To Jeff Fritz,
Congratulations on your magazine; I have learned a lot of things about hi-fi.
I need a top-notch digital source, regardless of price. Should I go for a computer-based audio [system] with an excellent DAC like Meitner, or for a perfect CD player like Esoteric P-02/D-02? Of course, if you have a better idea, I would like to hear it.
I'd like to suggest you start by reading my column, "What I'd Buy: Digital Source Components." In it, you'll see that I recommend a DAC and a Mac computer. That is what I would personally buy. Of course, if you have a large CD collection and don't want to store all that music on a hard drive for computer-based playback, a disc spinner is a necessity. But it sounds as if you are on the fence and, in that case, I'd go with the DAC. It is a convenient and great-sounding way to access your music collection.
The Meitner brand that you bring up is a good place to start your DAC search, and I'm quite sure you could find something under either that brand or the more upscale EMM Labs label (both part of the same parent company) that will suit your needs quite well. Others I would look at are listed in the above-mentioned article, at various price points. Good luck with your search and please let me know how it works out. . . . Jeff Fritz