CDP or Transport and DAC? Recomendations?

Current setup:

Rega Apollo CDP

BlueSound Node 2i

Rega P6 TT (upgrading to P8 after 1st of 2022, when I can hopefully find a new one) 

Rogers High Fidelity KWM88 Integrated

Tekton Moab

Looking for advice on a CD upgrade. Budget around $5000. Want new equipment. Is it better to look at a separate transport/dac or a cdp in that price range? What are your recomendations?

Have around 3000 cd’s dating back to the mid 80’s when cd’s first came out. Have SACD’s as well as burned cdr’s.  Need to play everything.

The Audiogon members are always the most helpful and I appreciate your time/thoughts.






In my system, I tried the Audiolab 6000cdt and Denafrips area 2 and the Marantz hd-dac1. Neither produced a better sound for Redbook cds than my Jolida JD100 CDP that was modified by Modwright 3 years ago (changed the 12ax7 tube circuit to a 6922 plus some other upgrades). In total, I spent $800 for the player and the upgrade.

If you're looking to play just cds and not stream, I would find a CDP that plays all your cd types. Ayre would be my first choice if they do sacd and Redbook, but you'll have to get it used. Awesome equipment  with great service. Good luck. Feel free to pm me.

I currently own an Ayre C5-Xemp

(approximately $6000 new)

I purchased it used about 3 years ago.($2000)

Very happy with it overall.

That being said, it is 15ish yrs.old.

Curious as to what cdps out there that compare.

Budget ($3000-$4000)says probably used.

Or possibly a dac and use Ayre as transport?

I also have an Oppo BDP-105 universal player.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. 


Just picked up the Cyrus cdt transport. Will be feeding it to my Border Patrol r2r dac. Possibly the best transport out there at the price. Have the audio lab transport, however it is my feeling that it is too large for what it does, unnecessarily so...the Cyrus is only 8 inches wide by 14 inches deep.

I'll be very interested to hear of your experiences, Audiolab vs Cyrus. I have the Border Patrol DAC  too.

I went through the DAC/transport vs dedicated CDP decision process about a year ago and decided on a Denon DCD-A110.  IMHO it’ll go toe-to-toe with any product within spitting distance of its price point ($3500).


There is a reason why all the really high performing CD players and transports do not play SACDs. There a compromise made in doing so. If you do a side by side on an adequate system it stick out like a sore thumb. Anything that will play them all is going to be noisier and have more jitter by design

I believethat you are definitely on to something here. It seems that when audio manufacturers are after the best Redbook CD playback they can manage, they choose to go exclusively CD only. No DVD, SACD, Blue Ray etc. Dedicate all energy and resources to getting the most from CD only. 


It seems that this single focused approach (Rather than jack of all trades)  very likely yields the best sound quality result. The Pro-Ject CD Box  RS2 transport has  been mentioned in this thread.   I own one and   the sound quality is superb!  It's very difficult to bring a listening session to a close for the night. 

Small/compact form factor design? Yes. Big performance envelop? Yes. Front panel buttons are small, however the supplied remote control  can be used if desired for "all" operating functions. Paired with a good quality DAC and you'll have a first rate digital front end if you enjoy playing CDs.