People buying Transports again?


I have a friend who is looking to purchase some dCS equipment. He is set on getting the entire dCS stack. Not sure if it is the Vivaldi or Pagnini. Although he has converted his library to digital (Meridian Sooloos) he believes he gets the best sound via a Transport. Now I know this is very subjective on does it sound better and if so what is the price of it. Like him I have converted all of my music over to digital. I converted it mostly for convenience and access to my entire collection. I have downloaded some HiRez files but I have no desire to repurchase my music in HiRez format if it becomes available. To me converting from disc to digital files was like going from non-remote control preamps to preamps with remotes. I personally would not buy a non-remote controlled preamp but that is just me. Are people going back or staying with transports?
heavenlyaudio
I switched to my Olive 04HD about a year and a half ago. Although I don't use my excellent CEC transport any longer, I probably will never sell it. You never know when you might need it.
Happy to see another Olive user,I got the Olive 04hd back in October and love it,I recently bought the 06hd for my main rig and moved the 04hd to my other system.Excellent units.
George
I am going AWAY from PCM transports. My recent experience with memory players and now a Bryston BCD-1 has me going to ripped source material, even though it will be an enormous amount of work to rip my CD library. And it is much more than convenience like remote vs no remote. Its a sound quality issue. I am hearing things in my standard CDs I have never heard before. Granted, I am not comparing to $15K transports but that is the point. Best sound for the buck.
dCS makes some pretty special transports. i have the scarlatti dac/clock/trans and the trans is superior on redbook and sacd. i've also heard the dcs scarlatti upsampler at my dealers....and even then preferred the trans...

don't get me wrong....downloads sound great to...but in direct comparisons, I always preferred the transport. on SACD was comparing to 24/192 download. Now the Vivaldi can do higher sampling rates...so maybe it'll change.

For your friend, I think he must get a dCS transport...even if he/she does the Vivaldi DAC and a scarlatti or paginini trans...don't forget the clocks are crucial also...

Hope this helps you
This is a very timely topic for me as a I recently purchased a single box cdp and dac (Luxman D-06). I mainly stream music through my Sonos system. I find the convenience unbeatable, though the sound quality is questionable which I intend to correct using Empirical Audio's Synchro-Mesh reclocker. The reason why I purchased the Luxman was for pure convenience. I dont like having to wait to rip new cds then update my library before I can listen.

In terms of sound quality comparison I do think it does take a very good player to compare to a digital only setup. In the past, I have had Esoteric cdps which to my ears sounded better than most of the digital only systems I have heard but was mainly due to technology such as reclockers and USB/SPDIF converters not being as good as it is now. At the end of the day this hobby is all about works best for you!
For sound quality and lack of format headaches I'll be keeping the CEC
transport for a long time.
I have an Ayon CD5s which to my ears still beats all the computer based audio that I have heard. It does have async USB and other digital inputs for later, but I think we will see terrific strides in computer audio in terms of simplicity, cost, and quality over the next few years, so I am waiting before if ever) jumping into computer based audio.
Although I principally use a Bryston BDP-1 fed by a hard drive for my music, I sill very much enjoy spinning a CD on my PAM modded CEC TL-1x. Through the PS Audio PWD Mk II, it is warmer and fuller bodied, though not as detailed and transparent as from the BDP-1. But who cares: I like it!

Still a lot to be said for a good transport.

Neal
have wanted to sell my PS Audio PWT for almost two years now. problem is...every-time i listen to it....i can't bring myself to part with the thing.

love the convenience of streaming via the PWDII/Bridge...sounds really good too. but the PWT almost always sounds a little better. this is especially true when using hi-rez burned to dvd.

am yet to hear any digital that tops a well recorded hi-rez title burned to dvd and played on my PWT. simply the best IMHO
Levy03 this is nice to hear. i have quite a bit of experience with the PWD and Bridge. Great sounding unit. I have listened to hi-rez files though the Bridge and it sounds good but not what I expected. Maybe a PWT is in order.
You have to compare the SACD to a pure DSD download that is not converted to PCM. There are a few players that can play pure DSD now.
Jwm Yes DSD may be the way to go in a few years, if and when there is extensive catalogue, decent pricing etc
Although, I would give a slight advantage to a dedicated transport vs a streamer, I certainly would not invest a lot of money in a stand alone transport at this time. I just feel that with the advent of the High-Res downloads and DSD coming down the pike, that one should really think carefully about the direction that they would like to head in.

Personally, I love controlling my entire music library, which includes all of my red book rips, high-res downloads, playlists and MOG from my iPad. I currently use the Logitech Transporter, which I have compared to the MBL 1621A transport, which was only marginally better. I will upgrade my Transporter when a viable alternative is available that does everything that the Transporter does, plus pure DSD streaming (which the Transporter nor my DAC does at this time).

Rich
Not me. I might get a Oppo BDP-105 w/EVS or MW mod for my SACD and BluRay collection and DSD with new firmware.

