For some time I hated CDs and digital generally so passionately that I clung to LPs for some time with their cartridge set up problems yielding clicks and pops in the music.
The change came when I was seduced by laserdiscs so was confronted with the better DACs as produced by Theta. Ultimately, as DACs improved, I abandoned LPs and wasted dollars on a lot of digital gear. The lesson learned from all, this was that the DAC is the most crucial link in the audio chain. It was the crude DACs in the early CD players that generated the loathed digital harshness.
The latest acquisition has been the Aurilac G1, a very nice unit, and the end headphone system in the accompanying diagram is yielding very seductive and beautiful music.
An explanation about the Yamaha YDP2006 is in order. The DSP in ROON gives a basic change that works for ROON music sent elsewhere in the house (not shown in the diagram below but achieved with a Canare 3 way balanced splitter). However I find I need further tweaking for the headfphone system. The beauty of the YDP2006 is that one of 40 different settings is eacily selected with the push of a button so I can choose a setting to downplay the over emphasised bass that is common in non classical recordings. Particular settings could be devised for particular recordings but I’ve avoided that level of insanity so far.
Bottom line is these old ears are hearing the best music reproduction ever experienced. The two most important items in the chain are the L.K.S. DAC and Focal Utopia headphones but they require top quality input so the Canare cabling (much more important than previously realised) and the Auriliac G1 are just as essential. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And my predudice is pro AES and anti USB for digital inputs with USB impractical for my headphone system in another room anyway.
So I can now sit back in the armchair and use ROON to select beautiful music. And I should comment the the current system plays albums rather nicely that were previously considered “poor” recordings. The “poor” was a result of the playback quality, not the recording! I do have a BD player in the system so can look at opera etc with video on a Dell monitor but rarely bother as the audio only reproduction is so satisfying.