A Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport, used, is on sale on Audiogon for $450
I have a related question. I am using my EAR Acute as a transport for my COS Engineering DV2 DAC. Does replacing the EAR with a standalone transport improve my sound? If so, what transport would significantly make an improvement? A Luxman, Marantz or Esoteric transport? Something less expensive or a high end used unit? I have not experimented with transports as until this year, I always had a player. Thanks.
Going the Transport Only Route, even with some of the attractive knock down prices available, when considering a used item as a Purchase,
will limit you to the Option of the Built in DAC in the Amp.
Can you find a Standalone Transport used with the Amp’s built in DAC to meet your expectations for a Replay of a Hard Media that you feel assured will meet your expectations of a 'CD Player’ ?
For your Budget to find a Standalone CDT and DAC that will deliver to meet your expectations I feel can be done but will take a time consuming investigation and much luck with finding selected devices at a Purchase Value that will match your Budget Allocation.
For a CDP Only option your choices become quite varied and of many options.
As there are numerous Brands, from different Era’s of Manufacture that can be considered, coupled with different Decoders, DAC Chip Sets and Differing Qualities of Transports.
In the used Market Transport reliability and available replacements and servicing options are often included in the Tick Box for the Purchasing Options.
The Buyer has to express Caveat Emptor when going into this World, and carrying out reliability investigations on any chosen device will be very prudent, and learning of the ease of overcoming anything unforeseen will be time well spent.
It would be a great experience for yourself,
if a attempt was put in place and came to fruition, to loan CDP’s from a Shortlist and trial them in your system.
This will help to give to you a sample of the delivery of a Particular Design and help narrow down the Type of CDP that will offer to you a Playback that will be to your taste, the inbuilt DAC might even offer a surprise as to how it impresses.
I agree with the few who recommended the Audiolab 6000CDT. I have one and love it!
Before buying, I’ve listened to Cambridge Audio CXC, Cyrus, CEC and a few other players/CDT (can’t remember the brands) The Audiolab came out top for it’s price. It has more dynamics, clearer and more bite in the music (same amp, same DAC and same speakers).
The next better transport upwards is the Cyrus XT signature transport, anything in between are not as good as the Audiolab. If you can stretch the dollar, Cyrus is a better transport in terms of sound quality and details. But I’m not sure about it’s reliability and durability though.
Audiolab 6000CDT is really best value for money.
Happy shopping! :-)