The anachronistic CD Transport? And do I really need one.


CD Transports.

This is a machine that in my early audiophile days I could not afford. I appreciated, philosophically the advantages of it. Thinking of this device in 2021 seems strange. Yet they still exist and, maybe more importantly, they are still manufactured.

Just a few years ago (I dunno...maybe 2015) I remember thinking Redbook CD sounded great with the right DAC, and underlying system of course. But today, I don’t know this to be true. It is starting to seem that the compact disc is riding in the third row of the vehicle, with vinyl and non-cd-digital vying back and forth, musically for the driver’s seat.

So, my listening habits are

Vinyl 65% of the time
Digital 40%
CD 5%

I do have a small collection of CDs. They are things that I cannot easily or actually hear on other mediums.

I have a great DAC and it made an old (2005) Rotel CD player sound pretty good. The Rotel CD player's remote is dead with no easy replacement, and it does have progressive optical reading disease--...it drops in and out with less than perfectly clean discs.

Can you please evaluate the following options for me? Or tell me to piss off!

1. Buy a Transport
2. Buy a CD player (maybe with SACD ability)
3. Dump the discs and stick with your better sounding vinyl and digital.
4. Are you insane for listing as no. 1 "Buy a Transport"? You must be old.

Fire away.
jbhiller
After my NAD CD player crapped out, I bought a Marantz 6006 player. Even though it sounded pretty good on it's own (more lively sounding than the NAD) I bought a Denafrips Ares ll DAC and liked the sound even more, still using the 6006 as a transport. Then I got an Audiolab 6000 transport and noticed a slight improvement in a few areas - more distinct soundstage, tighter bass, smoother sound all around. It even read CD's that the Marantz didn't, notably ones with scratches and skips. 
Thanks for all the suggestions. 

Ripping the cds is an option, but I'm not as fond of it.  These are special albums and I appreciate them and their physical media.  I suppose I could still hold the physical media in hand while playing a ripped file.  Somehow that feels weird to me though.  

I think a good transport is the way to go. I was unaware Schitt was coming out with one.  And the Audiolab was on my list.  Thanks to dtapo above for noting that the Audiolab bested the Marantz.  I was thinking of that too!
Buy a new transport or a CD player with a digital output. That’s the beauty of have a separate dac. 
I've been using the Audiolab 6000CDT with a Neko Audio D100 MKII DAC and have nothing but good things to say about the rig. I read a lot of reviews and forums before settling on the Audiolab, whose main competition seems to be the Cambridge. When Schiit does release theirs, that might be the best choice, especially if they keep the price low.

But if you have a good DAC, and the transport does its job, you'll be fine with any of these, or other, choices. The DAC is the key piece.
I like my cambridge transport. Smooth player. I wish it was slot loading like the audiolab.  I still have an arcam player but is  not a stand alone transport. You can't go wrong with the CX Cambridge transport.