Opinion on High End Streaming Quality vs Compact Discs

Hello all! I currently have a Naim Uniti Atom feeding my SGCD via RCAs as there’s no digital out of the Atom. I am also using an Oppo103 to play CDs and an I2S card out for SACD discs. My SACDs sound amazing and the CDs sound great as well. My Atom comes in last when comparing them all. Obviously the Atom’s goal is CD quality but I would love for a streamer like Lumin or Innuos to get to that level of quality I’m getting from my CDs out of the Oppo using the SGCD. Has anyone who has upgraded to a Lumin, innuos etc. been able to reach or exceed the quality of a basic CD transport?

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The quality of the CD or SACD transport makes a huge difference in sound. I use to use an Oppo 95, then an Oppo 205 for transport, but it took a DMP and now a PST to show me how far in performance a SACD transport can go. No streamer I tried has surpassed the SQ of the DMP or PST using the USB inputs of the DS, including an Aurender N10 and a Esoteric N-03T as a streamer. Only using a USB to I2S converter with ultra expensive cables and LPS can I surpass the SQ of the DMP or PST.

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Still hoping those with streamers or bridges can share their thoughts with me.

With my Gryphon Ethos, I can either play a Redbook CD in it, or stream up to 24.192 (maybe more) through my Grimm MU1 server/streamer to its DAC. When I listen to the Grimm it sounds so good I couldn’t really ask for more. Faultless, glorious sound whether streaming Qobuz, Tidal, or local files stored on the SSD inside the Grimm. It betters the Pink Faun Server/Streamer, the Signature Optical Rendu, the Euphony Server/Streamer in either Roon mode or Stylus mode. And everything before that.

But the Ethos spinning 16.44 through the Ethos DAC is really, really something. I ask myself time and time again how is this even possible? How are they pulling this sound out of that disc? And more importantly, I think how happy I am that I didn’t put my 4000+ CD collection in the trash.

Now CD’s are as thrilling to listen to as Vinyl.

My only fear is my soon to arrive Apple 2015 MacBook Pro SSD with AudioNirvana might be another wonderful sound source via USB cable to the Ethos DAC. Up until a few weeks ago I would of laughed at anyone who would suggest it. But I have been listening to one a lot with the MBL Reference gear and the mighty Extremes at Kyomi Audio. It had no shortcomings other than my music collection wasn’t on it. It had a lot of excellent music on it however. I thought it bettered the stunning MBL 1621A which I fear, but do not know if it betters the Ethos. I am going to guess that it does not.

But an Apple Mac for Al. That’s just karma making me look a fool.
That’s my job.

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Appreciate the feedback but damn that’s way out of my league at the moment. It’s definitely something to aspire to!

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I think what’s missing here is the difference in the experience price aside.

With CD’s you are in some ways confined to your library and your willingness to read and somehow find a way to learn more about the music you know and the music you don’t know so you can acquire more physical media.

With streaming, depending on the service and how you may have integrated the streaming, into Roon perhaps, you have an unprecedented opportunity to explore what you already know and discover so much more new music than you ever could by staying confined to physical media.

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Discovery may well be the greatest advantage of being digital. I explore new stuff every session. Hard to do that with other media. I won’t even try and tackle the fidelity aspect but I am hearing some great stuff. That’s what counts. Hope everyone else is having a blast as well.

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@Dr_Jekyll , Probably not alone in saying a few of us are waiting for The AirLens bridge ($2k) to facilitate more streaming sessions in the future, that said the Grimm Mu1 supposedly does a lot of things well, punching way above it’s weight class. Here is the Grimm in concert with Maya Fridman. cheers. Forgive me if this concert has been posted elsewhere. thanks

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If you are thinking about Roon, this seems like a good deal. I don’t know the seller, but I do know the price is good.

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Recently I replaced Bridge2 with a Euphony Summus 2 sever and the SQ from streaming has improved a lot. But it is still not as good as PST playing CDs. I use an Orbi satellite connecting to a SoTM Cat7 Isolator, then goes into the server so the SQ is quite good. But I noticed the high/bass still rolled off more than CDs, and the sound stage is not as holographic either.

When I downloaded the purchased files into the internal or external SSD, the music sounded better and close to CD level, but PST is still better.

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If my main system had a source that didn’t sound as good as another, I would never listen to it. I’d rather put all funds towards making the main source, and in this case, my only source, CD’s, sound as good as possible. As for one of the advantages of streaming, being introduced to new music, I do so through my desktop computer, apps on my phone, and XM radio.

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Well, the good news is that you have a rig that you are happy with. From my perspective, that’s all that matters.

My rig has been softly playing for an hour of warm up, it’s now time to TURN It UP!!!

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My Esoteric streamer is much superior to my PST disc player right now, but I just listened to some vinyl and as good as the Esoteric is, it’s still taking a back seat to my turntable. After putting the SR Purple fuse in the P20, my analog has reach a new level on how much closer to how full and dense an instrument sounds like in real life. I guess the Purple fuse is really breaking in nicely.

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I have to agree with everyone on the experience and discovery which is one of the main reasons I’m looking for the right streaming experience. I do enjoy finding new music and in my case covers and live versions of my favorite tracks on streaming but I also really enjoy those “wow” times when I listen to a perfectly mastered CD or SACD.

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I would just like to say, don’t write off the silver discs. Each step of the way up I have enjoyed them. These days, well golly! Spend two bucks on the lottery each week.

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Oh I have a very healthy collection of SACDs and redbooks that I still enjoy spinning in the old fashioned way of “set it and forget it” with a glass or 3 of bourbon….

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I know Srajan’s writing style isn’t to everyone’s taste but this long review (c. 2018) of Jay’s Audio cd transport directly addresses your questions with comparisons and evaluations of both options.

https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/jaysaudio/7/

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Thanks for the link!

Granted, my system is pretty modest by most standards here, but I have to say I’ve been supremely happy with the sound quality I’m getting from my Aurender. And that’s just the N100H, from the shallow end of their gene pool. It’s easily as good as or better than the older players and transports I no longer have or use (Rega Planet, NuPrime CDT8-Pro, Marantz SA8005). I give the nod, though, to my just-sold Marantz SACD 30n and my PST.

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If you enjoy it that’s all that matters!

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