How much longer will CDs be made?

I "need" to justify spending $5000-$7000 for an outstanding CD player that will work well with my Spectral/MIT system.
My wife would prefer I buy a new flat panel HI DEF TV and Blu-Ray for movies and have money left over.
She says the SonyXA9000ES I use is perfectly fine for music.
She feels downloading HD music is imminent and figures I won't listen to my CDs when I hear the increased quality of Hi Def music downloads. She's comparing the improvement to Blu Ray movies over DVDs.
Personally, with the DVD-A & SACD demise (which I find sad)
and the exponential growth of lo-fi players I no longer know what to think.
Will CDs continue to be made for at least the next 5 years?
All comments welcome.
how many cds do you own, and how many cds do you intend to buy during the next couple of years ?

it is impossible to predict when the last cd will be produced. there have been other threads dealing with this subject.

i would want to own a decent player when listening to my collection. i am looking into an amr 77, which is pricey.
only you can justify a large expense.
I think your question would be better debated by those who do not have a substantial collection of CD's, but if you're like most audiophiles you may have hundreds of CD's. They are not going to go bad or degrade in sound quality if properly taken care of; any equipment you buy will always have the software. The only question would be if CD playback gear will be supported in the future. I don't see why they wouldn't for the very fact that CD's are practically in everyone's home.

Or look at it this way - 20 years ago when CD's came out and promised great sound 4ever, there was the question of whether LP's would be around in 2008.
You have a smart and wise wife, listen to her.

Put your money into HT for her enjoyment and the rest into analog.
I mean I agree that putting anything near 1000 into CD, SACD, or DVD-A playback at this point is really a lost cause, and 5000 or 7000 is REALLY a terrible investment... You can get excellent if not 9 out of 10 Redbook sound these days from very low priced players and Universal DVD players.. Save until the full on lossless hard drive takes over and feeds a great quality dac.

I mean even putting 3000 or something into a DAC is a WAY better investment at this point, then you can at least use it with any means of source or transport in the future, and believe me when I say future, because it will not be necessary to have CD at all to a point, you don't need them now...

Even a computer these days is rarely coming with optical drives anymore, everything is on memory sticks, and drives that hold everything, or direct download for less money same exact digital information and transfer.
Why do you feel you need to spend that much?, look into used Esoteric model 60 in either audio only of video DVD or even an Ayre that is also sold both ways and you will have soem coin left over. These are just examples and both make slightly older even cheaper models.
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Why not get a new DAC instead. Your Sony is perfectly fine as a CD transport. You will need a nice DAC to playback downloaded music anyway. That should be a good enough justification.
06-01-08: Glory
You have a smart and wise wife, listen to her.

Put your money into HT for her enjoyment and the rest into analog.

Well said Gary, I agree 100%.

Digital evolves too quickly to make big $$$ investments in gear anymore (IMHO). Your amp/preamp are the heart of your system, coupled to good speakers with wire, you will be surprised at how much less $$$ you really need to spend.

If you are a Mac user, I can recommend the RME Fireface 400 digital AD/DA unit which when set to use the Firewire interface as it's power supply, it is the same as a battery power supply on a laptop. No AC noise, so you are quite far ahead of the CDP race right there. Not to mention it is capable of 192hHz conversion rates both AD and DA. This has been a tremendous tool both in vinyl playback using PureVinyl and digital audio playback. Digital is now computer centric rather than component centric with media to feed.

Now the PureVinyl playback is very interesting. For $250 for the software, you basically use the RME directly fed by your cartridge. Your digital workstation effectively becomes your RIAA analog preamp. With numerous filters to choose from (based on record label).

Start of with a basic turntable and begin the real fun. $$$ is no indicator of good sound in the vinyl arena. You will truly enjoy your system working with analog like Gary mentions above. Women are smarter than you think. :)
The Compact Disc will be around for may may more years. They will become a specialty items just like vinyl has become. You may pay $30.00 a disc but then again what are we paying for new vinyl these days. SACD and DVD-A will more than likely get harder to find but if someone wants to buy it there will be a seller. The internet has resurrected vinyl and it will keep the Compact Disc alive for a very long time. FWIW I think video will go disc-less real fast. Quality will go down too speed up digital wireless transfer.
If you like gagets, quality and consider your front end the start of where the good sound starts, and you have cash to spare, do it!! High end CD players are forms of art ie AMR, Nagra, Ancient Audio Prime CDP!! A media storage system just doesn't have any appeal even if in the future it could meet the quality of some CDP's. I don't think you would see the hard core vinyl guys give up the TT for a media server. Its the same for high end CD for me anyway. (I just wish I could afford one:)
The quality of the music embedded in what even many may consider inferior Redbook format recordings can be astonishing.

However, even if the entire audiophile community thought likewise it still may not be enough of a demand to prevent a shift into other media forms. But I'd speculate another 4 or 5 years before a serious downturn in production.

I placed my final orders with Amazon and CDJapan this weekend.

Too bad it's over.

I hear vinyl is making a resurgence.

