Linn to cease production of CD players in 2010

19 Nov 2009

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Linn has decided to cease production of its range of CD players from the start of 2010. The company will instead focus on digital music systems.

In 2009 sales of Linn's DS range of digital music streamers "dramatically surpassed" those of its CD players, sounding the death knell for the company's CD players.

Linn says 30% of its sales now come from DS devices, a market share which only began around two years ago.

This is in contrast to a 40% year on year decrease in sales of CD-based machines over the same period.

With the company now offering studio master quality downloads the company thinks that digital music and wireless streaming is the future.

Gilad Tiefenbrun, MD of Linn Products Limited, and son of the company's founder, said CD players no longer belonged in the specialist domain.

"Our customers have fast recognised the limitations of CD players and in an age of home networking, people now want better control of their music and the ability to enjoy it any room of their house.

Having spent the past two years significantly developing Linn DS and listening to feedback from our customers, we have every confidence in our decision."

The company will continue to manufacture DVD players but all CD players will cease production, including systems such as the Classik.

However, Linn remains committed to vinyl and turntables, pointing to the recent vinyl renaissance and the continued interest from the dance music world.

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When you hear any of the Linn DS players it is easy to make the mental jump from CD to digital streaming. Until recently I owned a Linn Ikemi but even the entry level Linn sneaky ds was considerably better. As for vinyl, Linn always claimed there was far more imformation hidden away in the grooves of vinyl that the LP12 had yet to uncover. The recent upgrades (Keel, Radikal and Urika) have brought a huge improvement to the LP12 capabilities. Vinyl is a minority format that will probably outlast CD. I suspect like most people who have both vinyl and digital media, they will listen mostly to digital music via ipod's and the like Monday to Friday and treat themselves to listening to Vinyl of a weekend. Interestingly several other manufactuers (Naim, Wadia, AVI) are all heading in the same direction.

Official Linn news published - online Q&A scheduled with Linn MD?

As the story says, the company will continue to make DVD players.

I'm guessing the unidisc players will remain though.

Just because Linn's CD players have ceased to be a proposition for them doesn't mean the format's dead for other companies. Perhaps the high price of Linn's own players and lack of sales success against other manufacturers also played a role here.

I don't think anyone is suggesting the death of the CD. Linn is just thinking you should now be ripping any CDs you buy, whether using a PC, NAS or other device.

And on the quality side of things, it's worth pointing out that Linn themselves offer downloads of digital files of a higher quality than is available on CD.

Over the past couple of years I have bought lots of music from itunes and have had many ipods etc. Just recently my love affair with the cd has been rekindled for sheer music superiority and I have recently invested in a good quality cd/amp just to enjoy cds.The quality of music is streets ahead of what i was enjoying on my ipod/zeppelin. The other angle is the social side.Its a pleasure to go into a store and browse cds/dvds and see and be seen,to actually buy and receive something.Its human nature,you can't fight human nature.

It becomes more and more clear that in the long run, all disc-based media will disappear: CD's, DVD's and even Blu Ray. Streaming video and audio are just the future. Not that I personally can overcome the idea with some nostalgic feelings, I still remember buying my first Booker T Long Playing. The often brilliant artwork of LP's, already squeezed to the lot less impressive  CD-box format. But like millions of people on this planet, I also love the easyness and mobility of my tiny iPod. Most of them don't even know that beyond AAC-compression, in its' full lossless codec mode - how it is able to deliver a quality that surpasses most mainstream CD players when connected to a decent DAC. See also the upcoming possibilities of DLNA and media-servers in general. The success of YouTube. The zillions of music and video's GB's that are downloaded everyday. A new age has arrived. Linn won't be the last to quit this scene.

Yes, notice they still produce LP players, funny that.