CEC CD Transports on eBay: Are they fake?

I’m looking at one of the dozens of supposedly brand new CEC CD transports on eBay. I hear rumors of many of them being fakes. Does anyone have experience with buying one of these who received a confirmed authentic unit?


I don't see any reason to think they're fake.

A quick search shows most (if not all) of them are coming out of Japan.

I would choose a dealer with a reputable feedback score, but it's not like you're ordering from AliExpress or they're coming out of China. That's where things get sketchy, imo.


Those Japanese models run on a different voltage than here in the US. From their product description:

Power supply: AC100V, 50/60Hz

Here, we run on AC 120V, 60Hz. You'll need a step up transformer in order to use it. It's too bad the prices rose so much on the ones sold stateside. Back when I got my Technics SL-G700 SACD player, the CEC TL-5 was going for around $1800 and sometimes less when they had sales. 

All the best,

I've bought a lot on ebay and have good senses.  they look real or at least made in the same factory, but they are being sold by sellers that don't normally handle high end stereo and don't know how to describe it well or provide the details that would normally be provided.  Looks like a bunch of them were probably sold at a liquidation auction.  

Could possibly be a truckload was stolen but I would call the likelihood low.


I bought my CEC TL1x for $5000 20 years ago. I still have it and it works great still.

They are not fake.  The wires inside from what I remember are easy to swap out to convert the voltage to US although you will not get a warranty with the Japanese units.

@nonoise Thanks! Yes, I was thinking the same on the voltage issue. But then I wonder how much using a transformer would affect the sound quality considering the lengths we audiophiles to go in regards to ensuring quality power sources, cables, and the like. Have any thoughts on that?

@rja Thanks! I worry about the voltage issue. Putting a transformer into the equation might affect sound quality, no?


@fthompson251 Nice! And do you hear that "analog" sound that CEC touts for their transports? I thinking also about getting an Aqua La Diva which uses the new drive mechanism from Stream Unlimited. It is ridiculously transparent, but I worry the La Diva might be a bit analytical.


I thinking also about getting an Aqua La Diva which uses the new drive mechanism from Stream Unlimited. It is ridiculously transparent, but I worry the La Diva might be a bit analytical

Fear not! I have the Pro-Ject RS2T transport that uses the very same Stream Unlimited Pro-8 drive/servo drive integrated unit. The sound quality and character is indeed transparent but not a trace of analytical-clinical sonics. I believe that you’d be thrilled with the La Diva II CD transport. BTW, Audionet, Gryphon’ and Acustic Arts Audio also utilize this same Stream Unlimited drive unit.




@charles1dad Thanks for sharing! You might recall a post from me (to which you actually replied) a few weeks back about my defective RS2T, which had to be returned. The issue was mechanical noise. I did get to listen to it briefly (powered by an LTA external power supply) and I thought it was (as I noted) ridiculously transparent, airy, with incredible imaging and a deep, layered but soundstage, but also (perhaps as a result of all this) a bit fatiguing. It really wasn’t a fair listen because it was just so short and hurried as the unit was due to be returned the next day. Reflecting on my quick listen I thought that -- especially as a result of the imaging creating such an audible separation between instruments on the soundstage -- it might end up effectively "analyzing" music into its constituent parts thus dis-integrating it all to the extent of  reduced musicality. I guess you don’t agree? (BTW, I didn’t have the sense that the RS2T was "clinical", however. It was still musical but perhaps the separation I would describe as a bit distracting from the overall piece/song.)

Yes, the La Diva M2 is the one I’m considering. I was then thinking that perhaps a CEC transport might be a nice in-between position. Curious if you’ve ever heard a CEC transport to compare it to your RS2T? Apparently, CEC transports (which I have never personally heard) are known for being quite organic-sounding.

@charles1dad BTW, I have a Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC -- so perhaps that needs to be considered, too. I don't think the Tambaqui is analytical, but it is highly resolving.


A friend had the CEC TL2 for some years and I was very familiar with it. No direct comparison with my RS2T. Upper level CEC transports provide high quality sound presentation. The RS2T is exceptionally resolved and yet very natural sounding.

The particular DAC utilized imparts on the overall sound unquestionably. Your Mola Mola DAC and my Abbas Esoteric 3,2SE are quite different so that’s an additional factor in play regarding assessment.


Thanks, @charles1dad! I will familiarize myself with the Abbas and see if any inference can be made (difficult, of course). Thanks again!


I have not heard the Tambaqui but I recognize that it is highly admired and praised. I believe that you’d be happy pairing it with any of the high quality upper tier transports under your consideration.


I must add, I've owned a CEC transport* for years and have had no problems.

* legally imported


Re CEC TL1x. Yes! It's a rather smooth sounding transport with just a hint of tubby bass,  or a more fuller sounding bass. Just a hint though. I saw a few for sale  on USAM.

If there is no Warranty mentioned in the ad copy, it’s almost always a “Grey market product”, meaning it’s either used, reconditioned, or a fake. If it is an authentic, brand new product from CEC there will be a Warranty.
Why not shoot the question to CEC?

As an update for everyone, I heard from an authorized CEC dealer today that the eBay units include Chinese clones which CEC has apparently been battling for some time. This is concerning.

I bought a CEC TL5 a year ago from A JAPANESE Company....100 volts not 110-120 that we use here...IT WORKS PERFECTLY with our electricity. An Electrician told me that as long as there is less than a 20 volt disparity , it is fine. It’s a Fantastic Analog sounding transport with my Audio Mirror Toubadour IV SE, Aavik U-150 integ.and Borresen X-3 Speakers. If you can pick one up from a JAPANESE Supplier for under $1500USD...Buy IT !

My first impulse was to say that but it's my habit to contradict myself. 😄