A few months ago, I did what was once unthinkable for many audio geeks and unplugged my Marantz CD player from a living room hi-fi setup that was beginning to get more complicated than it should be.
I had decided there was no turning back from what audiophile snobs once called “digital music”. Sure, the CD was digital but how could music encoded, stored and delivered from home computers be any good, compared to what’s played on a $20,000 CD player, they would say.
Well, thank goodness that type of argument is no longer the in thing now in audio circles, thanks to advancements that enable “bit-perfect” ripping and playback – with no detail lost. For me, the argument was settled by the fact that my Marantz CD6002 was no S$20,000 CD player, but a money’s-worth budget player that could be improved quite easily with a new digital music setup.
Thus began a sometimes unfamiliar – but ultimately fulfilling – journey to build a setup that could play high quality music using the affordable utility that everyday computing offers. …