Rumors of CD Demise Exagerated? New Hegel

A few years ago ago Hegel issued “The Mohican”, proclaiming the name was chosen because CD was a dying format and that this would be the the last CDP that one would ever have to acquire. They have now issued a new player, of which I read the review in Hi Fi News.  I forgot what they actually named it, but the reviewer waggishly suggested they name it Lazarus, as the format may be arising from the dead.

  If anyone has actually heard the player, I would be interested in their impressions.
  Other manufacturers such as Denon have also released “statement “ players recently.

Otherwise, does anyone think that this is a stay of execution for the format?  


According to RIAA report, 41 million vinyl units were sold compared to 33 million CDs in 2022, highlighting a "remarkable resurgence" of the physical music format. CD sales were up by 4% in 2022 and according to Billboard, 17.5 million CDs have been purchased so far in 2023, which is up 3% from the same time last year.  

Physical media far from dead but Streaming services account for the vast majority of all music revenue in the US—84%. 


I see new formats erasing the old having one thing in common, convenience. The cd had remote control and track skipping. It was also novel with clean playback and tight bass for the masses.

Streaming has unlimited access to new sound/songs, radio and made-for-me playlists. It was novel too.

There seems to be a resurgence when it’s recognized that the previous format can give superior sound at a lower price point and it has become novel in itself. Those who can afford the best don’t really fuel the comeback. It’s the kids.


There will be a market for CDs and LPs as long as at least a few companies continue making them, though it'll never be at the level it was in the past. 41 million LPs is a lot, but still no where remotely close to the nearly 350 million units sold in 1977. .For CDs, the top figure was over 900 million CDs sold each year in 1999 and 2000. And remember the population was much smaller back then. 

Heck, there is still a market for buggy whips and horse saddles, though nowhere near the product volume and number of manufacturers there were in 1890. 

actually lots of good new CD Players have been released recently...Marantz, Rotel, Hegel, Denon, Leak and others,  transports too...


Not sure how relevant quoting sales from 1977 is, when there was no other options for the consumer.  The fact that vinyl and CD sales are growing is a positive sign regardless.

@tony1954 -- I think it's quite relevant to look at where things were in the past and how they've evolved. Today we have streaming as the primary way of listening to music. The music industry now gets 84% of its revenue from streaming. 82 million Americans have paid music subscriptions and they listen an average of 75 minutes a day (per Midia statistics.) 

And, even in 1977, lots of people just listened to music on the radio which provided a constant flow of hits. In fact, FM was still relatively new at that point and gave better sound quality than AM. I think you also had a lot more music stations to choose from in those days versus all of the talk radio, sports stations and like that fill the radio spectrum these days. 

I'm perfectly happy that CDs and LPs are still available and hope they continue to be so for those who prefer those formats. But, it is also unlikely that either format will return to its former dominance even if they continue to grow. 

By a country mile streaming is the way to go , Non  Wifi 

the key is addressing everythjng from the start , I cannot believe anyone still has a separate modem-router that’s horrible , buy a new combo 

like the Motorola 8702 which has docsis 3.1 the older 3.0 not even close the 3.1 has very good wifi stronger signal ,much bigger processor ,and buffer much faster .

the key is ,ifyou are serious about your digital is buy ,most are 12 v around 4 amp .

on a budget buy little green computer add a decent  5amp T fuse A linear power supply is a must to the router .the best outthere bar none for$750 a steal ,and comes with-a excellent DC cable others are charging $150 inside it has excellent build quality and nothing at $1200 is as as good ,which wehave compared abunch against it . Also a very good Ethernet hub for $600 no brainer the SW 8 

thathas a Talema LPS, a OCXO over controlled clock, low noise regulators , and truly cleans things up .i should add a quality fuse at least a Hifi tuning supreme Copper fuse ,and a decent power cord like the Pangea sig MK-2  around $200,excellent value and fine for a router,and Ethernet hub. For sure Donot go cheap onthe Ethernet cables, or USB , then you buy the best dac you can afford.

I have heard-a bunch ,the T+A 200dac is by far the best dac at $7k a great value I am still saving a few more months I know 8 people online and locally that own one .

leaves the Holo May ,and terminator+ 12th with not much trouble ,and they are very respectable dacs. , we have not found anything even 2 x the cost that was this well balanced, a must audition if it’s in your price range ,and for sure deserves a $1k  power cord . If you want reference streaming ,just like with a turntable you have to go all out to get it right.

