If I rip all my CD's to flac files do I still need a CD transport?

I'm in the process of ripping all my CDs to .flac files with Exact Audio Copy. If I see a verified rip with no errors, is there any point in considering upgrading my CD player? Would I be better investing is a quality streamer and DAC?


+1, @designsfx

Don’t give up on CD’s if you own a decent CD player. I made a great choice of buying Aurender ACS100 few years back. I still buy CD’s, rips them for easy access or play them on my ‘tube’ CD player when mood strikes. The ACS100 has expandable storage, superb file management app that allows you to manage the library of your rips, edit metadata, album art all from the iPad. Not to mention, a very capable streamer with a robust app.


Any optical drive that rips 100% with Exact Audio Copy is the same as any other one. You don't need a fancy drive as long as you are getting good rips as EAC reports.

Try Roon as the front end software...also happens to stream Tidal and Qobuz.  You can use a PC/Mac as a front end and server and stream to a streamer or raspberry pi (or another PC, but might not sound as good if the PC is a busy one).  

Don't fall for the need to buy fancy digital reproduction gear until you learn about digital audio yourself.  There are a lot of spend-a-lot belief systems out there that aren't backed up by science or engineering. I do believe in good DACs and I suggest that the streamer should be separate from the DAC (most likely connected via USB or SPDIF) so that you can have separate upgrade paths for them. 

Oh, and BTW, keep the transport.  You can hook that up to your DAC too. 10 years from now you'll have some nostalgia with it. 

“Any optical drive that rips 100% with Exact Audio Copy is the same as any other one. You don't need a fancy drive as long as you are getting good rips as EAC reports.”


It appears you have some experience in ripping CD’s. Would you be kind enough to lay out for OP what all he needs to rip his CD’s and storage (NAS) solution? 

Rip CDs, put files in NAS and sell CDs to fund other hifi purchases!!

This is copyright infringement by the way. If you sell the CD you’re selling your right to the copyright.

Anyway, EAC is a great piece of software. Configuration is complex but it sounds like the OP already has that done. Be sure to get the metadata right...programs like Roon rely heavily on certain conventions to identify albums and present them correctly.

I have also used Foobar2000 to rip which is easier to use and faster than EAC but doesn’t have as robust methods of digging data out of difficult disks. EAC will work on a disk for 24 hours if it has to. DBPowerAmp is also an excellent tool for all of this.

Roon is a great front end that also streams from Tidal and Qobuz, and treats those services the same as your library...you can mix streaming and local tracks in the same playlists, etc. You need at least one computer and are best off with at least a second "endpoint" that the music is streamed to.

In terms of storage, a NAS is great. For a long time I built my own UNRAID servers but that is somewhat complex. But be sure to have more than just redundancy in the NAS in terms of backup. A RAID array of any sort is for availability, not backup. You’ll want another solution, preferably off-site or in the cloud, to store your hard work as you won’t want to rip your CDs twice.

Right now what I have is a basic Windows 10 machine using StableBit to create a virtual RAID array out of standard NTFS drives. This way I get redundancy but if any drive or any RAID chip fails it doesn’t matter because the data is readable on any PC. It also comes with great tools to manage drive health. Then I have a copy of the music on a drive installed in the Roon server so I have a local backup that is actually what Roon pulls from. Same system at a different lake home so I have at least 4 copies in two states of the music, plus various other large USB external drives that have copies until I need them to move some other data.

My Roon server feeds the data over a wired network to an Auralic Aries that is plugged into a Schiit DAC and a Mytek DAC so that I can compare between a ladder NOS DAC and a Sabre ESS DAC - totally different D2A methdologies.

I just have well constructed cables. I don’t believe in fancy digital cables. Especially not on the network side - it just ain’t how it works.

On the analog side, DACs feed a Balanced Audio Technologies preamp into a variety of power amps - a Krell, a Parasound, a Proceed, a Levinson and into PSB, KEF, or Magnepan speakers (the last are actively biamped).

Sounds nice.


Said well.  I am an old IT pro so I backup and backup again. My flac files are on each real time Linux streamer as well as my NAS which I backup to 2 other NAS devices both of which are remotely located and online. Call me paranoid.

Indeed EAC is a bit fun to configure. I put a link to the article I used to guide my configuration previously in this thread. 

I have no intention to sell my CDs. They are a proof of ownership to the tracks as well as one my level of backup. Not to mention they are handy in the car from time to time.

I do enjoy using a MALP client on my phone and the room filling with sound. I don't even have to get out of my listening chair. But nonetheless, I really get a visceral pleasure from vinyl. I can't explain it, but it still sounds better