CD player/transport with exposed tubes?

Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I find most CD player/transports to be  less than eye catching. I’d like to find a player or transport that is a bit more aesthetically pleasing, preferably one with exposed tubes. However, it seems that the selection is limited for CD players with exposed tubes, and many of the main brands making tubed components (e.g.Cayin), offer CD players in standard looking enclosed boxes.

Modwright did some nice tube modifications on Oppo CD players, Primaluna discontinued their Prologue CD line, Luxman offers the D-380 that shows one tube - what main or boutique brands of tube components offer a CD player with exposed tubes? Any recommendations?


I know what you mean by aesthetically pleasing. I like audio components to be symmetrical myself. Same goes for speakers, I like to see all the drivers on the same axis and if the mids, tweeters or ports are offset and not vertical with the woofers then the left and right speakers need to be a mirror image of each other.

I’m sure my ears wouldn’t hear a difference, but my eyes can definitely see it!

I wish more companies would take this into consideration. I have not purchased many components, particularly speakers due to their asymmetry alone!  Some Mcintosh tube amps are a great example of asymmetry.  They look like a wedge from the front!  I'd like to know why they couldn't have put the connections on the back instead of the side!


A blast from the past is the Shanling CD-T1000 and 2000 both you can find on the used market from time to time.

The Sound Quest SQ-12 had a Modded version with tubes. I think the mods were by Granite. Steve Monte of Quest for Sound near me in Bristol PA builds some nice gear and speakers.



Thanks to everyone for the input...very helpful! I didn't realize that Rega has a number of tubed CD players, and I had not even heard of Shanling and Sound Quest. Also, the link to Upscale Audio was nice since I'd not seen any Primaluna CD Players on Audiomart or Audiogon. Thank you!