Looking to get the best out of Redbook Cd listening with Dac a d Transport under 5K?


Hi guys! Ex Audiophile out of touch for many years now! Looking to purchase Dac and Transport to listen to my large Cd collection! Not sure where to go! Thanks Larry
goldenears19
Lots of choices. What's your research show?
Larry...dude...come on, man...some info please.
you get what you give.

whats your system, your music, your growth path with streaming...?

spaghetti, here’s your next wall you can throw yourself against....😉
Sorry about that! Phone died! I have a. Blue Circle Line Stage Older Top of the line! Dual Mono Separate Power Supply! Atma-Sphere 60's Amps! Older Green Mtn. Imago Speakers! 

Had Blue Circle Dac top of line separate power supply and Ml 31.5 at one time! Had to sell due to accident etc
Now using Moddified Oppo etc Thinking that technology has improved quite a bit since that 10 years ago!
Suggest the Bryston BCD-3 spinner.  Like you, I have an extensive collection of RedBook classical CCDs, and the BCD -3 works wonders with them. I really have no reason to resort to streaming..
The BCD-3 has a superb transport and an internal DAC that is the guts of the Bryston BDA-3 DAC. 
https://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/cd-player-reviews/bryston-bcd-3-cd-player/
I listen to mostly Progressive Jazz and New Age style music! Have Hybrid Tube Pre Amp as I stated! It's only Ballanced Connection Line Stage!
Mytek. The performance of their DACs with redbook is outstanding. The basic Brooklyn is Roon ready.  Makes a great crossover, meaning you can listen to your own music collection and integrated it with your Tidal or Quboz list.
There are lots and lots of highly recommended DACs in the $1500 to $2500 range.  Sample a few of the recent threads.  Then add a Cambridge or Audiolab transport and you're done.

OR...……….

Just get the Marantz SA-KI Ruby and be done.  (See the review in the January 2020 Absolute Sound.)
Post removed 
Yes, the Mohican is made.....substantially using the parts of an antediluvian Chinese Opera Audio Consonance CD player.  Search the 'gon for threads on this subject.
I just took delivery of the Chord Qutest pairing it with Bluesound node 2. Very resolving. Puts muscians in your room.
Learning more about Chord! What about the 2 piece set up? Finding out talking to a guy who said talk to guy in Connecticut that works on Chord! Getting specifics tomorrow! Trying to learn lots before making any choice! Thank you all for input! Keep up the good info to help me!
Sorry, man, but your haphazard approach seems to be taking you in an undirected trajectory.

Just make sure that your DAC has some inputs so that streaming can be incorporated as soon as you wake up and realize that millions of songs are at your fingertips in CD Rez and higher and are there for the listening on your awesome rig....through an iPad!!!!

spend $1,000 on a CD transport. 
use your budget on a killer DAC.

you want to make a bad ass move...?
get a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge +. You’ll have a killer DAC and be ready for the stream!!

future proof yourself, son....
Yes! I am learning! Guy has a Chord setup that interesting to me! DAC is a QB standing for Quarterback 56 and a Blu Transport! These are discontinued but wondering if they are something I should look into. The DAC supercedes Dave! And Transport before the Blu mk11! Package deal for around $6K! Retail around $18K  He is getting rid of his High End gear! So any Chord Expert's would love to hear from you! Thank you Larry
Or, you can get a Bryston BDA-3.14 that has streaming capability built in, and add a Cambridge CD transport. 
Superb DAC + streaming + excellent Redbook CD playback. 

Just a thought.
@goldenears19 — What sound characteristics of a system are most important to you and what characteristics would you like to avoid?  Tough to recommend a DAC without knowing what type of sound you’re looking for. 
Well! I enjoy a smooth midrange and want to hear lots of inner details in the highs! My speakers have dome and ribbons and are very accurate with bass! I want to hear that I can tell if it's a crash or ride or hi hat symbols! I enjoy hearing depth and wide soundstage! Using Atma-Sphere amps that I just love ! Also older Blue Circle custom Tube hybrid Pre Amp! Thank you for the responses! This is tough for me to choose on my own! No real great stores near by to demo! So I following forums etc. 
Also in regards to streaming! A Camebridge DAC was suggested and another Transport! Just learning about streaming! Local store Listen Up has that! Going Wednesday to see! Said the Cambridge is selling like crazy because of the Streaming built in with what he says is a great DAC! Don't know much about Cambridge but he said very good for the price etc 
goldenears19

I am excited for you as there has never been a better time purchasing a DAC/Transport or high-end cd player.  Take your time, listen as much as possible to options and have fun!

