What is the source component you use most in your home system?

As we transition from one format to another, some components hang on as our main source of music. What is the source component you use most in your home system?

What is the source component you use most in your home system?
CD player
23% (25 votes)
20% (21 votes)
Media server
13% (14 votes)
DVD-Audio or SACD player
14% (15 votes)
22% (24 votes)
5% (5 votes)
3% (3 votes)
Total votes: 107

Francois Caron's picture

The computer is not necessarily my favorite source component, but it definitely is the most frequently used component in my home.

Joe S.'s picture

I use my computer. www.lala.com changed my life for finding music

tommy's picture

Wadia 170 iPod dock

Rene Bouwmeester's picture

Apple TV to AVI ADM9.1

Louis P.'s picture

My Linn Sondek rules for quality listening time. But with three teenagers, I need relative peace and quiet to get that time, so the CD player accounts for more hours overall.

Ted Clamstruck's picture

The computer is my only source. The S/PDIF output of its sound card is connected to an external DAC. It also serves as my "virtual tuner" for Internet radio listening. I previously had a Squeezebox 2, but its display died two months out of warranty. After trying several potential solutions, I ended up building a silent PC for my living room. This alternative is probably only viable if you're single, though.

fabio's picture

iMac 24 + Benchmark DAC1 via TosLink.

Tim K's picture

I'd like to say it's a 50/50 split between my Sonos/DAC combo and turntable, but I have about five times as many ripped CDs as vinyl.

Paul S.'s picture

I only have one source in my system now and it is a CD player.

tom collins's picture

LP for serious listening, CD when reading.

Pete's picture

Main System = vinyl. Secondary systems = Computer with Wavelength USBDACs.

scotto's picture

We have two systems, both with turntables. Not counting the car players or the burner, we haven't owned a dedicated CD player in over a decade.

Jim Dandy's picture

As much as I'd like to think the analog LP is superior to the digital CD, I'm afraid I just can't. While the CD is far removed from being able to provide sound that is truly faithful to the original, vinyl is even further removed. Back in the 1980s when the CD first hit the consumer market, I was perhaps one of the first to revert back to the LP. But by the time the 1990s hit, so many improvements were made with digital recording techniques and CD playback equipment, it was clear to me that the future belonged to the digital domain. I think that is evident when one seeks out new LPs, not re-issues, they are few and far between. And about those LP re-issues, their sound is limited by the technology used for the original master tapes.I recently listened to an LP re-issue of an early 1960s recording. All of the instruments were in the left channel and the entire vocal group was in the right channel. Nothing in between. It was terrible. I hit the mono switch on my preamp to bring things into proper balance, as they were intended to be heard by the producer. And about the sound quality, it was thick and lifeless. Shall we discuss mis-tracking, inner groove distortions, off center pressings, skating distortions, ticks & pops, warp & rumble, record wear... how is this better than today's CD?

Larry's picture

Denon DVD-2910 universal disc player

DG's picture

Though it's pretty close between it and the Linn CD player, the Benz Ref 3 Copper on the Wilson-Benesch Full Circle gets the most time in play.

David C's picture

My turntable definitely gets the most use, but I use my CD player a moderate amount as well.

Jim M's picture

Music server through a great DAC. Followed by my CD player.

al earz's picture

As much as I love vinyl, you can't replace the convenience of the CD player.

Paul Luscusk's picture

Love My Rega P5 and Extant.Also use my Rega Planet CD

DFS's picture

Actually, a 300 disc CD changer used with a high-quality DAC. Sort of a paleolithic music server without having to rip a couple thousand CDs.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I use my CD player probably 90% of the time. I just don't buy into the idea that LPs sound better—sorry! And I have about 300 LPs collected since the 1960s, all in very good condition.

gamal iskander's picture

i love digital discs as a source.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

My Rotel 1080 AM/FM tuner. I live alone, my house is small enough that I don't have to crank the stereo to hear it everywhere. And I do a lot more than listen seriously. Using my tuner moves music, news, sports and everything into my life when I don't have time to just listen.

Woody Battle's picture

Classe CDP-202. This player almost makes me forget that CDs have limitations.

KJ's picture

Foobar2000 + Lynx AES-16 into my DAC of choice. And the rest of the time a simple M-Audio Transit into DAC for 2-channel movies, general Windows usage, etc. This will change as I purchase more Blu-Ray/SACD music titles, but it will take years before I build a library large enough to seriously distract me from my PC!

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

A needle in the grooves beats a laser in the pits every time. By the way, what's all the other stuff on this list, anyway? I had to look twice to make sure I was on the Stereophile website.

Joe Hartmann's picture

I own over 2000 LPs and 500 CDs. Each year I go through my entire collection once. I always find nuggets I had fogotten. That means I spent at least 25% more time on LPs and that leads to reenforcement of that usage. Sound further reenforces that listening usage. Yes, for me LPs sound better.

LT's picture

Currently have a Mac Mini with a PS Audio DAC. New TT will arrive this week. Will be interesting to see which one wins the battle.

Dismord's picture

Until five months ago, 90% of my listening was with a VPI HRX turntable. JMW 12.5 arm, Garrat "Optim" FGS ruby cantilevered cartridge, etc . However, since buying a Meridian 808.2 CD player I'm listening more and more to standard Red Book CDs. In fact, I've even lost interest in exploring so called higher resolution digital formats. If I didn't have a large collection of LPs that have never been released on CD I suspect CD would no be my main source. I'd find it difficult to give up the art work and notes that come with LPs, though, especially with classical ones. Call me old fashioned if you want. It only took me 30 odd years to accept CD.

Zman's picture

Previously music server, but recently turntable.