It’s called the Viking and I’m pretty sure it only does Redbook CD’s,  but no I haven’t listened to it.

All the best.

About 10 years ago I walked into a record store in San Francisco (it may have been Virgin but now gone) and asked why there were no CD's there.  The sales guy told me that CD's were dead and that all music was to be downloaded or streamed.   Since then I have purchased the Oppo 193, 203, 205, a Bryston CD-3, an Ayre 5-x (used) and most recently a Nagra CD payer (used) and a McIntosh MCD 350 SACD/CD player (used).  Jay's Audio, Pro-Ject and other more high end manufacturers  have come out with CD transports. I now by my CD's from Amazon, no problem.  I ain't worried.

....last time I bothered to 'look', 16" transcription tables & discs are Still available to the Real die-hards....and there will always be some kid, somewhere, that will mess about with a 'radio' using a crystal and a wire....

I'm pretty sure that we can all go happily into 'dirt-nap' mode with the reassurance that all formats and all means of accessing them will prevail among some antiquarians that will keep some form of candle burning....

Just Because.... ;)


There is a fundamental difference between CD and vinyl because you can't make a compact disc semiconductor laser in your garage.

The biggest threat to CD is the elimination of optical drives in computers.

Unfortunate, but hopefully there are enough people out there who want to play their discs to provide enough economies of scale for companies like Sanyo to continue to make laser assemblies.


Without getting into the issue of sonics of streaming vs. CD vs. analog, it is interesting to speculate on why different people are attracted to different media. 
  Streaming of course is the clear winner with 85% of the revenue.  Now members here care about sound, but most of the public is more interested in ease of use, portability, etc.  Streaming gained most of its popularity when it generally wasn’t capable of good sound.  It’s only been the last  decade or so when great sounding products emerged as alternative to mp3.  Streaming loses a lot of the accoutrement of physical media, namely album covers and liner notes.

  It’s been observed that most lp sales are to people who don’t have a worthy playback system (check out threads in the analog section).  People spend $40 on lps and play them—if they play them at all- on rigs that cost perhaps twice as much.  The relatively few serious analog users post in places like Agon but are the distinct minority of vocal consumers.  So why do (generally younger generations than the average member here) they buy?  Because of the accoutrements, the way a tone arm looks sinking into a black mass of vinyl, etc.  This generation came of age during the heyday of CD, and vinyl is like getting a classic 1950s automobile.

   I was in my late 20s when CDs started their ascendancy and I thought they were pretty cool.  Having the disc spin, being read by a laser, the dynamic range, longer playing times, lack of surface noise instantly won me over.  The downside was the accoutrement-there was still album covers and liner notes, but they were shrunken in size, and it just wasn’t the same.  I would nostalgically hang out in used lp stores years before I purchased a turntable.

  What about streaming and accoutrement?  Yeah, you can click a link and go to a site, but it’s not fun.  
  And this is why the younger, non audiophile generation has embraced lps, because they crave something that streaming isn’t giving them, and lps accoutrements are cooler than CD.

  Eventually some may realize that the sound of lps on their limited playback systems sucks.  And they  look for better analog replay, but decent analog requires some expense and labor.  Decent CD replay, however, can be had relatively cheaply.

  A lot of CD issues now stress the accoutrement-big boxes with cool repackaging and actual readable books, usually with lots of photos from concerts or studio shots.  People are buying them, if not in numbers like the heyday of CD, at least in enough quantity that the manufacturers realize there is still a market for CD replay 

I still buy phycial media (and very rarely a download), rip to my laptop. Real LISTENING (sit down and listen) always from CD/SACD, but use the laptop to 'stream' when just listening with one ear/background/casual. I have started to re buy vinyl for nostalgic reasons, but really don't use it, just as I sold all my vinyl when I was able to afford my first front loader CD player. I like the convenience of my 'streamer', and CAN see that I will be listening to harddrive stored media exclusively (and replace buying physical CD/SACD with buying the files), but not 'over the air' streaming (for the foreseeable future). 

Years ago I gave away my entire cd collection.... today I'm buying back all my must have cds as I can find.

I think companies are trying to capitalize on speculation that another format is dying, similar to when vinyl died, and you can see what happened there😀

All mediums are equally good in my system, vinyl, CDs and streaming. Variety is the spice of life. I hope none will ever die completely.

I have a large collection of CD's.  Hardly any new cars have a CD player in them.  Bummer for me.  You can have Sirius radio or have a player added on [in the trunk, usually].  Or play jump drives [USB].

