CD transports; do they really matter

In my pursuit of total sonic harmony, I have been investigating whether a CD transport ( to replace my bulky and aged Luxman CD player ) would be a good option.  I had an interesting conversation with the manufacturers rep of a respected brand regarding his companies CD transport.  He basically said its all in the DAC, the transport, as long as its not a cheap component, does not make much or any difference. So, I ask does it really matter?


Thank you - I'm glad I jumped in to this thread. Any thoughts regarding playing ripped CDs from a hard drive and how that compares to different levels of transports? I know some have stated that only the highest quality transports will best HD playback.  

Another factor that is worth emphasis is the level of the home audio system.  As you improve the quality of the speakers, amplification,  cables etc. resolution and overall sound quality improves. You are now capable of hearing more and the differences amongst the transports become ever more obvious and distinctive. 




[Any thoughts regarding playing ripped CDs from a hard drive and how that compares to different levels of transports?]


Glad you asked.


A good well built ROM drive will yield better rips. And also store those rips into SSD instead of spin disks.


I can recommend this Pioneer ROM:


I have the older S11j (non X version). The good thing about this Pioneer is that they have a software/utility that allows you to slow down the spin speed. From my experience, the slower speed you use to rip, the better the SQ. Less vibration and less read errors. The X version has more rubber/silicon to damp vibrations. Really good stuff!


I have older rips from Plextor, LiteOn and Asus ROM drives but this Pioneer takes the crown.  And yes, I sepnd many many hours ripping and re-ripping the same CDs using different ROM drives for many years.


Of course if you buy a very expensive CD/SACD transport with much better damping and much lesser read errors (Esoteric VRDS), it is going to sound better than CD rips.


Even though CD music is just 1s & 0s, but the amount of errors play an important part. That’s why in the golden era of ROM drives, there are many websites reporting read and write errors of different brands and models.


If record companies were to re-digitise their master analog tape into hi-rez files and you can buy them direct (DSD or 32/768 wav), think there won’t be a need for transport, but more on the higher end interface instead (eg. USB or I2S ports)


Hope this answer your question.