Having been asked to write a short blurb about the death of the disk for a local magazine, I got to thinking about the situation and it occurred to me that for the first time, if my CD player died, I wouldn’t replace it. That’s saying something seeing as I’ve been playing CDs since the days of MASH (not the TV series).
As I said in the review of the PrimaLuna Prologue Classic CD player: “Still if you’re enough of an anachronism to want a four thousand buck CD player, this one should be on your short list”. The PrimaLuna is an excellent CD player, as is my Marantz SA8260 but who’d buy a CD player these days, especially at the higher price points? Put the files on a hard drive and play them where you like, when you like on whatever device you like. Also the doors are then open to higher res downloads that are well ahead of CD in terms of potential sound quality.
If the laser on the Marantz went to the great audio component graveyard in the sky, I’d probably just buy a good USB DAC to start with, plug a MacBook or MacMini onto the end of it and maybe look into a dedicated streaming audio solution in the future. When the hardcore are selling their expensive CD players and buying streamers (talking about you Neil), you know that the writing is on the wall.
This is the death of the CD player, not of the CD (at least in the short term). I’d still buy CDs but would rip them to an external NAS drive, along with the rest of the collection and then consign the lot to the storage locker. The rest of the music can come from downloads if the quality is high enough.
In any event, since the Well Tempered Labs Simplex turntable hit my rack, I havent so much as looked at the Marantz. The DACs probably think that they’re in the twilight zone given that they usually see zeros and ones at least five times a week. The black twelve inch disk is going to outlive the little silver one. How ironic.