There are several high end companies that make CD players and/or CD transports - here's a few Vitus, Metronome, Neodio, Accustic Arts, Aqua, Ayon. There's more.

From my own limited perspective, I see vinyl sales coming primarily from pop artists while CDs are the main physical medium for the classical music I enjoy. My guess is that niche of CD sales will keep on keeping on. Just like classical music itself. 

I have it from many reliable sources, that there are many homes with a nice shelf of new records, but no those old dens lined with hundreds of never read books...

I prefer inserting a cd and listening to the MUSIC of my favorite artists.....Streaming tends to be a "Bounce around" affair with listening to a half song of this and a half song of another artist and 15 seconds of another artist that I just discovered that I don’t like their music.....It’s not enjoyable to me. too much herky jerky. The newest thing is not always the best thing for everybody.

Recorded music has only been around for about 120 years and each of these was the dominant format at one time or another: 78s, LPs & 45s, cassettes, CDs, downloadable digital files, digital streams. Reel to reel tape and Hi8 digital tape were also niche audiophile formats at one time. In the past couple of decades, when downloads of individual songs became available and artists and consumers began moaning, I had to remind them that for pop music "singles," ie 45s, were the dominant format for buying music before LPs rose in popularity. As a teen in the 60s and 70s, one went to the record store to chat up the staff and buy your music one song at a time. My sister and I had to save our allowance to buy "Meet the Beatles," our first LP. The one advantage to being old is recognizing that trends just put on new outfits and emerge again.

“Streaming tends to be a "Bounce around" affair ”
That sounds like a user issue than the medium…lol. I have over 100 playlists in Qobuz that renders hours of nonstop listening. If you don’t like a song, skip and cue to next. For $12.99 a month, I love having access to music library that I can never imagine hoarding on any physical media. 

Lalitk I agree with you. If I don’t have collections of SACDs   Xrcd s, HDCds , and redbook audiophile cd, Streaming will be perfect. I have good vynil selections as well. So Iam happy for what I have,Iam glad streaming is onother options every audiophile can have nowadays.

Streaming tends to be a "Bounce around" affair with listening to a half song of this and a half song of another artist and 15 seconds of another artist

I frequently read this argument against streaming in forums and even in the audiophile magazines. All you have to do when streaming is select an album from your phone or tablet then set your device down, somewhere you can’t see it if necessary, and listen to the entire album.

If you can’t listen to an entire streamed album on your system, you can improve your system so that you can listen to a full album at no greater cost than with any other format.

One factor here is the Pandemic.  The notion is that people were stuck at home, rediscovered their music collection, and this stimulated a demand for better playback equipment.

   Without doing actual market research, I guess the only way to assess this is by personal experience.  In my own little non virtual world I actually do know two couples that did upgrade their music systems, in both cases going from virtually nothing to mid Fi.

What is overlooked is not so much the Annual Gross CD Sales being an indicator.

The Annual Music Sales Survey, shows that purchasing recorded music is still a very big business, which has become huge in relation to 'rented music recordings'.

It is the amount of 'owned CD's' still being used to supply an individual a most acceptable experience of replayed music.

Why would such an individual who is openly expressing an enthusiasm for this type of entertainment not be open to the idea, that a New CDP could quite easily add to the experience that is already much enjoyed.

I feel confident it is these Types who are fuelling the sales of New Devices to replay Hard Medium and not those who is only interested in the availability of New Release material.

As for New Release Material, many performers are turning to Hard Medium merchandise as a means to improve on revenues offered via the Rented Music streaming platforms. Hard Medium sales from a CD or Vinyl LP is much much more valuable to them, and the end user actually own and are not leasing what is purchased.     

Love streaming, but also love my CDs, vinyl albums, and even some old cassettes. The main issue I have with streaming, over buying a CD, is that I find something I really like, but then a few months later, I can't recall the artist's name or the name of the album or track. But I remember loving it at the time. Yeah, Tidal maintains a listing of the albums you have "liked" or favorited, but man, try to go back and find something from months or years ago can be a pain in the ass.  If I buy the CD, I can usually find it in just a few minutes through "muscle memory". 

Streaming seems great for the "kids" who only care to listen to the flavor of the month or week that is popular. Do they care enough to try remembering what they are listening to say a year or two later? I'm not sure. They are more likely to remember what video game they played. 

For $12.99 a month, I love having access to music library that I can never imagine hoarding on any physical media. .....


