What is your primary digital front end?

What is your <I>primary</I> digital front end?
CD player
34% (188 votes)
Hi-rez disc player
11% (63 votes)
5% (27 votes)
Music Server (computer-based)
36% (198 votes)
Music Server (dedicated: Sooloos, Sonos, etc.)
10% (55 votes)
3% (18 votes)
Total votes: 549

Reader Charlie S. wonders what you use for digital music these days? What is your <I>primary</I> digital front end?

David's picture

Using the Modwright Transporter and loving the sound and the whole transporter interface and features. It's hard to imagine going back.

Jaco's picture

Slim Devices Transporter

jimbobber's picture

Apple TV. Sure it has its audio and video codec limitations, but who cares?! Anyone in love with their MUSIC and itunes (like me) just rips everything to Apple Lossless, outputs hdmi or optical and calls it a day. At $350 it's likely "too affordable...read: sonically inferior" of an option for many audiophiles, but my music sounds splendid and I'll never go back.

HudSonic's picture

I play CDs one at a time. A well-recorded CD can offer very good sound indeed.

MetalicP's picture

CD > EAC secure mode > flac > winamp > ASIO > toslink

Adam's picture

Well, the reality is, I listen to music in my car more than any other place, so the source is my iPod playing Apple Lossless files through the docking connector to my 335i BMW's Logic7 system.

Lee's picture

Blackbird Music server player

Phil's picture

My entire 250+ CD collection is ripped to my iPod, mostly in Lossless format. It's so easy to simply "dial up" what I want to hear or compile interesting playlists. I also stream digitally to my home stereo using a Roku Soundbridge.

Isiah Johnson's picture

Squeezebox to ITunes playing Apple Lossless. Works for me.

Brian Carlson's picture

I'll stick with Linn.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

SACD player that plays mostly CDs, thanks to Sony wimping out.

Pete's picture

While remaining a CD player for now, I'm actively investigating the MacBook + USB DAC solution (especially Mr. Gordon Rankin's wonderful Wavelength products). Cheers.

Jens Friman's picture

Logitech Transporter fed by a 2TB NAS.

Mark's picture

I use the Slim Devices v3 connected to a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, and an Apple TV for music. All Music is stored as Apple Lossless.

jeff dorgay's picture

Equal split between Naim 555 and Sooloos.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I am so afraid there are going to be a lot of votes for iPod. Say it ain't so!

P's picture

Denon 3109 (but I use it mostly for CDs, since I don't have many SACD's).

Woody Battle's picture

I have a SACD player and an iPod but my primary digital front end is still a CD player.

craig's picture

Long live CDs. Well, we can dream can't we.

Joe S.'s picture

CDs are most portable and long lasting. How many iPods would last 22 years [I have CDs from '85/'86 that still sound like the day I bought them]. I'm on my third iPod. Music servers are tethered.

Bob's picture

Logitech (Slim Devices) SqueezeCenter to Squeezebox 3 to PS Audio Digital Link III DAC.

Grosse Fatigue's picture

CD and Music Server. I have two Meridian 500 MK2 transports, I have six Denon 5000/5001 (one controller/five slaves (100 discs/2 CD transports each)) changers filled with CDs made on an Alesis Masterlink 9600 disc recorde,r and now I have Sonos. I don't care about iPod. Listening to music is not entertainment to me, music is an art form to me, just like with movies.

Mike Agee's picture

Picked up a Cambridge Audio 840C several months ago, replacing a Conrad Johnson DF-2 and Musical Fidelity AC3R dac, and am very happy with the sound, the price, and the vacated shelf space.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I have two, both DVD-players. I have a Sony DVP-S9000ES dvd/SACD/CD player and a Denon 2910 DVD/SACD/DVD-A/CD player as a back up, and both serve quite nicely for the moment.

MacStealth's picture

My Primary Source is Audio Research CD7.. But My Digital Music Voult is a Apple Computer based 1 Terabyte Storage and CD Burner.

Music Lover Down Under's picture

I use a Sonos system with either A) the online music service Rhapsody, or B) a 2TB NAS drive filled with my CDs ripped at full rez (AIFF). My normal method of finding and collecting new music is to hear about new music from a friend, publication, or radio, and then find the music on Rhapsody, if I like it enough to own, I buy the disc from a local bricks and mortar store, rip it to the NAS via iTunes, then play it back on the Sonos. Have been a dedicated audiophile for almost 30 years yet have played and enjoyed more music since acquiring the Sonos than ever before and friends absolutely love coming around and discovering new music through Sonos & Rhapsody. Quite possibly the best piece of audio gear I have ever purchased. It fundamentally changed the way I find, acquire and listen to music—all for the better.

Steve Lees's picture

CD players are dead. . . .

Ken's picture

Using the Logitech Transporter & loving it. Convenient and amazing sound. Two thumbs up.

Richard L's picture

I love my Logitech Slim Devices Transporter. Thanks for the fine Stereophile review.

Hayden's picture

Still use a CD player for critical listening.