Audio Alchemy DDS Pro, Great sound! Can be found every now and then used for $500.
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If you can deal with a drawer that sometimes tries to close before you manage to get a CD in it, the EAD T-7000 is quite easily the best transport I have heard under several thousand dollars and perhaps a bit more.... It is based on a Philips laser disk mechanisim and for whatever reason sounds fantastic. A friend of mine has one and that transport has embarrassed many of our high end one box players when they're used as transports only. The EAD, coupled with a good Audio Note DAC, Audio Logic DAC, or heck maybe even a modified ART DI\O would outperform (easily) most 4000 ---> 7000 one box players (and then some). I think you can get an EAD T-7000 for under $400 used.
Please note! To avoid confusion... Whenever I recommend the EAD T-7000, people usually come back and say, what about the T-1000?? Newer versions of the transport (and one box players) are NOT the same and are NOT better performers. If the unit is NOT a T-7000, it is NOT the unit I am speaking of.
Also keep in mind, the T-7000 is no longer a supported product and Philips no longer makes the mechanisim inside the transport. Beware of this before and if you buy & make sure the unit works well. I will state again, the problem with the door closing prematurely is common to these units and seems to be the only thing to worry about.
If you can find a Parasound CBD 2000 in good shape for $500 or less, this is probably as good as you will find for this amount. Another alternative would be an Aiwa XC37M changer, which was recently discontinued but sold for around $100. You would then need to spend another $150 to get it modified by Stan Warren. I have both of these transports and they both sound good. The Parasound sounds a little better, but the Aiwa offers the convenience of a changer. I have tried a bunch of transports and these two are exceptional values, which will outperform many other highly regarded and more expensive units.