That's the difference between *you* and *me*..  I spent $12.99 on 1 (one) CD and I discovered magic. You spend $12.99 on a fast forward life. I take it low and slow. Neither is wrong I guess. 🤷🏼‍♂️ But believe me, my physical system beats your stream. ✌️ Not trying to be confrontational. 

To love accessing ones Rented Music and other forms of Home Entertainment has a price that is quite concerning from a sustainability view point.

In not too many years managing data, has created an industry that is consuming Annually 1% of Global Electricity Consumption and 1% of produced Green House Gas emissions.

If one really wants to know the other impacts, there is plenty to learn, if one takes the time to see the full picture of what a substantial Battery Bank is responsible for. Not Forum Talk unfortunately.   



What about the savings environmentally by not having vinyl and polycarbonate discs manufactured and ultimately sitting in landfills?

I listen to all types of music except country. I have 1800 CDs that I ripped to flacs during the pandemic (probably the second or third time I've done this, started with .mp3s way back). I've made a bunch of .m3u playlists with those, and I carry them around with me, everything fits on a 1 TB m.2 SSD in an enclosure. I can listen in my car or in various homes, I have a couple of Bluesound and Eversolo setups. I throw out the jewel boxes and use DJ plastic sleeves for the cover art and disc. That allows storage of a large number of CDs in a small space. I seldom buy new CDs, instead, if I decide to collect all the works of a particular artist (just did this with Joni Mitchell and Beyonce) I know that there are guys on ebay with hundreds of thousands of CD inventory, all for $3-$4 each, so I stock up. (This may not work with more esoteric artists). Don't really care about the physical condition, as long as I can rip them with error correction that's all I need. Probably won't ever listen to the physical disc. 

I also have about 600 LPs, most of the audiophile variety. All my physical media and my good hifi system is in my country home, where I have room for storage and the ability to listen loud if I want. My other residences are in cities, there I have modest systems and just listen to flacs or Tidal and Idagio.

This is the Golden Age of music. The ability to listen to 90% of the world's music without financial risk is truly incredible. I remember when I was a kid back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, you'd read a review of a new album, or hear about something from a friend, or an artist you'd like just released a new album, and you'd trudge down to Sam Goody's, or E.J Korvettes (you can tell I'm a New Yorker) in search of the album, which you maybe could or could not find. Then you'd get home and give a listen and decide you really didn't care much for the album after all. Too bad, it's in your collection unless you can swap or resell it. 

Nowadays you can use streaming services to audition whatever you read about, and only buy what you are truly in love with. Oh, and no more back to Sam Goody's on Monday to exchange the defective LP either. lol.

I use Tidal for popular music and Idagio for classical. I try and keep up with the kids and see what's new or hot. If it sounds like I might like it, I build Tidal playlists of 25 songs each, and listen to each playlist extensively, weeding out the ones I don't like. I get initial recommendations from my daughter and her friends, the NY Times (which really does a good job curating music), the grammy awards, the various 'best songs of 202x' lists put out, etc etc. And believe it or not, the NY Times obituary announcements. Often a well known musician will pass, especially if s/he's from another part of the world, but it turns out I knew nothing about them. I can go on Tidal and check them out. 

I can't imagine not having my physical media as backup, if nothing else, but the thirty bucks a month I pay for two high quality streaming services is barely the cost of a couple of CDs. If a musician's music speaks to me in such depth that I would be heartbroken if they left streaming, I'll buy it to make sure.

It's a blended approach that works well for me. 

There is absolutely no need for many items to end up in a Landfill, it is an 'easy out' for the Human to discard and not maintain or repurpose. As a Species the Human in general is very contented in their endorsing methods that are a speedy route for   the poisoning of the environment that is so critical for sustaining them.

Such an attitude is one that is unique to the Human, especially where it is showing their ability to be extremely easily influenced. When this influencing relates to the Human in pursuit of Pleasure, there is no limits. Without any thought of consequences, a Human will behave in a self serving manner.

The most basic display will be for the Premature Superseding of the usage of a satisfactory functioning product with the latest gizmo. These knee jerk reactions are the Coals on the fire, to create a market for alternatives that really really don't offer anything of an improvement. 

For a very limited number, the Forum becomes the place to Justify why change was vital and such an important pursuit. The Forum also becomes the place where others are exposed to being encouraged to carry out making substantial change as a means to progress in their pursuit of pleasure. 


