CD player connected directly to Amplifier?

I've been noticing some CD players which can be connected directly to the amp; in many models, its the recommended way to play them. I've never done this, but it seems like a good way to go assuming one has a nice high-end cd player equipped for such a task. I see the obvious advantage of foregoing the expense of a separate preamp, especially in a combined HT/2 channel rig like my own. Is there an obvious advantage in performance? Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this method?
For a period of time I employed my Shanling CD player's variable volume direct to my amplifiers. The sound was very nice and with less interconnects and no preamp circuit seemed to increase the clarity of the signal. The down side is you cannot use any other sources such as a turntable or possibly a music server. If the CDP is you sole music source it can be very good system configuration.

I'm expecting my new MCD500 any day now, one of the biggest reasons I went with this particular player is its ability to drive my amp directly.

I had the opportunity to try out an MCD201 driving my amp directly for 4 days....after far too many hours of listening in such a short period I concluded that even the best pre was worth avoiding.

I am using the Wadia 581se i this is my fourth Wadia and since going direct i can't imagine adding additional signal altering components. Unlike many other digital sources you can add other components to the Wadia's inputs including using the DAC for a component like their 170 Ipod transport.
It depends upon whether the volume control on the CD player is analog or digital. Digital volume controls throw away bits (i.e., reduce processing power) with full resolution existing only as you increase the volume past a certain point. Analog volume controls do not have this problem, but they can they have other problems if the manufacturer is trying to hold down costs or doesn't know what it's doing. Generally speaking, volume controls on CD players are digital, and generally speaking, analog volume controls are better.
Nice thread! I have been thinking about the same thing lately. There are some input and output parameters which need to be taken in account, correct? For example, I am not sure that my Esoteric Dv50 can drive BAT vk60 Amps. Can anyone advise what to definitely look for? Also - Can my player be connected directly to the amps, without a problem?
"Is there an obvious advantage in performance?"

Not an obvious one in general as you might think, but perhaps.

Like most things with systems (audio or otherwise) it depends on specifics and details: which CD and amp, how well they synergize together, which pre-amp is or is not there as well, which ICs used.
I've a DAC w/volume control and mfr (dCS) recommends "direct to amp".

I very much prefer system sound interposing a nice tubed linestage.
I agree with Jb0194, a nice tube preamp improved the sound of my system.
If the player was made to drive a power amp directly, not all are, then it should give the best sound in that mode. If it sounds better with a tube line stage then: 1, the output stage of the CD player was not of good quality or 2, you like the euphonic coloration the tubes add.
IMO and from my own experiences in my own system, I always found adding a pre amp even though the CD player can drive power amps directly always gave much more in terms of layers, depth and a more realistic mid range. I have owned the Weiss combo, Esoteric, DCS stack and the Wadia 581-SE being the best out of the group in terms of digital volume section.
Using all of those players directly always sounded a bit thin, harsh and 2 dimensional in comparision.

Hope this helps.
A "digital" volume control does not have to be implemented by "throwing away bits". If you were to "throw away" a bit, and I guess that means left shift the data, the bit you would lose would be the least significant one, which, since you are listening at reduced volume is unlikely to be audible. But such a shift would give a 6dB volume reduction, so I doubt that such an approach is used.
I have used three CDPs with volume controls to drive amplifiers directly. Specifically, both the EAR Acute and Ancient Audio Lektor Prime had analogue volume controls. There was nothing to fault either of them.
I have yet to hear a high end cd player sound as good as when incorporating an equal quality preamp.
Whenever you can remove a component from the signal path you are very likely improving the resultant sound. If adding a pre improves the sound then it is likely you prefer what is being added, but in real terms it also means you don't really like the source you purchased and you are changing the inherent character.

For those that have yet to hear a cd or sacd player sound better driving an amp directly....well I challenge to plug an MCD500 or MCD301 into your system and report back.
I have a Audio Aero Capitole MK2 SE running direct with a Hovland Radia and it is magic. I have also run it through a few very expensive pre amps and this combo sounds much better when the pre amp is removed from the chain. IMHO the pre amp, power cord and interconnects ALL add some type of color or signature to the music. If your CDP has a nice pre amp section and your CDP is your only source why not try it and hear what you have been missing !!!!
If the player was made to drive a power amp directly, not all are, then it should give the best sound in that mode. If it sounds better with a tube line stage then: 1, the output stage of the CD player was not of good quality or 2, you like the euphonic coloration the tubes add.

I'd add a third possibility, which is that the cd player may have high frequency or ultrasonic noise or other garbage on its outputs, which the power amp may be unhappy dealing with. The tube line stage may act as a bandwidth limiter that would improve the synergy between player and amp.

-- Al
I just tried it. Skipped the pre/pro and ran the IC from the source straight to the Amp and didn't like it. It sounded horrible actually.
Stanwal...You say...
"If the player was made to drive a power amp directly..."
How do you do that?

The output stage of any audio equipment like a cd player is designed to drive some input impedance of the next equipment. If you check I think you will find that the input impedance of most power amps is about the same as most preamps when CD input is selected.
I suspect that Stan is referring to inclusion of a volume control in the player, not to the design of its output stage.

-- Al
there is no black and white answer to this question. one of the functions of a preamp is to act as a buffer between source components and amp. in other words match impedence. the same issues will occur when you go direct and depends on how good the audio setion is in the CD player.