REALLY? Sounds great to my ears. Hmm. And to think, I really like that player. I know you're trying to help, in your own "no sugar in your coffee" way, Bott-ster. The Meridian is the Director model (I think). When I first hooked it up, I was surprised how much better it sounded than my Dragonfly. If I had to guess, I'd say it is the laptop I'm using, or perhaps that I'm still using Winamp. Regardless, I've also used a modded PS1, and my Yamaha CDX-1100U, and all sound superior to my digital setup (all ripped FLAC). It is a very small difference, but with those McIntosh XRT20's, you certainly can make it out with minimal effort.