transport/dac vs integrated player

I have almost always used an outboard dac,  primarily because it always sounded much better, presumably because the external dac was better than my cd players internal dac. I have always concentrated on the dac and not on the quality of the transport, and planned on trying better transports and also playing via computer with a usb to s/pdif bridge. The question I have is this: assuming the dac in an integrated player equals the sound quality of an external dac, does the fact that it is in the player itself  alleviate any issues with the connection from a transport to an external dac?   To put it another way, assuming all things being equal, am I better off seeking out a player rather than a separate transport /dac?  Thanks in advance. 


There is an advantage to using internal storage on a streamer vs external storage attached to a PC. You want a PC no where in the loop or near your audio system.


Most streamers still have internal storage for any ripped CDs or files you have purchased. A good streamer will have an internally stored CD sound exactly the same as a streamed album of the same mastering and file format. 

You want a PC no where in the loop or near your audio system.

@ghdprentice big +1 — a computer should be no part of your audio system.  It’s the nosiest source for music, and noise is the arch enemy of good-quality streaming, which is why standalone streamers exist in the first place.  Nobody who has a decent system, has any idea what they’re doing, and cares about sound uses a computer as a source.  Just go to an audio show — no one uses a computer as a source and all use streamers and/or vinyl.  That’s a big clue.  

gotcha. I will audition a streamer, but just confirming that you still recommend this over a computer using a usb to s/pdif converter - I have read that these units remove the noise coming from the  computer.   



It is most effective to remove noise at the source. Trying to remove it later is never fully effective and can cause additional artifacts.

My streamer uses battery power for audio circuits, is massively heavy to prevent mechanical vibration, and has a carefully controlled processor with no extraneous processes… etc. it sounds as good as my great vinyl end.  

I would think that if one were to make several comparisons of a CD player  against  a combination of a transport and DAC  at the same price point one may find some players that sound better. A savings result from both cost and effort in finding the best cable between transport and DAC. 

If a CD player is under consideration I would advise one to purchase one having access to the internal DAC for other digital sources. I consider such players as a DAC with a built in transport.