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Good....Budget Transports.

Discussion in 'DACs' started by mcgarick, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. mcgarick

    mcgarick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Renton wa
    Greetings!

    Looking for.... HIGH END..... budge..t transport options.

    Got any good ideas, you want to share?

    Right now , I'm using a Cal labs CD DX-1, and it does a pretty good job, but is starting to act up.

    Ive bought a lens cleaner, and it doesn't do it..

    So, I'm looking for solutions, and good ideas...I'm on a beer budget. I don't have 1500.00 for a transport.

    In the past ,I've found SOME dvd player to do OK, like Denon..but I want to tap the collective here.

    Got any suggestions? Thanks!
     

     

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  2. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,210
    Apple SuperDrive. There's even a driver for Windows machines.
     
  3. BigElCat

    BigElCat Mmm Hmm Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,691
    Location:
    South of Kansas City
    For transports, I like actual CD players because the controls and time displays are designed for music CDs.

    I like the old school Sony count down calendar display.
     
    dmckean likes this.
  4. arclight73

    arclight73 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,573
    stish, boza and PAGS like this.
  5. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I've had very good luck with Pioneer Elite DVD players from the mid-2000s, like the DV-59avi and DV-79avi. Very sturdy construction. They sold for $1000+ back then, now around $100-$150. They play SACD and DVD-A too. 5.1 analog outputs. As a transport they are rock solid.
     
    Pio1980 likes this.
  6. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,094
    Location:
    North of Philly

     

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  7. Powertech

    Powertech Active Member

    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    South Wales, U.K.
    If you like the idea of a CXC, you could always go used. The AZUR 550C (I have one), 650C, 651C and 851C all use the same transport and S3 servo. Oh and their inbuilt Wolfson DACs are some of the best around as well. They are like a CXC plus a DACmagic in the same box.
     
  8. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains!
    Cambridge Audio sells a multi-format player too, if video playback is of any interest? It's based on an Oppo platform, so that might make it hard to come by.

    CXUHD

    Me, I'd pick up a Sony UBP-X800 universal transport. It's a dedicated transport, that plays all audio and video disc formats. Cheap too, and even cheaper during holiday sales.

    UBP-X800
     
  9. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    If you don't mind used, look around a bit for a Theta Jade or Pearl. These were high end, heavy duty transports in their day.
     
  10. mr.muddles

    mr.muddles Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The Sony DVP-S7000 or DVP-S7700 are the first and second flagship offerings for dvd players. In typically fashion, Sony likes to go all out when releasing new technologies (e.g. SCD-1) and so the DVP-S7000 is an overbuilt tank with dual discrete lasers and has a very good reputation as a transport. I have one that I use as a transport but can't really comment on it too much as I haven't gotten a nice DAC to test it with... I did compare it to some other high end players I have and it was much better sound, however.

    There are some reviews around about the DVP-S7000 for use specifically as a transport and at the time it was compared favorably to the best transports being offered. I bought mine for $40. It's a pretty cool device, looks good too!
     
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  11. pskaudio

    pskaudio No user serviceable parts inside me... Subscriber

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Delaware
    I picked up one of those for the same price about nine years ago. It does make for a nice transport and the motorized panel is just too cool.
     
    DeeCee likes this.

     

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  12. lissenup

    lissenup Active Member

    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    A nice older dedicated transport is the Rotel RDD-980. Great build, and extensive use of Black Gate caps.
     
  13. hoodie

    hoodie Super Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Location:
    Monmouth County
    I'll second picking up a UBP-X800 to use as a transport and if you add an audio de-embedder, you can listen to DSD through the HDMI Audio out of the Sony.
     
  14. Electone

    Electone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Find a TOTL Yamaha CD player with a digital output. Built like tanks.
     
  15. RGA

    RGA Super Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    So far I like the Cambridge Audio CXC - I bought this to stand until I can buy a higher end transport. Generally I prefer machines that do one thing - multi-readers I've never liked for CD. SACD/CD machines - bad sounding CD. Bluray/DVD/CD - bad sounding CD. But the CXC remote is a bit weak - no direct access number pad. It's a remote designed to operate three components but if you don't buy the other two it's a big remote where most of it does nothing. And the display is small. Still as a transport for CD I like it more than the OPPO 205, and my Line Magnetic CD 215.
     
  16. eickmewg

    eickmewg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    343
    I like my Cambridge Audio CXC coupled with a Topping D30.
     

     

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  17. bacobits

    bacobits Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    USA, NC
    I'm using the CXC for the last 2 years now on a Yiggy A2, it killed my Marantz SA14 S2 LTD as a trans. That's a 2k 30lb machine.
    I agree about the remote, not direct access #'s and it's large for the reason stated. It's still a good transport. Watch what you use for coax connection. Using a Wywires Litspeed on the coax connection, and the Lifatec glass cable works very nice too.
    I may buy a second to keep in reserve since my primary Digital listening is CD. I have seen them for 300-350. I also looked at higher priced Transports, but the problem of drives still exists, buy the extra drive parts?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  18. charles 1973

    charles 1973 Super Member

    Messages:
    3,023
    I bought my Cambridge CX-C to replace malfunctioning Denon 1500II CD Player I was using as a transport to feed my Bryston DAC module in my integrated amp. Does a fine job and a very good value IMO. I had a vintage Rotel transport for a few days too. If it had the remote I would have bought it. I would highly recommend the CX-C if you can't find a good used Rotel.

