CD Transport / Player Thread

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by MoatsArt, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    I don't care for chi-fi. $2500 is a lot of bones for a CDT, especially one where you are largely SOL if it breaks. you are much better off buying a vintage transport (doesn't have to be expensive or fancy) and modifying it to improve the factors I listed here https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...nsport-player-thread.3028/page-12#post-362876

    from turnkey solutions I would much rather take the Sparkler audio unit or wait for the schiit transport
     
  2. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Just throwing this out there as another option, but i picked up a used AudioLab 6000CDT a while back. Comparing between Pi2AES/AES and CDT/Coax is kind of surprising. In a nutshell, the AudioLab stages better, has more vivid macrodynamic contrast, and sounds more visceral in the midbass than the Pi2AES running into YggyA2. I'm pleased so far, but also kind of dreading when (not if) the slot load mech shits the bed... but, I'll use the time until that happens to find some other oldschool 50lb transport from 30 years ago.
     
  3. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    What music did you use to compare? And how did you match the source material between a CD and a streaming file?
     
  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I forced a downsample to 44.1kHz using Roon, streaming Qubuz and local CD rips to compare sources/transports. The music that (for me at least) highlighted the minor differences in the midrange was on more energetic stuff like Bronson. I tend to listen at lower volumes, 65-75dB, and it could be the slight emphasis in the midbass plus greater macro contrast at lower volumes is pleasing, like a slight loudness button, when using the AudioLab CDT. Though, the Pi2AES streaming full rez (24bit, 48/96kHz) does have a little more sense of space, and the highs sound slightly more relaxed.

    The one imaging trick that jumped out to me more so with the AudioLab was comparing the 1st track on the new Low album HEY WHAT - the panning of the vocals in that song took on a greater sense of height (Alan Sparhawk's voice seems to come from the floor, panned hard left, to about 4 feet above the tops of my speakers, centered but still switching places with Mimi's voice).
     
  5. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    I picked up a PS Audio transport recently and am curious if something got damaged in shipping? It plays and reads discs without a problem but the mechanism is unexpectedly noisy?? I measure 65dB at about 10cm from the drive tray using the audiotool android app.

    Because I couldn't help myself I opened it up to see if some padding or stabilization mechanism had come loose during the journey but it was rock solid. What I didn't expect to find is a $20 Asus DVD ROM as the primary mechanism in such an expensive transport. The noise is similar to a PC drive but I have also heard many PC drives that are dead silent and I can't imagine that this is the norm.

    my question - if anyone has a perfect wave transport - is it noisy? If it was 10dB softer , I could live with it as music would drown it out but as is, I cannot use it as a transport no matter how well it plays back.

    I guess the next question would be , can anyone recommend a quiet SATA DVD ROM for me to try and substitute.

    ps - this little experience has reaffirmed why I hate high end audio and am a happier camper living the cheap bastard audio dream.


    EDIT - found the PS Audio forum and it seems a few folk have switched out the drives and not all drives are the same - so I am guessing any SATA drive will do it. Paul posted a comment stating that any replacement would not be specially modified to run at 1X but I can assure you this thing does not run at 1X - if it did, I wouldn't have this issue


    another edit - realized that I never updated this. I bought a DVD-ROM with the same connector and dropped it into the unit - powered up and functions like it is meant to - no noise and reads any disc I have thrown at it.

    The BIGGEST challenge was figuring out how to open it and after completely dismantling it, I discovered a very simple approach to opening these units - it is not intuitive but once you have figured it out, it is really very simple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2022
  6. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

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    Although not sata, Apple superdrive is well damped and quite silent. Although internally it makes use of a LG rom .
    Among Sata ones LG 24ns** is pretty silent. Sony and Lite on are very noisy. Asus 24D5MT isn't as silent as the LG but to me has the best rip quality.
    Some older Sony models such as the 880s can be cross/custom flashed for a more silent operation.
     
  7. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    An issue with the Apple Superdrive is that it is a slot loader but has no way to mechanically force eject the disc (if you forget to eject before power down, or when something goes wrong). I'll bet that the OEM transport inside does have a mechanical eject (typically a small hole where you can insert a paper clip and push on a lever), but Apple didn't want to spoil their clean design with an extra hole next to the slot.
     
  8. Bacobits

    Bacobits Rando

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    To the noise issue on a PWT from PS audio, mine has been dead quiet for the last year I have owned it. Only one problem that a disc didn't eject ( that is a software problem once in awhile I have read) fixed by resetting off then on again to reboot it. Yes it's an ASUS DVD drive. They have extra drives from when I asked the question. This was a $3K drive, I did not pay that. I think PS audio is over priced anyway, period!
    I need a transport because I still play lots of discs.
    But.........it is a good sounding transport into my Yiggy via AES balanced.
     
  9. Rob the Comic

    Rob the Comic banned from ASR

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    @k4rstar Thanks again for all the info. Have you heard the Marantz CD11 LE (Limited edition)? Apparently the stock CD11 was POS but some Dutch guy - sorry forget where I read it - said this was his reference player along with the CD12 you mentioned.
    Guy down here selling a fully serviced one for 3K AUSD, which I think is ridiculous, but I was thinking of making him an offer. Thanks.
     
  10. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    I have not, the CD11 was the export version of the LHH700, which was a very cool and over-built machine, one of the first to sport the new bitstream TDA chips. The LHH machines are rare and priced just because of their rarity. Otherwise the sound of this player is probably worse than a more common Marantz CD80, and it does not look as cool either.

    I think the Audiolab 6000 will work better as a transport. Maybe if you find a used Arcam CD72/CD73 on your local classifieds that could be a good deal too.
     