Happy Listening!
Using Bluesound Node2i + RME ADI-2 DAC FS + MF M6si amp
and an old CD player with digital output to the DAC
Rather inexpensive, comparatively but I listen to Qobuz streaming, CDs and FLAC files

The DAC is the heart of this system. I need only one audio interconnect (balanced) to the amp.
Great sound w/o spending money on expensive transports or cables -- highly recommended!
Just reading lots of reviews! Bryston player and Hegel etc. Lots of good reviews! Continueing to learn! Great advice on taking my time!
Get the Jay’s Audio CDT-2 Mk.2 transport and a Denafrips Venus or Pontus Dac. Use a good Hdmi cable for the the i2s input and you’ll be very happy with the results!
For a transport/streamer I’d recommend an Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 with external power supply because it does four things that could be of benefit to you. It’s a very good streamer, has a built-in CD drive with internal storage, a transport, and a DAC all in one. So in theory (read on) it can do everything you’re looking for in one box and can be had new for $2000 with the external power supply that significantly improves performance so not really optional IMHO (although you could add it later).  With its CD drive and internal storage the Zen Mini makes it child’s play to rip all your CDs and have access to all of your music at your fingertips via the Innuos app. How nice would that be versus messing with a traditional CD transport with no ability to search, shuffle, or create your own playlists, not to mention having to get up to pick out and change CDs? But not only that, you’ll now also be able to stream from an online subscription service (I recommend Qobuz hi-res subscription for $15/mo. that I’m thrilled with) and have an almost unlimited selection of high-quality, new music also at your fingertips. As a recent streaming convert I’m finding so much awesome new (to me) music on Qobuz I can’t find time to play it all — a high quality problem that has me enjoying music more than I have in years, and I barely play my own CDs anymore.

So now you’ve got all your music along with a world of streamed music literally at your fingertips, and at this point you could then just hook the Zen’s analog output (using its internal DAC) to your preamp and be completely done. Couldn’t really be simpler. But at your budget I’d upgrade to a better DAC, if not immediately definitely down the road a little. Given your sound preferences and budget I’d recommend a used Bel Canto DAC3.7 with VBL power supply as it provides tons of refined upper-end detail but still with plenty of natural tonality, excellent bass, and a deep, holographic soundstage. There’s one available on US Audio Mart now for $2500, which is a good price given it retailed for $6000 and incorporates technology from their upscale Black line.  If it doesn’t work for you, you could likely sell it at little/no loss so a very low-risk option. 

Another good DAC option would be a Schiit Yggdrasil, which is an R2R DAC that I’ve not heard personally but from what I’ve read seems to mesh well with what you’re looking for and can be had new for $2500.  And I believe Schiit May offer a trial period so it’s also a low-risk option. 

Just a few other options for you to research/ponder, and best of luck in your search.
goldenears19 OP
Looking to get the best out of Redbook Cd listening with Dac a d Transport under 5K?


Get a Cambridge CXC transport, for $500 and spend $4.5K on a good discrete R2R Multibit Dac like a used MSB, new Halo Spring or Denafrips Terminator the best way to convert PCM CD Redbook 16/44 24/96 and DXD

Cheers George
thank you all again. I am reading lots reviews and finding out there are so many products out there. Wow!  keep sending me responses! i think the Chord set up the guy is selling is too outdated on the Dac. It is a QBD 76 model and probably older technology. So steering clear there. Now wondering if I should just go with a great 1 piece CD player and great cables like brayeagle talks so highly about his Bryston or the Heggle 1 piece> Not sure I am wanting to go Streaming now! I enjoy hands on with the discs and using tweaks like the olden days with my turntable etc. I just wondered if it was better to go with the two piece setup vs the 1 CD player. besides the streaming capability etc. I want to keep it simple as possible but still have great sound. Last changes I made were over 10 years ago and digital has come a long way. So separate Dac and Transport vs Single CD player. Need to run Ballanced XLR due to only on Pre Amp! Bryston was recommended due to that! Marrantz on RCA! So that is where I am learning a lot all over again! In my 60's so not sure I want to mess with Streaming now! The Bel Canto is something I was looking at also but then what Transport? thank you all again for your help! I have brain injury so it is hard for me to process quickly but I am enjoying hearing your recomendations and thoughts on the subject!
I will toss another dac in there the Benchmark  DAC3 ( various models some with volume control) which is a very neutral dac that doesn't add to the music. I have one and run an inexpensive NAD CD player  and streamer through it to my McIntosh integrated. You have tube components so I  though I would mention this dac as it let's the sound of your tubes do the coloration you're after not the dac. It's  why I like very neutral  dacs. Benchmark has also been making  professional gear for years. I am in my 60's too and streaming isn't really hard to figure out or use. 
I like your idea of sticking with the transport/dac option for now and adding streamer later. I recently paired the Cambridge CXC transport to a Mirror Audio Tubadour III DAC and like the result. 

At your budget you could get the Jay's Audio transport and DAC with XLR outputs. 
I just purchased the Schiit-Yggdrasil DAC a couple weeks ago. It is allowing my media to sound amazing. I’m hearing old CDs that now sound  high resolution. I’m very impressed with it. Paired it with the Schiit FreyaS preamp and two Vidar amplifiers in mono to my Dynaudio Focus 260 speakers. The entire setup is sounding amazing. 
OP we have sold Chord in the past and the QBD 76 is completely outdated.

You really have to ask yourself if you really want to continue to spin CDs.

Soix suggested an Innous Mini which is indeed excellent, you can just burn all of your CDs and move into the modern world of streaming as well as having 100% access to your entire library.

One great dac is the Aqua Hifi La Voice which is a bit under $5k. The dac sounds very analog like and it has the advantage of never becomming obsolete. 

Aqua is the only company we know that makes completely upgradable digital solutions. So instead of being a fixed piece of hardware you can upgrade the digital as new technlogies come into existance.

There is a real difference in upgradable hardware vs software/firmware upgrades, usually the biggest change in digital is when a new piece of hardware superceedes an older bit of technlogy, with the Aqua the entire dac is made up from individual boards usally 8-10 boards so the entire dac can evolve. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Aqua dealers

"One great dac is the Aqua Hifi La Voice which is a bit under $5k."

The product you are referring to is spelled La Voce (not La Voice).  
Thank you! I'm reading a lot and learning! So Aqua Hi Fi? Will have check that out;
goldenears19 OP

Mirror Audio Tubadour III DAC and like the result.
I just purchased the Schiit-Yggdrasil DAC
One great dac is the Aqua Hifi La Voice
All good suggestions for R2R Multibit dacs, as I said the best way to convert Redbook PCM CD 16/44 24/96 or DXD.

Steer clear of Delta Sigma dacs for Redbook PCM, they are better at doing DSD or SACD, and only give a "facsimile" of PCM

Cheers George
Another option, if you're game, is to purchase an older multibit CD player and get someone to mod it.  I just had my Braun CD4/2 modded which now sounds completely different with open soundstage, far greater dynamic range and sweet sound signature.
Get a R2R Ladder Dac like Mojo Mystique 
V2Plus,
Jays Transport 
Black Cat Digital Cable 
Analog sounds with dynamics of cds

I didn't read every word, but if you have a full-blown Modwright Oppo 105, that's going to be pretty expensive to beat, IMO.  A friend of mine dumped his Linn Klimax for the MW 105.  The older ones, I can't say.  
OP - did you say you are using an Oppo now? And a modded one at that? If I read right - I'd say you already have your transport (assuming the mod didn't kill the digital outputs). Just get a DAC...
I recommend the Cambridge Audio CXC cd transport.  This transport does one thing only.  It reads CDs, nothing else and it does a fantastic job.  I think you can still find version 1 on Amazon. for $399.  The new version is little bit more expensive.  I tried this unit with a Rega Dac, a Micromega MyDac, an old Cambridge Audio Dac and a Musical Fidelity V90 Dac,  I was never disappointed on how well this unit read all my CD's

Best of luck. 
I am very happy with my Oppo 105, which I moded the incoming IEC with silver wire loom and Furutech IEC to the power supply board. That alone was amazing improvement,I then upgraded the OEM power supply to a Linear Power Module (both from Ebay) ~ $300 for both. You will be amazed. It is long know the 105s weakest link is the power supply


I also treated the tray with Machina Dynamica New DARK Matter, which I highly recommend to anyone spinning  CDs ($39!)

