Try the Metronome T1.

But why get into new, expensive, adventures if you're satisfied with your present rig?

I had a Cambridge and used it with both  Mojo Audio EVO and Modwright Elysee DACs . I replaced it with SimAudio 260DT, large improvement in SQ especially using the AES/EBU connection. It is presently in my 2nd system with the Modwright. There are other threads with folks also having very favorable SQ improvements using Jays Audio and Project transports , you might also check out  CEC transports. Net net though, don't under estimate the benefit of a higher quality transport.

The Cyrus was the best sounding CD transport - but looking for better.

PS I've got the upgrade bug!


What’s your budget? Jay’s makes one of the best, and ProJect also makes a great transport.  Both are next-level transports and will likely make significant improvements, but they’re pricey. Best of luck.

Bits are bits.  Even a 50c computer drive can read at <1 error per million.

Spend all your dough on DA converters.  That's where the evil of digital lies.

I own an older two chassis Metronome, Audiomeca Mephisto II, and have owned CEC Tl-5100 and TL5 all used as transports.  The Audiomeca was the best of the bunch for overall musicality.  The Metronome was also very nice just a tad warmer.  Unfortunately it is an older players now.  The CEC TL-5100 was also very nice for the price but again an older unit.

The CEC TL3N is excellent, and the Project Audio transport was our favorite that simply was an instant sonic difference maker in about three system we tried it in.  There was no going back and forth, it was simply the nicest sounding of them all.  The lower priced transports are nice for the money but the Project was the one to purchase.  The Jays was good, very dynamic but was not as musical as the older Metronome which we felt the Project was in another league all together. 

Happy Listening. 

IMO It’s only a half-baked question and resulting half-baked equation …ya don’t hear or process the laser-read 1’s and 0’s digital bits alone, and it needs to be converted into analogue first,

Hence, a careful matching of a transport to its stablemate DAC ( stratified into various pricepoint strata) comparison, is the better question.

Ignoring the Captain Obvious step-up in audio performance from a stepped up build transport mated to a high-end build DAC;

- is a high(er) end transport feeding a cheap(er) budget DAC gonna make you better off comparatively…. or

- is a high-end DAC with a cheap transport system pairing gonna satisfy or improve your satisfaction quotient?

I can only tell you about what I know. I used to have a Cambridge transport and went to a Jay's CDT2-MK3. The difference is simply phenomenal. In this case you get what you pay for is real.

As good as the Cambridge or other drive is there is the possibility of jitter going to the DAC. I use 2 old Monarchy anti jitter devices in series(with good cables) and that seems to produce improved sound.

Another vote for Jay’s and Project Transports. Anyone using an external DAC, these two players should be their #1 and #2 consideration. Please IGNORE the bits are bits posters.

I own both a Marantz hdcd1 used as transport, as well as the Cyrus cdt. They both sound great, so it's a toss up between the two. I bought them for their relatively small foot print. I got rid of the just did not do it for me. 

This argument has been going on since the mid 1970's when Phillips introduced optical recording of data. The issues have not changed.

When you are talking transports there are two types: direct drive and belt drive. Just like with an analog turn table the belt drive transport will sound different than  a direct drive. A good transport must be mated with an equally good D/A converter to achieve the best sound at a price point.

I have used the Berkley with a Cambridge before. Always sounded like it was missing something. The problem is always the same, vibration cause an error in the data stream and basic design of a direct drive transport is the root of the issues, noise bearings, large motor which has a cogging issue, and the motor is to close to the laser pickup. All of this goes away with a belt drive transport like the CEC (which I sell), the Audio Note and the BMC transports.

Ripping has the same problems, bit perfect is not perfect. This is due to the error rate in reading a CD over running the error correction. This was a known limitation of the "Red Book" standard at the time it was adopted, it is nothing new. Streaming is not the same as reading a data file.

If you want great sound out of a CD transport get one that adheres strictly to the "Red Book" standard. Most almost do, but not quite. Many manufacturers make a small adjustment in the design so that it will read a CD made on a computer, which absolutely does not adhere to the "Red Book" standard. The laser dot created for burning is the wrong shape.

Having said all that if you are happy with what you have, enjoy it. If you can not hear the difference, why waste the money. If you want more, get a belt drive transport which strictly adheres to the "Red Book" standard.

"Bits are bits. Even a 50c computer drive can read at <1 error per million.

