$150 Transport anyone?

I have developed a $150 CD Transport which I am trying to determine if there is enough interest for me to make it available for purchase. The unit is a true Transport with nothing more than a digital output in one of the 3 popular forms XLR, BNC or RCA. The unit is a small metal casing with a CD-ROM drive inside controlled by an IR remote control or by the buttons on the unit iself. It comes with silver wiring inside and a Canare or WBT or Neutrik output jack. The internal power supply is quieted by Ferrite beads and the output wiring is done with pure solid silver wire. This unit has got it where it counts no cheapo 10 cent output terminal or inexpensive wiring. The wire costs $2/foot and the casing is made of metal. The compact unit weighs about 10lbs while only being 9.5" wide by 11" deep and 2" tall. Solid construction with internal vibration dampening and a cooling fan. Is anyone interested or should I just keep making them for my friends and family???
Any pictures?
How does it sound?
I'm always interested in something new, but could you give us some real world comparisons to traditional transports.

I am currently looking for a new transport, but a little more info would be helpful.
Although this is something I don't "need" I would be interested because of the price and the size. However, I would also want to see a picture and would like to know the following:
1. Is it shielded against RFI?
2. Is the fan audible?
3. Can you program track selections?
4. Any warranty?
5. Are you willing to give a rite of return if not satisfied?
I'm definitely interested, but I will echo all the previous questions. Could you create an info website for it or maybe an e-mailable PDF spec/info file?
Ditto the above. I'm interested in taking one on.
Could you get a digi camera and get an image up for us?
Why the fan? Does it run that hot? Is this just some modified computer drive?
The unit is basic meaning it does not have programability which I have never used myself and I find it somewhat pointless. The fan is tiny and is basically silent. It is very well shielded I used 8 ferrites in my prototype 3 on the incoming power 1 on the ground and 4 on the power lead going to the drive and I will also be using one on the output. Yes It is very well silenced against RFI.

Warranty 1 year parts & labor through me. Its not an easy unit to kill and the drive is easily replaced so I am giving it a warranty.

Returns, sure why not I am not sure what the period will be yet but yes I will give a grace period for you to determine if you like it or not.

If you have any further questions email me directly and I will get back to you ASAP
Unsound, the dust creates jitter when falls into the laser beam and that's why needs to be sucked out of the chasis :^).

I wish to be the one to receive a free item to audition it if none minds here{:^)]

BTW I do promice not to steal it, give a reasonable review that will be based on comparison with my current transport($2300 when was new 6 years ago) and return it within the specified period of time covering the shipping costs both ways.

So think'bout it will my mission begin?
I havent tested it for temperature yet but the casing just happens to have a fan on it. The drive itself is in an internal metal casing so I dont think that much dust will be getting inside unless you live in a very messy household then I might have to add a cotton filter to prevent the dust mites from taking up residence in my transport. I dont think that the drive actually generates much heat at all.

Marakanetz if you would like a beta version you can place a $70 deposit and I will build one for you so that you can test tinker and play untill you turn blue. I have already taken in 2 orders for beta units.

I will take pictures of the unit later on this week. I will also prepare a word document that gives all of the features and such for comparison sake.
Sounds interesting, I'd like to follow this thread, and be included.
When you figure out your return policy and can post a picture of the unit ( preferably front, back and internals ), let us know. You should also think about accepted forms of payment and how you would go about issuing refunds should such an occurance become necessary. Having your account / membership information verified by Audiogon would also be a step in the right direction taken from the point of view of a potential customer.

From one business owner to another, good luck and be prepared for the worst : ) Sean
Sean..That last sentence is probably the best advice you have ever given!

