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?


The following info is over a decade old. Just an example of how many times the record labels have Remastered (Messed with) a particular recording. God only know how many MORE times since then when Streaming became the "norm".  Which version(s) are offered on your service??

Bruce Springsteen Born To Run masterings and their DR Values.
                              . EAC levels : 60.5, 75.3, 52.2, etc.
  1. All have 35DP-21 in the matrix and should have pre-emphasis.
    -Original Japanese issue with catalog number 35DP 21.
    -Japan-for-U.S. pressing with catalog number CK 33795, Matrix 35DP-21 41A2
    -Japan-for-Europe pressing with catalog number CDCBS 80959.

    2. EAC levels: 73.4, 89.4, 69.8, etc.
    Made in USA by Digital Audio Corp Matrix: DIDP 50021 21A3

    3. EAC levels: 93.5, 99.9, 86.4, etc.
    Japan 32DP
    Japan 25DP
    Made in Switzerland Matrix 33 795 1124 263 01
    Made in USA Matrix 1A CK33795 15B
    Made in USA Matrix DIDP 050021 4
    Made in USA Matrix DIDP 050021 -05
    Made in USA by Digital Audio Corp Matrix: DIDP 50021 21B1
    Made in USA by Digital Audio Corp Matrix: DIDP 50021 21B10

    4. EAC levels: 93.2, 97.2, 97.2, etc.
    -Mastersound Gold CK 52859
    -COL 511301 2 [Made in Austria, Red Columbia label on CD itself. Matrix: S0148041610-0101 25 or -0101 31]
    -SRCS 7907 Mini LP CD -Made in Japan (1997)

    5. EAC levels: 98.4, 98.8, 97.8, etc.
    CK 94175 from the 30th Anniversary boxset remaster

    6. EAC levels: 99.9, 99.9, 99.9, etc.
    MHCP 723 Mini LP CD - Made in Japan (2005)

As to the gentlemen that said his streaming service is as good as his buddies K-01XD. Well if they are exactly the same that proves my point. The K-01XD is not the TOTL Esoteric model....its not even the best All in one Box Model. That would be the Grandioso which is MUCH better and should be for the extra 10K. Then you have the 2 Box Esoteric Model which is better than that. Does your buddy have the MASTER CLOCK to go with his K-01XD?? If not that also brings his player to another level. So if your streamer is exactly the same as his BASE MODEL K-01XD your streamer doesnt beat the TOTL Esoteric Spinners....nor will it beat the MSB/DCS which are on a completely different level. Many prefer the Laid back presentation of the LUXMAN D-10X to the Esoteric K-01XD so there's another one for you.
CDs for me.  I wouldn't know from streaming if it bit me in the butt.  But even on my modest system, the best sound I ever had was digitally remastered LPs.  But even though I've given away most of my LPs and 100s of CDs, I still have the collector's fetish (as I do with books).  I like to see the physical objects, and if I 'own' it, I don't really have to 'read' or 'listen to' it.
Thanks for the Link George. That is indeed DISTURBING.  Especially the QOBUZ one. Has almost the worst score possible and losses over 1/3 of the Values of the CD's from 1985/86. Ignore science people at your own peril.
If you are part of the Apple ecosystem give the new Apple Music a try.  Full CD quality streaming at no extra cost.  You might be surprised.  
Streaming will eventually be better. However, unless you have examples of wide dynamic range LPs recorded using analog equipment, most vinyl disks recorded using digital methods are not significantly better then are hi quality CD formats (SACD, UHQ-MQA, HDCD, K2CD, etc).

As may have been mentioned, since I am too lazy to read the entire thread, it depends so much on the master and whether you have information on the provenance. 
The RIAA 2020 year end report demonstrates streaming music is dominant in the marketplace, but I think that 3 caveats should be mentioned:
(1) During the year(s) of Covid-19 (SARs-Cov2) pandemics, of course streaming will have gained more traction as a medium;
(2) For those of you who read physical books, I think a good warning here is that the quality and availability of good books (or CDs) and the experience of shopping for them in brick and mortar stores has been seriously degraded through a reliance on Amazon;
(3) Marketing folks become confused - once they see a trend, they often believe that everyone will switch to the new trend. Even if 83% of consumers run to streaming, the older and wealthier consumers are sticking to more expensive and higher quality audio and playback systems. The latter may represent 15% of the users, but they may have 90% of the available spending money. Comparisons to the high end automobile marketplace are relevant here.
Only way streaming will be better is if the Record Companies find replacements for all the Master Recordings that have either been lost, burned up in the fire already mentioned OR start buying up the digital transfers they started doing back in the early 1980's....and then dont compress them to death. (Good luck with that). My guess is that NONE of the above ever happen.  Im certainly not talking about recordings made in the past 20 years which I care nothing about at all.