Do you really think they get it, that digital is dead and over?

Somewhere I read, "having eyes to see they see not and having ears to hear they hear not".
CD is not done yet, just as vinyl wasn't done in 1982. There are still audible improvements being made to this format every day.
Think Blu-Ray audio, the best is yet to come. Sony I understand will be coming out with a blu-ray player, for video and all the CD formats. So, go Oppo for now. Also, hold to the wife, she is on to something.
The point here is CDS will still be a means of software delivery.. But how will you play them back? People will start converting them more and more toward a small hard drive and put the discs away, wasting too much money on any optical drive at this point is a risk..

This is NOT even remotely close to VINYL going away or not, this is EXACTLY like a TAPE deck going away, where can you purchase Cassettes??? It has to do with conveinence software and reliabilty out of a disc that is easily stored and replaced by the same digital means vs. carrying around a Disc.

Vinyl has had about what 4 times the life on this planet than CD? And for good reason, its still going to require a Needle and table to play, you can't just load it on a Drive and get the same experience or sound, thats been the point the whole time, As for digital who cares if its transported back to your ears off a Chip or a Disc?? Nobody if it sounds as good and is even more accessable and libraried.

Yes you can buy CD for some years to come, but don't think you can buy them as much locally is the point.. Tower records fell, best buy will have mostly only newer titles or ones that are always in demand. Maybe even that will go away further, and some will say screw it, Now I have to order all my cd's anyway, why not download it and have it now, no shipping, same sound, Digital pictures etc... Of course the websites have some work to do to get us the un-compressed files in ultimate availability, but I have a feeling that will happen, its like the IPOD nobody would have believed it 4 years ago, and you think it will stop there?

Nothing wrong with CD so don't get me wrong, but the real point is I would not invest heavily in a Optical disc drive, it seems insane to concern yourself with owning a Teac NEO drive clamp, or anything in these price ranges unless you have a ton of cash and it makes no difference.
I happen to have hundreds classical & jazz CDs-and still buying the wonderful, economical box sets now available; but, the concern is "will I or anyone else with a decent playback system listen to them when the "Hi Res" reproduction becomes available?".
I have been OK with DVDs and line doublers--but having just looked at a High Def sports game in a Sony showroom on a superior large Sony flat panel TV I see a "very" significant" improvement.
I'm sure if I had that screen at home versus the previous technology there would be no question what I would use.
If there is a similar (mindbogling to me) improvement in stereo sound I'm just not sure I would ever listen to my old discs? What do you think considering our present CD sound versus a Blu Ray type improvement?
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I'm noticing the demise of cd already. I have years worth of cds on various website wishlists, recently I've noticed many of these cds are not available anymore. Most are somewhat obscure bands so I would expect some cut-outs, but this trend has accelerated recently.
You comment about a good DAC sounds sensible to me.
Perhaps it can be driven by my old Toshiba SD9200 in which case the Sony can be sold to contribute to the DAC.
What do I need to spend on a DAC to surpass the CD sound from the Sony?
I don't watch many movies or care to invest in a an HT set-up. What does this question have to do with HT anyway?

CD is not dead and many will be enjoying CD's for 10- 20 years. Some of the posts here really shock me?

No need to spend $7000 as one can find $2000 players that sound as good or better. Go ahead and spend $1800 on a TRL Modified Sony DVP NS900v player. I have and I have not listened to a better player at any price

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Posted by Glory

"Do you really think they get it, that digital is dead and over?"

Digital may be dead for you mate but i'm buying four CD's a week and it is very much alive in my house!
I think the point is being missed by a few on this thread, Digital is not dead at all.. So I am not sure who said that in this thread, As a matter of fact this thread is quite the opposite, Its advancing quite rapidly, it is, was, and will be the continuing standard in the industry with ZERO doubt.. That is the Exact reason to stay away from huge investment into an optical / transport playback device¬Ö

CD's are still a good investment of the software itself because you will need to get the data from somewhere, but a Hi priced Optical drive will be pointless to play it back in real time, because you will copy your disc over once to your new Toy like a new easy and perfectly good sounding file retrieval system, and feed a dac without the mechanical transport needed anymore¬Ö This is where I think some guys are in denial or going to be really pissed one day when they are out buying CD's thinking "Damn, Now I go home and fire up the 7000 dollar transport, and knowingly I see all these new devices for about 1000 bucks I could put all my albums on feeding my dac and it sounds as good, at least as good, and is more conveinent, and I could still have my discs and throw them in the closet."

Again buy all the CD's you want, no problem, no loss, you will pay the artists or the companies providing you the info one way or the other and plastic discs to get this info into your home is again perfectly fine.. But I would not invest in a high priced optical reader of any sort, hell most of these machines will have a very good optical drive to transfer your data off the disc internally right there to your file system, and will not sound any better using a esoteric transport, I guarantee that day is coming and faster than most want or will admit too
CD's just plain sound better then downloaded music right now. I will buy CD's until that changes at a cost less then my CD player - $1800.

