DAC for CD transport

Suggestion needed for DAC to be used with CD transport(either dedicated or dvd player as transport) around $1k range for 2nd system, not planning to use with PC.

And my current and previous source listed to understand my preference

Currently using Roksan kandy K3, like the sound, has plenty of air between instruments, extended treble and taut bass, vocals are good.

Previously used Audiolab 8200CD, had denser sound, lacking in instruments separation.

Heard Marantz cd-8005 during audition, it’s kind of thick voice.

DAC’s so for I am considering..

Line Magnetic LM-502CA

Audio gd NOS DAC-19

Teac UD-503

Rega Dac-R

Or should I go with another dedicated CD player?

advise needed, thanks

If playing Redbook cd 16/44 or 24/96 is your priority, the only one you mention that will do it justice is the Audio gd NOS DAC-19 (Burr-Brown PCM1704UK) as it uses 2r2 Multibit d/a converters all the others you mention are Delta Sigma, not as good for doing pcm Redbook. If DSD is your bag then you need a DAC that has Delta Sigma type converters

If you go for it make sure it’s the Audio GD NOS DAC-19 and not the Audio-GD NFB-2 DAC-19 series as this one is also Delta Sigma.

Cheers George
On budget, the Parasound ZDac is suprisingly good sounding.

For Redbook, I'd stick to DAC's within the last 3 years. There are several that make CD's sound really good. Schiit, Mytek and others.


"Currently using Roksan kandy K3, like the sound, has plenty of air between instruments, extended treble and taut bass, vocals are good.

Previously used Audiolab 8200CD, had denser sound, lacking in instruments separation. Heard Marantz cd-8005 during audition, it’s kind of thick voice."

For the most part, the dacs analog section is responsible for the qualities you list. If you like the sound of the K3 and want to take it further, look at a Wadia di122 or an Ayre Codex. Both are a little over your budget, so you may have to go used. If that's not an option, save up until you have enough. You won't be sorry. Those dac's are well worth the extra money.

Yay....my question exactly too. I am leaning towards the Teac UD501 or UD503 (new or used) or the Gustard a20h. Seeking dense, smooth, romantic and analogue sounding there. 
A DAC's performance relies greatly on the quality of the digital stream from the transport (in terms of jitter), then how well that signal is reclocked and filtered. So I believe in auditioning DACs whenever possible.

For the most part, the dacs analog section is responsible for the qualities you list.
I agree.

The Line Magnetic LM-502CA is a very highly regarded DAC, but lists for $1800 new.
Closer to your budget is a Schiit Multibit or the PS Audio DSD Nuwave. The Nuwave takes the native signal from your transport and has a passive analogue output. I'm auditioning one right now; very nice ($1299).
+1 for the Schiit Multibit as it's not Delta Sigma, and it will get the best from pcm Redbook 16/44 or 24/96 if that's what you play??

Cheers George
The Schiit Multibit is s excellent choice I upgraded from the original 
SCHIIT Gungnir , then payed thd $500 upgrade Fantastic, snd being Modular 
Which most are Notmeaning everything they find a major improvement you can send it in for the upgrade at minimal charge. very detailed and musical not bright 
At all. I found the Audioquest Diamond a superb USB cable.
I heard Teac UD503, seems to be soft, laid back sound, still  have good detail.
On forums SCHIIT Gungnir has good review, will try to audition.
Even LM-502CA has good response, and also Ayre codex.


Multiple factors determine the ultimate sound quality of a DAC . I agree with the comments about the analog output section as probably the most crucial. Implementation of this stage cannot be overstated. A close 2nd consideration IMO is the presence of a very good quality power supply. These 2 areas I believe matter more overall than delta sigma vs R2R architecture based on my listening to a variety of DACs.  Either architecture is capable of excellent sound quality. 
Since I am located in Thailand, the Schiit Multibit, PS Audio DSD Nuwave, Wadia di122 , Ayre Codex ranges around 2k and in local used market  above mentioned products have very rare appearance

It will helpful if any of  forums members can share the thoughts on  Audio gd NOS DAC-19 &/or Line Magnetic LM-502CA.
I can avail  those products within USD1200
Nad M51. You can contact me, because I want upgrade my system. Thanks.

You may want to look at Chord DACs. You can find them on the used market for under $1K. Now there is a person (Ross Martin) who builds DACs out of his house...a couple people i know really like the sound from his DACs. His website is rossmartinaudio.com. He uses the Burr Brown PCM 1794. Price under $800.00

If you are looking for cables....look at Clear Day Cables or Cullen Cables...well made nice prices.

Sorry for interupting but the original poster may also find this usefull.
What is the current state of things, is multibit DAC and usage of PCM music more desirable or DSD with DSD music?
Still have low knowledge about the DSD/DXD format, want to stick to CD's, the simple and practical way..
48 posts
11-27-2016 3:22pm
Still have low knowledge about the DSD/DXD format, want to stick to CD's, the simple and practical way..
Then stick to Multibit.