When the streaming services start offering up all the Quadraphonic, Audio Fidelity, Mobile Fidelity, Analog Productions, DCC, Intervention Records, Rhino and Dutton/Vocalion recordings....and all those to follow...then I might just have to subscribe. Im sure most of these probably arent on any of those services.
I have stopped talking to my brothers and sister about compression, dynamic range, etc. because if I keep it up they will tune it out.  Three of the five of us play an instrument, and four listen to a lot of music.  Yet when I try to explain how remastering has degraded so much music over the years, and how the dynamic range of new releases by many much-loved pop artists has fallen over their careers, they look at me like I'm from Mars.  One brother understands enough to choose FLAC over MP3, but that's it.

The public has chosen convenience over quality without understanding that they were sacrificing anything to do so.  And when they find out, they don't care.  They have moved on.  Mainly to trading gossip on their smartphones, judging from the number of people I see driving while looking down.
It's odd that no one has mentioned SACD's above.  The true test of streaming would be to compare it to SACD on a good SACD player.  I have been through four of them in the last five years--each one a significant improvement.  The current one is a Denon DCD-A110.  For at least ten years Denon has been tweaking its "AL32 Processing" technology to make redbook CDs sound more like analog.  With the DCD-A110, they have practically closed the gap vs. SACD, in my opinion.  But SACD remains the standard of excellence.
The crowd-sourced database at, mentioned above, is a tremendous resource.  It shows, title by title, what has happened to dynamic range over the last 35 years.  I consult it before buying any used CD.

These are all SACD or BLU-RAY companies...which is why I mentioned them. Audio Fidelity, Mobile Fidelity, Analog Productions, DCC, Intervention Records, Rhino and Dutton/Vocalion recordings
About fifteen years ago, a professor did a blind study of the preferences of college students using uncompressed CDs vs. MP3 versions of the same music.  The students overwhelming preferred the MP3 versions.  They had grown accustomed to that particular sound so they preferred it.  

Current dynamic compression is probably liked by the public, particularly if they have to listen in a noisy environment, like in the car, or using earbuds in public places.  Only if there is enough public demand will there be streaming services that will go through the trouble of finding the best, least compressed versions of music to put on their playlist.  
Maximizing streaming sound quality requires optimizing every single link in chain, not a simple undertaking. And then, as others have mentioned, the provenance of recording extremely important. My preference for cd rips or streams is extremely variable.
A CD drive and a CD disc use many techniques to ensure that the data is error free.
Quite so, and read errors from a CD that has been reasonably well cared for are rare. Data encoded on a CD are redundant, and CIRC allows most errors to be perfectly corrected.
... there is in the red book standard that do not allowed there to be ANY un-correctable errors at all. That parameter is called in the industry for "E32". It must be 0 otherwise it is out of specification.What happens when a drive can't correct a error (that is all happening BEFORE entering the DAC) on a scratched/bad CD disc and get E32.It puts out a error and stops reading/playing the disc.
Oh no, that is mistaken if we are talking about audio CDs. Although read errors are rare, they are not inherently fatal for audio purposes, because the CD standard includes interpolation algorithms to mask such errors. (Such masking isn't used on CD-ROMs, which must always be absolutely bit perfect

