CD players, on their way out?

Scotland's Linn Products announced it will stop making CD players at the start of 2010. Is this the beginning of a trend?

It's more than a little ironic; Linn Products, based in Glasgow, Scotland, burst onto the audiophile scene in the early 1970s with its LP-12 turntable. The LP-12 has never gone out of production and earlier this year it received a bunch of performance-enhancing upgrades.

When the CD was introduced in the early 1980s, Linn was a massive digital basher. The company spearheaded an anti-CD movement in the audiophile community. It wasn't just Linn; a sizable percentage of audiophiles worldwide didn't buy CD players through most of the 1980s.

A Linn DS hi-fi system Linn Products

Linn introduced CD players at the close of that decade, while it continued to make turntables, electronics, and speakers. Now, they're calling it quits.

Quoting from Linn's Web site, here's the straight scoop, "At Linn we have always been wholly committed to making systems that push the boundaries and deliver the highest possible audio performance. When we launched our first digital stream player, the flagship Klimax DS, we did so only once we had proven comprehensively that it outperformed the iconic Sondek CD12, our former reference digital source, in every way."

Linn's LP-12 turntable, introduced in 1972, is still in production. Linn Products

The press release continues, "This development saw Linn DS far exceed what was possible with traditional CD playing technology, both in terms of its audio performance and the convenience. Linn DS is now firmly established as the future of music and the only way to get the very best from your CD collection and enjoy downloads of the highest possible quality."

Linn may be out of the CD player business, but it has a full line of 24-bit/192 kHz sampling Digital Stream players.

More irony, Linn's record label will continue to release music on CD and SACD as well as LP and high-resolution downloads.

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