will never go back, never.  
Records vs CD’s vs Streaming, which is best. Depending on you equipment, all could sound very good or not so good.

Sorry David, but not if your streaming/downloading the compressed streamed Quobuz release of this.
(Please take time to look at it carefully)
"Red is bad=compressed. Green is good= "uncompressed".
It’s same album!! very different re-issue dates 32 years difference!!!!

This is the "Bruce Springsteen" "Born to Run"

That Quobuz streams/downloads that you pay for.
It’s the worst compressed version of all 28 re-issues/originals.

HD tracks, same as Quobuz, also shockingly compressed

And here is the original 1982 uncompressed CD. (which would you prefer?)

Cheers George
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