I haven't heard it yet, but Luxman just released a transport/DAC.
Limited choice for the "classic" R2R multibit cd players, (forget sacd/dsd)
Naim CD555 (with 555 powersupply)
Mark Levinson ML39
You’ll have a far more massive choice if you go separate cd transport and dac
As R2R is now making a "big comeback" in dacs, as they are now doing discrete R2R in stand alone dacs and the good ones sound magnificent.
MSB’s range of dacs
Holo Spring level 1,2 or 3
and many others
+1 on @georgehifi suggestion. Separate transport and DAC.
I have a lot of CD's and l like putting one on and settling in to it. I have a streamer, too, but sometimes I switch from one thing to another too much and the CD experience is just, well, mellow and focused.
As to technology, I decided I wanted to go separates for the following reasons:
A separate transport will be be built well — there's no split of cost with an internal DAC. Plus, it's hard to know how good the DAC is, unless the unit is very expensive. And DACs change.
I decided that I would probably not listen to CD's forever, so I capped my expenditures on CD transports at about $500. In that field, largely via forum advice and reviews, I narrowed down to two transports: Cambridge CXC and Audiolab 6000. There is a v.2 of the Cambridge, but by going with the first model, I saved about $100. I like it very much.
So, DAC's. There are many options, as stated. I knew I wanted to try an R2R tube DAC and went with an MHDT Orchid for about $1100. Again, there are many options, and much less or more could be spent and I suspect there would still be good quality, either way.
DAC all the way. CDPs are dying while DACs are flourishing. Frankly I’d consider something like an Innuos Zen Mini Mklll that you could easily load (i.e. load the disc into its slot and it stores it internally — done) all your discs into and play any of your music in any order from the comfort of your chair. Add a better DAC and you’re set. Keep your SACD player around for those I guess. Best of luck.
Whatjd I have a few miles on myself and recently about five years ago I transitioned away from vinyl as my primary source though not so easy thing to do .
Having friends with digital front ends to help me along the way I went through EMM Labs , Esoteric and my last was a CEC transport and Rockna Dac then suddenly my world was up ended listening to a friends new music server and separate dac with an extensive music library all managed by a iPad .
I sat there choosing what ever i wanted to listen to including worldwide internet FM all with a touch my finger .
I brought over some of my favourite CDs to rip and listen to and was immediately struck at how much more enjoyable my music was on his system though sure enough I borrowed his server to listen in my own system , it took less then 20 minutes to decide to move on from using a transport.
My current server is the Innuos Zenith mk3 with Phoenix re-clocker with both components is in my mind the most significant leap forward in musically performance I have ever experienced at once .
DAC all the way. CDPs are dying while DACs are flourishing.Yes but new CD transports are also coming back, EG: as Cambridge Audio’s CXC among others.
Just try to by a used old flagship transport these days, they cost twice as much as they did 1 year ago.
There are many (smart ones) that kept their CD collections when they ventured into streaming/servers, only to go back to their CD collection.
"Some" of the ones I know that didn’t store them away and sold them all off, are now regretting it and giving up on being an audiophiles, and feeling regretful for it.
GeorgeHiFi the same with vinyl collections back in the 1990s over the promotion of a digital revolution about to take place which will make vinyl obsolete and worthless.
There were of course some that bought into that notion and I bought a great vinyl collections nearly for a penny a pound .
Even though my collection of CDs are ripped and backed up I have no plans getting rid of them.
Ive owned some fairly decent transports and dacs though I’ve never enjoyed the sound quality near as much as I enjoy what I’m hearing now along with the fabulous convenience of managing anything thing I want to listen too with a touch of a finger.
Each to your own what ever works best for you .