My layman's understanding is that compression clips the peak volumes so the overall volume can be brought up, resulting in a flatter ("compressed") sound.  It's necessary for music to be heard on earbuds and in noisy environments.  When I look at the way some high-quality artists have lowered their dynamic range over time, I imagine there must have been some interesting discussions between them and the mastering engineers, wherein the latter argued that if you want this to sell, you have to let it be mastered for the devices the customers increasingly use.  Either that, or the artists did not understand the issue.
The recording industry has not made it easy for the customer to figure it out either.  It's a lot of trouble to find out which version of a title is the best-mastered--or a lot of fun if you enjoy the chase.  I overhauled my collection a couple of years ago and ended up with a much-improved group of about 800 CDs and SACDs.  The loudness-wars database is just the starting point.  They don't always have the data you're looking for, and dynamic range is only one consideration.  A search on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums was often required, and often led to hours of reading multiple threads to try and discern some consensus.  Then there's the whole business about trying to identify used CDs, down to reading the letters and numbers faintly stamped on the inner part of the disc.
The issue with the comparisons is that they are rarely apples to apples. Is your CD original issue, 10 years ago, 30 years ago? Was the CD an original transfer? AAD? ADD? Is the streaming service offering you a digital copy of the original? the first remastered reissue, the second the third and so forth? Saying you have a certain chip set in a player doesn’t speak to anything more than that....and certainly not to power supply, cables and many other things that all count. I have and still occasionally use a Sony XA5400ES CD/SACD player. It was a Stereophile A+ recommended component a few years back so it should be pretty competitive today. My streamer is a Cambridge CXN v2 which, along with the Sony’s digital output feeds a Benchmark DAC 3b, also a Stereophile A+ recommended component. I subscribe to both Qobuzz and Tidal.and also play many digital radio stations for content discovery. Some radio stations are inferior to CD, some are not.
Where I have an original issue Jazz CD from 25 or 30, or more years ago it will be more musical and natural sounding than any version either of the streaming services has libraried. This is especially true with early 60’s - 70’s Jazz CD’s, especially noticeable with Mosaic reissues, which are better than anything else in comparable digital playback.,,, at least the 40 or 50 I have are. Too many masters spoil the broth, so to speak.
Properly set up digital streaming, and that starts at the wall, connected via Cat 6 or better Ethernet, and run through a good to great DAC should be every bit the equal and more of a typical CD through a consumer grade or mid-fi type player.

If you have not taken the time to shoot out speaker, interconnect, tubes, power and digital cables on your system, you may not be in position to make a meaningful evaluation of anything else.
I like the library Tidal offers using a streamer.  They have a lot of hi res quality.  I always thought 24 bit is better than 16 bit.

It would cost a fortune to buy CD’s verses Tidal’s library.  It is also nice to select artists and songs while relaxing rather than having to get up to change a CD.  Perhaps the convenience is what is causing people to switch.  I would also be curious to know if you did a blind test if you could hear the difference.
Primephonic shoots itself in the foot by limiting the devices it can stream to.  There's not a lot of point to streaming hi-res to a phone or even a desktop computer.

Im not going to get to tech with my opinion , my current setup consist of a Marantz 6004 CD hook up to an Audio Ilussion M3A, Belles Virtuoso dual mono amp and Vandys 2 SigE. After researching, I recently went streaming with a Bluesound Node 2I. My interconects are Peanut BJ between the CD and AQ Red Rivers between the BS and the power amp. My vinyl setup is a LP12 modestly upgraded with a Lingo 3.
Upon A/B/C comparing, I definitely feel streaming is superior to  my CD setup. I used the standard Quboz which they claim is cd quality. There is a significant upgrade in the DAC and interconnect with the streaming route. Its covenience to explore so many artists is limitless, although not all titles per artists are incuded. As compared to vinyl, records have that sweet SQ and wider sound stage. Streaming and cd has a somehow restraining wall that you don't allow you to enjoy beyond. However, I find streaming so pleasing second best and without having to switch sides every 20 minutes extremely convinient , that Im streaming now 90% of the time. It also save you on buying unheard vinyl that you might not like down the road.
I have not gone the Quboz expensive route yet, but who knows? I wonder if there is a significant and justifiable SQ improvement.
Know I would say to fully enjoy Streaming, a good Dac and interconnects are essential to get the best of it. 
And that's my .02

Streaming will eventually be better.

Umm maybe, but not when there’s millions of $$$ to be saved by the streaming/downloading companies saving on space by using the more compressed and easier for them to obtain later versions.

The only way I see them going to the trouble of finding and paying for the earlier uncompressed versions then streaming/downloading them uncompressed to you also,
so you can check it here that your getting the early uncompressed ones, and for them to be committed audiophiles also.
and like these

This is very possible if this streaming/downloading compression thing grows too big and if the Dynamic Range website has corruptible $$$$ owners, I can see the streaming companies taking them over.
They are apparently a bunch of muso’s that started it, I believe that Springsteen or Neil Young or similar was one of them that funded it

There are people that are attacking it because they don’t like it.
"Someone tried to vandalise the database by deleting about 76k entries. I restored those entries and ..."

Cheers George
If you can tell the difference between 320kbps and 1411kbps (data information rate) then you are a true audiophile.

If anyone can’t hear compression as I outlined with early cd releases vs latest ones, then you are either deaf or not an audiophile and don’t know what your hearing/listening for

Cheers George
“Streaming will eventually be better.”

