There are PHILIPS CD-PRO2M kit available.
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Hi Bigkidz, if you can find a Sony CDP-X707ES you may want to check it out. Some people think it has one of the best transport mechanisms ever made. I believe the mechanism itself is still in production and is used in the Sony Pro CDP3100 CD player as well as most high end Accuphase redbook CD only players. This is good incase it ever breaks.
These used to be about 400 bucks on Ebay. I haven't seen one for a while.
Alex Peychev of APL Hifi is the guy who should be credited with bringing the X707ES to the attention of many audiophiles on Audio Asylum. You may want to add an updated clock oscillator and disconnect the internal DAC & analog stages (making it a transport only). Perhaps Alex would be willing to help you with the mods once you find a unit.
Here is more info - Cut/Pasted - some comments by Alex (from Audio Asylum) about the unit:
It is technically the best transport in the world in terms of mechanism, servo system, laser pick up, and DSP. The mechanisim has no gears, no DC motors, saphire bearings, laser pick up with built in preamps for RF, focus and tracking error.
1. The best laser pick up ever designed with built in RF, tracking and focus error amplifiers. This approach GREATLY reduces ALL interferences and losses in the cable that connects the Laser Pick up with the Servo/DSP board.
2. Linear tracking with "magnetic field" motor. That means the Laser Pick up it traveling on AIR. There are no gears and no DC motor with collector and brushes. Access time from the first to the last cut on a CD is less than 1 second. No vibrations, no distortions.
3. Sapphire bearing spindle motor 3 phase brush-less, slot-less. Basically spins free in the AIR and is rotated by a magnetic field.
4. Proprietary DIGITAL Servo System than GREATLY reduces Jitter and Errors.
5. Ceramic composite material is used for the mechanism. This material has at least 3 times better vibration damping abilities than Aluminum cast.
Bigkidz, its some what out of your budget, however the new CEC belt transport, it retails for $1000.00, but you might get lucky and get a demo/used one for alot less, has a performance which is amazing and is very well built. Either of your DACS would be a great matchup with this transport sonicly, so you might consider putting on your audition list.
I just bought a sony dvp-s7000($75) from pawn shop to try with a msb link dac i bought on a-gon($300) - the sound was good but the pioneer pd-54 stable platter cd player($120 e-bay) i already had sounds better to me - I find the soundstage to be bigger and the sound smoother & more musical (Sony has always seemed sterile and brighter to me)
I agree with Bwhite. The Sony CDP-X707ES/CDP-X779ES(about the same) are some of the best for the money. I had the CDPX779ES since 1993 and just send it to Alex in APL for full mod (you can still use it as transport).It should be back next month. Also,TEAC VRDS cd players are very good if you can find one like VRDS-10,20,25.