Need some guidance with music server and cd ripping.

I know I'm way past the times.  Just curious as to what exactly I need to convert all my CDs to a music server.  I think I find the right product/solution but then second guess myself and get confused reading into it.

At first I thought I just need to go with a box like the Bluesound Vault 2.  And that probably would be fine but then reading into it some review said it is overpriced for what it is and the cd ripper is clunky and slow.  Also that it's just faster to rip CDs using a PC and software and get better sound with a music server and DAC.

So then I look around and see ELAC Discovery Music Server.  Looks to have built in DACs and I just need external storage.  Would that be ideal?  

I have owned the Vault2 for many years.  As a bargain, it is hard to beat.  Essentially you are paying about $300 each for a 
1) fast quality ripper;
2) a highly versatile streamer that handles High Rez and every streaming source conceived 
3) a 2 TB hard drive that is automatically interfacing with the other components, and
 4) a decent, if not exciting DAC.
The software program that controls everything is excellent, and this should not be taken for granted.
  Can you buy a better DAC for $300?  Doubt it.  Is $300 a bit much to pay for a 2TB HD?  Yeah, maybe, but for people who aren’t that conversant with IT, they don’t have to faff  around with formatting a HD to be compatible with the the rest of the system.  Is the ripper a bit expensive?  I think it’s pretty fast and mine out lived to Apple Optical Drives that bit the dust after a couple of hundred CDs each.  It completely blows away Bryston BOT which costs way more.  It does make the occasional ripping error, but it was no worse for me than the Apple Optical Drives running dbpoweramp or the Bryston.
  The best thing about the Bluesound is it is aimed at Audiophiles that are on a budget and aren’t IT whizzes.  It isn’t perfect, but I haven’t seen a streamer that is, including ones costing several times more
The only major knock that I have against the Elac Discovery is that when it comes to streaming services, it is limited to Tidal. The product itself is very nice, I evaluated one for my local dealer a few years ago, and at the time thought it a superior renderer to my first generation Bluesound Node N100 (albeit at a considerably higher price). The Discovery utilizes Roon Essentials, and although very nice for what it does, the Elac folks really haven't done much in terms of keeping it up to date. Only Tidal with no MQA support, no Qobuz, Deezer, or anybody else.  Full blown Roon does both Tidal and Qobuz, as well as providing MQA support and much more. Roon Essentials is much more limited. 

On the other hand, the Bluesound folks in my opinion have done a much better job of keeping their product offering up to date. Just about any streaming service you might wish to consider is supported by Blu OS.
It  imho offers a much more open ended and cost effective solution.

Now when it comes to whether to go with something like the Bluesound Vault as your NAS with its own built in ripper or to go with something like dBpoweramp software and rip to your own PC, that's another question.

I personally went the dBpoweramp route.  My first NAS was just an external hard drive plugged into my router.  I eventually graduated to a Melco, but have continued to use dBpoweramp to this day.  I like it.  YMMV. 


DB Poweramp is one of the best very reasonably priced programs for ripping CDs ,converting say from Apple to Flac files, DSD files 
even Blu movies , itis a great program.
+1 re dbpoweramp. Excellent program that's easy too use. I'm also a fan of Roon and use BlueSound Node 2i units in my secondary music systems. 
Went through all of this 3 years ago with many of the same questions and confusion.  The aforementioned Bluesound is valid.  I’ve a friend who has been running one for 3 years without issue.

I went with a Naim UnitiServe and did not look back.  One box 2TB hard drive solution except for DAC.  You would need an external DAC.
Foobar 2000 and an external hard drive which I make available on my network. 

Foobar is free, maybe $100 for a good 2TB drive and external enclosure (make sure it has a fan!).  Get a second one for backup and use a free tool like syncback or synctoy or something similar.  I recommend backing up to the cloud also.
If I were you I’d strongly consider the Innuos Mini Mk.3 as it does everything (rip CSs, stream, DAC, easy-to-use and intuitive software), it does all these things very well and is supremely easy to use out of the box. Unlike Bluesound, Innuos makes MUCH more expensive streamers/servers (Zen and Zenith), and the Mini benefits from the trickle-down technology and expertise. It’s priced ($1250) similarly to the Vault 2i, but I’ll take the higher pedigree of the Mini. Plus you can add the linear power supply later and up the sound quality further if you want, especially if you’re using the Mini’s internal DAC (Note, someone is selling a near-new Mini Mk.3 with the $700 power supply on US Audio Mart for $1550, so about $400 savings over buying both new just FYI). Darko wrote a pretty thorough review of the Mini (with and without the external power supply) that I’d recommend reading if you’d like to learn more. Hope this helps, and best of luck.
The Zen is good, but Bluesound is trickle down from NAD, so maybe look there also

the NAIM is quite good but I can’t recommend it for an IT/Network newbie, support takes days or months to respond... I own 3 u serves and an Atom, bunch of Drives, etc... only a turntable is a bigger PITA

great dealer or tech support is a must !!!!