I stream most of my music out of convenience.  For the most part the medium sounds very nice with hi resolution material. I still have enough CDs to justify owning a good CD player, so I use the Naim CDi that I inherited from my late Dad.

It's a great sounding player that is now about 30 years old.  Since I rarely listen to CDs I liken its use to that of a vintage automobile, which gets well taken of and used sparingly. 

I own a Bespoke Built DAC (my first owned DAC) and a used purchase PWA CDT (my only owned CDP or CDT).

I have built a CD Collection over recent years, of which the majority are used purchases.

I have the option to convert these to Files to be stored and used as a Source Material, but this method as of yet has not got my attention as a Main Source to be used as Parity with the other Sources. 

Prior to Digital I was solely using a Vinyl LP as the Source and have a collection that spans over 40 years.

My Turntable of choice is today 40 Years Old from initial production, and there are other ones owned that extend back to earlier production dates.

The Tonearm of choice is similar in age to the Turntable.

The Cartridge of choice, is 20 years Old from initial production.

All Three Items are treated with designs incorporated from the  modern era using materials that will not have been available and most likely not used on these models at their time of production. 

Not at any time have I felt there is something amiss in the periods of time set aside for recorded music replays.

Not at any time have I felt the need to discard and start over, selecting for use, the most recent made available Source Material or Ancillaries used to replay any type of Source Material. 

I do remain open minded and am regularly experiencing and learning about the latest technologies, none of the experiences to date have been too convincing, and older Technologies are for myself well worth maintaining.     

I begin transfering cd long time ago...

I never kept them after that... I had two big hard drive to protect for the accidental lost of one...One connected the other not connected ...

For sure nuclear explosions with EMF will grill my computers... A micronova too... But being there at my age i will not need music anymore ... 😊

i put all my money in music albums not in audio gear... Then i owned 10,000 albums not few hundreds...

Try to put them in a room with 5 thousand books ... And who can afford books and music with a costly audio system in a dedicated room anyway ? Not me...I choose books and music and created my own dedicated room with a low cost audio system but a very good one...

Against the approving nod of purist turntable collectors, i collected files.... i ripped all my cd losless long ago and all the new one or buy files...

I read on an ereader now with only my core 500 extraordinary paper irreplaceable  books which for most of them are not in pdf file anyway ...I read science and philosophy...

Less is always better, especially if like me you need always more than most... it is a paradoxical teaching for sure... I will let you decipher it... 😊



There is absolutely no need for many items to end up in a Landfill,

@pindac Believe it or not, you are going to die one day. At that point you lose control over what happens to your physical media collection. You may make plans for it to be well cared for by a currently young person, but who knows what life changes that person will experience, possibly making your collection an unacceptable burden rather than an asset. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure that your collection is going to the landfill at some future date. It would be a remarkable achievement if it survived two generations after your passing.

@tomcy6  You are correct, I only can be, whilst drawing breath, as well as develop the values I have come to live by and sustain.

I don't expect anybody to 'Take Up the Mantle', these are limited to my pursuits of entertainment and pleasure. 

My side of the street will be swept, along with the walk thoroughly walked.


Everything in the Audio Industry is greatly exaggerated, media, specifications, measurements, cost and of course performance. 

Haven’t heard the Hegel. But I own a Rega Apollo (being used as a transport) and I feed it into a Border Patrol DAC SE, and I’d say I get maybe 80% of the way to the gorgeous, beautiful, present sound of my analog set up. This puts all manner of content on regular old CDs very much in plays. Goodwill, the local library system, heck even CDs from bandcamp. All sound wonderful. The format is far from dead. I honestly don’t know why people stream. Why give your time and money to some horrible tech bro? Buy music from labels and artists! Use the library! There are millions of CDs out there and they’re more affordable now than vinyl! Wonderful format, and I’m glad I’ve invested. If I ever upgrade, it’ll be Jay’s Audio or Audio Note UK. - Sam in Massachusetts 

@audioman58  I thoroughly disagree concerning the current state of streaming.  Like a radio in most cases, only about 15% of the currently available content is at CD level or above.  That's 85% below and as I've experienced at audio shows, the streaming ruins the showcase of their equipment sounding like pooh.  

There is the other aspect that at least 50% of my 48,500 LPs/CDs/78s will never be available for streaming (certainly not the music under 90 year U.S. copyright "protection."   New generations will have lost the bounty of great performances and recorded music from classical, jazz, pop and ethnic from 1900 to 1995, when pop went bust as a performance genre and became an engineering/computer designed program (not all, but most pop).