My system is simple, Marantz 6006 as a transport to Denefrips Ares 2 DAC then on to a PrimaLuna integrated. I've been toying with the idea of a dedicated transport, but I'm not sure if there would be a SQ improvement worth the investment. The Marantz sounds pretty good by itself, but when I added the Ares 2, I like the sound better, its smoother/less digital/less bright. I've read some posts and reviews of dedicated transports, and some claim a noticeable improvement-better bass, more detail. The 2 transports I've been eyeing are these: Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport or the Cambridge CXC. Thanks for your input.
I’ve used a CXC into the Ares 2 and it is excellent, the PS Audio PWT was even better,. both better than the Marantz...I've been curious about the Audiolab too...the CXC series 1 and 2 are sonically identical by the way...just cosmetic changes to match new Integrated Amps...
I'm currently using a Nuprime CDT-8 with factory authorized TDSS mods, also excellent...I already had coax cables and power cords so no extra expense there, and now I get to use my very good sounding CD6006 in a second system...
Just my opinion but would you gain that much better sound for the money? You have pretty good components so would the CA CXC be that much better than your Marantz 6006? Would you be better off selling the DAC and moving up the line?
"Just my opinion but would you gain that much better sound for the money? You have pretty good components so would the CA CXC be that much better than your Marantz 6006? Would you be better off selling the DAC and moving up the line?"
Good thought, but I like the Ares 2 DAC just fine. I keep reading that the dedicated transports have more clarity, better bass, lower noise, etc. It makes sense to me that they would, however, I've never tried one.
To my mind the Cambridge and Audiolab are little more than traditional CD-players with the DAC left out, whose design is based on older players that both companies made. To get a truly dedicated transport, I think you need to step up a little further. To Denafrips or Jays or something in that bracket.
I was using Arcam CD192 as a transport with Ares II and switched to CXC transport. Big improvements in every aspect, stage, details, "slam", etc. I do not think you will be disappointed, I have never looked back.
I have a CXC. It's reasonably good, particularly for the money.
However - I think it's in over its head in my main system, where it feeds a Naim nDAC/Pardo XPS. My Exposure 3010S2 CD player, used just as a transport, is noticeably better - more extended, tighter, clearer, and yet richer at the same time. Of course, the CXC was something like $400-500 new; the Exposure player was something like $2395.
I've had the chance to hear a Levinson 31.5 in my system (thanks Allen!), and even though it is a lot older than the Exposure it was better, as was a CEC TL2 (which was the best sounding of all).
So if you listen to a lot of CDs, as I do, I'd suggest not skimping too much on the transport. I'd love to do a comparison between the CXC and the Audiolab - have not had them in the system at the same time. Given that you have a Denafrips DAC, it might well be worth stretching to the matching transport.
I’ve read full thread and I was wondering if anyone has experience using an Oppo 105 or 205 as a CD transport vs a dedicated CD transport—let’s say the Cambridge. I use a 105 as a transport into a Bryston DAC3. SACD is superb as the Oppo can output DSD into the Bryston over HDMI. CD sounds good but I also wonder how much better a dedicated CD transport would sound, if I would notice a difference at the price point of the Cambridge or if I would have to go higher, such as the Denafrips.
@mahler123 - "I was wondering if anyone has experience using an Oppo 105 or 205 as a
CD transport vs a dedicated CD transport—let’s say the Cambridge." I do, with a 105. (Hey, what else is there to do during lockdown?) It was . . . fine. I'd say the 105 was, overall, slightly better (IMS, at least), but it's close enough I'd buy whichever was cheaper. And in a different system I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone, including me, preferred the Cambridge. FWIW, I think my Exposure was better still, and the people who got to hear the Levinson and CEC all agreed that the CEC was #1, the Levinson #2, and the Exposure #3, with a fairly large gap from the Exposure to the CXC, the Oppo, Sony, etc.