Transport to replace my cd player


Hi Gang,I could use some advice on CD transports. I just bought a new audio-gd 7HE 2020 DAC and think the CD player I have been using as a transport may be a bottleneck in my 2 channel system. The CD player is a Cambridge Azur 851 with upgraded blue fuses and a Synchro-mesh reclocker which has been OK but I think I may get good improvement with a dedicated transport. What do you think? The rest of my system consists of a VPI Classic 4 TT, McIntosh452 amp, a McIntosh C2600 preamp and the new DAC. Admittedly I have no experience with a dedicated Transport but based on reviews only these are the transports I'm considering: Cambridge CXC, Audiolab 6000CDT, Primare DD15 and DD35, Denafrips Avatar, McIntosh MCT 450 and MCT500 and finally the JAY's audio current transport. Have you experienced any of these? Which if any would you recommend?Thanks in advance,Joe
Ag insider logo xs@2xdonpepe
Back in the days of yore TAS liked the CEC belt-drive transport! IMO your search for a "better" transport is a futile endeavor. The proliferation of increasingly costly transports is a marketing strategy to snare the neurotic and insecure! The Emperor's new clothes! 
I have a factory-refurbished CXC that I paid about $300 for on Ebay and it works fine.  I haven't compared it with any of the others, but it is a very decent piece of gear for the money.  Check Ebay to see if they have any more.  A lot of people have said good things about the Audiolab as well. 

If you must spend money get the Cambridge CXC and be done with it! You can then spend many happy hours comparing it with and without the Synchro-mesh! Me, I'd rather just listen to some music! 
I have the CXC and it is a competent transport, no issues with its functionality & its performance. That said I guess I am on a "futile endeavor" journey with you, I have a Simaudio 260d (transport only) on order.
Think about a used PSAudio Perfectwave transport. I bought used about a year ago and it added detail and more emotion to the music in my system. 


@facten I would be interested to hear how the Simaudio compares to the CXC when it arrives. 
Look at the Simaudio 260d, as others have suggested.
@chayro

I'm guessing that I won't have it until late August as I was told by my dealer that Simaudio advised him that they won't have them available until mid-August

I'm a fan of Moon equipment by Simaudio, I had their CD player a few years ago and found it enjoyable. However, I haven't heard the 260D and there are no dealers anywhere near me, I think the closest is in NC. Have you listened to it or are you just taking a shot on the brand as I did years ago? Let me know how you like it, i can't see how the Cambridge can match it.
A couple of years ago I bought the new very large conditioner from PS audio as well as their top of the line DAC and Transport. All three pieces had something wrong with them, while they were nice to deal with something was off in the quality control dept. I had to return all three pieces and have been lick shy with PS audio since then. It has been difficult to find many reviews of affordable transports other than Cambridge and Audiolab, both of which get nice reviews. I hear nice things about CEC but i don't know anyone in the States that sells them. They are available on EBAY but I'm not going there.
@donpepe

I am buying the Simaudio without having auditioned it; read some about it and decided to proceed.

Here's the contact for the distributor in the US for CEC  - he's quick to respond to emails about what models are available and pricing
Tom Kleinbeck
816 875 65 19
email -  tom@audio-union.com


singintheblues

I really like what I see inside with the Denafrips Avatar. So much so I'm trying to get one. 
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/denafrips-avatar-looks-the-goods

Cheers George

I dunno.  Especially since you’re already using a Synchro Mesh I’m not sure you’re gonna hear a world of difference between transports.  I’d shoot an email off to the guy who designed and built your DAC and see what he has to say or recommend.  Personally I’d ditch the transport altogether and buy a streamer/server like an Innuos Zen Mk3, load all my CDs into it and enjoy them all from my chair along with a world of new music from Qobuz.  Best of luck. 
I would look first to the cables and PC connecting it to your preamp
@georgehifi. Yes it does but wait time for the player is at least 3 months, if they were in stock, i would order one today. If only I was a patient man!
@Soix I looked up Innuos and the Statement looks and is reviewed as amazing but cost way more than a transport. I have a large collection of CD's and albums. So adding another toy to play them doesn't seem financially reasonable UNLESS it was sonically much better.
@tweak1 My wires are all pretty good my weak link i think, is the Claris digital cable which will be upgraded this week.Although the audio-gd 7HE is not fully broken in it sounds good with no digital glare at all in NOS mode. One issue I have is that the instructions are translated from Chinese and not easy for me to understand. I think I'm just scratching the surface of what this DAC can do.
There's also the Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 transport. It's made with input by some the of guys who developed the original Philips transports still being used.
https://www.stereonet.co.uk/news/pro-ject-cd-box-rs2-t-high-end-cd-transport-announced

Steve Guttenberg gave it a listen and preferred it over the Jays transport. It's not cheap but as long as this field of recommendations is widening, It thought I'd add this to the mix.

