Warren,tired of your Audio Aero Prima ??
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Whether feeding directly into the amp is the best way to go-this is often false, unless you have a very good output stage with analog volume on the CD player. Depending on the CD player, it is likely that the gain stage in the YBA is much superiour than the cheap op amps in the output stage of the CD player. Second, if the CD player's volume control is digital, you will be reducing bits by lowering the volume from "full," loosing some resolution. The best way to find out, of course, is to test this with our own ears. Good Luck
Adding to the last poster on the topic of volume controls; unless the CD player has a very high quality analogue stepped antenuator you are better off with direct out to an amp with a passive linestage, or external preamp, with quality stepped antenuators.
Matching the voltage/impedance output to the input of the amplifier is absolutely critical with a passive linestage (or active for that matter)
Warren, I haven't compared the RA Opus 21 CDP to the Prima, so I'm not stating it to be superior, however it does have a premium 100% analog volume control that works like a dream. If you want to try going direct, this would be a great start. I would direct you to look into it based on the packaging (wooden crate), the build quality, the sonics, the service from RA, it realy is a nice unit. I ran it through a Manley Stingray integrated for several months and it performed super. I turned up the volume on the Stingray to max and ran off the RA Opus' analog volume control. Today it runs straight to my AES Sixpacs equally as well.
>>yes, I realize feeding directly into the amp is the best way to go, but cannot afford that now)
warren, this is NOT a forgone conclusion! I 3rd Arni & C123666.
From my experience the CDP needs to have sufficient o/p voltage to drive a power amp direct. When I had my Wadia 861 set to the factory 4.25V output, it drove a Plinius SA-250Mk4 (a friends) w/o any problems whatsoever. Today I have the o/p voltage much lower (tailored to fit my system) & it cannot drive that same amp (took my CDP over again) worth a cr**! The sound, w/ the lowered o/p voltage, is much degraded. Inserting a preamp redeems the sound.
If you upgrade the CDP volume control to a DacT or 1% precision resistor stepped attenuator then I'd agree w/ you. FWIW.
I simply gotta ask this question too - are you tired of your Audio Aero Prima CDP (the one that was THE BEST ever!)??