  11. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Any suggestions for a warm sounding CD player? I was gifted a Cambridge one a few years back and hated it. So bright and sterile sounding. I’d love to try something with a more analog tone. The Rega players seem to fit the bill but the cost of them seems a bit crazy. $1500 here for the Apollo. Maybe a Chi-Fi tube player? Interested in your opinions.
     
  12. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    Purchase any inexpensive TDA1541 player, perform some simple mods to it like replacing the output opamps, replacing the coupling capacitors with film, bypassing the digital filter for NOS operation, and finally tack on a good-sounding 1:1 or 1:2 line transformer between the CD player and your pre-amp or amp. the Japanese have been using what they call 'CD matching' transformers to make standard CD players sound less cold for decades. it works.
     
  13. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Are you tied to new items only?

    Some vintage Denon's are not so bright with PCM56's. And of course the Phillips/Magnavox ones with TDA1541's. Not all of them have 1541's though. I have an Adcom GCD-575 with TDA-1541 chip. But there are many older mulibit or even hybrid chip ones that may be warmer than some of today's offerings.

    For new ones, as far as I can tell, the Marantz CD6007 uses AK4490, and the Technics SL-G700 uses 2xAK4497. The NAD C538 also uses a Wolfson chip and looks very affordable. Some here might have experience with those.
     
  14. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    What about new SACD players with similar sound characteristics (warm, resolving, but not warmpoo, etc.)?

    For years I've been using an Oppo BDP-103D player with the analog output board replaced with an Audiopraise Vanity103HD. The Audiopraise board replaces the standard 8 RCA analog output board with 8 channels of transformer-coupled coaxial S/PDIF outputs and also performs reclocking and DSD-to-PCM conversion (at 24/176.4). After Oppo's blu-ray division went under, Audiopraise eventually took down their site, so I've attached some of the materials I saved over the years to this post. The Audiopraise board is also nice because it allows use of an external DAC without an HDMI input and the user can still play SACDs and certain video discs (like DVD-Audio and Blu-ray) without the normal copyright restriction downsampling or outright prevention of playing (like with SACD through the Oppo's regular coaxial digital output). I've been using the front left/right S/PDIF output from the Audiopraise board into my Yggdrasil Analog 2 S/PDIF coax input for discs, and for ARC for other sources hooked up to the TV like the AppleTV 4K.

    I've been buying more discs recently, including SACDs, and sort of waiting for the Schiit transport to eventually be released. No interest in buying and modding a legacy player. However, I also realized recently that the Schiit transport is not going to support SACD, so wondering how my current setup would compare to buying a dedicated SACD/CD transport that's better built than the Oppo.

    I recognize going this route would likely mean that I can no longer utilize the Yggdrasil as the DAC. I'd just hook a new SACD player into my preamp.

    If I decide to "upgrade", I'm not interested in spending crazy money (like Esoteric), but have seen some discussion of SACD players from Arcam, the Marantz SA-KI Ruby, and the Denon DCD-A110. I'm also not really interested in getting a player that has separate USB/digital inputs or streaming functionality, as I prefer to keep my digital and streaming devices separate to avoid obsolescence like I experienced with the Oppo's Netflix and Tidal integrations. If I upgraded, I'd just want something that's built like a tank and can play CDs and SACDs well. In that respect, the Denon DCD-A110 looks interesting. Never demoed dedicated SACD players though.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    Yea I'm in this camp as well, I'm eye-balling a lightly modded Oppo myself atm mostly for Blu-Ray but also SACD support, it seems like adding the Audiopraise board might be worth hunting down but... who knows how long that will take...

    Either way lovely thread, many thanks to all who have contributed to it!
     
  16. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Doesn't have to be new but my options are limited in Australia. The used market is nowhere near as strong as the US and any vintage items tend to be well overpriced.

    I'm almost thinking about a cheap Sony Blu-Ray transport feeding a multibit DAC or something. Would make a nice budget option until something better comes along.
     
  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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  18. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    This was a good read. The insight about how browsing Spotify can feel like work if all your other actual work has gone virtual spoke to me. Physical media and the constraints on discoverability are a nice departure from algorithmic, virtual UIs.

    This quote made me laugh too:

    BA00EAD4-1346-44C4-BFCA-10C5273833BF.jpeg

    …but then it is a good opportunity for connecting with friends in real space.
     
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  19. cityshlacker

    cityshlacker Rando

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    Thanks a lot for this list - this is exactly what I was looking for as someone who was trying to find an affordable transport to feed into my Yggdrasil.

    I managed to snag a Marantz CD94 mk1 on eBay for about 480GBP (including remote and replaced belts) in incredible condition, which I think is pretty decent given the ones I see on there now.

    I added a voltage regulator upgrade for a laugh today and I'm just super happy with the device - the insides look all in top condish still as well.
    I always had CDPs with very flimsy trays that feel like you could snap them off when placing a CD on it, but this thing is YUGE and super satisfying to look at when it sproings out with immense force.
     
  20. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    no problem I'm glad it helped.

    as an aside I did get the Sparkler audio unit I mentioned earlier in this thread. it looked and felt very cool but sound-wise it was just so-so. I had a stock but restored Philips CD960 next to it which traded blows. the Philips sounded dirtier but it was more fun. with some modifications, the Philips would've dabbed on it. modern CD players just cost too much for what you get in return.

    [​IMG]

    I will also comment on the Sony PS1 as a CD player. I was not impressed. it sounds polite and 'small'. I guess it has a comfortable sound but I also found it boring. I recommend going for a thrift store find instead for the same money.

    [​IMG]
     

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