Unfortunately there IS a sonic difference even when you are not using the DAC-part in the CD. The transport has a great effect on sound quality!!
Yes, definitely......... transports are the start of the music chain. Information not retrieve at this stage will never be recovered at a later stage. A better (or more expensive??) built transport will minimise this. Do not neglect the importance of supports for the transport as well for eg: Aurios MIBs or Symposium RBs. IMO this should be factored into the cost of buying the new CDP........ enjoy.
In my opinion in my tube system, and SS system, a better transport will make a large sonic difference. For whatever reason a belt driven transport sounds better.
If you purchase a CDP, the investment is split between the transport and the Dac; this does not make any sense to me if you’re interested in sonics.
Either go with a belt driven transport and your Dac, or with a good belt driven CDP.
I feel the need to chime in and second the remarks that Lak has made. I am still a bit of a novice in relation to some of the more seasoned hands on AG, and for me each component change has been a learning experience.
I just recently purchased a CEC TL2 and now find myself in the camp that feels that transports CLEARLY make a difference. My front end now very much outshines my downstream amplification, so I feel that I am still short of experiencing all that I have. But I can very comfortably say that with the addition of the transport I have for the first time had the opportunity to really hear the quality variations in the distributed media.
Ipy is right!! The cost of proper support is essential, especially with a CDP or transport.
I bought the Marantz SA-14 SACD player. After LONG breakin, it was very good, but not great. I then was advised and bought the Nueance Platform to place under it, and bingo, it turned into maybe the best player that I have experienced. It blew away my older Krell/EAD combo.
I'll jump in and say I agree with Jayctoy and Lak, I just picked up a mint TL-2X, made a pretty significant difference in presentation, easeful, relaxed and smooth as silk, put a King Cobra V-1 power cord on it and talk about soundstage, this is what I was looking for to round out the rest of my rig.
If a DAC is used that has an effective design to remove jitter, so that the data stream of 0's and 1's is properly received with the timing intact, before it is applied to the digital-to-analog converter, and if the source of the data (i.e., the CD transport) is properly built and is functioning as it should, then which model transport it is shouldn't matter, should it?
Isn't it a misnomer to say that a given transport is the "most analog-sounding" among several models? The digital data stream cannot be "analog-sounding", only the reconstituted analog signal at the DAC output. So, can't the audible differences between CD transports actually be attributed to the effectiveness of the jitter removal circuit at the DAC input and the quality of the converter and the analog output stage?
Belt driven transports have less vibration than direct drive transports, thus they read with more accuracy. Now, the CEC's, from what I understand, skimp on electronics. I am sending my CEC built Parasound transport to Dan Wright. He told me he's previously modded CEC transports and that he knew what to do with mine...
Transports are way more complicated machines than just bit readers. My McCormack SST1 transport has better slam, impact and dynamics than my Parasound. That's why Dan Wright is going to fix those shortcomings.
Importance: CDT vs DAC
When they say that the transport is the "most analog-sounding" one, doesn't "analog" mean natural?
It may be right to say that DAC can remove jitter somewhat but not completely. How can tap water be good enough if it comes from severely polluted water source? Good DAC is like water purifier that can purify water with adsorbant, filter, reverse osmosis, chemical reaction, etc.
However, tight filtering against osmotic force can remove not only the dirt but also the goodies such as minerals. Chemicals itself used to purify water can contaminate water if reaction is not perfect and if precipitation is not removed completely. The more the water contaminated, the more difficult it becomes to justify the cost of purifying the water.
If sound signal contaminated with jitter feeds DAC, the same analogy can be applied. Vigorous jitter correction may remove quantitatively trivial but essential ingredient from the sound reconstituted, may add different kind of jitter, and still is not enough for complete removal.
So I think good CDT (error-free data or data with less error) are prerequisite for good sound.
Pat from Mentor, OH pointed me in your direction. He says we have a similar approach to audio where organic materials (like paper in oil caps and pure copper connectors) yield a more organic sound.
I would very much enjoy sharing with you and learning from you on many audio related subjects but for now my questions are limited to the Parasound belt drive transports and what upgrades are done to them.
I'm a small OEM of audiophile gear; some say my power cords and non-oversampling DAC are the best for any price. I also have been doing DIY and professional upgrades for about 30 years (I started in the late 70's with some old Dynaco ST-70s).
I can do the upgrades to my Parasound if I knew what sort of upgrades were done.
Any idea what parts were changed and what circuit modifications were made?