There are several things I've done improved computer audio.

1. Connect DAC and laptop to router via ethernet cable. A HUGE improvement over wireless.
2. Bought a new laptop with more memory (16G) and faster CPU.
3. Avoid installing software that runs as services so it doesn't startup when computer starts up.
4. copy all music from external drive to laptop hard drive.

Next thing I'm trying is roll ethernet cables.
Agreed
Second that Knghifi. It makes sense to upgrade the music streaming devices and accessories that some still treat as computer rather than upstream music devices.

As the the practical tips,
- an internal HDD is nice but a mid level NAS (e.g. Synology) can serve well audio and video files for the HTPC.
- Cat 6 cables should be a big improvement over standard Cat 5 (at least cat 5e should be used, shielding is imperative)
- Inserting those very affordable network bridges if the cable run is long (>50 feet) or even for shorter runs as they refresh the signal
most of the improvements are suggested by Klaus http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com/ based on his findings to improve the SB Touch

I am keeping my Cary CD just as back up.
I think there will always be a niche market for legacy sources.

Vinyl and compact disc and some day the digital player.
I saw Michael Fremer interview on the Newport show where he mentioned AQ wireless/ethernet cable demo. Ethernet cable connected to router is much much superior to wireless. AQ entry level much superior to common Costco ethernet cable. CAN'T hear differences between AQ entry level and AQ expensive ethernet cable.

My Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable shipped today. Should be interesting wknd.
Very curious to hear impressions of an AQ Ethernet cable vs. generic. AQ is highly reputable company so I would expect improvement.

Neal
LEts put it this way, I would not want to be in the CD transport business unless I was perhaps DCS or similar company whose business is built around proprietary SOTA digital technology that someone might still be willing to pay for.
There will be always a few audiophiles who want to spend much money and exactly for those are the Transports.
I never listened to a digital combo which wasn't beaten by a single box Player, expensive digital is burning money. More and more realize that.
I work with computers all day and the last thing I want to do is worry about high availability and disaster recovery for my music library. Long live the CD player :)

I am confused with digital music. If you can get hi res formats, why do some people say redbook cd is still better?

Basically the digital players are small audio optimized computers selling for a lot more than a personal computer. Ethernet is all about the data packets and making sure they get to where they are destined. I would not spend more then 10 or 20 bucks on a shielded CAT6 cable for a digital rig.
I work with computers all day and the last thing I want to do is worry about high availability and disaster recovery for my music library. Long live the CD player :)
I had an external USB drive died but luckily it was backed up. Since you work with computers, you probably know there are auto backups. If manual, just select, copy and paste ... not too difficult.

Basically the digital players are small audio optimized computers selling for a lot more than a personal computer.
Agree! DAC is just a computer converting a file of 1's and 0's to an analog signal. The only requirement is getting the data in memory so the cpu can process it. If buffer is big enough (ideally the whole disc), how the data get in the buffer is not important IMO.

I am confused with digital music. If you can get hi res formats, why do some people say redbook cd is still better?
the keyword is EXECUTION! Tiger Woods with just a putter will kick my butt with the latest and best equipment.

Ethernet is all about the data packets and making sure they get to where they are destined. I would not spend more then 10 or 20 bucks on a shielded CAT6 cable for a digital rig.
Why does digital and analog cables sound different?
>>Ethernet is all about the data packets and making sure they get to where they are destined.

Yes for TCP/IP (or Token Ring or whatever transport protocol) they work as lost packets gets indeed re-transmitted and data packets are re-assembled but for hi fi audio where noise is a big culprit, causing jitter on the DAC/preamp side, you dont want RFI induced garbage.

If you dont believe all this and I am not telling you to, let me ask you? Why does (a digital) USB cable affect the sound then?

Here again there seems to be a discussion starting that reminded me of discussions on fuses and, to a lesser extend, on cables. Why dont we all experiment more?

If you dont hear a difference, then there is no difference for you,
To answer the OP question, I will be in the market for a new transport to replace my Modwright'ed Sony 9000ES.

Considering the Woo Audio and the Cyrus CDXT. I think this might be my last CD player purchase and hopefully it outlives me.

I just integrated a Chordette QuteHD dac into my system just in case I get bored some friday night and want to play with computers.
hi photonman:

you should consider esoteric or the lower priced teac line. years ago, they made excellent transports.

if i were in the market for a transport, i would listen to a teac.

however, i have found a phenomenal coax cable which really works well with transports--the fusion audio romance 2 gold cable.
Photonman,

The 47 Labs Flatfish is at the heart of my digital front end. I had it modded with a Super Clock and Black Gate Caps in all of the right areas. Powered with a custom battery power supply.The finest piece of musical gear I have ever owned! I have some pics of it in my gallery over on Audio Circle (rodge827). Check it out and drop me a PM with your comments.