Did you notice....

That even great quality streamer streaming great hi-rez digital format cannot outperform cheap CD-player playing red-book CD or it's only my 'illusion'?


My theory is that you can approach streaming in two ways… low end plus fiddling with your incoming signal: the complicated way. Or buy a high quality streamer. I can’t prove it.. I don’t have enough of a sample. But each time I have upgraded my streamer, it has had much higher quality sound and MUCH less dependence on my network (my streamer is much more reliable listening to music than my iPad is for reading. I can’t refresh my page from the New York Times… but my high resolution music continues without interruption.

My current system sounds as good as my analog, but is running off a $59 wall wart repeater. A red book CD sounds exactly like a streamed Red Book CD file. I’m thinking that improving my network connection will not make a red book CD file sound better than my Red Book CD played locally with my excellent CD player / DAC.


So. My conclusion is not to buy a budget streamer and fiddle with your network… just buy a great streamer.

Anyway my conclusion. I have used iPods, iPads, MACs, PCs running different software, low cost streamers, mid-priced streamers, high end streamers, and etherRegens.

Ha, ha.  I have tried four low end Marantz CD players (as transports) in my high end system.   As CD players, they were warm and slow, lacking in resolution and openness.  For $600-$1000, they were okay but old Denon 1500 and Kyocera 310 kills them.   I went with separate high end DAC/transport with a Synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria digital cable and now my digital competes with my analog (VPI TNT VI/moded SME IV/Zesto Allesso SUT/Dynavector 20X2 L).  Again, streaming is great to find new music but is abysmal for listening to 40% of my collection of 78s/LPs/CDs, most will never be available in another format (especially ethnic music).  Then there is the problem of availability one day and gone the next (at least download good stuff to keep on an HD server or thumbdrive) and the 15% which is actually available in high rez, not compressed, poorly remastered or just CD quality (as if that were not sufficient).  

@twoleftears thanks for your post. Perhaps, I don't understand your comment. Is there something 'wrong' as 'not correct' in his speech? Please elaborate, many thanks.

BDW, I do like Darko's comment about tolerance towards the end of this video. Especially when he compares the audiophile snobs vs the inverted snobs.



What a waste of time, “Audiophiles are Snobs”.  Life is to short to waste time listening to idiots like this. Why would he waste his time talking about this… and why would anyone listen to it?

"Audiophiles are Snobs"  features an idiot!  He states, with no equivocation,  that $5,000 and $10,000 speakers sound equally good and a $500 and $5,000 integrated amp sound equally good.  He is either deaf or a liar or both!   There is a site filled with posters like him called Audio Science Review.  If a reasonable person posts, they immediately tear him down, using selected words and/or sentences as 100% proof that the audiophile is dumb and stupid with his money and that the high end audio equipment/cable/tweak sellers are criminals who commit fraud on the public.  

The first question you have to ask is "Am I comparing the same masters?"  Most often, if you have an older CD, then NO, you are hearing a newer master from the streaming service, and it's usually not better than what is encoded onto your CD.  

I have compared some CDs to the album on Tidal, and found them to be identical... but MANY times, the streamed version is louder and more compressed, and therefore worse sounding.  Sometimes the difference is subtle, sometimes dramatic, but I have heard a few sound nearly identical. So that tells me the streamer CAN indeed match the sound of my CD player (an OPPO 105). 

I completely agree. Mastering must be the same if the same results from streamers and CDs are to be similar or even the same. Perhaps a streamer can reproduce sound/music equivalent to a CD playback. I am unfamiliar with streamers capabilities generally (except at audio shows). Why streamers often use inferior remastered/altered recordings which are compressed and louder is the question. Why not just use a good CD as the streamer basis (or is it a financial reason)?

That even great quality streamer streaming great hi-rez digital format cannot outperform cheap CD-player playing red-book CD or it's only my 'illusion'?


Depends how much effort you put into streaming. Not necessarily big $'s needed.

My streaming setup sounds better than any of the cheap CD players I've owned - and it doesn't use any Uber priced streamer. My setup is computer/ethernet based (Roon/Qobuz/HQPlayer) with the affordable UltraRendu streaming to my DAC. Sounds superb to me and I have access to an huge music library. 

I was a dedicated vinylphile, but these are golden times for the music lover IMO.