Network Music Player or CD Player-Opinions Wanted

My current audio system consists of a Linn Turntable, Linn DMS Speakers, Sony CDP-XD707ES CD player and Naim Electronics. Everything is circa 1984 except for the CD player which is early 1990's. I have never had any problems with the system and it still sounds great. But after all these years it is time for a change. My music collection is albums and CDs. Every time I play an album, it reinforces why I bought the Linn/Naim system.

Besides changing the amp, pre-amp and speakers, I am definitely going to invest in upgrading my turntable. The opinions I am interested in receiving pertain to the digital side of the system. I have nothing against a high end digital network player, except most of the music I enjoy listening to is 1970's, 80's and early 1990's hard rock, metal, "Big Hair", new wave/dance music (mostly high energy). To my ears, an album still sounds better than a CD playing the same exact music. If faced with the following scenario, what would you do?

At least from what I have researched so far, the type of music I enjoy listening to is mostly available in CD format, and for streaming. It is not available in a high resolution downloadable format. I am not interested in MP3 or a low quality music download format. So if I want to build up my music collection, I will probably have to buy CDs. While streaming is convenient, I want to own the music. Some will say that the CD is a dying format, and the network player is the future. That is fine if all of the music one listens to is available in a high quality downloadable digital format. What does one do if the music that person listens to is not available in a high quality downloadable format? It makes no sense to me to buy CD's only to spend extra time transferring them to a hard drive. I don't mind changing a CD every 45 minutes or so. I am more interested in sound quality. When faced with this same situation, would you find it unreasonable to invest in a newer high end CD player vs. being coerced by a dealer to purchase a network music player, transfer my current CD collection to network storage and continue using my Sony CD player for the occasional CD. What good is the hardware if the software is not available? The turntable investment is justifiable. I can only justify the network player if all of my originally recorded analogue music is available in a high quality digital format. Otherwise, I feel investing in a higher quality CD player is just as important as my high end turntable. Convenience is nice, but without the sound quality, I feel like I am wasting my money. If anyone knows where I can purchase my type of music in a high quality downloadable format, please reply. Your opinions are wanted as high end audio these days is a costly endeavor and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I think I got the best of both worlds. Since like you I am still committed to Cd's I bought an ARC CD9. This is a true reference CD player as well as a wonderful DAC. Tube based providing warmth with incredible detail.

Sounds equal playing cd's or using as a DAC streaming through my IPAD or playing high quality files also through the IPAD.

Quite satisfied with the purchase.
Vpm, I think you've answered your own question in your post. For you, a turntable does makes the most sense, a CD player comes in a reasonably close second, and a network music player is a very, very distant third. It makes no sense for someone with your music interests to jump on the digital audio file bandwagon by acquiring any of the many pricey digital file players now on the market.

An Oppo 105 at $1200 will give you a very good CD player without breaking the bank (it will be a solid step up from your current Sony CD player), and you can also use it to play digital audio files if you so desire. It's the obvious solution for you.
Of course, if you've got $13,000 lying around just for your "source" component, the ARC CD9 would be hard to beat.
You can beat that for a lot less money and get more functions.

I also like classic rock, particularly in the afternoon. I rip mostly CDs and I expect my 44.1kHz redbook digital to match the performance of vinyl. I want detail, imaging, smoothness in vocals and particularly dynamics that make the hair on your neck stand up. The dynamics actually beat vinyl BTW. IF you know what the CD rip of the stones LET IT BLEED sounds like, you know what a challenge this is. The first cut, Gimme Shelter is a wonderful track, but a terrible recording. I can make this sound amazing. Monkey Man sounds even better. Same with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

You can have your cake and eat it too. Its called the Overdrive DAC. It is a DAC, not a server, but you can add the Antipodes music server and drive the DAC using USB cable. This puts the master clock into the DAC, not the server. Very important.

Overdrive DAC:


Antipodes server:!prettyPhoto

You don't need a preamp with this DAC either. Instead, you use a transformer buffer/selector called the Final Drive. This allows you to drive your amps directly from the DAC and still bring-in your vinyl preamp AFTER the DAC. You can also use it to bring-in your SS process for home theater. This is what I do.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I don't believe I've played many discs since I started using computer audio...mechanical transports require a huge expense to compete with what computer audio can do. I think you would be very happy with a Naim UPNP streamer, a laptop to rip your discs, and a Synology or QNAP NAS to store/serve up your media to the Naim streamer. And don't forget an iPad for music library eye candy :<)