There is plenty of great sounding content currently available via streaming and downloads. But sadly folks like georgehifi who have invested $$$$ collecting physical media (CD’s or Vinyl) will never accept that! They will continue to cascade info that proves their hidden agenda by conveniently overlooking to post examples of streaming content available without any or minimal compression.

Wikipedia says..

a troll is a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception. This is typically for the troll’s amusement, or to achieve a specific result such as disrupting a rival’s online activities or manipulating a political process.

Like I said
then you are either deaf or not an audiophile and don’t know what your hearing/listening for

All those jazz artists posted up (you hand picked) yes they are nearly all great releases regardless of age, but they demand no compressing of their albums as they are audiophile albums. They don’t want their music squashed at all, they want full dynamic impact and silence during quieter passages!!!!!🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Wikipedia says..

a troll is a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception. This is typically for the troll’s amusement, or to achieve a specific result such as disrupting a rival’s online activities or manipulating a political process.
And if this little dig at the end is directed at me, then I feel very sorry for you.🤷‍♂️
Post removed 
Money has nothing to do with my case anyway.  If I wanted to spend another 20K-30K on a TOTL streamer its no big deal. I rather handpick the best possible recordings available WITHOUT resorting to Vinyl or Reel to Reel which are the best mediums hands down IMO. Dont have the space (or the back) to manage those collections.

Whats the point in me spending 6 figures on a system and then I feed it overcompressed inferior recordings for the most part? I primarily listen to Classic Rock so Im behind the 8 Ball already as far as quality and care put into recordings at their inception (Dire Straits and Alan Parsons notwithstanding).   I have no issues with people that dont want to do the homework or put in the effort to search them out. Maybe their hearing is shot due to age or other factors and they cant notice a difference between different mixes/masterings. More power to them. They can use all the extra cash on other pleasurable pursuits.  I really dont think there is a right way or wrong way. Like everything else its personal choice and whatever works for you is whats best.  I dont get the personal attacks at all on this issue.  People wouldnt be spending $250 each for Black Sabbath Japanese SACD's as an example if they sounded the same as whats being offered by Tidal/Qobuz etc.
44.1Hz on Qobuz sounds as good to me as any of my CD's, and better than some....
I have read a lot of comments that I find mystifying. I have a system with decent resolution- Cary SLP05 and SST Son of Ampzilla II feeding ATC SCM35 speakers. My experience is that high res streaming from either Quboz or Tidal almost always sounds better than my CDs, with many of my early cds sounding wretched. Almost without exception, cds remastered in the late 1990s sound much better (Rudy van Gelder Blue Note recordings, as an example), as do the high res equivalents. Well recorded cds occasionally sound slightly better than streamed equivalents, though I am suspecting that the SPDIF rca inputs on my Yggdrasil sound better than the USB input. And, high res streaming crushes my vinyl (Ariston RD11s, Grace 707, Benz Ace).
@jallan. +1

As a practical matter a well chosen streaming system will equal or outperform a CD system (due to the greater availability of higher resolution files). The difficulty in assembling such a system will become easier in the future. Just as there are differences in implementations and system interactions of it’s components. I suspect the broad range of experiences (each of us with a very limited number of them) leds one to draw different conclusions. I have seriously streamed and been dissatisfied in the output for twenty years or so. Finally I purchased high quality streamer, then traded them until I found the right ones and that difference disappeared.

It is difficult to put together a great sounding CD front end… it is equally difficult to put together a great sounding streaming front end. If you put together both. It is easy to have them sound different. There is no fundamental technology difference between CDs and Streaming (other than the location of storage (leaving out the file versions used) like there is in vinyl playback. So while it is difficult to deal with all the variables in real time transmission of data through the internet. A number of companies have taken it seriously, Aurender for instance, and others. In the future this will be the primary mode of digital content unless there is an apocalypse.

One of the reasons I think this is an important discussion is that it is far more general than this component or that. So, folks reading these kinds of discussions may set their direction for many years. Time and technology moves rapidly… and heading down a dead end is costly in time and money.

Thanks for the Link George. That is indeed DISTURBING. Especially the QOBUZ one.

Bruce Springsteen Born To Run
Earliest CD v Qobuz Stream/Download

Yes here it is for others to compare, I opened up those two Dynamic Range Data Base comparisons to see the dynamic range details. (WOW! big difference)
For those that don’t know.

Red (bad) means highly compressed
Green (good) means uncompressed and original usually from the master.

