Computer Audio

Have a CD based system with an Audio Research LS2BMKII pre, Sony 5400ES SACD driving 2 Sumo Andromeda II's which (one each) drive Acoustats 1100's. One channel each side for base, one for the panel. Fully treated dedicated music/office.

Have about 700 CD's on iTunes in the format iTunes records them. The latest Sony with a 1T memory was interesting but I think the way iTunes takes digital is not the way I want to go for files and would need to reload everything, but that new Sony does not have provisions for input. Any ideas? and thanks.
I think you can install the Sony software and point it to the iTunes library - it would then transfer the files to the Sony player itself.
You are faced with one of the highest switching costs in computer audio: re-ripping CDs. It's a pain in the rear!

Not sure if you are aware iTunes is not very good in audiophile terms both for playback and ripping. I assume the Sony box you mention is the higher end DSD unit that has been much talked about. I understand that box is capable of very good sound, but of course you need to feed it good files.

Think about gradually re-ripping your CDs. The best approach I know of, and pretty future-proof so this doesn't happen again, is described in "Guide to Ripping CDs". It's a great tutorial based on dBpoweramp. I follow it to a t and works great. In one shot, I rip the CDs to wav and flac and aiff, and the software checks online a database to confirm the copy of your CDs digitally matches other same CDs - so you know is a perfect digital copy.

I know re-ripping 700 CDs is a rather daunting task. But it's worth to do this over time and have an uncompressed library. I believe iTunes compresses everything and you don't have a way of verifying how good the copy was, let alone moving to a different software given the proprietary format.

I hope this helps despite not answering directly your question.

iTunes doesn't provide an error log but if you have no issues, the rips should be bit perfect as long as you rip to you use Apple Lossless, WAV or AIFF.

And iTunes sounds very good with a plug in like Audirvana Plus/Amarra/PureMusic.
"Have about 700 CD's on iTunes in the format iTunes records them."

The first thing to do is figure out what format was used to rip the CDs into iTunes.

Click on your Music library in the left column of the iTunes window and look at the column labeled "Kind." You may have to scroll to the right to see that column. If you don't see a Kind column you can turn it on by going to the View menu in iTunes, choosing "Show View Options" and clicking on the Kind and Bit Rate boxes under the "File" section in the window that opens.

If the songs were ripped as mp3 (MPEG audio file) or the similar AAC format you might want to consider re-ripping at least your favorites. If they were ripped as AIFF, WAV or Apple Lossless any improvement you get by re-ripping is probably not worth the effort, all will sound essentially like the CD.

You choose which format iTunes uses for ripping by going to Preferences under the iTunes menu, clicking on Import Settings under the General section of the preferences and making a choice from the drop-down menu.
Years back I did an experiment comparing music ripped with Exact Audio Copy (to wave then converted to ALAC) against ripped directly to lossless within iTunes. The EAC version was audibly better. Has iTunes improved it's ripping procedures?
Buy a Synology intel processor based NAS; they support both iTunes and Minimserver (DSD/FLAC capable) server software. Look at Auralic Aries, Naim or Linn streamers to feed digital to your DAC. Use an iPad with Kinsky as your remote control sw. Export your itunes library to the NAS and use EAC for future ripping.
I'll second the re-ripping with dbpoweramp. If you can put up with the inconvenience, ripping tracks to .wav files will yield the best sound quality results. You may lost some tags and album art though.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
"You may lost some tags and album art though."

You will loose A LOT of that with .wav.

I just converted my entire library over to FLAC finally after years of .wav.

Can't honestly say one sound categorically better than the other. Both sound very good, though I have not done careful a/b comparisons.

Steve, DBpoweramp can supposedly create and confirm perfect rips or not with any format, right?

Any good reason why .wav is really better sounding than .flac? Assuming the playback is doing its job correctly in both cases, of course.

I stuck with .wav for years just to be safe, but gotta say I am not missing it now that I have jumped ship.

I still have my original .wav files. I am almost ready to forget about them and delete them.

So now would be a good time to convince me I should keep them. :^)
Yes, DBpoweramp compares to Accurate Rip if this is enabled.

I have done FLAC, AIFF and ALAC to .wav comparisons at shows for probably 7 years now. Its easy to hear the compression effect of these, even on a show system. Why do they do this? I can only speculate. Maybe has to do with the offset or floating point rounding. Maybe has to do with erroneous behavior when the CODEC is running real-time.

Every time I play FLAC, AIFF or ALAC files, I notice a "tunnel" effect. This is kind of like compression. Makes the sound stage narrower. I only have .wav on my server and that is all I play at shows.

There is one exception. The Antipodes server playing FLAC and .wav files sounds identical from what I can tell. There is a lot of custom software running on Linux there.

You don't need to keep the .wav files. You can always create the .wav back from them.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
"Maybe has to do with the offset or floating point rounding. Maybe has to do with erroneous behavior when the CODEC is running real-time."

Maybe if resmpling is done in teh process, but not for a straight format conversion. If it happens in that case its more likely a result of the CODEC. I can't see how reformatting done right with no recalculations involved would make a difference alone.

I'm saying this from the perspective of one who has written image resampling and reformatting programs professionally in past years for high precision military applications. The same principles would apply to digital audio as well I am fairly certain.

Of course, as always, the devil is in the details. If that's what you heard, there is probably a reason, but I would see no basis to place the blame on the format itself.