Tiger, you have a very good point-but!
Sony could actually enhance Blu-Ray sales(ok, not by much) by making it a state of the art Hi Res 2 channel audio player as well as the video star it is. The additional cost would be minimal and it would make the player the greatest all-rounder in the world-surpassing SACD quality for example.
Sony entertainment could benefit hugely by making all artist production at a significantly higher level.
Sony could also revolutionize the recording studios and Blu-Ray CD music and video industries with their new higher quality format.
Come to think of it- this idea is a no brainer--but--will Sony do something this eminently sensible?
Anyone from SONY listening in?
(I also think that while people are excited abouy the enhanced movie enjoyment from Blu Ray this is the ideal time to add further excitement with truly HI RES AUDIO.)
Sony Blu Ray audio is already being used, and is just as you say, Neil young just did a deal to do all his stuff on blu ray hi res 2 channel audio already. It exists, I am shocked this is not well known already. It was only a few weeks ago, but it is happening so don't worry sony will not miss the boat on this one as you guys seem to fear.

Neil Young to Release Archive on Blu-ray

Posted May 6, 2008 03:37 PM by Josh

Blu-ray Movies At a Sun Microsystems conference held today in San Francisco, rock-legend Neil Young announced that he will be releasing his highly anticipated (and continuously delayed) archive project on Blu-ray. The first 10-disc set will chronicle 1963-1972, presumably one disc for each year. In addition to including high definition audio recording of all his songs (including previously unreleased works), the discs will include videos, handwritten manuscripts, and other memorabilia.

Young selected Blu-ray as the medium to release his archive, not only because of its huge storage capacity, but also for its ability to be updated via BD-Java and BD-Live. He expects that as more material becomes available, it will be provided to fans via a web interface for download.

He commented, "Previous technology required unacceptable quality compromises. I am glad we waited and got it right".

The first set is expected to be released this fall under the Reprise/Warner Brothers Records brand.

Source: | Permalink
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Tvad, Thanks for the update.
I did not know that Blu Ray players actually played a Hi-Res format for AUDIO.
If you are right-that the Blu Ray provides Hi Res audio-like full 24/96 or 24/192- it puts a whole new angle on things for me.
I will check into it further but I don't remember any posts here on Audiogon raving about Blu-Ray sound.
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Excellent explanation you steered us to but IMO still leaves the situation clear as mud.
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Yes, maybe a good bar would make the subject a bit more palatable!
Basically, the powers that be want to find a new way to get our money but can't agree on just how to do it. I don't think improved picture or sound quality is really the issue but rather a potential effect of the same old s**t in a brand new bottle. The picture (no pun intended) seems to be murkier than it's ever been. How often has there been this many options on the table?
One irony I see in all this is that content quality seems to be going down while media quality seems to be on the rise. Soon we'll be able to see and hear things that aren't worth seeing and hearing but in ultimate resolution. Now that's what I call progress!8^)
Early adapters beware!!!
I think people will always want the physical, tangible object to hold. There's something about putting on a disk of your favorite artist (digital or vinyl) and flipping through the booklet or lyrics. It helps create that emotional bond with music so many of us love.

Will that format continue to be a round object that spins and streams music? Maybe, maybe not. But if I had $5,000 to $7,000 to spend on a source, I'd definitely spend it on more than a CD player that I would want to replace in two or three years.
The only CD's I 've played the last two years were into my mac mini to rip them to lossless files - I'd be surprised if I used a CD player to listen to music again... I've got my mac mini hooked up thru a 42" plasma and with Itunes I can play whatever I want instantly and random shuffle music if I dont feel like choosing -
I favor your wife. The big box retailers are devoting less and less space for them--a sure sign of death. Many are turning shelve space to DVD and computer games.

I would fully explore DAC and downloadable music or look at integrated computer gaming environments like the Sony Playstation 1 or 3 where Sony is investing hundreds of millions in technology R & D (computer gaming will hit 35 billion in sales). For $40, you get an audiophile grade CD player with PS1 and a great Blu Ray player with SP3.
Vinyl, up until around 1960 was High Fedility Mono format, not stereo. Stereo Vinyl recordings became popular during the 60's and there heyday lasted until the late 80's. Maybe 20 years may be a magic number.
I was a CD listener until I re-heard vinyl on my sound system. I have not listened to a CD since. The definition, clarity, details, accuracy on a decent pressing sounds better to my ears than any CD player can reproduce.

On top of that, I was talking to an audio equipment technician who said that in his experiments, a ripped CD in wav format played through a dac will sound better than through a CD with a transport because the hard drive as a transport has fewer vibrations.
Its better to run a server vs a trasport.You get alot less jitter that way.I was thinking of buying a audio note dac awhile back.The more i looked read and learned i decided to stay with my vinyl rig.
Manufacturer's are just f ing us around with different formats.Dipping into our wallets every 10 yrs or so to rebuy our loved recordings again and again.They will only be able to come close to what vinyl already offers as far as sound quality.There not going to truly release the hi rez masters to you.They have to save that for the next go round.And the next and the next etc etc.