Players made in Japan (Luxman, Pioneer, Sony) make excellent transport for external DAC. What other gear is in your system? How long have you owned the Luxman D380?
I recently started running my CD player ( Luxman D380) through my external DAC and have found a significant sonic improvement. I wonder if I would achieve further improvement in sound quality if I traded in the Luxman and bought a dedicated CD transport ( price range 3-4 K ).
Has anyone gone down that rabbit hole?
Save your money! Any competently-designed player/transport (including DVD) will work just as well as a high-priced transport. Digital is not like analog where more costly turntables sound better. Bits are bits! The old analog ideas do not apply to digital! I use a secondhand JVC DVD player into a DAC with excellent results.
I second @jasonbourne52 ’s advice to keep the Lux until it dies. If not, another contender is TEAC: their CDPs use excellent transports and any used CDP will work very well as a stand-alone.
BTW, bits may be bits, but extracting them and transporting them correctly has proven a tricky business*; however, spending 4k on a dedicated transport in the age of streaming seems excessive -- you can buy a whole lot of music for that money:)!
*I auditioned the big Metronome transport. It is amazingly better the little Magnat tube CDP I use as transport, but... 40k??? I’ll stream in hi definition instead, download tons of music, buy a mid-priced DAC, and still have money left over for the holidays!😉
Hang on. I recently replaced my 14 year old Rega Saturn laser mechanism box type thing (by a qualified tech, he also took the opportunity to fix some flaky solder etc etc) when it started having issues.
Mechanism USD$10 from Ali. That is ten bucks. Note for Rega folk - the most recent Saturn Mk II is a different mechanism from Mk I.
The internal DAC (Wolfson) was pretty decent, but antique. Yeah, 14 years old. Hooked up new Topping E30 external DAC.
Like @mdrone I am most impressed and surprised.. I was also playing with the idea of a dedicated transport. Nah, not anymore. Not going there for the foreseeable future at least.
Op, if you want to degrade your sound take this advice proffered above:
"Any competently-designed player/transport (including DVD) will work just as well as a high-priced transport. Digital is not like analog where more costly turntables sound better. Bits are bits! The old analog ideas do not apply to digital! I use a secondhand JVC DVD player"
I had been using my moded Oppo 105 (LPS, Furutec IEC with silver tail to the power supply and jumper to bypass the 110/220 switch). I play SACDs direct to my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5, but I use a Pangea XLSE digital coax ($169 from AudioAdvisor) to the DDP 1 internal dac for redbook. I have/had a Marantz HD CD-1 as a backup, but recently decided to reinsert it as redbook transport. It is/was quite a it better, but quickly started making a scratching sound. I took it apart and located the problem, but it isn’t a simple fix, requiring a new mechanism @ $150+ shipping. No bueno
I started investigating reasonably priced transports and read the attached review of the Audiolab 6000. I found a slightly used one on Agon (at a great price): it should arrive this Thursday
From the OP -
I'm now tempted to see how my antique Panasonic DVD player goes with an external DAC.
No. Keep your Luxman as a transport til it dies. Take that money and buy an Innuos Zen Mk3 server/ streamer for about $2500. Load all your CDs directly into it and enjoy all your music from your chair in any order you wish. Plus, you’ll have access to worlds of music through streaming you would’ve never otherwise been exposed to. This, IMHO, has been the greatest upgrade in music I’ve ever made. I listen to my own music less than 50% of the time these days and have discovered so much more music that enriches my life so much more than any equipment upgrade ever has. Get the Innuos Zen and a Qobuz subscription and I promise you your audiophile experience will be totally transformed forever. Just my $0.02 FWIW.
Still loving it
FYI: I was listening last night, pushed pause, but when I hit play the display went dark, and nothing I did brought it back to life. I've had a similar issue with my comcast cable remote when the batteries are too weak. I use rechargeable batteries, so I stuck them in my charging device and took them out after ~ 10 hours. I had to turn the dac off/on, but then all was well again
Get the Project transport. I have compared, owned, upgraded over 50 transports. The project was the best sounding I have heard to date. The Jays is a different sound that the Project but also a very good option. Anyone who feels that a transport does not make a difference just does not have enough experience with them. The Rega Saturn is a very good cheaper option and can be upgraded to sound even better. Once you heard the Project you can for get the streamers.
@bigkidz are you speaking of the Pro-Ject RS2 T? If you are, do you know where a new one can be purchased from?
I hope u don't need service from Pro-ject. They have been unresponsive to multiple emails and phone messages. This leaves me with two of their CD transports that are non-functional. Very, very surprising. I won't buy anything else made by them. Sonically their cd transports do however sound excellent.