Cheers George
Can you purchase a MDHT DAC where you live? If so check them out. A great sub $1000 DAC for transport use. 
thanks, I will checkout the Multibit and the MDHT
Playback design if you want one of the best DSD DACs out their.
Would you like to try this Denafrips DAC-68 R2R Edition~
It's easy for adopting on your cd transport system and future digital system~

Take a look at the test video ~~

More detail...
Do I need to look any specific features on the DAC to work with CD transport to have synergy?
Most later model CD players have optical or coax digital output, some both. Most DACs have both optical and coax inputs. Generally coax is preferred. Given that you won't require a USB input you are open for the opportunity to purchase an older used DAC . There are many that show up used as owners are switching to computer audio and require USB. Many of these older DACs were originally very expensive due to having an excellent power supply and analog output stage. They are selling for a fraction of the original price. I own two older DACs, a Bryston BDA-1 and a MDHT Parasideo.
Just a thought not knowing what the used market is in Thailand. 
Due to the popular of  DSD/DXD format music and recording, maybe compatibility of DSD can take into consideration when buying a new DAC now.

MSB Analog DAC
MSB is too expensive XD~~~
I have had a PS Audio DirectStream DAC since it was a relatively new model.  I snagged one of their PerfectWave CD transports on Audiogon, along with an I2S cable, to use that output/input setup, sounds great!

The DirectStream DAC uses an FPGA, so every so often PS Audio provides firmware updates which improve the performance.

Very happy with this combination.

If you have SACDs, PS Audio has recently added a DirectStream Memory Player to their lineup of transports.
I haven't considered streaming option yet...
Finally brought the Teac  UD503Dac, warm sounding dac, with headphone amp and AKM chip does the conversion..

thanks  all  for of your suggestion.
Congrats on your purchase. Thanks for getting back to us.
Good choice. Looks like an excellent fully balanced unit. Enjoy.
The never ending upgrade bug is creeping out now.

Need suggestion on the CD Transport to be used with Teac, Looking from CEC but they are quite expensive, would to keep the cost below 1K.

suggestions are welcome..

If Redbook CDs are all you care about, the Cambridge Audio CXC is a good transport.  Solid and quiet. I used it for a while then switched over to an Oppo to get support for dvds and SACD.  Oppo could be a good option as well.  As a standalone transport, I thought that the CXC was better and faster. Oppo is very slow in my opinion, but once it gets going it's fine. 
I am considering the Cambridge CXC myself. Use computer audio however still like to spin discs at times.
Yes as a standalone transport the Cambridge Audio CXC is excellent made a huge improvement at my system, The Cyrus CDt is even better.
I am ready to spend extra 30 to 50% if can get transport with good reliability.
I own the Cambridge Audio CXC ,it’s remarkable reliable transport and not expensive with very high value for money, can play also hybrid CDs and severely scratch CDs which the Cyrus can’t do both ,although the Cyrus sounds bit better than the CA I heard has some reliability issues so I preferred to buy the CA CXC.
Post removed 
Cambridge Audio CXC
can play also hybrid CDs

This is a first for me.

Are you saying this transport only reads SACD and output’s it on the spidf digtal output.

PS: Just did some diging, it only reads the pcm (redbook) layer not the sacd layer. Can’t do SACD.

Back to your statement " can play also hybrid CDs" I’ve found most cdp's or transports can.

Cheers George
Right you are, George. My ARC reads the Redbook layer on hybrids.
I meant the CXC reads the Redbook layer on hybrids,it doesn't read SACDs.
I boight recently Audiolab m dac plus.  Very pleased with it.
Friends, I sold the Teac UD503, in my setting it is too laid back.

I am again up for DAC to  be used with CD transport, if have anyone have good experience with CD transport with analog sounding please share.

Chord Qute HD Dac or EX version.
Deciding to drop the idea of DAC + CD transport, it is difficult to have in reasonable price a good transport and matching\synergy DAC, however integrated for same price sounds better than 2 boxes..

Hello. Looking at the Teac UD503. Some comments online that it's laidback and warmish with decent detail. I am seeking a tubey, romantic and organic sounding DAC in the similar price range...up to $1.5k. Would the Teac qualify? Any recommendations? Anyone compared the UD501 and the 503?
I saw few comparisons between UD501 and the 503 on https://www.head-fi.org/.
For information I sold UD503, and brought CEC CD5, a belt driven transport with USB DAC.
You bought a CEC CD5 for $1,500? Congratulations! That's a great deal! 

CEC CD5 @ $1,429

It won't allow me to insert the link. Do a google search.

CEC CD5 costs only @ $1,429 ?
Price  in Singapore is SD4K plus and in thailand where I purchased costs USD3K.