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

Chris's picture

I listen to a lot of radio, but your "Table radio" category does not fully cover the extent of my listening experience. The table radio I currently have by my bedside is a Boston Acoustic Receptor Radio, but since childhood I've gone through various shapes and sizes of battery operated portables and plug-in table radios made by the likes of Sanyo , Sony, and others. I've had the venerable KLH Model 8 and Advent 400. My stereo system evolved from a Sony receiver to a Marantz and then a NAD. After getting onto the Linn path, I went from a Rotel tuner (which is now in my son's room system) to a McIntosh MR74. My office systems began with Teac and Yamaha mini cd/receivers and an Advent 300 receiver. Now I have 3 office systems each with tuners as their main sound source- McIntosh MR73, Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, and a funky, but nice sounding analog Akai. I'm soon auditioning a Cambridge Audio Azur 640T and an NAD 402 tuner. Finally, I often have the radio turned on in the car.

jim's picture

I just wish someone would machine a really thick faceplate so my Mac would sound better...

Music Lover's picture

Yes my turntable sounds better but the convenience of CD's has gotten me so lazy! If I want to hear a track over and over, or change the order etc. You can not do that with records or tape.

Myles Astor's picture

Analog rules the home but 15ips/2-track early gen tapes played back through a modded Technics 1500US R2R/Bottlehead Repro tape preamplifier is rapidly gaining air time.

Don's picture

My MacBook Pro and Airport Express have replaced my Krell CD player. I still have the CD player, but it just collects dust. I thought I would never see the day. Sadly, the Airport Express sounds better (softer, not as sharp). I say sadly, because the Airport Express only cost $99. The Krell—I don't want to think about the price I paid. Listener fatigue is less as well. I can enjoy my music all day long. I listen to MP3, AAC, and WAV formats. I would like a Linn or Naim streamer, though. I'm still in the "experimentation" stage, so I am holding off on any major source component purchases for now.

AB's picture

I have a very nice universal player that I use often, but seldom for active listening. Music from records, even not-so-great ones, holds my interest far easier than music from any of the digital discs.

rudy yniguez's picture

Now that I have a DAC, I just let the laptop play in shuffle mode through my modest system. All I have to do now is rip the rest of my CDs to the external drive.

heman's picture

CD player, for sure. However, only because vinyl is a little difficult for me to source. Otherwise, it would definitely be my turntable

Steve Guttenberg's picture

It works out to 75% CD, 20% LP, and 5% FM radio on my high-end system. Not on my high-end system, though, it's 80% satellite radio, 20% FM. That's more background listening, the high-end rig is for really listening.

Daniel's picture

My laptop (with a large external hard-drive) has very much taken over as the main source in my system. When I first got it, I just hooked it up from the soundcard output, just for occasional listening. Since getting an outboard DAC, however, it suddenly became a serious source, thanks to the hugely-increased sound quality. Luckily, I had decided to save my music in lossless sound quality from the start, so it didn't require loads of re-ripping.

Mullard EL34's picture

File-server: Linux-based WiFi file-server with hardware, RAID for overall system availability, redundant network ports, and FLAC music files stored within software-RAID5 volumes. Front-End: Logitech Squeezebox Duet, feeding a Benchmark DAC1 via S/PDIF interface, to present 24-bit/192kHz audio to the music system via XLR balanced outputs

kbchristian's picture

Radio. Why? Because it is a Magnum Dynalab MD 109 tuner.

ch2's picture

First would be my hard-drive, second CDs, third vinyl, and finally, but catching up, SACD/Blu-ray, etc. Convenience is the key to the electronic medium (with little or no loss of quality), but there is really something about curling up on the 'ol listening couch with an album cover and taking in that which is vinyl. Ecstasy.

Martijn's picture

Last year, my very much loved Densen B400 CD player died. That was the moment I wondered if I had to go digital and, after much reading, I concluded that although hard-disk based music technology is evolving very fast, I grabbed the opportunity to replace my CD player with another because the manufacturer offered me a discount because the other CD player broke down. I was right, DAC after DAC is being announced, prices are dropping sharply, and I have enjoyed countless new and old albums on my wonderful CD player. I'll go digital, no doubt, but I'll sit and wait until the perfect solution for me passes by.

Randall Carlson's picture

It is actually the CD + SACD player by a small margin, but I'm more emotionally involved with vinyl.

sdecker's picture

In terms of hours per week, I'd have to say tuner first, as there are a lot of good FM stations where I live. More focused listening would be, time-wise, CD, vinyl a close second, cassette (yes), SACD, DVD-A (I only have a dozen or so). No computer audio—yet.

tzed's picture

The source I want to use most is my turntable, but the one I actually use most is my Mac.

Oliver's picture

CD player for music. Tuner via computer for radio plays.

Danny North's picture

I stream to my computer from a network hard-drive.

Max's picture

iTunes & Airport Extreme in my office and Linn Majik DS at home. Occasionally I spin vinyl—but just for the looks.

Nick Green's picture

Vinyl every time for me, given the choice. And purely subjective: I just prefer the noise it makes to anything else.

M.Perdue's picture

Marantz 8001 SACD for classical and jazz. Same rig playing Red Book CD for all the rest.

KRa's picture

Linn Akurate DS Player

david's picture

Sonos digital out to my Mcintosh MCD500 DAC input.

Scott Carr's picture

I have over 600 CDs and counting. Long live the CD. No music downloads for me.

Horacio Caceres's picture

iPod using Apple lossless encoder.

Koen Alders (Nederland)'s picture

Turntable, second place. Media server will come in first when it's matured into something less computer-like.

peter's picture

In my opinion the CD will be completely dead as soon as Amazon finally starts selling lossless downloads. The public is ready—we are all waiting for the industry to complete its feasibility study (losing billions in the meantime).

JA's picture

DVD Player

Nodaker's picture

I said computer, but I have a Squeezebox that I use to select music from an external hard drive. Second would be my CD player, and third, my SACD player. TT takes last—sorry analog lovers!