If you still spin CD's their is a reference level Transport for reasonable money


I just got in-house the Jay's Audio CDT-2 MK3 transport to review for hometheaterreview.com.  The build quality and physical appearance make it hard to believe that it retails for around $2,400.  Right out of the crate not even broken in yet, it's out performing my CEC double belt transport in the reference system.  It retains all the liquidity and analog smoothness of the belt driven transport but offers more details, tighter bass frequencies, and a larger layered soundstage with more air between the players.

Alvin, of Vinshine Audio set this review up with me, so if you go to his website you can get a lot more details/pictures on this transport.  The reason I was motivated to review a CD transport was I received scores of requests from my readers asking what is a great sounding transport, for a reasonable amount of money.  So far, in spades the Jay's Audio CDT-2 MK3 fits the bill easily.   
teajay
Good to know, thank you teajay!
when is the review for the ex-m1 going up?
the demand is increasing, mine ships the end of next week ordered it 7/31.
Post removed 
I have an Esoteric UX3 which serves me very well. 
What model CEC is that, teajay?
Is it the CDT2 Mk2, or CDT3 Mk2? I can't see a CDT2 Mk3?
Teajay, Now you need to review Alvin’s Denafrips Dacs!
The Cambridge CXC is often mentioned. I would also look into a reclocker, it may improve the sound a lot.
The cdt2mk3 is listed as $4980 as you suggest, and has a rather poor 12 month warranty, would’ve expected at least 3yrs for the price
Sedgwick, that is in Singapore dollars. In US dollars $3645.15




First, I made an error regarding the moniker on this great transport, it's the CDT2-MK2, not CDT2-MK3.  The CDT2-MK2 retails for $2,598 Singapore dollars, not $4,980-that's for the reference CDT3-MK2.  The CDT3-MK2 internally up-samples all CD's and does not present native Red book. Therefore, it was ruled out as a candidate for my review.

Historically, I have had some of the highest regarded CD transports in my system: CEC TL-1x, ML-31.5, Ensemble Dirondo, MBL 1621, CEC TL3N.  The CEC TL3N surprisingly out performed the much more expensive MBL 1621 transport for my tastes.  The CEC TL3N I believe retails for around $2,500.  It's still a great transport. However, the Jay's Audio CDT2-MK2 out performs it across the board, is built to a higher standard, and costs less in US dollars.

Baranyi, when are you going to get your butt over here to hear my new reference DAC that replaced the Concert Fidelity DAC-hybrid 040?  For right now I'm not highly motivated to review another DAC, my review on the new piece will be published some time this month.  Then, I could see if Alvin would be interested, in the future, to setup a review on the highly regarded Denafrip reference DAC.

Finally, to answer phil9624's question:  Did I ever hear a CD ripped to 96/24 WAV. Yes, and I don't think they sound any better then the Red book CD in comparison.
teajay, how does your TL3n compare to the TL-1X?
@ Teajay,

As far as you know are there any significant differences in quality/durability between the CDM4 mechanism (as implemented in the CDT2 MK2) and the CD PRO2 (as implemented in the CDT3 MK2)? BTW, Vinshine's website makes it rather easy to wrongly interpret that the PRO 2 is the basis for both units unless one reads both product descriptions thoroughly.
Hey ncarv,

I have not had for a very long time the TL-1X in my system.  However, when CEC went to their latest two belt vs one belt technology which trickled done from the reference model the less expensive new models seemed to be better performers then the older more expensive single belt drives.
Post removed 
Thanks, teajay. Curious as I have a TL-1X.
Hey acresverde,

I did research on your very question and the answer seems to be no.  Both mechanisms are highly regarded for both performance and durability.  
Try to look for Forsell Air Reference CDT. It will satisfy your CD spinning fun..
I love my Yamaha CD-S2100!!!!!!
I think that this CD player: https://www.onkyousa.com/Products/model.php?m=C-7000R&class=Compact%20Disc&source=prodClass
…is absolutely terrific.
It sells for ~ $1,500. I bought mine (new) 3 or 4 years ago, from Crutchfield, and use it frequently. I truly doubt that you could do better at any price if judged  by aural comparison—and the mechanics are flawless. It's simply a top quality product in every respect.
Thanks for this thread. I had been using an Oppo 105 with aftermarket linear power module and incoming silver wired Rhodium IE. to spin discs. Both of those upgrades were huge. 

