Sound Quality of red book CDs vs.streaming

I’ve found that the SQ of my red book CDs exceeds that of streaming using the identical recordings for comparison. (I’m not including hi res technology here.)
I would like to stop buying CDs, save money, and just stream, but I really find I enjoy the CDs more because of the better overall sonic performance.
 I stream with Chromecast Audio using  the same DAC (Schiit Gumby) as I play CDs through.
I’m wondering if others have had the same experience

You may be right on about artists and streaming.  But do you really think streaming will not be much more expensive in the future?
Just for the hell of it I looked up the prices of downloads and is it just my imagination or are some downloads just as expensive as buying a CD? Music servers are so expensive and a clocking buffer in a good DAC should eliminate any difference in the sources of an identical stream of bits from the same recording. Is the convenience of a server thousands of dollars worth the trivial inconvenience of taking a CD from a shelf and putting it in a player?

I don't think there's a cost analysis that would show that purchasing CDs is less costly than music streaming services such as Tidal, even if Tidal was to double the price. Tidal gives you real-time access to over 40 million songs directly via most network streamers at home or via smart phone. I understand that you're likely only interested in listening to a fraction of them, but even if you purchase 1 - 2 CDs a month, you're spending more than a Tidal HiFi subscription. 

How many times have you read an equipment review where a reviewer noted a particular song or album that was produced extremely well or had incredible bass reproduction and you didn't have it in your CD collection? Do you really want to spend the time and money to purchase it for $15 - $18 or just cue it up on Tidal as you're reading the review?  I cued up songs this morning via Tidal for a review of the Rockport Atria speakers where the reviewer cited many song titles for bass reproduction.  Doesn't get better than that.


With all due respect, I think you're a bit off topic. This discussion thread isn't about downloading song titles and storing them locally.  It's about is the sonic quality of RedBook CDs better than using a streaming service such as Tidal HiFi. With streaming services you don't typically store any song titles locally, so there's no need for a 'music server' as you refer to. 

I know all about downloading song titles from HDTracks as I've spent far too much money doing so before Tidal HiFi became available. Why do you think download sales on are slumping? It's because many albums they sell are available on Tidal in MQA format for the same $20/month fee, many in 192k/24 bit format (please don't start an MQA debate here). You also don't need the aggravation of downloading and storing the HDTracks titles, which requires a computer which shouldn't be in the signal path of your system for a variety of reasons.  You also need lots of disk storage, usually a SAN device so you can back up your investment of downloaded songs. 

No need for all that extra required time, equipment, power and interconnect cables any more with streaming.

Using a DAC to measure jitter using J-test is insufficient and the wrong way to characterize digital sources.  It's okay for characterizing the jitter added by a DAC, but not for digital sources.  Digital sources are accurately characterized only by DIRECT measurement, not with a AP system.  It must include both the period distribution and the spectrum plots.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio