I was never one to fall in love with vinyl records like so many have, especially in recent years. CDs, though, have always drawn my gaze. This can most likely be attributed to growing up in the 90s and 2000s when CDs peaked. I have hundreds of CDs, not just for the access to CD quality music, but for what comes with the whole package. Artwork, liner notes, lyrics (sometimes), and you can’t deny there is something magical about being able to hold something physically instead of just existing digitally somewhere.
Now I don’t play CDs anymore. I mostly have them to hold onto nostalgia, and they serve as an archive if something ever happened to the digital files on my PC and DAP, so I’ve never had the urge to play the discs. Until now, that is.
Yesterday Schiit Audio, known for making excellent AMP/DAC stacks, released a CD player. A $1300 CD player. I never thought of spending more than $500 on such a device to playback my discs but reading the press release and specs of the Schiit Urd has me salivating at just the thought.
The Schiit Urd is not your ordinary CD player. It’s a CD Transport device with USB and SPIDF support. And it’s a USB hub. And it converts USB to AES and coax. And it looks industrial and sexy as hell.
To take a line or two from the press release, the Schiit Urd “is the CD player, re-booted,” said Mike Moffat, Schiit’s Co-Founder and head of digital development. “It’s the first and only CD player with a USB output, yes, but it’s really a lot more—it’s the center piece, the focal point, of a complete digital system that includes CDs, streamers, and computer or tablet sources. By providing two USB digital inputs and a USB output, you can run an all Unison USB system. Or you can run it out to SPDIF. Urd also does the normal ‘transport stuff,’ like digital SPDIF output from a CD, but the main thing is that it does everything, does it seamlessly, and integrates with nearly anything.”
I can easily see the Urd living right on my desk in front of me, under my monitor, outputting to my iFi Zen DAC V2 via USB. Pure CD listening bliss. If I could also rip my CDs from the Urd, that would be a bonus.
Check out the Schiit Urd product page for specs, purchasing, and all other things Shiit.