However, recently I upgraded to an Audio Alchemy stereo amp, which started a chain reaction. Next came the AA Dac/Pre (both the pre and dac are phenomenal, regardless of price: ditto th stereo amp), and then...

I dusted off my decade+ old Pioneer PD 65 CD player with Stage 3 Musical Concepts mod (outboard power supply) using it as a transport to spin redbook and the 105 SACD/DVD-As, and am blown away. . 
“There” not “their”. 
I considered purchasing the Jays Audio CT3 awhile ago however asking a couple questions of one enthusiastic owner here on Audiogon he was a little apprehensive answering my questions about the transport.
Giving more thought to the Jays Audio transport I wondered about reliability issues if any and with no representation here in North America anything that could go wrong sending it half way around the World for warranty repair did not appeal to me at all.

Like the Denafrips Terminator dac from China the Jays Audio transports looks to be on the same level of high level build and could very well prove to be highly reliable.

Currently I use a CEC TL2-N with a Empirical Syncro mesh that dramatically reduces jitter which is paramount importance for any transport .

Tejay, have you 3ver heard the PS Audio PWT Transport? Wondering it would make the list of great Redbook players. 

Thanks for the endorcment of this one. 
@in_shore I believe Mike Powell / Verrastar out of the Atlanta area is providing repair / warranty services for the Vinshine Audio product line which includes Denafrips, Kinki Studio, and Jays Audio, etc.

I also believe Mike has recently also become the U.S. representative for these product lines.

Reach out to Mike or Alvin, should you have any concerns.
Hi jriggy,

Yes, I have heard the PS Audio PWT transport and thought it was fine sounding, but not quiet as "musical" or having some of the liquidity of my other transports historically. I forgot to mention on the list of transports that I have also owned the Acoustic Arts piece out of Germany.  

I was very surprised when the CEC TLN3 transport out performed my reference MBL that cost almost 24K more!  However, the Jay's Audio CDT-2 MK2 now has replaced the TLN3 as my reference for the reasons I stated already on this thread and is the least expensive of them all.  The build quality/performance is amazing and it's hard to believe that Jay's Audio delivers all of this at such a reasonable price.   
David _Ten , That’s great news and along with Alvin’s fabulous customer service any customer would be in very capable hands .

Help me understand but aren't high end cd players becoming useless provided you have a great dac? A quality dac will receive the digital signal (optical or digital coax) from cd player, or any digital source (hifi streaming, phone ) and perform the quality analog conversion.
So am I correct to so that my $30 cd player connected to my $1, 700 dac (luxman da 250, I think $2,700 new) is probably as good as any high end cd player? If I am correct, shouldn't the original poster be advised to get a cheap cd player (with digital outs) and focus on getting a much more versatile dac?
Brian 
Sim Moon Neo 260-D transport with a 10-year warranty and never look back. 
Post removed 
Hey Brian,

Because I'm lucky to do professional reviewing I have owned and reviewed what are considered reference level DACS.  However, the quality of the CD transport can/does make a significant difference in the quality of what your DAC finally puts out.  Yes, you can use a CD player, if it has digital out option, as a transport to drive an external stand alone DAC, but the quality of the performance would still be effected by the purity of the bit stream being put out by the transport, not just the DAC itself. 
Hey d2girls,

Regarding the PD-S95 transport I never had one in my system, but do know they are highly regarded.