The first 1982 release CD

And here is the 2014 compressed (squashed) Qobuz one

Cheers George

Yes, if you listen to Classic Rock, then streaming may not be your best choice. Most classic rock recordings I have heard only sound good in my car. Shame.  I don’t listen to classic rock on my home rig and find many great Qobuz recordings with the music I listen to. Sometimes Qobuz sounds better than the same CD I have ripped onto my Innuos Zenith 3 server. Qobuz and streaming have been wonderful for me. I am listening to new music all the time because of it. A dream come true really.
Hi Folks,

i hope you are all enjoying a restful Sunday.

I must apologize because, my son informed me yesterday morning of a setting that effects sound quality from Tidal streaming and that did call into question the validity of the results of the test we performed. Under settings, there is a loudness normalization option, and this impacts dynamic range. Also my son had used his iPad, which has an option to set quality according to available bandwidth, which was also active. We neglected to check these and they had been selected to active during all our listening, without us knowing. We did some listening tests again. This time the differences in quality were not quite so dramatic, but were apparent all the same.
I really need to try the dedicated streamer / server as that may be the answer. The question of EMI / RFI is top of mind too.
Post removed 
I find it amusing that Mr Prentice gives a thumbs up to somebody that doesnt even list what CD Player or DAC is being used for the comparison. As long as somebody agrees with you WHO CARES right?? :)

Given the components offered Im pretty sure that a High End CD Player (Esoteric/MSB/DCS/Luxman/Gryphon etc) isnt being used for the comparison. Probably an OPPO or some other mediocre piece of gear in the chain.
If your gonna do a fair shootout one way or the other by all means use high end products that are at the top of the spectrum for BOTH types.
Mike at Suncoast for example has a VERY diverse group of High End Brands at his disposal. MSB, Esoteric, Aurender, TAIKO, T+A and 40-50 other brands

He will be more than happy to tell you that with his TOTL Gear he prefers CD’s over streaming services. He has mentioned it on several occasions on the Audio Shark Forums. Again just one mans opinion BUT at least he has the best of the best gear on hand to make his call. If he went the other way and preferred streaming I wouldnt question him at all....and maybe that will happen in the future somehow. Just dont see how those services are ever going to be able to offer the best possible recordings given their limitations of being fed whatever the Record labels CURRENTLY have at their disposal.
Grannyring....Completely agree that having all that "unknown" music at your disposal is a Godsend.  I currently use YOUTUBE to discover stuff from the 70's I never heard of (Mostly Progressive Rock from European countries that flew under the radar back in the day).  Not sure how much of that is in Qobuz/Tidal but Yep it sure would save a bundle of cash vs Buying the Scarce CD's that in many cases are only available from Europe/Japan Sellers. The postage itself is a KILLER anymore buying Overseas only CD's.
To the OP , love your “ top of mind comment “ I try to get all the digital stuff including any SMPS on a separate power conditioner with analog front end gear on a different power conditioner…. My DAC has a well constructed Faraday cage as it lives in both worlds. I have it plugged in on the analog side but waterfall a separate power conditioner to it. Extreme ? Maybe… fun fun and musical
the streamer opens up entire worlds previously unknown  to me…
best to you and your son on the adventure 



I just found another interesting fact you can do from the Dynamic Range Data Base site. You can arrange years of date of issue from old to new or new to old

Here is "all" of 273 Springsteen’s albums even re-issues sorted in year from "oldest 1st page" to "youngest 3 page"

Look at what happens to the great dynamic range in the 1st page then deteriorates the more pages you go and the younger the albums get (in re-issues).

Now I really feel sorry for those acquaintances of mine that didn’t save all their original 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s vinyl or cd collections, and why they command big money now on ebay
And realize now why so many audiophile friends drop out of the audio club scene after they went to streaming and downloading after selling all their collections.

Cheers George

Same goes for all Elton John’s "year" released versions, but look what happened in 2019? SHM-CD???
Had to look it up. Some are saying it adds a sheen to the sound??? "false dynamic reading" maybe???
"SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) is a superior quality CD fully compatible with all CD players."

Cheers George

Look at what happens to the great dynamic range in the 1st page then deteriorates the more pages you go and the younger the albums get (in re-issues).
What I have been saying!  Try it with Mark Knopfler, Enya, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Donald Fagen, Sting, Tears for Fears, U2, and Yes.  This short list is drawn from a list of discs that I own and could easily be expanded.  Norah Jones is not included, for instance, because a boxed set of SACD's released in 2012 came with dynamic range between 11 and 14 and allowed me to dispose of some CD's of the same titles that had much poorer DR.

