Linn Abandons CD Players


What does everybody think?

On November 19, manufacturer Linn Products held a press conference in London to announce that they are ceasing the production of CD players.

They have maintained their focus on server based system controllers. With the improved data streaming and the ever changing format of digital technology, doesn't this sound like once again Ivor Tiefenbrun is leading the way when the common wisdom is not quite there yet?

Remember back to the late seventies, Ivor was there doing demos when many, many an audiophile was of the belief that the turntable had little or nothing to do with the sonic quality.

Do you feel we're their (yet)? Or that the rest of the industry (aside from our Scottish friends) is seeing this as a paradigm shift, dropping the red book CD?

Happy Listening!
128x128r_f_sayles
CD packaging was a disaster for the consumer from the beginning and has only gotten slightly better over the years. Too small, hard to remove seals when new, jewel boxes crack and break, etc. I will not miss CD packaging for the most part. 33 1/3 vinyl is the medium that got the packaging most right.

Whatever physical mediums survive or come about, I hope they decide to just package them in larger 331/3 like album covers for those willing to pay a premium for packaging. That is my hope.

The problem for vendors like Linn regarding players is that it is becoming almost impossible to justify the expense of high end CD players when music ripped to a hard drive and played back via server, controller, and DAC provides all the sonic benefits that most anybody could require.
When a company that has produced a CD player that mattered in the last two to three years decides to give up CD players then that will be news. Linn hasn't had anything that was worthing caring about CD wise since the CD12 10 years ago. This is simply an announcement that confirms what we already knew, Linn can no longer produce a reference CD player.
to all of the skeptics: do yourself a favor and audition a HD-based system. you can keep your CDs (and fondle them all you like), but those same CDs, when properly downloaded to a HD (using software that pulls all the digits off without any errors), will sound better played through a good USB DAC (and the hi-rez recordings you'll be able to play will sound WAY better). HD systems have the best of both worlds: extreme convenience and great sound - and it won't take audiophiles very long to figure this out.
I agree I would rather have a tangeble product in my hands. I am sure downloads will be better in resolution, but then you run a risk of hard drive failure. I guess that you can have a back up, but I would rather go to my shelf and pick out an LP or CD and play it. As far as Linn abandoning the CD players, my thought is that Ivor is pushing his new DAC and digital storage product. My local dealer has told me that Ivor is adament that this is the future and it sounds as if he has bet the farm on this new product. As stubborn as Ivor is, I would assume that he once again is trying to guide the market rather than satisfy it. I am sure some CD players will be rare, but I doubt they will ever go away. Didn't we hear about 30 yrs ago that the LP was dead? Seems like it has a stronger heartbeat now than it did then. I guess that maybe the 8 track is dead and the VHS and Cassette is on artificial resparation, but they are slow to die. And I am getting slower to adapt as I get older. Maybe because I already have vinyl and cd's and just don't want to change. But....
I pretty much always rip a CD to hard disk for playback now rather than pop it into the CD player.

It is still beneficial to have CD hardcopies of material even if ripped to disk. A disk restore from backup is faster in event of a disaster, but restore from CD is always a possibility, albeit slower.

Music Servers may still have a way to go from an ease of use perspective though. Its still easier to just pop a CD in to a player, but the sound quality and ease of access to material a server provides (once ripped there) is the best option today IMHO.