It's funny that you mention the Sparkler transport, I tried to setup a review on it with the importer, but it just never worked out.  
I am sure this machine sounds nice but  it is over-engineered in at least with respect to vibrational damping.  There seems to be a widespread belief that increasing mass will get reduce the impact of vibrations from a spinning cd, lp or even from transformers.  I am sure it has some benefit but as opposed to a flimsy machine most metallic materials do not actually dampen anything rather they transfer vibrations nicely to the next part they are attached to and ring quite nicely which they would not do if they actually damped vibrations.  

Getting rid of the vibrations means converting them to some other form of energy which will not shake your circuit boards and the like. That is what materials like sorbothane do, convert the energy to heat. I have had very good results adding this material to a range of players from Woo transports to $40 portables.  (not to mention headphones and speakers)

That said, I am not a fan of the various sorbothane footers sold for this purpose.  I have had far better results  using small ( 3/4 inch sized) 1/4  self-stick 70 duro or 1/2 inch glued with Lord 7650 adhesive.  I apply this near the playing mechanism and near transformers.  Also small thin pieces can be applied to the clamping mechanism where it  presses on the cd. This is more tricky since the disc may stick to the sorb in some players or block ejection of the disc. The effects are revelation in sound and cost about $2-3 per player, a ridiculously cheap alternative to paying thousands.  

I have note that the sorbothane route is not unique to me.  For example I note SME is applying some kind of constrained damping (which means a visco-elastic material  with a backing, sorb is one of such materials) to its tone arms  "Internal constrained layer damps minute residual vibration leaving the tone-arm acoustically inert."  I noticed they also applied use various damping procedures to their extremely heavy and expensive turntables "  the duration of a vibration can be shortened by suitable damping.......This control of vibration is fundamental to the design of the player and goes much of the way to explaining the stunning tonal and dynamic neutrality that it exhibits." (bold added) http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/94863/SME-Model_2012A_Turntable_with_312S_Tonearm-Turntables  This form a $20.000, 74 lb unit.  They clearly understand that mass alone will not solve the problem.
Post removed 
@d2girls . . .have you any experience with the Pioneer PD-S95, or any stable platter transports?
I had a PD-S95 for several years. Back then, I was using it with a tube preamp with a ’warmish’ SS amp. The transport was extremely well engineered. The copper Faraday cage built around the stable platter mechanism was impressive. Yet, IMHO, the unit was on the analytical side. I tried several different digital cables. Digital glare wasn’t the problem. Lack of harmonics was. Unfortunately, I never got it musical enough for my tastes.

@sleepwalker65 

"there" not "There"
I'm sure the Jay's Audio is a decent transport, but my CEC isn't going anywhere soon.
Hey rx8man,

The Jay's Audio is not just a decent transport but performs at a reference level.  Which CEC do you own?  Remember, my reference until this piece was a CEC, the Jay's Audio provides the analog liquidity of the belt drive and adds on much better overall macro-dynamics, bass control, transparency, and more open and airy soundstage.
Hi Guys, Mike Powell here.Ive got a Jays here now. Ive never... ever... ever seen a product like this. Esoteric is the closest thing. Its so well built, I really really want to keep it but it does not sound any better than my music server and its a heck of a lot more foot work to play music...Tonight I'll test server i2s vs transport i2s. So anyways not only can I vouch for the heft and sonic of this piece, but I am your factory rep right here in USA. I handle all warranty repairs right here in ATL. You also buy through me as well, so you have the insulation layer between China and yourselves. No sending money to a foreign entity and hoping whats in the box is what you purchased. Honestly, I dont know how much that even happens, but with me here you now have piece of mind regarding any overseas concerns. I also handle Kinki Studio and Denafrips along with stateside brands like Jeff Rowland, Exogal and a few others. I'm not a dealer or distributor, for this purpose here, I'm a factory rep and systems integrator if anything. Your product still ships factory fresh and direct like before except now I am guarantor.  I'm more of a "known associate" to companies like JRDG that allow me to sell as dealer even though I am not a dealer per se.  I am a killer client service guy though. So anyways, Ive got to run, just wanted to pop in and introduce myself. Feel free to email any of your feedback or questions my way. I'm happy to assist.

