Which DAC, connection type and cable will you be using??
Levinson 31.5!!!!!!!!!!I don't own it,WISH I did .$$$$$
George - what about your Northstar? That's worth mentioning.
I have a Reimyo DAP-777 DAC. LOVE IT. Cable right now is a Cardas but this I will play with. I want to buy what I can use as a reference piece because I love the DAC so much.
I'd go with the Levinson 31.5, or even the 37, then the Wadia (not sure about company stabilty). The dCS I have heard can be flakey, and interacts best with it's own processor. The Sony is not in the same league as the rest of these.
Why didn't Mark Levinson make a new transport since the 31.5 one was so ledgendary? It almost seems they are making lower class of products these days.
They all have non-optimal S/PDIF outputs, by design. Read this for an explanation:
I had a ML31.5 for over five years in my system and found it to be a great transport regarding its sonic signature. It had replaced a CEC TL-1 which had a soothing, romantic sound but lacked PRAT and details in my system. I now have a Ensemble dirondo transport which has the best qualties of both transports and wonderful swiss quality of construction. I see someone is selling one at a very reasonable on the gon right now. I believe at the listed price it would be in your budget range with the other transports you listed. It really is a wonderful sounding piece you might want to see if you can audition one. Hope this is somewhat helpful to you. Teajay
Considered Emm Labs?
One you've heard one, and seen their client/user list, you may want to. Their CDSD is truly world-class with DAC6e.
I think you should consider the EMM gear.
HP from TAS thinks that the Emm Labs CDSD transport is an enlightening break in audio history after a decade. Users rave about it, partnered with the DCC2 or DAC6e.
Good Luck, I am sure with your list you'll do well anyway.
Mark Levinson 37....no complaints here !!
IMO CDSD still has too many problems. If money is no object - MBL 1621A - the best there is right now.
Too many choices and not enough time to audition. The Ensemble dirondo transport looks amazing but I decided to try an American product first. I bought a Wadia 270 and will have it modified by Steve at GNS. I have a friend with the Levinson so I can compare the two. I think we all live in a bit of a fantasy land explaining how we just got a gret deal on $450 power cords but $18,000 for the MBL 1621A is just a little out of my price range.
I'm using a Wadia 270 SE and am more than happy with it. It's built like a tank and has about every output you would need. Not sure about compatability with your DAC though. That would take an actual listening test. But I will vouch for it's reliability and build quality.
i would rather go for Levinson, sorry, but Wadia is just toooooooooooooooooooo digital :)
indeed, I'm having Levinson 37 but want to go for CEC-TLO. What a hobby? We can't never stop, can we?
Well, used to own Wadia products too, just never like the sound.......... sorry if I disapoint anyone outthere, not mean to!
Just as side note -- but aren't there only 3-4 manufacturers of generic transports out there (Philips, Sony, Teac, CEC maybe)? Why not determine which manufacturer is more to yr liking and then short-list the brands using that transport?
I, for one, prefer the Philips and Teac transports (Philips="musical", Teac= "an extra octave in the bass"). Cheers
This is my first dedicated transport. I think I will try it and then the Levinson. Maybe the best thing to do is sell them both and buy the Reimyo player since this sells for about $12000 used. Well I will know next week if it was a mistake or not. What transport is Accuphase and MBL using? I would guess Philips.
Just a note, my Wadia 270 transport is fantastic. Clean and musical. I was not expecting such an improvement over using my CAL CL-10 or my Meridian 588 as my transport but it is remarkable. Even my wife noticed a big difference. She did ask why in the world would I want something that could only play a single CD though. Funny. Well now I am going to enjoy this for a month and then get it to Steve at GNS for modifications.
Now I think it is World class. I had it upgraded to the 270 SE with GNS modifications. I also added an ST connector to my Reimyo DAC and use the digital cable mode that makes this must musical digital system I have every auditioned.
Wadia = Killer, never could go wrong.
Bryanhod -> Did you have a chance to compare it to the ML transport you mentioned ?
I would forget about the 31.5. When/will Madrigal continue to support it?
The ML Nº 31.5 transport is full supported by Harman Specialty Group. It is the Nº 31 that is in limited support. The Nº 37 is also fully supported.
I did compare it and as stand alone transport I think I liked it a little better but after the upgrades no contest Wadia 270 SE with mods by GNS was better.