Spend all your dough on DA converters. That’s where the evil of digital lies"


Funny, when I purchased a Mojo Audio EVO DAC Ben the man behind Mojo Audio asked me what transport I would be using with it,. I told him a Cambridge CXC. He responded, if you really want to hear the performance of the EVO consider upgrading the transport. He doesn’t sell CD transports so his comment wasn’t a sales pitch , rather it was advice from someone who has intimate knowledge of digital. He was spot on.


Sold my Cambridge CXC v2 transport, selling my CD collection and ripped CD’s that are unavailable for streaming…Done!  On my systems streaming sounded better and offers so much more.  

I still have about 1600 CD’s and am using an Audiolab CDT with a Denafrips Pontus ll. My next purchase is going to be a DDC. Haven’t decided which one yet. 


Using Marantz SA-8004 into MHDT Orchid. I am sure it could go somewhere, but might take other upgrades too. 

Is it true that the project has quality control issues? I have seen a number of comments to that effect.

This digital rabbit hole is tough to navigate in my system.  For that reason, I'm biased towards CD player with purpose built onboard DAC analog out.  

Project rs2 transport so good it played cd better than sacd (same album) so sold the better format. Superb player

How  good is  PS audio prefect wave CD/SACD?

User's in put much appreciated.


The CEC TL3N is excellent, and the Project Audio transport was our favorite that simply was an instant sonic difference maker in about three system we tried it in. There was no going back and forth, it was simply the nicest sounding of them all. The lower priced transports are nice for the money but the Project was the one to purchase. The Jays was good, very dynamic but was not as musical as the older Metronome which we felt the Project was in another league all together.

Insightful comparisons from a manufacturer of a very high end DAC. In addition someone who’s heard 3 highly regarded CD transports (CEC, Jay’s Audio and Pro-Ject RS2T). One could not go wrong with any of this trio but I understand his conclusion. The RS2T I’ve had in my audio system the last 16 months and can concur that it is genuinely sublime sounding.

It is by design a small footprint and compact CD transport with a huge performance presentation. The better one’s DAC, the more one will recognize and appreciate the quality contribution of the Pro-Ject RS2T. It replaced my “terrific” P.S. Audio PWT memory transport. It is an improvement across the board.

Granted, it is considerably more expensive than the value oriented Cambridge transport. Sometimes you really get what you have paid for.

There are some of us who are well aware of digital audio streaming and acknowledge what it offers. However, we immensely enjoy and appreciate very high level Redbook CD playback and media. The RS2T is meant for this type of listener.



I use an Onkyo C7030 as a transport with an Audio By Van Alstine Insight multibit dac.  IMHO the combination sounds quite good. Bought the C7030 new and the AVA used for a total cost of about $500.. 

Almost any CD transport is a huge upgrade to a CD player because you are using a high end DAC rather than an onboard dac that is limited by cost, size, and market factors.


There are several posts here with comments about a TL3N. It has been out of production for 5 years. It was a Japan only market design, not for export. It does not compare favorably with any of the CEC current production models in sound quality. That is why production was stopped on the TL3N.


I will not be able to facilitate your decision much.  I used a Linn Unidisc 1.1 as both a player and transport for 12 years until the laser died and Linn, in all their wisdom, designed a proprietary laser that they no longer manufacture.  AG members on the pre owned market for Unidisc models  be aware.  That said, without the benefit of experience or audition, reviews indicate best choices of currently marked products include Simaudio Moon, PS Audio, and Ayon.  

My response, with respect, is to @clearthinker. While I fundamentally agree bits are bits and the greatest benefit-cost ratio realized with DAC improvements, improvements in a digital source, make a difference due to design differences that reduce ground, radiated, and power supply noise … and timing.   A computer is not optimized in this regard to the degree of an audiophile transport or server.  In my journey, I realized audible improvements with upgrades from a dedicated MacBook on battery power running I-Tunes , to the Mac running Audirvāna, to an Aurender.  The progressive reduction in digital noise reduced background noise audible as a hash between images with an associated blacker background and increased detail, reduced high frequency “digital” glare, and a more organic sound.  As I have said, to each our own ear-brain connection. 

So Paul, from my perspective, transport improvements will be audible.  Look to the recommendations you received from all.  Most important, trust your own ear-brain connection.  Verify if you purchase used that the manufacturer will support the product.  See if they have projected a model support sunset since the industry is moving to serves.  Remember my Linn experience. 

