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?



Like I said, even with the truth shown to some,
they just can’t/won’t see the "forest for the trees".

Maybe it’s a new "Ignorant Division" of "Audio Scientology"

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Hi dear folks. Just thought this video might be helpful to the discussion. It is not a high-end system but my son had this before moving to the Expert. It still produces a terrific sound as you will hear somewhat (recording with iPhone has limitations and the wind was blowing the blinds and curtains so much noise) Headphones will sound best (i love wireless Apple EarPods actually). The CD player, preamp and m/c amp are Parasound Halo really quite old. I am aiming for sound quality along these lines from streaming, and I am now leaning towards the notion that this can only be achieved with a dedicated streamer setup with careful attention on EMI /RFI. The Etheregen product looks very interesting indeed, and many comments indicate it has a positive impact on sound quality. I cannot afford Roon on top of everything else unfortunately although I wish I could.
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