I see you have an elac streamer. I guess I’m not certain whether that has a CD transport in it or not, and if it does why you want another.
if the answer is "it doesn't" - then: Laptop. Rip the CDs FLAC/ALAC. Send them to elac or play back bit-perfect via USB which puts the DAC in charge of timing. more convenient, better sound than almost any thing using SPDIF.
Probably worth a sidebar to explain that traditional digital interfaces "SPDIF" depended on the jitter performance of the sending transport. Bad transport bad jittery. Modern USB is the reverse - you could send the bits with HUGE jitter and it will generally matter not one bit. Its all re-clocked by the DAC. IN general SPDIF is now to be avoided....and the assumptions of the sonic contributions of transports partially or mostly discarded. Noise does still matter though - for reasons i don't fully get.
I think Windows finally handles high res USB profiles better in 10, but generally Macs have had the best performance as the digital source, along with ROON/Linux (especially ROCK). On a Mac iTunes with Bitperfect ($10) sounds phenomenal, although iTunes is pretty awful for classical (it s really set up for pop and rock - artist --> album --> song rather than Piece --> orchestra --> performance or other variants.
mahler123763 posts09-01-2019 10:51pmCambridge Audio transport usually gets recommended
Cambridge CXC transport is a cracker for just $600, common CD laser not DVD, that cheap to get, should it’s ever needed, and it’s got one of the lowest jitter performance you can get, Lampizator said the output wave form oscilloscope shot I showed him said it's very very good.
I am in the same boat and considering the audiolab 6000cdt. reviews say it has a very good transport assembly (from their more expensive cd player), is well-built and very reasonably priced at $499.
i have also heard good things about the sound of the cambridge CXC, but some less than great things about its durability/reliability.
...I use my Marantz SACD SA-8001 with an Optical Cable/Toslink connection into my JOB INT, which has a DAC in it... I'd go vintage; Most older CD units have digital outs. I'd look for a vintage Pioneer that you put the disc in upside down (I'd really research it heavily and keep my eyes open), or vintage SONY and PHILLIPS units. All of the above new mentioned above would do the job, I'd also consider a Woo transport if you could find one...
I have heard the majority of the above transports and a few more. To me and most of the people whom we auditioned a bunch of transports we all still prefer the CEC. The current TL5 model is a great sounding transport new on eBay for a little over $1100. You have to convert the internal wires for US operations though, which is a simple swap or send it to me and I will do the swap at not charge. For a budget transport get a NANO and use a better power supply versus the tiny wall wart that is provided. That CD Transport was amazing for the $400 I paid new for mine. It was not embarrassed by my Audiomeca Mephisto II which is the best transport I have heard and owned in the $6500 price range. The other recommendations are good but in comparison are slightly less in sound quality then the ones I recommend. Plus we did the comparison in three different systems just to make sure we did a fair comparison. There are plenty of older transports that are very good but parts availability is becoming an issue with lasers. The Rega is also very good even the used ones (Apollo and Saturn) but give up a little in the mid-range for overall sound quality.
Cayin Mini-CD - affordable in the extreme, tray-less front loader and uses external PSU so upgrade is easy.
I too have been searching for a transport on the night range of < $700. Here is my short list:
Audiolab 6000CDT $499
Olasonic Nano CDT $587
CAMBRIDGE Audio CXC $499
NUprime CDT-8 pro 795
Would go used if I can find one, any thoughts on these? I will be connecting to a 47 Laboratory 4733 ( nice DAC)...Thank you for your help.
I just purchased the Cambridge Audio CXC transport.
It’s the cheapest component in my high end 2 channel audio. system. It’s fantastic! If there was ever, a truly $450.00 “NO-BRAINER”, this is it. I don’t feel as if it’s the wink link in my system.
I use use a Kimber Cable, silver coax, from the
transport to a Cary Audio dac.
Anyone know anything about Emotiva ERC-4?
Yup - use one in my main system when I want to audition a CD to see if I want to add it to my library. But as was said earlier in this thread, ripping to a full fidelity music file and playing from a server beats s CD player by a significant margin. 99+% of my digital listening is done that way.
I use the CXC in my headphone system, which started out as a budget system but has evolved away from what I would consider as one now, with that said I love it and would recommend it especially for the price of less than $400.00 new and is the cheapest piece of gear I have in that system. Haven't compared it to an older Wadia Transport I have in my main system but would guess it would fair well. Only complaint I have would be it doesn't pair with my Schitt Gumby, it clicks when paused but that is an issue with the Gumby not the Cambridge. Enjoy the music
The single best transport you can buy at ANY price is, sadly, not presently being manufactured. But if you can find one in a dealer’s inventory jump on it. It’s the PS Audio DMP player. They were sourcing their drives from OPPO which closed up shop, so until they can find another transport drive as reliable they’ve held off making more units. It will blow your mind.
Thanks for all your great replays so far. I am not an expert, so i really appreciate your input. From the view of a dummy I actually learnt thats its really not easy to „just play a CD“ - so i have another question.
1) Skip CDs and stream: How about focusing on a good streamer and a good dac, and just use Tidal and Qobuz digital music? I guess the masters files come from studios, so even no CD in the chain. And maybe some other songs come from CD which they have transfered to digital files, but hopefully with perfect CD reading equipment. Is this a way to get better sound or will a CD still win the race?
2) Whats the best output of a CD transport to minimize jitter? I learnt here from „itsjustme“ the complication with jitter, and that coax or optical are not great in that. How about this I2S output, as timing and sound are separated? Will the dac eg my Elac DD2 take over the control with his great clock or will there be no difference to optical?
Try Audio Research CDT-1. No, they're not manufactured anymore, but are 'tank-tough,' built to lofty standards, look beautiful still (at least to me) and have numerous playback modes and a have decent display. It doesn't' have a USB port though if that's important to you. I think they're going for 600-800 USD in the used market.
Searching online for more info on the Audiolab transport I came upon this website: https://www.preenonline.com/audiolab-remote-dedicated-black-transport-with---6000cdt-cd which offers at a much too low a price to be true. Must be a scam, right?
74 USD sounds crazy, as this below is the company address i am quire sure its a clone drive. Might even look original from outside, but inside might be unclear ...
Update with the Audiolab 6000CDT:
I had been looking for reasonably priced/quality transport, I was even contemplating purchasing a used and proven models. I am so glad I went this direction as the player worked well right out of the box. There will probably be some "break-in" for the electrical insides to an even increased performance, we shall will see. If not, the playback is faultless and the sound connected to my amp is incredible. The only qualm I have (had) was the slot loading mechanism, this is my first for a player/transport. All my previous players were either top loading or front tray loading and I have had a few.
This unit has an ability to sound as good as your DAC, and I might say it's sound compares to my best I have ever owned and I am completely satisfied with the performance. The casework build, the controls, and details are solid, and shows exceptional quality control and simple function and beauty. I might add that there are many unused buttons on the remote, assuming you dont use the matching combo like the 6000 Amp/DAC etc, but thats not really an issue for me, just mention. You won't make a better choice than this for just a basic solid transport that does all the little things right. Cheers