Charles 1 dad,  is spot on with his assertions.  I am on my 3rd RS2T transport. The first 2 had issues, to put it mildly. Charles convinced me to try ONE more time, which I did. This one inspected by the Music Room before being sent out has

 worked just as it should for the last 6 months or so. I have an Audiolab 6000 CDT in another system, which sounds very good, complimented with a good DAC.

However, as suggested by another contributor, A better DAC will improve things, I believe also.   BUT, BUT::: The RS2T transport with my Meitner Dac MA1 is SO FAR ABOVE the other, it's actually hard to believe, you have to hear it, it's actually like owning a new CD collection.  As Charles has commented several times before, it has to be the Laser and the Blue tiger servo system installed. Ask anyone that owns one, its hard to believe my earlier comments, but, its sound is just wonderful. Hope this helps, only problem is, Expensive, at least by my standards. To hear is to believe. Robert TN

Probably not adding much to the discussion but I have a PS Audio transport with a Brinkmann Nyquist DAC.  We couldn’t be more pleased.  Plus, I picked up the transport used so saved a bundle.  I can tell you it is a significant improvement over  the Denon set up.    I have no idea why it improved clarity and details but no question it did.


Probably not adding much to the discussion but I have a PS Audio transport with a Brinkmann Nyquist DAC. We couldn’t be more pleased. Plus, I picked up the transport used.

I believe you. I owned the P.S. Audio PWT for 12 very happy years before replacing it with the Pro-Ject RS2T in 2021. In my opinion the PWT is still one of the better higher level CD transports that one could acquire and very high value if bought used. It was exceptionally reliable during those12 years of heavy usage.


 a cheaper alternative to their trans, but can be used as one:

Project DS3 Standard sheet metal housings are not torsion-resistant and mechanical accurate enough to mount a sensitive CD drive where the laser position has to be correct all the time. Our massive aluminium chassis provides the best basis for the CD drive and our Blue Tiger CD-80 servo developed by Stream Unlimited is the most advanced on the market.

Had to buy a cd version of The Fixx “Reach the Beach” album because all of the songs on the album are no longer available on either Tidal or Qobuz. I still play cds as well as stream and I rip all cds onto Roon Nautilus.  Sorry a little off point…

My ps audio transport drawer stopped functioning, and didn’t think it was worth the shipping and repair costs.  Had stored all of my cds to roon core and subscribed to the principle that digital coming off solid state medium rather from a spinning disc was inherently superior.  Bought the project r2 transport special from underwood.  Without hyperbole, found the music superior to my network/streaming to the dac.  The transport came a day earlier than the digital rca, had an old mit 350 rca cable.  Even better than the digital cable



  "the transport came a day earlier than the digital era..."


The Digital era started with CDs.


If you don’t mind, what DAC and music server/streamer are you using? The RS2T sounds excellent with its standard wall wart power supply, yet improves further with an external LPS substitution. I purchased my RS2T from Underwood Hifi as well.



I am using qobuz.  Sonore ultra rendu as a roon player via usb to audio gd r7 

I do find the project to be “picky”with disc quality.   CDs that were kept on my car visor organizer have occasional skips.   The sq on Red book is not incremental.  
my wife was a technician for Bosendorfer in Japan, came to the listening room and what I bought from the Tampa audio show and how much I spent.   She has gotten used to the idea that 875 dollars is a value purchase 

@tennisdoc56 Try this digital cable.  I did, and it was a game changer.  If it doesn’t blow you away just turn around and sell it for little/no loss as Acoustic Zen cables have a very fluid used market.

Pretty happy with  the vintage spectral mit interconnect. Blows away the Diamond level ic purchased with the transport.  Next consideration is the value of upgrading power supplying 


Next consideration is the value of upgrading power supplying

Yep! That’s an individual decision. Excellent as is, but can be pushed further with a high quality LPS. I listen usually 4 days a week for 4 to 5 hours on average. Most decidedly worth the price to acquire the LPS .


Well, Pro-Ject makes their own optional LPS. Many RS2T owners are very happy with the LTA (Linear Tube Audio) LPS. I’m very happy with the Fidelizer Nikola II LPS. I do not believe that you could go wrong with any of these 3.


Yamaha SCD2100 cd/sacd. Built in dac amazing sound and soundstage, well built. Higher end transport.

According to Pro-ject site their CD Transport is temporarily unavailable in the US.