Those companies you mentioned are marketing and selling to us audiophiles . Sad but true
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Transports alone (with no buffering or storage of data otherwise) have to be able to read data from discs fast enough to keep up with the timing of the music in real time. That’s somewhat harder to do, though CD players and trasports have been doing a pretty good job of it for quite a while.
Whereas optical drives used for ripping can retry reading data as many times as needed to get good results and take as long as it needs to rip and store the data accurately. Streaming/playback and read from much faster and reliable magnetic or other data storage then occurs separately which makes that whole process less error prone and results consistently of highest data quality possible.
So the job of the ripper and player are somewhat different, but basically ripping first is a more robust (and cost effective) approach available these days in general that is less error prone.
Before ripping was mainstream, it may have made more sense to invest in a better transport and still may if not interested in ripping and streaming but basically with ripping most any optical drive used with good ripping software can produce similar quality output results. Some may just take longer to rip than others, especially when disks being ripped have defects, dirt or damage that inhibits accurate reads possible otherwise.
Of course the streaming software has to be designed for good sound quality and work well also now or else things may still not sound as good as is possible, but I find there are many high quality streaming solutions available these days at most any price point.
Audiophile products are luxury products that usually cost more due to enhanced build quality, aesthetics, and one would hope performance/sound quality. The first two are obvious (to the eyes) selling points however judging performance/sound quality between two good quality options and keeping all other factors out of the comparison is much harder usually and conclusions less reliable/more murky but in the end you are hopefully paying for a higher quality product that just might also sound better than the alternatives. Or not.
The logical alternative seems to be to rip the digital media to a hard drive (or even better, and SSD) and play the music from that source. Those devices provide a much better, faster read rate and no real need for error correction or multiple reads. Use USB, or coax / SPDIF output from the soundcard into the DAC.
Computers with ripping capability are a fraction of the cost of most transports.
That said, I'm using an Onkyo C-7030 as a CD transport and it works great. I haven't implemented the computer option even though I have about 250gb of easily accessed music files.
Redbook CD playback occurs with data streaming in real time (1X disk speed), and as result any errors must be corrected in real time on the fly. Difficult to do without audible effects. A data drive, however, reads the disk much faster (20X-30X) and the data errors can be detected by algorithms or re-reading. Due to just the mass market volume, data drives will always be much cheaper than any audio drive. I have found that redbook CDs ripped on a computer drive with dBPoweramp or similar program and played back through my Bryston BDP/BDA combo sounds better than any transport I have ever owned, in part because the source is a true digital copy of the digital data on the CD, and not subject to transport variables and real time error correction. A transport can only approach a true digital copy in real time, whereas the ripped files are true digital copies.
I have an OPPO 103D and I love it. I'm using it with a NAD M51 dac and it sounds great and plays virtually every type of media. I use it with Blu-ray concert discs, Blu-ray audio only, .wave, flac, cds, streaming Netflix , Pandora, .....it is basically the hub of my system .
If you have a good dac try one out, I bought it for two reasons, I consider anything that spins a disc a consumable item. Plus I have a kid in college. That said I made some considerable upgrades three years ago and it was time for a new player. I needed a universal player and was able to check out OPPOs at my local dealer. I bought it on the spot and it's been the best player I've ever owned , regardless of cost. It's super quiet , it's the only machine that I've ever owned where I can not hear the drive from my chair . It is loaded with features that I'm not even going to touch on because it does everything. I put my cds on a 2 TB hard drive and almost always access music from the drive. Plus cover art and your music library on a drive is displayed on your TV. great app for Android or apple phones or tablets. On and on and on..... for $600.