    I did a simple A/B test with my Denon 1920 DVD/SACD player as a transport vs both the Rotel and Cambridge transports. Initially I was a bit surprised that they sounded almost identical, Which supports the idea some believe that all decent transports in CD players sound alike. But I used the Rotel for a few days anyway, Even though I didn't think it mattered.

    To my surprise after many hours of listening, It dawned on me that I was noticing nuances in the music I had not noticed before. Not because it wasn't there, But because each instrument was so clearly defined. While I still believe the DAC plays a bigger role than the transport for SQ, I think the transport can get you the last 10 - 15% toward great sound. The CX-C left me with the same impression as the Rotel with respect to the improvement in SQ vs the transports in both my Denon 1500II CD player and my Denon 1920 DVD/SACD player.

    I'd like to hear this one at home. It's available as either a CD transport, or transport/DAC.
    https://hometheaterreview.com/simaudio-moon-neo-260d-cd
    I heard it at the dealer. Perhaps one of the best CD transports available and any price in terms of SQ.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  19. RGA

    RGA Super Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    The problem with CD transports or CD players used as transports is that almost all of them use cheap ass mechanisms. And that includes the Sim Audio.

    They come in basically three forms - CD players that buy $5-$15 mechanisms from Sony, Teac, Samsung, Sanyo and Philips. These mechanisms are in pretty much every CD player under $2500.

    The dedicated transport like the CXC can be better because the reader only reads CD and plays the disc at the CD speed not at higher speeds for bluray AND they don't share a power supply with the DAC portion of the player. In a higher end system one should be able to determine that the CXC is superior to most other all in one units.

    But because most all CD players use a $12 transport then naturally people say "all transports sound the same" and in fact they are often correct - if Denon and Rotel and Arcam all buy the exact same Philips transport then well - all the transports will likely sound identical!!

    But then there is a GIANT gap to the next level up - the next level up is the Philips Pro2 where the mechanism along costs $450. And the machines using them will run you $5000. This mechanism is found in upper Audio Note, ARC, Wadia, Metronome and are almost always top loaders with a magnetic puck you place on top that holds the CD down. And there is the famous flagship CEC transports which are Belt driven and cost even more money and the TEAC VRDS mechanism.

    This is the transport I am saving for but it runs $6,000. And is one of the least expensive out there using the Philips Pro2LF

    [​IMG]

    CEC Belt Drive

    [​IMG]

    Belt
    [​IMG]

    This is where the differences truly show up. The CXC and dedicated transports CAN still be improvements - I have the CXC myself but the improvement is more about the power supply and their Servo lock system than it is about the stability or quality (plastic) mechanism.

    A good Single Disc player can still beat it but very unlikely at the price or perhaps 4-5 times the price. I have a $1500 Line Magnetic CD 215 that I was using as a transport but it has a dirt cheap Sanyo mechanism and while it is a very nice sounding CD player it is noisy and dull as a transport.

    But I just came back from my dealer in Hong Kong and listened to the Audio Note 4.1 through my preamp and speakers that I used to own and the CD 4.1 is a single disc player that is far more sophisticated and the depth of bass is transcendent compared to the CXC. But this is a $13,000 CD player or something in that ballpark so it should BLOODY BETTER be transcendent compared to a $400 transport!! And that CD player is level 2 - their players go up to level 6 and run close to $200,000. Of course to normal people it's not worth it - but you WILL hear the improvement and when CD can sound like a master tape - and you hit the powerball - why not - I mean what's the point of being loaded if you don't buy the crazy stuff.

    Back to reality - the CXC is darn nice - still I wish someone at Cambridge Audio had a clue and would put a dedicated CD player/transport remote in the box. The remote they put in is just so stupid - I get giving that multi unit remote for people buying the amplifier but they are going to sell a LOT of CXC transports to people NOT looking to build an all Cambridge Audio System. At least have a proper CD remote available as an optional extra. I'll gladly pay $30 for a good CD tranport remote - but it could be worse - I have seen $1000 transports that have crappy remotes too.

    Perhaps if someone knows the remote code - we could go and buy a universal remote or something. It's just really dumb.

    Here is my 1996 Cambridge Audio CD6 remote - still works perfectly - the remote and the player - to this day!

    [​IMG]

    CD 6[​IMG]

    The grey has is a bit posh and is slightly pitted so it doesn't feel like cheap plastic. It's just sad that they offered better in 1996 than in 2018. Oh well. The CD6 was $800 back then. So $400 today - in today's weaker dollar - I can live without the number pad ... I suppose :(
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    hoodie likes this.
  20. bacobits

    bacobits Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    USA, NC

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