Orbeck...Good luck; and keep good records in case the tax man comes knocking!! (Being a CPA, I think of such stuff.) Also keep your original prototype in good condition. If it is big hit, you'll want it for your megabuck company's lobby museum case!!
I'm interested. However, I don't like throwing stuff away and value longevity / repairability (for environmental reasons more than economics). How much would it bump the cost to put a really good quality CD mechanism in there ? I like the philips CD pro mechanism, but transports containing such a mechanism cost obscene amounts. I've had bad experiences with cheap Sony transports.
Seandtaylor: I think that if you check with someone that does repairs on a wide variety of cd players, you'd find that the Sony mechanisms are FAR more reliable and adjustable than the Philips mechanisms. I have had far more reliability problems with Philips mechanisms in a shorter period of time than i have ever had with Sony based mechanisms over a long period of time. Most Pioneer mechanisms are also of very high reliability. Their biggest problem is that the lens on the laser tends to work loose and must be re-glued. Sean
The Transport! only exists because of a coincidence that a particular computer CD-ROM drive has both a digital output and stand alone operability. I have seen the drive being used for this purpose before but it was at an audio dealers home and I dont remember who made the CD player that employed this same drive. It literally is a CD-Rom drive If you were so inclined you could take it out of the casing and pop it into your desktop computer and use it to read CDs. The drive is not available for sale in the USA unless it is in OEM form so you cant just go the local comp USA and buy one. Obviously if the drive was garbage it wouldnt have been used by another company in their CD player which had an internal DAC with Analog outputs. Theirs also had a flip down wooden faceplate that revealed the drive. It was very cool but it was still the same drive which means that that $1000+ cd player is based on the same mechanism that my $150 unit is. So when used with an excellent DAC my Transport! has the possiblity of performing very nicely. Note that the Unit I saw lacked a display also so I am pretty sure that a display is not possible. Realistically a display is a luxury that is not needed. Cassettes have timers but they correspond to nothing so they are totally ambiguous and Records dont have track numbers either. The Transport! is as basic as possible without sacrificing functionality. It will play CDs CDRWs and CD-Rs as long as the info on them is Redbook spec. This unit is a shortcut to superb sound just add a 2nd hand DAC and you've got a serious CD player. That is what I made it for. If you are on a budget but want the expensive sound this is an option that might be ideal. I will also make the unit in black upon request.
Sean:my sample set is small. I bought a $250 sony player and it lasted 18 months. I've had two Marantz players of similar cost and they both have lasted > 5 years. I have a 15 year old mission player with a philips cdm2-10 still going strong. I accept this is not statistically significant, but, once bitten etc etc. Thanks for the info.
Sean: Thanks for the feedback and letting us know what you based your comments on. Nobody can argue with first hand experience, especially if it happens to be your own : ) My experience is just the opposite of yours. My brother has also run into the same situation. Upon finding this out, i talked to two local "techs" at different repair facilities. They both told me that they see more Philips in for repair and that the Sony is more "forgiving" in terms of working under less than optimum conditions.

Now you know what i've based my comments on : )

Orbeck: I'm also quite interested in this and will drop you an email shortly. Sean
You say it does not have a display and you think it may not need one, but what about a way to locate tracks? What about at least an audible fast forward? These units would have to potential of getting tiring to use without at least one of these features. No offense to your logic, but a cassette or R2R timer/counter means a great deal once you have run that tape, either in record or play, on that machine, I can look at a # and know where the music I want to hear is on that tape. LP's has grooves I can find and set my stylus down on. Not to say there's not a market for what you have, but if you have a product that is not easy to use the way people tend to use them. or has a certain attractiveness about it, they fade rather quickly.

It does have an audable fast forward and rewind feature. I agree that the lack of a display sucks and if I could give it a display I would but I am pretty sure that the IDE interface on the drive would require a desktop computer to interpert what track number is currently being played. Short of the display it really is a fully functional Transport. For $150 its not a bad deal and for $100 in kit form you cant beat it. I am not trying to make the best Transport on earth, just one that works well and can produce excellent sound when teamed with a good DAC.
The CD-ROM has a digital output?

What kind of interface is the digital output? SPDIF? ATA/IDE? Are you using a IDE to SPDIF backplane?

Also, does it have any other button on there other than eject, say... a play button?

I've never seen a CD-ROM that isn't controlled through the PC's GUI because CD-ROMs don't generally have command buttons on them.

Also, can I hook an after market powercord from the wall straight into the CD-ROM?

Notice, I haven't called this device a "transport" in this thread, yet.

It is a transport because it does have buttons to control it and it does have a Sony/Philips Digital interface SPDIF. The casing has a IEC type power inlet. What you havent seen does actually exist. I have been building desktop computers for 7 years and I assure you that Creative Labs makes a drive such as the one I have described. Go on ebay an search for "Creative Infra" and you will find the drive.

Notice I have called it a transport because that is exactly what it is. Not all CD-Rom drives are controlled only through Graphic User Interfaces and I have owned one a while back that had play/pause and digital volume adjustment and a stop/eject button and a track forward button. I tried the drive as a stand alone and it worked with just 12v & 5v power being fed to it. So you are wrong and this is a Transport and that is why I call it a transport.
The CD mechanism is the same one used in the Redgum RGCD5 which sells for $1600. So My price of $150 is a bit more reasonable. The Redgum unit is a full CD player not just a transport, but you can get a Burr Brown based dac for a few hundred dollars. Then later on if you want a better transport you can get one. But for now Just add a dac and you've got one very good cd player. www.redgumaudio.com/. My unit uses the exact same CD-Rom drive. I can say that the Redgum unit was somewhat of an inspiration/ignitor of my creative fuels on this project.
A way to turn a problem into an opportunity!!

Business lesson #2.