SHM-CD??? Had to look it up. Some are saying it adds a sheen to the sound??? "false dynamic reading" maybe???

SHM-CD is simply a high quality CD, most often made and sold in Japan.  While these releases tend to be mastered a bit bright, that seems to be common with Japanese remasters generally and is unrelated to the technology so far as I know.  I gather that you encountered SHM-CD in connection with Elton John.  The SHM-CD remasters released in 2019 are very highly regarded.  The seven that I own have DR ranging from 12 to 14.
You're exactly right.  I have listened to some serious streaming components and hear the same thing.  Sometimes, in fleeting moments the streamed music can be very good but on a whole it's just so so.  Now a setup that uses a hard drive (NBS) can sound great.  A dealer in town demonstrated for me their setup and it frankly blew my mind.  Their twelve thousand record collection plus master tapes, even original mofi cassettes, not to mention cd's, etc., all sixteen terabytes worth available through an iPad changed my world view about recorded music.  But this is a unique situation; one owner is a recording engineer who uses I don't know, one or two hundred grand worth of Nagra equipment.  These rips are like no other that I ever listened to.  In one two hour listening session I sat on the sofa picking any music that came to mind; jazz, blues, rock, prog rock, classical, even some recordings of mine and well, streaming systems, are not even close.  And one killer example of a rip of many was listening to the Solti Vienna Wagner ring lp collection, ripped from an unopened box set that I somehow ran into.  The idea of not flipping through all those lp's and when directly comparing the rips to the original vinyl, not a whole lot of difference and not enough if any to bother me.  I just wish I had the space for something like that.
If you think streaming sounds bad, you're listening to poor streaming solution. Every single little thing matters in streaming, the network extremely important. All network equipment should have linear power supplies, quality ethernet cable, optical conversion, switches with OXCO clock. USB renderer, high quality usb cable, oxco clock in dac. And of course high quality server powered by high quality lps. Evolution of clocks is major upgrade in streaming.

Steaming sounds every bit as good as 2500 cd rips on Synology NAS powered by high quality lps.

If you think streaming sounds bad, you’re listening to poor streaming solution.

That maybe, but it all starts with the source, "THE MUSIC"

If they (the streaming/download) companies, send you the later re-issues they have, that are big percentage compressed, as shown in the DRDB (Dynamic Range Data Base), then your getting compressed junk.

The streaming companies need to give the album Cat No. with all their streams/downloads, so you can find for yourself on the DRDB if your paying for and listening to compressed rubbish.

Nothing in life in this world your hearing is compressed including live music gigs, why do it to our purchased retail music?????

Cheers George
Agreed George. I find streaming is the same as CDs in that some sound great while others don’t recording to recording. Find both equal in the percentage of good to poor sounding recordings in my experience. Same sonic frustrations with both in my experience. This morning I listened to three new artists (streaming). Two sounded good and one great. Yesterday I listened to a really poor recording. Same with my CD collection of old. I am not noticing more of the poor when streaming. I listen to jazz, folk, acoustic, Americana, female vocal…..not classic rock.

Totally agree on provenance of recording. First of all,I don't listen to a lot of commercial music, there are many contemporary recordings that aren't compressed within an inch of their life. The 2500+ cd rips I have are from 80's through today, and they sound better than playing with any cd transport I owned, the last being a Mark Levinson  No.37 which used Phillips CDM 12 industrial transport mechanism with quality proprietary mounting system . When I say streams sound every bit as good as rips I'm comparing best of both.
Sure, there are a lot of compressed recordings on streaming services, just as there is cd's and vinyl. Quality streaming requires clean network, using generic grade equipment won't do. And I do have quality analog setup with well over 3000 albums from 1950's-today. Streaming can be a quality listening choice, one need not suffer inferior sound quality.

What audiophiles need if they want to stream/download.
                                         Is a "Audiophile Streaming/Download Service"
1: That reveals all the origins/history/cat no’s of anything they sell you. (so you can check if it’s version is compressed yourself)
2: And then guarantee they will "not compress it in any way" when they send it to you, to save themselves a fortune. (and you check the download size)

Cheers George
Well, the advantage of streaming is at least you didn't have to purchase the cd or vinyl only to find poorer sound quality than expected.  Download service providers should provide provenance, entire history. I thought HD Tracks did that, haven't purchased download in a couple years.
Well, the advantage of streaming is at least you didn't have to purchase the cd or vinyl only to find poorer sound quality than expected.
You don't have to purchasing the cd or vinyl either, if you check it on DRDB for compression.
Cheers George
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