Originally Posted by golffnutt
What kind of DAC does the Marantz CC4003 have in it? Burr-Brown, Wolfsen, ?
This doesn't really matter all that much; brand name doesn't indicate performance or features, and even if it somehow did, modern DACs are all basically transparent.
Originally Posted by SoNic67
Using the stereo inputs of any AVR leads to another double conversion analog-to-digital (ADC) and then back digital-to-analog (DAC). That is needed to apply the eventual DSP effects in the AVR and is always performed.
That double conversion degrades the signal quality.
Digital SPDIF connections are prone to adding jitter - jitter that is not found in original player. SPDIF clock and data mix, transport and recovery is not perfect.
The only way to listen the true analog
output from a CD player is to use as input in AVR the "front L/R" inputs from the "multichannel direct input". That input stays analog all the way to amplifier block. Some will be surprised by the differences between the old multibit DAC sound and the cheap delta-sigma DAC's found in mainstream AVR's.
Even with the multi-channel analog inputs, it's likely being digitized - really depends on how the AVR/SSP is put together, it may not have DSP effects applied, but that doesn't mean it isn't digitized. Also, some of the higher end AVRs do run this signal into their DSPs, to apply bass management.
And we've had enough "jitter is the devil" multi-page rants on AVS to cover us for at least a few years; I'm sure you can find one of those threads if you'd like to throw in your opinion.