All the best,
Nonoise
The transport in the azur 851c is the same transport used in the cxc.  The casework is more solid on the Azur 851c.


@nonoise I couldn't find much in terms of reviews on the Pro-ject and it's more $ compared to Jay's, so I'm leaning towards Jay's. @b_limo My digital rig sounds way better with the new DAC and the Cambridge as a transport. I'm excited about what a good (better) transport might bring to the party.  Maybe I'll go to hell with myself and get a pair of REL's.
I'll give you a review on the Pro-Ject CDBox RS2 T.
I just unboxed it. Love at first play.
Can't compare since I sold my last CD player last week in a flash.
All I know for sure is that I got it for about the same $ as Jay's cheapest.
New Sota transport design instead of 20 year old tech.
AND it plays SACDs.
@fuzztone,
Great to hear. I didn't know it plays SACDs which is a big bonus.
Is the deal you got a one off or can anyone get it for a similar price?

I can't get one just yet but it's nice to know it's more affordable than when it first came out. 

All the best,
Nonoise
The price I saw on the project was 2999 the jays was just under 2400. I just ordered the Jay’s. With any luck we should both be very happy.
I received the SimAudio 260DT today; it is replacing the Cambridge CXC in my main system. The SimAudio's fit and finish are very nice (mine is all black), draw opens and closes smoothly, and it  "loads' the tracks on the disc quicker. My one quibble is that there is little room to get your finger to the on/off switch at the back of the unit if you use an after market power cord.  I have only been playing it for about 4 hours or so, but thus far the music seems to be presented with more weight and definition. The SimAudio seems to be a better fit with my Mojo Audio EVO DAC.
I have the CXC and it is a competent transport, no issues with its functionality
I thought it was a bargain "no brainer purchase", nothing comes close for even twice the money. Maybe the Denafrips Avatar will.

The only thing that really bug'ed me was all the buttons on the CXC remote you want to use, are at the bottom, almost impossible to hold and press with your finger at the same time with one hand.

Cheers George 
donpepe,
You are going to be happy with the Jay's transport. It built like a brick and sounds wonderful. It replaced my Directstream transport and I have no regrets. I use the I2s output to my AM Tubadour III se dac and it has zero digital nasties. Very musical presentation!
@georgehifi - not that anyone needs another remote, but the Sony VLZ620 is very easy to use and works great with the CXC.  Lets you jump right to a track instead of scrolling through as well. It works well with every component I've tried it with. 
I’m looking at the Naim Uniti Core.
@georgehifi - not that anyone needs another remote, but the Sony VLZ620 is very easy to use and works great with the CXC. Lets you jump right to a track instead of scrolling through as well.
But the CXC is just CD transport you still need to use it's remote to skip ect tracks.
Cheers George
Facten, 
Thanks for your update on the SimAudio 260DT. It doesn't surprise me a bit. The CXC is alright but I actually like my Pioneer Elite PD-65 better as a transport. 
@donpepe  Did you receive the Jay's transport and did it help?
May I suggest you get an Innuos Zen and rip your cd‘s each time you listen to one of them? It‘ll do wonders to SQ and future proofing
Post removed 
Simaudio Moon 260D(T).
In my opinion, would be an upgrade.
Excellent transport!

I've upgraded to the COS Engineering D1 mk2. I tried the Cambridge CXC-clean detailed sound but lacking in fullness/bass foundation. Terrible remote.   So, now there's Project and SimAudio added to the list of better transports along with Jay's Audio and CEC.  I do not recommend the Cambridge for higher end systems.   Denon DVD players (2200-5910 models) have fuller, more involving sound through their SPDIF coax outputs.  My EAR Acute is also more interesting sounding.   But if one wants to buy "new" and "inexpensive" the Cambridge is okay.
donpepe

why not another Mac to match your pre/power amps?

Happy Listening!