I downloaded high-res files and...

My best player is my Audio Research Ref CD9. 

The Reference CD9 incorporates four digital inputs: Asynchronous USB 2.0HS, AES/EBU, RCA, and Toslink. All inputs handle 24 bit / 192k resolution.

I recently downloaded a few albums in FLAC and WAV files that I would really like to play via the CD9.

But how? 

Try 1. I purchased some 700MB TDK CDR, with a view to burning the tracks onto the discs to become standard cd's.

But, as you know, traditional cd players, esp this one, ONLY play Redbook cd's. And the files of these cd's are .CDDA. So I started to convert the files using an online service and it delivered me a .cdda file. All good, I guess.

Then I went to 'test it' by trying to play the single .cdda track I had back on my Mac. Nothing would play it. Nothing. Not VLC, Not Apple Music. Nutz. Test 1. Fail.

Probably, I need to convert whatever the CDR will hold, probably 18-20 tracks and then burn them onto the CDR, run over and insert into the cd9 in the living room, and push play...

Now I am thoroughly sick of thinking about what will it take to play these great tracks through the CD9.

As far as the digital inputs in the CD9, the only media player I have right now is a spare Apple Macbook Air that I could probably use. I have a nice USB cable... but the MBA is not an ideal and potentially noisy digital player. It is what it is... I also have an Apple 4K tv not in use, if that helps?

Does anyone have any thoughts about driving this pursuit to completion? Especially how this can become a longer term solution for all my digital files to play through this analog (and DAC) CD9 unit? 

The options seem endless yet the experience is also start-less! Oh, I do have my LG tv optical connected to the CD9 to play Tidal, not too badly.  




I must agree wiht the obvious, WAV files or some similar lossless format is the only route to go. And this is why I prefer to burn my music on DVDs. you can get a whole album on one disk and that is pretty much impossible for CDs as they just don't that the space for a whole album. I find that it is sad to see so few good DVD players on the market these days. 


I think in your case there are two things you need to address - first, where are you going to store your hi-res files and second, how are you going to access them for playback on two separate systems.


If you want to minimize purchasing new gear and are willing to experiment with some software on your MacBook Air, then my suggestion is to look into a free app called Kodi (https://kodi.tv/). Kodi can turn your MacBook Air into a media server using a protocol called UPnP (for more information see https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/blog/what-upnp). Store all your hi-res files on your Mac and let Kodi do the rest.


If I’m reading the N70ae manual right, Kodi will enable your Pioneer to browse the music library stored on your Mac and stream the file over the network (see pp.19-20 on enabling Windows media sharing which also uses UPnP).


You can connect the Mac to your Ref CD9SE via USB and control it through either the Kodi web interface or a UPnP app on a mobile device such as BubbleUPnP (Android) or mConnect (iOS). You can also stream from music services such as Qobuz or Tidal to either Kodi or your Pioneer from those apps as well since Kodi and the Pioneer also function as UPnP renderers.


I’ve used Kodi before to turn my Mac mini into a media server and it worked well. If you need any details, feel free to message me.

You might take a look at Roon or Audirvana as a "Player" on either Windows or Mac platforms... Integrates local files and/or streaming services like Qobuz... And will stream direct thru your DAC and/or thru streaming platforms like Lumin, Aurender, etc... Life is good with so many choices...


No real experience with a CD ripping service.  I actually hired my son to rip several hundred of my CDs into iTunes a while ago when he was between jobs.  My recommendation would be to find a teenager or a retired person who wants to pick up a few bucks, sit them down with a 2 TB hard drive and an optical drive and a program such as dbPoweramp that can rip to FLAC or an Apple format, and off you go.  I’ve ripped several hundred albums myself while listening to music and reading simultaneously.  It’s a lot of fun because while doing it you rediscover a lot of discs that you haven’t listened to for years and play through 

I was going for this unit: M50 Topping, as a very simple link between my SSD and my old school ARC Ref CD9 player with awesome DAC sound via coaxial... when I came upon this discussion of cross talk that seems to tank this unit: link

to quote:

"I can also confirm the problem: playing a channel identification test (Stereophile Test CD 2) from an SD card with the M50, there is a considerable amount of crosstalk. To make sure, I detached my left speaker when the 'Left only' track was playing, and it was clearly audible in the right speaker. Please keep us posted on any reply from Topping. Does the M50 allow for firmware upgrade?" No upgrades noted anywhere...

But if I am staying in the digital domain and transferring to a separate DAC, will crosstalk be an issue from the Topping?