Oh yes, if you guys want to hear this equipment or see it closer in a rig, or even toe to toe shootouts Check out my Youtube channel called OCD Hi-Fi Guy. Happy listening !
Ok this respopnse is directed to TJ and Mike.

1st Geeez TJ  I buy amplifiers on your recommendation and then  you go and recommend something else. Whats with that....? How can a poor boy keep up? TJ you know where this is going...... however you have never steered me wrong. SO I would love to talk to you off line or at RMAF this year about the PASS 25. BUT if for what ever reason it seems you do not like coming out WEST! TJ Feeling any gulit?  I would like to talk to you offline about the preamp you are using. (best) > Finally Mike  are you taking any of your gear to RMAF this fall? If so I would love to meet you and talk to you about the DACS and the transport mentioned above by TJ.  
Finally blessings to you and TJ you add so much to our hobby !!!
Charlie 

As above, those Pioneer Elite spinners make for an incredible experience.


Happy Listening!

Post removed 
Hey Mike Powel so it’s you , the OCD Hi-Fi guy , I saw a couple of your commentaries on YouTube last evening as a matter of fact .
Glad you really like the Rockna dac, bought one myself a couple weeks ago which should land here by months end .
 

@rx8man

Come on now you know you want one! Perhaps you can try one against your excellent CEC unit? Not sure if there is a trial program or time period? Your DAC deserves the best it can get. Right?
@char1  I'm not sure about RMAF, honestly Ive taken it as far as I can by being the "cable guy" along for the ride.In order for me to be most effective I would /will have to prove it by doing the dog and pony and I'm not so sure that is time well spent. I believe there are other ways to reach the listeners, they can prove it to themselves in thier own rig which is best anyways. Recently I have been taking listeners that feel sort of stuck without getting the "youre there" magic, and going through their rig piece by piece to bring it around. Crazy as it sounds I feel I have actually "saved" rigs from being sold. The hard part is finding the willing. Almost all of us want to read about it and then do it ourselves to feel that accomplishment. The thing is, not everyone has heard what world class level sounds like or even how to get there so tuning for it is impossible. I have been enjoying working with clients on a wholistic level whereby we sort the rig, room and all. But for those that understand cables make or break the rig, its still totally entertaining for me to listen to them try to describe what they are hearing now. I know exaclty what they mean, but the things they come up with are so funny.. I love it.. They are all worked up and excited because they call me 10 minutes in, so last night it was "its like, like...umm. like Superman came into the system and is flying around.."  earlier a guy was speaking about a rig being so tubey that you could have ladled the sound like gravy.. Too much fun this crazy hobby. So I will probably not be at RMAF, I'll probably switch to the overseas shows as I'm just not feeling the ROI from American shows so much lately.At the very least the travel alone brings ROI for overseas shows. Feel free to call me anytime Charlie. My hours are 10 to 10,  7 days a week. Cheers !
@in_shore How did you hear about Rockna originally? not many people know of it. Which model did you get ?  I may be able to share what I learned about it as its a hotrod piece. My current reference.. Also, feel free to contact me at Verastarr it just might be worth your while to try a Grand Illusion to feed it power. ;-)


Looks like a great transport, but I didnt see any info on what it can transport .... 
CD only? SACD? DVD-A? HDCD? 
Hey Mike,
If you say the Jay's Audio CDT-2 Mk II sounds no better than your music server, that's quite the compliment. Conversely, can it be said that your music server sounds no better than the transport? If so, for those of us who stubbornly insist on spinning those shiny silver discs, this sound like it'd be the way to go. 

All the best,
Nonoise
Mike watched more of your videos, good work and great looking system !
Well I ordered the Rockna se through a dealer here in Canada and  first heard about Rockna while browsing a Romanian audio review site. Mike i look forward speaking with you.