CD Transports


Greetings. I am setting up a second system for the basement and am using a 1978 Sherwood receiver. At first I was going to just use the turntable with it and play the tuner occasionally but then thought I'd like to play some CDs. In my main system I have a Rega Apollo R hooked up to an Exogal Comet/Ion. Clearly I don't need the DAC in the Rega so I reasoned that it may be better to transfer the unit to the basement and get a transport, namely the Cambridge Audio CXC, for the upstairs primo set-up. Does that sound reasonable? The CD format is moribund so I don't see the point of getting a top dollar one--most of my CDs are ripped on the laptop and I just kept some rare European favorites. I was also tempted to buy a 1995 Marantz CC 45 5-CD player for the basement, but it is probably not such a great performer. Do I reason correctly that the CXC is my best option? I think the DAC in their Topaz player is not as good but that sounds like a decent player too. Thanks for advice. rt
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Having heard most of these in my own system, the lower priced units perform as that, they are not giant killers if that is what you are looking for.  My friend has the CEC TL5 that he is selling that was converted from a Japan model to now able to use in the US.  I think he has it listed on US Audio Mart. Anyway I heard that compared to the CEC TL-3N, an older high end Metronome CDP/transport, and Jays Audio.  Alos compared these lower priced units Rega (I do like the Saturn as a transport for the money), CXC, Sim Audio (don't remember the model #), NuForce transport, Nano transport, etc.  There is nothing bad about any of these used as a transport.  Even the Electrocompaniet is a very good option.  TO me the CEC TL5 was the best especially for the price and conversion.  Followed by the older Metronome with separate matching power supply (may be a CA-1 model?), then the TL-3N, then the Electro 1 Up, then the Nano with a better power supply.  The Jays Audio is a nice player but when we compared that to the Metronome, it lacked the depth of sound stage and it was not anywhere near as musical.  This may be a preference thing but that was the groups decision.

Happy Listening.    


My CDP died after 12 years (MH 25.2).  Still have a lot of cd's but also wanted to move into steaming from my old macbook.
Bought an Emotiva ERC-4 cdp/dac.  love it solidly built, sounds great and 599.00
I was lucky enough to pick up a very old WADIA WT3200 in excellent condition for the right the right price some years ago. According to the Lampizator site this is just a Marantz CD(95 in a fancy case.(very fancy and robust I may add(). This thing has been a revelation. It immediately kicked out my expensive Meridian 508.24 transport to go into my main system.

When Philips made the CDM1 transport they committed the cardinal sin of consumer manufacturing;: they left inbuilt obsolescence out of the equation. Being a new medium and not knowing how long transports would last, they took a punt and basically built the best one they could. As it turns out, not only do they sound truly excellent, they basically never wear out, which in today’s era of planned obsolescence is commercial suicide. They learned their lesson, and have never committed the same error with their subsequent designs. So if you ever get a chance to pick up any unit in good condition with a digital out using a CDM1 leap in with both feet.

What amazes me is that something so old can still hold its own sonically agains much more recent offerings, and will probably outlast them all. It is one of those rare pieces of equipment that I never feel the need or urge to upgrade because it sounds so ‘right’. It has seen off or equalled everything people have brought round to my place (leaving some jaws on the ground), although by now I am sure better sounding transports must exist.
i must add, using the CXC as a benchmark it is on a totally different level.