Buy a new transport or a CD player with a digital output. That’s the beauty of have a separate dac.
- 39 posts total
- 39 posts total
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 bought a transport from AliExpress for around $600, supposedly a Wadia clone circuit. It does have a tendency to overheat or something which causes it to stop playing and error out after some time. There's a newer version out with a better clock so maybe they fixes that issue I'd ask before buying.
In terms of quality it's clearly superior to my CD player (MHZS CD88J) if also used as a transport to the same DAC. Lower noise. It's roughly equal to my custom audio PC (linear PSU, battery-powered USB card, SSD isolation) for much less footprint and cost (the USB card, a Paul Pang V3 costs $450 by itself). But, obviously, a CD transport doesn't have the flexibility of the PC. Compared to my regular unconditioned PC it's on another planet of course, even when plugged into the PC's regular power strip. Works fine passing MQA-CD signals.
Also consider the belt-drive units from CEC.
Schiit is coming out with a transport soon and it's supposed to have a USB input which is a big deal IMO. It allows the use of high-end USB cables and conditioning and the use of a lot of MQA DACs with use for MQA-CD. Only a few DACs on the market support MQA decoding on the SPDIF input, most of them support it only on USB.