Since the 105 has XLR outs AND VVC, you can connect it direct to your amp/s, which is how I do it
IMHO, try these and you will be hard pressed to get significantly better sound without spending a ton


You can find used 105s ~ $800 + the mods

hth
Agree with dbautista about the Cambridge CXC. IMO the newer model might be a better choice.

Prior to getting the BCD-3 spinner, I used the Cambridge CXC with a Cambridge DAC. Not disappointed; however, the current BCD-3 provides better resolution, bass control, upper midrange, and better trebles, particularly in the female voice. Also, using one highly accurate master clock for both the transport and DAC input reduces jitter.
The BCD-3 spinner also has the capability to be used as a transport-only, to feed the digital output to a DAC of your choice.
Both the CXC and BCD-3 have transports specifically made for RedBook 16/44 CDs. The transport for the BCD-3 is made in Austria, and is made from steel, rather than having plastic parts. It is also used in ultra-high performance (and ultra high $$$$$$$) spinners.

I have The CXC on the shelf for a "standby." I do not intend to sell it.
Thank you again for all these options! My Oppo didn't get Ballanced when Moddified many years ago! It was done by a company in San Francisco! Just Moddified with RCA out! I run custom Silver cable  directly to older Usher Amp! Sounded good but always wondering where improvement has been in Digital! Had Blue Circle top DAC and Levinson 31.5 and that was my best sound ever! Sold to have money for bills etc. That's when friend brought over Oppo and Usher! Sounded good but like he said about 90 percent of what I had! So now looking for that inner details that the DAC and Transport gave me! I like the tube sound and wondering about something like an Ayon CD player! Not sure the Bryston is my cup of tea! So I read and hopefully am learning! So please keep up the effort on sending me your thoughts! I am thankful to you all!
Moon Neo 260D CD Transport with a 10-year warranty. Redbook only, no SACD - I use it with their 780D DAC via AES/EBU.  
Good used laptop -$400-$500
JRiver Media Center -- $50
Decent USB Cable like Wireworld 
Used Benchmark DAC2 - $1000
Rip CD's thru JRiver to  FLAC and you're good to go for CD's.  Then browse over to Radio Paradise (set stream to FLAC) and then try the free trial of Qobuz or Tidal.

I have Windows Remote Desktop running from my Android tablet to the laptop, and configured the laptop to bridge between Ethernet and wireless, so I can use Ethernet for stream sources, and use Wireless to remote the tablet.  Now sitting in the chair effortlessly choosing  between stream input and ripped Cd and getting spectacular sound.  I just like the Windows User Interface, and the browser let's me find lots of sound sources (like reading news about artists that has links to their songs or albums..)

I've yet to be convincd that a dedicated streamer improves SQ significantly over a Laptop when you're going into something as good as a Benchmark DAC...but I'm open-minded.


Wow! A lot to swallow here! Thank you for steering me clear from the used Chord set up! Not sure it sound! But too Spacey looking for me! Why is it that Digital is so darn expensive! I enjoyed the hobby for many years and was in the business but now I don't want to belong to the "Amp of the Month Club". I still have my Turntable but like the convience and hands on approach of playing my music! I love my Atma-Sphere Triode Tube Amps and am not into spending money I don't have anyone; I have other hobbies too! I'm an old Soul I guess! I have a 1972 Porsche with a 327 small block! The cornering was the best in the 914 but the power lacked! So someone decided a V8 would kick ass in that car! So I understand Mods! All my Hi Fi pieces  are Modified! So I am always up for that with my Digital looking into what Parts are being used etc. So bring it on but keep it reasonably priced! 
Electroslacker the laptop vs dedicated streamer is old news. 

A computer laptop is  not designed as a high end music source and so there is noise injected into the data stream, that noise is picked by the dac and helps pollute the data stream, a laptops motherboard is not designed to isolate the USB port from the noise of the CPU or the switched mode powersupply.

We did the very same demo for a client a laptop playing Roon and Tidal same USB cable and then switched over to the Innous server night and day increase in sound stage size, width, and tonal liqudity and sense of ease.

We only recommend a laptop as a stop gap, and the Benchmark dacs are good, there are way better dacs. Personally I would take an Ifi DSD pro over the Benchmark anyday and it is the same price. 

The Bricasti M3 which we recommended or the T+A DAC 8 DSD are both leagues above the less expensive dacs.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Bricasti, IFI, T+A dealers