I've made some interesting discoveries during the last month regarding the playing of CD's directly and after ripping them to my computer.
My wife and I are business partners in a software company and we decided to give ourselves matching Christmas presents of ARCAM Solo's and speakers for our offices. These are very highly regarded two channel receivers with built-in CD players (list price $1599). They are connected to System Audio 505 small bookshelf speakers lising for $599/pr
. We hooked them up and they sounded terrific!
After a week or so, I realized that I found switching disks throughout the day to be a pain so I decided to see what would happen if I loaded some music into my computer.
I'll skip the attempts that failed and jump right to the one that works great. I loaded about 50-60 disks into my computer in WAV format losing no info. I put a second network card into my computer and connected it via a short ethernet cable to the ethernet port of the Slim Devices Squeezebox device. The outgoing RCA Audio cables connect to A NAD C272 Power Amp (no Pre-Amp needed).
The Squeezebox is a Network Music Player with bulit-in Burr-Brown DAC's. I bought mine through the Slim Devices website for $250 (shipping included). It's about 6inches by 4 inches by one inch deep and is sitting right on top of the power amp.
The resulting sound quality through the SA speakers is (to me) identical with the sound quality playing the original disk in my wife's office. I brought the ARCAM Solo home and am enjoying it in my bedroom.
I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post.