HDD vs CD show down
Fri, Aug 1 2008, 9:26PM
I've made some doubtless controversal comments regarding HDD audio in the past eg see quote
PJPro:Wake up people. CD is on it's last legs. We can argue the toss through countless threads but it won't change the inevitable. MP3 is not going to last either....it's a product of slow internet speeds and limited storage.
Whether the masses understand or appreciate the difference between lossy and lossless is irrelevant. Devices and online stores will migrate to lossless eventually as storage and download speeds increase. Why? As a marketing strategy (think razors - how many blades do they have now?).
The audiophile fraternity will also move on after they've made a fuss. Some people just don't like change. However, with the introduction of dedicated audiophile devices the shift is inevitable.
Think HDD (ideally solid state) storage, network enabled, downloaded bit perfect files direct from studio, remote handsets (a la Squeezebox Duet) or TV connectivity coupled with all the things you currently find in CDPs or an external DAC....hell, why wouldn't you want that? In fact, the PS3 isn't far off my ideal specification it seems (especially if you use a USB memory stick for storage Note: I haven't actually tried this. Perhaps I should).
The only thing necessary to get the ball rolling is for a device to come out with Cyrus or Arcam on the front (it seems). Naim made a good stab.....but the weak point I suspect is still the CD transport and ripping software. Cyrus have wasted a heap of R&D money IMO. Should have been a little braver and lead the Hifi industry into the new frontier from the front. In fact, I would be absolutely amazed if the major players aren't already ploughing a bit of money in this unavoidable future.
Oh and by the way. The Ashley bashing is getting a bit wearing. I don't think he is the tireless self promoter that some accuse him of. He's got a lot of interesting thing to say and generates a lot of entertaining debate on the forum.
Why not have a showdown in the mag? The new Cyrus CDP against a PC/Mac, EAC ripped .flac file and a decent DAC. Might even provide an opportunity to compare DACs.....Harmony, Stello (or Russ Andrews derivative of the Stellos), etc. It has to be a DAC from this price bracket to have a chance of taking on the Cyrus.
What about it? The most heated debates on this forum (power leads apart) seem to focus on HDD audio.......and the mag does state its pioneering credentials in the first few pages of every addition edition.
Might be able to combine the showdown by using a pair of Ashley's active speakers!